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.
If you somehow aren't familiar with Dutch shredder Tom van den Bogaard yet, press play immediately. There's no way his flawless style and huge tricklist should be embodied by the same rider. We spent one hour with Tom at 040BMXPARK in Eindhoven, Netherlands and the results are mind-blowing. Watch!
It was time to dust off the BMX bike for a session at the Sugar Hills because the Mini FATJAM was on the program. For a bunch of people it is that way. And that's fine. It shows that the Mini FATJAM is a reason to go ride again, together with those who think the same way. The jumps had been prepared for the same reason, because the Mini FATJAM was coming up. The jam gets people together and back on the bike and also this year we had support from Vans, Paul's Boutique, Haro Bikes so we could give out goodies to those who took the effort to come over to Aarle-Rixtel and put a few laps in. Also, for the first time in FATJAM history, we had Beckers as a sponsor of the event. They make the best Frikandellen (way better than Mora) and everyone present could get himself a
Back in 1990 we were surprised to get a dirt spot in Aarle-Rixtel. The elevated dirt oval received some shovel love right away and in April the first jam was held that turned into the Mini FATJAM. Transfer to 2017, 27 years later, and that spring jam is still alive. And guess what, the Sugar Hills trails haven't looked better over all those years. The rain has helped to fix the place up and the sun's out all week to finish it off. And yes, you're welcome to test the jumps and get a headstart on the others who are coming over on Saturday next week for the annual jam.
We've collected some prizes again, donated by our awesome sponsors, which will be going out around 15:00hr so for those who only ride dirt once a year, you've got 2 hours of practice because the jam starts at 13:00hr. Visitors who want to stop by Paul's Boutique on 1 April, Paul's shop is open from 11:00hr - 13:00hr only.
The dirt spot has something to offer for all ages and all skill levels. Even if you're not a frequent Dirt rider, you've got something to conquer in Aarle-Rixtel. We've got a small table/roller line and of course the Killer Jump for the big boys and everything in between. The two new starting platforms look absolutely fabulous and will get you ready to pull the entire outside line or the middle line as well. It's going to be good so don't miss out. It's free to ride, it's free for spectators. Free parking as well and you can bring your own food and drinks. No security either. The free spirit is alive on 1 April.