Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back To The Drawing Board

Back to the drawing board
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I have held off on the blog part of Rii, for the better part of a year. Not by abstraction or negligence but for the purpose of not filling it with, for a lack of better term, the darker side of chronic disease. I have written many things with the potential to be posts, but when dealing with things like depression, anxiety, or life challenges,  It is sometimes best to deal with those things internally before spreading it around in written word.
I already get embarrassed enough re-reading the old posts I prematurely posted before my mental state was flushed out. I also don’t need the attention or concern of people thinking I’m in trouble that I can’t handle, when in reality, I’m just sorting out my own thought through text .  I do enjoy the old posts, in a certain way. Life is a roller coaster of uncertainty and change, it gets wild. When one can see what was going on inside one’s mind during a different stage in life it can be fun. Although through this last stage I decided to suspend the public journal.
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The reality of physical restriction has been an absurdly tough problem to solve. At many stages of illness during the past 6 years I have felt the need to modify my entire outlook and approach to life and my approach to physicality. Unfortunately that hasn’t stopped. I keep chipping back my physical activity and goals, in hope of preservation and longevity.  It hasn’t been enough. I will use BMX as the example as it is the most telling. It started with things like not doing drops to flat. Those hurt healthy people and even than it is just a satisfaction of being able to take the hit that is the reward. Then I restricted pursuing the competition style riding I enjoy most because the tricks do hurt even if executed properly.  Then it moved on to things like taking off my pegs, because those encourage riding things like hand rails, with huge risk, or just dealing with the physical shock of metal/metal contact and no suspension to absorb the impact. After that I started padding up an insane amount, then reinforcing over top my pads. Sport braces on most parts of my body, until I look like a hockey player. But even then the prednisone induced paper skin and calcium depleted bones can no longer take any stress. The risk assessment at this point just says don’t do it! To even pedaling around aggressively.
I bike because I hold a large amount of personal worth in it and it is the base of my entire social circle also because I need to keep some sort of physical activity in my life, to slow the progression of bodily decay. The adrenaline is the only thing that makes dragging my body into physical activity worth it, I bike to stay healthier, yet it destroys my health…that math problem doesn’t make sense.  I took apart the entire internal philosophy of what biking is to me and decided I value athleticism.
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I do not get star struck, or fall under the idolization of many people. To me; the band wrote songs about feelings that they had, the movie star acted entertainingly. I absolutely appreciate the talent involved and the passion that produces such entertainment, but to put them above my social behaviour fails me. I don’t project my own envy onto them. Not to say I’m completely unaffected by celebrity,  I will absolutely take a selfie with Tegan and Sara or Jay Leno but I feel that is more of a social bragging right, at least to me.
The person that has their entire house decked out in their favourite team and knows every stat is an important part of support for that team, but to me in equates the person  that dresses up as their favourite hero at Comicon and knows every “fact” about their hero. I mean, it is such an important role of keeping those things going as entertainment and I don’t mean to bash people who support the things that entertain them. But to me by the time the person who builds scale models is finished their scale model car, they could probably have chopped and channelled an entire full sized 32 ford chassis and been half way to the real thing. The person who supports their team could probably coach a local team, the person who likes spider man could probably write their own comic. Maybe they do and I’m ignorant, but I value myself more than the thought of someone else’s achievements and it shows by not putting a proportionate value in celebrity.
A sole marathon athlete is probably the closest I come. The amount of respect I have for a long distant runner, swimmer, or biker is very high. There is no cheating that dedication, no negative thoughts, no giving up. Maybe it’s because I relate it to my journey, it’s not fun, but there is no time to doubt or making excuses, one keeps going and accepts responsibility for the things one doesn’t control like, the wind and elevation change, one acknowledges the challenge, puts it behind and keeps on pushing. That’s the shit to respect.
Don’t accept what others can do as the limit, don’t accept your limits as the pinnacle, nothing but progression and dedication. If one ran harder yesterday one would be even faster today. Accept one didn’t run the day before and keep going so one can be faster for the next day. Nothing but short challenges and self-discipline to finish the marathon. Seeing a top marathon athlete, that’s the person who didn’t make any excuses, that’s the person who fucking pushed it.
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I have tried hard to be a person like that but I find my excuses of physical injury, sickness, energy, and motivation don’t hold the test of time. I haven’t given up but when I hit a wall of exhaustion where I should push through and run off my mental strength I have found my tendons and muscles decide to peace out and leave me broken for sometimes (like my inner pelvis) months. To try and replace biking with track and field I hit the same obstacle of physical injury. Also, maybe most importantly I don’t experience any adrenaline in between, or do anything visually entertaining for others.
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Once realizing athleticism may not be an achievable goal as a pass time this point in life, I moved onto my next biggest enjoyment, cars! They say, once too old for extreme sports you get a roll cage. Roll cages cost money so that fell on its face as quick as it came into my mind; I have a couple cars and can’t afford to fix any of them without months of planning and frugal solutions. I can’t even afford horsepower, haha my race car has 160hp! Racing and crashing isn’t going to work.
So now I draw, I’m getting better and it helps me in the way sports do mentally, I won’t give up on physicality but the restrictions keep tightening and biking has become a chore that is done out of principal. Landing tricks hurt, trying tricks hurt, skate parks don’t have nice bathrooms, taking the mental hit of underperforming is hurtful on the ego of one’s own ability and a reality check of my personal digression and the progression of my own disease. I do it but only when I can find enjoyment from the act and not as something I push myself for.
Cars will be done in the same way, I’m not going to push my budget but if I can afford it I will and I don’t need so many projects.
Art I guess will be my next adventure. Draw cool things because I enjoy it not because I have to, or because I see a monetary gain in it….just draw and dream. Until the day I have the health and resources and can build upon things instead.  If it never comes that is something I have to accept. I feel cornered but I alone have the choice of how I deal with this corner and to find the solutions that elude me. This is why I haven’t posted much lately, this challenge of accepting my fleeting physicality has pushed me to a point passed communicating while problem solving, it still comes out with a tint of darkness when just explaining my situation with a concentration on being positive. But fuck it I need writing to go along with these new pictures!  Enjoy!

