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Event report: Paris Push Race V1

It all started with a question – why does Paris not have any Push Races? Events like the Broadway Bomb start off small and local, but can grow to have a huge national and international outreach. Back in September, the time felt right to sow some seeds of change here in Paris so that we could build on the success of the GreenSkate. We would offer a different format to previous events with the aim of drawing more attendance but also to provide a focal point for the French, if not European scene and help promote it – the shops,  the different associations and various groups. The support we received both from Parisian shops / brands as well those as further afield was tremendous – you just have to take a look at the flyer to see that.  The night before, with 46 people attending, we could tell that this event would go off. People were coming from all over the Parisian region and even further afield; Annecy, Caen and even Prague! The only problem that we had a huge thunderstorm (yes, you read correctly!) which soaked everything right through. I set my alarm the night before the race, thinking that we would have to call it off. Sunday turned out cold, but with little chance for any rain we decided to press on. I left the flat with a bag full of home-made orange carboard arrows, the prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, some string and of course, my board.

After having set out the course in the Bois de Boulogne we made our way back to the meeting point at Porte Maillot where a handful of people were already waiting for us. People just kept arriving…

We then left the meeting point and made for where the start of the race was to be held. The start was to take the ‘Le Mans’ format with the racers on one side and their boards on the other. After the countdown, each person would have to run to their board and before starting to race. We made sure there was a good 20 metres between the competitors and their boards…needless to say that the a getting a good start was even more important than usual – it was carnage, but all good!

Not many pictures of during the race have surfaced, but generally things went mostly to plan. In the time between having set out the course markers and the start of the race, some of the arrows had already been stolen (people were obviously impressed with their quality). This meant that a few participants took some wrong turns and either got lost, or took a massive short cut…still that’s part of the fun, right!

The good thing about Push Races is that they can appeal to a wide audience, everyone who can longboard can challenge themselves to push a little faster than usual. It is then up to the organisers to try and cater for different tastes, some flat sections to keep things interesting, some light downhill for the adrenaline-seekers and some uphill for the endurance lovers.

At the start of the race there was a big straight on some horrible pavement complete with wet leaves, but nevertheless I got off to a pretty good start. There was then ‘the uphill of death’ with lots of leafy mush to slow things down even further before the start of a wide straight section…

…then a downhill section and finally a tight (due to roadworks) twisty section leading to the finish. The whole course in the end was around 9km, which despite being a little shorter than we would have liked, gave people a taster of what Push Races are about. I heard a lot of comments at the end from people who wanted more!

After having waited for everyone to finish, we then went en masse to a nearby skatepark at La Muette which is famous for being the only bowl in Paris. As someone who usually skates with a couple of people, riding as a group of 40+ really is fantastic, the group just takes over the streets…cars move out of the way and bystanders cheered and clapped us on. At the skatepark, Blackkross, had organised some drinks and snacks and it was where we would give out the prizes to the winners.

The results of the race were as follows:

  1. Romain Bessière & Antoine Badin (Mastaflex)  19min 48secs
  2. Eric Guérin (Rike) + 20min
  3. Petr Pufler (From Prague!)
  4. Laurent Perigault (Eneone)

From what I heard, the finish was a spectacular sprint between Romain and Antoine – I wish I could have seen it!

Overall attendance was really impressive, considering the forcast for awful weather –  75 people came in total, of whom 60 competed. We would really like to thank all those who participated in this first edition of the Paris Push Race and especially to those how helped organise the day. Cyril Cabri for the flyer, the president of the Riderz association Yohan, Fernando, Arno as well as all our partners for the very generous prizes and support they offered for the event: Riderz, Skatefurther, but also BourreHouseMédia, Blackkross, Hawaii surf, AlphaLongboards, UrbanDrfift, OctaneSport, Concratewave.de and Board-Z.

Congratulations to our winners Romain Bessière (in yellow) & Antoine Badin (in green).

More racing to come soon…

Thanks to Pierre-Yves Guyot, Marvin Thine and Benjamin Defrocourt for the photos.


Event Report: GreenSkate Paris 2010

For the first time on 18/04/10, Riderz organised a GreenSkate that took Paris by storm. Under a beautiful clear blue sky the warmth of the spring sun drew longboarders from around the Paris region to take part in this international event.

There were two sides to the The Paris Greeenskate. Those wanting to test their knowledge of the city and their legs could take part in an orientation race taking in many of Paris’s sights.

All together, more than 50 people took part in the race. Here are a few of the early starters:

In order to participate in the race, travel cards and metro tickets had to be given to the organisers for safekeeping. In order to confirm passage as a checkpoint, a photo had to be taken:

The race participants really gave it their all with the fastest completing all the checkpoints in around 2h30m for a total distance of around 35km. Proof that the longboard is a fast, environmentally friendly and sustainable means of urban transportation as well as being good exercise for the body.

Those wanting to spend their Sunday in a more relaxing fashion could just soak in the atmosphere around the start/finish area on the banks of the Seine.

Boards were on offer to test both from Bustin and Blackkross who played a big part in making the day a success with their team and providing a much needed apéro:

At the end of the day an impromptu slide contest also took place with over 100 spectators:

Overall the event was a huge sucess which brought together more longboarders than I have seen together at any event in France outside of the 2008 Paris Slalom World Cup at the Trocadero.

It is important to note that the event was born from the collaboration of many people who were all brought together by the motivation that Paris as a major capital city should have it’s own GreenSkate – we did it and it rocked, proof that the Paris scene longboarding scene can rival any other.

