Friday, December 19, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 12

Wow its been another week already. Yeah the weeks are coming around quickly and its almost Christmas. It would be nice if Santa brought a nice new Crackpacker out of his bag. Anyhow its week number 12 and the progression is starting to happen again. I learned from last weeks not to lean fwd at all. I have been working hard at not leaning fwd and it has been helping a lot. Yesterday at the O.G. I was able to coast the longest Crackpacker I have ever preformed. I knew right then I was ready to film again.
With the weather being colder and getting darker much faster its been a challenge finding time to go outside and ride. This past week I was able to ride 2 times for about 1 hour each time. I really want to take the time to study my riding in film and see what I am doing right and wrong and make corrections where they are needed. Please feel free to make comments here. One of the reasons I started a blog was so everything during this learning process will be documented in one location. It also gives me the motivation to keep the Blog Updated and keep my progression going. I bet you if I make a new post and had 10 new replies I would try even HARDER next time. I feed off your energy.

Keep on Riding!!!
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back in the Crack Week number 11

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Hey everyone its been awhile since I have been able to make a post. Ever since the Atlanta Jam I have been on the road and not much riding time between all the travels of Jams and premiers. I am trying to get back on track. It seems I am at the same place that I left off with back in the first part of November. My son has noticed that even though I am in the same spot I am riding much smoother than I have in the previous weeks. My new slogan for the next year is in 2009 the Crackpacker will be mine! It was pretty cool at the end of this week when I bailed off the bike my bike was still standing. I also noticed when I fell off that I was leaned far over the bike. The next time I go out I will try my best to stand straight up and use my knees even more so. I really only got back on the bike consistently this week. I am hoping this can be a trend that I can keep going in the up and coming months ahead. Possible for Crackpackers at Voodoo? I will have to go into overdrive to reach that goal but anything is possible. Thanks for keeping up with my journey. Keep on Riding!!

Mark

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 6

Sorry for the long delay. There have been many things happening that has prevent me in making a timely update. Be warned I have been trying to make updates on either Friday or Saturday. But I will be at the ATL Jam this weekend so it will take a bit to get the newest update up. This past week has been filled with many more activities other than riding. It shows in my progression because I am just about the same as I was last week. That is not such a bad thing because it means I am becoming more consistent with my riding and that is always a good thing.

Enjoy!! See yall next week!!


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Friday, October 31, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 5

Last week I told everyone that the next step was to learn how to ride into the Crackpacker and that's exactly what I am doing now. I am learning how to step in from a steamroller. Special thanks to Eric for allowing me to use his video segment that I turned into a How TO. It really helped me out in this learning process. I have been told over and over again its the hardest way to learn how to get into but right now I can't do a Steamboat and I don't have a ride in for the Wheel chair. I started this process on September 30' and here we are on the 31 of October and I have made some progression. Each week I gain more control than the last week and I keep pushing my self harder. When I am stepping from a non rolling steam. That gave me the confidence to try it while rolling. I still don't have great control but I keep working on it. As I get my body in the correct position it gets easier each time. I will start making updated videos on Fridays because of work I have not been home sometimes during the week. This day is pretty much a good day for me. With it getting darker faster it may get much harder So it may be a Saturday day Update! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Next Step learn to ride in from a rolling steamroller.

Keep on Riding!!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Learning the Ride in with Eric

I have started the process of learning how to ride into a Crackpacker I have the rolling part coming along pretty good right now. I had a great opportunity to go hang out with some of the Dallas Crew. Clint Majors funded the entire trip and I was there taking pictures and filming. Today I was composing a video from our trip when I ran across this segment. I thought it was perfect because its how I want to learn my ride in. I took the video apart Ground Rules Style.(Thanks Matt) I have had many tips about doing this trick. I got one last night from Jim McKay about holding the steam closer to your leg. I was able to highlight that part in this video segment. It really doesn't look that hard to do. But I have never gotten even close. Now that I have this video to study and a few more ride in tips I have everything I need to learn this ride in now.

Keep on Riding!! video

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 4

This is week number 4 of my Journey into learning a crackpacker. My Son Caleb has been able to record me each week. I was out of town on Tuesday and that has been when the week has started. Its now Wednesday and a day late. I hope to be back on track next week. As you can see I am finding more control each and every week. Next step is to find a way into this trick. I think I can comfortably coast it for a good distance now that says..YES you can coast this trick. Next step will be the ride in. I think this will be my biggest chanllenge because but I know I can do it. I have gotten this far and I know I can take it all the way. It will be getting dark much faster soon. As you can see last week I was riding in the dark and the rain. I will not let the weather get in the way of my progression. Hopefully in the next 4 weeks I can learn how to ride into the crackpacker. That will be my next line of videos and then the RIDE OUT!! I have always had issues with riding out of tricks. I am going to go all the way with this one. I have made the mental comittment to learning this trick and thats the hardest part of doing something. Thanks for taking the time to keep up with my progression and Keep on the look out for next weeks progression video. Anyone else out there learning it too? Let me know and i will post your video in my blog...
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Keep on Riding!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I got some candy...want some?

