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December 19, 2017

Erwan Perelman, CanetteLife, and 11,000 miles in the US.

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It has been three years that we have been doing roadtrips with Canettelife. After exploring France and a bit of Europe, I have decided to bring canettelife all over America for a proper road trip.

But it not worth it to go to usa for just a few weeks. So, three months was what we decided. There was six of us, we landed in Miami september the 5th and we to head back to France, November 28th. So we had got three months to reach California and be in Miami for the flight back.

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We have just landed at the same time as hurricane « Irma ». That first step was pretty tough because we had to run from a big monster arriving three days after us. So we had just enough time to find a van on craigslist.

Then, we took to the road, going up the country to Greenville, NC to ride one of the most know indoor private skatepark « The Unit ». Thanks to Mike Mancuso and Ryan Nyquist for that. It has been a dream for me to ride this place since I’ve began riding BMX. Because the rain came over with the hurricane, we stopped at DDASC to ride at a dry place for a few days. After the sun came back, we hit some concrete spots, like marsh creek: this bowl is really nice. The crew appreciated it as this was the first concrete spot we did on the first ten days of the trip.

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Asheville was the next step of our journey. This town is different and that is not that bad for some tourists like us. We enjoyed all the spots there: DIY is definitely good, the skatepark in downtown is quite interesting as you get three levels of terrain. This place is between the mountains, so plenty of relaxing time in mother nature. Took to the road again after sleeping at Cherokee, that spot is good too, we had the chance to visit an old Native reserve. That is a part of American history that is really quite different from Europe.

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The road in the mountains was really beautiful, but sometimes we took the road during night because, coast to coast is a long way, but we were afraid about getting short in time. Knoxville was the next step: very good bowl and a good scene around a cool set of trails. And good people: we felt at home there after a few beers.

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Nashville, we rode the concrete skatepark there and stopped for a swim at Priest Lake. Then had a few drinks downtown. But time to drive again, we had to pick Cedric (the photographer) up on September 19th. He was supposed to stay 10 days with us until Austin, TX. Memphis, TN, was the next stop, curious city with many sketchy areas… Their DIY is in one of these areas, but the DIY was so good with so many possibilities !!!

Jackson, MI was a good spot thanks to the locals and another DIY. Good spirit, even if we were surrounded by skaters.

Hammond, LA. has a good bowl, not BMX friendly, but we rode it until the heat was too much to endure. After that, we went to NOLA ( New Orleans ) and rode Parasite: between a DIY and a skatepark.

Downtown was an awesome place to see, you won’t see anything like New Orleans. We took the road at Night to go to Baton Rouge. Good spot, good locals, and perfect street spots, but the weather is really hard to deal with for us Frenchies…

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Next State, Texas!!! Houston has too many good skateparks but they’re skate only, and that sucks a lot. So we did Woodlands, and that was a perfect one for bmx. Great transitions ! Got kicked out by the cops because we took a shower at the parking lot completely naked… Roadtrip obligation !

On the road again for Austin, TX. We stayed there a couple days while doing everything around. The new setup of the old T1 ramp, house park, and all the spots around 1 hour driving distance. The weather was not that good, a lot of rain so we took the road after letting Cedric at the airport for his flight to China for the UCI and FISE competition.

Dallas is such a big city… You can spend your life stuck in the traffic jam, and every spots are far away from each other.

Oklahoma city has a rad bowl, better than the city for sure. But due to the rain we took the road again to Amarillo. Nothing good to do there, the bowl was full of glasses, and trash. But we had to fix the van, its began to get sketchy around this time.

After that, Albuquerque, NM was good even if it is hard to breath. We had the chance to stay with locals. Good spots, good locals and the beginning of the wild west that we were looking for.

The road to Colorado was more than beautiful, we made a few stops in Santa Fe, Taos, and the Red River. We did the road through the mountains and we liked it. First real stop for the great sand dunes. Beautiful place.

Colorado Springs is definitely such a badass city ! The skatepark is really big, as big as the mountains are. Good locals too !

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Next stop Denver, CO. One of the best stops we ever made. We stayed for a week at Andrew’s House. It was the « holidays » of the trip. Shower, Bed, Oven, Fridge, all the comfort you miss when there are six of you (and sometimes seven), traveling 24/7 all around a country. Plus, Denver has more perfect skateparks than the whole country of France. A simple thing is that you put any of the Denver skateparks in France and it would be one of the best riding countries on all of Europe. We had the chance to go to the trails there. Perfect scene and definitely good peoples, it was my favorite place of all the trip.

Time to take the road and visit the rest of the big west. The road through the mountains was perfect once again. Good spots in a lot of different small cities. Even with the snow on the mountains we were lucky enough to ride all the spots. Frisco, Edwards, Carbondale, Snowmass, Aspen, and Rifle are the names of each city we went through with some perfect spots and nature all around. Relaxing time!

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Grand Junction was the next stop, we didn’t stop that long. We planned a full week of visiting Canyons throughout the road to the west coast. Colorado National Monument, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Glen, Zion and Grand Canyon. Those parks are some of the best on Earth.

Las Vegas! The city that never sleeps! One of the biggest skateparks in all of the trip. Different spirits, a lot of lights, too much money after the wild life… We took the road to Lake Havasu City, good skatepark and good place to chill.

Los Angeles is like Dallas, too much people, too much things to do but we joined two other french there, and we stay a few days, we rode trails, met cool peoples, and had a good vibes with the ocean.

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San Diego was cool too, different with the mountains next the Ocean! Good spots, good vibes! And our friend Cedric joined us again after China, so it was awesome to take him onboard again…  Then we split up with part of the crew. Two of us decided to go to Mexico with the other two frenchies. Then we took the road to hit some empty pools. It was one of my main goals during the end of the trip. So we made a few famous ones (nude bowl, lost bowl, slab city) and then we continued the road to Phenix, AZ. There we did some good secret pools thanks to the locals. We stayed with them for a couple days before taking the plane back to Florida. Definitely a good place, even if it is dry.

Orlando was the next step, we stayed there for a few days. Pretty sad. Then we took the direction to Tampa. We had the last swim of our journey in Clearwater. And the last session at SPoT with Matt Coplon at the end, took the road during the night, slept in a parking lot, gave the rental car back, registered all the luggages and took the flight back home.

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What could I say on this trip ?

It was fun! Good and bad moments of course, three months is long with six people when you live every moments of your life with them.

I was pretty happy to discover some spots of the USA. I could not thank enough all the locals we met. I am very glad that we made it coast to coast with no damages. Sometimes it was scary with the van and the 11,000 miles we did.

Thank you all who met and helped us, thanks to the ones who will read this. And thanks a lot to Profile Racing for the support!

-Erwan Perelman

All Photos by Cedric Derodot

December 19, 2017