When you think of motocross you usually think about guys racing and maneuvering dirt bikes through various different obstacles as fast as they can. The first time we met Laura and watched her ride it was very impressive. The 250cc dirt bike she rides is just as big as the boys and she definitely knows how to ride and maneuver it. She had recently moved to California from France and communicating was sometimes difficult but we managed to get an interview with her and her english is really good actually. She has many sponsors that help her out and is a big part of the French motocross scene.
Laura Bruneau (LB) – Bonjour!
Adrenaline Fueled (AF) – So you just moved to Riverside, California from France. What made you decide on Riverside? LB – California is so far the best place to ride motocross, and Riverside is perfect because all tracks are like 30 min from my house.
AF – What is your favorite track to go riding at?
LB – I like Cahuilla Creek
AF – Is there anything you miss about France?
LB – I miss the food so bad! And my family for sure!
AF – How did you get involved in riding and racing motocross? How long have you been riding?
LB – My brother was an ex professional rider. I still wanted to do the same thing, but i was competing seriously in jumping with my horses, and my dad was scared to buy me a bike, but at 17 he told me. Ok, lets buy a bike, and it really started!
AF – What kind of bike was your first one? What are you riding now?
LB – My first one was my scooter at 14 years old. (laughs) I did jumps with it! I actually ride a 250 Kawasaki now.
AF – What is it like to be a female in the motocross world?
LB – I have two brothers, and I had grown up in motocross tracks, so I’m more comfortable in a guys world, they are more funny than girls. (laughs)
AF – What is your favorite thing about riding your motocross bike?
LB – I think it’s the same with every sport. You feel bad when you stop. Its like a drug.
AF – Have you ever had a bad crash?
LB – I already had 9 fractures, so yes I can say I had bad ones. The worst was when I broke my hip, collarbone and my hand in the same time. I had to spend one month in an hospital bed.
AF – Is there anyone that you look up to? Who’s your favorite rider?
LB – I’m not really a fan, but Travis Pastrana is the coolest dude I think!
AF – I understand Motocross is not the only sport you enjoy. What other sports do you participate in? Do you compete in anything else?
LB – I ride in Snowscoot. I did my first competitions last year, and it’s a lot of fun! I also like Mountain bike, wake boarding and I still like horse riding.
AF – Are there other sports you’d like to try?
LB – I would like to ride in downhill mountain biking, but it’s as expensive as motocross, and it’s impossible to do everything.
AF – Cheese rolling is very popular in France. Have you ever participated in a cheese rolling event? LB – (laughing) It’s a legend, I’ve never heard about this before.
AF – How is the food in America compared to France? How do you like Americans eating habits?
LB – In America there is a big problem with the products, it’s too fake, apples looks like plastic, milk have no taste, in France we eat a lot Organic food, and cook. Fast foods are really occasionally for us!
AF – Who do you ride for? Would you like to give any shout outs to friends?
If you have ever tried to ride a fixed gear bike then chances are you know how tough it is. I have never seen anyone ride a fixed gear bike the way our homie Jonathan Ball rides his. I don’t even know how half the stuff in this video is possible. Burly crashes, stairsets, gaps all while pedaling the whole time.
Look out for Jonathan Ball to innovate the sport of fixed gear biking as his list of tricks grows and grows.
Make sure to go check out his blog called Suck My Cog for more action. – Lee
Bonelli is always a fun time but as far as all the racers are concerned it’s a super lame race…..yet they still come.
The course used to be a straight line until quite a few years back now they added the right hand turn into it.
The turn is kind of technical though. It is pretty flat after the turn so riders must hold their speed as much as possible through the turn to win it.
This causes many crashes since everyone is trying to take the line as fast as they can but not so fast that they slide or crash into the hay bails.
The hay bails lining the turn are the best 3rd basemen in skateboarding. I call it crash corner due to the large amount of crashes.
This actually makes for a very entertaining event for the spectators also.
There seemed to be a lot less crashes this year compared to the 2010 or 2011 races we attended. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of crashes, but there weren’t as many.
For those who don’t already know Bonelli is a sanctioned IGSA race. It is actually the U.S. Nationals. The race is not just downhill skateboarding but also includes street luge, classic street luge and inline rollerblading.
