Mile High Cinema - Photo Journal
Beating the Curse
Words and Photos by Kevin Conners
As I sit behind my computer attempting to reflect back on what is sure to be a trip I’ll remember for the rest of my years, I can’t help but shake my head at just how damn fun it was. Despite being cursed with more serious injuries than your average trip, I walked away learning more about friendships and just how valuable trip itself can be. You can throw all the bangers, all the overpriced gear, and amazing spots right in the garbage. None of that truly matters and at the heart of it all if you have the right crew of friends who will go through any situation together, no matter what, whether it's battling a trick, a spot, the weather or even a broken leg or back. These were all the case at some point in this trip. Even after that three hour flight back home after being injured, sitting in the emergency room all night to find out your back is broken or realizing the trick you have sweated to get for an hour just isn’t working, you’ll still look back at the end of it and think just how meaningful the time spent with friends really is.
Denver was obviously a great choice for the Cinema crew. The spots, the views and weather are all perfect this time of year. Getting into Denver was no quick trip for Corey Martinez, Nathan Williams and myself as we took the long road there to enjoy all the amazing views it has to offer. We drove for over 14 hours and got stuck in mountain traffic for four. Maybe Corey didn’t enjoy the drive as much Nathan and myself did since I instantly pulled the "I had too much to smoke to drive card" (LOL). I'll never stop taking advantage of that - sorry Corey. Once we made it to Denver we were instantly greeted with a big smile and lots laughs from Chad Kerley, Garret Reynolds, and Will Stroud.
"Even after that three hour flight back home after being injured, sitting in the emergency room all night to find out your back is broken or realizing the trick you have sweated to get for an hour just isn’t working, you’ll still look back at the end of it and think just how meaningful the time spent with friends really is."
- Kevin Conners
The first day was really fun and the next morning Dakota Roche arrived to complete the crew. Here's where the not-so-fun part starts. As we sat in a park beside a wallride bullshitting way too long, Dak decided he’d do his thing and show us all what a real wallride looks like. After one or two blasted warmups Will, Drew and myself set up to capture the trick. Unfortunately, the heat of the day, the crew's energy and Dak's ability to blast a wallride were just too much for the ditch and he ended up breaking his leg. Something no one wants to deal with ever, especially after just landing there that morning. Dak has one of the most amazing attitudes of any rider out there and kept the energy as positive throughout the entire ordeal and somehow still left us with laughs even as Garrett wheeled him to the gate for his flight back home. Thanks for being such a positive spirit Dak - we all know there are many more good times ahead for the crew. We decided after that it would be best to make the day a little more relaxing and enjoy Denver and each other's company.
As the trip continued everyone processed what they had just seen and the realistic fact that it does happen. We went along with the normal hyping each other up through bullshitting and riding a few fun spots. The rest of the week was productive even despite battling a bit of a storm and some 'local heroes' trying to call the cops on us. Seems like in today’s world the move is simply for people to just call the cops stating we are harassing them. Luckily for us the officers who showed both times actually had common sense and just laughed it off. Two of the officers even told us to go ahead and ride for a few while we see what the actual owners thought. This is something that is appreciated more these days than ever before. I think from here on out the move is to tell the authorities we were just having fun while this 'hero' ruined it by calling us names and verbally insulting us. At least I know I’m going to try that one.
"The rest of the week was productive even despite battling a bit of a storm and some 'local heroes' trying to call the cops on us."
- Kevin Conners
As the last couple days approached everyone was itching to lose the van and heavy gear, leaning more in favor of cruising the city on bikes. This proved to be fun and a productive decision overall. Nathan saw a setup he wanted to get a trick on for an upcoming full length he is working on (look to DIG for more news on that soon). I don't want to put anyone through seeing the photo of it, but to attempt to describe the setup best, it was easily a 12-16 stair hubba followed by a flat and maybe 6 stair set with only a narrow run out between a street sign and a restaurant. The setup was obviously big but luckily Nathan has seen worse and shot even scarier. To me I had just assumed after he did a tire ride gapping over the flat and lower set that he was going to do a tire ride to bar. Now Nathan being Nathan and unknowingly not having any fear in his bones thought it would be even better to do a tire ride to 180 threader between the sign.
This is where the so called curse followed us as he did the tire ride and what was a flawless 180. He was going backwards too fast he racked his back directly into the sign's pole. I've seen Nathan crash before and with a harder impact but instantly everyone knew this wasn’t like those other times where a fun night and day could relieve the pain. As we left the spot he was feeling sore, but then sitting in the Air BnB he got really nauseous and threw up, leaving us to assume that this was something much more serious. Nathan, Corey, Will and myself all headed to the local ER. I ended up staying the entire night in Nathan's room as we waited for what felt like a lifetime for the results. When the neurologist came into the room and introduced herself my stomach sank as we all knew that was the last doctor you want to ever see walk in, especially when your back is in excruciating pain. Of course, right away out of her mouth comes, "Well, you broke your back in four places." Nathan and I just looked at her eyes wide open like "Fuck, really?" She went on to explain "But you got really lucky, you only broke four of the tabs coming off of your spine. If you stretch and rest for the next two weeks the injury should heal." It was nice to see a smile after what was a long night and scary situation to watch any friend go through.
"Well, you broke your back in four places."
The next morning we even got news from Dak that he was going to heal up and be able to pedal in just a couple weeks. As Nathan and myself were getting back to the house exhausted from the long night the crew was handling things like true professionals and let us sleep while they went on to do a shop stop at Pusher BMX. Later that day as they finished up a ticket was booked for Nathan to fly home to San Diego immediately so he didn’t have to endure the 16 hour drive listening to me ramble and shit talk all things that don’t matter. As Corey and I headed out of town with a trail of smoke behind the car, I realized - fuck a curse or any hardships when you are with the right crew of friends. You can make it through the hardest and scariest of times because win or lose you’ll all come out of it better and closer friends and with some great memories to look back on. - KC
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