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Triple threat.

BOSTON

WE ARRIVED in Boston on Thursday, the night before the mission was to begin. We thought it would be a luxury to get there a day early; little did we know that the next 24 hours would move like molasses. We were all riddled with anxiety as we tried to imagine what this year's mission would have in store. There's no real way to prepare for the King of the Road, you're either up for it or your not. Although I was only a few months out of knee surgery, I found it impossible to not to be a part of what would be our last year, win or lose. I hoped there would be some way for me to contribute, like maybe they'd have a longest nose manual or something. When we arrived we called Charlie Wilkins, a Boston native that we knew to be a good guy and maybe willing to help. We agreed to meet up with him the next morning to cruise around and look at spots. So that night we went to dinner amongst ourselves and discussed the past years and what we imagined this year would be like. We knew this would be our last sit-down meal without stressing about what we could or should be doing; so needless to say, we all enjoyed it thoroughly.

The next morning we woke up, met Charlie, and checked out some spots. We also shopped for pillows, sleeping bags, and supplies that we'd need for the trip. As the day went on Charlie thought skating Dougie death's ramp would be a good way to pass the time while we waited for 11:59 to roll around. Dougie and his posse were extremely hospitable and we had a blast. Come 11:00pm, we checked the time every 10 minutes or so to see if we were getting any closer. Finally it was 11:55, so we crowded around and waited out the last four minutes. Then we anxiously tore into the packet to see what was in store.

We started on the tranny stuff straight away while some dudes skated flatground in between runs. The race was on and we were hyped. We also opened our Boston challenges, one of which was to hook up with Dougie Death and skate his ramp, so we were doing it, but we also had to buy him a case of Boston Lager. It was too late, so we'd have to wait until the next day. We then found out that one of our other City Challenges was impossible: hippy jump a five-stair rail at Trinity Church in Copley Square. The problem was that the five-stair rail had loads of clown bars, so a board couldn't likely fit through the bars. We decided to wait until the next morning to battle that. We hung out at Dougie's well into the morning, and without warning Tommy was naked on the deck asking if we were ready to film him rip. After painfully watching Tommy's junk bounce around we proceeded to the hotel.

We checked out of the hotel that next morning and headed to Copley to try our best at our specified challenge. We bought a case of Samuel Adams and proceeded to Doug E Death's for our formal City Challenge session. Dougie obliged, and we had another fun session.

Charlie Wilkins gave us some contacts in Albany, NY that knew of a pool, so we said our last goodbyes to Dougie and left in a hurry to try and get to there before sundown. On the way we called the contacts--and it got real weird from there.

We left Albany at about 10:00pm for Philly, making it there around 3:00am. Half the posse stayed with Cole, and everyone else checked into a hotel near his house.

TEAM ZERO BOSTON, MA CHALLENGES

Hippie jump the five-stair rail at Trinity Church at Copley Square

One team member eats nothing but cram chowder the entire time you're in Boston

Buy a case of Boston Lager and session Dougie Death's mini-ramp

PHILADELPHIA

WE ALL MET UP at a manual pad, and after feeling the wrath of one of the most difficult pages in the book, we opted to go to a skatepark for some fun with the fly-outs. Most of the fly-outs were obscure launch ramp tricks from the late '80s and early '90s. We each tried our luck, and then like most of the random tricks in the book, we'd give them 10 or 15 tries; if we didn't come close, we'd ask Cole if he thought he could do it. Depending on his mood and how easy it would be for him, he'd either decide if he wanted to knock it out or he'd say that he'd try it later on in the trip if no one else could do it.

This system isn't really fair for Cole as no one deserves all of the hardest tricks in the KOTR book, but it's not our fault he's as good as he is, so that's the way it goes. After Cole completed most of the fly-out stuff, we went to an 11-stair rail. We'd been there before on a previous trip, so we knew what to expect. Tommy and James skated the rail while the rest of us cheered them on. It's rad to see dudes do what they do best. Tommy ended the session with a nollie noseblunt. While a few tricks remained on the 11-stair rail page, it always feels really good to fill the majority of any page. It's the glimmer of hope that keeps you going.

