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24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE 2013

TUCSON’S NEW SKATE BOARD GENERATION CATCHES WAVE TOWARD THE NATIONS BEST SKATESCAPE …

22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3446 SKATE PARK The first skateboarding wave washed across the United States in the 1960’s. Like all fads from the coast I had seen the hula-hoop and had little hope skateboarding would last long, locals nailed their sister’s skates to the bottom of a board and went for the downhill. You either knew if you were a skater or not, I was not the right stuff and knew it instantly. Historically the first skate park was made of plywood on a half acre sand lot in Kelso, Washington in 1966 and it had lights. The first modern concrete skate park opened in 1976 in Port Orange Florida and Carlsbad California, followed by indoor parks in less temperate climates but high insurance premiums caused the first wave of skateboarding died in court, but realized a resurgence followed in the United States when legislation in states like California’s 1998 law that said skateboarding is an inherently “Hazardous Recreation Activity” and cities will not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in a skateboarding injury. Skateboard construction improved and skate parks have become more common.

TUCSON'S 22ND STREET SKATE PARK

TUCSON’S 22ND STREET SKATE PARK

SKATE PARK Today some cities put in skate parks with features not designed for skateboarding, but are street legal for skaters, other not. Tucson’s has a number skate parks in different parts of town, Tucson was once one of the best skateboarding scenes in the country, which is a little known fact about earlier times when Tucson skateboarders had permission to skate “THE BLOCKS” at El Presidio Plaza after 5pm until 1994. Rumor has it Skateboarders got the skate park at Randolph Park in exchange for no longer skating at “The Blocks” downtown. Today Tucson Skateboarding is a new force and has hopes of becoming politically active and wants to approach the city council in hopes of taking back “The Blocks”, and Tucson’s claim to top ten spots in the US to skate. Downtown Tucson has a new skateboarding shop opened by two brothers Kenzo and Zen Butler and their partner Jerry Jordon have moved into The Arches, a high ceiling warehouse at 35 E. Toole Ave and have spacious floor space and stylish fashions, boards at their The BLX Skate Shop dedicated to the “Golden Age of Skateboards” and the Skateboard culture which has its own set of values and language. Since downtown is the heart of this skateboarding culture, BLX is pronounced “Blocks” named for the feature now off-limits to skaters, but a short distance away. THE BLOCKS "Skateable THE BLOCKS 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3425 Skateboarding is a popular recreational activity among children and teenagers — especially boys. In recent years, skateboarding spin-offs, such as long-boarding and mountain boarding, have become increasingly common. Although it is a fun activity, skateboarding can result in a serious injury. 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3437In 2011, skateboard-related injuries accounted for more than 78,000 emergency room visits among children and adolescents 19 years old or younger. On average, about 52% of skateboard injuries involve children under age 15. Eighty-five percent of the children injured are boys. Many injuries happen when a child loses balance, falls off the skateboard and lands on an outstretched arm. Skateboarding injuries often involve the wrist, ankle, or face. Injuries to the arms, legs, neck and trunk range from cuts and bruises to sprains, strains, and broken bones. Wrist fractures are quite common. Wearing wrist guards can reduce the frequency and severity of these fractures. Facial injuries, such as a broken nose or jawbone, are also common. Severe injuries include concussion and other head injuries. There are many things that parents and children can do to help prevent skateboarding injuries, such as carefully selecting safe places to ride, and wearing protective gear, especially helmets. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under age 5 years should not ride skateboards. Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult whenever they ride a skateboard.22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3473

Practice tricks and jumps in a controlled environment, such as a skate park that has adult supervision and appropriate access to emergency medical care.

Be considerate of fellow skateboarders, especially those who are younger and/or less skilled. Take turns on ramps or other equipment.

Learn the basic skills of skateboarding, especially how to stop, slow down, and turn. Be able to fall safely: If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have as far to fall. Try to land on the fleshy parts of your body rather than your arms. Relax and roll.

