oakland scrape

I was supposed to go swimming on Saturday morning, but an hour before leaving I got a hankering to do my first alleycat race instead. It was a messenger-style race called the Oakland Scrape and consisted of racing from one checkpoint to another to do a silly task as fast as possible by whatever route possible. Breakneck and dangerous and fun as all hell.

Oakland Scrape spoke card, Bombers represent and Candy Maldonado for luck.

The Bancroft Bombers warm-up.

Frank was there representing the Vegan Elite.

There were about a hundred-plus folks and two-hundred-plus wheels.

They gave us a manifest with an extensive map of Oakland and Berkeley. As well as some free bike tools. I love free stuff.

The fastest route is as the gull flys. Ready. Set. Go!!!

From Lake Merrit, we had to ride to Indian Rock. It was about seven or eight hard miles. Bob killed it. He’s really fast. From there we rode together to Cordonices.

We had to slide down the slide.

From Cordo we had to go back to downtown Oakland. I was on my road bike because the fixed gear has a wrecked rear hub. But it was to my advantage for this leg. I bombed Euclid, campus and all the way town Telegraph pushing my hardest gear. I was in sixth by the time I got to Mama Buzz Cafe to draw a self-portrait on the sidewalk.

After that, we had to ride up hill to Lake Temescal and roll down a hill, then dizzily ride to a park off San Pablo. Then to Aquatic Park for the final leg. I didn’t take any pictures because I was trying to keep good time. But I did end up climbing two barb-wire fences with the pack of leaders to get into the park. I found Bob who was lost and we rode together to the finish line. I think my front wheel overlapped his rear as we crossed.

Bob is really fast for only riding a mile to work and back everyday. He came in 6th in fixed and 12th overall.

I came in just behind him–7th in road and 13th overall.

Daniel Stewart was just behind us. Despite having knee surgery just a couple of months ago, he got 8th in road and 14th overall. The Bombers pretty much killed it. Pretty good for a bunch of skateboarders.

Had to get my fixed fix on Bob’s whip.

What a badass crew!

This guy raced like a bat out of hell. Actually, he just looked like he did. He was pretty slow.

Here was the winner. I think his name was Jeff.

This was his bike. A damn mountain bike! He was good though.

Lots of nice bikes.

Hans’s bike. He’s got the ill spoke pattern.

Sean O’Laughlin was applying sunscreen. He’s very careful with his skin.

Frank post-race. He was fuming a little, but got over it for the photo.

Miguel reps Mondo Gelato.

We rode slowly back to the skateshop.

Greg was pretty haggard after the race.

Bob needed a good sit.

I have a habit of always saving my favorite photos for the end. Despite chronology.

Oakland Scrape was apparently the Eastbay’s first alleycat race. Super fun. See you next year.

Aaron King is a mover/shaker who likes to have lots of fun. He rented a car so we could get out of the city and “jump off some shit.” A beautiful day, why not? Outfitted with a Dodge Charger, some small swim trunks, and his friend Sara, we coasted over the Golden Gate Bridge in search of adventure.

This right here was our man. Calvin is from Marin and has a good grasp on all things fun in the area. He directed us to the Inkwells in addition to giving us four dozen bagels to go. Thanks, Calv.

The Inkwells is a series of pools on some river and this rad rusty bridge spans over it. Aaron and Sara went the hard way over.

And the easy way down.

Off the top? Why not?


Aaron’s always getting tangled in a web.


Hella steez.

Mandatory BFF jump. Sara ain’t skeered.

After the Inkwells, we decided to check out Kent Lake across the street. There was a barrier that would keep most riff-raff out, but not us. After the proper stretches of course.

Aaron totally ate it. Not really. We’re pros at jumping shit.

Sara got creative with her jeans while crossing the sludge into the spillway.

This thing was steep. We were just waiting for the water to come rushing down.

About half-way.

Utterly despondent, I jumped wishing a wind would take me away.

But then I saw this random shape in the sludge and regained hope.

One of my favorite things to do outdoors is throw rocks as hard as I can left-handed and yell, “I hate you, dummy.” It’s always a laugh.

Bees! Actually, there is no story behind this photo at all.

I caught this buzzard mid-flight.

Waiting for us to die. Too bad we were off to Napa.

As evening approached we made for the sunset up in Napa where Aaron’s sister has a vineyard and got there just in time for the golden hour.

These trees were incredibly smooth.

