Over the next few weeks, Thrill Magazine will showcase the UK scene on Longboardism with a selection of articles from their fine publication. Familiarize yourselves with what’s happening across the pond starting this week with the coverage of the 2012 Bristol Board Meeting.
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BRISTOL BOARD MEETING
Words By Andy Sneesby
We had heard great things about the Annual Bristol Board Meeting. Now in its 6th year, the cycle path from Bath to Bristol becomes a wash with suit-clad longboarders, all there to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support. The challenge to ride the full 13-mile stretch suited and booted. We couldn’t wait see what it was all about especially with such a great cause at the heart of it.
We rolled up at Green Park in Bath to meet with all the other riders. Taking in the array of suits and various different types of tweed on show we were very much impressed by the amazing selection of boards that people had chosen as their ride for the day.
There were some amazing bits of wood, from a fella who had screwed two trucks onto a plank of 3 by 2, to the guy with a speaker attached to the back of his old wooden water-ski. What a colossal board! Rich from Lush then found a high spot and reminded us to be nice to everyone we met on the way and tell them about what we were doing and how much we’d raised so far, which before we’d even started was about £2100.
Out the back of Green Park, which was full of ‘green’ in more ways than one, was a little gate leading to a skinny towpath indicting the beginning of our route. This was a little hectic at times. A few blind corners with families on the other side, watching in awe as a few hundred skaters came whizzing by, along with the odd really confused cyclist having their nice Saturday morning bike ride disrupted! As the towpath opened out we came up to a road that led onto the old railway bed, we started to spread out. The faster riders broke off and were up at the front pushing like mad, some of them trying to beat a record time spread all the way back to guys content with having a leisurely cruise and a lovely time.
The cycle path was a tad damp from the cover of the trees and as tiredness started to creep in after the first few miles a few accidents began to occur. As we were coming up to a pretty big bunch of skaters, one lad had his mate slip on the moist ground and step on his wheel, stopping his board dead and we could only watch on as he fell head first almost in slow motion and cracked his forehead on the stony path. People stopped and offered to help, but he declared he was fine and the adrenaline would help him push through and keep going and it was true as we saw him later at Shiner hill. We carried on to where we would’ve stopped at the halfway point pub, but as we passed it was still too early and was closed. Some of the other lads and ladies behind us did stop and had a much needed rest and drink.
As we got further down the path, we came to the start of a heritage railway running alongside. The train appeared and filled the air with masses of steam, clouding one or two of the skaters and making it really hard to see! Following the train down, we came past the station where the people who had missed the pub had all stopped and were checking for cuts, bruises and how dirty their wheels had got from hitting the grass verge. A bottle of lilt and a Cornetto later and we were back on the road. Well, path.