Monday, August 17, 2009

A crappy video I posted for an online contest:

Global flat battle video 2 from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

Prasheel is now in PEI, so watch out for some updates from him along with a video for his online battle as well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Prasheel in Oman: The Home Stretch/Final Chapter

So I finally made it to the 29th and final day of shows. While it has been a long month, it's also passed by rather quickly. Overall, it's been another really interesting experience, but I also could have lived without not being out here for so long. As it would occur with any group of people, some tension has developed between some people. Some of the guys I get along with great, and if I had to, could spend another month with them doing shows, but others, I don't necessarily feel the same about.

The past few days have been a LOT better, as we've been waking up early (well, I've always been getting up around 9am, while others sleep in till 3-4pm), and going sight seeing around noon. A few days ago, we went to Maghsail Rocky Beach, which is a super epic spot, with a huge rock, and lots of blow holes. Yesterday, wasn't as epic, but we went to Ayn Garziz I believe. We wanted to go to a spot with water where fish swim around your ankles, but our driver, Mohammed, took us to the top of a mountain and said the water was a 2h walk down. We also went to another cool spot with caves after that. Today, we went to Kattak, and then Khor Rori. Kattak had some water, and a cave up top, and Khor Rori is the remains of this super old palace from like 6000 years ago.

Now, I will list random facts about Oman and my stay here:

My neighbour has a rooster, so if I'm awake around 4am, its hard for me to sleep.

Neighbour also has goats in his backyard, which like to shit whenever I go out to ride flatland in front of the house, which smells terrible.

We have two bathrooms in our house, but one toilet consists of a hole in the floor and a hose for cleaning up.

Six men living in one house for 30 days results in a messy house.

Omani people are very rude, and aggressive when it comes to wanting to see me ride ramps.

Parents let their children do whatever they want, including allowing them to run up and down ramps and kicking my bike.

When we do shows, we usually have a fenced off area. Here, we have lengths of string around waist height to keep people out of our area. Children and parents alike do not understand the meaning of such, and walk through the area whenever they feel like it, opposed to walking a couple extra feet to go around.

Just like in Canada, I'm apparently a ghost when I'm riding and people try to walk through me.

Men are not allowed to show any public displays of affection to women, including their wife, but it is perfectly normal to kiss another dude as a greeting, or walk around holding his hand, lol.

You can find shawarma making places everywhere, same with people grilling kebabs.

When people are sick, it is common belief that they have a ghost in them.

So, tomorrow, I get to start my journey home. It consists of 1.5h flight to Muscat, a 3h layover, a 1h flight to Abu Dhabi, 1h wait on the plane there, a 6h flight to Amsterdam, a 10.5h layover to explore the city, a 7h flight to Montreal, a 1.5h wait, a 2h busride home to Ottawa, a 10h layover there, then head to Charlottetown, PEI on the east coast via a short layover in Montreal.

Basically, 20h of flights over a 3 day span or something, with a bunch of time zone changes involved as well. I'll be out in PEI for a week though, and start shows the day I arrive (actually miss out on 2 days). Should be a great weekend all over the world, haha.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prasheel in Oman: Great Times!

A while since my last update, and a bit of a change of pace since then. While the regular routine now is pretty much the same as before, I just stopped giving a fuck about everything other than riding. I usually get a couple hours in on the terribly crowned and sloped road outside of my house in the afternoon, and then once arriving at the show site, it is rare for me to stop riding for the couple hours we are there, only really slowing down when the team comes out to warm up 10 minutes before show.

A couple highlights over the past week include the fact that I finally got to go to the Crown Plaza Hotel/Resort. After our 14th day of shows, about the half way point, we headed there one night to celebrate. While drinks aren't cheap there, I didn't mind spending over half of my per diem for the week to get some whiskey in me. We first had a couple drinks in the bar there, while three asian singers, all dressed the same, sang some pop hits including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and various other types of was pretty terrible.

After that, we got some more drinks and headed down to the beach. After taking off my shoes and socks, and emptying my pockets and rolling up my shorts, I ventured in to the Indian Ocean with some rye and coke in hand. Definitely the highlight of the trip so far, as we finally took advantage of where we are in the world and what it has to offer. After that, headed back in to the bar, chatted with some locals, had some more drinks, yay yay yay.

Our sketchy driver Mohammed, six days after we gave him money for some whiskey, and one attempt to give us brandy instead, he finally came through with it. He immediately came inside and started drinking with us, despite the fact that his 'loving' was upset and calling him, lolol.