This was the setting for the final chapter of our day.

Sara got comfy on the Charger’s roof.

We brought a little picnic. The atmosphere here was far better than any restaurant Napa has to offer.

Mmmm. Bagel No. 14.

“Yeah, today was cool. I guess.”

Dandelions, take us home.

I wanted to blow it and make a very important wish. But it was just too beautiful. Sometimes you just have to let things be.

Another week’s random events and occurrences.

No better way to kick off the week than Thai Temple brunch. And sipping spilled Thai Iced Tea from a food container.

There were numerous things going on in SF so Anya and I did our best to hit them up. First we went to Golden Gate Park for Alice’s Summer Thing. Two things were off: 1. Alice Radio is the adult contemporary station. I’m strictly light rock, less talk. 2. It was not summer at all. Note the parkas and sweatshirts.

But Cake played. I liked them a good bit in tenth grade. The singer was really caustic to all the yuppies and upwardly mobile in the audience, saying, “you’ve probably never heard this song because it wasn’t on the radio, but we’re playing it anyway.” He was rad.

Then we went to Haight Street Fair. I felt more comfortable around “my people.”

Working it in the windows.

We came across a drunk Phelpers. For those that don’t skate, he’s Thrasher Magazine’s editor and totally off his rocker.

Ali Baba’s Cave has the best falafel in the Bay.

About time for a new tire. This reminds me of an everlasting gobstopper.

Ty turned 25 on Monday. He bought himself a pack a of cigarettes called Nate Sherwoods or something.

This guy was singing us Bowie’s “Scary Monsters,” then showed us his record cover collection.

Tuesday morning, I got to help Vic as a photo assistant again. I set up a flash in this old doctor’s office.

And Vic shot away. This guy was having his picture made because he’s a doctor that prescribed medical marijuana to a woman who took her case to the Supreme Court.

Cranes are pretty cool.

Wednesday was Hallie’s 21st Birthday. A few of us went out to the Slanted Door, one SF’s top rated restaurants. The food was as good as the view.

We had a big table, family on one side and friends on the other. Can’t let AK’s foul mouth too close to Grandma.

This just kept getting better until it was dark.

A coupla jokers here. As great as the food was, it was hard to keep it from flying out of my nose due to incessant laughter.

After the fifth course, we were sad because there was no more imperial rolls or sauteed eggplant. Sniff sniff.

But then there was dessert. Hip hip hooray!

Happy Birthday, babygirl.

AK got the Wu-Tang coffee with extra C.R.E.A.M.

We closed the place down and went outside to find the lights bleeding.

Note the sauce spill next to Aaron’s lapel. He just looks like a gentleman.

Stretching it out after seven courses and eating so much that my stomach expanded, decreasing my lung capacity and making me short of breath.

AK running off the calories.

Aaron got an old Honda motorcycle with an iron cross for a tail light. A badass portrait was only fitting.

Pish-posh on those motors I say. Galen, Brian Huey and I rode up to Anza and then back into the golden light.

That ride and this view are seventy-five percent of the reason I live in Berkeley right now.

At work, I fulfilled a fantasy from fourth grade and drove a Dodge Viper. I used to have a poster of one hanging in my room.

After work, I stopped by Channel 99 where Brent & Co. were djing. He played Shake that Laffy Taffy followed by Marilyn Manson and closed with a Coldplay Electro Remix.

It was really peculiar.

Brent was wearing lace-up pants that reminded me of Fleetwood Mac for some reason.

This video of Brent cutting his hair and vacuuming it off with a car vac was playing on repeat.

They had ten pounds of cactus to give away. They think it was peyote.

And what better way to decide who gets the cactus than an arm wrestling match. As always, America lost.

Finally, Galen showed up on rollerblades. He left for the Western Sahara today. He will be missed.

I should really post more than once a week, but I’m too busy doing blogworthy things to blog. Whatevs. . . .

Prelude to week 23: Happy 22nd Burrito, Liz.

Sunday of week 23, Vic and Zach Blue had a birthday pic-i-nic in the GGP. Andrea homemade vegan ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Picnickers. All of my favorite people that I looked up to when first moving to California were present.

Althea studied in her portable igloo.

Iha worked on her Cyndi Lauper make-up.

Someone came through with a water balloon launcher.

Sitting ducks.

That chocolate cake with all the raspberries was vegan. Aggghhhh. . . . .