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Movin On Up

Well here is an update on me. First of all huge thanks to my father for helping me replace my computer, I was going crazy with my leg busted and nothing to make me feel productive. As far as broken limbs go, this one really hasn’t been that bad. Immobility has been the only real annoyance, my mood has been good, pain is almost non existent and with the ability to produce art again that has really helped pass the time. I feel lucky (relatively) for having such a bad break mixed with waiting so long to get it looked at I do feel it has been a relative easy journey with no signs of a permanent pirate peg leg walk hanging around.

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Some exciting things have also been going on during all this. My wonderful girlfriend and I moved into a basement suite which is something really fun and needed. Saskatoon has been fine but with all my family, tools, and vehicles in Prince Albert it was really hard over the past year trying to make it feel like home, when half my life was still where I grew up. The last place I was staying was great but a 10x12ft room with no storage and two people living in it was not meant to be sustainable for more than a couple months let alone over a year! I was getting strong pulls for Prince Albert but Sydney pulled off the impossible! She found us 10x the space, good location, no roomates, good area, with the option of pets for the future, and in budget, but most importantly a small garage that is all mine!

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LSX F-40 Missile   Inspired off of the style of artist Khyzyl Saleem

Very grateful to move with such a resourceful woman, going from good roommates to living in a pair is a pretty fun adventure but also more of a difference than I expected…and stupid expensive. Who budgets what pepper costs or that you need more than 2 forks and a dish towel. Family becomes a great resource for microwaves, plates, and furniture. Luckily for us sydney is the eldest and first to move so we had first pick of treasures from her old household.

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Hakosuka wall tap at FD Long Beach

being able to create my own environment without restriction from consideration of what is normal or expected is amazing. I am not a person to stress over a broken glass or muddy shoes. It breaks, you fix it. No need for blaming with loud words or even serious acknowledgment. Shit happens and life goes on, but you cannot be in someone else s house and act like that, you need to respect their things and rules and living space, as it should be. But having to worry about menial things isn’t a thing I do naturally so my own space is nice, I can drive a rc car all over the house or set up a balancing skateboard in the middle of a room or leave my paints and sewing machine out without having to worry about someone else’s concerns…well except Sydney, who will probably keep me grounded so I don’t end up building a rally car in the kitchen or a half pipe in our bathroom.

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Widebody Porsche 550

Having a garage is HUGE! I haven’t had one in maybe 4 years? and still that was my fathers who understandably wasn’t very impressed with his son cutting cars in half to see what happens, but he still let me and I still like cutting things in half and learning things for myself. Having my own industrial grade creative space has allowed me to bring up my drift car and tools which makes me feel a lot more comfortable calling Saskatoon my home and planning on longer term residence. Now when something breaks I can fix it without borrowing tools or wishing I was in prince albert and even better I can start and finish my own projects and ideas with experiments that most people wont see the value in, but I no longer have to explain them and worry about over stepping boundaries on someone else’s land. FREEDOM! (p.s. my neighbors have drift trikes and old cars too, so pretty cool bonus)

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To Celebrate Back To The Future Day -AE86

But I have still been immobile so a lot of digital art has been produced and I think I have improved quite a lot. I found an artist that pretty much does exactly what I do which was a surprise to say the least, originality isn’t so original after all, but its pretty cool to see someone else’s take on modifying cars and their concepts. He also may even do it as a profession for EA which is neat as well that a studio can see a value in it. So here are a few of my new photoshop creations to go along with my update.

