BMX Cologne Loves Flatland

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2014 BMX Cologne |  Review

The BMX Cologne has come and gone and a week later I’m barely posting this review.  Haha.  Been a busy few weeks for me and I have to thank my girlfriend Christine for the gift that allowed me to attend this amazing BMX event.  When I began this review I was sitting at the Flatland venue with the contest judges, just so you know my perspective as you begin to read.  Enjoy.

Effraim Catlow is sitting to my left while one of Germany’s best riders, Chris Bohm, sits to my right.  The very humble Alexis Desolneux is two seats over with Mr Frank Lukas himself chillin with his sunglasses right next to him.  The bass of the music feels good as we watch one of the 53 riders work his ass off to ensure a place in the finals at this year’s BMX Cologne Pro Flatland Contest. 

This is my first year at the event as well as my first time anywhere on this side of the Atlantic.  My first two days on the “other side of the pond” were spent riding around Paris on my flatland bike with Pro flatlander Alex Jumelin and Scott O’Brien from New Orleans, who were also here to attend one of the world’s very few BMX only events.

The energy in this venue is electric and it’s very rare that you see this much interest from spectators for flatland.  I haven’t been to any other European event so I know that I don’t have a lot to compare this to other than the Voodoo Jam in New Orleans, but being here at the BMX Cologne has been nothing but inspiring and motivating. 

This trip was a gift from my girlfriend who I’m very grateful for.  She’s always believed in what I do and the passion that I have for this sport and bikes in general.  My passion for people supercedes that of the two wheels but it all works together and I’m learning to cherish opportunities like this past week in Europe, which was with some of the friendliest, humble, and most dedicated people in the sport.

I won’t go into detail about every aspect of the BMX Cologne or give you the run down on every flatlander’s run and new bag of tricks. You’ll be able to find tons of that on Instagram, Facebook, and the BMX Cologne website.  What I do want to say is that the BMX Cologne (formerly known as The BMX Worlds), is what it is today because of the people behind it.  What everyone sees on the outside is an amazing event, one that draws some of the biggest and baddest names in the sport.  Attendees and even many of the athletes have the luxury of just showing up and don’t take into account the people behind the scenes.   They don’t see the many many volunteers that are running around bringing water to each area so the athletes stay hydrated.  They don’t see the overseers of each event work diligently to bring organization to each event and ensure the best results possible.  They don’t see the heart that the organizers and creators of this event have for young people, who they have described as the future of the sport. 

This is what I saw.  This is what stood out to me.  Not the pros or any “celebrities”.  It was the people behind the scenes with a passion for BMX and a passion for people.  And that is what makes this event great and will continue to for years to come.

Being in Germany, I was able to sit with some of Flatland’s greats like Alexis Desolneux and talk about life and the sport over coffee or a beer.  I was able to learn a lot more about the man behind the bike, someone who the flatland world considers a “god” within the sport.  Effraim Catlow, from England and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, was a blast to hang out with and cracks me up.  Was able to hang out with my good friend Kevin Brill who lives in Germany who helps represent the Byke Project there.  Chris Bohm was a pleasure to finally meet who is one of the most energetic people you’ll ever meet.  He’s on a natural high and you can’t help but get excited around him.  I was able to walk the streets and hang out with Phil Dolan, one of flatland’s legends.  His friends don’t give him a break and love picking on him, but it’s hilarious after a few beers and he can take it.  And of course hanging out with many of the regulars that I see in the US is always a blast.  I think I hung out with Scott Obrien in Europe more than I ever have in the US.  haha.      

In closing, I have to give props to the BMX Cologne for always making room for flatland.  Many large competitions at one point or another refuse to give this discipline the recognition that it deserves.  Flatland is at the root of BMX and not including it would be like having a bowl of cereal without milk.  Not only does this event include flatland within their event each year, they do it in a way that pays homage to it.  They believe in it.  They love it.  They know what it is and how important it is to BMX, and this year’s 2500 sq/ft carnival bumper car setup speaks for itself.

There should always be room for this part of the sport and I call out every other major event in the world to do the same.  I call out the XGames, the Dew Tour, and even Austin, Tx’s smaller event The Texas Toast.  Make room for flatland.  Pay homage to the roots of BMX and quit making excuses.  There’s an audience for it and events like the BMX Cologne proves it.  

Thanks again BMX Cologne, for a great weekend.  Hope to see you again next year. 

If you’re free the weekend of August 2nd, head to New Orleans for the Flatland Voodoo Jam.  Also, in Houston,Tx I’ll be hosting, with my partner Cisco Nira, the 3rd Annual HTX Bike Fest.  We’ll have an awesome street/ramp course and huge flatland area.  www.htxbikefest.com  /  www.voodoojam.com

@hectorgarciahtx  |  Hashtags #bmxcgn, #bmxcologne, and #thebykeproject. 

