A few weeks before the US Open I got a call from Aaron Chase asking me if I had a motorcycle license, since I was getting the official invite as the videographer for the second H.O.L.T. (Hold On Loosely Tour). Coincidentally, I had JUST bought my first motorcycle and had planned on taking the beginner course to get my license in a month or so. He then proceeded to lay down details for what would turn out to be one of my all-time favorite road trips EVER.Part one video and story inside
,Here’s what Aaron Chase and Dave Smutok had in mind for the trip: Round up Cam Zink, Adam Hauck, Clint McMahon, and Mike Kent for a week long road trip through Vermont and New Hampshire to hit up some amazing riding spots and film/photograph the entire journey. Instead of driving a van or separate cars, we would rent a box truck for our mountain bikes/gear (for photog Chris Vanderyajt to drive) while the rest of us ripped the back roads on our motorcycles.
The trip started off with everyone meeting up at Highland Mountain Bike park to start the adventure. The only problem was that Cam Zink was flying in from Reno and needed a hog ASAP. As luck would have it, Zink was able to find a classic Yamaha RD250 2-stroke for sale nearby. After a little TLC from everyone to keep it from leaking fuel, we hit the road the next morning.
Our first stop was at fellow New England shredder Kyle Ebbett’s house. After a LONG 150+ mile ride, everyone was anxious to get off the motorcycles and onto the pedal bikes. Kyle’s backyard is pretty epic in that he has crammed in so many different lines into a pretty compact space. After shredding the dirt jumps and foam pit, we downed some delivery pizza and were off down the road to Kyle’s hidden spot in the woods. To say Kyle has his dirt digging skills locked down is an understatement. Kyle has crafted an intense dirt jump line in his woods that consists of HUGE doubles, step downs, step ups, and warp speed creek-bed crossing. The week’s rain played havoc on a lot of the jumps, but everyone was able to have a super session on one of the big step ups. After a day of ripping it up, everyone unwound at Kyle’s with drinks, fist pumps, and some friendly scrappin’.
The next morning we shook off the cobwebs and haze in our heads and were off again, this time to visit Knight Ide and everything he had to offer. This leg of the journey is probably something I would like to forget. Mother Nature wasn’t so kind and decided we all needed a lesson in riding motos in the rain. For the entire morning, we rode on the highway in pelting/stinging/cold rain that was only made manageable after a quick stop at Walmart for most of us to pick up rain suits. Sure enough, as we pulled into Knight’s driveway, the rain let off and it was once again time for the boys to rip it up. The first night there Knight was kind enough to fire up his bus and drive us to his personal indoor skate park. For such a tight park, the boys had no problem coming up with some creative lines and impressive riding.
The next morning it was off to Knight’s house for an eagerly anticipated dirt jump session. I’ve seen plenty of pictures and videos of the dirt jumps over the years online, but as usual, pictures and video definitely do not do it justice. LARGE jumps, various lines, and epic views can best describe Knight’s backyard. Everyone threw down hard, with too many highlights to mention, you’ll just have to watch to see how it panned out!
Now…for the video! Chase has mentioned a few weeks before the road trip about doing something different with the video instead of a typical road trip video. Our idea behind it all was to have a fictional story behind the whole trip, and have it narrated by Zink with some inspiration taken from the movie Casino. For Part 1 of HOLT, Chase, Smutok, and Zink were on the road and happen to meet up with the ‘City Boys’ Hauck, Clint, and Mike, who they decide to bring along for the trip. Over the course of the next following days, tension between the two ‘groups’ boils over with some drama at the conclusion of Part 1. Part 2 of HOLT coming soon