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Historic Livery  SCCA Trans-Am inspired 2015 Mustang (scratch drawn)

 

Fast forward to December.

Balance is the source code to life, my world was rocked a little when I went to go pick up my first pet (Stark the tuxedo kitty). While I was out my bike was stolen from the back seat of my truck. My fault, seems the door wasn’t locked, no glass was broken. The truck itself was in a very tucked away position in my back alley parking spot in a quit neighborhood. So quite a shock. I haven’t had a bike stolen or go missing since I started to seriously bike my life 1o years ago. I guess after 10 years security relaxes and dangers ignored but that has now changed after this terrible wake up call.

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Porsche 919 night run

 

It fucked up my life pretty hard, I think the menial thing of life don’t bother me because they aren’t important to me, my bike is important to me, even when I can’t ride it or enjoy it. the presence of it is important. I did everything I could, made Facebook groups, police reports, posters, and talked to all the bike shops. It paid off in the end after a week in the hands of extremist hostage takers (not really) it was recovered mostly in one piece missing the front end but much better than having to try to get a new one. It is so central to my life I always thought I would just instantly buy a new one. But when reality came crashing down, it’s not a normal bike. It would take 2-3 months to order in the factory parts I need without a guarantee I can even get the ones I want, get parts custom machined, hope I get all the geometry right, and then break it in and hope nothing fails right off the bat and start to build trust in it. LET ALONE COST, its the most important part of my life, so money is no object it would never stop me from enjoying what I love but there is still a reality and when you sew your clothes back together along with take use less shampoo to save money. A world class bike isn’t a drop in the hat. I could go the sponsor route to get a new bike but with my health and the amount of ups and downs it brings I really couldn’t agree to  obligations to represent anyone. Some times I can ride my bike with skill but that takes a lot of effort, planning and luck and only works for a very short time before my bodily restrictions end it. More than often I just ride it a little to go shit talk at the skate park with friends or stare at it with piece of mind.

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Datsun 2000 with 240z front end (scratch drawn)

Losing my bike was a wake up call in priories of my person. Same day I lost it I put 5 cars for sale and any other things of value I could sell, and didn’t care. Its nice to know what make you whole and teaches you to put a fucking lock on it. I was quite sullen for the week it was gone, angry at random points in the day and didn’t sleep well. The biking community was great over 100 people shared my poster and had 5-10 guys that would show up instantly if any clues popped up as to where it was located. Funnily enough I was informed it was stolen even before I even knew myself, I received a call from a BMX’er who wanted to know if it was missing because he was watching another person ride it down a street downtown. Just seeing another person on my bike was enough to make him question its status. Good stuff.

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599 Desert Run

Here are just a few concept drawings I have created. They are fun and I still make them but I’m happy with the skill I have reached. So I decided to bite the bullet and start on 3-D design and video game coding which is a huge step for me. That will be for another update, for now enjoy my weird concept cars.

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Tried to un-ugly a Pagani Huayra

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Really fun scratch drawn picture

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Slant Nose 911

 

 

Crohns Bones 

It’s been awhile since a story of Crohns
So here is a tale about weak bones

Predisone tends to suck out the density
I felt that this month with quite intensity

I had a miss step and started to flop
Then fell to the ground with a snap crackle pop

I rolled on the ground with pain in this case
For my foot was sideways and out of place

Luckily enough it found its way straight
So I figured a dislocation was its only fate

I rested in bed for a whole week
But the pain didn’t stop and I started to shriek

I took my ankle, all black and blue
To the nearest emergency hospital room

The doctor said it was not a sprain, actually quite broke
Two inches of my fibula? That must be a joke

I have walked around for several days
How could it be broken off in so many ways?

Nobody knows but sit and DO NOT STAND
Unless you want a club foot for traveling the land.

So to a hospital bed for a few days
Until we can open you up like on a episode of Grey’s

Now Count to 10 and enter a delirium
And wake up with 7 new screws and high grade titanium

My leg is stapled back and I thought it was over
But the medications took a toll and had me hunched over

My weak stomach could not take the hit
So now Crohns attacks every bit

Dealing with the leg now becomes secondary
Having to manage both is just the cherry

Off to the bathroom like a kangaroo
That is missing one leg out of the two

But it gets better and better everyday
I just hope I can walk while winter is at bay

A double hit really isn’t that bad
But missing my summer makes me mad

I’ll just play some forza in my room…
But after a couple days it turns to a tomb
Restless and night because there is so much to do!

Fix up a barn for my winter retreat
But it will be useless with out electricity and heat!

