After a very slow start to our morning on Saturday (plenty of Cider and missing cats the night before!), Me, Stu and Rach bundled everything into the trusty Pixo and headed for MK. I think Keelan was getting antsy, ‘cause he’d called already and wondered when we were getting there!
In typical English fashion, as soon as we got there, and got the bikes out, it bucketed down, so we took in the joys of Asda whilst we waited out the rain. Luckily, the skies cleared, and we got a great couple of hours riding with Alex, Adrian, Michal, and new boys Andrew and Dean. I was all good ‘til a simple footjam sent me over the bars… gravel rash! (Well, it wasn’t the smoothest spot, but it was big and rolled nicely.) The rain came back with a vengeance and sent us packing indoors (when we got past security…), so it was a great time to catch up with folks and what they’d been up to since the last jam, comp, etc&hellip
The rain stopped, but the spot was a washout, so we headed over to Ikea’s car park to session. This spot was dope! Dry, smooth, undercover, piped music from the store, and the lights even came on halfway through! Sorted! Norbet had joined us by this point, and was going off with cross-handed combos which shut the spot down… Andrew was filming, so I hope there’s some edits up soon. It was nice for me to ride with Andrew and Dean, who are still learning like me. I was happy to get some combos together, as basic as they may be, before we made our way back up to Leicestershire for the night. It was also very cool to see Stu bike surfing around the corner… we’d wondered where he was riding off to!
Sunday brought better weather and more riders, which is always good, Mario, Steve and Yinka made it from TGM, and Cheeky from Hungary made it here again! A bit of warm-up, then Keelan announced we’d be riding indoors… stoked! Wristbands were dished out (VIP!), and we got everything ready to rumble indoors. Everything was going great, with the TGM crew laying down some smooth moves, folks stopping to watch, etc, when some prat in suit told Keelan we’d have to leave the building because of ‘Health and Safety issues’. Now, I want to point out here that Keelan is above professional when it comes to running shows and having documentation in place. The ‘suit’ just wasn’t budging or listening to reason, so back outside we went.
The comp was great fun though. It was my first time riding in competition, so I was nervous as hell, especially as Martin had made it over to photograph and film for this beloved site, and I was introduced to Tex Thayer! (DAMN!) I’m fairly certain I came last in the AM class, but I stuck some combos in, didn’t fall off too much and had FUN! We ran jams for AM and PRO, with Stu, Cheeky, Yinka, Dean and Alex joining in the fray… Except nerves got the better of Alex, and he didn’t ride! (Next time mate… you’re in!)
The PRO jam was small (Keelan, Norbet, Yinka, Michal and Mario), but packed with quality riding. It didn’t help that Alex and I were judging! It was such a tough call to make with each rider bringing their own style to the jam. I’ll let the video and photos do the talking on that one! All said though, Keelan’s blend of originality, style and high trick count made him a worthy winner. It was just up to me to make the announcements and Keelan to hand over the prizes.
In AM, Stu came in third, with Cheeky second and Yinka taking the win, and a brand new bike. What was cool was that I said we’d lose Yinka to the streets, and he just came straight back with ‘No way!’ Great to see that dedication to flatland from such a young dude!
PRO ran Michal third, Norbet second, with Keelan in first. The scoring was damn close though. Keelan was humble in winning again, ensuring that Michal and Norbet took their fair share of the winning pot. Dude.
So we got everything cleared up and headed back over to IKEA for a post comp session. Martin and Tex came over too, and I had the privilege of Tex teaching me simple moves, which was highly surreal! (I’m not sure if my lack of ability was making him peeved, or if that’s his humour… he did tell Norbet that ‘Elusion’ was some ‘crappy movie with the sucky soundtrack’!) It was so cool for me personally to hang out with Tex, and learn so much, and also to ride with good friends old and new. I’m still sore from riding so much over the weekend (must be my age!) two days later, but I’ll definitely be back next year for more!
PS: There’s a short interview with Keelan this month too!