“17403” is a short chronicle of my most recent trip to York, PA 17403 for Round 4 of the Pro/AM Flatland Circuit competition and the subsequent jams that occurred at the legendary Pit. What’s so special about York? If you don’t ride flatland, then probably nothing.
In the mid/late 80’s, a group of kids calling themselves “The Plywood Hoods” single-handedly transformed flatland BMX from a sport focused on hopping, stationary tricks complete with showmanship and fancy attire, to an art form rooted in rolling tricks, tire scuffing and the direct manipulation of momentum. You’d be hard pressed to reference a current trick that is not a derivative of something Kevin Jones and The Plywood Hoods invented. Is this an overly romanticized view of the history of flatland? Would flatland still have managed to evolve into what it is today had it not been for Kevin and the Hoods?
Flatland represents redefinition. Taking something as conventional as a bike, something created with a single, rigid function in mind, and instead using it to create. The opening line to the soundtrack captures the potential and infinite possibilities manifested through flatland: “So where do we go from here? Just about anywhere.”