As the day went on we also managed to accomplish a few random challenges. We found a gravestone with my name on it, we took 'Bama to get a Heart-a-gram tattoo in his armpit, and shortly after he lost his tank top to begin the Swayze Work Week, he scored a make-out with a girl wearing a Slipknot shirt.

We finished our day in Philly at Temple University skating the eight-stair. In the first half hour we were there, Cole landed Primo on a switch crook and bruised the arch of his foot. It felt like we all bruised our arches, but nonetheless Tommy, 'Bama, and Rattray were able to get a good portion of the eight-stair stuff done.

We hit the road at about 9 or 10:00pm for our next destination city, Madison, WI. We drove through most of the night but stopped in Columbus to get some rest at about 5:30am. 'Bama was driving the small van and got a flat tire on the way. After fixing it, he took a wrong freeway and wound up two and a half hours north of Columbus.

The next morning we woke up just before noon and ate at the Waffle House, which I'll have to admit put me in a really good mood. We called 'Bama and organized the freeways we'd take in order to meet up on the way to Madison. On our way there, Jake called us to check in (hassle us). He convinced us that Andrew Reynolds just guaranteed him a victory for Baker. We thought that was a pretty bold statement for only the third day. As no one likes to be told they're going to lose, this got us fired up.

MADISON

WE THOUGHT our Madison Challenges may involve Dave Mayhew, so we looked up his number and called him on the way into town. For those of you that don't know, Dave is infamous for his pro model shoe phenomenon, the D3. He wasn't sure what our challenges would be, but like the good dude that he is, he offered to help however he could. We also called the Four Seasons skatepark in Madison to see if they'd keep it open for us if we arrived after hours. They obliged. We read our challenges and called Mayhew to discuss when would be best to complete them. One challenge involved Tyrone Olson, and since Dave had no idea of how to get ahold of T-Bone, we saved that investigation for the next day. We also agreed to meet up with Dave the next day, and we skated the four seasons park until 4:00am. We got some crap done at the park, so we felt we had earned the right to rest.

The next morning we called Dave to see if he'd found any leads on how to get ahold of T-Bone. He'd tracked down his mom's number, which we called for several hours before getting someone. She eventually told me she hadn't heard from him in awhile, but that I might be able to reach him at his uncle's. I called the number she gave me and got a young girl. I had to shout to be heard over the chaos in the background as I asked for Tyrone--who eventually picked up the phone. I was relieved that our search was over. He was as cool as could be. He told us he was babysitting, so we'd have to come to his house. Our challenge was called T-Bone's Revenge; he had to 360 flip over the youngest member of our team, which was Tommy Sandoval. Tommy knew T-Bone from Chula Vista and Tommy actually rode for T-Bone's company, Germ, for a minute. Needless to say it was a reunion and Tommy was psyched. We showed up and T-Bone came out in a pair of Hawaiian print boardshorts ready to skate. He and Tommy hugged before Tommy lay down on the hot asphalt. T-Bone hucked a couple 360 flips and made one seemingly easy. Tommy and T-Bone smoked a joint together, and then we broke out to meet up with Mayhew on campus. Tommy spotted a 21-stair rail and got himself psyched up. Just as he was ready to try it we got kicked out, so we completed our Madison Challenges and came back an hour later. Tommy wasted very little time and began attempting lipslides. It worked out, and he left with a contender for the biggest rail.

We thanked Mayhew and hit the road for Denver. We decided to drive through the night to give ourselves as much time as possible there.

TEAM ZERO MADISON, WI CHALLENGES

Skate the Slam Walls with Dave Mayhew

T-Bone's Revenge: Have Tyrone Olson do a 360 flip over the youngest member of the team

Get a bratwurst and a beer on the Terrace at University of Wisconsin

BOULDER

NIGHT TURNED INTO DAY as we drove to Denver. Just as we rolled into town we spotted some fullpipes off the side of the freeway. We skated them, and then went and checked into a hotel to get cleaned up. Sometimes when you stay up all night, you might as well stay up well into the next day, 'cause sleeping for a few hours just makes you feel more jacked. Boulder was our next destination city, so we charged on to have a go at our City Challenges.