Uhmmm, we got our weekly allowance for food the other night, 35 rials (which is about $100+ CAN, and can easily feed two people for the week), and I managed to blow through 21 rials of it in one day, hahaha. We went to the mall that day before shows, and the market tent at the fair was open to us that day (its only open to us two days a week...the day before we get our allowance, and the day after), and we got Pizza Hut Delivery which was delicious. Oh yeah, I got some whiskey for myself from Mohammed, as Julien managed to score a hook up for beer through his pseudo Omani girlfriend.

Speaking of girls, the team and I made friends with three interesting sisters that work at a perfume/cologne/incense booth right next to us. Really sweet Muslim girls, they enjoy our shows and stuff, and like to give us good deals and even free gifts. Ben got a flower, Ben, Devin, and Matt got cologne, as a group, we got some incense and charcoals, and I got a flower, some candy, icecream, and a pseudo-awkward waffle date (lolol), all from the middle sister. Their english isn't great, and neither is my arabic, but we usually go over to talk to them once a day just to say hello.

But, for the most part, I just ride my bike. I've adapted quite well to the heat I guess, as I can ride for over an hour now without feeling like I'm going to pass out (compared to the 20 minutes on the first day). I pretty much shaved my head and found that to help a lot too. Ridings lots, but not necessarily too well, but hoping to get some footage before I leave. Possibly look for a collaboration effort between Alex and I as he'll be editing up the riding and random footage from my trip.

Oh yeah, more photos!

Me rockin my new glasses while repping Joe Mamma while enjoying some drinks at the Crown Plaza with the team.

Jumplash to inside steam on our street. Photo by Heinz Kauffman.

Whiplash to halfpacker, next to the dirt lane to our street. Photo by Will Fisher.

Halfpacker flip to inside steam. Photo by Will Fisher.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pralex Goes to Voodoo!

Myself (Alex) and Alexis have left Voodoo, more stoked then ever. Alexis got 4th, and I got 5th! Awesome job by team Pralex! But lets be honest, who wants to hear about the contest? Let's hear about the other adventures!

So its Wednesday night, and I'm packing before I have to leave for work (I work 11pm to 7am). I go to work, move boxes, what have you, then I return home for an hour, get cleaned up, and head out to the airport! Unbelievably tired I drive to the Detroit airport (2 hours from Petrolia). I wait to board my plane, then I fly out to Charlotte, North Carolina. Not knowing much about Charlotte, I was pretty shocked to find out how huge the airport is. I eat some food, and then board my plane to New Orleans.

I arrive and grab a cab to the hotel, texting some riders to find out who is already at the hotel. I get in touch with Tyler Gilliard and his girl, and we start putting our bikes together. I then get a text from Jim McKay (whom I'm supposed to stay with) that they broke down and won't be making it that night. So I have to find a new room to stay in (please god don't make me stay with Tyler and his girl, hahaha), so I get in touch with some of the other Austin, Texas guys, and they have some floor space for me! Sick!

Tyler and I along with several others try to ride, but who cares about bikes, lolol. The next day, I awake and the Austin guys want to go ride already (are you serious?!). I tag along not really wanting to ride at all then it starts pouring rain. We head back to the hotel, and I meet up with Jim and Josh and we go get some delicious Po' boys at a nearby place. We meet up with some more riders then head out to the pre-jam where everyone was killing it.

After the pre-jam we head out to eat on Bourbon St. with Aaron Frost, Matthias, Raph, Viki and some other guys. I ate the spiciest Shrimp Creole I've ever experienced, Aaron and I were both dying from eating it. After we start grabbing some drinks I head back to the hotel with Matthias, Raph and a girly. I go find Alexis and he's in bed (wtf?!?). So I wake his ass up and make him slam some beers with me while we catch up and get stoked on the next day. Finally I decide to go to bed around 2 or 3am or so.

Wake up the next day at 9am to find out I've been placed in the first qualifying group...Ughh...Too early to ride bikes. Oh well, anyways...

In between pro qualifying and finals, Matthias, Raph, girly and I go out shopping at Urban Outfitters and grab some food and beers.

The contest ends, and we immediately go to the bar and Matthias buys us a round of beers. We head back to his room so he can shower, and meet up with Raph, then head out to Bourbon St. This is where things get sketchy...I don't really remember getting to Bourbon Street...I dunno who I was with even, I believe it was japanese guys, french guys, Viki...Maybe some others I'm forgetting. Bourbon Street is insane as always, bead throwing everywhere, some females taking off shirts to get said beads...Silly silly! I end up wandering back to the hotel, by myself I think, then I run into Josh outside the hotel, and both of us are in pretty rough shape, haha, I remember running arouond yelling Jim's name trying to find him, then next thing I remember waking up completely delirious!

Freaked out! I gather my crap and book it to the airport to get back to Ontario! Next year will be even more epic.