Gallery: Spring 2016

David Flores. Alley-oop unity. Des Moines. Photo: Bales.
David Flores. Alley-oop unity. Des Moines. Photo: Bales. (Click to enlarge)

Words by Bruce J. Bales

The photographs you are about to see are representative of the sessions we’ve had during our short and unpredictable spring. From Des Moines to Davenport, our wheels touched the pavement with more frequency in May and June. There is a strong resurgence present as we head into the bulk of summer.
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Gallery: Film travels 12

AJ Keane. Alley-oop fishbrain. Ottumwa. Fuji 800.
AJ Keane. Alley-oop fishbrain. Ottumwa. Fuji 800. (Click to enlarge)

Words and photographs by Bruce J. Bales

There are a few places in Iowa I am still anxious to explore. Ottumwa was one of them. For whatever reason Ottumwa has blessed us not only with an above average skatepark, but also a group of unique, challenging spots. During our half day visit, we saw more spots than we skated, so we are not finished in Ottumwa. What you’ll see it just a snapshot of what is possible there.
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Spencer Smith. Iowa City.
Spencer Smith. Iowa City. (Click to enlarge)

Words and photographs by Bruce J. Bales

Spencer Smith has spent the majority of his life on rollerblades. He has grown up with the Iowa Connection scene, and Spencer is still blading with the best of them. Truthfully, Spencer often surprises me. I’ve always known his determination to be hyper fueled, but it has been Spencer’s finesse that I’ve been paying attention to lately. During our last few sessions, Spencer has laced several tricks with such ease that I’m left remembering them long after the session is over. On this particular day Spencer was motivated and feeling loose, but we didn’t have that much time to session. Regardless, Spencer threw these tricks down with relative ease and we were on our way to some cold beers.
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Checking with Codee Jennings

Codee Jennings. Peoria, Ill.
Codee Jennings. Peoria, Ill. (Click to enlarge)

Words and photos by Bruce J. Bales

A few weeks ago Codee Jennings messaged me about getting an article together for the Connection. As fate would have it, Codee and I ended up working together on a music video in the Peoria area. After filming we found ourselves with a few hours of daylight. Naturally, we went rollerblading.

Codee’s life has drastically changed in the last few months, as he has welcomed twin boys into his family. Codee and his wife, Kim, now have their hands full with three boys in the house, so rollerblading isn’t exactly at the top of Codee’s to do list. From the very onset of our short session, I could tell Codee was squeezing as many tricks as he could into the session because he never really knows when the next one will be.

This mentality is becoming more and more apparent as our generation of rollerbladers age and start families. I think we enjoy rollerblading just as much, if not more than we did. It may be because we aren’t sure how long it will be a consistent part of our lives. Either way, my session with Codee was memorable. The only thing that mattered is that we went skating.
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