We opened our City Challenges to discover that one of them was seriously gnarly. We had to caveman boardslide or grind the second half of the infamous S rail. For those of you that haven't seen this thing in real life, it's gnarly. Not to mention it had a million knobs on it, so basically we were screwed again. We decided to improvise by having James jump into my and Cole's arms and then we supported him as he slid over the knobs. Even that was sketchy. Our next challenge was to wrestle the Boulder legend El Vortex. We had a phone number that served us up with 24 hours of voicemail, so we called some other people to track him down. We were told he was out of town and we'd have to wait until the next day. So be it, we had to come back for our last challenge anyway, which was to tube down the Boulder River. We headed back to the hotel to get some much-needed rest.

Early the next day we went to get some breakfast, and while we were eating we got word that Griffin Collins, Toy Machine's team manager, grinded a 13-stair rail naked. Not one to be taken out, Tommy told us to take him to the Stadium 17, because he was going to lipslide it. Before he could change his mind, I put my fork down and asked for the check. As we blazed to the spot, Tommy put on some reggae jams to get hyped up. There was a lock on the gate at the bottom of the rail, so I got out the bolt cutters just as a janitor came out. He told us to come back later and he would open it up for us. We agreed, but after the janitor left, Tommy claimed, "Fuck it, cut the lock. I'm ready now." l didn't argue, and Tommy fired a boardslide down the rail to warm up. He asked us if we were ready and when we gave him the thumbs up, he stripped down and lipslid the rail first-try with his balls dangling in the wind.

At this moment it became blatantly obvious that Tommy Sandoval is the gnarliest person

TEAM ZERO BOULDER, CO CHALLEGES

Caveman boardslide or grind the second half of the S Rail

Shoot the rapids of Boulder Creek in an inner tube at Eben G Fine park

Nominate one team rider to wrestle El Vortex

"EL VORTEX WAS KILLING IT"

AFTER TOMMY'S SECOND naked endeavor, we went back to Boulder to finish our challenges. We bought some ghetto inner tubes that could barely float, and then had a great time scraping our asses on the rocky bottom of the Boulder River while shooting the rapids. As soon as we got ahold of El Vortex, we met up with him and had fun skating his mini-ramp and witnessing his amazing antics. He and Cole played skate trivia and flopped around on the ground as they tried to Indian leg wrestle. They finished up their bout with a game of SKATE on the mini-ramp. El Vortex was killing it, and it was quality entertainment to say the least.

DENVER

FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS we tried our best to get as much done as we could while avoiding the other teams; although, at times it seemed impossible. One night we saw Darkstar and their RV at a spot. We knew they saw us, too, so we appeared to keep going, but actually hid and waited for them to leave. We then followed them all through the city and back to their hotel. We contemplated sabotage, but agreed it wasn't our style and not how we wanted to earn our points. Instead we kept an eye on them the rest of our time spent in Denver, which brings me to the next part of the story. One day it rained and we went to the only indoor park in town, and assuming we'd see some of the other teams there, I posted up in the van to stand guard. I saw the Darkstar RV circling the parking lot like a shark. They eventually settled and looked like they were going to make a pass to try and get in our van. I called and posted up a few lookouts to tell me where they were as I laid low. I got a call saying they were creeping up. It was Chet Thomas and Darkstar's filmer Mark White. Chet detoured and Mark approached the van. He tried to open the doors, and then he tried to get his fingers in the window to pry it open. I started hanging on the glass with a Billy club, which startled him a bit. As he walked away, I jumped out of the van and the alarm went off. "You're not messing with our van, are you?" I yelled. Mark seemed a bit embarrassed, but he handled it well and put his hand out to shake. I shook his, but didn't say much of anything else and got back in the van. After that incident, I slept in the van with one eye open the rest of the time we were in Denver.

