Friday, July 22, 2011

Midschool vs. New school and why Ron Monis is so sexy

Alright, where to begin...First of all these terms are totally meaningless and their meaning changes as time passes. I think I sort of missed the "old school" train of hopping stationary tricks. I started riding as midschool was on the way out. Rolling tricks and the use of all brakes, decades, pinky squeaks etc...While new school I suppose focuses more on pumping and turbining tricks.

What does all this have to do with riding? Nothing really. I haven't had the pleasure of travelling to Europe so I don't really know anything about their scene other than the pros, but in North America, midschool and new school riding are currently going head to head in the #amflat circuit. And midschool is arguably winning.

The top riders in master class being Jon Dowker, Prasheel Gopal, Tyler Gilliard, Todd Gully, Ron Monis, Mark Kuhlmann, Joel Schallhorn and myself (Alex Poirier). The midschool riders obviously being Jon Dowker and Todd Gully while Ron Monis kind of borders between mid and new. Pretty much anytime Jon Dowker is at a contest I rule out first place because his consistency is something I just cannot catch. Todd Gully the past two years has also taken over podium positions consistently and has pretty much a guarunteed top 3 spot in the #amflat circuit. Dowker would also be up there if he had made it to more circuit stops (where you at Jon? Stop letting the new school kids win contests). Ron Monis (fortunately for us) seems to choke on his contest runs but if he was hitting his stuff he would be a top 3 contender for sure.

These three guys are the reason you see guys like Tyler Gilliard, Joel Schallhorn, Prasheel Gopal and myself going for new harder tricks in our runs, because if we don't pull out the stops we cannot catch their consistency mixed with their high level midschool riding. Ron, Todd and Jon are amazing riders and competing with them in the same class is so much fun. This brings me to a point (not that I really have a point).

Vet class. I'll be honest...I hate this class. Tricks are tricks, they all have a level of difficulty regardless of what time period they are from. Jon Dowker and Todd Gully are proof that decades, pinky squeaks, and many more non-new-school tricks can win master class. I don't even like the separation of expert and master class to be honest. I think expert should be divided, the top experts should be in master, the bottom should be in beginner.

Anyways I pretty much made this post because I wanted to highlight how awesome master classes midschool riders are. Riding with them is so much fun (and partying with them is even more fun).

With that said, I cannot wait for Battle at the Border in Bufflao for the last stop of the amflat circuit. Hopefully Tyler Gilliard, Jon Dowker and Koit come to this one as its been forever since we have seen them. Lastly, Steve Lapsley and his family are awesome. The amflat circuit is going in such a good direction and I can't wait to see what riders jump up classes for next year (Jimmy Kibbons, Joe Cicman, Alexis la Grassa, Johnny Tamayo).

I was hoping to solve why Ron Monis is sexy as I wrote this, but I couldnt figure it out...The fact remains though.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Video Retrospective

Everyone else is doing it, so thought we'd jump right in.

Instead of giving you a "best of Pralex edits in 2010", this will be a list of all of our edits in 2010. For one reason or another, Alex and I have been a lot more quiet on the self made video edit scene this past year. Whether that will change in 2011, only time will tell.

Personally, I really liked how 2010 went down for me in terms of my edits. While I only have a tiny handful (two videos), I feel they really represent me and my riding at the times they were produced.

The first edit I dropped was an edit I made entirely from me riding in my old parking lot the last time before I moved. I have gone back and revisited the parking lot once, and I can fully agree with Alex and Bo Wade, that it is in fact, a really really terrible riding spot haha. For years I went there multiple times a day to ride and hang out by myself though, and it truly felt like 'my spot'. To me, this marks an end of an era for me.

Prasheel Gopal: May 28, 2010 from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

About 6 weeks later, Alex finally dropped a short clip, with him almost (lol) landing a line with a new switch he had been working on for a while. It just shows Alex, and his home spot, almost successful on something he worked towards for a while. Fun tune and a shining sun really make me miss summer while watching this too.

Gruesome bike slam to fall. from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

Lastly, about 2 months ago, Pralex officially welcomed Mark Kuhlmann to the team, and to do it right, Beefy and I both collected some footage over later summer and fall, and Alex did up an edit with the two of us. This video reminds me of going out and riding in cool fall nights, knowing that for every day we pass up for riding, we're one day closer to the unrideable season of winter.

Prasheel Gopal & Mark "Beefy" Kuhlmann from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

We hope everyone had a great 2010, and we wish you all the best, on and off the bike, for 2011. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alex's 2011 Who to Watch For List!

