The North

1

Moto / BK / M&S / KFC

2

Motorway Number One

3

Mole / Hyde Park / Leeds

4

Mole / Hyde Park / Panny

5

Mole / Oppo Downwhip

6

Transgression Local / Edinburgh

7

Trasngression Overview / Chose the wrong angle, the good bits are off to the left!

8

Edinburgh Local / Transgressive Table

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Macduffs Cross / Newburgh

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Outside Stirling / Scotland is epic!

So last week I was lucky enough to get a couple of jobs that took me up North. One in Leeds and one in Edinburgh. As soon as they came in I thought I’d take the car and try and make it into a little road trip, see some friends, ride some new spots and of course take some snaps for Wednesday. Shithot as they say.

Its been a while since I was up north, the first thing that came back to me whilst sitting at traffic lights in Leeds was how much the northern girls love a bit (a lot) of slap. You could have re-tarmaced the M1 with the amount of make up I saw on 2 hundred yards of “the loop”. There also seems to be a trend for short yorkshiremen to make up for height deficiency by wearing unfeasibly long shoes.

That was about as much humorous observation as I could muster before I became totally enraged by driving in concentric circles extending from an arms length away from my hotel to the other side of the city. Whoever designed the one way system in that town is a total raving sociopath, the sick bastard. In the end I waited at the side of the road for the lights behind me to go red, reversed back down the street and over a pavement and span into position in the loading bay of the hotel. Tickets in the post no doubt.

After dropping all my kit I took off on the bike for The Works skatepark. I’m not gonna lie this place fucking sucks. Apparently there was a jump box room until quite recently but that got turned into a climbing wall. Fair enough I suppose but that leaves a skatepark which is two thirds flat. The main rooms many 7 year old scooter kids were testament to the user groups they seem to be targeting. I paid my six quid, rolled around for half an hour and buggered off to get some dinner.

I’m not that good at tables, they’re really hit and miss

After work the next day I headed straight to Hyde park which I had spied on the way to my job. It’s a really 90’s looking concrete park built on a level corner of a public park, of the same name I guess. Its totally open to the elements so I was pretty chuffed to have a dry day without too much wind, especially as its so grim up north. Pretty much the only dude there was a guy called Chris, or Mole as he’s known.

We had a chilled ride for an hour or so, me struggling with the narrowest quarter ever for fear of catching my bars on the adjacent flat bank coming back in and mole pretty much shredding the place. I’ve since heard that he used to be even better (haha, sorry mole!) but we were just cruising around enjoying an empty park and chatting about the importance of having fun whilst riding. Mole is definitely a character of sound mind and opinion and should bring his bike next time he’s in London. He’s the sort of guy who says stuff like, “I’m not that good at tables, they’re really hit and miss”, and then does four perfect pannies in a row. He also does these wild looking Homan-style oppo downside whips which are pretty mint.

The next day I managed to finish up my work in Edinburgh by lunch time and headed straight over to Transgression. I had been to the old park in Ocean Terminal which had been great and I was buzzing to see what they’d done in the new, bigger and better unit. I wasn’t disappointed, this is the best indoor place I’ve ever been to.

Whichever way you turn theres something in front of you to hit and you can flow around the park for as long as you’ve got the energy to pump the woodwork (I say flow, we all know I land flat bottom four out five jumps but you know what I mean). This place was built for fun and not an inch is wasted space. When you chat to Ken the owner you can see why, he’s a super nice but real quiet guy who did his homework when thinking about setting up transgression. Visiting skateparks all around the country he would no doubt groan with frustration at the bad use’s of space and wasted wood in most parks and when he and Dave Sowerby designed the place that was exactly what they wanted to avoid.

This whole place is triple layered beech ply, theres not a squeak or a creak anywhere in the building

They have also gone to great lengths to provide a park that doesn’t go stale with lots of obstacles that can be swapped around and moved to different parts of the park to keep it fresh. The building team here are also guys that have worked together for a long time, here and at other facilities, and build quality is a source of real pride. As Ken puts it, “This whole place is triple layered beech ply, theres not a squeak or a creak anywhere in the building”.

I’m a big fan of this park, with signature Sowerby style the place just ‘works’, its real fun and you can go as big or as chilled as you want and still fly around the place. If it wasn’t so far away they’d see a lot more of me. The locals are super chilled as well and although there was barely anyone there when I visited I managed to get a couple of the lads to ride for some shots and they were really nice about it despite a perfect stranger asking them. I hope I did them justice though, I had forgotten how hard it is to shoot an indoor park!

After a few hours rolling about the park I headed up to the middle of nowhere in Fife to visit an old mate who seems to be intent on disappearing off the bloody planet. Maybe its something I said… Anyway we had a few beers and whiskies in Newburgh where he now lives. Apparently its actually the home of whiskey, after they discovered documents from some King in the 1400’s ordering whiskey form the monks at the local abbey. About 300 years earlier than the previously known evidence of whiskey making.

The next day we walked up to the local Loch and Darren showed me the remains of Macduffs cross just sitting in a cow field. This is a monument that was written about by Shakespeare. Its pretty interesting, if you’re reading this at work and want something else to do, look it up.

Dazzer gave me a very brief history lesson and we watched a buzzard soaring over the valley before I hit the road back down south. With a slight hangover and 9 hours driving ahead of me I was less than happy when my iPod gadget broke and I was stuck with Radio 1. I can’t decide if shit like that is for people with lobotomies or if it actually gives you one whilst you’re listening to it. I kept turning it off every now and then but even with the epic Scottish scenery the hum on the road was hypnotizing and it was a struggle to stay awake without something at least resembling music. Luckily around about Birmingham Trevor Nelson came on and saved the day. Nah, I’m joking. It was all shit.

- Words & photos by Jaz Clarke

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7 Responses to:
The North

  1. Chris says:

    Bloody good tale and photos Jaz! No mum crops either…

  2. jazwitch says:

    cool story bro

  3. Nick says:

    Mobike version butchers the pics, unless Jaz now has a vey portrait camera and likes blank walls

  4. Ben says:

    Mobile? Yeah it does… need to sort that.

  5. Chris says:

    Mobile mum crops.

  6. Pete says:

    Radio one is fucking shit, as is the inner ring in Leeds (road that is). Took me ages to get me swede around it..

    Pretty shithot you got a foo days to have a cruise around and have some fun when you were graftin’.

  7. Pete says:

    Actually, radio 1 is grouse when annie mac is on.

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