|Maurice Meyer, www.fatbmx.com: Last year's Meet the Street contest was on my birthday. This year the US started bombing Afghanistan on my birthday. Last year's Meet the Street was on the same day as the Blue Angels Air Show. This year the Blue Angels were cancelled. Meet the Street went on; in the park, in the cold and fog, with tons more riders than last year and plenty of fun for all.
Ron Wilkerson hates the X-Games. I like the X-Games. Ron puts on Meet the Street contests. I like Meet the Street contests. They're not like the X-Games. So, what makes a Meet the Street contest a Meet the Street contest? Well, first off it's held in an open public place with no admission so random people walk up who may have never seen this stuff before. There's very little advertising so the crowd is about 70% to 80% riders. Practice is open to all and it's a melee of bikes, bodies and splinters of wood flying everywhere. There are no bleachers so you bring your own coolers, chairs or whatever or not. There is no crowd control so you may have to dodge other riders during your run. Half the fun of watching a Meet the Street comp is the anticipation that one of the shanty ramps is going to explode. Most of the stuff is made for one-time use without metal edges, 2x4s instead of 2x6s, one layer of ply instead of 2, save a screw here, save a screw there, you get the deal. But, that's what Meet the Street is all about - working with what you've got and adapting.
It wouldn't be a Meet the Street course without a dumpster and a car to ride/beat on. Oh, and it was beat down as soon as it showed up. I don't think some of the people in crowd knew whether they were witness to a riot or what. The dumpster was there but there were less lines to it than last year since there was no ramp setup on the one side and no landing ramp on the inside. I guess you could grind it if you "were street enough" to jump from flat 5 feet up. Last year's sub-box was brought back to life and had the hardest time staying together. I sat there for about 10 minutes watching that thing flex like a cheap mattress in a downtown fleabag hotel but it didn't buckle. Although, one guy's leg went through the mini-deck on the transition side. A box jump is just a necessity these days so that was covered. There was also some cool new stuff too: a rail (about a 10-stair), a 6-foot quarter-to-quarter 90 degree hip with a rounded sub-box on top. Although there were no tree rides to be had, where last year there were 2 quarters with a coping transfer over the gap, there was now a big-ass 3-stage wall ride with a mailslot to blast over or downside (upside?) peg stall. A nice feature and it stood up to some serious punishment from the riders and renegade tagging from Dirt Bros. and Solid. I was surprised none of the spectators in the mailslot lost teeth.
Marty Schlesinger rode AFA contests. So did Dave Nourie. Marty rode for Mongoose. Dave rode for Haro. My first real BMX frame was a Mongoose I bought with paper route money in like 1975. Marty, Dave and Mongooses were all present at Meet the Street. Old school.
|Maurice Meyer, www.fatbmx.com: I have to admit that the good class was a blur of shredding. There's no possible way I could give a fair description of the the kind of stuff these guys were pulling. I did notice a few guys from last year who had obviously been riding since. 12-year-old local SF boy Tony Campos has definitely expanded a lot from his box jumping roots taking some long carves over the mailbox. Frist in good was well deserved. Jimmy Makin and Josh Bingham came in for a close second and third respectively.||GOOD CLASS:
6.Wes Rowe (Tie)
6.Charles Landgren (Tie)
|Maurice Meyer, www.fatbmx.com: The great class stepped it up another notch. Andre Murillo ripped the entire course hard and pulled the win. Samar Carillo took a close second. David Camacho's big peg stall on the wall took him over the top and onto the car on the other side. Note to self: never park anywhere near a Meet the Street comp. Third place to David C.||GREAT CLASS:
7.Eben Fischer (Tie)
7.Marcos Torres (Tie)
7.Chad Bautista (Tie)
10.Tim "Fuzzy" Bosstock
|Maurice Meyer, www.fatbmx.com: The pro class had upwards of 20 riders. Old-timer veterans of the original MTS contests, Oscar Gonzalez and Mike Krnaich came to shred some big airs and wall attacks. Oscar wore big brother Hugo's "lucky" Skyway helmet and Mike came from Petaluma with a bull-horn. Drew Arroyo and Sean Parker threw some flatland inspired tech on us in practice but didn't compete. Bruce Crisman, Adam Streiby and Rob Darden showed out for the currently shredding pros. Jay Miron was conspicuously absent so there was no singing of "Oh Canada". Pete Augustin, Vic Murphy, Dave Voelker and Brian Blyther were supposed to be coming up from Low-Cal but didn't make it. They're "hella" bummed...
