From pristine pavement with amazing turns, massive stair sets, waking up on the salt flats, to saying screw it and using the roof of our team van (aka the Dethbox) as a step up to drop. This team trip was epic to say the least. We had free reign as a team as to how the trip would go and where we would end up. With quite a few goals in mind we had a lot of determination to get some epic shots, and in the end I think we pulled it off. When you get the chance to see the full video of the trip I think you will agree. Until then, here is a peak into how the trip went down.
I jetted out of Denver and landed at San Francisco International. After arriving at the Freebord factory to a warm welcome from team members Jason Van’t Rood, Caleb Casey, and a cold Denogginizer (or 3), things got a little blurry so hang with me.
Over the next 12 hours the rest of the US team and also Jordi Puig journeyed on up to the Freebord factory. This trip was the first team trip for rookie Luke Miller. Only a few people had met him, and he showed up in the middle of the night, so we introduced ourselves as we all slowly woke up the next morning. This kid had never left the state of California, so Utah was going to be a whole new world. Destined to remain the only sober one, he was probably looking forward to being in Utah with their awesome beer laws.
Of course we had to hit some spots around SF before we took off. All the classics, California street, Lombard, some sidewalk action. We then hit a hill that has a turn which collapsed into a gnarly foot cliff. I think I saw some metal piping and a shopping cart down there. I got close to going over, but David Schiotis takes the award for best attempted cliff dive…that is until we get to Tahoe. More on that later.
We wrapped up that day by hitting a pretty sick little spot with press pads and ledges galore. Luke, Jordi, and David Schiotis were slaying it like usual. I may have even got a shot or two. As far as I know that session is lost footage, maybe it will surface someday though. Fingers crossed.
We shot back to the factory and chef Schiotis grilled us up some chicken and asparagus. Luke Miller, living up to his rookie title decided to take on Schiotis in a race. A race of who can drink about 5 or 6 shots of BBQ sauce the quickest. Needless to say, Luke didn’t beat Schiotis. I’m not sure drinking the most BBQ sauce is really winning anyway though.
The next day we dipped out of the city and headed toward one of my favorite hills. We rode there all day and got individual runs for each rider, along with a few awesome group passings shots. It was a lot of riding and also a decent drive, so we got back to the factory after nightfall and all crashed pretty quick.
Woke up the next day and all of the sudden our boy Daniel R. Clay (DRC) was at the factory! Today was the Spread the Shred event in San Francisco, so we got the crust out of our eyes and started warming up. Freeborders from all over California showed up to shred some of the local hills together, and we definitely had a blast.
Toward the end of the day, and after everyone had got their fill of shred, we regrouped at the factory. We said our goodbyes to all the dope Freeborders that showed up to the Spread the Shred, and we packed up the van and got ready to head out.
As we left SF, I looked out the van window at one of the plywood cities built by the homeless. It was that point I realized how much I was looking forward to arriving at our next destination; Lake Tahoe.
We arrived at DRC’s house just outside of Lake Tahoe pretty late at night. He showed us the digs and let us know where we could sleep at. Woke up to a little mini ramp session after the guys who slept on it got up and at it. After this warmup and some crystal recharging, the idea to jump on and off the van came up. We had the means and the will to do it, so we made it happen. With a steep kicker at the back, Jordi and David Schoitis warmed up to it and easily made it onto the roof. Then they started sending it, both stomping massive 180’s off the front of the van.
With some daylight left, we decided to head up the road to cool off at a local lake that had some cliff jumping opportunities. It seemed like a great idea, and the sign that was pretty explicit about not jumping from the cliffs just reinforced our decision. David Bickett sent it the best with a pretty epic gainer that no one really knew he was able to do. After getting some good footage there, we warped over to a pizza spot and got some delicious food in our bellies.
We had a great rest of the evening and woke up refreshed the next day. DRC’s girl Lauren cooked us up some amazing breakfast food, and then we started getting packed up again. Can’t thank them enough for such great hospitality!
