THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

OK. If you want to see where I'm going with this, skip to the last video. It starts a little slow, (with the kid balancing his bike across the top of an iron fence, and falling, twice) but will quickly blow your mind.

If you'd like to travel my thought process for a bit, save that for last.


Skateboarding and trick bicycling have followed similar arcs since the early 70's. Skateboarding went from sedate sidewalk surfing to slashing ballets in empty pools in just a few years.


70's Skate Footage from Cavin Brothers on Vimeo.

In the 80's, skating split into separate sects. Pool (and purpose built ramps, together called 'vert') skating evolved while a small group started 'freestyling' on flat ground. Somewhere in there, the term 'street skating' was introduced so that the stuff that most people did most of the time had a name.







Funny that the bicycle had been around for over a hundred years by this time. But it seemed a little behind the times in terms of the level of craft in stunting.



If we flat ignore cycling in circus and fairgrounds, we can say that bike trickery began to approach the level of the skaters by the mid 80's. BMX had grown from the 70's into organized racing and freestyle. Freestylers both rode vert and did circus tricks on the flat, combining the split disciplines of skating.




Sometime in 1984, a skate magazine ran a piece on 15 year old Mark Gonzales.
I'm going to call this a milestone. A full spread photo sequence showed his adaptation of a vert trick, the Ollie, to the street.

Boom.
Vert skating essentially died in just a few years, BMX mostly disappeared and by the early 90's there was just one skateboard shape and every single trick was based on the Ollie.

This one trick made the world a skatepark.
With the Ollie, freestyle tricks became airborne and took over.




There is a weird guy spazzing out to Merillion over in the corner.
Bicycle trials, or trialsin. European, completely unrelated to any of this stuff and totally weird.

video

Somewhere between Motorcycle race sideshow and now, trials riders started, basically, street skating. With the dual influence of 60mph downhill mountain bikers and skaters, BMXers returned and started street skating too.


Skateboarding is enjoying a comfortable popularity, but it's bicyclists now pushing the edges upward...




and outward



This kid has everything. Skateboarding's urban appropriation, trialsin's obnoxious skill, and the BMXer's hollow-boned flight together.
Something new is coming.


Come ride your bike in New Bedford.
Friday May 1. 6pm
Ring the Bell!

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