A few months back Anthony Brown donated some pictures to the Unscene project. As it happens we came across some dated photographs of a Street ride that happened 20 years ago today. There was a mixed bag of 15 riders who came along that day and here are some pictures and insights as to what went down.
The session started at the usual time 11 o’clock and the usual place at George Street McDonalds. The phrase ’11 o’clock George Street McDonalds’ was a term well known to most Brisbane Street riders back in the early ’90’s. 320 George Street was a great location where everyone could meet up and have some fast breakfast without the busyness of the mall crowds. A two dollar shop next door was popular to buy extra batteries for Walkmans and bootleg cassette tapes to listen to while out riding. It was also diagonal to ‘the playroom’ – a marble ledge which was often the first place of call on our daily mission. More often than not you could just roll up to the spot on a Sunday and expect to meet someone to go ride.
After the McDonalds closed, it turned into a posh watering hole for legal eagles and more recently a topless bar for gentlemen. Classy.
Sometimes the riders would venture out of the CBD and explore surrounding areas for new places to ride. This West End bank to fence in Mollison Street was found during one of those rides and became an occasional alternative to city riding. The property was a vacant block of land next to a factory guarded with a mesh fence and with a dirt lip it made for an ideal bank to fence ride. The road was pretty quiet 20 years ago which allowed for an easy run up. Today the same vacant land still resides but is fenced off and unrideable. The popular West End precinct has made places like Mollison Street a busy road now littered with cars and regular traffic.
(Above: Across the road from the vacant land sat these old flats. To keep up with high density living, the flats were knocked down and new apartments were built in the late 1990’s. Left to right. Ross Lavender, David Hines, Red, Dame & Fakie watching Sjon Wakeham about to hit the fence. Photo courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: Michael Canfield taking pictures of Clint Millar riding the fence. On a side note this was one of the first times Clint sessioned the city on his Prody frame. More information on Prody at the Exhibit. Photo courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: This is what the bank to fence looks like now.)
Southbank Parklands opened 20th June 1992. It was an exciting extension to the old Expo ’88 site which expanded Brisbane’s cultural, educational and recreational precinct. This in turn provided new places for riders to explore, session and learn how protective security was of its new parklands. Still, it didn’t stop anyone from trying and if you were moved on you simply rode another part of the parklands until they moved you on from there. On this particular day we rode the stairs and water features and the ledges along the promenade before they gave us the boot.
(Above Top: Left to right – Todd Neville & Conrad Gibbs watch Brad ‘B.T.’ MacDonald hop one of the water features. Above Bottom: The backside from one of Anthony Brown’s photographs. Courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: Gotta love a man in uniform. Not long after this photo we moved over to Kangaroo Point. Courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
In my later years of High School I kept a journal. I don’t know why I kept one, but I thank my younger self for doing it. Amongst the usual teenage stuff you would expect to write about, I kept a pretty good account of what our crew did when we went riding.
As it happens, 18 years ago today marks the anniversary of Riders Comp 5 held at Beenleigh Bike Park.
The Riders Comp series was created by Colony BMX owner Clint Millar with the help of other riders, most notably Michael Canfield and Tim Wood. During the early to mid 1990’s, and at the lowest of the Australian Freestyle recession, this 7 part comp series was one of the essential local events keeping some kind of organised competition alive in Brisbane.
Freestyle by then was well off the grid of corporate interest and very few bike stores supported these events or had the means to. Local competitions still played a major role and with limited resources, the comps were now at the hands of fellow riders.
Riders Comp 5 had a strong turnout compared to the previous Riders Comps. Sydney’s Mike Daly, Dave Hendren and Tim Lynch arrived the day before the comp and Newcastle’s Josh Goudy along with two of his mates camped by the Flatland area over the weekend.
Disciplines included Flatland, Street, Mini (the concrete bowl) and Vert with classes Beginner, Expert and Pro. Trophies and cash were awarded to the top three riders of each class. This was the second Riders Comp with enough funds to afford trophies. Previously all kinds of trophies were donated for the Riders Comp 1-3 – they were normally stripped of their original plaque and crudely engraved with a new one which often resembled a second grader’s handwriting. It was rider owned and rider run at its best and like everything back then you made do with what you had available to you. The cash prize was an accumulation of entry fees divided up and reimbursed to the place holders. You were lucky to see $20.00 if you placed top three and you won the lotto if you placed in more than one discipline.
At the end of the day the comps were a load of fun. It was just another excuse to ride your bike with your friends and hang out. More information will available about the Riders Comp series at the Unscene exhibit in late October and the Timeline coming in November 2013.
The ‘large’ turnout of riders and spectators look on during the Flatland comp.
Clint Millar filming Brad ‘BT’ MacDonald during his Mini run.
Brisbane Flatlander, Jim Gallichan. Dumptruck. Josh Goudy’s tent in the background.
Todd Neville airing out of the big bowl.
The remains of a Riders Comp 5 trophy.