I can’t do another winter, not like the last
It doesn’t help right now being stuck in a cast

As this all happens something new comes by
A new biological medicine to try

So Limp to the clinic and grab an I.v.
Now sit in a chair you cannot leave

side effects hopefully won’t be crazy
But no one has tried it, so details are hazy

Don’t get me wrong, Im still glad to try
I just hope I don’t wake up growing a third eye

This entire year feels like a mess
My symptoms and life, have given me stress

Every moment I remember how lucky I am
But my feelings ignore it and don’t give a damn

What to do when you are stuck in self pity
But consciously know your attitude is shitty

In my mind I want to do my best
But right now I just sit here and rest

It’s easy to hate the rut that I’m in
When I can’t find the solution needed to win

More possessions won’t be the answer.
But being productive might remove this cancer

So I think I’ll heal then pull up my shorts
Head to the gym and try out some sports

It might be not be building a car, or riding my bike
But the only way up is by starting to hike

Amperage

(Sorry for the lack of visuals, my computer decided to fry its hard drive along with a lot of media, information, and pre written posts. I did have some backed up data but will still need to save for a new computer. So maybe just some philosophy instead of pictures and videos for a few months)

Electricity is something I often forget has such a deep relation with life; sure the 120v outlet and streetlights might be the first thing that crosses the mind. But really neurons released electrochemical pulses across the mind first. The protons and neutrons make up the atoms that are held together by electromagnetic waves and build matter itself. The brain is trillions of electrical waves that process other waves to create our existence.

Electricity’s role in life might be a bit weird to think about but not completely abstract. Waves, now there is something that is a bit more abstract to think about, at least for myself. Where ever electricity is present so are electromagnetic waves. So Electromagnetic waves are everywhere just like electricity but the many types of waves tend to play with my comprehension of life but also are very humbling to my own arrogance.

Lets start with visible light, everything we see around us is just radiation of a certain frequency wave that meets up with our eyes, each color is picked up by a cone in our eyes that creates waves in our nerves that excite waves between neurons and we see that color. Vision is something most people have a confidence in, but ever hear of a tetrachromatic person? They have a mutation in the eye of a fourth cone, each cone in the eye creates a mix of 100 different wavelengths so the normal 3 in a eye lets the average person see a million different colors, tetrachromatic people have a fourth cone so that number becomes 100 million! That is just one cone and it sees an entire world other people don’t. It may just be shades of colors between the visible light spectrum but still quite surprising what we don’t see even when color is part of almost everything in our life.

Sound waves travelling through the air give us hearing and the nerves on our fingertips give us touch and the receptors in our nose give us signals about what we smell. All these senses create everything to us yet they are only tools optimized for humans needs and small pulses of energy from our own cells. Humans process a few waves and think we are the peaks of all of existence. These waves are just a tiny part of wavelengths. Ever hear of rattlesnakes detecting a persons heat? Infrared is a wavelength just out of our eye threshold, and it carries heat, we feel it, but cannot see it besides its effect on visible light. Snakes “see” the heat, the dark doesn’t matter because it’s not in the wavelength of light, so night no longer exists to its receptors. That’s just the next step of wavelength frequencies and already color and light is no longer present. It can move onto microwaves and x rays and a few more. But the point of all this comes to radio waves, think about the radio. We turn on the stereo and listen in but if you think about it there are 100’s of radio frequencies carrying information all around us. We just turn on a mechanical receptor and listen in…

Think about it, there are songs, commands, communication all around, surrounding us every moment and we see and hear none of it, it doesn’t exist to us, until we turn it into our own frequency. We can be so confident in our ways or lifestyle with morals and beliefs that we kill each other yet every second an entire universe we don’t see or smell or feel if right there and we never hear the music until we tune into the right frequency. We think things are impossible or supernatural yet live in a small part of a gigantic chain of wavelengths and feel and see an even smaller part. Go take a drink of water and realize we take that glass of water and think we know everything about it enough to build religions, life goals, and wars around it. That water is a filtered empty space. We never could imagine the ponds or lakes and oceans let alone ice and rain or whales and coral reefs. To think we know what life is about is so naïve. You know nothing John Snow.

