#70 – Caves, Bollards and Subways.

 

Sark – Precision.

 

We had decided this week while the weather was good to visit the Mansfield Parkour guys again. It was predicted to be rainy most of the week and yet on our chosen day it luckily turned out to be glorious sunshine when we woke up and with that we had decided to make full use of that! Myself and Flip arrived in Mansfield just before one o’clock and met with Sark before we all made our way over to an area called ‘The Caves’ to warm up. It always made me laugh how this area of multiple sized walls which looked like a maze to the outsider was hidden behind the main shops and market of Mansfield and could be accessed by going up a long, dark alleyway of never ending steps. If you wasn’t aware of it leading to a Parkour rich area you would have no idea that it even existed. It offered different challenges in the form of precisions, vaults and catleaps with other such movements opening up once the Parkour scene had evolved in future years. After the last time of being in Mansfield and having our names taken down near the end of the day by a community support officer, I felt paranoid about having that happen again and so my guard was up no matter where we trained.

While jumping around in the Caves area you would get some great comments from the public that used it as a cut through and saw what we were doing as positive, while others would scorn at you as they walked by like we were some kind of yobs up to no good. You really do have to take the positives with the negatives in this game. The scariest move of the day was a downwards precision where you had to clear a middle wall and then land on a much lower wall in front below. It was easier said than done and the difference in height and the drop really did a number with the mental side of our training, it was fine once done but until you commit for the first jump it was a battle of the mind. The other hard part was sticking the movement without having to run along the lower wall with all the forward momentum generated from the jump. When Sark did it, it looked like he was only just making it over the second wall and my photos made it look like his feet were scraping along the wall.

There was a kid who was hovering around the area wearing a red hoodie and jeans, he was watching what we were doing and did a few precision jumps himself before plucking the courage to speak to Sark about training. He mentioned what he had seen on YouTube and recognized some of the videos we had made. He stayed for a while jumping about and then left later on, it was strange to still have people who know what we do or saw you as a sort of idol. I guess in many ways you forget the power of the internet and just how many people see the readily available content. A diving kong from the lower wall up to the higher one was another movement that took up our time and was fun to do, making sure not to slam into the other wall afterwards. We joked about how it would be cool to do it as a diving kong to cat or precision, though non of us could do them as of yet. Even though at the present time it wasn’t achievable for us, maybe Sark, Freemo or Sam will get it soon, seeing as this is his home turf and they has access to it on a daily basis.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

We made our way over to the flats area, not before being moved on by some caretaker guy saying we can’t train there and we need to move and lots of other excuses of why and how it’s bad and why we have to move on. We ended up at the steps just across from the area in the canal area, where Sark suggested doing a catleap to the railing which had a very small ledge under it for the feet to land with just the tiptoes if your trainers weren’t too big. If not then you had to land with the feet sideways like Sark did, to stop from sliding off and falling down below causing you to dead hang. It looked good as a photo and I have no idea why I didn’t get more images of the jump or of the rest of us. Even if the overall gap was small it scared the hell out of me for fear of the drop or slipping on contact with it. The drop only got greater the further along you went which was great for building up your courage. It would be an amazing precision jump back from the green fence to the wall which would have to be done with perfect accuracy otherwise, you’d go plummeting down below from a great height as there was no room for half measures. Freemo was now free and was on his way to join up with us at the next area we arrived at.

We had walked and gone full circle or rather full square of the area and were now at the back of the Subway food store, which offered some interesting bollard precision jumps from a green stairwell. You were able to go up a step each time to make the height and distance increase, which became a small competition between us to to see who could last the longest. We allowed each of us to have three tries to stick each precision if we failed but once all three had been failed you were out of the game. It was fun to do this and while we played such a game it offered some serious repetition training without it feeling mundane or boring. Of course we all know who won this time round, it was Flip with his massive precision jumping skill. There was a small bollard near an orange wall for running catleaps and Flip was busying trying to do it as a crane while I suggested we should try some 360º Catleaps, a fast becoming new movement within the global Parkour Scene. The wall was slippery like wax and some of the air postures we made from trying the 360’s were both of hilarity and worry, still non of us got to land them and would collapse before or into the wall.

