October 10, 2009– I woke up at ten, snapped some new Swiss Super Six bearings into my Earthwing Superball 76’s, said a quick prayer to Hermes as I donned my winged hat, slammed a coconut water and rolled down the block to Riverside and 116th. You could feel the madness brewing long before you saw the massed skateboarders. I would estimate slightly less than last year, but still over two hundred skaters from around the country and across the globe were waiting eagerly, chomping at the bit….Bustin Boards was distributing a dope Bomb tee, and it looked like they had recruited an Army of blue warriors on wheels.
The race started promptly at noon, and the scene was chaotic as usual. The first few blocks was so thick with boards you could barely push…. However things soon cleared up, and the pace was elevated to grueling (If this race had been on the Oregon Trail, everyone would have died from typhoid/dysentery).
Times Square wasnt nearly as bad as predicted. I took my slight deviation, and saw many opted to simply pick up their board and charge through the corwds on foot. Rounding the corner at Union Square, my hat flew off and I was forced to turn around and risk my life to retrieve it. Things were the most insane on the last quarter of the race- the final uphill push from Canal to Chambers was rough, and the host of obstacles that lay in the last ten blocks of the race was unpredictable and intense. Giant cement choppers, hoses, gridlocked traffic and irate traffic cops made the homestretch the most perilous.
The front pack was made up of the fastest longboarders on the East Coast. The record set by Theseus Williams last year was shattered by MARK SCHAPEROW, doing the entire 8.2 mile run in just under 27 minutes. Second place was a huge surprise, as a dude named Colin came out of nowhere . Apparently just having moved here from Austin, he was playing with his son in the street when King Solomon and a few Bustin Riders cruised past. He flagged them down, talked to them, and heard about the race. Colin hit up Paragon and purchased a Loaded Vanguard a week before the race. This guy is fast, and the only reason he didn’t take the whole race is that he was unfamiliar with the route and was simply following the guys in first. Notorious speedster Casper was controversially thrown off his board by police just blocks from the finish line…Thus, third was a tie between Theseus Williams and Jimmy Soladay, and fourth was either King Solomon, Michael Poli, or Adam Crigler. I cruised down and patted the bull with a time of just under 40 minutes, placing somewhere between 30-50th.
The adulation and raw energy at the finish line was incredible. Soon everyone took off for the BBQ by the river, the awards ceremony, and the consumption of many beers. The day after the race I felt like a well trained squadran of midgets with iron cudgels had mashed my legs into banana cream pie. On a more grim note, there was some serious pedestrian injuries, including one very elderly woman. Now we all know peds are assholes, and don’t know how to react to an Army of longboarders bearing down on them, but we still need to be very careful not to let them injure us or themselves, lest the police try and shut us down next year. Fortunately, the longboarder that smashed the grandma to the ground and tried to flee was promptly tackled by angry onlookers with a convenience.
More exclusive Brooklyn Barbarosa pictures, interviews, and videos to be posted later this week. To recap- the race was fucking amazing. Great comradery, lots of wildly innovative boards and riders, and a great display to NYC and the world what longboarding is really about.