Taste Of Edmonton

(An Edmonton Car Experience)
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Over the last decade the Bmx Scene in Edmonton has been on a steady decline, resulting in fewer and less frequent trips to the Albertan capital, for myself. Last year it was hardly worth a day’s stay besides a quick swim at the mall and visiting with old friends. But maybe BMX isn’t all the region has to offer. I decided to dive head first into the Edmonton car scene and was overwhelmed by how deep it turned out to be.
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The week’s events started with meeting my friend and BMX professional Darcy Peters, who brought along the transportation. A SR20 swapped 240sx, this car has the right parts to be fun without being expensive, gaudy, or attract heat, almost like a drift sleeper of sorts. Coilovers, bucket seats, sway bars, bushings, exhaust, new turbo, FMIC with an entertainingly loud BOV, digital boost controller and a couple loaded ECU maps is all underneath the stock body work, still rocking mud flaps and some 15 inch snow flake rims. Perfect taxi I say.
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The first stop was a surprise to me but not so much of a surprise for being in oil country. We stopped at LLOYD CUSTOMS and took a look into the whole different world of LIFTED TRUCKS. I was shocked at the size of some of the trucks and the engineering behind the modifications, also the different styles within the truck world; lifted diesels, So Cal, 10 second sleepers, mudders, work trucks, and even some RICE. The shop had an awesome atmosphere it seemed like friends just hanging around a turbo lifted ford figuring out some new engine mods. Very accepting of my dumb questions about what does what as I pointed to shiny things in the engine bay of this different world. I wondered around and felt comfortable right away taking pictures, talking to different guys and asking questions…that doesn’t happen at most shops.
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The next time I met up with LLOYD CUSTOMS they were holding a customer appreciation day. It had a truck show, dyno runs, bikini car wash, food and a lot of black smoke. Massive seems to be the theme, There were massive turbos, massive lifts, massive exhausts, massive torque and even massive slicks. It was awesome to see such a strong and friendly scene right away. I might not be getting a 3500 dually anytime soon but I wouldn’t feel at all out of place in Edmonton if I did.

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Next up was a good ole’ Friday night parking lot meet. We rolled up to a Tim Horton and I was struck by the amount of cars, bikes, and trucks in the parking lot. Some straight fast and the furious shit with packed crowds, neon lights, and sound systems. Things constantly moving in and out and the nearby street squealing to life as the tires of turbo fed engines took off into the night. I was a great atmosphere and quite impressive. We wondered around for an hour or so before we felt we had seen it all. But as we went to leave we realized we were only at one end of the meet! Across a side street were 4 more parking lots full! Now that was overwhelming and my camera probably felt the same way.
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The next Friday I almost skipped going back because I felt like any other scene it would be full of the same cars and people but I took the last minute opportunity to go back and was shocked to hardly see one car from the week before and this time I knew about all the parking lots. Every style seemed to be accounted for from classics, rat rods, exotics, air bagged, drifters, Subarus, JDM, Hondas, trucks, bikes and a lot more. For a regular Friday night this scene would feel a lot better than the 4 mostly stock cars at a DQ here in Saskatchewan.
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(Side note: I kind of liked that a lot of cars peeled out or did fly byes, I know most would frown upon it but uptight people have ruined just as many things as irresponsible throttles.)
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Just driving down a street during Saturday we managed to stumble upon an exotic car meet, I didn’t know those even existed but boy was I happy to take a few snaps before our limited time ran out. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches all with old and new versions present was quite cool to see, even a NSX and GT40 among many other expensive toys. If I had more time I would have loved to try and weasel my way into the cockpit of a few.
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Next up that night we headed to Castrol raceway, on the highway there we happened to sneak up on a new BMW i8 who was happy to play with us for the trip, as the speedometers reached their maximum range and traffic appeared to become a standstill, the owner eventually rolled down his window and complimented our car and my camera and took off once again. Pretty cool experience.
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Some NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) drag races were going down and we caught the tail end of some top fuel and the start of nitro Harleys. One Harley blew up mid run, set on fire, engulfed the rider who unnaturally calm, he stopped the bike, got off, and patted out the flames. A quick google revealed I just watched $150,000 bike fry itself. The cleaning of the now toast colored Harley took quite sometime during which they set off a 10 minute fireworks display and also I got to see them dry the track with a jet engine attached to a golf cart looking vehicle. Unfortunately it started to rain and that was the end of the night.
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I managed to get to the drag races once again to see the re-runs of almost every class besides jet cars. Some very cool engineering and technology was observed, some cars had turbos, others super charged, some both, some with carburetors and lumpy cams, others with small displacement fuel injection with high revs. Wheelies, burnouts and hurt ear drums are a good way to pass a night. At one point a top fuel dragster was so loud my camera failed to take a picture just about the same way as my lungs felt they were going to fail from the pressure of the rapid air. No big crashes but watching a vehicle run a 5 second ¼ mile is something just as impressive, well maybe just as impressive. I like some carnage.
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I just walked into the pits, not sure if I was allowed to or not but I spent the next couple hours gawking at all the wild machines populating the area. Money, money, money is all I can really say. Full sized RV’s hauling semi-trailer duel level hoist equipped trailers with two or sometimes more drag cars…I can’t fathom the budget needed to compete, but I’m glad people spend their money on such wild things that end up entertaining people like me. The pits and parking lot held some pretty oddball cars among all the wild dragsters and moving garages. Which was a treat to see, quite the overwhelming day it left me over stimulated and I felt fried for most of the night after.8

