York Jam 2014

By Joe Cicman:

Go fishing back to the first stream that ever formed from the water flowing down a mountain. For an enthusiast, it´s a cool thought but that first stream is long gone - churned away by the geological processes that formed it in the first place.


Fortunately for all you BMX flatland enthusiasts, York PA is still around and still holding its seminal York Jam event. What you´ll observe is:

  • Really large, expansive lots that allowed long rolling combos to come to life.
  • A wide range of ages, trick styles, and bike setups that provided the fertile ground for innovation.
  • A lot that´s got a whole bunch of differently tuned sections along with a touch-and-go wind that forces you to buck-up and figure out how to pull your tricks.
  • Vintage bikes, little kids zooming around like lightening bugs, and Bryan Huffman´s purple flea market.

This was my first York Jam. Not sure why it took me so long. I remember when George Clark, Chuck Amicone, and Zack Yankush came back from the first one ´89, ´90 or ´91 with stories of what went down. BTW - That was my one obligatory "back in my day" segment - but I couldn´t help thinking about how freaking long this thing has been happening and how cool it is that it´s still happening.


It´s great to go and see the York crew. I met them at AMFLT events over the past few years. They´re all super-nice and welcoming. Mark Eaton was DJ´ing all day. Brett Downs was making the rounds chatting people up and making them feel welcome. The one video I shot featured Brett Downs - it´s a tutorial on the iOS camera feature Burst Mode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RwzwT2h1OA

There was one missing notable in particular - despite my spending an hour on the phone with Scott Powell, I wasn´t able to convince him that he should drink orange juice during the 6 hour drive to heal up from "the flu" he caught at Interbike the week before. Nor was my citing the tremendous demand for Pachyderm footage enough for him to take the risk of sitting in a car for those long stretches of mountain roads. I digress....


There are a few proxy measures of the awesomeness of a trip. I´ll enumerate them below and provide the reading:

  • How you worked it into your schedule: Scott Nagy and I drove out Thursday night, then we worked from the hotel all day Friday.
  • How many inside jokes you and your crew come up with and for how long afterward you keep referencing them.
  • How hard it is to get back into the swing of work on Monday.

My advice & take-away after the weekend: If you admire what came out of York in the early days of flatland and want to find and plant that magical seed - allow yourself to experiment without bounds, allow yourself to laugh and have fun and maintain a good vibe, be supportive of the other people - help them start, help them keep going, and help them come back, and most importantly if you see someone riding well tell them. Props fuel motivation. OK ... I´m done being didactic for the moment.


Photos by Scott Nagy

2014-09-24 - Joe Cicman