Photos: Matthew Dyer, Effraim and Jay Twist.
As with everything I do, I try to put my maximum effort into the project otherwise theres no point. As I approach my 40th birthday, I see my role very different in the flatland scene than even 5 years ago. Everyone knows of course the website has grown into a full time job pretty much. But, much more than that I am trying to put on the most legit contest possible, whilst not losing the roots of what all this about in the first place, “King of Concrete”.
Last year, as I reflected on the event, the only thing I came back to was “King of Concrete” the name has to change. So after a few chats with the OG founders of KOC, my parents Geoff and Jenni Catlow. It was on.
But….. There was no point to just change the name and thats all, that is not enough, it was a cold Decembers day as I rode a wet waitrose car park, it was one of those sessions where you got something on your mind so you go through the paces, but your minds not on the riding. I started brainstorming as the rain poured, it was definitely a moment I was having. “I have to step things up, lets aim for £2000 prize money.
Originally that was all going to be donated by me pretty much, but thankfully EXTREME stepped up!
Over the past few years, Flatland and Park have been the two best events so I wanted to acknowledge that! Split the cash in half, and £1000 per discipline would be a good start!
The King of Concrete philosophy is not about your 1, 2, 2.5 minute run, but the whole package. The sessions in the days running up to contest, the friendships you make, the parties, and of course the riding!
For me, as I now reflect on the event, the only thing that didn’t go to plan was the weather, cloudy and windy which had an effect on some of the runs but that’s out of my control. This summer, has been the best summer I can remember for many years, sods law the sketchy days were the event days. Now its golden sunshine all week.
The philosophy seems to be shining bright through the riders, this year the likes of Mark Kuhlmann, James White, Johann Chan, Mark Cunners, Trevor Oleniuk, Joe Cicman, Thomas Noyer all made the trip early to session and soak up the southsea vibes.
The sessions and atmosphere all week leading up to the event were amazing. The itch to ride, even though I was so busy all summer to focus properly on riding was killing me. I kept saying to myself, this is about the bigger picture, forget me. This was almost a daily discussion amongst everyone, all I can say is I am most definitely feeling the love. One of the chats with Joe Cicman, Trevor Oleniuk, Mark Cunners, and Mark Kuhlmann was one of the most moving moments of the weekend hands down. To me, hearing such positive comments makes all the effort and sacrifice well worth it. Thanks guys!
I will be announcing dates for next year pretty soon!