In May this year I finally bought a DSLR. When I was asked to cover the Ride to Glory opening night at Terminal 1 skatepark I figured the Gopro wouldn’t quite cut it and it was the excuse I needed to make good use of my tax rebate.

Here’s a look at some key events of 2012.

29 December 2012

2012 Through the Lens

05 May - Ride to Glory opening night at Terminal 1

Kriss Kyle

First proper time out with the 550D, first comp press pass and first time I saw Kriss Kyle in person. Janis Cunculis had a horrific crash which put a downer on the night and changed the focus from ticking off challenges to enjoying a mellow session.

However Kriss Kyle doesn’t do mellow and took on the ten foot air challenge. After hitting the quarter a few times he nailed it, albeit landing a little flat which is easy to do on this ramp.

Unfortunately I hadn’t familiarised myself with the video settings on the camera so the colour in the edit is terrible, but overall it was a good night and a big learning experience.

Write up, photos and video here

11 May - Shooting for Matt Jamieson’s interview

Matt Jamieson

This was the first interview I did proper Albion style and it’s the one I’m most proud of.

While shooting photos on the streets it started to rain so Matt showed me the Ghetto Shed, a ramp set up in a disused building in the centre of Sheffield. We walked past a crack den with wasters off their face then up a tight staircase to get to the ramps, built by Matt and the local street BMX’ers.

Despite the ultra tight set up Matt’s big wheels didn’t cause any bother and he rode it like a boss. Great location to shoot something different.

Read the interview here

04 May - Visit to Smithfield Skate Plaza, build in progress

Milan Olivier-Recknagel

By Steve Bates

The day after my camera arrived I checked out a new indoor skatepark being built in Sheffield, originally named Industry, to write a news piece on the cities first indoor park. When I got there Oggy (now manager of the park) was sessioning the newest addition to the site, a 6 - 7 foot quarter, and I joined in.

This was the first of two indoor skateparks to crop up in Sheffield this year. They are nothing special but make a great addition to the local scene, and good times have been had with friends during the miserable winter nights.

News write up here

Follow up piece here

Onboard skatepark news feature here

16 May - Spring at Monkey Bumps

Tom Blackham

Since I moved to Sheffield the previous Autumn this was my first year riding Monkey Bumps after a winter of spade work. In the beginning of April, while the jumps were still moist, we hosted a jam won by Matlock shredder Tom Blackham.

I’ve since had the pleasure of riding a lot with Tom and the rest of the Matlock and Derby lot, and he always leaves me super impressed. This jump is hardly boost friendly but no-one told Tom that. I snapped a clicked table from this angle but unfortunately the sun is behind the clouds. The lighting brings this shot to life and Tom was nice enough to match his t.shirt to the bluebells.

Monkey Bumps Easter Jam article here

18 May - Bike Rehab Opening

Alex Gunn

Not many people have the balls to pursue their dreams. Alex Gunn however did just that, using his years of bike shop experience and initiative to set up his own service centre smack bang in the centre of Sheffield.

In the week before opening, Alex and friends were mad busy getting the place done up and looking fresh. Since then the business has boomed, unsurprisingly, since Alex knows a thing or two about mechanics and customer service. I’ve had fun working there and editing his Bike Rehab videos.

News story here

Christmas bike build video here

27 May - Black and White, a hometown visit

I use the Canon primarily as a camcorder and second as a camera. My two weeks in Exeter this year are best portrayed in this video which shows most of the action, with the exception of JLC and the skatepark spots sessioned with Rob Newman and Diamondback shredders Jay Cowley and Ollie Palmer.

Despite the second week being one of rain it was a great couple of weeks riding a good variety of trails, downhill and park. I only wish I put my bike down in the skateparks long enough to capture some of the insane moves that were pulled.

Article here

K-Hole trails info here

JLC trails info here

Moos trails info here

16 July - Unhappy Endings, ten days in the Alps

Andy Wardle

Sometimes trips don’t go to plan; this was one of them. The first week was going well, we were pinning the tracks and we got to see some of the Chatel Mountain style contest action.

Not wanting to break the alps tradition of sending something new, I was keen to ride the giant step-down and last jump on the Mountain-style course, and persuaded Andy to join in.

Andy dropped in first and landed smooth on the step down, so when it was my turn I thought it would be cool to step it up and ride both features first go. The step-down, the jump which terrified me, worked out fine and it was the final jump which screwed me over. Ben held the camera in disbelief while I knocked myself out and bent my new Boxxers. This wasn’t to be my final big crash of the holiday either.

Unfortunately there are no photos of those crazy antics, they were caught on video, but I did take a few snaps including this one of Andy dropping in at Les Gets bike park which I was happy with.

Article here

Unhappy Endings Video here

Andy’s bag video here

Summer - Monkey Bumps sessions

Richard Hemingray and Tom Hewins

On nice summer days the local trails become a second home. I could have picked any one of a number of mad shots, but this shows that it’s not all about sending the wildest style.

More shots in the gallery here

So Big video here

Monkey Bumps trails info here

16 August - PH trails

John Conway

Unfortunately it’s rare to find people who dig these days, what with street and park being so popular and accessible. Fortunately there are guys like John, who despite receiving barely any help, go out and dig regardless.

Being in the open, PH trails are the first clay trails to dry out after winter and they are good fun to pull up on.

Here John boosts through the main line with his classic style. You’re going to be treated to some sweet video footage of this spot next year.

More trails snaps here

PH trails info here

09 September - Corby Dirt Wars Round 4

Daryl Brown

It was a difficult year for Dirt Wars organisers Cliff and Rob since several rounds had to be postponed and cancelled due to the horrific summer we had.

Luckily the sun was out in full force for take two of the Corby round, and I was there to document the day.

Event write up, photos and video here

Video - Rich at Dirt Wars here

21 October - Ed’s trails

Milan Olivier-Recknagel by Ed Purshouse

Ed’s trails have a gnarly reputation among Sheffield locals, and for good reason. Another pretty much solo affair here, but Ed’s a true trails boss and takes enjoyment from sculpting mud into bicycle riding bliss.

The first time I visited these trails it rained, but the second time everything was good to go and this quarter was too much fun. First dirt quarter I’ve ridden at the end of a line, snapped beautifully by the man himself.

Video here

02 November - Unit 23

Jesse Jones

Like most park riders I’d wanted to go to Scotland for years because, let’s face it, they have the best skateparks in the UK. The time finally came and a bunch of us from Sheffield and Derby headed up and rode ten hour days at Unit 23 and EK Park.

It was an awesome trip and lots of crazy skatepark and nightclub antics went down. This was one of the few photos I shot on the trip as I mainly filmed.

The good times were re-lived on the premier night of Flow at Onboard skatepark, the first and definitely not the last official getabmx video premier.

Here, Jesse Jones gets rad on Line 13.

Video trailer here

Link to buy Flow DVD here

Roll on 2013!

Photo: Andrew Bilsborrow