Now, before I get ahead of myself here, let me just say that 2010 was like a rebirth for flatland in North America. I think it would have been another lack luster year if it hadn't been for the huge efforts of Steve Lapsley and the North American Am Flat Circuit. This really revived the contest scene amoung the expert and master class. With that said, a huge thanks to all the contest organizers as well. You guys put in a ton of work only to be plagued with complaints after the contest (I know I've been guilty of this myself a couple times even). It's not that your work isn't appreciated, it's just that...I dunno what it is, we all just see a greater potential I suppose, and everyones idea of a contest is different...ANYWAYS, thanks guys.

Alright, now, riders to look out for. First off...I'm calling out Daniel Burnett. Prasheel and I loved that kids riding two years ago at Red Bull's Fight with Flight, and now he's disappeared off the map! We hope he's still riding, someone point him in our direction and let him know we think he killed it in intermediate class.

Next up for beginners we got Fat Tony, he placed well in intermediate class at three of the am circuit stops and if the Am Circuit adds a intermediate class (over if Fat decides to man up and move to expert class) you might just see him make podium!

The expert class is tough, there are a lot of guys in this class with a wide variety of styles, its hard to pick who might stand out next year. Obviously Bryan Huffman killed it in 2010, and hopefully we'll see him in the Master class for 2011 (and even there I'm sure he'll kill it and place very well). After that it's very hard to choose, the class is stacked and the odds are pretty even for almost anyone to take it next year. Alexis La Grass would be an obvious choice, along with Johnny Tamayo, and ride along side them I think we will have Mark Kuhlmann, Omari Cato, Alex Johnson, and Andrew Wickham if they make it to most of the stops. With Bryan hopefully moving up, this really opens the expert class wide open for 2011. I'm really excited to see how it plays out over the next year and to see who really puts in the time, because almost any of the guys that competed last year in expert has a chance at taking first overall at year end.

Master class is a lot less tough, I'm not going to lie. The top two guys destroyed in 2010, and obviously are Tyler Gilliard and Percy Marshall. Hailing from opposite ends of the country, these two without a doubt are guys that will be making the leap up to pro someday (I think everyone else in the master class is hoping sooner rather then later). There were even some complaints about these two competing in Master as guys want them to move up to pro, I personally love competing against these two, they have so much focus in their runs and are a ton of fun to ride with outside of the contest floor as well. It's an honour to get to ride with these two on what feels like a pretty regular basis. Going down the list you have a lot of staple North American competitors...So I'm going to skip down to Koit. Whether or not he rides well in his contest run, this guy is unreal positive. I never really know when he's going to show up to contests, but he always seems to be there, and its always a pleasure to see him ride. His consistency went through the roof in the past year and I can't wait to see what he brings to the contests in 2011. That'll do it for my choices in 2011 to watch out for, it's going to be another amazing year and hopefully we'll see some new faces on the circuit rankings...STOKED ON BEING STOKED!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mark "Beefy" Kuhlmann Bike Check

I like Mark's bike. You probably will too. Parts list below, followed by photos. Enjoy.

Frame: 2010 Sick Child Instrumental 19.25"
Fork: Odyssey Flatware Zero Degrees
Headset: Colony Integrated
Seat: Odyssey 99er
Seat Post: Odyssey Intac
Seat Post Clamp: S&M
Crank: Odyssey 41 Thermal 165mm
Pedals: Macneil Plastic
Sprocket: Tree Splined 18t
Chain: KHE 3/32" Tanga Light
Bars: S&M Intrikat
Stem: Seasons Le Merk (35mm reach)
Grips: ODI Longneck
Lever: Odyssey Monolever
Brakes: Odyssey Evo2
Brake Cable: Odyssey Slic
Bar Ends: Macneil SS
Front Rim: Stolen Revolver
Front Spokes: Odyssey Double Butted
Front Nipples: G-Sport Hex
Front Hub: G-Sport Marmoset
Front Tire: Odyssey Freq. G
Front Pegs: Sequence Pirate Pegs
Rear Rim: Stolen Revolver
Rear Spokes: Odyssey Double Butted
Rear Nipples: G-Sport Hex
Rear Hub: KHE Geisha Lite
Rear Tire: Odyssey Freq. G
Rear Pegs: Sequence Plastic Magic Sticks

About his setup:

I run unmodified bars to keep the max width and height. I run loads of spacers to bring the bars as high as possible.

I learned the half grip tape idea from [Prasheel] for my sequence pegs. It provides the perfect amount of grip on the peg.

Although I ride regular I keep my front brake lever on the right side of the bars. I do a lot of my tricks with the bars the regular way to give me more room during jump switches, so having the brake on the right side is more accessible for me to use during more tricks. It also just feels way more comfortable.

Click photos to enlarge.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stickers are here!

Click photos to enlarge.

Just email me at prasheelg @ with your address, and I'll get some out to you soon.