The Sugar Hills trails in Aarle-Rixtel have hosted the Mini FATJAM since 1990. The little brother of the FATJAM opens the outdoor season officially. We've had great weather at the end of March multiple times but the 2023 edition had to be completed in the dry periods in the afternoon of 25 March. Luckily the trails can handle some rain. Drainage works as well as the black sand that absorbs the rain well. The jumps made of clay were scraped off a tiny bit which made them rideable within 15 minutes. Not that the little ones cared as they kept on riding also when water was falling out of the sky. If all this sounds dramatic, it wasn't. The EZ-UPs provided shelter and catching up took place in the few moments the rain took care of the dust.
While going through the pictures I noticed the essence of the Mini FATJAM. One photo shows Jari Roggeveen flipping the killer jump. 9-years old local Morris followed him towards the killer but did not dare to jump it. Next photo I see the two of them have a chat next to the KILLER. For the little ones getting to ride with the pros is awesome to see. The pros motivating the younger riders by giving pointers to progress is what makes BMX the best. With Morris being so young that Killer jump sure is intimidating. That ramp is taller than the kid himself and sends you to the moon. Next thing we see is for Morris to head to the Killer at full speed on his 18" bike. Full face on. Body protector strapped tight. With all his might Morris had followed Jari's advice and sent it big on the Killer. He managed to clear the gap and put a big smile on his face. Personal challenges are different for everyone and at the Sugar Hills
there's room for everyone to push their limits. From the smaller roller lines to the Killer jump and everything in between. Once mastered all lines try to figure out the transfers. Once they're in the pocket, there's always tricks that can be done. Erik van de Wardt pushed it so hard that his bike ended up in a tree like a christmas ornament, something we had not seen in 33 years of Sugar Hills Trails history.
Kids were once again spoiled by the prizes that were at hand thanks to Paul's Boutique BMX, Vans and TSG. Everyone left with something, from stickers, buttons, shirts to shoes! Beers were consumed by the locals. Bikes were ridden all day. The BBQ was missing (will be back) but fun was had by all. The afterparty at OJA once again was a good way to conclude an edition of the Mini FATJAM. With the clock being changed to summer time we now have an extra hour of daylight for after work sessions. The Sugar Hills are in great shape for it. Come ride. Open 24/7. For free. Time to progress. Ask the pros for tips. Push your progression. Be careful on that KILLER jump. See you on August 26th at the latest for the summer FATJAM.
Pics by FATBMX / Bart de Jong