2014 marks the first year for a new event just an hour and a half outside of Philly known as the Red Bull Big Drop (or Slide At The Pagoda). For me, it was a last minute trip but it proved to be a very good one none the less.
The first stop on any trip like this is to get picked up by the locals (Thanks James!) and check out the skate shop. Community is one of the cooler shops I’ve been too. At first I thought it was odd that they sold bikes too but their skate/bike selection was on point. Considering how often I bike, it kinda makes sense to have both in one place. Both communities are pretty similar and probably dabble in both sports.
Red Bull was out in full force for this event. I was a little thrown off by this since I am not the biggest fan of energy drinks, but I will give them kudos because they did a lot to make this event happen. Hopefully they’ll be on board (hahahahaha! skate joke) for next year.
Every shop needs a tired dog to lay around and sip up the beer I spilled.
Actually he didn’t drink any beer, but I did spill some (sorry).
Later that evening the organizer of the race (Matt) showed us around downtown Philly. Smooth roads, nice weather and cold beer made for an enjoyable skate.
Turns out our hotel was right next to the legendary skate spot Love Park. Pretty rad to check this place out. Rumor is that they are going to tear it down because it’s on unstable ground. Kinda makes me wonder about the ground that is underneath all the surrounding skyscrapers…
The next morning was a push race (that I missed) which ended at the FDR skatepark (which I didn’t miss).
There was a pretty solid turn out for the push race. People got free gear, I skated the park, it was a win-win.
For those that haven’t been to FDR it’s kind of like the East Coast version of Burnside (built by skaters for skaters). This park is something else. Props to all the locals that built this amazing place. I will return and hopefully have a few more tricks.
After the push was a slide jam that started at this mansion. It ended up raining a lot so we hung out in the car.
Speaking of cars, the organizer has the entire roof of his car covered in pins. Some of these are decades old! Very impressive collection.
This was my favorite. #budiceforlyfe
Stephen and I went to get food at this place, mainly because it said “nom nom” in the name. We ate our food fast and promptly got the “itis.”
To try and quell our tummies we walked around and looked at some Philly architecture. For those that haven’t been to this city, it has copious amounts of great architecture and public art.
You “could” skate this road but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Some kids were hitting the two set at Love Park. Not many tricks were landed.
This park has been skated for quite a while.
For those of y’all that don’t recognize this spot, check out the December 2013 Thrasher cover. Burly.
If you look at it from this angle, it appears as though William Penn’s doodle is hanging out. LoL
Of course we had to get a Philly Cheese Steak while in Philadelphia. You can’t see it too well (due to the grease on the window) but he’s grilling up a little bundle of joy.
Ok, maybe it’s a big bundle of joy. I placed it on my Canyon Arrow for a size reference.
The next morning was race day so we woke up early to get on the shuttle. Apparently not many other guys work up as early as us.
“Turn down for what” came on the radio during out ride to the hill so this dude at a Mids bar. #thebestpartofwakingup
The event was called Slide at the Pagoda because it starts at the pagoda that sits above the small town of Reading. I was chatting with an older guy from the town and he told me that the pagoda used to be a whorehouse back in the day. History is cool.
Reading looks like a cool town but, according to some locals, it used to be the murder capital of the US. Looks can be deceiving.
I don’t have any pics of the hill because I was busy skating most of the day but it was pretty rad. Not the most difficult race course but definitely one of the most fun. Racing got tight towards the end but I managed to get first place in front of Jonas and Niko.
Promptly after finishing the race they started packing up hay bales to get things ready for the slide comp.
BBQ should be a must for every race. Thanks for the brisket sliders. They were delish!
Flavien’s wife was stoked on skeletons so we had to get a photo together. You can’t quite see but her backpack is covered in little skulls. (Good to see you Flavien!)
The slide jam was popping off. It was pretty rad to get to watch some shredding after the race was done.
Push Culture’s very own Travis was getting techy with some smooth blunt slides. Check out their website for event coverage from the event.
Vera got some slides and sunshine.
Jonas was equally stoked on the sunshine.
This guy was crushing it on roller blades (that was the only time you will ever hear me say that). He was full tucking down the hill, doing weird slides, spinning 540’s, and doing crazy wheelies on the front wheel of his skate. Somebody please get that guy a skateboard!
Stephen landed some big tricks off the launch ramp along with some flippy tricks and slidey slides.
The combination of all the things above got him 1st at he slide jam. Congrats Mr. Vaughn!
We packed up stuff at the race course and boogied back to Philly for celebratory drinks and foods.
If you are in the city, hit this place up. Tasty food, good drinks and….
…. BEER TO GO!!!!
I want to give a huge thanks and congratulations to this group of guys for putting on a very successful event and showing us out-of-towners a good time. Definitely will be back next year.
Side note: a novelty size check doesn’t fit in the overhead bin. #firstplaceproblems