Sitting in the stands watching BMX for 10 hours a day might get a little stale. In between some motos and during the opening ceremony, the organization of the UCI world's in Bercy had brought in some entertainment. The variety was big. Instead of an expected big laser and fireworks show in Bercy, the announcer got a Mexican wave going with the people in the stands and an ALOHA group showed up that had girls and guys dancing in a traditional way while the guru interacted with the crowd and the band that sat in the middle of the track. On Saturday the Theo Tahiti show turned it up a notch and brought in some fire. A circle of fire was made with the help of some flamable fluid and the Hawaiian dudes were juggling with some sort of stick with fire at both ends. Even this can get a bit boring but as soon as one of the guys' leg was on fire this lead to some panic in the group. You see, the dude was wearing leg covers and one of them caught fire when he stepped in the burning circle. At first you think it's part of the show but it wasn't. The Flyin' Hawaiin' made the hell out of the circle and looked for sand to put the fire down. People around the infield jumped in to help out. Being the true showman he continued the show and finished it without more drama.
The vert ramp show took place on a three sheet wide halfpipe. It was skinny. When looking a little closer I saw a piece of coping sticking out on one side, the size of another sheet. The track builders had not been careful with the available space. This caused for the pro section to be cancelled and did not leave enough space for the full width of the vert ramp to be set up. There was room for three sheets, instead of four. Add the fact that the ramp was in the middle of a dusty track for a few days and you can imagine that the inliners and skateboarders weren't stoked on the situation. With Airwalk being the head sponsor of the race, they hired inline legend Taig Kris (sponsored by Airwalk) and his buddies to put on a show. Given the conditions they put on a great show, too bad there was no BMX riding going on on the vert ramp but on this ramp it would have looked really bad anyway.
With the vert ramp gone on Saturday, the dirt jumps could be ridden. Two sets were built, both with a wooden take off ramp that looked pretty steep with a quick transition. Roughly 9 guys got to session the jumps in between the racing motos and finals. There were a few rulers in the crew and a few that did not pull it together to go off for the 8.000 people in the stands. Some of the rulers were Stephane Renaut who did killer table three-sixties, tailwhips, no-handers, superman seat grabs and 3-whips on the sketchy jumps. You can always count on Patrick Guimez to go off too with variations on both sets. The rider with the blue bike has got some good style too and pulled 360 variations with ease. They even had an announcer that knew the tricks and the riders.
What's an event in France without breakdance? I'd never seen this crew and they were quite amazing. A big tarp was rolled out on the first straight on Saturday night in between some final rounds. With live TV going on at the same time you know that things can get stressful. The crew had limited time to do what they did and it all looked really good. They got a big hand from the people in the stands before it was back to BMX racing again.
Dudes on fire, dirt jumping, breakdance and a vert demo. Could have been a lot worse.