Sad news to break to the international flatland community today. Recently Alex Vickers was a staple in the U.K. flatland scene passed away.
Alex was a natural talent, who progressed his way through the ranks so quickly. I asked James Smith to write some words to remember Alex by.
It is with great sadness that I share the news UK flatlander Alex Vickers has died. Although it’s getting pretty close to 2 decades since Alex was most active in the competition scene his mark and legend lives on.. we met in school, I opened Alex’s eyes to Bmx and then he discovered Flatland which he shared with me. We both became obsessed with and spent all our free time riding together.
At some point we heard the myth of other flatland riders at London’s South Bank riding spot. And from then, every weekend there on after we’d go up to meet and ride with the london Locals such as James White, Phil Dolan, Jason Forde, Johann Chan,Mari Meret, Mark Walters, dreadlock Dave, Nick street and the list goes on… although by far being the youngest rider there, now riding with other riders and riders that were already well established legends in the sport we could all see he was a rare natural talent given the speed he could learn anything and with effortless style. In the years after, felt like he rose thru the amateur ranks in a Matter of seconds.. 1 year we we’re watching the competitions from audience side of the barrier, next his name was getting announced over the mic and he was mixing it up with international big hitters such as Martti Kuoppa, Viki Gomez, Simon O’Brian, Alex Jumelin, Frank Lukas.. after several years of being a regular in the pro ranks gaining several sponsors and placing well at Urban Games, NEC Bike Show, King of Concrete he moved away from London to University and concentrate in his studies and future career choices.. despite him not returning to competitive side of things , he always had a bike rode when he could and kept up with all the latest videos and news… It’s a tragic loss as only thing that matched his talent on the bike was how nice he was as a person.
A funeral and memorial service for Alex will be held later this month in Hong Kong but if you like to know how you can donate or pay respects with messages contact me ( James Smith / @leftie143 ).
This weeks Throwback kindly sent in by Mike S! We got back to 2008, and the Carhartt Video series – Visit My Town Step 2 : Vienna. Killer riding from the likes of Alexis Desolneux, Sebastian Grubinger, Frank Lucas, Michael Sommer and James Smith, enjoy!
What was I just saying about scene edits? And up this pops…..
These aerial shots from the Green Mile are amazing! Check this edit by Dan Joyce out!
Featuring the riding of James Smith and TGM Maz! Dan was testing out the Black Magic Cinema Camera alongside the GoPro Black edition and a DJi Phantom Quadcopter. Good stuff!
Almost daily I get new ideas for the site, in the case of reviewing 2012 I felt the “Defining moments of 2011” didn’t really do the whole year justice I felt like I skipped a lot, in doing so, this article quickly turn into a bit of a monster!
How do you reflect on such a good year with just “Defining Moments” I thought to myself?
I do believe 2012 was one of the best years for flatland that I can ever remember.
So I started documenting all the edits and articles/news as I always do, this time I used the loose criteria, did they make me go back and take numerous watches/views.
I realised pretty quickly that this idea was a monsteras I hit rewind on some many edits, but much like when I’m riding, once I get an idea for trick/or article I stick at it until it’s done.
Two months later, staring at all these video references/notes, after much gnashing of teeth, re-edit after re-edit, here I am with Part 1!
I started brainstorming ideas best to showcase the year as concisely as possible.
This is what I came up with:
This article will come in three parts, Four months summary at a time, with a bibliography.
Let me know what you think in the comments. I am interested to see what people think. Hope you enjoy my breakdown! Anyway, enough of me rambling, let’s crack on!
Welcome to Part 1 of 3 for my review of 2012. Hold tight!
As early as January 4th, One of my favourite riders to watch, Stephan Hearn dropped an amazing ESPN profile edit dropped which kick started the year off nicely! Stephan’s riding since his Create part has always amazed me! 2012 has seen a lot of new faces come to the forefront which is amazing and much needed for our sport/artform. On January 14th, Kensuke Hamai from Japan dropped a “Must Watch” back wheel edit, with effortless switches which further pushed the foundations made by the likes of Nathan Penonzek, Raphael Chiquet and more recently Yohei Uchino.
Working on interviews as I have said many times is one of my favourite parts of putting together FM, first up for the year was Athens stylecat, Jody Temple, who kindly put together a really nice edit for coincide with the interview on January 18th. The year seems to have flown by, as this edit feels like it dropped a month ago.
On January 19th, Quentin Pelorson from France dropped some bombs on the Grenoble scene edit, the forward karl step to halfpacker (11.27) still has me hitting the rewind months ahead, I hope in time this guys riding gets the recognition it really does deserve. Really excited to see how his riding develops this year!
After the well received FM exclusive edit on January 20th, I dropped the first big interview of the year, with Jody Temple. This is most certainly well worth going back over and reading again, plus some awesome photographs to boot!
Also on this day, the first major jam of the year took place in Zuma Beach, So Cal. The One Love Jam saw a reunion of some flatland legends like Dylan Worsley, Day Smith, Brian Tunney, Cory Fester, Chad Johnston, Ed Nussbaum, and many more shredders. The One Love crew added a highest bunnyhop event that helped attract more riders and sponsors, and of course fun! Good times on the West Coast!
On February 6th was a great day for flatland! Tomoaki Yoshimura dropped a “Must Watch” back wheel edit, with his amazing two footed scuffing technique on forward puppets, Tomoaki had a great year featuring a lot across every flat website/blog on the planet. Hope to see more creative riding from this guy in 2013.