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The 240sx had some fun adventures of its own, mainly some irresponsible public driving and over all public harassment in the form of me yelling jokes at people among the straights of Whyte Ave. and the like. I tried to get to the Callingwood “Cars and Coffee” event, but missed it by about 20 minutes, I knew we had missed it for as we headed towards the spot I saw a couple Gallardos followed by a convertible Diablo and Ferrari 458 with some JDM cars whizzing the other way. Arriving on the scene it was disbanded besides a couple American cars packing up. But with such a week you have to expect some failures. An urban assault vehicle drove by to make up for the tragedy.
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The last event was the one I was most excited for, a Spec-D drift practice. I headed back to Castrol raceway where the far-side-pit parking lot now became a coned drift course to burn some tires off in the best kind of fashion. Unfortunately I thought it may be done before it even started as it rained intensely for the hour before the event was set to open. Luckily the first cars hit the track right on schedule. The drifting community is so much more my style. No egos, no competition just fun with toys and friends. I was able to talk to many people I didn’t know even get a ride along or two and borrow multiple helmets. The cars were amazing but 4 really stuck out to me:
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A 240sx with perfect street style (Brandon Strong )- This thing was prime, full kit, nice paint, dished fitment, camber, 1jz with big turbo. I loved every rev bash it got all day.
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A 240sx missile (Owen Krasowski-Olmstead) – I love a beat up car so much more than anything else, the ingenuity in fun and quick fixes mixed with a careless driving of an already trashed car caught my eye the second the giant wing was visible.
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A Rocket Bunny wide-body FR-S with a turbo attached- I had tracked down this car earlier in the week at the parking lot meet but the light was too dim to get a good shot, luckily it came out to play.
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A rough looking Altezza with a steering angle kit (James Green) – The driver stood out right away, insane angle with good lines and consistency. I loved the look of the 3SGTE swapped 4 door and liked the aggressive and fun driving style that controlled it, the only driver to try and run the wall on entry which was a treat along with another treat, the two rides I got in it.
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Edmonton was really a great surprise and I took a good chunk of the scene in. Racetracks and oil money make for some cool toys. I had a great experience and if you are not a dick or shy you will probably have the same outcome as I. At the end of the day Drifting is what I love the most and I think I may just have to take the AE86 on a nice road trip up to Castrol one of these summers’ nights. Hope to catch you there!

Enjoy a raw edit of the Spec-D drift practice.

Also check out the Facebook page for a TON of extra coverage and photos.

FEAR

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We all feel it, fear is a part of everyday life. It has been a crucial part of surviving as a species. Telling us to stay away from danger instantly, and long term. It is a good thing we fear certain things, no one wants to get attacked by a cougar or be left hungry without shelter, so we take precautions to eradicate or lessen those fears. Fear that can be prepared for and solved is healthy because it makes us create; spears, fences, crops and communities to lessen the chance of those fears becoming reality. But intelligence doesn’t mean faultless thought.
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People feel intelligent, because we are, but it is also our down fall as we assume we are right. It has been along time in the western world since the majority has had to worry about predators and food. Civilians no longer worry about the temperature outside or the wild animals miles from the city killing us, But the brain still produces fear and fear still has its use every moment. But the amount of fear felt is no longer comparable to fear of survival. People fear everything, sometimes to the point of being paralyzed by it, or avoiding it and changing their behavior for life. That makes sense for fear of the cougar when alone, it does not make sense for going out in public, the dust in the corner, fear of rejection, fear of trying, fear of failure, fear of the doctor, and fear of spiders.
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Take the fear of a Doctor. People die because they are too scared of their hypothetical uneducated thoughts on the weird bump thing or stinky injury. People, literally, die, because fear makes them feel their actions are justified, fear of the unknown is a useful fear we have, but it can be irrational and dangerous in itself. If you always feel you are right you wont learn much in this world. People feel that just because they have fear they are justified with no critical thinking or recourse. Fear can defeat you before you even try something. Some people never open their mouth and share an idea or will be made uncomfortable in social situations because they fear the possible imaginary outcomes of disagreement. The thing is when you fear something it is usually an uneducated fear, your only scared because of stupidity. Some people cant jump off the diving board because they fear what could happen, but someone who has dived before no longer fears it but is prepared to deal with the outcomes. The more information and experience the more you can accurately gauge the fear of something.
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If you are scared of spiders, research spiders you will find 100 human deaths in the last century, while coconuts kill 150 annually, hardly a rational fear. If you are scared of rejection try saying a few stupid things, no one is going to jump out and stab you for it. We base our fear on life and death when death really is not a result of most of our fears. Since the feeling is a reaction to danger and death we upgrade the fear if you never challenge your own thinking. yes germs can kill you, we have immune systems, we have been through a lot worse and being scared to touch another persons hand is so statistically safe yet our brain with take the one instance that someone got sick and say “HEY THAT WILL BE ME! I WILL DIE! RUN AWAY”. Then fear of being socially ostracized kicks in  for not shaking hands “If they judged me like I judge other people in my mind I WOULD DIE!” and we feel our peers will reject our behavior and you know if we didn’t have friends “WE WOULD DIE!” Thing is, thoughts are not reality. you are judged everyday…you lived and didn’t even notice because it never existed outside of thought.
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The more we value something the more we fear and in turn the more irrational we get, money family, possessions all have so much fear attached that some times people ignore then rest of life to get money, or push their family away by trying to protect them from imaginary (or exaggerated) dangers they see. Some cars are never driven because of the fear of what might happen. Our Relationships with things can be completely destroyed by our own fear yet we feel justified and will never give it a second thought.
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Someone can say get over your fear because they don’t fear it, that wont help anything (unless you fear rejection or disagreement so much it out weights the first fear). I say if you fear something educate yourself about the fear and then critically take a look at your own thought process and actions. Someone else’s thoughts can help a lot too, but just remember they can also be uneducated or undisciplined in their own fears. Sometimes you also just need to realize most of our fears are dumb, I say jump, live, try, fail, learn.

