Usually, the kind of question you ask will co-determine (or co-create) the kind of answer that you’re likely to get as a response. When the question is “Will you marry me?”, the answer is likely to take a certain form. When the question is “Will you write something up about a blading event?” what’s co-created is a kind of adherence to another (but certain) form. In this case, that form is a standard event write-up like we’ve all read (or seen) just shy of a zillion times.
Words: Frank Stoner
Photos: Cletus Kuhn, Josh Hayes, Michael Braud, Luke Bender
They go like this: “Holy shit this event a week ago was fucking dope. All the dudes were there, and they were fucking dope. I got to see hella people that I only see once a year or less and so that was dope. The skating that went down was fucking dope. All the ramps were dope, and the guys who put the event together were fucking dope. People smoked tons of dope, which was dope, and lots of people took lots of drugs, which was also dope. You’ve really gotta come out next year because the whole thing is gonna be twice as dope.”
Apologies to many a weary blader who’s both read and/or written that kind of tripe. The problem isn’t with the answer—the problem is, in fact, the question. The question essentially requires a regurgitation of facts and, usually, some sort of narration (first we did this, then we did that, and on the third day, blah blah blah).
Unless something unique, novel, or really interesting happened, there probably just isn’t a lot to report—or to have insight about.
In general, photographs tell the story better than words do. We should give credit to our rollerblader-photographers who make many and interesting rhetorical choices to frame events, tell stories, and capture the many moments that make these sorts of blading events so fun to participate in.
So with that, I’m going to let the photographic work of Josh Hayes, Luke Bender, and Cletus Kuhn tell the story.
And in the meantime, I’m just going to give you some thoughts and facts—first about the Colorado Road Trip, then when I’ve told you everything I care to about the CORT, I’m just going to give you a bunch of random thoughts and facts that you may find interesting.
The CORT may well be the longest, continuously running blade-event in the world. Having run uninterrupted since 1998, I am unaware an event that’s endured longer. I’d be curious to hear whether anyone knows of an event that is still running that has had more than 17 annual iterations.
Luke Bender is the man in charge, but the masterminds behind the initial idea were Sayer Danforth and Tyler Higgins.
Recently, the CORT averages about 100 people per year. Though—since the widespread adoption of smart phones, cameras now outnumber people, while pairs of skates probably outnumber neither cameras nor people on the trip.
Typically about a dozen blader-dogs are in attendance as well. Incidentally, rollerbladers with rockered set-ups were outnumbered by dogs. Dogs probably outnumber showers too, if you don’t count swimming as a bath because none of us are 8 years old.
Average driving distance on the CORT is about 600 miles in about four or five days.
Total elevation gain during the trip averages about 7,000 feet, or a little over 2 kilometers—depending on whether you go extra places on your own.
About ten percent of CORT attendees are women.
In a typical year, the CORT attends between 10-12 skateparks in Western Colorado during its five-day span.
This year, Luke organized a ten-foot projection TV equipped with a Nintendo 64 to run on a generator so that head-to-head Mario Kart races could be held for the first time ever in Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest. There aren’t any pictures of that here, but it was dope. Remember, it’s going to be twice as dope next year.
Attendees from Texas were outnumbered only by attendees from Colorado. Let that sink in for a second. Like three dozen of those assholes show up every year. ☺
Ten states and 3 countries were represented this year.
In the original Super Mario Bros. for NES, the bushes on the ground are just green-colored clouds.
Polyurethane, like that found in rollerblade wheels, was invented in 1937 by Otto Bayer at the Nazi industrial conglomeration IG Farben. The material was originally intended for use as soles on Nazi boots for the war effort.
A single rollerblade wheel (if thrown away in the correct landfill) will take about 400 years to completely biodegrade.
Urethane can be the sole food source for a fungus called pestalotiopsis microspora—which may, in the future, see widespread introduction to landfills to help break down urethane-based plastics.
Fourteen percent of Americans believe in Big Foot.
All human language is metonymic. More about this some other time.
About 1 in 38 Americans live in New York City.
The first internet web-cam watched a coffee pot at Cambridge University in England so that researchers could monitor the coffee situation down in the break room.
Believing that aliens built the Egyptian pyramids because Africans (you know, humans from Egypt) couldn’t do it on their own is racist. I don’t see two ways about that one.
Annually, every place on the earth gets the same amount of sunlight as every other place.
A hundred years ago, beer was a normal beverage to have with breakfast. Coffee became a popular alternative in the United States when first-wave feminists introduced coffee shops (borrowed from continental European culture) to help lower rates of spousal abuse.
The name “Jessica” was invented by William Shakespeare.
As of 2012, there are 3 times more pot dispensaries in Denver, Colorado than there are McDonald’s and Starbuck’s locations combined.
A hundred years ago, tug-of-war was an Olympic sport.
The modern necktie was invented in Croatia. They became popular in Europe after Parisians saw Croats wearing them and nicked the idea because the Parisians thought the Croats looked sharp.
That’ll probably do it for now. I hope you enjoyed the photographs graciously provided to us by Misters Hayes, Bender, and Kuhn. If someone has a better idea for how to do an event write up than what’s previously been generated by rollerblading media, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email or a FB message about it sometime.
As always, thanks for your consideration.
Post Script: Many and special thanks to everybody who helped organize the 2016 CORT—Especially Luke and Nolan and Jarrod and Kevin—and to all the people who helped haul trash out of the forest, and to those who helped out a rollerblader or two along the way, and to those who showed up and skated and partied and pooped in the woods. Cheers, y’all.