Sin City Deserts

“The snowball effect” would be the best way to describe the huge posse that formed for a seven-day trip to Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas. Ty Evans and I made plans for the trip a couple weeks beforehand; four people who were working on video parts for the next TransWorld video would go on the trip to get some footy, and Muska would be the tour guide of his old stomping grounds in Phoenix and Vegas. We asked Chad, of course. I talked to Willy Santos and he was down. Ty talked Arto Saari and Jason Dill into going, and I was also trying to get Andrew Reynolds to go, but he had to move. Then Ty threw Neal Mims up in the piece and Jon Holland to help film.

As the days grew closer to departure, I got a call from Geoff Rowley. He wanted to know if there was any room; I figured the more, the merrier, so he was in. The day before we left, something came up with Chad; he wouldn’t be able to leave with us, he said he’d drive out later. We figured Chad probably had too much stuff to do, so we didn’t even expect him to show.

After the usual task of taking all day to round everyone up and being the average six hours behind schedule, we left Los Angeles at 9:00 p.m. We drove for about three hours and decided to stop and pay homage to the Nude Bowl in the California desert by lighting it up and skating. Once the bowl was exposed, it gave everyone plenty of time to slash the concrete–MVP went to Neal for throwing a Smith grind revert in the deep end. After everyone left their mark on the bowl, we were back on the road.

At 3:00 a.m. we finally checked into the hotel in Phoenix. The next morning Geoff found out Syd and Nancy were in town, a.k.a. Jim Greco and Ali Boulala. So Ty picked them up while the rest of us got moving. We spent the whole day at a spot called The Wedge, a park with about six different things to skate, and the city was also halfway through building a public skatepark there. Everyone skated their own spot and got footage. With a huge posse it might’ve been hard to get stuff done, but it worked just the opposite. We got so much done in one day, it was a good sign of things to come.

That night after dinner we went back to The Wedge. To our surprise we ran into Chad and his ’99 Cadillac. Chad had come out the night before with Donny Dietrich and the Troy “The Dirty Ozzie,” so now our posse was deep.

We spent the next three days skating anything and everything Chad took us to. The huge posse was a good thing–no matter what the spot, someone could skate it, and at the same time, everyone was psyched on skating with each other. One day we skated from noon until 2:00 a.m. at The Wedge. We hit over a dozen spots and got lots of footage and photos, like Chad grinding a double kink first go, and Neal backside lipsliding a gap to rail after he said he was going to chill for a day.

At that same spot we had the craziest experience with a cop. We were skating the rail with lights and a generator going. It was a full clinic–people and cameras everywhere. A cop drove up, and we told him what we were doing. Of course we thought he was going to kick us out, but instead he told us to wait for the police captain to show up. When the captain came it turned out that he used to skate and was cool with it. He gave the go-ahead and watched us skate. After everyone took care of business, a security guard came up and proceeded to get lippy with us, thinking the cop was on his side–that is until the cop unexpectedly tore him a new asshole about being a dickhead. We left the spot feeling victorious.

We stayed for another day of terrorizing security guards in the Phoenix area. The following evening we left for Vegas. Chad had to get back to L.A. and took Donny and Troy with him, so we lost three of our posse members, but we kept moving with the addition of Ali and Jim. We spent the night driving to Vegas.

We arrived around 1:00 a.m., and in Vegas that’s still early. Ty, Willy, Jim, and I decided to hit the casinos r the night. And to make a long, funny story short, we found ourselves walking back to the hotel at 7:00 a.m. with mixed feelings–some of us winners and some of us losers. The breakdown went like this: Ty’s ATM card was cut off for the next 24 hours, Greco was up one free pack of smokes, Willy up 150 dollars, and I was up 260 dollars.

As we got back to the hotel casino, all we heard was Ty still mumbling, “One-hundred on black.” So out of nowhere, Willy loaned Jim one C-note. Jim said that if he lost, it could take a while to pay Willy back. Jim threw it on black and hid under the table. The ball was spun and seconds later it hit the most beautiful color–black. Jim’s last words for the night were, “Gimme my hundred!”

The next morning everyone woke up late due to the festivities of the night before. We checked out spots and hit UNLV. We ended up running into a little drama because Geoff was thrown in jail. You’ll read all about it after my story.

The next day was filled with hanging out at the bail-bonds place and then the jail for eight hours, which was nothing compared to Geoff’s visit. After we were finally told there was nothing more that we could do for the lad, we headed back west, fleeing Sin City. As quickly as our snowball had gained momentum, it melted. But I can tell you one thing, it was a damn good ride. Breaking The Law by Geoff Rowley

I fought the law and I won. Well, “I Fought The Law, And I Lost” should be the title of my story. It all started with the excitement and invincibility I felt upon reaching Las Vegas–the last stretch on a ruling trip. The promise of some good skateboarding and a night of gambling my life away at the roulette table was enough to get me feeling feisty and land me in a pile of shit.

