One weekend, in early August, during the UK's glorious, parched summer of 2018, my son, Max and I drove up to Dave Skooter Farm's compound in Wigan, Lancashire for a BMX pool party.
For those who don't already know, Dave is reason I started racing flat track, and therefore the reason Sideburn exists. He's also been involved in most of Sideburn's most memorable ideas.
Dave has skated and BMX'd nearly as long as those subcultures/pastimes have existed in Britain. He used to build large scale wooden skateparks all over the country. In 2002, inspired by the pool skating scene of Southern California, he built his own Santa Monica-style figure of eight pool in the back garden of his own small town bungalow (seen in the background of the shot below).
Though municipal skate parks have replica pools and bowls, the opportunity to ride an honest to goodness garden pool attracted riders from all over the country. A few BMX industry heavyweights likeAlan's BMX, 4Down, and Seventies put up a few quid to supply the guests with free food, from the Coven, and free beer, from Northern Beer Temple, and bring in a couple of portaloos so Dave's own bathroom didn't get trashed.
By the time we arrived, 20-plus riders sat on their bikes, some chatting, others glancing at each other around perimeter of the pool before, without a word, one would pedal the two rotations to drop into the pool and pump the slope to build up enough speed to fire vertically out of the other side, before turning down and landing back in the pool
One rider, who didn't feature in the video or any of Dig magazine's photos caught our eyes the most. Phil Martin was shirtless and rode without a helmet, taunting fate and almost begging to be scrawped red raw by the rough pool paint. In his mid-20s, but looking older, he had the build of a bricklaying UFC fighter and had a tiger tattooed on his chest. I don't know the intricacies of the scene, so perhaps there's something about him or his methods that don't sit with Dig - a highly respected BMX mag and website. He is a sponsored rider, so I'm not sure why he was overlooked in the report.
His riding style was pure Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power, Search and Destroy. He rode like he wanted to break his bike in two. It wasn't the flowing laidback style of some of the other riders, it was pure spittle-flecked aggression.
There were plenty of Dave's friends, hanging out and watching the riders, plus DTRA regulars Murphy (featured in Sideburn 34) who was riding, and Chris Jenner injured from a motorbike crash.
Johnny Alpha span some tunes, then I took over, before the world's only conjoined twin DJs, flown in from the Netherlands, DJ Double-Dutch made their UK debut.
Dave knows how to organise a party. Watch the video below and start begging to be on the next invite list.
Photos: Jason Colledge via Dig