The big story of the day is 18 year old Daniel Luna taking 1st place in the open division. Great job Daniel!
A while back we met this guy named Frank Maney. He thought we were some of those street luge guys but we were doing some stand up skateboarding. We told him to follow us as we bombed a hill.
He followed us and it stoked him out a lot and he told us of a dream he has had for the last 30 years to go street luging. Anyways I was able to help him out and make that dream a reality for him at our last race. This is one of the runs we took with him. Enjoy. – Leecifer
Sitting on his board feet first, long grey mustache trailing him in the wind, Jesse Swalley came flying past everyone at around 40 mph. But this isn’t always how he skated, “I skated up until the day I got my injury. I even had my skateboard with me the day I got stabbed,” said Swalley.
Swalley was born in 1962 and skated throughout the 70′s. “The first time I skated I was 7 years old,” said Swalley. “I think my first skateboard was made by the Red Wagon Company. It was one of those wooden ones with the metal wheels on it.”
It was around 1973-74 when Swalley really started getting into skateboarding.
It was 1980 when Swalley joined the Navy and set off to sea. Swalley worked the flight deck of an aircraft carrier moving airplanes around for a majority of the 2 1/2 years he was on the carrier. He also did some firefighting for around 6 to 9 months.
Swalley brought his skateboard onto the aircraft carrier with him while he was out to sea.”I would skate on the carrier and they used to laugh,” said Swalley. “Everyone from back east used to trip out because they were like, you’re like the typical California stereotype. You got the skateboard and your always talking about going to the beach.”
Being born and raised in California that’s all Swalley knew. That’s just what he grew up doing. “I was the only one on my boat as far as I knew that had a skateboard,” said Swalley. “It was cool. It was in experience. I got to go to some cool places. Skated in Australia, the Phillipines, Hawaii, San Diego. A lot of San Diego skating.”
Swalley’s life was changed on June 26, 1991. “I got stabbed because two guys were trying to jump on one of my friends coming out of a bar because they had some sort of dispute and I jumped in to help and the guy grabbed me, had some sorta knife and stabbed me and that was it,” said Swalley. “I actually didn’t even realize I got stabbed at first. I just thought that guy had one really hard punch that took me out.”
The stabbing cut Swalley’s spinal cord in half at the t-12 level. “I got stabbed in the back and then they got me 4 times under here (motions to around just under the armpit area) and they said I was gonna lose use of both legs and this arm, and I was in a wheelchair for awhile,” said Swalley. “I was told the day after I got stabbed, after the surgery, they said I’d never walk again. The first thing I said is if I cant walk how can I skate?”
With a strong determination to walk again Swalley went through several different braces to get to the one he wears today. “There’s no muscle control in my leg so my bones are just resting on each other, so the brace helps me from crushing my bones. My legs slowly degenerating and the doctor says that one day it will fold backwards. I don’t know when that will be but until then and even after then if there’s still a way to skate I’m gonna do it.” Swalley said.
Swalley was 28 when he got stabbed. June 26, 1991 was his last day on a skateboard for 20 years. “I never lost the inspiration to skate, I just finally realized that there was still a way for me to skate,” said Swalley.
Swalley had entered the 2011 Venice world record skateboarding parade, before he even realized he could still skate. The 2011 Venice world record skateboarding parade actually fell on June, 26, 2011. The 21st anniversary of the actual day that Swalley was stabbed, but in order to be in the parade you had to be able to skate in it.
“I was messing around in my house and I sat on my board in the position I ride in, I pushed myself around and figured I could do it so I gave it a shot and did it. Ever since then I’ve been skating,” said Swalley.
Sitting on his board on his knees pushing himself and stopping himself with his hands, Swalley realized he would need something for his hands. “I was practicing riding with gloves and they kept falling off,” said Swalley.
He then invented a new type of glove for himself that he calls the Shoves. The Shoves are basically cut up, modified shoes with both of the ends cut off. Swalley basically modifies shoes to become shoes for your hand. Swalley uses his shoves to push himself and as brakes to stop himself.
