Nous avons appris que la traversée des Etats-Unis entamée par Jack Smith et Ed Nadalin avait pris fin aujourd'hui. Après une semaine sur les routes de l'Oregon, ce beau voyage entrepris pour la 5eme fois a du être annulé en raison du risque de collision jugé trop important pour pouvoir continuer.
C'est un triste constat, déjà pressenti lors de la traversée de 2013 : les voitures et camions ne partagent plus la route avec un skater isolé, même avec une voiture de signalement.
After a week on the road, Jack Smith has decided to cancel his 5th journey across America.
Too many close calls, and a growing concern about his own safety : Jack took his decision before crossing Idaho and riding on a higway where cars and trucks leave no chance to a lonely rider.
Jack is a very modest person, he will not tell you he went four times across the USA on a skateboard.
Until you find this question on a Trivial Pursuit game card ...
In 1976, young Jack (19) and his friends went for the first journey - a world première - on their pristine polypro Proline skates.
Jack was back on the road across America in 1984, with three friends, early longboards and a few sets of Kryptonics wheels.
Another era, another journey : in 2003 Jack, father of 2, lost his son. He went back on the roads to raise attention on Lowe syndrom. He rode his german-made carbon Rolls-rolls up and down from Oregon to New Jersey.
Fourth crossing took place in 2013 after his father passed : Jack shared a charity to raise attention to the desastrous Alzheimer disease with his friends and family crew of 5.
For the 40th anniversary of his first crossing, Jack, now 59, opted for a high-end Evolve electric skateboard, able to take him safely up mountain passes and down the canyons of Oregon.
His team mate for this journey is Ed Nadalin, freestyle skateboard champion since the golden years of the 70s.
There are numerous issues in such an unusual Grand Trek : exaustion, road hazards, and traffic.
This last backstabbing silent ennemy took its toll on Jack after a week on the roads of Oregon : riding 70 miles a day is no joke, when any mistake can be fatal.
Wisdom called for this journey to end - there is no road to share anymore in 2016 America.
Less traveled roads like Highway 66 or West Coast North to South have been ridden by skaters these last years, but the fear of a car crash is always lurking for those who dare share the asphalt with heavy weights.
Next trip across America will have to be off-road - let's start looking for car-free trails.
Photos : Jack Smith / Ed Nadalin / Morro Bay Skateboard Museum