Skateboard according to your ability level. Skateboarding skill is not acquired quickly or easily. Do not take chances by skateboarding faster than your experience allows, or faster than is safe for the surrounding conditions.

Practice and master each skill before moving on to a more challenging trick. Staying in good physical condition can help to prevent skateboarding injuries.

SKATE PARK

Directions to follow to Santa Rita Skate Park I-10 Fwy Westbound – exit Starr Pass Blvd/22nd St, take 2nd right at 22nd St, left at 3rd Ave into Santa Rita Park. 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3419

Albert M. Gallego Skate Park Santa Rita Park 3rd Ave and 22nd St GPS 32.207522,-110.963395 Date Opened 2009 Square Footage 12,000 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3424x Just off the 10 Fwy in Tucson lies Santa Rita Skatepark.

The Albert M. Gallego Skate Park is located within the Santa Rita Park and should be on your list of places to go. This park opened in 2009 after almost 10 years of fundraising and plan changes. Santa Rita consists of three separate bowls: The Bonnie Bowl (a 12’ deep keyhole), a 4-6’ deep flow bowl, and a good size kidney. The Bonney Bowl is a classic 80’s style keyhole. It felt 12’ deep and fast. The shape is not perfectly round, but slightly squashed and the lip is finished with tiles and orange pool coping. The flow bowl varies in depth from 4′ to 6′ with a clamshell in the middle and a couple of hips. The bowl is finished with metal coping. The last bowl is a righthand kidney with an 8′ deep end and 3′ shallow end. This bowl is pretty mellow and good for beginners learning to carve. Santa Rita skate park opens at 6am and has lights until 10:30pm, which is necessary considering the daytime heat of the desert.

Now go check this one off.

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SKATE PARK SKATE PARK

WORLD’S LARGEST SKATE PARK….CLICK HERE

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 22ND STREET SKATE PARK CLICK HERE

ARIZONA’S BEST SKATE PARKS…CLICK HERE

TUCSON’S BEST SKATE PARKS….CLICK HERE

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THE EPIC 24 HOURS in the OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE TEST THE METTLE OF THE BIKER AND THE METAL OF THE BIKE, COMPETING RIDERS CUTOFF AT 1875

24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE FIELDS ALMOST 2000 RIDERS WITH A RUNNING START

24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE FIELDS ALMOST 2000 RIDERS WITH A RUNNING START

PASSING ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL TAKES A LOWER GEAR

PASSING ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL TAKES A LOWER GEAR

THE EPIC 24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE, has grown into a world class event, pulling in bike riders from all over the Unites States, Canada, four riders from Italy and raised 5 tons of food for the community food bank points out Todd Sadow, the 24 Hour event director. Weather makes Southern Arizona great this time of the year but in the fourteen years since 24 Hours began, several years were wet and muddy which produces grumpy riders. Many other years were a mix, some much colder, others not so, one year it rained all weekend. The 2013 24 Hours Bike Race was perfect.
HELMET CAMS ARE THE RAGE

HELMET CAMS ARE THE RAGE

RIDERS STACK THEIR BIKES  CLOSE TO THE START

RIDERS STACK THEIR BIKES CLOSE TO THE START

COMPANY FOR THOSE LONELY NIGHTS

COMPANY FOR THOSE LONELY NIGHTS

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Seat down meal or a quick bite, or a coffee to go...

