Battle in the Rockies Day 5

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.

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Battle in the Rockies Day 4

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.

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Battle in the Rockies Day 3

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!

Battle in the Rockies Day 2

Yesterday was the first full day in Monument, Colorado for the Battle in the Rockies contest this coming weekend. And the first day is always a hard one for me, after 18.5 hours of travelling and a 6 hour time difference the body clock and the altitude takes some adjustment for me. It didn’t seem to bother Mates Tucek at all (watch the Tintadome session edit that I just posted as a reference).

As forecast, the weather turned from the 79 degrees and sunshine, to freezing and snowing over one day. Welcome to Colorado, various people said to me throughout the day. We started the day with an hour trip back to Denver to the Rackhouse, the venue for the Battle in the Rockies contest that will host the AFA finals once again this year. This year the lighting is much better with some new big opening windows bringing in natural daylight and the area was cleared from what I remember last year so it’s already going to be much bigger than last year.

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Battle in the Rockies Day 1

Yesterday was a long day travelling to the annual Battle in the Rockies contest in Denver, Colorado. This is my fifth year at BITR! I was asking myself I wonder how long it is, door to door to get from Southsea to Denver? 6am start for me and doing two cuppas before getting a taxi to London Heathrow Terminal 3, turned out on this day there was more traffic than I have ever had before on this journey. We left at 7am and arrived just past 9pm.

The clocks just went back one hour for winter this past weekend and it’s already freezing. I started checking the weather in Colorado, as its always a running joke amongst the riders. It’s 79 degrees as I land, and snow the next day forecast, the weather in Colorado is so crazy but needless to say it’s warmer than at home currently.

Going back to the travel log theme, so three hours check in time as with all international flights. So I am already at five hours and still in London, the flight was scheduled for 9 hours 55, so basically ten hours. 15 hours later in total I am in Denver and waiting for Mates Tucek who was landing 50 minutes after me. Back in the mile high city for the fifth time, and straight away I notice the light. Being a mile high the light is so much more prominent and I see every scratch on my glasses when I am in the sunshine (this might not interest people at home but for me it’s a useful note to have). Customs seemed to take an age, with massive lines but in reality was probably only an half hour or so, but it did mean no waiting around for the bike bag. Which for many of you that have travelled, it’s a big part of the trip waiting on the bags, is it going to arrive?

Two hours later myself and James met Mates and headed to Five guys for the annual traditional Five guys burger and chips before heading to James’ home in Monument, Colorado. Catching up with James and Mates is always fun, hearing all the stories about riders coming to the event and the background to the event is always really cool. Tomorrow morning we are heading back to Denver to the Rackhouse where the BITR will be hosted and sorting out the lighting for the event. So door to door the trip took 18 and half hours, when we arrived at James’ after the usual socialising myself and Mates’ were both struggling to stay awake and got some sleep. Stay tuned for more updates day to day from my trip, hope you enjoyed this. Something a little different than my norm, its Tuesday morning here now. Let’s get a cuppa and get the day started!

Must Watch – Master of Creativity 2018 Pro Final

The results are in, and unless you have been living in a cave with no wifi over the last two days you will have seen the videos on instagram plus shared all over social media. Martti Kuoppa put together a Master of Creativity pro finals edit that totally hits the spot.
The MOC is infamous in flatland circles now as the most progressive contest on the planet, I am honoured each year to be invited to judge the event, this year along with Martti, last years winner John Yull, and Chad Degroot.
Now the contest is over and results have been announced, I wanted to give some love back to the riders that are helping to take flatland to the next level and bring new tricks to the table as we have seen with the likes of Sietse van Berkel’s winning entry.

11th.Stephan Fabien – Xft pedal nose wheelie inside xft steam without touching seat drops back wheel throws back to xft nose wheelie at the 00:6 mark. So smooth.

10th. Raphael Chiquet – 00:15. Raphael seems to have caught second wind in his riding career and is coming back really hard after being out of the scene for a while it seemed. Love the one handed stubble, looks like he wanted his signature no handed backwards spin, and throws the bike round body varial style to the floor. Look forward to seeing how this line develops.