ON OUR LAST DAY in Denver we were to pick up our mystery guest, Clyde Singleton, and meet everyone at the Denver skatepark. We'd been at the airport for hours when we finally figured out that Jake gave us the wrong time and flight number. I guess it didn't really matter, though, because Clyde never showed up. We thought he'd be a fun guest, but I guess he wasn't feeling it.

We went to the Denver park and met up with everyone for the Team Challenges, and just before we left, we found out that our replacement mystery guest was Windsor James. With no complaints, we packed up and left for Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE

AFTER DRIVING through the night, we got into Albuquerque at 6:00am. It was too early to call our friend Rocky Norton, so we checked into a hotel and rested until noon. One of our challenges was to ollie a fence out of the Jefferson ditch, so we met Rocky there. Another one of our challenges was to skate the curved rail that Shane Cross grinded last year. This was another one of those City Challenges where we felt someone was out to get us. That thing's pretty hairy, so we tried some stuff, but ended up drop-in grinding it and having fun instead of stressing.

With Rocky's help, we finished our challenges and hit the road for San Diego. On the way we decided to try and hit up a pool in Riverside in hopes of getting over the shallow stairs frontside. We got to the pool at about 4:00am and lit it up. Rattray battled road weariness for a bit and eventually frontside carved the stairs.

After that, we went to skate a pipe yard in Corona on the way home. The pipe yard is one exit from Billy Marks' house so we were certain that he would have known about it. We tried skating as many as we possibly could as the sun came up. We skated over 100 fullpipes and then headed to Pala pool to grind over the death box and to skate the 11 Pala pipes. We left Pala at about 10:00am, and headed home to try and get some rest.

TEAM ZERO ALBUQUERQUE, NM CHALLENGES

Drop in through the tunnel at Rock's ditch horn the Thrasher ditch article, At the bottom, rip your shirt off like Hulk Hogan

Ollie over the fence into the parking Lot at the Jefferson ditch

Skate the curved rail Shane Cross 50-50'd on the 2005 KOTR

SAN DIEGO

BY THE TIME WE ARRIVED in San Diego, we were left with most of the hardest tricks. So for the next two days we gave the last tricks everything we had, while trying our best to get some Highest, Longest, Most contenders. Some of the highlights of the last few days include:

--Bama made out with six more women over 40, bringing his count up to nine. The oldest was 66.

--Tommy backside tailslid a 13-stair rail, ollied a 20, and frontside flipped a 16 in less than an hour's time.

--I skated a BMX track and hucked my barefooted carcass onto the 12-stair rail at San Diego City College.

--Brockman did the awkward frontside crail bluntslide and jacked his foot trying the frontside pop-shove backside 50-50.

--Rattray did his first 540 ever on vert with the help of Jake Brown, Alphonzo Rawls, and Brian Howard.

--Cole did a whole bunch of hard crap that none of us had a chance of doing, including a sketchy fakie 540 down an eight-stair, and a perfect switch noseblunt slide kicldtip out on a ledge.

On our last day we scrambled around trying to scratch anything we could off the list, but by this time, just like years passed, we were out of juice. We left the Zero park at 8:00pm and went back to the Corona pipe yard to skate a batch of pipes that we didn't skate the last time we were there. By the time we left there we had skated 235 different full pipes, and if someone took the time to skate more, then screw it, they deserved the points. We drove straight to Santa Monica and dropped off the footage. It's always tough after you drop off the footage because there's nothing you can to do to change the outcome. All you can do is wait for the results and wonder if you worked harder than anyone else.

The next day we drove up to the Pink I Motel for the party and to hear the results. As soon as Jake said "Darkstar second", everything went quiet. He announced our points and that we were once again the winner of KOTR--and all you could hear was crickets. It was obvious that the last thing anyone wanted was for us to win for a third year in a row.

See Rattray's McTwist and relive the entire 2006 KOTR at thrashermagazine.com
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Title Annotation:KING OF THE ROAD 2006 / TEAM ZERO
Author:Thomas, Jamie
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:3540
Previous Article:Let's start a war: Darkstar: an underdog story.
Next Article:End of the line: Pink Motel pool party.


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