The Ride to Skate event is our kind of event because it brings riders and skaters together. Most of our members and readers have had a deck beneath them at some point in their lives. The Ride to Skate has taken place at the FDR Skatepark in Philadelphia, PA. for the past 8 years. Promoter and ChopCult member Joe” Scraper” Zito uses our site to promote his event through the event listing and main forum. I wasn't able to attend so I asked Joe for a little background on his popular, yet laid back, event.
I started Ride to Skate mainly because I was meeting a lot of other home built bike enthusiasts who were also skateboarders. Some grew up skating and transitioned into the motorcycle world. I figured it would be a great opportunity to meet some like-minded people. My original plan was to meet up in the spring and then again in the fall, but conflicts with the football season (Eagles Stadium is only a couple blocks from FDR Skatepark, where Ride to Skate is held) and weather helped me decide it was just best to have it in mid-May each year. Over the years, I have made some friends that I consider family through bikes and skating. Mike Clarke and Mike DeFonzo are two of them. They always do more than I could ever ask to help make Ride to Skate what it is. We have tweaked a few things over the years to dial it in, but we've stuck with the main things: It’s a totally free event, open to everyone, no BS, just meet up, hang out, check out bikes and see old friends. And, if you're brave enough, skate FDR. We've had some amazing sponsors who have donated time and merch to the cause and it’s always a blast. Clarke is responsible for the epic pre-parties that we've had. They happen the night before Ride to Skate and include a great location and killer bands. I’m truly honored that a lot of folks travel super far to make the event each year, so having the pre-party helps to show my appreciation and make it a full weekend of fun.
FDR Skatepark is a place many of us Philly area locals have grown up skating. We’ve seen it grow from a shitty slab of asphalt with a couple pyramids to the world famous, hand-built park that it is today. We do our best to work with the 'build crew' to get some donations at Ride to Skate to help fund materials for the continued expansion of the park. It is a pure and raw place that is known to be a difficult spot to skate unless you're fully dedicated. This is why I feel it's a great place to see so many hand-built bikes. The park and the bikes that show up have the same vibe about them and were built with the same level of passion. So, if you've never been to Ride to Skate, come check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Photos By Dan Venditto
Big thanks to Clarke, Gorgeous George, and Lowside Magazine for their ongoing support.