In about a month my good friend Rhianon will be coming through Vancouver for a visit. There are a few reasons why I am really excited about this. First off, she’s the kind of friend that no matter the length of time apart we just slip into comfortable conversation and I feel like she gets me, and if she doesn’t totally get me, she still accepts me. We also have shared lots of highs and lows, having lived across the hall from each other, learned to ride motorbikes together, and travelled here and there and everywhere. Rhianon helped edit my eBook, The History of Women in Skateboarding as she was a long-time copy editor of Color magazine, not to forget all her work creating the book for Skateistan. The eBook is actually a minor fundraiser for Skateistan, and all the awesome work they do for children!
It was in 2009 that both Rhianon and Erika left Vancouver to pursue their travel dreams, and volunteer with Skateistan. Rhianon got work with the non-profit and stayed on in Kabul, while Erika headed to Berlin to work on her Masters degree. I was naturally super supportive of them both, although it was a challenging year having my two best friends leave, since I was mid-way through my Masters in Library Science to be a librarian. One cool thing that kept us together was our zine called Idlewood.
In the first edition of Idlewood (2008) there’s a story of how Erika and Rhianon rode their motorbikes down the west coast to come and cheer me on at the San Francisco marathon. I had wanted to join them in the ride, but I also knew I needed to preserve my energy for the race and that I was staying on for a month to do an internship at the S.F. Public Library. I was so grateful when they miraculously showed up during my race around the 30km mark on their skateboards, in a desolate industrial area where there were no spectators. It must have seemed pretty odd to the random runners around me to be suddenly cheered on by two awesome lady skaters. They then blasted onwards to the finish line and cheered me through to a 5th place finish! It was really great to see visuals of their trip in the zine afterwards, with highlights including Yosemite National Park and staying with Max Schaaf of the infamous blog, 4Q.
Idlewood was instigated by Michelle Pezel over at Antisocial Skateshop for ladies who skateboard and ride motorcycles, and has been (and continues to be!) a great outlet for all of us. Rhianon and Erika have contributed stories of their overseas adventures such as skating in Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan and Italy, and I’ve made a few random offerings. My main motivation with the zine was to highlight the research I was accumulating about the history of women in skateboarding, but I also like how it is a time capsule for stories about roadtrips and adventures. Zines combine photos, drawings, anecdotes, stories and a certain energy that more polished books cannot project.
In that first issue, we shared a story about our motorcycle roadtrip to Montana and Glacier National Park that included Erika, Rhianon, Emily and I. And, there’s a little photo montage of the Majestic Unicorn Motorcycle Club, among other features. In round two, I continued on with the ladies skate history and included photos of a fun roll with Emily when we ripped around Olympic National Park, hitting up a lovely natural hotspring by the Elwah River and taking our motorbikes along the “beach highway” near Ocean Shores.
By the third issue, we’re getting pretty packed for content! I took up a few pages describing my annual roadtrip to Shuswap Lake where my brother has a cabin. The three times I rode my motorcycle there I took a different route each time – the old highway #1, the Coquihalla highway, and the #97 through Summerland and Peachland. I also wrote about “the good old days” back in 1997, when a bunch of us skater girls got together at the Confederation Skatepark in Burnaby, and made some lifetime friendships.
So, that third issue was for 2011 and the issues for Idlewood in 2012 – 2014 are all done but they are literally just sitting at Antisocial (or maybe in Michelle’s living room?) waiting to be compiled! I’m hoping that with Rhianon’s arrival we’ll get that kick-in-the-butt we need to go to the printer and pull them off. Michelle says we’ll create a special three-pack, and give them away as memorabilia. To be honest, I have to wrack my brain for what I have in there… I think there’s a story about the Dirtymoto garage, the High Noon at the Dunes event, and a feature interview on Emily. I’m kind of excited to see what’s waiting inside them.