Pension plan? Don't really have one. First you gotta see if you actually make it that far. The FATJAM has made it to 65 editions and is not ready to stop. It's the longest running annual BMX jam in the world and looking at the smiles on everyone's faces it would be a mistake to end the good times. So if you have never made it to Aarle-Rixtel for a FATJAM, your live isn't over, you will get an other chance. Also for this edition we had to prepare the sugar Hills trails for the dirt session. It's unbelievable the Killer jump has survived this long. It outlasted many riders and caused some victims once again. That name is there for a reason. You've got to respect the Killer because the moment you don't you'll get killed as some of the youngsters found out. Oh well, there's your new challenge for the next edition; master the Killer. The dirt spot looked good and ready for the afternoon of action. The massive rain the day prior had only helped. Thanks to all who pitched in shaping, digging and getting rid of that grass that keeps coming back.
Once again prizes were handed out around 4pm provided by the raddest companies in BMX. It resulted in happy faces especially when a brand new complete bike was handed out to the 2023 FATJAM Talent presented by OJA. Lentjens will be a BMX lifer. This moment he'll never forget. Aarle-Rixtel breeds BMX-ers and in part it's because of its BMX history. The people who have traveled to send tricks, hang out and party is long. And international.
Burgers were flipped. Mom sponsored the burgers this time. Paul and Robbish flipped them as our
Op zaterdag 25 maart barste het BMX-geweld weer los op de hoek van de Buizerdstraat/Valkendijk in Aarle-Rixtel. BMX-fans konden hun hart weer ophalen op de Sugar Hills Trails. Sinds 1990 is hier jaarlijks de opening van het buitenseizoen.
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
Last night I wrote an info piece on the upcoming Mini FATJAM with details on where, who, what, when, and why. Then, when I wanted to add a photo, things got weird and the write-up disappeared. I hate it when that happens as writing it for a second time is never the same. Now I want to rush this as I had already typed things up last night. But anyway, here we go again so you have the info you need when making plans to come to Aarle-Rixtel on Saturday 25 March 2023.
The Mini FATJAM will held at the Sugar Hills, located at the Valkendijk in Aarle-Rixtel. Google it, check the distance, and then say; let's GO! The trails have been fixed up and are in good condition, even now already so pre-sessions are possible. They are free now and they will be free on 25 March, as is parking, spectator access, toilet use, etc. We just want to get everyone together to celebrate the opening of the outdoor season.
With a bit of luck we can convince Masterchef Fritske Maat again to flip some burgers. Feel free to bring your own booze/drinks/snacks/food/chairs/tents as we're not out there to make money on this as we haven't from the start. The trails have been around since 1990 and has hosted two jams every year. It would be easy to call it quits and enjoy the weekend off, but it brings so much joy to all the BMX-ers from the 4 year old nibbler to the 50+ old school crew. There's something to ride for everyone, from little rollers to table tops to doubles and of course the KILLER jump. We just want to remind you that doing
What started in 1987 as a street jam was continued at the Sugar Hills trails with the focus on riding dirt. In fact we did three street jams in Aarle-Rixtel before moving to De Valkendijk where the dirt spot has seen annual action for over 32 years now. Is the FATJAM the longest running annual BMX jam in the world? This past Saturday 3 September called for another one. The process remains the same; pick a date, make a flyer, tell people about the jam, and wait and see who turns up.
For the 2022 edition we added a 40-years EK Beek & Donk reunion. The Milky Way Open European Championships happened 40 years ago on our local BMX track in Beek & Donk a few miles from Aarle-Rixtel. If you wanted to talk oldskool BMX, the FATJAM was the place. Gerrit and Mieke Does, and Pieter Does made it to the jam early and first international visitor in 1982 Thomas Fritscher (GER) found his way back to Aarle-Rixtel as well. Former BMX photographer Christ Verhoeven and his son Gert showed up and contributed to the old stories as did Ans Vereijken, Tiny van Brug, André Duijmelink, Jan, Leo and Diny Leenders, Richard Waldt and Johan de Leeuw. Names who probably don't mean much to current BMX riders but were there when BMX was shaped. With 1982 EK Beek & Donk buttons and Milky Ways on the table the old stories came back instantly.
Add Frits van der Linden on the BBQ and a JBL producing songs and you'll get the idea where things were going with some cool Bavaria's being opened from time to time....
Sometimes we take our BMX expertise for granted. What seems logical to us doesn't necessarily make sense to others. It's actually where we need to step in to solve issues that can benefit the BMX scene. Case in point, the miniramp that once was set up in Mariahout. For whatever reason this ramp was taken to the municipal yard and replaced by some really dump street obstacles, 'from the catalog', a waste of money but that's a different story.
