Bad Vitamins: Remembering The United Buenos Dias Argentina Trip

I told Ian I didn’t want to go to Argentina as soon as the idea came up. I don’t know why, I just never really fancied visiting South America, it seemed sketchy to me. I wanted to go even less when I found out that the trip was booked over the anniversary of the Falklands War. Either way, my grumbling fell on deaf ears and before I knew it we were sat on a plane to Buenos Aires and we were spending ten days there whether I liked it or not…

I often worry that these trips to far away places are going to be a disaster, but so far they’ve never been as catastrophic as I expect them to be. Argentina wasn’t any exception to this rule. It just felt a bit like Spain to me, I didn’t feel far from home at all. There were clues of danger scattered around the place, including excessive security around our hotels, always feeling like our Argentinian friends from Bloque Distribution were guarding us from the outside world a little, no visible laws being followed on the roads and lots of graffiti of fists punching through Union Jack flags, but aside from a few muttered comments which I couldn’t understand anyway, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Some of it was actually quite good. I particularly enjoyed Rosario, known for its beautiful women who outnumber the men there by seven to one I believe. We should have stayed there longer I think.

Although it was over two years ago now, one particular part of this video always brings back memories - the footage of the crowds of people who came to see the riders at the various demos and signings we had to attend. As a testament to my filming and editing skills, the footage of this stuff doesn’t do the insanity justice whatsoever. From the moment our bus pulled up, the windows were instantly blacked out by people’s hands and faces pressing against the glass. One time we couldn’t even open the slide-door to get out. As you walked through the crowds, anything that wasn’t tied to you was being grabbed at. A child who couldn’t have been older than 15 years old with a hand-pushed BMX tattoo on his bicep tried to take my camera off me, then seemed surprised when I didn’t want to give it to him. I think that the vast majority of these people didn’t even know who the United team were or what was happening, they just wanted to be a part of the hysteria. Each rider was almost immediately surrounded by so many people at each stop that I remember always having to get to a high point to look down and see who was in the centre of each mob. The product tosses we tried to do resembled post-apocalyptic zombie-infested riot scenes. Hoards of people, eyes glazed over, reaching desperately into the sky, driven wild by the smell of cellophane-wrapped t-shirts and sticker packs. They all moved as one huge wave of arms and grimacing faces, pleading for more to satisfy their hunger for product. Sometimes, some would try to climb whatever structure we were throwing the product out from and our Argentinian friends/bodyguards would have to force them back down into the sea of people again. I remember one time worrying that they would rush us and topple us from the safety of our tower. That scene was slightly nerve-wracking at best, but at one demo I met a kid with a complete replica of Nathan’s bike, Nathan’s haircut, same clothes as him and exactly the same tattoos. I found Nathan and introduced him to his #1 fan, and the look on Nathan’s face…now that was sheer terror. 

If you watch the video again after reading this little story, look out for the demo footage of Corey wearing shades. We’d been out the night before, I can’t remember where. I think Corey had a black eye from trying to jump out on someone to scare them. It had backfired and he’d taken a door to the face. That same night Benson had commandeered a motorcycle on his own and sped off into the city, and that was the last I saw of him that night. God only knows what he got into. Anyway, the next day we were all dealing with a savage collective hangover. I think Benson and I had already begun drinking again to make the day a little more manageable. Corey was in no fit state for anything, especially a demonstration of his bike riding abilities. Rather than admitting that the way he felt was purely self inflicted, he blamed his chronic nausea and lethargy on ‘bad vitamins’ which I still think is funny, especially from a guy who’s also blamed a hangover on ‘too much water’ - but in his defence, like a true professional he just put those sunglasses on and rode flawlessly for the duration of the demo. So in any of those clips where you spot the sunglasses, you can be guaranteed that Corey feels like shit. Bad vitamins. - James Cox


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