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24 Jul 2015

Photo Journal: Etnies Atlanta

Bringing Heat and Broken Feet.


Words and photos by Andrew White

There were no riots in Atlanta, though while bringing up unexpected events there was a plane crash the day after we left. It hit the stretch of highway we took on our daily commute to caffeine and spots. Other than that, it was straightforward. Etnies planned a ten day trip in Atlanta so Nathan, Aaron, and Chase could continue filming for the long-term Chapters video. It was the usual Econoline trip as I like to think of them.

Wait at the van before 11AM.

Where should we get food?

I don’t know, maybe ask a local.

I want to go to that spot for sure.

Think we’ll get kicked out?

I mean, I’ll eat Chipotle again.

Whose trash is on the floor?

I need to stop for water.

What’s the weather looking like?

It’s actually back the other way, sorry.

I think I’m just gonna chill tonight.

We’ve done this trip. All of the invited have been to Atlanta many times. Been on etnies trips together many times. Clocked clips for Will’s video camera, been photographed for the magazine. Stayed in a non-descript hotel just far enough out from the city that the rates are cheap but the surrounding strip still decent. Held back on some nights to be worthwhile the next day, let loose on others when the day’s accomplishments warranted. Ate enough breakfast to hold over till dinner, most days being the last table before the chairs are put up and floors swept. Dealt with the distance from home by becoming slave to the device.

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I think San Diego livin has rubbed off on Nathan. It’s been awesome seeing the recent fastplant progression, and Nate couldn’t pass up this angled rail setup. For the record, it’s a tall rail. And even more stressful when two bicycle cops are watching the entire thing from across the street. I was holding my breath, knowing they’d pull the plug right at the last moment.

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This setup begs a wallride, though it’s a bit more awkward then it looks due to a limb that blocks getting on the ledge straight. It was a mission getting ten minutes at this spot since it’s a busy clinic in a bustling part of town. All worked in the end and Chase got the clip but not before Aaron Ross was able to finish an ice cream cone from across the street.

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Aaron got beat up in Atlanta, but that never stopped him smiling. Check back soon for a feature Aaron interview, and in the meantime follow him on social media.

What completely slices the buzz of these BMX footage missions though, is the camaraderie and nonstop interaction between the crew. Through the background noise is a constant bullshitting between everyone. It’s incredible. Really no different from anything you’re used to with your crew. Discussing the latest video, talking shit about what that guy’s doing wrong, obsessing over how this guy’s untouchable, girls, home life, observations, aspirations, etc. It’s the intangible that makes these excursions so great. And having Chase in a van will ensure constant entertainment.

To sum up, Nathan destroyed Atlanta, Aaron broke his foot early on (though still filmed and shot more photos afterward), and Chase rode well, though not up to his standards as the winter lag hadn’t fully thawed. On to the next one! - AW

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We instinctually calmed our movement when we saw this cop park and get out of his squad car, but he was getting a sandwich across the street.

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Chase hit persistent bumps in this trip. Hard to be discrete starting a clip in front of a security guard's station. Don't worry Chase, Atlanta ain't going anywhere.

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Chase always finds the east coast setups even in the heart of Dixie. A casual manual into a bank when done with signature style looks clean.

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Another example of making the simple look really good, Chase wanted to do this wallride as a warmup for a bigger move at the next spot. Added bonus, this loading dock is to a crossfit gym; Chase got the ultimate pop-rap/EDM mix to get pumped! What if BMX operated similarly? “C’mon! You can go a couple bricks higher! Push it!” Maybe this is how a Fat Tony photo shoot goes?

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Soaking in the long Southern golden hours.

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Nate had to bang out this sequence over and over while trying to get the whole line to work. That’s a lot of muscle strain in one sitting but nothing a gallon of coffee and protein shakes can’t help with. I think we could have spent days at this spot, though security disagreed.

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Another banger line from the drummer’s boy. It’s crazy to me how often all four pegs and a freecoaster have been assimilated to today’s riding. Though in nearly all other cases the rail would be about ten inches off the ground, not well over inseam like this setup.

To sum up, Nathan destroyed Atlanta...

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Goddamn! Nathan was worked from a full day while we pulled up to this spot. Though he said he wanted to ‘check it out’ as we made a specific stop here per his request, as soon as I saw Nathan’s gears turning I instinctively started setting up. The window of motivation is only so wide and you gotta be ready to go at the right moment. I don’t know if the ice was what he had in mind from the get-go, but after he laced some perfect nollie gap to pegs there was no holding back the banger.

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The famous Georgia Brown Rail got murdered by Nate and the crew. It’s too perfect. Who else in the game is doing nollie crook 1’s?

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...ate enough breakfast to hold over till dinner, most days being the last table before the chairs are put up and floors swept.

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An iconic Atlantan spot, and an equally iconic bust, we were fortunate to get enough time here for Chase to do this wallride twice. The first go was a little dark, and he also thought he could do it better. This is maybe the best all around spot in town, though brunch at Highland Bakery is a close second.