Delta City Open | Thru the eyes of Taylor Ritchie

It was bugging the shit out of me. Here it is. The final copy. I promise. Haha.
"Shit. I forgot my passport."

It was three in the afternoon as I hurried out of my office in Toronto. I had to make a quick stop at home before heading to meet up with my good pal, Sushi. We were hitting the road early this weekend, but instead of racing against every other Torontonian heading north to cottage country, we were on our way south to Detroit for a rollerblading competition.

When I arrived at Sushi's, he had just finished up his days work. We quickly packed his dirty brown Chevy Caprice with our gear and made our way through the city streets and onto the highway.

After a few hours of chatting about being overworked, skating, and our girlfriends, we realized we were heading to Buffalo. Ugh. Sushi cued up Bonavista Social Club on the car stereo, pulled a U-turn, and we got back on course. From here on out it was a straight shot to Detroit and we were both happily soaking up the calm, relaxing feeling that comes from cruising the open road.

We pulled over for gas just outside of Detroit. The gas station attendant warned us that we needed to be, "…very, very careful if (we were) heading downtown."

When we arrived in the Motor City it was late at night. We turned off the highway early and were enjoying the city's luxurious 8-lane roads, perfect for Sushi's boat of a vehicle. We rolled our windows down, cranked the radio, carefully avoided eye-contact with any other driver and took in the local scenery before arriving at Charlie's loft.

When I think of Charlie's loft, I imagine something out of a movie: like the Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meets the Lost Boys. Anybody is welcome, almost anything is allowed, and they have their own indoor skatepark setup. It's an urban camping adventure, but if you don't pack properly and there aren't any couches available, you’ll be shit out of luck. Fortunately, I had packed my inflatable camping mat and sleeping bag. Sushi found himself an unclaimed air mattress and, after setting up ‘camp’ and talking for a bit with our fellow bladers, we hit the sheets.

I woke up early the next morning, shoulders sore from sleeping all night on my side, but excited for the day ahead. More and more bladers started piling into the loft as discussions sprang up about recent edits, obstacles built for the day, and predictions of the outcome of the upcoming competition.

We all descended the five floors of the graffiti covered stairwell of Charlie's building and walked out into the hot summer streets of Detroit. The weather was perfect. We climbed into our respective vehicles and headed out.

This is my cell phone photo journal of the Delta City Open III.

Geoff Acers Tuesday, June 11, 2013