[Back]: Matt Desson, Aaron Gates, Donald (Dab King) Delp, Cary Lorenz, Delia Millsap, Tony Archibeque Jr., Slade Scherer, Jack Nicholl, Colin Fried, Jordan Thaden, Andy McGrath, Dave Butler, Carl (Pizza King) Arnett, Ty Scott, Tommy Joseph, Mat Ridgeway, [Front]: David Clay, Tony Piff.
Each year, my friends and I pack up a few vehicles and go explore a new part of America. This year, we packed two trucks, two cars and a minivan with 20 people and 19 bikes. The destination was Eastern Oregon, the fourth of July, and the heart of America.
Words – Aaron Gates. Photos – Tony Archibeque Jr. (unless otherwise noted)
Stopping at Goods has become an essential part of our trips. No matter how much time I spend researching parks and looking up spots, Shad always has a couple of treasures for us. On this trip, he pointed us to Bingen. It looks like this on the internet, but also has a big, beautiful new bowl attached to it. Shad also put in a good word for La Grande, which is way more fun than it looks. It might have been my favorite park on the trip. To quote DBZ, “Go to Goods. Shad is a human BMX Wikipedia … and an all-around awesome person. Buy a T-shirt, you fucking tourist.”
We also want to give a huge shoutout to Joe at Burlington Bike Park who hooked us up with a late session after the van got searched at the border and was another great source for northwest spots.
Irrigon was the reason we went where we did this year. The thought was, “we’re going there, let’s try to find enough other stuff to make the trip worthwhile”. It turned out to be everything I expected it to be, and more. Irrigon has a bunch of cool features that make it memorable – a fullpipe that’s rideable on the outside and a cradle with a door cutout, among other things. It also has some weirdness to it. As the session got going, Tony Piff confirmed that we had “found all of the booby traps”, meaning weird corners that don’t quite work or tiny loveseats that are difficult to see. Irrigon leads you into unconventional lines if you’ve got your thinking cap on, and it’s fun to figure out. The most sessioned feature at the park was the outside of the fullpipe. Everyone had a different take on it.
It’s hot as hell in Eastern Oregon in July. The locals in La Grande hooked up this awesome swimming hole and it consumed the remainder of our day. Carl stepped up to the riverside cliff jump. Later, he guided us to pizza.
Ridgeway bought another van this year and it was a beaut. Tony Piff of Old Parked Cars fame was along for the trip this year and documented the van appropriately. Ridgeway is the most dialed roadtripper I know – seven people and seven bikes in this $400 van.
Carl Arnett – Pendleton OR.
One of the things I look forward to each year is spending a bunch of time with David Clay. David is polite and funny, but the best thing about him is that he doesn’t really care about the typical deliberations of the bmx roadtrip. At least once a trip, he’ll do something crazy out of nowhere without any regard for who’s filming what, or that it’s a giant flair that might only happen once.
“If you don’t have a smile on your face, get back in your Prius and go home”. We went to a rodeo, and it was amazing.