(P.s. All Photos Are A Small Amount Of My Recent PhotoShop Creations)

BMX TIPS

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Biking by far has been the biggest and best part of my life. I started late at 15 years old, but made up for it with near 24 hour dedication. It has shaped my life, made me a better person and connected me with the world. But I will skip all that personal journey shit and just throw out some tips that I think will help any biker.

Ride what you have/ Get your geometry right –
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People get so hung up on getting the best/lightest/nicest parts that they end up spending way too much early on and on parts that don’t work well together or don’t fit their body. 10’’rise with 30’’ width won’t go well with 23’’ shoulder width and 5’ 7’’ height, same goes for a sub 4.5lbs frame for a rider over 180lbs. Go buy a complete, hopefully a really good complete that is fit to your body type (local shop can help you with that), it will still break. Often the forks will bend, the pedals will be shit, and the cassette will grenade itself. Replace these parts as they break and learn proper maintenance and mechanics, parts on your custom $3000 bike will still break but at least with a complete you have a proper geometry and a good base to start modifying the measurements to you and your riding style.

I am 5’11’’ 170lbs I ride;
Frame:
20.75’ top tube – 21’’ feels a bit long for my shorter arms and 20.5 to close to my knees.
75 ° head tube- Prefect for someone who likes to spin and go fast-ish . 75.5 would be for trying 900’s and spinning a lot, at a sacrifice for stability when going fast, 74 would be very good for trails and a smoother rider not so concentrated on tricks.
13.75-14.25 chainstay- 13.75 seems to be the perfect spot for me, not too hard or too easy to manual and long enough to provide stability. I ride my wheel slammed into the rear dropout so the measurement is right at the 13.75 mark (meaning I have to break the chain to change a flat).
Smaller number means easier to pull up and will spin faster but will limit bunny hop height and stability, longer will make manuals harder but help with speed and high hops.

The other measurements like seat angle, and stand over height, control the look of the bike not so much the feel, bb height may have a difference but is not a measurement I have experimented with.

Bars – This is by far the most adjustable part of your bike, if your frame is close to the right size your bars and stem can dial it into perfect territory and make a big difference in riding style, this is where the main experimentation should happen, try on a few bars at your local shop and find what geometry feels good, start with your bars straight in line with your forks (at a side profile view) then make small adjustments forward or back depending on style and needs. More forward will make front end tricks easier but move center of balance forward, vice versa for bars backward. Bar height can control a lot; like bunny hop height, pull up force, and how far you can pull back or push forwards. I suggest playing around with a lot of different types and adjustments. I ride 9.25 rise in line with forks and it is on the taller end. I was fine with 8.25 rise but now my back is straighter.

Stem-Big bars are popular but you can still run a handle bar with high rise, just remove spacers from under the stem and use a drop style stem or run a top load stem upside down to counter act the rise if it  too big for your height or body. A stem can add/remove length from your bike adjusting the front center of balance over the front wheel but 50mm seem to be standard.

Some people mess with crank arm length but I have seen no serious gains from changes to merit it.

Tires- Based on riding style and environment, knobby and skinny for dirt and loose, wide and smooth for park, mix and match front to back or take the middle ground.

Gear Ratio – 25t sprocket with 9t cassette driver is industry standard. Bigger sprocket can help if you need to go really fast but makes it hard to pedal up those hills and you will probably leave your friends behind just riding to the spot.

Everything else is solely up to you and your wanted style; brakes, no brakes, gyro, straight cable, pivotal seat, rail seat, one piece seat , grips, bar ends, four pegs, two pegs, no pegs, metal pedals, plastic pedals, hollow chain, half link chain, normal chain, etc.