After an afternoon of eating, skating around, and checking out skate spots we’d planed to hit up after business hours, we came upon the University of Las Vegas–a place I’d skated about two years earlier on another TWS road trip with Koston, Berra, and a few others. Anyway, all the lazy asses I was with this trip decided they couldn’t be bothered to check the place out, so stupid me decided to try to find this one handrail I remembered from the previous trip.

I entered the campus solo style and immediately saw some kids being kicked out by what appeared to be your average security guard on a bike–obviously loving his job. So I skated on by not even taking another glance. I got around the corner, and the security guy came cycling up to me and told me to kindly leave. So I told him I was leaving and walked off, carrying my board. He went about his business, so I figured I’d just walk (what harm was I doing?) and find that rail.

As I was trying to figure out where I was, the kids who were previously given the boot appeared out of god knows where. So I told them what I was looking for, and they knew exactly where to find it. We walked until we hit the straight and narrow leading directly up to the rail. We figured it would be okay to just roll up–but luck was not on my side. As we reached the destination, Robo Cop on a bike came around the corner and was seriously unhappy. Who could blame him? We should’ve left the campus and obeyed his orders. But as every skater knows after being hassled hundreds of times by cops, there’s that one time when you’ve had enough and you try to push it.

Well, this was my time. I didn’t like the way he was speaking to me, and telling me I was going to jail. I tried to explain I wasn’t actually skating, just looking, but this didn’t go down well with him and only made his feelings of power and dominance grow. He didn’t like me and was giving me no breaks. I could see this, but didn’t know of any other way to deal with him. Saying sorry didn’t do anything, and he started in with the “stand there”–meaning do exactly what he said.

I knew I was going to jail, but for what? I wasn’t thinking of that at the time. I was thinking, however, how lame this guy was, and whether or not I should run. Well, I moved like I was going to run and he grabbed me. I thought he was way out of order and I jerked him and ran. I looked back and he was frantically getting on his bike, while radioing for backup, for me, skater guy on the run. As I neared the edge of campus, where I thought my escape would be, another cop came running at me from across the grass shouting, “Hey! Stop!” Just as he said this, he did an Evel Knievel roll and slammed. I had two very mad cops on my tail.

I reached the main road, crossed it, and thought I was home free. But today’s technology came through for the police, and I was face to face with a cop car. At this point, I realized the chase was over and I laid down, so they wouldn’t beat the shit out of me with their sticks. The O.G. cop ate shit and rolled his ankle, which made him as aggressive as could be. He told me he was going to ruin my life and charge me with everything he could think of and pepper- spray me. The rest is history. I was dragged to the security office for his write-up, then to Las Vegas County Jail.

This is a place I don’t recommend going: full of crackheads, junkies, gangsters, and drunks. For the most part, I was in a holding cell with about 60-plus people who were all messed up in some way or another. The room was about 40 feet long and twenty feet wide. The conflict was big. Some guy got his face smashed in for sitting in some other guy’s seat. He got one warning and bam! A safe place? I don’t think so.

My bail was set for 1,400 dollars, and I had real problems contacting anyone. All in all, I was held for about 36 hours with no food (I’m a vegan) or water (the sink had been pissed in). After 24 hours I was given a change of clothes. I had to walk up to the officer completely naked and hand him all my old clothes before I was given new ones. Meanwhile, everyone sat and watched.

My experience with jail has brought about a new light: you can’t mess with the law, but they can mess with you. Don’t be stupid like me, do what they say. Well, most of the time, anyway.

g, however, how lame this guy was, and whether or not I should run. Well, I moved like I was going to run and he grabbed me. I thought he was way out of order and I jerked him and ran. I looked back and he was frantically getting on his bike, while radioing for backup, for me, skater guy on the run. As I neared the edge of campus, where I thought my escape would be, another cop came running at me from across the grass shouting, “Hey! Stop!” Just as he said this, he did an Evel Knievel roll and slammed. I had two very mad cops on my tail.

I reached the main road, crossed it, and thought I was home free. But today’s technology came through for the police, and I was face to face with a cop car. At this point, I realized the chase was over and I laid down, so they wouldn’t beat the shit out of me with their sticks. The O.G. cop ate shit and rolled his ankle, which made him as aggressive as could be. He told me he was going to ruin my life and charge me with everything he could think of and pepper- spray me. The rest is history. I was dragged to the security office for his write-up, then to Las Vegas County Jail.

This is a place I don’t recommend going: full of crackheads, junkies, gangsters, and drunks. For the most part, I was in a holding cell with about 60-plus people who were all messed up in some way or another. The room was about 40 feet long and twenty feet wide. The conflict was big. Some guy got his face smashed in for sitting in some other guy’s seat. He got one warning and bam! A safe place? I don’t think so.

My bail was set for 1,400 dollars, and I had real problems contacting anyone. All in all, I was held for about 36 hours with no food (I’m a vegan) or water (the sink had been pissed in). After 24 hours I was given a change of clothes. I had to walk up to the officer completely naked and hand him all my old clothes before I was given new ones. Meanwhile, everyone sat and watched.

My experience with jail has brought about a new light: you can’t mess with the law, but they can mess with you. Don’t be stupid like me, do what they say. Well, most of the time, anyway.