We moved back over to the bollard precisions which we were previously doing and decided to look at skipping one of the main bollards out, either from running or standing position. It was within range but also very scary to commit to doing, even if it was on a slight slope which was to our advantage. It however, was not to be. Even with all the preparation, jumping at the side, off the bollard and battling with the mind it wasn’t happening any time soon and we didn’t want to spend all day here, so decided we should move on and sample more of what Mansfield had to offer. We walked, long winding roads and Sark spoke about some nearby schools to train at that he had found although they were quite far away to visit now, we walked past the back of the shopping centre car park and I asked if he had scouted it and what was up there. Sark said there wasn’t much up there at all and it’s a place that all the skaters seem to congregate, though if we wanted to look we could go there, but didn’t and instead did a few rail precisions and then approached a subway with green rails at the Rosemary Centre.

 

Zade (Me) – Catleap.

 

There were some green rails which ended just before you entered the subway and there were each built on a thick ledge so you could jump from rail to rail or one wall to the other and it was of a good distance too. You could also reverse it so it was a running cat, something of which I couldn’t do, or get close to committing. There was something about running cats that made me drag my leg behind me and be unable to run full force at a wall, slowing my momentum each time I took off, backing out of the movement. We practised trying to pop wall climb the wall in the area too and then some passing skaters and kids who watched and asked if we were freerunners. Sark mentioned there was a a same level catleap further down on the subway which him and Sam (Red) had looked at and I’m sure he said they had done it too. Either way Freemo was up for doing it today and while Sark filmed him I got some photos of it, even though the sun was setting and the area was very dark. You can tell how inexperienced I was with my camera and how rubbish it was, as I didn’t know how to raise the ISO never mind increase the quality of the photos. No wonder it captured dull days and night shots so poorly and I didn’t like to take photos in these conditions in two of the shots you can see a passer by walking through the subway but due to the poor quality the camera didn’t quite detect or pick them up and so it looks like I have captured a ghostly figure.

The same level catleap looked scary as hell and I for one wouldn’t like to attempt it due to the sheer height, I bet one day people will be doing 180º catleaps and other crazy feats as the discipline continues to evolves. By far the funniest thing was the same kids who were watching Freemo do the catleap from the rail amazed by what they had witnessed, filming and talking about it as they left, jumping off small walls and saying it’s Parkour as kids do. We moved around the corner to the other subway and did some catleaps from a green rail to the other side of the subway. I would love to know what the people in the cars driving by thought of us lunging towards them as we grabbed the subway railing. The sun was setting and this made for some lovely shots paired with the orange and reds of the sun going down, with that the temperature was also dropping and Sark was feeling the cold and also had a stomach ache too (seen by the portrait I got of him clutching himself) maybe he was just trying to keep warm.

The most annoying thing which happened was my camera had decided to mess up no doubt due to the coldness, or taking photos in direct sunlight. Either way it would not focus on anything and many of my shots unknown to myself at the time were blurred and were not salvageable. The same kid we had encountered earlier in the day had also found us once again and decided to hang around and train with us at the subway. You can see him in the background of the last shot of the day with Freemo doing a precision in the sunset. There was no more taking photos as it was now dark and we had, had a great day of training and with us feeling shattered and now cold myself and Flip decided it was time to head back to the train station and head home. I said to Sark we would be down again soon, although I doubt it if the weather gets any colder this winter and in which case it wouldn’t be until earlier spring we would return. With that aid we would have to see if we had another glorious sunny, warmish winter day again like today. I am growing fonder of Mansfield and coming down each time we find new areas and things to do and it’s always nice to have a change of scenery too.

 

Parkour Hotspot – The Caves.

 

Zade (Me) – Diving Kong.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Sark – Catleap.

 

Sark – Catleap.

 

Parkour Hotspot – The Caves.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Random Parkour Kid.

 

Sark – Catleap.

 

Sark – Precision.

 

Sark – Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Zade (Me) – Precision.

 

Sark – Precision.

 

Sark – Running Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – Running Catleap.

 

Sark 360º Catleap.

 

Flip – 360º Catleap.

 

Flip – 360º Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – 360º Catleap.

 

Zade (Me) – 360º Catleap.

 

Freemo – Catleap.

 

Freemo – Catleap.

 

Freemo – Catleap.

 

Sark – Portrait.

 

Freemo – Precision.

 

1 Response to “#70 – Caves, Bollards and Subways.”



  1. 1 #118 – Mansfield Trip. | Zade's Training Blog. Trackback on June 25, 2015 at 16:10

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