Also on February 6th I dropped the second big interview with Flatland legend, Simon O’Brien, I feel like sometimes this dude and what he’s done gets forgotten very quickly, as he’s out there in Australia, but as it turns out later in the year he featured a lot more. As we would later in the year find out.
Also, Adam Kun teamed up with his friend Tom at Sevisual to show the world his new brakeless style. Like I said February 6th was a good day!
On February 11th, Alex Jumelin joined forces with Matthias Dandois to kick start his year with a bang, 2012 was one of Alex’s most productive years yet, and this edit at his work/home riding spot in Paris set the tone of the year.
On the same day, Aleksi Ritsila dropped his Welcome to S&M edit, all I can say is Wow! Go watch that again. I wish the flatland world could see more of this style cat, but on the flipside it’s kinda nice getting brief glimpses of his awesome riding.
George Manos came over to the UK in February, and filmed a few FM exclusives at my indoor spot, but the real treat came on Feb 18th when he teamed up with the talented film maker/videographer, James Smith. The black and white tone and darkness of the edit captured George’s personality and minimalistic riding style perfectly, go watch that edit again!
Two days later, as we all recovered from Georges amazing edit, Tom at Sevisual got together with spanish style cat, Viki Gomez whilst he was over with Adam Kun for a contest in Madrid to film a sweet part in Madrid. Viki won the contest on home soil..
March always starts with the Toronto contest, now that the Circle Cow contest is no more. Toronto really is the first big contest of the year, and the first chance many of us get to see what the heavy hitters are up to for the year. And of course Canada has always historically helped breed some of the worlds best flatlanders. In 2012, Moto Sasaki took the win from Czech’s Dominik Nekolny, the result was uber close, a real tough to call, with how Dom ended the year at Texas Toast you wouldn’t bet on Dom going back this year to take top honours in Canada.
Whilst George Manos stayed at my house, I asked him if he would write an article about his thoughts on originality in flatland, on March 2nd, we released his thoughts and philosophy, entitled “Originality – a hidden identity” that gave you the flatland world some insight into this talented riders world.
Four days later, Bert Ribul had me thinking “is the guy that could step up and be the next big thing?”, so many crazy brakeless switches with nuff style, as I remember this is the first post I ever “stickied”, I may have got carried away with the amount of time I kept it stickied for. Bert’s edit was one of the best of the year, and certainly helped his invite to the Red Bull Circe of Balance later in the year. And 2013 looks like being a good year already for Bert!
On March 15th, Jean William Prevost dropped an amazing “Spring Cleaning” edit, killer back wheel pedal pivots, turbines, and so much flow, the edit had many saying “If he can hold it together he will win a contest…”… They were later proved they were not far wrong on that prediction….
On April 6th, one of the best edits of the years dropped and surprised the world, embracing the old, but making it new, John Yull’s “3 years” edit had me screaming at the laptop numerous times, it was great to see John back firing, John flipped the old and made it new! Killer foot jam decade variations, power mowers, the list goes on! As we all know John this year is working on his part for Same Thing Daily 3. Really excited to see what John has in store for us.
Hiroya Morizaki came out the blocks hot in 2012, winning the first round of the KOG, dialling in his no scuff mega spin whopper combo, everyone knows that no one rides like Hiroya, when the man is on, as I said on the Red Bull COB live feed, “get out of town”.
Shortly after the KOG, of course it was time for one of the best contests of the year and Round One of the World Circuit series, Jomopro. On the eve of the contest, April 9th, Fat Tony dropped an amazing practise edit which was really the first time we saw a lot of the japanese riders in 2012, and wow, Yohei Uchino stood out, as it turned out. Ucchie put his previous demons from the Jomopro contest to bed, and stomped his way to a well deserved win.
On April 10th, the news broke that Flatland Fuel’s Pat Schoolen was recovering from an operation to remove a tumour, thankfully Pat recovered well. But this news certainly shook the flatland world for a minute.
On April 11th, I dropped the story of the trip to the One Wheel Motion TGM jam in London, which certainly let a few of us know that Sam Foakes was back on it, and not slowing down anytime soon.
A day later, OGBikeCo released an amazing edit of the underrated Peter Sarlos, go back and watch this edit, Peter absolutely kills it!
2012 was a great year for Jim McKay, and the first main edit he dropped was the best trick contest edit from the Jomopro contest, we all marvelled at Hotoke’s insane front wheel line, not to mention Terry’s winning combo.
Also on this day, James Smith dropped the hilarious “The downfall of flatland parody” that followed on from TCU edit, James certainly ruffled a few feathers with this one, but in my opinion it is always good to reminded not to take yourself to seriously me thinks.
On April 28th, we broke the news that Alex Jumelin and his family would be moving from their home in Paris, France to New Orleans, USA. Certainly a career defining moment, and complete change in lifestyle.
Two days later, Jim McKay released an amazing edit entitled “Outside Jomopro 2012”, all to often after contests all thats available to see are the runs, Jim’s take Outside the contest, hit the nail on the head. An absolute treat with amazing riding from the likes of Viki Gomez, Hotoke, Dub, Matthias Dandois, and many more. Oh yeah that edit? Go watch it…
Part 2 to be continued Monday, does anyone see why this quickly became a monster? ….
Nice edit from the weekend featuring the likes of yours truly, James White, Josh Briars, Jon Birts, James Smith, Mayko Lee, Jamie Young, Trevor Lacey, Matthew Dyer and more. Good vibes at the Bristol Bap jam! Check it!