Photos: Effraim, Juan Lopez, Bobby Carter.
The 9th annual One Love Jam in Newport Beach, California was lived up to all the hype I have heard over the years. We were staying around an hour away in Corona, and I believe it was James McGraw who said “it will be sunny at the beach Effraim”. I remember thinking “yeah yeah, that’s not going to happen”, low and beyond we arrive at picture perfect Newport Beach and the sunshine is booming, girls in bikinis everywhere, hockey players, and a fast smooth newly resurfaced riding spot which is large enough to hold 120 riders pretty comfortably with a California beach backdrop.
Yesterday was a good day, we arrived the night before to Robert Castillo’s house in Corina, California.After a nights sleep it was time head out to Long Beach, Corona to Long beach is around an hours drive. LA traffic which can be horrific, we hit up a In and Out Burger joint just round the corner from the jam. The spot looked familiar and sure enough I had been to this burger place before. Must have been like 9-10 years ago, funny how your memory can jog in an second.
Yesterday was the first dry day of my trip to San Francisco. Dylan Worsley from We Bicycles arrived in the morning, and myself, Pete and Dylan headed from Fremont to San Fran by BART. 40 minutes later, we were at Embarcadero and the Clocktower is across the road. The ground was still really wet from and early morning shower, Pete has the Clocktower on lock down and has a let blower, squeechie, and to my suggestion added a towel to the fix to get the riding spot dry.
As many of you will know, Pete Brandt who happens to be my child hero growing up organised a go fund me page to get me out to the One Love jam in Newport Beach, California this weekend. When I was younger, my parents took me to San Francisco on holiday and I always loved the place and everything about it, so much character in this city. So as you can imagine I am still pinching myself that I am actually here. I can’t thank Pete, his wife Karissa, and everyone who donated to help me get here.
I arrived into San Francisco on Monday, after an 11 hour flight and almost three hours in the customs line I was pretty tired, but also pretty excited to get riding and make the most of this dream trip out here.
On November 24th we held our second major contest at Sport Zone Veresegyház. I worked really hard to improve on last year’s contest in all departments. Thanks to our main sponsors Magnetic, IPF Corner, DMKER, Elite BMX Shop and Sport Zone we raised 1000 Euro for Pro purse. I hoped it would help bring some top Pro’s here and it did! We had 12 Pro riders from 6 countries, including the kids and Amateur riders a total of 34 competitors!
Róbert Völler “Minerboy” our live DJ was running the rider routines which made my day a lot easier. We also added new podiums and sponsor wall for the prize giving.
I split School Class into A and B classes, because there is a good step up now from the kids who are really practicing a lot. Recent contests in Hungary have really helped to motivate them. The B class was great to see as some of the kids have only been riding 5-6 weeks and still wanted to take part. Emma Kriston one of two girls at the school got second place! There is a separate video for each category on Youtube.
This week is seriously going so fast, it’s already time for Friday’s update as we head to the Battle in the Rockies an hour away in Denver, Colorado this morning. We woke up to sunny skies, and after getting the FM updates done it was time to wash the Slab before we started riding. As I started washing the floor, Bobby Burge showed up and helped lend a hand to get the riding spot ready for a session in the sunshine. It was time for the AFA pre jam at the Slab.
After arriving into nice weather in Denver, Colorado on Monday. We have a few days of bad weather and been unable to ride James’ flatland slab riding spot at his house, pretty teasing when you can see it as you chill in the house, to say the least. Yesterday, we woke up to sunshine and after updating the site filmed a quick how to with the help of Mates Tucek. The how to is now up for you to view.
Day 3 of my annual Battle in the Rockies trip, and if there was any day for a chill day this was it. We woke up to snow and freezing temperatures in Monument, Colorado. After a little discussion at breakfast it seemed like the best day to get contest stuff organised ready for the weekend, trophies done, Halloween, etc.
We started the day with a visit to Touch of Shade, James’ business. James was organising the trophies, getting banners ready and even offered to make an FM banner and stickers, so if you are at the event this weekend. Come and see me for some free stickers, stoked! Thank you James!
James has been in the game a long time, so it’s always amazing to check the memorabilia he has displayed around his work place and office. For example, check his previous signature frames above with London Bikes.
After a few hours and lunch at the Tintadome it was time to head back to James’ house and get ready for Halloween and Trick or Treat with his kids. Halloween doesn’t seem so big in the UK, but here it was a huge deal. The snow had stopped so we took the opportunity to dry the flatland slab ready for some outdoor sessions Thursday and Friday when it is supposed to be back into double figures once again. Mates Tucek took the chance to have a ride for an hour or so, whilst myself and James moaned it was too cold to ride for old guys.
Trick or Treat as an experience walking James’ neighbourhood as the kids collected enough Candy to keep them going for a month or so. Never seen anything like it, it was a nice end to a much needed relaxing day. The sun is coming out now as I type this and the Slab is looking good for a session today, can’t wait! Short and sweet today, hope you are all enjoying the updates at home!
Today I made the 6 hour trek from Southsea on the south coast of England to Harrogate, in Yorkshire. Harrogate is in the North of England for all of you across the world that might not know. Harrogate is the home of “Yorkshire Tea”, my favourite brand of tea in the world and what by and large fuels Flatmattersonline updates on the daily. It was pretty awesome to drive past the home of YT today on the way to the Yorkshire events centre for the UK Flatland Championships.
The trek to Harrogate was eventful, with Matti planning my route via the underground (bikes aren’t allowed on the underground) so I missed my train and after a stressful hour or so trying to figure out how I would get to Yorkshire. The guard was nice enough to let me on the train and all was well with the world once again.
When I arrived I was greeted by the man with the largest seatpost in BMX, Matti Hemmings and Davis Dudelis. Matti is out injured so is hobbling about with a swollen ankle. I got in a nice three hour session with Davis getting used to the floor. We have a decent sized floor, fast stone floor, super smooth! After brushing off the initial travel stiffness, I really enjoyed the session, nailing a couple of new lines I am working on whilst Davis was slaying big hop bars to manual bar out with ease, once my session started winding down Davis started playing with rollback grip rides again. Davis is one of the most chilled pros on the scene, Matti wanted to get some more content for the UK Flatland Championships so we fired out a pretty funny short interview that I will get posted as soon as I can. I’m feeling pretty tired now from the travel mostly, a 4am start will do it to you. But I wanted to update you across the globe and let you know what’s going here in the UK, the venue is dialled and we are set for tomorrow’s contest. It’s time for a Yorkshire tea in Yorkshire!
Round 1 of the 2018 UK Flatland Championships took place last weekend in Margate, Kent. Margate is a seaside town about an hour and half from central London for all of you reading this outside of the UK. Matti Hemmings once again is the man behind making the event happen, this year a different location and a better set up. Dreamlands, an amusement park smack on Margate seafront which somewhat bizarrely to me, goes in land rather than out towards the sea, two years ago we sat on the seafront having fish n chips after the Wheels and Finns festival and wondered what Dreamlands was. A great use of space and in terms of planning, this place is epic. You wouldn’t know this amusement park was even there, if you drive along the seafront road.