9th. 00:34. Interesting choice of trick from Toon Pakphum for the finals, although I have seen this crack 360 flip to steam done to death with a front brake. I have never seen it brakeless, watch his technique getting the foot to the tyre so quickly after the flip. Literally has to be perfect execution to get this done, respect!

8th. 00:47. Who else but Mateus Beckmann drops a 180 bunnyhop to backlash whopper to backwards wheelie (controls with a few scuffs) to brakeless foot jam decade out?! Amazing skills from the talented Brazilian.

7th. 1:09. Xft rolling lawn full body varial gerator to his signature Zinger out, James White continues to amaze. James posted today there will be an edit out this week showing the background work that went into this entry later on in the week.

6th. 1:23. It’s been a great year for Mates Tucek, and this teakettle to opposite side xft half packer step to quick xft hang ten without touching the bar pivot to crackpacker is out of this world technically. This guys future is bright, believe me…

5th. 1:49. Owen Bohm is always a treat, you never know what to expect. And this no footed cliff turbine holding the seat defies all logic of gravity, flat-out amazing!

4th. 1:57. Ederson Paulo Ferreira dropped a wicked variation on his signature backwards one handed seatspin spinning the bars 360 and back to it for the finals. Incredible.

3rd. 2:11. Top three is getting heavy, Moto Sasaki went for a longer line than most riders for his final entry. The difficulty of combo’ing a one handed hang ten pivot triple xft crack turbine jump to steam kick pivot forward Karl xft opposite steam backwards spinning opposite Karl to spinning/pumnping xft hang ten jump to crack is insane!

2nd. 2:38. The beginning of Alex Jumelin’s final entry is out of hand, who else does an xft nose jumps at the point of the sweet spot to turbine and hop 360 nose jump xft steam without holding the seat? All Alex originals right here, absolutely unreal!

1st. 2:55. It was going to take something special to beat Alex’s entry and boy did Sietse van Berkel come up with the goods. I am going to just put it out there, whatever Sietse calls this trick (some kind of hybrid backwards pedal halfpacker locked on the top tube no handed) is the trick of the year!
It’s so fresh I have no name for this, and it made just say “wow” let’s rewind that when I was judging this. Flatland just went up a notch with the Master of Creativity contest, for me this event is not about the results although I know you riders at home like to see who came where. It’s about the progression, and the inspiration it gives to us all on that next session. I can’t wait to ride tomorrow….

Big thanks to Martti Kuoppa inviting me to judge, all the other judges that helped. John Yull, Chad Degroot and MK of course and of course all the riders that made MOC what it is. Beautiful.

Repo: Vienna Jam by Sebastian Grubinger

Text/Photo captions: Sebastian Grubinger.
Photos: Peter Provaznik.

Edit: Tom Sevisual.

VIENNA JAM 2018 from Sebastian Grubinger on Vimeo.

Good people bring good vibes and this is so evident from this years Vienna Jam. BMX and flatland needs more of this level of event. Look at all the smiles and good times from Tom Sevisual’s Vienna Jam edit above and Sebastian’s repo below. Big respect to Sebastian for putting this event on and helping grow flatland at a grassroots level whilst on a big stage.


Dustyn Alt killed it all weekend long. Winning the Best Trick on Sunday and collecting plenty of euros during the cash for tricks jam.

What a weekend, but let’s start from the beginning …

It’s been 8 years ago when voices got louder that it’s time for a Flatland Jam in Vienna. It didn’t take long and an already closed BMX Shop and I organized a small jam. Nothing special, just some fun contests like Hang-5 slalom, some goodies from several BMX companies and time to jam together. The main goal was to bring people together and have a good time. From this time on it happened every year …

Now, 8 years later, I got the chance to organize the Vienna Jam at one of European’s biggest bike festivals. The “Bike Festival Vienna” happened for the 20th year in front of Vienna’s city hall on the „Rathausplatz“. It has over 100 000 visitors on the weekend and shows all kind of bike sports.


