My Big Fat Gypsy Road Trip AKA Cursed Road Trip
Going through some old videos, I found myself watching this tour video of “My Big Fat Gypsy Road Trip” (named by Emily at the start). This trip has was interesting, if only because it was cursed from the very start. The backstory is that we aimed to recreate the awesome experience we had on 2010’s “Sittin’ On The Toilet” tour, but it was a mistake to set our aim that high, because that tour was a miracle good time from start to finish. MBFGRT on the other hand… well, let me tell you about it…
- On day 1, we awoke to pouring rain. Compared to the 2010 tour, where we had perfect blue sky all week, this was a setback.
- Upon loading my car, we went to the supermarket for petrol and breakfast supplies. When we got back in the car, I found the engine had flooded. We were trapped for another 2 hours before we could leave Coventry.
- When we finally got to our first stop in Bristol, we got to skate for half an hour before light rain began. We pushed through, determined to skate, but by an hour in the rain was heavy and the skate was off. We decided it was best to head to the camp site and try again tomorrow.
- The camp site was in Cheddar, where we had stayed on the 2010 tour. The owner was a guy who had been at the forefront of a campaign to get Cheddar it’s own skatepark (which was really fun), so he loved skateboarders and did us a great deal. When we got to the campsite, the weather was clear, so we set up our tents and settled in. However the cold and rain quickly closed in and we spent the night camping in what I can only describe as a mild hurricane. In the morning we woke up and the field was boggy and flooding, and Moose and RB found their tent had half fell down.
- With rain continuing, we skipped Cheddar skatepark and went to Bristol to skate with Joxa and Slasher. Joxa directed us to Campus skatepark where we got some indoor park footage, and then in the afternoon with the rain clearing we hit a DIY spot called Daveside. We got rained off here after an hour again, so we spent the rest of the day at Joxa’s trying to figure out if this was all worth it.
- We left Bristol with an eye to maybe head back to Cov and concentrate on some indoor park trips. The decision was forced when we got back to the campsite and found Tom’s tent literally up a tree, and Moose and RB’s tent completely collapsed with their stuff all soaking. The storm had done us over so we packed up and headed back to Cov.
- We planned to go to The House in Sheffield on day 3, so we got our stuff together and braved the rain to go skate indoor. Tom, Kyle, Moose and RB stayed at my house, so we were all up and ready to roll.
- When we got to The House we instantly regretted it as the place was rammed with scooters. We battled against them trying to get a skate in all day but they were utterly clueless.
- When it was hometime, the tiredness of bombing from Bristol to Sheffield and skating for 3 days straight was taking a toll on everyone. In a tired stupor I said some really shitty stuff to Kyle and nearly caused a fight. This was the last thing anyone wanted to happen and at this stage we were really close to just sacking the whole thing off.
- The last day was predicted to have some decent weather, so we made a last ditch attempt to get a good session in, as we journeyed to Nottingham to skate Clifton Skatepark. Good news was it was a good skate, with a nearly empty park! Bad News is that the footage for this day is lost forever and we never recovered it.
- At the end of the session Emily took a horrible slam (2 days after taking one at Daveside) and hurt her hip so bad she couldn’t walk. We had to take her to A&E and with Tom and Kyle having no other means of getting home, we were at the mercy of the NHS to ensure we could go home. It was a really sucky end to a very rough weekend.
- Even after the actual road trip, there were problems that kept coming. As mentioned, the footage from Clifton never materialised, but the remaining footage proved to be difficult to deal with. The footage was filmed on an early HD camera which used a bizarre obscure codec which Adobe Premiere refused to work with. For years this footage was unreadable for me and I couldn’t edit it. It was only after taking some time out from filming, and desperate to put something together, I bashed my head against it trying to find the codec which, by 2016 (3 years after the trip) had become more widely available, allowing me to decipher the footage and edit the video.
Despite all of this, I still look back on both tours we did fondly. Much love to the crews we rolled with and thank you so much for going along with my crazy plans for skateboard holidays.
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