Monday, January 10, 2005

Urban Freeflow

I'm sure you all recall an ident segment on BBC(?) with a bloke running around the tops of buildings, jumping across gaps and down stairs. That is parkour or free running. There was a documentary about it on C4 last week but I missed it but there is a repeat and a 'making of' on E4 this week - I'll post details if I see any.

Though the sport started in France there is a UK based parkour website called Urban Freeflow with reviews of good spots to practice some jumping about - including several in Newcastle and Gateshead such as the City Library, Civic Centre and the Baltic Flour Mills Superduper Art Gallery on the Quayside.

After reading the reviews though I can't help thinking to myself we used to do all that (and more) when we were 11 in the Geordie sport of double duffing (daring) in all the listed spots and many more including Byker Metro station when they were building it. It seems we missed the bit where it changed from kids mucking about to be an urban extreme sport.

I'm pleased to announce the formation of the New Links' Synchronised Parkour team. I'll be the one mostly holding the carrier bag with the drinks in. We're off to the Sage.

EDIT: Jump Britain is repeated on E4 at 8pm on Saturday, followed by 'The Making Of' at 9pm.

via Danger! High Postage


bungers said...

do you remember when I said I'd seen those guys on the quayside one morning..? Well, they had this in the programme the other night! It was amazing. Jump London is out on DVD now, so I'm sure the follow up will be too.

Highlights? Jumping the gap in the roof at the Millenium stadium, the bit at the Baltic, and the bit where the french bloke takes on a UK parkour guy in his local estate and out free runs this guy on his own turf. Safe as fsuk. UK guy.. "wow, I didn't think that was possible".

Oh, and the bit where they're trying out new moves in the gym. Somersault to wall grab? I'd like to see you try that down Byker Metro!! :)

mmChronic said...

I'll definitely be watching the repeat - it sounds very good.

As for the somersaults - no never did that but did loads of gap leaping, jumping down stairs, jumping onto edges and pulling up and lots of other stuff. Best stunt I remember regarding Byker Metro was off the concourse roof into a huge pile of sand between the platforms.

Oh and we used to jump between the multi storey car park and Manors railway station to avoid having to pay the 2p rail fare from Heaton station. If we'd fell there we would have definitely died as it was very high. Considering Manors station closed around about 1979 I would have only been 10 or 11 when doing that.

We grew up playing on building sites as most of my childhood the east end of Newcastle was being deslummed. Waiting until the buildings are finished is just gay. ;)