A big thanks to all who made this possible: Riderz, SkateFurther, Longboardskate, Blackkross, Bustin and Hawaiisurf. For all photos from the day, check out the Facebook events page here

If you haven’t organised your GreenSkate yet there is still time! Check out the official website http://greenskate.org/ for inspiration and all information.

Thanks to Fantom and Niko for the pictures!


Greenskate Paris – it is on!

The Paris Greenskate is taking place on Sunday 18/04/10 and they’ve forecast some pretty good weather!

Meeting point: 1st hairpin on the banks of the Seine when leaving from Bastille (Metro station Sully Morland: here
The idea: An event organised as part of the Greenskate (http://greenskate.org/) open to all with several activities:

 

1/ An orientation race across the city
An orientation race with different checkpoints spread out across Paris making a course between 2km and 30km or more with everyone leaving from one central point

 

Start: from 11am with sign-up closing at 2.30pm – someone will be present all afternoon.
Finish: All participants must return by 4pm to be part of the finishers and from the prizes
Signing up: before the event on the Riderz topic and on the Riderz event to be created on Facebook –Navigo passes are to be left on signing up as we’re here to skate

 

– In order to confirm passage at a checkpoint a photograph of it must be taken
– 8 checkpoints (1 point per checkpoint)
– 2 bonus points for a photo of a specific object
– 2 special checkpointsl (value 2 points): for those willing to go the distance
=> Total: 14 points

Possibility to ride individually or in groups
The checkpoints will be communicated on the day

2/ “Chill Royal” at the hairpin
This is an ideal time to come and skate some cones, practise your dancing or slides in the (hopefully) sunny weather. Come and learn to skate and test Blackkross’s range of boards – boards can be borrowed in situ.

 

Prizes:
At the end of the day, everybody will come together to the starting point:
– Result will be presented, (number of points by participant), prizes will be given to the winner having obtained the most points followed by drinks and snacks.

Equipment: Camera (Mobile phone or digital camera) required, Paris map advised.
Disclaimer: Riderz declines all responsibility in case of accident, loss of personal belongings or public disorder.

Signing up to this event implies that you have read and agreed to this disclaimer
Helmet mandatory, kneepads, elbow pads, etc recommended

See you there!


Weekend round-up

I love it when things just come together.

After the frustration of many weeks spent waiting patiently for the weekend to arrive, only to wake up on both Saturday and Sunday with waterlogged pavements last weekend was for the most part dry. It was a good job too see as there was a lot on…

Friday – 29/01/10: Longskate video party

There were longboarding videos introduced by Pappy Boyington, there was beer and the venue was packed out with riders from all across France. It was great to see so many longboarders get together and share the stoke. Things got a little hi-tec as there was a live video link to Lyon the other the French Longboarding strong hold – you can see the screen on the right of the picture below).

As an extra surprise, a camera crew from the channel Sport+ were there (the evening is to feature in the show INFINIDADE on 10/02 @ 19:45).

The format of the evening is set to change next year to include videos from other parts of the world (hint, hint!)

Saturday – 30/01/10: PIF PAF ATTACK

At a secret location around the crack of dawn (at least it felt like it) riders gathered to tests their courage and ability to brave the cold. The first runs helped to clear the dusting of snow that lay on the track consisting of two hairpins.

The concept is simple, two riders, two corners and only one winner. A recipe for a morning spent mastering the hairpins and drifting technique.

Twelve participants’ names were drawn out of a hat and then racing commenced. A quick paper, scissors, stone game decided which side each person would be on. I was up against Greg from Blackkross, he won the 1st heat easily but in the second I would have, had I not stupidly slid out…boo.

Greg went on to win the mini-tournament, taking home everybody’s 1€ entry fee – lucky man. He deserved it though! Well done!

Sunday 31/01/10: Super Rando Riderz (SSR) 2.5

Every month on a Sunday these cruising sessions are organised following a pre-determined route around Paris. The aim is to encourage all longboarders from the Paris region to attend, whatever their level or experience. Members of Riderz are spread out amongst the group to stop cars and help those who might need it. Originally, this one was supposed to happen back in December but was delayed due to bad weather. There was a record turn out – around 30 longboarders of all ages.

The route – 24km around Paris’s quietest and smoothest streets:

On the way towards Bastille:

We finally reached the Trocadero where the monthly Pirate Slalom racing event was taking place. The guys from Blackkross were there with some tasty boards and longboarding bits and bobs (Sabre trucks, Cult wheels, bushings, bearings, etc).

Altogether, it was a great weekend and a good chance to catch up with friends whom I hadn’t seen for ages. It was also good to see so many people together enjoying longboarding and seeing the movement in full force and so many disciplines represented, DH, cruising, sliding, slalom…

I’ll finish this post with one of the stranger contraptions that was to be seen at the Trocadero:


Merci 321 Rollers!

Last night Alex and I had organised a push session around Paris and as is usually the case, it was just the two of us. We quickly got warmed up and found a nice route from Montparnasse in the South to Bastille in the East. The Bastille roundabout is cobbled therefore Alex and I were forced to use the pavements. On our way around we passed a group of Roller bladers and amongst them was a guy with a longboard. Everything clicked and I remembered that somebody had told me about a Roller blading meet that accepted longboarders!

The guy turned out to be Olivier who is part of the Blackkross team – man can he push. The rest of the bladers where really welcoming which was really refreshing when there is sometimes a little animosity. They were pretty impressed with our ability to keep up although the front runners were way out in front. It turned (more…)