Back in December 2011, a handful of guerilla mountainboarders headed to that eden of ‘new towns’ Milton Keynes with one thing in mind; To score an epic set of photos…
One wet and drizzly day a load of mountainboarders headed into Milton Keynes in search for something different. Swapping woody slopes and grassy hills for the concrete and tarmac of MK’s city streets.
The original plan was to use Milton Keynes Centrals Christmas lights as a back drop for some Santa-suited photo-shoot shenanigans. After a quick recce of underpasses and marble ledges around the shopping centre it quickly went from having a bit of fun with lights and woolly edged, red suits to making a proper shoot of it.
“Smilie get on facebook see who you can russell up”
So a few messages ‘n’ chats later the crew was formed from riders; Mark ‘Skully’ Sullivan, Matt ‘Brindy’ Brind and Mr freeride Roger to the Swannell. Snapper for the evening Rem’s top lensman Daz ‘Dirtmonkey’ Murphy and on-shoot bitch and flash gun holding duties me (Smilie).
So the date was set, just need the weather to come good and it will be all good. Well, it is winter time and it was always going to be cold, but we could of done without the drizzle and then heavy rain. But you know, a bit of rain can make things look all nice and shiny.
Undeterred we loaded the cars and headed off into Milk ‘n’ Beans crazy roundabouted grind system to see what street goodness we could bag.
Wasn’t on the list (yeah we had a bit of idea what kinda wanted) and spotted when were driving around looking for somewhere to warm up. At first it looked like we just had a couple of ledges and a underpass to work with. However Skully’s stair set radar soon kicked in and found a nice set of four.
So the sesh kicked off where the last one ended, mountainboarders doing what mountainboarders do. Slashing about in leaves!
There was then some more normal street type trickery thrown down on and over the ledges. With all getting involved over the stair including Rog donning a santa suit and tickling an indy. Brindy was also showing the skills he learnt in the Jib park were coming in pretty handy on the street by throwing solid no-comply 360′s down the stairs. Not to be out done Skully finished the session by boardsliding a C shaped bench.
After lots of standing about in the drizzle and than hiding in a underpass getting arty. By now everyone was feeling pretty damp and cold. No better time head the train station to hook up with our urban guide for the evening, Myles Hillier.
Myles was running late so headed off Milton Keynes indoor skate plaza or really the bus station in the middle of a building site.
It’s true MK really is a transition free zone, much to Brindy’s disappointment and really most mountainboarders. The skate plaza is made up of more marble ledges of different sizes plus I ‘spose some marble fun boxes. There was also a movable bench but I don’t think the council intended it to be mobile ;-) and some other rubbish out which could be shifted and jibbed. The biggest thing was it had a roof and lights. So as we stood watching the rain, waiting for Myles to arrive wondering if there was any decent riding or shots we could get. After a bit of shifting the bench about and turning a sign post into a down rail. We had something Skully and Brindy could get busy on. That was after Brindy had finished teaching Roger no-comply 180′s. After some time spent dragging, pushing and scooting at different jibs and ledges. Myles arrived, Daz had a few shots and then rain stopped.
Time to move on!
So off we wandered into the next block to see what else we could find. Relying on nothing more than Myles’ memory and sense of direction. Luckily Myles has the brain of a homing pigeon and after not too much of a walk we found a square with a few bits of street architecture, which would keep us busy for a while.
In one corner of this court yard was nice little 6 set of corner stairs giving Daz plenty of angles to play with, and Brindy and Skully enough scope to throw down what they wanted. So while they played and Daz shot from different angles and lighting.
Roger and me (Smilie) went for a wander to see what else there was in area. And lo and behold we found a Weatherspoons with 5 set coming off it’s seating area.
‘Could we really get away with that, it’s dark but it’s still early?’
‘It’s worth a try, got to be a bit sly though.’
Handily there was a useful hedge to hide behind just in front of it.
Back to stairs where Brindy is throwing 3′s and Skully is styling out the grabs for the camera. For a bit of planning, Skully is up for it. Just a case shifting some chairs, dropping in and getting some shots. Brindy lends a push, Daz picks his angle and I hold a flash. Ten minuets later we can a couple of photos and no arguments with the boys in black. All good!!
Back to where we were, there was still a couple things left we had looked at but not yet taken a mountainboard too. First was a cheeky little wallride underneath a window, emphasis on the ‘little’ bit. It was a angled slab of marble not much wider than a set of trucks. Brindy had it pretty happlily. Skully on the other had wasn’t sure and even less sure after he popped to much and clipped the window.
“Time stop before we set the alarms off”
Just round the corner was the biggest set of the night a full 10 steps. Complete with a run-in round a corner and a couple of columns to be ridden though after you landed. Making it the most dodging looking bit of street riding of the night as well. Matt looked at but wasn’t feeling it, so it was down to Skully. Out of all us, he has the most experience of street mountainboarding since that’s where he pretty much learned to ride and why he’s so comfortable skooting for speed, which is pretty handy considering he need to ride in from round the corner to get enough speed. After couple of test runs and then one drop on the stairs to check it was do-able, it was time to hit it properly. Two goes & one hoody-swap later and Skully had two shots in the bag and his second ever Rem cover shot. Nice work.
Cheers all ;)
Words by Jon Garfitt, photos by Darren Murphy