At this point we need that miniramp back so it can be used by everyone. There's no use for it at the moment sitting at the yard collecting dust. To show the interest in the ramp Tom van den Bogaard has created a petition that we would like everyone to sign.
The plan is to place the miniramp next to the existing mini in Aarle-Rixtel so a bigger ramp is created for more variety and fun for everyone. If you could take a moment to sign the petition below we'd appreciated it.
Having a ramp in operational condition is better than having a dismantled ramp sitting in storage. Thanks for the support.
Here's an idea for you as witnessed in Beek en Donk today. Members of the youth council brought up the idea to put some life in their spini miniramp. The idea was born to find creative people in town and decorate the sides of the ramp together. Local artist Els Coenen was commissioned to lead the project and the result was revealed today with the presence of the mayor of Laarbeek. Sport and Culture go hand in hand in Urban sports and Ramps are a great location for the two to meet up and do their thing. Graffiti of course is an other way for the two to meet up and potentially the other two ramps of Laarbeek will see some colour in the future.
Who will take on a similar project for your local ramp?
You get what you deserve. That's what I usually say when the weather turns out great at an event. The beginning of the 2nd national heatwave of the year started on Saturday 24 August when BMX-ers got together for the 31st edition of the FATJAM. The heat also brought the problem of making it tough to keep the trails in good condition. Water was needed badly but wasn't around so sweeping the dust was practically the only thing that could be done. Regardless, riders used the trails all day long in a non-stop train. Several lines were discovered and conquered and also the rollers saw plenty of action all day long by the youngsters who keep on coming back for each edition of the FATJAM to win one of the many goodies and prizes that are donated by our sponsors again and a again. A big thank you goes to TSG, TallOrder, FIST, BSD, Vans, OJA, Gemeente Laarbeek, Federal, and Red Bull for their support
While the Sugar Hills Trails got abused, plenty of chilling and catching up was done on the field next to the dirt spot. Tents and the trees provided the well needed shade while Masterchef Frits handled the burgers on the BBQ. Cool boxes full of adult beverages were brought in and what better way to crack a few the people you like to hang out with. Unfortunately the planned swimming pool never happened but OJA did donate a brand new bike to a new shredder at the FATJAM once again. The young winner didn't know how to act but sure was stoked on getting a free BMX bike after watching everyone ride the trails.
Vans TM Andy Zeiss grabbed the mic at the end of the session to announce Tom van den Bogaard's
30 years in a row we've opened the outdoor BMX season with the Mini-FATJAM in Aarle-Rixtel. Crazy when you think of it. Most of you reading this weren't riding back then but that doesn't mean that you should not check out the upcoming Mini FATJAM in Aarle-Rixtel on March 30th. It's seriously a jam for everyone who loves BMX or is involved somehow. The trails go from easy rollers (we've got 6 year old kids rolling along) to various lines and of course the KILLER jump. Ride all afternoon as much as you like. Try out dirt jumping if you never ride dirt. The session will be open from 13:00hr - 18:00hr with several prizes going out to the participating riders at 16:00hr. But come over early to get some extra practice in. The Sugar Hills Trails at De Valkendijk in Aarle-Rixtel, NL will be in tip top shape, music will be playing and it's time for another catch-up.
From 20:00hr OJA will be open for those who are still thirsty. OJA has been the after party place of the FATJAM since day 1. Located at Schoolstraat 2 in Aarle-Rixtel you should pencil that into your agenda right now.
What: Mini FATJAM Where: Sugar Hills Trails, Valkendijk, Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands
And there it was, the last FATJAM. Many of you didn't want to pass up the opportunity to witness the annual jam in Aarle-Rixtel. For some it was a walk into memory lane, others have shown up year after year. It didn't matter what the reason was, you guys were there and that was much appreciated. With the same concept as previous years, the 30th edition did bring something new; the Rodeo Bull provided by OJA, one that could be manned ourselves. Next to that the Sugar Hills trails were in good shape (considering) and were used all day long. It took a while before the Killer Jump got used but the ones with No Fear were brave enough the work with the soft landing. 040BMXPARK brought the Big Air Bag for everyone to work on some new tricks. Even the smallest riders took all the speed they could from the street to send themselves on the soft mattrass. Masterchef Frits van der Linden and partner in crime Robin de Put manned the BBQ until the 150 delicious Beckers Burgers were all gone. In the meantime the locals had brought their coolers full of Bavaria and found themselves a spot at the FATJAM to shoot the shit and have a good time while the riders got to ride the Sugar Hills all day until they had enough.
At 16:00hr Paul got on the microphone to hand out the goodies that were provided by our sponsors Vans, Paul's Boutique, Beckers, Fist and OJA. OJA even provided a complete bike that went a young visitor named Yvo from New Zealand who had no bike to ride. He even picked up some matching FIST gloves to go with the bike. All he wanted were a few stickers. Then he got home with a new bike.