- Dave Vanderspek
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Words and photos by Mark "Lew" Lewman
I shot these in the parking garage underneath The Spot in Redondo Beach, California. It was raining that night, and Dave was in town. He'd brought the Nor Cal weather with him. Dave was primted to ride, but needed to put his bike together, which we did at the Wizard warehouse. He'd just picked up a ride with Nor Cal company Boss (I think they had Vander, and Ronnie Anderson riding for them at the same time. Pretty hot.)
Anyway, I remember Dave noticing the launch ramp in the corner of the warehouse, and he began to do the math--launch ramp + company van + gullible employees...we took the little launch ramp we had in the Wizard warehouse and loaded it up into the astro van. I don't think we were technically supposed to be driving the van unless it was for a photo shoot. We used to bring cameras everywhere for that reason, in case we got busted we could always claim we were just shooting pictures, not out joyriding.
That night me, Spike, Ceppie Maes, Dave, and probably Grasso all climbed in. We drove to the only dry place we could think where we would all be able to session without slamming into each other.
Back in those days, I think bike riders were a lot more conservative than they are now. I remember feeling really sketchy about parking our van and setting up a ramp in the garage. I was paranoid we were going to get busted. I was trying to keep everyone quiet so we could just have fun and not worry about the cops showing up to roust us.
Dave was totally oblivious, riding his usual style - bouncing off everything in site, doing lots of grinding tricks, footplants off car bumpers, and making those incredibly loud chicken "BcGooook!" sounds he would make. It was echoing everywhere around the concrete walls. He was in fine spirits, and definitely in his own world, riding to have fun. If we were going to get busted, I think Vander's grand plan was to worry about that IF and WHEN it happened.
Anyway. We set up the launch ramp and the ceiling was pretty low - too tight to pop airs but it became a challenge to see who could do what on this little wooden wedge. Ceppie had been learning wall rides and Vander gave him the necessary pointers to pull it off. Cep started arcing them pretty high off the launcher than night, airing across the wall and riding out of them. Dave did his share of weird lip tricks, including the bar endo in the photo here. His grip end was hitting the wall on some of these, so he had to adapt them and whip off fast endos lower in the transition. His head was coming close to being conked on the celing. And the ramp would slide all over the place when Dave hit it - that's Ceppie's foot holding the ramp down.