Vienna Jam 2018. 35 riders, 14 nations. An amazing weekend for Flatland.


Sietse van Berkel. On and off his bike is amazing. And you should see him teaching flatland to the kids.


Akos Bordas representing Hungary during the cash for tricks and the best trick contest.

Repo:

But now about the weekend …

Friday the Vans Vienna Pre – Jam went down on Vienna’s local spot „Heldenplatz“. Already a lot of riders showed up and spent the evening together riding and hanging out. A very promising start into the weekend.

Saturday all started with Flatland workshops. Viki and me offered everyone who’s interested to ride a BMX bike and try some tricks. To be honest I didn’t expect so many people and I have to say a huge THANK YOU to all the riders who helped out. Workshops were scheduled for 2 hours but it happened to be all morning. Anyway it was a blast to see kids riding and trying their first tricks! The future is bright!


Mates Tucek impressed everyone with his mind blowing x-ft skills.

Around noon more and more riders arrived and started to rock the spot. The „Cash for Trix“ Jam late afternoon turned turned out to be huge: 35 riders from 14 nations. We had 500 Euros in small bills to give away and everyone, from beginner to pro, was killing it while DJ Preddy was spinning his 45s.

Right after the Cash for Tricks Jam all the riders moved from Rathausplatz to Heldenplatz to throw down the biggest jam I’ve ever seen on my home spot! Amazing vibes.
We ended the day at a local pub with around 20 riders – cheers!


Dustyn Alt mid best trick winning line.

Again, after a few hours of workshops on Sunday morning, everyone got ready for the Best Trick Contest. 1,5 minutes for each rider to show the best combo or trick. Price money for top five (700, 400, 200, 100, 100).
19 riders from 11 nations took part and everyone rode amazing! Some landed the combo first try, some in the last second. A huge audience was amazed!
Dustyn Alt took the win. He started the Contest and had to leave right after his 1,5 minutes to drive back 6,5 hours to Germany to go to work. Second place went to George Manos, followed by Gilles van de Sompel. Wolfgang Sauter and France Granic placed 4th and 5th.
Again the day ended on Heldenplatz with a big jam … well and for some of us later in the same pub as the day before 🙂


Showing his talent not only on Belgium TV, but also at the Vienna Jam. Gilles van de Sompel.

I can’t thank all of you enough who came to Vienna and made this event and weekend so special! You all rule!

The Vienna Jam will be back for sure – I don’t know when and I don’t know where but I promise, the main goal, like 8 years ago, will be: bring riders together and have a great time riding BMX!


Viki Gomez at the Vienna Jam for the second year. Here, mid death truck line.

The 2017 Flatmattersonline Year End Award Nominees are…..

Happy New Year everyone! It’s time to announce the nominees for the editorial and reader choice 2017 Flatmattersonline Year end awards, thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. As always it is interesting to see what you the reader of Flatmattersonline thinks compared to my editorial votes. And last not certainly not least congratulations to all the nominees.

Flatmatters!

Effraim Catlow

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Battle in the Rockies Part A & B

Mates Tuček documented almost the entire trip of his first time out to the US for the 2017 Battle in the Rockies, check out these Part A and B which document the journey, riding and lifestyle we were living for the week in Colorado. Good vibes!

Repo: Battle in the Rockies Day 5

Text: Effraim.
Photos: Effraim, Art Thomason.

Day 5 of the trip, it’s Friday. The build up to the contest is getting real, everyone is moving just that one step faster. We woke up to sunny skies again, and I wondered if I would get through this annual trip to Colorado without seeing the snow. James, Todd, Will Redd, and Bill Nitschke started to talk about making an edit for the week, of the best clips, but needed an intro. After much laughter, James started playing the Geto Boys “Damn it feels good to be a gangsta”, next thing the house and the cars outside made it feel like a movie set. It started the day off continuing the great vibe that’s been here all week in Monument.

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