Pretty much our entire crew spent the weekend in Williamsburg Virginia, at Busch Gardens. We had a weekends worth of shows down there, but after a brief departure from the high school tour ramp (which we lovingly refer to as the tin can), we were soon back on a plane to New England. Our adventures this week bring us to Providence RI. This is the first time that high school tour has ever been to Rhode Island, so it was definitely new territory for us. The schools this week were North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Hope, West Warwick, and Toll Gate high schools. The riding crew this week again consisted of Jimmy Walker (BMX), Koji Kraft (BMX), Trevor Meyer (flatland), Anthony Furlong (skate), and Eito Yasutoko (inline).
Monday found us just down the road from our hotel, at North Smithfield High. Fortunately for us, it was a later show. Our flight didn't land until almost midnight on Sunday, and after the rental car debacle, and finding our way to the hotel, we didn't get to sleep until almost 2AM. Today's show was one big assembly in the side parking lot. The ramp was actually set up in the middle school parking lot, and they brought the high school students over from their campus to watch the show. We actually closed out the school day for them, and it was quite the show. We even had some local media in attendance.
Tuesday we headed north to the Rhode Island/Massachusetts state line, to Woonsocket High. This was an older school, in a pretty cool neighborhood. We had the ramp set up in a grassy area in the front of the school. Before the students even came out, we had quite the collection of onlookers. People from the neighborhood, who were curious as to what we were doing at the school, and quite a few local riders and skaters. I thought they students at first, but it turns out, they were locals who were out of school, happened to see the ramp, and decided to check it out. Most of them stuck around and actually checked out the show. Koji decided to turn things up a notch today, and started doing flairs. Koji usually doesn't flair this ramp, and he does them backwards. Usually when he does do them, he lands sketchy and goes flying off the side of the ramp. He did a perfect flair, and kept it on the ramp. He actually did two of them, and they were some of the best ones I've ever seen him do. Eito even decided to try a 1080 California Roll.
Wednesday looked like rain was definitely going to knock out the vert show. When we arrived at the Hope High School campus, we were actually shocked to see the vert ramp was set up. It started to sprinkle a little bit, but it cleared up right at show time, and it was on. We did the show in the back practice field, and they brought out the upper classmen. They were treated to a 45 minute show, with some pretty cool doubles runs, and magically, the rain held off for the entire performance.
Thursdays show was at West Warwick High, just south of Providence. I had to head out of town for a funeral, so I missed out on this one, and Chris Hald took over. He is a rider/announcer from NYC, and he hopped on an Amtrak train and made the trip up for the day. Rain was the order of the day on Thursday, so the boys had to take the box jump inside and do a gym show. Koji, Jimmy, and Trevor pulled off a 3 man show, and I was told that Koji was in rare form, firing off big tricks and having a lot of fun during the show. As usual, he ended it with a couple of backflip variations, which always lights up the crowd.
Friday brought us to Toll Gate High School. The weather moved out of the area, and it was a beautiful spring day. We had one assembly show in the front parking lot, and they brought all of the students out. It was a special day for the Marines, because they brought an actual drill sergeant out with the local recruiters. He was running the Marines booth, and motivating students during the pull-up/chin-up challenge. The vert show got a little crazy. Jimmy was putting together some crazy runs. Doing things like flairs, into 540's, into another flair, with a barspin or combo variation out of it. Koji would alternate between some tech lip trick runs, and then start doing his crazy combo tricks. Anthony and Eito had a big doubles run, and of course, Trevor is always amazing to watch, especially on such a small space to ride in. After the show, the students pretty much nailed all the anti-tobacco trivia questions, and we were on our way back to the airport.
It's back to Williamsburg Virginia again, and round 2 of Busch Gardens shows. When we come back to the tin can, it's the final week of the spring tour, in good ole Boston MA. Special thanks to Chris Hald, for coming up to Providence this week on such short notice. I owe you one buddy.