A few days ago I rode out on my bike to find Annandale skatepark in Sydney's Inner West.
I was keen to use my board because I had painted on the griptape for the first time in about 20 years. I wanted to write something antithetical to the gnar-text usually seen on skateboards, so I wrote "BBC Radio 4", which I probably listen to more than anything else these days. Incidentally, Radio 4 are reportedly seeking to reshape their image into something more 'youth-friendly', which is a terrible idea. Radio 4 is something that people will come to as they get older, and that's fine. I wasn't aware of it as a child or teenager, and I would have hated it. But now I love the high-mindedness and seriousness of programmes like In Our Time and Start The Week, I love the news, and I love the comedy, and I would be right pissed off if R4 had its tone diluted with an affectation of youth-speak. Radio 4 is rad, and this is official, cause it's written on a skateboard. I also wrote Dusker (my wife Dee's band) and drew a lightning bolt - lightning bolts are cool.
So off I bicycled with my newly-decorated board strapped to my back, and the first place I stopped is a storm drain that runs through Summer Hill to the Hawthorn Canal. It is near murderous to wish for drought in Australia, but just look at this thing. I wish that trickle of water would dry up and allow a skate.
I rode on, and arrived at Annandale skatepark. It's a piece of shit, but the viaduct is pretty. The skatepark is a modular thing with a few quarterpipes and a little driveway. It's narrow, so there's no scope to carve around.
The flat bank has a horrid crack across the bottom that my wheels got stuck in, and it chucked my into the bank the first time I rode the park. Shitey.
So I stuck around for a few minutes, then rode off to check out somewhere I'd noticed in the Richard Murden Reserve by the Hawthorn canal in Haberfield. I guess this is intended for BMX bikes. I don't know.
It is too rough to skate. Maybe some fun can be had with big soft wheels, but there was nothing for me here, so off I rode.
This is my bike, by the way, it's a 1968 Claude Butler with a full contemporary Campagnolo set. I'll give the full story of losing my old bike in a car crash at a later time, I think.
I hadn't really had a proper skate after all this, and riding home I saw some basketball courts and decided to stop for a little bit of flatland. I like skating around basketball courts, it reminds me of Rodney Mullen's part from the Plan B Questionable video. It was fun, there were sections of grass between the courts that you could blast across. Wheeee!
And then I rode home.