Liz moved to a new spot in SF. We walked from her house to Tank Hill.

Nice view.

Liz says that her new house is right below the left cheek.

About to give up.

Collision. She was going 30mph.

We went to Clarion Alley and played this rad video game. Naked girls on unicorns are way better than Italian plumbers.

Dance with the Devil.

Colorful introspection.

After free Tuesday at the SFMoMA, we ate Vietnamese sandwiches at the Federal Banks.

Brian couldn’t resist some two-wheeled action.

The Herms played a free show. I watched the first three songs until the amp blew out and then caught the bus home. That’s what happens when things are free.

1. Since when do horses eat spaghetti? 2. Something ain’t write with the lower section.

Bop got poison oak on his face and swelled up huge.

Ran into Ben Weiner at three-up three-down. I’m really into portraits lately.

I used to work with Noelle at Oola. We ate burritos at Dolores Park because that’s just what you do.

She takes circus classes and showed me tricks.

Jihaari and Christie came to kick it.

Kari made it out in time for the bubbles.

Tommy and Sheeba.

This is a pretty terrible backlit photo but I felt like I had to post it because during the shooting Kari knocked a whole container of salsa into Jihaari’s bag. Great first impression, girl.

Jihaari on the way to Maggie Mudd’s.

Hallie and Aaron King made a grand entrance to the Born in June Extravaganza.

The line-up.

Danilo and Chad. Did I mention that Danilo is my biggest inspiration right now?

Adrienne made Best Friends cupcakes for the merch counter.

Julian hit those drums so hard and Kyle Lee documented it for Hartkeap. Such a positive support system those kids have.

Beanies, hoodies, jackets at the Born in June party. Summa Free City.

Katherine, Anya, Liz shakeface. It’s my attempt at reaching out to my North Carolina brethren.

Jihaari and Christie shake face.

Jesse takes the open mouth approach and Chloe just looks cute. That night was a turning point she says.

Cameron is completely off the ground here.

Happy Birthday, Brian. Throw those horns.

Chris Chu sang El Scorcho on top of putting together a damn good party/show. I hope they saved him a cupcake.

Kyle Lee showed off his drawings. I gotta get one before he gets too famous/expensive.

Get comfortable.

Yadri gives it up for fitness. End party.

Enter skateboarding. We only film wi
th point and shoots nowadays.

Ben, Jake and I talked about Revenge of the Nerds for a half hour.

See, I still skate.

But I wish I was a baller.

Been hanging out with Cameron a lot. We walked Billy the dog who owns a mansion in the Oakland Hills.

This is Mark Rennecker. I helped my friend Vic shoot portraits of him for the Chronicle’s Sunday magazine. He’s a famous big wave surfer and cancer prevention doctor. Probably one of the most interesting guys I’ve ever met.

He surfed the Potato Patch this year. It’s a huge break in open ocean at the mouth of the Bay.

Jerry found this in the back of Bows & Arrows. Pretty gnarly.

This is Donny and he’s a chef at my work. He grew up in Guatemala and when he was seven his twelve year old brother tattooed his initials in chicken scratch on his upper arm. As he grew the tattoo moved down to the crook of his elbow. Pretty rad.

Ended up at Carnival in the Mission this year. Nothing like Houston’s experience in Brazil but still cool.

Lady in a sniper-safe ball.

These ladies are Supa Sick Wid It.


Death’s burden.

Edgar rules. He’s from Guadalajara but now wreaks havoc in San Francisco.

Joya and Ittopol in SF not Thailand.

On Memorial Day I skated with Cameron and got this Marky Mark spot. He really wanted me to include it into my next post. Your welcome, Cam.

This is my new room and a new photo of Liz with a new flash I found. Off-camera flash and digital point-and-shoots are the ghetto rigs of the future.

Midmorning bike ride with Cairo.

It was Cameron’s birthday June 1st and Brian’s is June 5th. We had a huge BBQ.

They had yellow watermelons.

Bob made out with my friend.

Chloe and Kari wanted to make out with each other.

Fenna orchestrated most of the event and even presented the birthday boy with his exploding pie.

Happy twenty-two, guy. Duece Duece. Second letter of the alphabet: B. 22 = BB. Bancroft Bombers.

Cooling out on the stoop.

Nice seeing you again, Dylan.

I met Hallie’s friend Hannah.

The Cowardly Brian.

Wipe your face, boy.