Okay you must be wondering why I got some Candy. I found the Sweet SPOT! Today was a classic day for learning a trick. Just when you have just about ready to give up. Your sick and tired of falling and your ready to toss your bike in the the dumpster, it happens. I found the magic sweet spot. Since I was not able to get a picture on Tuesday I got one in today. If you look during week one I was leaned forward and week 2 I started to straighten out and now I am just about there. I am feeling more and more comfortable each day.
For the first time today I fell out of the trick and hit my knee. IT HURT!!! Thank goodness for my knee pads or I may not be able to ride for awhile while it would heal. It hurts still but I will be okay. I rammed my knee into the rear peg. Next week will be a month. I will not be able to post a picture and video on Tuesday but I will latter on in the week. Thanks for taking the journey with me. Please feel free to make comments. I don't know if you were here unless you leave one.

Keep on Riding!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 3

video Week number 3 is here. I am coming up quickly to the first month. I have been making daily progression with many lessons along the way.I have taken what Lee "HUCK" Edwards has told me to do with my hips and started to use them properly. I have also started to try and learn the ride in from Steamroller. I have seen it done many times and it looks very easy but its not a easy maneuver. This week by the time I got home and got ready to ride it was very dark outside and it had rained so the ground was very wet. I kept slipping off the Pegs. If I get the chance I will re shoot this weeks video in the day time. As you can see I made another step in the right direction and I am controlling my crackpacker longer with each session. Its not consistant yet but it will be with enough practice.

Keep on Riding!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crackpacker Explosion



It seems that many more of my friends are learn and working on this trick now. I heard from my friend Jake that Scott Byrd and Chris Armstrong had a new video up on You Tube related to their Crackpacker progression. Its does my heart good to see such fast progression. I am stoked to see this video and wanted to share it with everyone else.
Today was the Pre Jam for the Texas Flatland Round Up 4. I got the opportunity to work with a Crackpacker Master. Lee Huck Edwards. He showed me some things that I could be doing better. I was coasting much further tonight than I ever have. It felt really good and I am looking fwd to doing another progression video shortly. Thanks Lee for the tips. Its really making a difference.

Keep on Riding!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Journey into the Crack Week 2


Today is week number 2 of my Journey into the Crackpacker.
Its truly amazing how much you can push your self when you set a goal and you step into the spotlight. When ever I am working with the crackpacker I keep thinking about everyone that is watching me and it pushes me even harder than if I was doing it alone. I usually spend less time doing tricks that I don't know and doing tricks that I do know how to do. Since I made the commitment to learn this trick I have pushed my self harder and harder each day that I can ride. Before the camera came on I had a couple of really good glides in inside circles. I got 1 full rotation in. It felt good but I was just rolling to slow to keep it up. I don't have the balance or the knowledge to pump as I slow down to gain speed. When I can coast a crackpacker and feel comfortable enough to switch back to a wheelchair I will then start to work on the ride in and ride out. I played around a tiny bit with it today but I really want to learn how to roll in the position first.
Specail thanks to my Family for helping with the photography and the videography. My wife shot the film and my son did the photography. We are truly a flatland family and they both support my efforts to keep push my own progression and keep pushing flatland into higher ground!
I will be attending the ATL Jam in Atlanta,Georgia on November 15, 2008 with several of my friends from the ATX Crew. It would be very cool if I could ride in by that time. Extra cool if I could ride out by that time too. But I am just taking it a day at a time. There are still a couple of days to vote. Please vote in the poll that I have made.

Keep on Riding!!

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Painting a Fence

It was once said by a very wise flatlander that learning a trick is like painting a fence. You start at one end of the fence and make your way to the other side. You paint one plank at a time. You don't do it all in one day either. You want to make sure everything is covered because you don't want to go back and do it again.
I painted another plank today. I struggled with my riding over all but I had some progression. I got comfortable with my roll and was able to almost pump it. I don't pump any trick but I was moving my feet around in such a way that I was feeling the balance point. I was only able to do it once before I needed to move on to another trick. I have complete faith that I will master this trick its just a matter of how long it will take.
I started a Poll to see how long it will take to learn. Lets see if the poll is correct. The only way will find out is if many more people vote. Please take the time to vote if you have not already.

Keep on Riding!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Crackpacker Epidemic

Yes, its becoming a ((((WORLD WIDE)))) epidemic. Since I publicly announced that I was going to learn a crackpacker. I have found many other riders out there that are working on the same trick. Its funny when you think everyone in the world can do something except for you. Then you realize that your not alone. I got a real treat today when riding with Alex at the O.G. He has been working on Crackpackers also. He has this uncanny natural balance. He has made a TON of progression in the months that we have gotten to ride together. Here is Alex and his crackpacker.


