Gravity Games III
For the third straight year the Gravity Games was held in downtown Providence, R.I. College Hill hosted a streetluge event for the fifth time, the first two were XGames I and II. The hill was about two blocks from the main venue. The course was about a half mile long.
The course started at Meeting and Prospect St,
going down Prospect, and hanging a 90 degree right onto Waterman St. Leading into a series of chicanes. The chicanes exit, with another hard right onto Benefit St, right in front of a cool looking building.
After scrubbing speed, there is a short uphill section before turning left onto Thomas St.
where you head toward the finish lane. There are several cobblestone sidewalks on the course. Apparently tar paper (or something) was laid on top of the cobblestones, and then asphalted over!
Friday, August 31
I took the redeye out to Providence, so I could do some sight seeing. I decided to head down to Newport for the day. One route to Newport actually goes through Massachusetts. As I drove back into Rhode Island, I saw a sign on the side of the road, immediately after the "Welcome to Rhode Island" sign.
Friday afternoon was registration
and mandatory standup rider's meeting.
Saturday, September 1
Today was the standup race. I got up in time to watch qualifying. Since the race course was about a mile from the hotel, I decided to hoof it. I passed the main venue on the way. Downtown had a bunch of banners hung up.
I hung out in the pit area during lunch. This place was nice, it even came with massage tables.
For some unknown reason, one of the souvenirs was a rubber duck.
It didn't take long before one of these ducks found Mallard.
There were two races; Dual and Mass.
While most of the fans left after the races finished,
some stayed around to create a madhouse.
Johno, after a fine day of announcing, kept the crowds at bay,
while the riders got ready for the awards ceremony.
Van Bommel, Hardwick, Golter
Van Bommel, Wenk, Dansie
Freeman, Golter, Lehr
The awards were pretty nice. EDI broke out with some large cups for the World Points.
The Gravity Games awards looked nice as well, Hardwick's silver:
The standup was over, streetluge was next. Streetluge registration was set up in the lobby again, for the riders that showed up earlier. Mandatory riders meeting was at 9:00 pm.
At the meeting we found out the Pete Eliot was trying to arrive, but at this point he couldn't get here until tomorrow morning. Something about an hour after the flight left, they turned around because of leaking fluid. And then some time after the second flight left, it turn around because someone was having an heart attack! After the riders meeting, a couple of us headed down near the main venue to check out WaterFire.
This is an art event that was set up a few years ago. There are a bunch of bonfires set up in the canals. Its apparently a pretty big deal. The fires are lit ever few weeks during the summer. Its quite a spectacle.
Sunday, September 2
The shuttles arrove early to pick us up.
The shuttles had very little storage room, so most of the luges were put inside. Somebody had already set up Biker's new toy in the pits.
Practice was incredible.
As soon as you got to the bottom, you jumped on a truck and headed back to the top. The first race has the mass.
Sult took this one easily.
After breaking for lunch, I went up to the last corner. A perfect spot, I saw the hardest corner to hit, and I could watch the jumbo tron.
I ran into one of the local lugers.
The racing was fairly intense, as usual.
The worst accident happened when Bob and Wade hooked up.
They both wrecked, but the injury came just before this picture was taken.
Wade's left foot was stretched out toward the hale bale. Manu tried to squeeze between Wade and the hale bales, to avoid hitting Wade and Bob, and just caught Wade's foot. Wade ended up being carted off and taken to the hospital.
Later, Fryer ended up wiping out in the first turn. The race was over Fryer, so he high fived the crowd all the way down.
Any wonder why he was voted Best Sportsman?
The coolest thing I've seen happened in the consolations. The six riders raced to the first turn. Right after the turn, they jumped off their boards, ran to someone elses board and finished the race! The first streetluge Chinese Firedrill.
Rat Sult barely beats out Kurtis for a second gold! After the super mass, a new race was born. A relay of sorts. Streetlugers left from the top, when they crossed the finish line,
their standup partners, left.
An interesting relay.
Once again, before the awards ceremony, Johno kept the crowd at bay. Tossing stuff out into the crowd, including an usual skateboard.
Sult, Biker, Fryer
Sult, Head, Kelly (mistakenly identified as Auld on the Gravity Games!)
Ruhman and Van Bommel.
Biker, Head, Fryer
Overall Points (standup and streetluge)
Well it was time to cleanup and party. The pit area was gone in about an hour, as I caught the last shuttle back to the hotel. A quick shower and we were back to the bottom of the race course (rather a bar around the corner) for the after party.
Racers voted for Best Sportsman, Most Improved, and Most Charismatic in both standup and streetluge.
Standup Most Improved:
Steetluge Most Improved:
Streetluge Best Sportsman:
Streetluge Most Charismatic (who else?)
Shoot I forget what Freeman got:
because I think Cavey was the Most Charismatic.
Much fun and revelry was had by all. At one point we had a free toast.
Don't ever let anyone tell you we are crazy, but Hardwick taught us a new way to drink tequila. Something about snort the salt, and pour the lemon in your eye.
I'll take his word for it. Rat wasn't letting anyone forget what he did today.
We stumbled back to the hotel sometime in the wee hours of the morning after getting kicked out of the bar.
Monday, September 3
Most everyone was leaving today. I decided to fly back Tuesday morning, so I had another day off. Most of it was spent lounging around the hotel. We went down to Newport for dinner. We took a ferry across the water right at sunset. It hard enough to take night shots with a hand held digital camera, even harder in a small boat. But I thought a few came out:
We got back to the hotel pretty late. And there were still a few skateboarders hanging out. Hunter's Indo board was the center of attraction.
But a few guys were doing tricks on a regular board.
I had a six am flight, so I left them in the lobby.
While I had a really fun time attending the Gravity Games, despite having equipment problems and leaving my helmet at the bottom prior to my first qualifying run, there were two to many injuries. Golter went down hard and broke is arm, and Wade went to the hospital, with some serious injuries. Providence did do a great job of welcoming us though!