It’s 1AM and I am wide awake from jet-lag, one of the very few drawbacks from flying halfway across to world for a world cup cable event. So! I am taking this opportune moment to re-cap my trip to Beijing. First off, my apologies for not posting sooner, Facebook is banned in China alongside very slow wifi which makes it a bit challenging to keep everyone updated.!
Alright – so let’s bring it back to the start. Back in April I was invited to attend the Wake Park World Cup , which meant my expenses were covered to not only compete alongside the best riders in the world, but to travel to China to see one of the 7 wonders of the world – The Great Wall. Yes my stoke level was at the ultimate high:)
When I arrived in Beijing on Tuesday I was greeted with the familiar faces of Ange Schriber and Matty Hasler, and soon after the likes of Maxine Sappulette, Cosima, Sam Burmudez, Lior Sofer, Fetzy, Steph Caller, Im Sam, James Boggia and the list goes on and on and on with amazing peeps. Pretty much the best international crew a gal could roll with. We ate Chinese breakfast which more-so resembled lunch, then headed out to the cable to get some practice laps in.
The event was only a few days long so I made the most of the riding time, Ange and I sticking in out for most of the day. It was the first time since Abu Dhabi in Oct that I had been on a full sized cable so I had to shake out a bit of the rust. Needless to say I was hurting the next day.
I wont bore you all too much with the riding details so here is the quick re-cap of the contest: 1 – I qualified 4th out of 8th in my heat, just a few points shy of getting a buy into finals. The best part about the World Cup events is that it doesn’t mean it’s over, it just means you have one shot to throw down your best run in the LCQ. Coming from Canada I am at a slight disadvantage since I don’t have a full size cable to train on, and I don’t have the air tricks a lot of the European girls have. That being said I was stoked that the judges took some of my harder rail and kicker hits into account, as well as overall use of course and variety of tricks (that’s where the background in snowboarding comes in handy!) so I managed to take the top spot in the LCQ and qualify into finals. That was my goal for the event – make it to finals, so I was stoked on my run and my result. I ended up 8th, and was blown away by the level of tricks these gals were throwing down. Backside 3 transfer, 313, front to blind, back mobes…. the list goes on. It was the best finals I’ve ever seen from the girls. Cheya chickas!
Onto the adventures !! We had a few chances to get out and see some of Beijing, however our hotel was about an hour and half away from EVERYTHING, which made it challenging. The second day we were there a group of the gals decided to head out to the downtown Market after an early morning practice. The area we went to was pretty touristy but definitely cool! It was a lotus pond in the center of the city, surrounded by traditional streets lined with vendors, rickshaws, small shops and lots of people. We all bought a few souvenirs, with the exception of Steph Caller who literally bought everything in Beijing. It kept us entertained for a few solid hours!
Sunday night was the party night, which ended up in a familiar state singing epic karaoke songs dubbed in Chinese and a cab ride into the city to witness the local nightlife. It’s always a good time when you have Fetzy and Nick Davies leading the charge. It was also Im Sam’s birthday so the servers at the hotel buffet brought us out a case of beer and very special ‘pie to the face’ birthday present for Sam.
The next day Steph, Lior, Sanne, Richard, Sanne’s parents and I caught an early cab to see the Great Wall. I was completely blown away. We took a sketchy chairlift up to the top that dropped us off at one of the peaks of the wall. We could see it stretch for miles and miles, never ending, with watch towers darted throughout. Steph and I decided to be adventurous and walk a mile down the wall, which was a terrible idea since it was blistering hot and I was feeling a bit slow from the night before…. but when in China you do as the Chinese do.. and heel toe you way across. The way down was a slide ride, which for those of you who know the old Great Canadian Slide Ride at Blue, picture that but even sketchier. We had our own tiny carts and were sent down a track at high speeds. I managed to smash into Sanne in front of me, and her mom flipped the cart halfway down. Good times fo sho!
In the afternoon we made an attempt to see the Forbidden City, but it remained forbidden to us since we arrived just after they shut the doors at 4pm. We did get to see the square and some of downtown Beijing, which by the way is a MASSIVE city, and spent 4 hours in the cab getting home. We summed up the day with an authentic Chinese dinner with the crew. We all ordered a few dishes, communicating in ‘oink oink’ ‘quack quack’ ‘bak bak’ and ‘mooooo’ to our server so we could accommodate the vegetarian and Kosher eating habits of the group. The table had a large traditional chinese lazy susan in the middle which allowed the group to spin the dishes so everyone could share. Pretty smart of the Chinese if you ask me!
The last morning Lior and I spent some time at the local mall which was stalls on stalls on stalls of everything you can imagine. Cheap electronics, toys, clothes, jewelry, food.. the list goes on. He also brought me up to speed with everything that is happening in Israel right now, shed some light on the current affairs and how ill-advised the media is. I never really fully understand what is happening half way across the world and it becomes so real when your friend is sitting right beside you. Stay safe and the wake community is thinking about you!
Overall China was quite the experience! Definitely one of the most challenging countries to navigate as very little people speak English, and everything is written in Mandarin Chinese. The crew behind the Bank of Beijing World Cup was so amazing, as was the crew who came out to shred. Stoked to see all you peeps in a week in Norway!! Peace out friends and stay tuned for Worlds!