Words By: Ben Heidrich Photos By: Defy Focus Photography
Transmoto’s weekly web-exclusive column, the FMX Insider, penned by Ben Heidrich.
It’s been a super busy few months for Jackson Strong and myself, spending nearly every day planning and shooting scenes for the next Headstrong film, while Jacko has also been working on a new world-first trick to try at the AUS-X Open later this month. Amongst all that action, our friend Richard Wilson from Metal Mulisha managed to pull us away from NSW for a couple of weeks to be part of the Metal Mulisha Ocotillo Wells Halloween Jam. As we wrapped up the last day of chopper shooting for HS2, we jumped straight on a plane to California.
Jet-lagged but keen to ride, we spent the first couple of days getting clips at the Metal Mulisha General, Brian Deegan’s house. Brian and Jackson would ride the freestyle set-up until sun-down while young Hayden ‘Danger Boy’ Deegan ripped up the motocross track. It’s really cool to see Brian giving Hayden tips while they ride together – there’s always a good family vibe about the place.
After a few days in Temecula, CA, we shot out to Ocotillo Wells to catch up with the crew and ride in the desert. Metal Mulisha brought the goods, setting us all up in camper vans with plenty of cold beer. They also organised a massive blow-up screen to premiere Jacksons first film, Headstrong, in America. On Saturday, we set off in the Metal Mulisha van along the sandy whoop tracks to the riding spots. The convoy of riders included Jackson Strong, Larry Linkogle, Cal Vallone, Kenny Bell, Vickie Golden, Derek Garland, Jimmy Fitzpatrick and Nick Allen. Rich Wilson and Nick Evenou from Metal Mulisha also brought their bikes out for a rip.
People came from all over to watch the Mulisha guys throwing down at the local Ocotillo riding spots. The desert was littered with dirt bikes and side-by-side razor buggies. Fitzpatrick and the rest of the FMX boys jumped some pretty cool step-up-to-step-down hits while Evennou and Golden showed off some race steeze over the hip jumps.
After a decent day in the dirt, the crew shot off down the long whooped tracks back towards camp. The riders got around for a signing and there was merch giveaways at the Mulisha stall. Just on sun-down everyone from the park gathered around to check out the Headstrong premiere on the big screen. The rest of the night was filled with razor convoys through the desert and beers around the camp fire; I won’t go into details because I can’t remember a whole lot after this point to be honest…
It’s so good seeing brands like Metal Mulisha putting on these get-together events. It gives back to the riders and keeps the scene healthy!