I’d really been looking forwards to KOS since competing for the first time at the BMX Battle back in May. I may not be up to the standard of most of the riders in attendance, but I definitely have the competition bug… one of these days I might even be able to put in a run with more than three tricks! It was also a big day for my young grandson, Cohin, who had never been to, let alone ridden in a BMX competition. Mind you, he wasn’t the youngest rider there, which really surprised me, and made me feel very happy about the future of flatland… more of which later!
After panicking about the weather (it was really raining about 10 minutes from Southsea), it was so cool to see park regulars drying out the park as soon as the rain stopped… PRO! Even the spectators and DJs had ‘bleachers’ to sit in, well under cover of the elements. It was brilliant to see James White and his ‘missus’ out to watch proceedings. James has been off the radar riding-wise for a while, but he told me he’d back on it just in time for winter to hit!
As always, catching up with faces old and new is a big part of comps, and the turnout for KOS was no exception. There was a big contingent from good old blighty, and a good showing from Hungary, France and many points in-between! We also had two Riders of the Month in attendance, riding up a storm.
Effraim was on great form interviewing riders around the park,and commentating on all classes of riding, not just flatland. I was in stitches hearing him interview Yinka Thomas before the comp… I think he managed to get about three or four words out of him! Let your riding do the talking, eh Yinka? (And it did…)
Seeing a novice class mixed up of really young folks, newer faces to the scene and one old duffer (that’ll be me) brought smiles to plenty of faces. Watching six years old Rich doing peg wheelies and walk rounds was brilliant… raw talent there! I was so proud of Cohin, aged seven, riding in his first comp. He’s only been riding flatland for a few months, and I may be biased, but energy like his is what we all need sometimes, and remembering we ride because we enjoy it so much! My runs were a blur, and I don’t think I landed a damn thing, but I went for it none the less! After meeting Andrew and Dean at Milton Keynes in May, it was brilliant to see them riding in competition. I think its brilliant the way in which flatland can build such good friendships… I’ve probably said it before, but the feeling of family I get at flatland comps is amazing. I was so stunned; I almost forgot to do any reporting!
The amateur class really took things up a notch, with some crazy moves from riders old and new… I’m still not sure how Robert Voller was pulling off his crazy crank runs, seeing as how he was going backwards inches from the ground, but they were popular with a lot of folks. It’s always brilliant to see how people have progressed since the last comp, and KOS was no exception. Riders like Salvador Brown, Ashley Adams and Chris Carter are getting so smooth with their moves now. As I said before, Yinka Thomas is seriously on a roll, his riding just gets better every time I see him, and he’s so laid back and humble!
Pro left me speechless yet again. (I have a confession here… I was left felling like a true fan boy when Amos Burke arrived. Amos has been a long time hero of mine, always sticking to his flatland roots, and I just couldn’t bring myself to go over and introduce myself… starstruck!) There was a real mixture of old and new school here, with not one, but two ROTMs competing in this class, along flatland veterans like Amos Burke, James Smith and Pete Hollinger. Such an amazing mix of skills and riding styles, it was tricky (for me) to decide who should take the win. In the end though, it was close fought between Pete Hollinger and Gergely Szajer, with Pete taking the win. Best riding I’ve seen in a long time!
We had to make a move soon after the comp finished, due to a small boy getting tired (He’d fell off twice by then!), but seeing so many amazing riders and friends again made us all very happy! Here’s to next year, with more riders?