But in the end of the day everyone gets too caught up in these things. If you have a bike and it rolls, go ride it, starting with a 20 lbs bike won’t help you but riding a 27lbs one will, when it lasts longer and makes you stronger also down the road when you upgrade to the perfect parts, it will give you an advantage in strength. If you still got a freewheel and reflectors, it can still jump off a curb and will 180 no different. Almost every discipline of biking can be a “equipment” sport. A road biker can spend $10,000 on a TT road bike that makes only a small difference from a vintage 80’s bike. The difference is there, but that is when the rider is in tune, dedicated and experienced. To an amateur the 10,000 bike is not only a waste it is a mistake as the 80’s would teach you a lot more and be useful in growing and finding the right fit. BMX is the same way, use what you have rip it, break it and fix it. Let it grow with you.

Ride Everything-
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Another mistake I see is people defining themselves as a “park” rider or “street” rider etc. Seriously go ride everything. I understand everyone has the discipline they like the most and want to be gnarly at, but you will become a much better rider if you ride the street and the park and the dirt jumps and the grass hill and your driveway and in the basement and when it’s cold. Staying in one spot is not what biking is about; change your scenery, explore,  find new riders and friends, they are everywhere. If you find yourself always at the park try travelling to another city and check out the amazing culture everywhere else. Street  cats can get to the park once in a while and get more guys to ride with when ripping alone gets boring.
My goal has always been “be the best I can” I will ride a 12ft ¼ pipe or a ¼ inch piece of wood because I love riding my bike I don’t care where or on what.  I will learn to do a trick whether it is extreme and impressive or just technical and new. I do enjoy park a lot more but one should pick what they like after they have tried it all. Don’t get stuck in a rut. I think the best rider can blast a tailwhip on a half pipe and follow it up with a table over a dirt jump then 360 a stair set and slider a grass bank. If you get bored biking, it means you need to change something, biking doesn’t cater to you. You are the force behind the pedals.

Armour-
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Want to ride forever? Most guys dream of riding every day for the rest of their lives and plan on it. But almost every adult rider that I have seen stop riding is due to injury. If you take care for yourself before you get hurt you will last a lot longer. Wear a helmet, gloves when sweaty or on shitty asphalt, knee pads and shin guards will save your entire summer, ankle restrictors are amazing I have been known to throw on body armour and full face helmets when getting gnarly, but guess what… I’m still getting gnarly even with my medical conditions when most my older healthy friends have stopped. If I find I’m smashing a new part of my body I find a way to protect it, a sock, cardboard and tape have all been used in desperation, if you ride BMX don’t worry about coming off as being “tough” you already are tough. Instead of feeling tough when I knock myself out or spilt open my body, I feel stupid for hurting myself when I could have prevented it with amour instead of sitting at home healing.
It kind goes with preparedness. Brining a backpack is a really good idea even though they can be bulky and take away from the feeling of freedom a BMX bike gives, but some zipties to fix clothing when it rips, just enough water to fight passing out from dehydration, a pocket for your phone, camera, ipod and wallet keep you from making a looped out manual a $1000 mistake when those hang in your pocket. Chain breaker, extra tube and tools will make everyone around you a much happier person.  Always some duct tape, even mix it with some paper towel for make shift Band-Aids.  Wax for those sweet spots and rough ledges. Some extra pads and gloves in case things get gnarly, I have been stuck without these things and really needing each one, but I have never been disappointed I had all these things and not needed them.
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BMX is individual but also a community, trends come and go and most people would say don’t follow any trends, I say follow the ones that are right for you. Don’t change yourself to fit someone else’s image, but you can sure as hell use them as inspiration or for ideas on what you want to become. Like a brakeless 4 peg street rider, throw on 4 pegs just make sure your bike fits your body, ride the streets and be a hellion, you can be a bit destructive and being irresponsible it is what makes shit like biking fun but just because you see guys on the internet getting in fights or smoking tons of weed doesn’t mean that has to be every street rider, and why only be a street rider? Set your own goals not everyone needs to send a double backflip, do it because you want to, have fun with your friends try different styles or different trends I think trends are good they make people explore new things, just don’t be a dick about it, it doesn’t mean you are cool but if it is cool to you then do it, if barspins are in, try some barspins but don’t forget about every other trick you think is fun. I have spent most of my life at a skatepark or late nights on the streets or around a fire digging, I have never done any drugs, smoked weed, I have never drank at the park, or fought kids and spray painted shit, it’s because those were the parts of the role models I followed that I wanted to leave out for myself. I don’t like doing any of that stuff, it was always about the bikes for me, but I understand everyone has their priorities and theirs are different and mine are only right for me, so as long as everyone is a good person I’m happy.  Even when everyone seems to be doing those things, I couldn’t care if you ride a scooter or a skateboard or rollerblades, our sport is too small to hate on each other and its pretty simple minded when people can’t see how unique we are, extreme sports athletes just jump off shit with something underneath them, pretty silly, the shape of the object we ride isn’t that big of a deal. So chill the fuck out and stop taking everything so serious, go ride your bike.