Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ante Up Skate Race - Lowlight Reel

Drinking, filming and skateboarding aren't easy tasks when you are doing them all at once. Nonetheless, here is my attempt at doing so. The trip was rough to make on skateboards, and the sidewalks and streets of downtown Jacksonville can be less than forgiving.

We all gathered round a cooler at Shantytown Pub in Springfield, and as soon as the first beer was cracked, we were off. I tried to stick close to the main group, which included Ante Up founder and hero Kevin Graver.  First stop was Zombie Bikes, which is now located near the corner of 1st and Main, across the street from The Pearl of Springfield. We all had to pound a beer and head out to the next stop, but not before skating some distracting obstacles which included a tall loading dock and a piece of plywood up against a trash bin.

So after this we headed down Main Street to Burro Bags, which is near the Florida Theater on Forsyth Street. At this point I was considerably winded, and pounding a beer just wasn't in the cards for me. Our group stopped and relaxed for a while, shared some stories about the ride and headed off toward the third stop at the top of the river walk. Along the way, someone realized it would be a good idea to head up to the top of the parking garage across the street from the Modis building, so up we went. At least 10 of us went up the the stairs to the second floor and then hopped on the elevator to the 9th level. After a short ride to the top, we proceeded to bomb the empty parking garage. I almost made it down the short way, and by that I mean by losing control and sliding into a wall and nearly off the side of the building.

The next and final stop was atop the river walk at the high point near the Times Union offices. After making it up the spiral to the top, I found myself among a group of sweaty, worn out looking skateboarders, along with a few who looked totally unphased by the whole trip. There were coolers set up with ice and beer, friendly faces, and more stories of the ride so far. After a short break (and P-Nut puking) we bombed the river walk bridge. Once we got to the bottom, we stopped, ran back to the top, and bombed it again. We did this a few times. After some good times and some unfortunate events that included Sparky picking up a dead fish from the side of the river and George Evans blowing his ankle out, we headed down to the end of the river walk and on to Riverside avenue. From here, it finally became a race, and I found myself pushing as hard as I could to beat Nate Cary down Lomax street to the Lomax Lodge.

When I got to the finish, I was dead tired. Thankfully, I had wussed out and drank water on the last two stops instead of beer, otherwise I don't think I would have survived the trip. I don't think many of my comrades had much of a problem with handling their beer, though. The celebration and afterparty at the Lomax Lodge was awesome, with free drinks given out, grilled burgers, hot dogs, and corn. Bruce Tyler (aka ODB, or Old Dirty Bruce) had made it to the finish line first, and eventually we got around to celebrate his victory when he opened his customized victory party bag put together by Kevin Graver himself. Inside, he found:

A Bottle of MD 20/20 - This got passed around. Mandatory swigs. My mouth still hurts from it. I hope I didn't catch something from you dirtbags.

A Pack of Newports. 

A Honey Bun

A Pack of Wifebeater T-Shirts

Some Cigarillos 

Some Scratch Off Tickets

So in summary, this was one of the best Ante Up events yet. I want to say thanks to everyone who participated, especially Kevin's friend who carried my bag in her SUV, P-Nut from Crown for paying my way in, all of those who helped at each stop along the way, Laura for taking my near lifeless body back to my car, and most importantly Kevin for putting this together. Not only do you know how to throw a party, but you also know how to make a skateboarding contest exactly what it should be.

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