The ABC of ABD's in BCN with UTD
United hit Barcelona for their upcoming DVD and we try to figure out if it's even worth going there anymore...
Words and Photos by Fred Murray
We all know it... the city of Barcelona has been the go to destination for riders looking for that perfect spot and a San Miguel in the evening, ever since FIT made their famous visit back in 2003. Christian Rigal, Corey Martinez, Nathan Williams and Alex Valentino made the pilgrimage to the hallowed concrete and marble earlier this year to film for the new United DVD, so we tagged along to find out if they could catch anything new in Barca's sea of ABD's.
Have you ever been the culprit of an ABD?
Yeah, there was this one actually in Austin, Texas, it was at the famous C-ledge. I'd went there and tried to nosewheelie around it and then I found out Randy Taylor had done it the day or two before. I think it was used for a Mutiny video.
What's your take on one-ups? When is it ok?
I feel like if the spot is real infamous and everyone is fiending to ride it, like the Hollywood High rail, that's what those spots are there for, to progress things, you know? But if it's a setup that one particular person has ridden and then someone goes and one-ups them with a similar trick, it's a little weird but at the same time it's not, you know? It depends how close of a one-up it is.
Have you ever been one-upped?
Oh I'm sure, numerous times.
How do you feel about that?
I don't care. The only thing I would care about is if I'm filming for a part or something and then the other person's clip goes online before. It means my clip is obsolete. It wouldn't even be worth using the clip anymore. That's happened to me a bunch of times.
What do you think about Barcelona, has it got more to give?
I don't think it's blown out at all. There's people who are just tired of hearing other people talk about it, but those people talking about it probably never even go. If they went they would realise how awesome it is and it would probably shut them up. Everytime i go, we'll hit the famous spots yeah, but once we take the train out of the city a bit and find so much stuff that people don't ride as much. I'm definitely a fan of Barcelona, i wish i could go back soon.
Question from Nathan Williams: Do you think there's etiquette for when someone kind of “owns" a trick? For instance, Garrett (Reynolds) with bar ice, no hander ice, etc? Is there an etiquette for doing that trick?
I know what you mean, like Van with the derrick-duster. I wouldn't say so these days, there's nothing like that anymore. Kids are just hungry to learn the newest and coolest trick. I totally see what you mean but i think it's a different situation if you ride with somebody compared to if it's just someone you don't know but you're inspired by.
"...if it's a setup that one particular person has ridden and then someone goes and one-ups them with a similar trick, it's a little weird but at the same time it's not, you know?"
- Corey Martinez
"I think there's a blurred line between one upping and progression, some people get it, and others don't."- Christian Rigal
How important is it for you to shoot something totally different at spots?
For me, that's just how I like to look at spots, and my riding in general. It's way more motivating and rewarding to do something outside of the box, ya know? The last thing I want to do is shoot something at a spot, only to have someone else come and do it after me. Or maybe they already did it? Whatever the case is, I have the most fun riding setups that really rack my brain for what to do, or the ones that are just so damn scary and weird you literally have to try them to see if they'll even work, I love that shit! If I can't come up with something cool an different to shoot, i'll just move along, or do it for fun. Quality over quantity all day.
What's your take on one-uping someone at a spot? What's the etiquette?
I think there's a blurred line between one upping and progression, some people get it, and others don't. It's definitely different case by case though. If you film something at a heavily sessioned spot, there's a great chance that at some point in the future, you're going to get one upped. Everyone is really good at riding bikes and they're all learning new tricks and riding the same spots. It's bound to happen, some care, other don't. When it comes to getting down at someones banger spot though, that's always going to be an iffy one. Some spots should be left untouched after what had been done before, but I think there's others that could be sessioned again with time. I don't know though, its a tough one, and everyone has their own opinion about it. I just try my best not to step on any toes, which is all the more motivation for me to just find all my own spots that no one else would ride or even come across.
"We were all about to get tickets on this trip because of the tripods. I guess that made us look official"
- Christian Rigal
What's the best area to ride?
That's way too hard to pick! Haha, I guess id just have to say anywhere along the beach really, there's so many different things to ride it's insane! For anyone thats never been there, just cruise from one end of the beach to there other and you'll have spots for days. It's hard to beat kicking it at Macba with all the homies and some beers, I do that every time I'm in town.
Have you had any bad experiences with security/police there? Any fines?
Yeah I've had a handful of close calls, we always ended up running or getting out of it somehow though. We were all about to get tickets on this trip because of the tripods haha. I guess that made us look official, but luckily the cops got another call of more importance, so we got away with it haha. They can be jerks out there though, but I know a bit of spanish, and there's usually a local homie with us, so nothing too bad has happened.
Do you think there will be a point when the spots run out?
I'm sure certain setups will get harder and harder to find, but it all depends on the person. I can't do shit on a perfect 14 stair down rail, so if those become rare, ill be okay, haha. I like riding weird stuff, so when a school or building try's to build stuff thats not skate/bike friendly, they'll end up making something else thats awesome. But at the end of the day, if you're down to search, the spots will never end, it's going to suck for all the lazy guys though!
First off, is Barcelona blown out?
Of course Barcelona is blown out, but that's also why it's exciting to go there, you really push yourself to do something new. Every clip in that place is priceless.
Have you ever done something in Barcelona and then found out it was an ABD?
No, but I'm aware of that happening a lot.
How important is it for you to shoot something totally different at spots?
Actually is not important for me at all, I think my riding is kind of simple so if I'm going to a spot I'm just gonna try to ride my way. It's really easy to find spots in Barcelona and you pretty much just have to know two video parts for it, Edwin and Tom White in FitLife and Ian Schwartz in Up Up and Away. Half of the spots in Barcelona are named after those guys.
Do you think the spots in Barcelona will ever run out?
Whatever, people are still gonna go there because that place is awesome to ride.
"Of course Barcelona is blown out, but that's also why it's exciting to go there, you really push yourself to do something new. Every clip in that place is priceless"- Alex Valentino
"Josh Heino, when he jumped into that bank in Long Beach and then Ben Snowden X-up'd into it. To me that's a dumb one-up."- Nathan Williams
Is Barcelona blown out?
No, I don't think so. You just need to have someone with you who knows the city and the outskirts. I remember trips meeting up with Fernando and we would take the train to spots about 45 minutes out of the city. The landscape would look the same but there was just stuff that you'd never seen before. I think a lot of people consider Barcelona blown out, especially when some of them just go and ride the famous spots in the city. It also depends who goes there because everyone has a different set of eyes and could bring something new to a blown out spot.
What's your take on one-upping someone at a spot? When is it ok and when is it not?
For me, I just try and think about how long ago it was done and what you're trying to do on the spot - is worth it, you know? Shoot, i'll just give an example, fuck it… Uh, Josh Heino, when he jumped into that bank in Long Beach and then Ben Snowden X-up'd into it. To me that's a dumb one-up. One thing I think is funny is when people get mad that someone has one-upped them; it's just progression.
We're in Nashville right now; how does it feel knowing that you're bringing people to your spots and they might do that to you?
That's what I was going to say, for me, I'd be psyched on that. If they see a spot and they're hyped to ride it I don't care what they do, I'm just happy if they're into the spot.
"everyone has a different set of eyes and could bring something new to a blown out spot."
- Nathan Williams
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