Dunstable Skatepark Build – Week 3

At last it’s getting interesting!

It’s been raining here all week, so rather than go and get more shite photos in the rain, I thought I’d wait a couple of days until it was dry.

Now the drainage is done and most of the droundwork seems to be there, we’re starting to see the park take shape. The bowl coping is starting to come together and there are various sections of breeze blocks. While I was there they were actually bending up the piece of coping for the raised bowl section. Cool!

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My history and a list of my Ex’s

Those of you that have known me for the last 10 years will already know I’m quite into cars. I’ve had my fair share, often wacky or unusual. I thought I’d put together a list of all the cars I’ve owned, just for fun really. I didn’t own these all consecutively, a lot of them cross over or I kept while using the others. The list is in the order I got them though.

My first car was a Rover 100. Not that weird. I loved it. It had a 1.4 engine, which didn’t take me long to convert to twin cam.

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Dunstable Skatepark Build – Week 2

So, we’re into the 3rd week of the Dunstable Skatepark build and after 2 weeks there’s slightly more to see other than drainage. Only slightly though. They are still just moving earth around really. The bowl is starting to take shape though, which is pretty exciting.

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The Perpetual Dilemma – Which camera should I buy?

For the 6 months I’ve wanted to buy a new camera. I’ve been using DSLRs at college for 2 years and feel it’s time I made the change from a video camera to a DSLR. I’ve been learning on Canon 550D and 600D’s. I’ve also used a 5D Mk2 for a couple of projects. I feel I’ve outgrown the smaller, cropped sensor cameras now, there are limitations with them that restrict what I’d want to do with my own camera.

I’ll be using it mainly for video but still taking the odd picture every now and again. The videos I shoot are mainly action sports, so lots of fast action and camera movement. I also want to be able to capture decent sound. I also really want to go full-frame because I just love the look. I’ve been looking at three main cameras. This is no way a review of any of them, this is just what I’ve found from research on the internet, watching video reviews and videos shot on the respective cameras. I have only scratched the surface of each of them and have only mentioned the features that I’m interested in on each. Make of it what you will.

Canon 5D Mk3

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Haha, check out my photo editing skillz.

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Danny Macaskill: The Ridge

I know many of my readers will already have seen this, but I couldn’t not post about it.

In this latest film, Danny rides a ridge in the Cuillin Hills in the south of Skye. The reason I’m so stoked on this video is because we went there on the Voodoo Scotland tour and Danny actually goes to some of the exact spots we did. The landscape down there is absolutely stunning, I think it’s the most beautiful place on earth and Cut Media have done such a good job of portraying it. My favourite shot has to be the one at 2:16 where the quad flys towards Danny doing a G-turn and reveals the view. That shot makes me want to cry.

The riding is obviously on point too. Danny never disappoints and this video is no different. It’s nice to see him riding something other than his trials bike, proving he’s a truly great all-round rider. Some of the risks he takes are unbelievable, especially climbing up that rocky outcrop one handed with the bike on his shoulder. It’s well worth it for that money-shot though.

This is the type of video I’d love to make. I love everything about it, the riding, the location, the music, the seals watching him in the boat. Amazing.

I’ll stop talking now. Just watch it!

Stuff to D&B: Cities

This one has been in the works for a long time. I actually started it way before I went to America but the track I’d chosen just didn’t fit the footage as well as I wanted it to. I tried re-editing it with a couple of different tracks before settling on S.P.Y.
I love timelapses and the sweet, rolling sounds of liquid really complement the cityscapes.

So, without further ado, Cities to D&B. Enjoy!

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Dunstable Skatepark Build – Week 1

Regular readers of my blog will know that Dunstable, my nearest local town, is getting a skatepark after a 15 year battle with the council. I’ve decided to document the build, week by week, until it’s completion which is due for early next year.

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It’s only been a week so there’s nothing spectacular to see yet. The land has been cleared and they’ve started to dig the drainage. It looks like they’re directing all the drains to a soakaway that will be between the bowl and the plaza section.

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This photo is shamelessly stolen from Pete Smith, the man responsible for this happening at all, because I forgot to get one from this angle. Big respect to Pete!

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I’ll be posting weekly updates, so come back every Monday to see the park progressing. Exciting times!

Dunstable Skatepark Build

It’s been 10 or so years in the making, but I’m really pleased to say that the Dunstable Skatepark build is finally under way. I was working away last week and I was gutted I couldn’t be there but diggers have moved onto site and started work. Here’s a photo of Pedro, Josh and Seb with a couple of the councillors, breaking first ground.

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I’ll be following the build and covering it on here for all that are interested. I went down to the site after work on Saturday and it’s just turf and shrubs that have been cleared from the site so far, so there’s not much to see yet. Keep an eye out for more updates!

The Pool Guys

This week I spent my time doing something a bit different. I went down to Devon to help my friend, Andrew, fit swimming pool covers. Andrew usually works by himself but needed a hand on a couple of big jobs he had booked.
He picked me up Tuesday and we drove down to Bridport for two days where we fitted a couple of covers to existing systems. After we finished at Bridport we went onto Holsworthy and fitted a complete brand new system in the leisure centre there.
The work was interesting and varied, if a little hot. Working fully clothed in a leisure centre is absolutely brutal. Just standing on a ladder drilling holes had the sweat pouring from me. No photos from the first job but I took some from the new system we installed at Holsworthy. I wired in the transformer and electrics while Andrew measured out the columns, drilled the floor to accept the bolts and fitted the motor.

My bit.
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The finished article.
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We had a hired scissor lift to help us lift the roller onto the columns but we couldn’t get it into the building due to crappy access. It’d be rude not to have a bit of fun with it. In the second photo Andrew had actually taken the key out of the machine so I was stuck up there!

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All in all, a great few days doing something different and Andrew only almost fell in the pool once!

Ghetto Skate Spot Update!

When I wrote a blog post about the ghetto skatespot on a piece of wasteground in Dunstable, I never dreamed I’d write an updated post about it. However, I went up to the site today on a pikey mission to find a length of tube for a wood burner I’m making and discovered that not only is the spot still there, it’s thriving. As well as the wooden manny pads and kickers made from old doors, there’s now concrete up there too! I snapped a few photos of the concrete additions on my phone.

First up is this flatbank/kicker. Built up using the plentiful supply of rubble on the site and finished with a slab and a layer of cement top and bottom.
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Next is this nice looking grindbox/manny pad. I really like this, it looks sweet to ride. I didn’t have a good look at it but I imagine it’s filled with rubble. The coping is cast into the concrete too. I love the paintwork on this, nice touch!Photo0955

Last is this mogul type thing. Looks fun, if a little small for a bike/unicycle. The concrete has been really nicely finished on it though and almost looks like the concrete at any proper public skatepark. Props to the builder.

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I absolutely love seeing stuff like this. I’m sure I said this in the first post about this spot but I love the DIY attitude and the passion that drives people to go out there and spend their time (and money) on creating things like this. I wish everyone could see how hard the skaters work to maintain their scene.

The build of the Dunstable skatepark starts next Monday, so it’s nice to see the skate scene is alive and well already. Part of me wonders if having a ready-made skatepark will be the end of a tightly knit community that will come together to create something like the ghetto spot. I hope not. Time will tell.