Looking out the window while flying into San Juan, Puerto Rico, you get a clear view of the beautiful coastline. Rolling waves hitting the sand, palm trees peppering the landscape, and a diverse mix of architecture welcomed the Fox BMX team for their debut trip to the Isle of Enchantment. Scotty Cranmer, Chase Hawk, and Drew Bezanson all flew from different corners of the U.S. mainland for a weekend in the sun hanging out with local riders, signing autographs for excited fans, and of course, riding their bikes at some of the most scenic parks they have ever seen.
On Friday the crew started out with a visit to a charming local surf shop just a few blocks from the ocean. The small, congested parking lot was home to a couple of homemade quarter pipes and transitions that Drew put to good use. While Scotty worked on his bike and everyone waited for Chase to arrive from the airport, Drew dodged and weaved around parked cars to get in a solid warm up session and put on a show for a dozen or so kids that were passing by and decided to stop to see what the commotion was about. The vibe in the parking lot set the tone for the remainder of the trip. No shirt, board shorts, and picturesque tropical weather… Laid back, no stress, and lots of jokes, smiles and laughter.
After Chase showed up it was off to a shopping mall to sign autographs. No matter what foreign land you are in, it never fails that people love free stuff, and the people of Puerto Rico were more than grateful. Posters, stickers, and water bottles were all signed and given out before closing up shop and making our way to a nice dinner for a little relaxing and recharging.
The late night agenda called for a pedaling tour of the city that lasted until the early hours of the morning. With one of the local Fox reps as a guide, the stops and activities included a swim in the ocean, bridge jumping, downhill races and visiting historic sites.
Another mall signing preluded the Saturday afternoon riding session at one of the island's cement skate parks. Throughout the day, and until the sun went down, Drew and Scotty rode the spine mini ramp section, and Chase blasted the hip, all to the tune of cheers and claps from the locals who were awestruck that some of their favorite pros were at their neighborhood spot. Once the park was too dark to ride everyone stopped at a Mexican restaurant to grub down and tell stories before getting out to experience the Caribbean nightlife.
Sunday started with quick stop for coffee before trekking across the north of the island to another skate park. After winding through narrow roads up a small mountain, the riders found themselves in the middle of a residential neighborhood and at the most unsuspecting location for a park. While walking towards the cement bowls, one by one each of the riders' jaws fell wide open in amazement at what they saw. The backdrop of the park was like a spread out of National Geographic Magazine. There were a few tall and proud palm trees at the concrete's edge where only a patch of lush greenery and a few homes separated the hilltop park from the clear, blue water of the Atlantic. Trying to let the surreal experience set in, Chase, Drew and Scotty paced around the park and began to imagine the possibilities they would soon make come to life. Once they grabbed their bikes, Chase flowed the place with his signature effortless style, and blasted classic tricks out of a quarter into a big steep wedge. Scotty sessioned the box jump and a fly out in the lines he found, and Drew took it easy and simply cruised the park with a huge smile on his face. As the day came to a close, the sun set behind the park putting an end to a session that the riders will no doubt remember for the rest of their lives. To cap off the weekend, the crew hit the beach one final time where they watched dusk turn into night and took a quick, refreshing dip in the ocean creating a true storybook ending to a fairy tale weekend of BMX in uncharted territory.
Fox and all the riders on the trip want to give a huge thanks to Manuel and Jose for their dedication to the brand down in Puerto Rico, and for taking care of the family while we were there. And of course, thanks to the kids, locals and riders we met along the way that made the journey that much more memorable. Until next time, keep shredding, PR!
Words and Photos by Fat Tony.