Action Sports Tour

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16 Aug

Salisbury & Portsmouth 2011

Posted by: 16/08/2011 20:34 GMT

With the success of Falmouth Week still fresh in our minds, we awoke on our day off to the traditional sound of an English summer morning – luckily we’d already made plans to get tubular, and with surfing being an activity in which you inherently get wet, the rain did little to dampen the team’s spirits.

We drove Northwest to Perranporth where we met up with an old friend of the MC’s who showed us where the swell was best and the waves un crowded. This was the first time since Boardmasters last year that the team had a chance to surf together, and it was a great opportunity to test out the riders waterproof Kodak Playsport video cameras – check the video to see just how much better they performed than the boards!!

Two and a half hours later, almost entirely spent barrelled according to Blake, we were back on the road exhausted but satisfied, heading in the direction of Salisbury.

Salisbury, or Searesbyrig as it was named by the Saxons, it is a beautiful Cathedral City in Wiltshire, and with an Animal shop close by, the Market Square is a regular fixture to the Animal Bike Tour’s calendar.

Following a sunrise interview on a local radio station the rig was set up in record time, and with music and expectation building, the square began filling up for the first show and kept swelling till pack down. A new skatepark in the area has created a breed of excitable local bike enthusiasts. All seemed to leave with a fresh passion after watching, what even for top riders, is an inspiring show that Martyn, Blake and James craft.

Photography: Robin Kitchin

There were a lot of people that had seen the show in its previous forms, and after hearing the show was back in town, had come back for their yearly injection of Rad! Martyn’s seemed to be a familiar face, but Blake’s was a relatively new addition to Salisbury. Keen to prove himself as the ABT’s No.1 he mixed things up with some new tricks unseen thus far on the tour in 2011; one-handed-superman, double-can-pendulum and 360-tuck-no-hander!!!

It was only fitting that after such energetic shows that there was a calling for store signings, so the boys were whisked away to the Animal store where those who had narrowly avoided having their minds blown could meet the stars and get their limited edition ABT posters. The smiling faces of those who got to walk away with a signed memento of having seen the show, and having met the riders, makes the tour even more worthwhile!

And just as fast as they appeared, they were gone and back on the road, this time on the short journey south to Portsmouth.

Gunwharf Quays is a busy and vibrant shopping centre by day, and a lively nightspot for locals with clubs and restaurants surrounding the area. It’s not uncommon to see shows on display at the Quays, but even on what we believed to be the ABTs 6th visit, it feels better than ever with a constant buzz of excitement in the air for the full 48hrs.

Gunwharf always make an effort when we come to town, and this visit was no different. Street Force DC Dancing Crew had been asked along for the weekend to perform along side, so together we made for a really entertaining weekend. Especially with Blake busting out the no-hand-flip for only the second time on the Tour!

The weather was definitely on our side, the only rain we’d seen over this time on the road was during our day off, and for the most part of the weekend we were joined by good old Mr Sun. One of the brilliant things about the Gunwharf location are the balconies that surround the square in which we perform the shows, it’s amazing to see people lining the show on two levels. Robin the Tour manager/ photographer/ cinematographer/ DJ/ driver/ handyman/ psychiatrist even popped up during a show to get a couple of quick shots from above.

The Animal store just around the corner was looking fantastic with the new season apparel lining the rails and shelves and window displays, and once again the guys took the opportunity to have a signing session in the busy store, to the joy of the enthusiastic locals.

“5 days, 17 shows, 5 store signings, 4 new tricks, 18 dance routines, 1 red arrow display and 1 dinner/striptease – another successful leg of the bike tour!”
Blake Samson

“It was great to hear from spectators that they had come along especially to see the show – we always get such a good welcome here. It was also cool to see the Animal store looking so good, the new season clothing looks amazing. Apparently the T-shirt I was wearing at a recent show became a top seller – if it looks good on me then imagine how good it would look on a handsome man?!?!”
Martyn Ashton