FATBMX 2012 REVIEW: BEN HENNON's OUR HOUSE JAM, HASTINGS. To be honest I didn't see this one coming. Ben Hennon was organising a contest. Cool. I like it when riders are giving back, or getting themselves into doing something for fellow riders. In fact, Hennon is a good guy for this. He understands fun, knows what riders want, and already has the power to tell people what they need to do. With the help of Seventies, Vans and Monster Energy "Our House" was turned into an event site. "Our House" is basically a ramp warehouse put up by the Seventies crew over in Hastings. If gives their riders a spot to ride, and since it's indoors, the riding can take place 24/7. This day, it was the place for Hennon's first comp.
On Friday morning I left home early to drive to Cologne. Achim Kujawski and Kay Clauberg were already loading up Andy Zeiss' van. While packing up it felt like 1994 all over again. On the road to Hastings for a BMX event. So cool. We took the tunnel to get to England from France, something I hadn't done
before. It was a quick channel crossing so I can recommend that to others.
We got to Hastings in the afternoon and decided to go see some places. First up "The Source", UK's #1 bike store we've been told. Nice place for sure. Then we cruised over to the Seventies (business) warehouse. Always good to peek into these places and meet up with the people there. We cruised over to "Our House" after that and that place looked sweet as well. After checking into the hotel it was off for some pizza dinner and meeting new people. Then the first gathering at the Brass Monkey(?) where Federal's artist had put up the paintings of all the Federal ads you've come to know. Sweet. The next day would be full of action so off to bed it was.
Saturday we cruised over to the warehouse where people were already riding and last minute changes were made to the place. The variety of riders there was going to make this an interesting jam to watch. The terrain was just as diverse with rails, quarters, a miniramp, ledges, spine, hip and ramps to wall all over the place.
20 riders had been invited and were split into 4 groups of 5 riders. Each group got the course to themselves for an hour. 15 minutes warm-up, and then 45 minutes of riding. It turned out to be a good set-up, where the riders could focus more on what they wanted to pull, rather than trying to pull off a perfect run of tricks they know they can do. The mix of ramp and street riders kept it interesting, but it wasn't about "the use of the entire course" but more how far you coud push your own riding.
Music was chill and there was no MC blaring in the mic. It almost felt like a "normal" riding session that was going on. You see, there was no crowd here because 1. there was no space, 2. it would require special permits and all that hoopla 3. the event was set up to go in RIDE UK magazine first which meant other media had to wait until it could get posted. Having 350 kids with phones around filming the heats would mean they would go live on "the net" instantly.
With Jon Taylor out with a broken wrist I got put into the Judging spot. Ben, got a pen? Paper maybe? Clipboards? "Just do it on your iPhone!" Okay, that's what Jack (Dub) Andy (Vans) and myself did, taking notes on the iPhone note pad. If somehow I could get those off the phone and paste them into this report, you would be able to see who did what if you could figure out my notes. But instead I'll let you check the videos that pop up from this event. The results though are as follows:
1. Alex Coleborn 2. Mark Love 3. Dan Lacey
Best trick winner: Dan Lacey.
It was four hours of riding to take in, but four amazing ones. It was back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading to the Afterparty. With the help of Monster Energy's dollars this turned into a hell of a night too. Thumbs up for Ben Hennon and his posse for pulling off the jam this way. Next year again, hopefully.