 

 

 

2013 Flatland Voodoo Jam Results and Recap

Voodoo Jam 2013

Japanese riders take New Orleans by storm and walk away with the top three spots.

The seventh installment of the premiere flatland event in the U.S. went down this past Saturday in New Orleans. The Flatland Voodoo jam is organized by Louisiana natives Scott O’Brien and Terry Adams, and with 34 pro riders representing 11 countries; this year’s competition was no doubt the best yet.

The weekend-long celebration of friendships and BMX kicked off on Friday afternoon with the official pre-jam at a local community park where Jeremy Jones won the veteran class competition. The surrounding residents were in shock as hundreds of riders infiltrated their unsuspecting neighborhood and overtook the park for an amazing afternoon of riding and catching up with old and new friends from around the world.

Saturday’s events started off early in the morning with nearly 40 amateur riders competing for top honors. After each of the 10 finalists completed their two minute run Patrick Ras out of Czech Republic walked away victorious with the U.S.’ Steve Jordan and Todd Carter coming in second and third, respectively.

Once the pro contest began, it was an all out brawl to see who would make it into the 14-man elimination style final battles. Everyone in the pro class knew they had to throw down near-flawless runs filled with their most difficult tricks if they had any chance of cracking into the top few spots. The energy of the roaring crowd inside the packed nightclub fueled the riders as the battles ensued. One by one riders were taken out of the equation until only two riders remained. The final battle to see who would be crowned the Voodoo Jam champion pitted Tsutomu Kitayama against his fellow countryman Hiroya Morisaki in an epic fight to the finish. The fans were on their toes as the two went back and forth, pulling their most difficult links. As the final seconds on the clock counted down, pro riders were jumping around on the contest floor cheering them on as they landed their last combos. When the winner was announced, it was Tsutomu who climbed on top of the podium as Hiroya stood beside him in the second place spot and their fellow Japanese comrade Yohei Uchino took to the remaining pedestal.

The 2013 Flatland Voodoo Jam is proudly sponsored by: Red Bull, Dan’s Comp, Freegun Underwear, Headrush, Odyssey, Deco, The Byke Project, Flatland Fuel, Diversion TV, Monolithic, #Pralex, Aspire To Inspire Clothing, and Neue Creative.

voodoojam.com

Breakdown of Final Battles

Round 1
Battle 1: Alex Jumelin won vs. Takuya Higa
Battle 2: Dominik Nekolny won vs. Terry Adams
Battle 3: Tsutomu Kitayama won vs. Jean-William Prevost
Battle 4: Hiroya Morisaki won vs. Viki Gomez
Battle 5: Matt Wilhelm won vs. William Perez
Battle 6: Yohei Uchino won vs. Jean-Francois Boulianne
Round 2
Battle 7: Alex Jumelin won vs. Matthias Dandois
Battle 8: Tsutomu Kitayama won vs. Dominik Nekolny
Battle 9: Hiroya Morisaki won vs. Moto Sasaki
Battle 10: Yohei Uchino won vs. Matt Wilhelm
Round 3
Battle 11: Tsutomu Kitayama won vs. Alex Jumelin
Battle 12: Hiroya Morisaki won vs. Yohei Uchino
Round 4
Battle 13: Yohei Uchino won vs. Alex Jumelin (for 3rd place)
Battle 14: Tsutomu Kitayama won vs. Hiroya Morisaki (for the championship)

Veteran Final Results:

1. Jeremy Jones
2. Ramon Lopez
3. Derek Callendar
4. Juan Caldera
5. Charlie Patterson
6. Anthony Buglio
7. Kyle Hogue
8. Andy Guerrero
9. Steve Dodson
10. Marty Ferryman

Amateur Final Results:

1. Patrick Ras
2. Steve Jordan
3. Todd Carter
4. Kevin Brill
5. Steven Clark
6. Kenny Boucher
7. Omari Cato
8. John Yull
9. Trevor Oleniuk
10. Bryan Huffman

Pro Final Results:

1. Tsutomu Kitayama (JAP)
2. Hiroya Morisaki (JAP)
3. Yohei “Ucchie” Uchino (JAP)
4. Alex Jumelin (FRA)
5. Matthias Dandois (FRA)
6. Moto Sasaki (JAP)
7. Matt Wilhelm (USA)
8. Dominik Nekolny (CZE)
9. Viki Gomez (SPN)
10. Takuya Higa (JAP)
11. Jean-Francois Boulianne (CAN)
12. Terry Adams (USA)
13. Jean-William Prevost (CAN)
14. William Perez (PER)

Contact:

Terry Adams
flatlandadams@yahoo.com
985-634-7637

Scott O’Brien
southrider73@yahoo.com
504-415-3709

Photos by @FatTonyBMX, courtesy of Flatland Voodoo Jam.