Cobblestones and BMX don’t really mix well – in fact, it straight-up sucks. The combination of a rigid frame and small wheels means your wrists really know about it after a long day riding around a city.
Italy is famous for its cobblestones and ancient buildings, so you’d be excused when wondering why the hell we went to Milan for the latest Three Day Metro Pass trip!
The crew for this trip was a belter and was an easy choice to make, consisting of none other than Kriss Kyle, hard-way master Jordan Godwin, and German tech teen Felix Prangenberg. It doesn’t really matter where you go when you’ve got a group of riders with such a variety of styles.
Nowadays, with the ability to immediately share information with the whole world, it’s easy to become complacent and slip into a mindset of “no one has said it’s any good, so I won’t bother”. Despite previous conversations with people saying they didn’t find many spots, we decided to give it a go.
Compared to many other Italian cities, Milan has wide, straight streets which are easy to navigate but those cobblestones, they’re everywhere you look. Originally, Milan was similar to Venice with waterways connecting many parts of the city, however a lot of these have now been covered over.
Milan is quite flat. Though we didn't quite realise how flat it actually was until we got there. This is usually not a great attribute when trying to locate the finer street cuts. No hills means no rails! Worringly on the way to our apartment not a rideable spot was seen, not even a jib.There had to be something to ride, somewhere… maybe.
We managed to link up with some local knowledge, and were soon on our way to the first spot on our tour guide’s route – a super-fun angled grate running along a wide sidewalk. Needless to say, all the guys got down and bagged a clip each. Always a motivating start.
From there the day just got better and better and we even lined up a few places to go back to the next day. Come the end of day two and we had ridden some really interesting spots, but we noticed that when we asked the locals about more areas to ride some of the faces came back pretty blank. Had we just hit all the spots in the whole of the city in two days?!
We still had one area we hadn’t been to and we knew there was at least one thing we liked the look of there – in fact it was probably the first place we'd heard about, but we hadn’t realised quite how good it was.
After a 30-minute metro ride and some refreshment, we got to the spot – a small, flat-topped bank that slowly got bigger as it ran downhill into what can only be described as a giant kicker ramp over a set of stairs, and into another bank, which then led on to two big rails.
Empty, no security and super-chilled. Kriss casually jumped the kicker despite it being so steep it looked like a solid wall on run up. Half an hour later and a turndown had been clicked, Felix had filmed a line in and out of the bank set-up. Jordan managed to have an altercation with an up rail – luckily he came out on top, with the rail looking a lot worse for wear.
Despite the shabby welding on the previous rail, Jordan turned his attention to the downrail a few metres away and banged out a hellishly quick pegs hard 180 before the sun finally turned in for the night.
After recovering from a serious carbohydrate hangover, the next morning we set out on a more local route, snagging a few last bits and bobs that we’d eyed up previously, but hadn’t been able to ride for various reasons
One of these was a giant pegs to hard 360 gap just down the street from our apartment – called out by the specialist, Jordan. A kid watching across the street with his parents came over to check the photo and with a huge grin he walked off with what must have been an instant desire to try some tricks on his bike next time. Just one of those moments that gets you pumped for the next generation.
Despite the immediate lack of rideable architecture in Milan, with the help of many metro rides out of the city centre and some local knowledge we managed to get the best from those streets, even the cobbled ones! I never want to see another pizza again though.