“The person with the biggest smile on their faces is the winner,” David “Slash” Hackett told Swalley. You see Swalley on a skateboard with a big smile doesn’t go away. “That’s what inspires me most is that I’m able to do it now, whether I’m doing 2 mph or 20 mph. I love it it’s that cool feeling. It’s moving fast,” said Swalley.
Skateboarding is not only fun for Swalley but a great means of transportation. Without a skateboard Swalley would need a fast electric wheelchair to get places. Walking is very slow for him. “It kinda feels like I’m walking on stilts,” said Swalley.
“I mean sometimes I’ll ride the buses, and if I had to get a bus from right here, I mean I’d have to go down there to catch it. (Motions towards the bus stop about 2 blocks down the street) I’d take about a good half hour to walk that far probably, maybe 20 minutes. I don’t know, I walk slow but on a board I’ll be there in like 3 minutes and I’ll avoid having to ride a bus from here to there. It’s so cool. I love it. I mean I get around,” said Swalley.
Getting a bike was something that Swalley thought about, but even on a bike he could only do so much pedaling with one leg. “I can’t go up hills because of this leg wont pedal,” said Swalley.
Obviously sitting on your knees on your skateboard can be hard on the knees. “The hardest part is just the cramping on my leg.” said Swalley. “All my weight is on my one leg so it’s a lot of work on my good leg.”
Swalley does all sorts of skating. He started getting back into it just by pushing around town but after meeting up with local skaters like Jesse Murillo and Chritopher Angeles and they started getting him into the skateparks. Swalley learned how to 50-50 grind again, learned to ride transition, and even learned how to do various tricks in the park.
Lately Swalley has been getting into downhill skating and has been loving it. There is even a video of him laying down face first going around 35-40 mph on a skateboard. “I wish you guys could see it if my leg was good. you would see how much into it. I would be doing pools, downhill all that shit,” said Swalley. “Dude, I did 19 miles the other day. That’s cool, none of my friends skate 19 miles just for fun. Most people are like; your crazy dude. But It’s something to do and it’s fun. I don’t lose interest.”
“Marc Juvenile, he skates across the country and stuff, because it’s a cool feeling and it’s a lot of work but it’s fun. It’s fun to be able to say I did that,” said Swalley. “It’s just something I won’t stop doing. You know skate until I die. I really like that saying. It’s really a true saying.” – Leecifer
So, we were out bombing hills and a car full of people saw us and stopped us. They seemed really excited on what we were doing. “Are you guys doing that land luge thing” said Frank Maney of VMX Life. We told him to follow us if they wanted to see something cool. They video taped us bombing the hills and were sooo stoked they edited a video. I want to get into their world of vintage motocross racing and they want to get into the street luge world.
Anyways I was really, really stoked to see this video. Thanks sooooo much Frank Maney and everyone else in your car. Go check out www.vmxlife.com if you want to see something cool!
This is a rad little video of Adam Smith shredding around on a cool looking longboard doing some stair drops and a few other rad variations. Looks like fun Adam! Thanks for sending this in guys. Find them on youtube at PushitProductions. – Leecifer
We were at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Ca and we found this lady on the pier with a skateboarding parakeet. The Parakeet’s name was scooter. Not only does he ride skateboards but you can also see him pretending to be a cowboy as well as a few other stunts that he has up his wing. – Leecifer
Starring: Brandon Johnson, Sean Brinegar and kid in the blue helmet (send us your name and we’ll add it.)
A rad little shredder I have seen grow a lot as a skater sent us this video to add to the site. His name is Brandon Johnson and this video is super rad. The video is a four minute raw video of a really really rad run in an undisclosed location.
This is a 50+ mph run and it is obvious that these guys are quite confident in their abilities at those speeds. Breaking the speed limit is such a rad thing….when your on your skateboard! I don’t know about anyone else but breaking the speed limit on your skateboard is super duper bad ass! It’s an adrenaline rush, you can feel the wind, hear the wind and that’s how you know your going fast. That’s a good feeling, that is something a very small percentage of people that ride skateboards can say they do.
“Going fast is fun but scary because you can see all the objects moving behind you through your peripheral vision.” – Brandon Johnson