Thursday, October 14, 2010

Updates from Prasheel

Photo by Alexander Pomnikow

Hi all,

So, apparently it has been a little while since the last entry, and as expected, there has been a lot of stuff happening, but little time/motivation to update the blog. Bear with me on this post, as it will probably be a little long, but for those/any of you interested in whats been going on with me the past 9 months, you may continue reading.


So, I guess the biggest news about me, in that it has changed my lifestyle the most drastically, is I have gotten a job and started my career. I started with a small company as a Computer Aided Design (CAD) Draftsperson, on January 18, 2010. On February 17, 2010 (coincidentally, exactly three months after a fortune cookie told me that "good things are in store for you in 3 months"), I was hired by the company directly, and no longer the temp/placement agency that I was brought in with. Nine months working here, and I am still enjoying it and learning new things daily. It is nice to have consistency in my life again, and a "regular" working schedule, Monday to Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm.

While I did enjoy the past few years of my life spent traveling and touring (with the Craz-E Crew stunt team), I grew tired of the sporadic schedule, inconsistency of work, and the general lifestyle that went along with it. I am thankful for being able to be a part of the company when I was on it, and the opportunities I got to travel, but I am extremely glad to have started a new part of my life.


Riding wise, I'm pretty happy with this past year. While I cannot ride as much as I used to (considering a year ago, I was unemployed and riding was my main focus), I still am able to make time for a session or two a night, and try to make better use of the time that I do have. I have been a little bit more quiet with the videos this year, but just felt that I did not learn as much new stuff as I wanted to, but instead have progressed well with my consistency and style/flow of my riding. As much as I wanted to learn a bunch of ideas that I have had in my head for a while, I think I got caught up with practicing for the contest season, for better or worse, which is why I am more consistent with my riding than ever before I think. I did do on edit that I was/am very happy with. Made it right before I moved in June, and the footage is all from a one hour session (minus the last clip), and captures the last session that I had in that parking lot after riding there for several years. (Edit attached to end of this post)


A lot has gone down this past year. I am really glad I was able to make it out to all four stops of the North American Am Flatland Circuit, organized by Steve Lapsley, as well as two other events.

Red Bull's Fight with Flight was in Indianapolis, Indiana, and went down January 30th. I had a lot of fun at this contest, did not make the finals (only top three proceeded), but won some cash from Red Bull. It was good to see so many people make the trip out, despite the cold, wintery conditions outside. Dominik Nekolny hated the cold when he came to the Toronto contest the year before, but it was good to see him come out to Indy, and take home third place.

Next up was the Flatland Unlimited (6?) contest in Toronto, Ontario on March 6th. Being the only Canadian contest on the circuit, as well as Canada's biggest annual contest (which I've been supporting for the past 9 years), it was a really good feeling to see how well it was organized, and the amount of support the event received by the sheer number of riders that came out (largest Toronto contest in years I am pretty sure). I ended up making finals (top 5 proceeded), and taking 5th place, the highest I have ranked at the Toronto contest in all my years attending, so I was quite pleased.

After that, JoMoPro went down in Joplin, Missouri on April 10th. Last year's event was the first one they had included flatland, and they set the bar pretty high. These high expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Despite a very questionable call by the judges in pro flatland finals, the event went off amazingly well. Unfortunately, I placed pretty terribly (12th), and rode even worse than that in my opinion. All in all, I had a great time at the event though, and it was the worth the 23h drive (each way) to spend just two days in Joplin.

The last stop of the circuit was August 21st and 22nd, in Dayton/Springboro, Ohio. What made this trip especially difficult and stressful for me was that I was not able to book off the 20th or 23rd, meaning I had to make it to Dayton (12h from Ottawa) and back between Friday at 4pm and Monday at 7am (with a couple hours of sleep to function). While Alex and I were able to make it down in time for the contest to begin on Saturday morning, the weather was not too kind to us, and we were plagued with rain on and off all day. This kept the start of the event to keep getting pushed back later and later throughout the day, to the point where Masters class was supposed to occur on Sunday, when Alex and I would have had to been on the road. Luckily, Pat and Catfish re-organized the schedule for us, and let the Master class run as soon as it dried up on Saturday evening. Again, rode pretty terrible, and placed (higher than I expected) at 9th.

Somehow, across the whole circuit, I was able to acquire enough points throughout the stops to end up in third place in the Masters class for year-end, which surprised me greatly. Again, a big thank you to Steve Lapsley and all the contest organizers that helped out with the first year of the AM Flatland Circuit, which has already made a huge impact on North American flatland in my opinion.

Along with these four events, I also attended the Zero Degrees +1 contest in Whitby, Ontario on February 6th, along with the Joe Mamma contest on September 11th in Ottawa, Ontario. I was really happy to be involved with the second contest, and thankful to Mark Kuhlman, Chris Mclean, Jean-William Prevost, and Alex Poirier who all came out from Hamilton, Kitchener, Montreal, and Petrolia, to help me put on a great event for Ottawa, as well as try to take home some of the $300 cash prize.

Well, that pretty much sums up a lot of the past year in terms of riding and what I've been up to. Apart from that, I have been staying a bit more low-key recently. Traveling less these days, due to my job, but try to make the most of my trips. Partying less, due to lack of interest, but still enjoy having a few drinks with friends. Riding lots, even bought a single speed (non-fixie) bike in the Spring, riding 30km+ daily usually.

Well, that's basically it. Going to try to update the blog (a lot) more regularly, with related and random stuff. For instance, this weekend, Alex and I are meeting up at an ASC jam in Mississauga, Ontario on Sunday, so possibly some photos with a few words up after that, as well as a team edit dropping next week possibly. Stay tuned!

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

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