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Redondo Beach Group Ride - Sunday 9/9/1999

I rode at Redondo Beach today with the Scott and Monica Thompson. Zak "Crash" Maeda was planning on coming, but then decided to go to his own birthday party (?!?!). The ride was cool, because this photographer I bumped into at Pasadena City College while riding there with Polo (Moto Tecnica) came and took photos of Scott and I... He's a pro just starting out, building his portfolio pieces, and wanted some interesting work... Interesting work he certainly got today!

We got some fun photos, including a good 6 foot gap 4 feet off the ground with nasty consequences and a sketchy take off and landing done by Scott and hopefully caught well on camera... Oh, the photographer brought a slide format camera, which he says makes crisper pictures... He plans to then make negatives of the slides, which should exaggerate the colors... It was overcast, but we'll see soon how they come out! The good ones will definitely go on the site...

He took a sequence shot (10 shots a second) of me doing about a 7 foot rear wheel drop from the breakwall down to rocks... If that didn't come out, I will not be happy... It was the scariest thing I have ever done... (Scott wouldn't even do it rear-wheel, he opted to do it by sidehopping (which was very smooth and looked nice, I think... Definitely the way of going if you can in a comp... I did the rear-wheel drop because I knew I could and it was all mental. I psyched myself up, committed, had the most adrenaline ever running through my body while hopping to the edge and dropping... Second time wasn't so bad, it came about as smooth as you can make a 7 foot rear wheel drop...). I'll take this moment to say that what I did was really dangerous and I only did it because there was a professional cameraman there (wait, that's not a good reason, is it?! ;-p). What I meant to say is, "Kids, don't try this one at home!" Yeah, that's good...

On another topic, Scott had switched over to a Monty blackwall rear tire from the stock Monty salmon wall tires (x-lite skinwall)... He runs nice low pressure, and the thing grips EVERYTHING! I have had a problem with the tire just about rolling off on some rocks (jetty rocks...) when running low tire pressure, and these tires, with REAL sidewalls, complete eliminates the problem... Scott says he sidehops like 4" higher, simply because of the bounciness (sp?) of the tire, even though it's about a pound (!!) heavier. I was sold... I got one of the rear tires from my good friend Polo of Moto Tecnica on the next Wednesday. Verdict: Awesome!! Forget low weight, this is it! Totally changing my riding style for the better!

Stephen Maeder