We set off toward Utah, but had to stop at an amazing hill along the way. With perfect conditions, and pristine pavement, we dropped in on this sexy beast. This hill just goes and goes. It not only feels amazingly smooth to ride, but it had some great views too. It is a leg burner, and eager to get to our destination we headed out after hitting just once. We shortly got held up by a giant herd of sheep that came out of nowhere. Guided by a stoic sheep dog who kept a close eye on us, they all made it across the road safely.
After a quick bite to eat in a town I do not remember the name of, we drove into the night toward Utah. Got to see an epic lightning storm, that turned into a downpour at one point. All was clear when we got to our Utah destination guided by Caleb and Jason, but it was so dark we couldn’t really see what our surroundings looked like. I could see the ground, and it was dirt with lots of tire track impressions in it. Everyone set up some sleeping bags, tarps, tents, and crashed.
We woke up the next morning to realize we camped somewhere on the salt flats of Utah. It was kind of surreal waking up there, seeing nothing but light colored sand for miles and miles. Stoked to get riding again we packed up our stuff and headed towards some hills.
Shredding in neighborhoods can be interesting, but the neighbors either weren’t home or didn’t mind us! The hills in this area are steep and smooth, but they also have sidewalks. We found a pretty intense one that started off decently wide, but got skinnier than normal towards the end. We all blasted it and got some great shots.
Getting our fix for downhill, we set off to find some freestyle spots. We found a pretty cool set of stairs and handrails outside of a park nearby. Jordi and Schiotis started slaying the stair sets. Luke Miller was also getting it after he found an area to start throwing down some presses. Got some shots and called it a day as the light started to disappear. We found a spot to camp not too far from the hill we planned on riding the next day. I heard this hill was pretty amazing, and was super stoked to ride it.
When we arrived to the hill the next morning, I saw pristine pavement, beautiful turns, low to almost no traffic, and a nice steep grade. The best part, was this road was like this for mile and miles. I could go on and on about it, but i’ll just say it is now one of my favorite hills in the United States. We stayed there pretty much all day and didn’t even realize it. Everyone was having such a fun time shredding it, and we got some really sick shots as well.
After killing our legs and the hill, we decided to head to a local brewery for some refreshments. The forecast that evening was looking rainy, so camping was going to be rough. Fortunately David Riddick came through to ride that day, and offered us all to crash at his place. Can’t thank him enough because that forecast was correct and we stayed dry.
We woke up the next day and Riddick had cooked us up some delicious pancakes and bacon! We filled our bellies and hit the road again, in search of more freestyle spots.
The university nearby provided quite a few opportunities to do just what we wanted. Jordi absolutely crushed a few stair sets bigger than I have ever seen anyone do in person. Schiotis came up against a rail that he wouldn’t let defeat him. The entire team motivated me to keep trying a trick I had never landed on camera, and because of them I was able to.
As an awesome sunset started to appear, we rode down towards the bottom of the university, taking a fun combinations of pathways, sidewalks and roads. With an inexpensive train system to pick us up and take us right back to the top, we lapped the university a few times before officially calling it a day. We ended up crashing at friends house nearby, who probably regretted allowing that the second some of us started taking off shoes. It was pretty bad, but we opened up the windows and got all the shoes outside. This was our last night, so we reviewed the footage together with some drinks late into the night, and fell asleep one by one pretty much.
Everyone was slow to get up the next morning, it’s kind of a bummer going our separate ways and marking the end of the trip. It’s always a blast doing what you love with some of your best friends. At the same time, I am sure we were all looking forward to being home and back in our comfort zones.
The California dudes packed up the van and headed west. The Utah team members settled back in, and I headed to the Salt Lake City International Airport. Sitting on my plane ride home, feeling pretty damn satisfied with everything we did, and looking forward to the next time I get to shred with all these crazy dudes.
If you think you have what it takes to shred with the rest of the team or know someone does, don’t hesitate to send us a video. If you don’t even have a bord yet, you are in luck because our Black Friday Sale is already going on! Head to our store to check out the discounts!