Seat down meal or a quick bite, or a coffee to go…

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RUNNING DOWN THEIR BIKES

RUNNING DOWN THEIR BIKES

Bikers set up camp Thursday in 24 HOUR TOWN which has its own radio station K-EPIC 105.7 FM, tee-shirts, ball caps, the SW Best BBQ for Tri-Tip Steak Sandwiches and Blue Banjo Breakfast burritos, for caffeine, Peddler on the Path, offered both espresso and coffee. To sit down and enjoy sauteed mussel and shrimp dishes, both meat and vegan meals are available from the Chef’s Kitchen run by the Cryderman family who offer a host of savory dishes. Rules for 24 HOUR TOWN, is simply, BE NICE, HAVE FUN AND DON’T HARSH THE MELLOW. The Pinal County Sheriff has a whole list of other rules, but they were there to protect the public welfare or watch the mellow, everyone appreciates their help making the event safe and successful. The orientation ride for the newbee’s was led by Rebecca Rusch, the “QUEEN OF PAIN” who holds three 24 Hour Solo World Champion and four-time Leadville 100 winner. It was recommended as a good way to learn the course. Fires were small and contained, propane was big for heat but body heat was the recommended to minimize the impact on the Willow Springs Ranch where the race is held. Campers tents, cars BBQs were all packed in tight with only inches between each other, attempting to stay within the open space available without killing more desert. I met riders this year from Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, from all over Arizona and Tucson. Riders wanting to race were cutoff at 1875 riders, walk-ons if they had not preregistered, could not race. I met a 34 year old Junior High School Principal named Ryan who flew in from Wisconsin to Tucson with his buddy and their bikes to race, and they couldn’t race but they rode the course prior to the race and slept in their car, rather bother coming back to Tucson and bed, “this is where we want to be he reported”. They were having fun anyway, “Mountain Bikers are much more outgoing folks” says Ryan, “Roadies or road racers, stare at the ground and say nothing to nobody and are competitive as hell, all about winning”. Mountain bikers are all about having fun, their campground-city 24 HOUR TOWN is jammed together into the smallest footprint possible, with trailers, winnibagos, fith wheel campers, car camps, cactus, canopies and trucks, plenty of cholla. At noon on Saturday everyone heads down to the start line where all riders have stashed their bikes on racks, afterwards the riders walk about 400 yards down the road where 1800 riders will get a Lemans-style running start, initiated by a 12 gauge shotgun. There are solo riders who will be seated on that bike seat for almost 24 hours straight and there are teams, many 4-5 riders each who will pass the baton to each other off and on for the next day. Either way, many have decorated their helmets with lighting, cholla-preventers, web cams (front and back), dolls and dinosaurs and beer cans, and all have lighting on their bikes. Many participants have raced at the 24 Hours before, but many confessed to being newbee’s, all were ready and excited. Four teams were made-up of Tucson youth aging between 12-18, and all twenty-five riders are driven bikers called El Grupo Youth Cycling and winners already, I was told there is “a bad-ass or two” in that group. After the huge start, I headed over to the end where the riders descend a rock face to time out for the lap of 16 miles around Black Mountain, 40 miles north of Tucson, in the pristine Sonoran Desert.
END OF THE 16.3 MILE TRAIL

END OF THE 16.3 MILE TRAIL

RIDER TAKES A HARD FALL

RIDER TAKES A HARD FALL

When the leader started down the rock, Ryan pointed out he was a pro rider who lived in Wisconsin during the summer and in Arizona in winter, his lap had taken around a hour, twenty minutes. By noon on President’s Day this city of 4,000 will have disappeared without a trace. Except for the $20,000 raised for the Bag-it Charity and the four to five tons of canned food raised for the Community Food Bank, this event brings quality athletes into the South Western United States and brings big tourist dollars to communities nearby like Catalina, Oro Valley and Tucson. Many 24 Hour in the Old Pueblo participants were riders from Tucson, most of them knew that the Old Pueblo, is what Tucson was called in its earliest days during the 1700’s…

This thin ribbon of cactus free desert stretches 16 plus miles around Willow Springs Ranch.

This thin ribbon of cactus free desert stretches 16 plus miles around Willow Springs Ranch.

MORE 24 HOURS in the OLD PUEBLO PHOTOGRAPHS, GO TO SOUTHWEST PHOTOBANK GALLERIES….CLICK HERE

TRAFFIC EBBS AND FLOWS ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL THEN IT ALL STACKS UP IN THE CHOLLA

TRAFFIC EBBS AND FLOWS ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL THEN IT ALL STACKS UP IN THE CHOLLA

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