Bruce Crisman has a smooth high-energy style of riding and is a lot of fun to watch. But, while we were all yelling "flipwhip" to Adam Streiby, he gave us something else to chew on - a 360 decade jump. At least that's what a friend's home video replay reveals. Adam did go on to pull the flipwhip but everyone was talking about "that other crazy jump". A few of us who had different vantage points speculated that night whether it was really a 360 turndown to half tailwhip, half decade or maybe it was a Wilkerwhip jump? I still haven't seen the video but I'll trust my man Josh on the 360 decade. Awesome riding by Adam and first place. Second place to Bruce and third to Jimmy Levan who rode nonstop both runs. Rob Darden still managed to take fourth even though he was nursing a recently repaired knee. Ty Hathaway took fifth and Mike Krnaich took sixth. Troy McMurray's aggressive style got him seventh.
1.Adam Strieby (Redline)
2.Bruce Crisman (Diamondback)
3.Jimmy Levan (Metal)
4.Rob Darden (S&M)
5.Ty Hathaway (Pacesetter Bike Shop)
7.Troy McMurray (S&M)
8.Gary Young (Dirt Bros.)
9.Ryan Armstrong (2-Hip)
10.Mike Heinz [tie]
10.Ben Boyco [tie]
|Maurice Meyer, www.fatbmx.com: So this year's Meet the Street once again lived up to its promise of grassroots competition street. Great job once again by the 2-Hip crew.
Damage assessment: 1 car destroyed, 5 bikes stolen, 1 broken leg, misc. graphitti, 1 fight (Rob Darden's step-dad vs. Craig and Solid crew), many, many forty ouncers, a fipwhip and this 360 decade mystery jump thing.
See you at Meet the Street 2002.
|Scot McElwaney, www.ridebmx.com: There had to be at least 200 bikes laying around the small patch of concrete that 2-Hip was filling with some of the sketchiest ramps I've ever seen. Ramps were literally falling apart while people were riding them, and every time this happened, someone would run onto the course with a cordless drill to perform a temporary mend. The permit that the city of San Francisco gave 2-Hip only allowed them to bring the ramps in on the morning of the contest, so the course was being built while a mass of riders were trying to ride what ramps were already there. This led to mass confusion as well as mass collisions. So many riders confined to such a small area meant that bike-to-bike crashes happened constantly during practice. This included a scary moment when Bruce Crisman and Cameron Birdwell collided hard, leaving Bruce on the ground for a few seconds. Things became even sketchier when the box jump was set up, because from that point on, the only thing that the Ams wanted to do was jump the box, which prompted Kris Beecher to get on the mic and rename the contest the "2-Hip Meet the Box Jump."
After a while, things began to settle down enough for the contest to begin. "Good" was the first class, and after that, "Great" got their chance to go. "Good" had 41 riders, "Great" had 35, and there were at least another 40 on the waiting list.s section.
The Pro class (Really Great) didn't begin until after 5pm, and it was getting really cold by this point. Fall might not be the best time to hold a contest in San Francisco; it gets dark early and San Francisco is cold enough as it is. But despite the sketchy course and the cold, all 22 Pros did their best. Some of the most notable tricks were:
Jimmy Levan's huge downside footplants on the wallride. Ty Hathaway did a vertical Smith stall-to-180 in on the wallride extension. I was thoroughly impressed by Ty's riding all day; he's definitely someone to look out for in the future. Brian Boyco pulled an icepick on the extension that sat at the back of the hip, and I have to point out that he did it while wearing a pink helmet. Adam Strieby came through with a brand new trick. He did a 360 X-up to downside tailwhip/decade on the box jump. It's pretty hard to imagine, and I wish I had a sequence to show you (anyone that wouldn't mind contributing some video footage of this give me a call). Adam then turned around and followed with a flip-whip. Insane.
When the contest was over, it was evident that everyone had had a good time, but they were all ready to leave. It was getting dark, and it was time to begin the evening's festivities or the drive home, whichever it may have been.