Back in 1960 the much-acclaimed writer John Steinbeck (and his faithful poodle) hit the open road in a customised GMC truck to see for himself the true state of the United States, before jotting down his thoughts to create the classic travelogue, Travels with Charley.
60 years later, road-warrior, dog-owner and esteemed-icepick-grinder Bob Scerbo swapped the GMC truck for a 2002 Toyota (and replaced the poodle with a rat terrier) to create an equally raw document of life in America, Vacilando (Travels with Harley), capturing the people, places and angle-ironed loading-docks that make up the land of the free.
Seeing as the video has finally landed on British shores, here’s an interview with Bob about Vacilando, America and anything else we could think of. Questions by Sam and Clarky, photos by Wozzy, Bob and Clarky.
One of the main things I noticed when I first started leafing through riding magazines back in the glory days of WHSmiths was that a disproportionately high percentage of the people involved had exotic names. Taj Mihelich? Leif Valin? Eben Krackau? Growing up in the North West of England, at a time when everyone was either called Sean, Dave or Keith, this lot sounded more like characters from a Channel 5 sci-fi film than anyone you’d find riding a three-set round the back of a Farmfoods.
Even the photographers had cool names, and along with Rob Dolecki and Jeff Zielinski, Jared Souney was definitely up there in the rare moniker stakes. Perhaps more importantly, he also took some mighty-fine photographs. Shooting first for his own magazine, Nine-Ninety, and then for ‘the big three’ back in the heyday of the printed page, he captured a wide spectrum of riding in a highly-skilled manner—without sacrificing that all-important raw edge.
Now based in Portland, he still takes photos today, as well as riding, doing design work, making jackets and seemingly everything else. Here are a few chunks of visual gold from his archive…
This interview was first published in the last issue of Red Steps, but seeing as people have seemingly got a bit of extra time on their hands at the minute, here it is in digital form…
English riders trekking over the pond in search of cheap pizza slices and decent spots is nothing new, but not many of our American compadres are scouring Sky Scanner in search of cheap flights to our damp island. Even less make the trip away from London’s glossy grasp to sample the sights and scents of northern England.
That said, for some bizarre reason Boston grind-tactician and all-round pleasant chap Jake Frost recently decided to make the voyage up to the city of Manchester.
He rode a bit, he visited Salford Lad’s Club and he dined out at that notorious Manchester eatery… Tim Horton’s.
Here’s an interview with him about his trip, his thoughts on riding and his work as a bike courier.
Here’s a very in-depth interview with Bicycle Union/Volt main-man John Dye about pretty much everything we could think of. Read on for substantial chat about such subjects as London in the 80s, California trails struggles, Nails in the Coffin, Jake the Snake, swanky bowls and the true definition of ‘hardcore riders’.
Modern peabrain reading conventions would suggest this 6,400 word epic should maybe have been cut down a little bit, but it’s much better having too much to read than too little—especially in today’s lockdown era. Pour yourself a few gallons of tea and get stuck in…
Interview by Sam and Clarky. Photos by Steve Crandall, Ian Morris and a few others.
From the crippling spine-ache caused by over-stuffed Lowepro bags, to the countless solitary evenings sat in front of a computer screen mulling over colour correction, song choice and whether or not you should re-film that 180 with the mildly dodgy roll-out – filming a fully-fledged riding video is no trip to Cleveland.
And yet, time after time — like a moth to a 20 watt, shoe-mounted video light — the man known on the electoral register as Andrew Clarke finds himself making another video.
With his sixth audio-visual masterpiece finally polished off (and his seventh already under way), here’s an interview with him about filming and riding… and filming riding.
Riding is a pretty small-time affair, and whilst some lucky souls seemingly get away with cruising about without a backpack, relying on others to dole out inner tubes and media duties, one of the benefits of the lack of money and industry amongst 20-inch wheels means that people actually need to get stuck in.
Just as Dennis Waterman liked to write the theme-tune, sing the theme-tune, AND star in the television show, a lot of today’s finest riders also take photos, make videos, print t-shirts and generally do whatever else it is that goes into creating a ‘sub-culture’.
Louisville’s Tyler Rembold is a prime example of what I’m rambling on about. Not content with grinding a large percentage of America’s handrails, he’s also made countless full-length videos and regularly puts together zines of his well-composed photographs — all the while working as a fully-qualified pharmacist.
Seeing as we’ve just got our hands on his new zine, now seemed like a relatively appropriate time to collar him for an interview. Read on for valuable insights into Kentucky, handrail design and snacks…
Photos courtesy of Apedog, Chris Zidek, Phil Bossmeyer and Kaleb Romero.
This interview was first published in the third issue of Red Steps. The intro is a bit outdated now as Tim is now fully submerged in high-brow London living – but the rest remains true. Photos and interview by Sam…
Fresh-faced science fan Tim Evans has lived in the Greater Manchester region for around a year now.
Unlike a lot of flaky characters who dip in once or twice and then disappear in favour of Xbox Live and club drugs, Tim has slotted nicely into our regimented riding schedule and doesn’t seem to mind being dragged out for miles into the wilderness to look at minor bumps in the pavement.
As he packs up his humble possessions and prepares to head down to the slick, non-stick surfaces of London, I hassled him for his thoughts on riding and life and that sort of thing…
Not only has he cracked the enigma-like codes of numerous bike-based manoeuvres once thought impossible, but he’s applied much mind-matter to the often slap-dash past-time of video-making, elevating the humble riding vid into the something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen watching.
He’s also dead tall and owns quite a few jackets.
Here’s an interview with him about his early days riding dirt jumps in Sunderland, loud kettles and the pitfalls of robotics…
Here’s an interview with New Jersey photo master, grind tactician and video man Jeff Z.
I would write a really drawn out intro here about the importance of documentation and that sort of thing, but this interview is long enough as it is, so it doesn’t need any more waffle.
All that really needs to be said is that along with his exemplary photography work, Jeff has played a part in some mighty fine videos over the years — not only was he the man responsible for Stairs and Grizzle, but, along with Bob Scerbo, he created the New Jersey classic Don’t Quit Your Day Job. He also filmed a large portion of the first Animal video and recently sat back in the metaphorical director’s chair to make the Doorstep video along with Zach Krejmas.
Quite the filmography.
With Stairs and Grizzle finally scorched onto DVD, the stage was set for an in-depth interview about making videos, New Jersey and pretty much everything else.
This may be a controversial statement, but it might be said that not many people truly enjoy going out and riding. They might enjoy riding spots, or maybe filming a clip – but for many, the actual act of going out for a long day of aimlessly mooching around with only a slim chance of finding something worth riding seems like a painful experience punctuated with various pathetic cries…
“How much further is it?”
“Is this what we’re riding?”
“Should we just go to Nando’s?”
Luckily, Gaz Hunt is not one of these whingers, and seems to thoroughly enjoy scuzzing around the various towns and cities of the North, un-phased by damp pavements and the endless trudge.
Maybe he’s just easily pleased?
With the ink now dry on his magnum opus — a hefty tome of high-action riding shots and David Carson-esque design trimmings by the name of Nowster Issue 5 — here’s an interview with him about photography, classic UK skating and rope-bridge hijinks.