Today I had some really good rolls. I was able to get about 15 to 20 feet a couple of times today. I am feeling more comfortable each day. I get tired easy so I go back and forth between the Crackpacker and other tricks.
Even thought I didn't make a new post yesterday I did ride for about 30 minutes. I was surprised that I found the time to ride. I am eager to show a new video of my progression and another picture. I am finding the balance point much faster than I was on the 30th of September. I am coasting much further now than I was in the first video as well. I will need to switch gears and start working on the ride in as well as a ride out too.

Keep on Riding!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008 Progression Report

Okay this is day number 3 and I am feeling the pressure to make this trick happen. I am still working on learning how to roll it. I got a very cool unexpected phone call from Alan Young and we talked about some more tips. I took the tips that he gave me along with great tips from from Global Flat.

This group of tips from ondo stood out in my head when riding today.

http://www.global-flat.com/smf/index.php?topic=18418.0

Some advices:
If you are entering them from stems-
O You have to keep the tire almost straight, don't lean it down a lot.
O Get over bars quickly, as it is hard to balance in that point between stems and cracks.
O When you are pulling the first leg(which is one the peg), take the hand of the bars.
O The motion is like when you lean the tire little bit on the circle inside, so you can easily put the leg over(and with put I mean, that you just SWING the bars behind your leg, when you have the leg forward.)
O That is the hardest to balance in this point. Hold the seat straight, because if the frame isn't standing straight, it will be hard for the balance.
O First leg will be easy to get over bars, the second is harder. Experiment, what is the smoothest and the fastest way to get it over the bars.
O Always bend in your knees a bit.
O It is also easier to go in large circles.
O When you just got into the crackpacker, take seat closer to you, so you aren't touching the bars with your butt.
O Remember that you are holding balance with the seat.

I had 2 decent rolls that I was very happy with. One was about 10 feet and the other was very close to 20 feet. I wanted to get to good length rolls today. I also noticed if I am pulling up on the seat while I am scuffing in the wheel chair that I have more control faster in the crackpacker. It still tires me out quickly but I am getting used to the muscles that I have to use.
On a slightly different note. Some one was asking me who took the pictures and video of me. That credit goes to my son, Caleb. He is very good with the Camera and has a natural eye when it comes to photography and video.
I will most likely not have time to ride tomorrow so I plan on updating the Blog on Saturday after our O.G. Saturday Session.

Keep on Riding!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Insperations

In my very first post yesterday I mention two riders as being part of my inspiration for wanting to learn this trick. This is one of the riders, Alan Young. This photo was taken during the Straight Out of Indy Jam hosted by Mid-West Flatland. I was invited by Jake Jackson of Indy to attend. I have known Alan for about 2 years now and his progression has been most impressive. To my surprise he was gliding this crackpacker with a lot of control. I had a idea that he was working on it but I had no idea how smooth it was and under control. It was very cool to see such fast progression from him in just a short amount of time.
The other rider I mention is Cristiana Miller. I had the pleasure of riding with her and the Texas Flatland Roundup 2. I recently saw a picture of her doing a Crackpacker, Photo by Fat Tony! I was so impressed and I was already thinking about working on that trick next, that sealed the deal for me. I was more than ready to take on this trick and ready to share with the rest of the world my journey crackpackerackpacker.

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Today during my session I worked on gliding this portion of the trick. I pushed off in a wheel chair and stepped down into the gliding position. It felt more natural today than it ever has. I also learned that if I bend my knees a little bit more I have even more control over my glide. I keep thinking its a double footed steam on the other side of the bike. I coasted about 15 feet today. It felt good go that far. Much further than I did in my first video. I know that my second video has to be much further and glide. I got much needed advice Crackpackers today on Global Flat and some words of encouragement from many other places. I know that it will take a lot of work but I am ready to put in the effort. I will do my best to make updates regularly and make things interesting and educational. Thanks to taking the time to visit.

Keep on Riding!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today is September 30, 2008 and this is my Journey into the Crackpacker. I have been inspired by many riders such as Alan Young and Cristiana Miller to learn this trick. I wanted to keep track of my progression and be able to share it with anyone that wants to take this ride with me. It may take very many months before I can learn how to do this trick every time. It will be a lot of fun as I take this ride. It will also help someone out there that thinks you can just jump on and learn a trick that it does take some time to learn some of these tricks. Some riders may learn faster than others but the whole point is if you dedicate your self to something it can be accomplished. This is my first entery to this blog I hope that you enjoy the Journey into the Crack!



Journey into the Crack September 30,2008 from BMX Freestyler on Vimeo.