|Date: september 5-6, 1987.
Place: Colombus, Ohio.
It was the bigger AFA contest ever (since they eliminated novices and intermediates for Masters contests), with 260 riders. It was also one of the longest -12 hours on saturday, and about six hours on Sunday-and McGoo got thrown out on Saturday by the Rent-A-Cops for throwing stickers.
|13 AND UNDER FLATLAND CLASS.
Everyone there ripped. Eric Evans finally got beat-he won the 13 & Under Flatland class, but Hutchster Greg MacComber beat him in ramps and took the overall.
Dave Mirra: My first competition was in Ohio in september 1987, it was the AFA Masters Series. Back then I was sponsored by Haro and it was a flow deal, they gave me a few bikes and some parts and would pay for my food and lodging at the contests if I got there. For a 13-year-old that was awesome. I was so nervous and excited that I was about to explode. I entered the 13 and under expert flatland class, but during my sixty-second routine, anxiety got the best of me and I fell apart. I didn't pull a lot of my tricks, wich left me in eleventh place out of twelve riders.
13 AND UNDER EXPERT FLATLAND RESULTS: 1.Eric Evans 2.Greg Macomber 3.Eddie Montalongo 4.Chris Schmidt 5.Josh Rohal (...) 11.Dave Mirra
14-15 FLATLAND CLASS.
A Laser-sponsored guy from Florida beat the pants off the 14-15 Flatland class, including Aaron Dull, who was witnessed doing a backwards decade (feet pointing outward) the night before the contest at the Holiday Inn (he jelled trying it during his run and took fifth place). Oh, who was that guy from Florida ? Glad you asked. His name is Derek Schott, and you'll see him again.
14-15 EXPERT FLATLAND RESULTS: 1.Derek Schott 2.Park Carter 3.Danny Lupold 4.Dill Newman 5.Aaron Dull
16-18 FLATLAND CLASS.
Karl "Kruizer" Rothe won his first contest in a long time, beating the other 100 or so riders in the 16-18 Flatland class. Yes, it was the largest class in the history of the world. Joe Gruttola took second, and Plywood Hood Mark "Lungmustard" Eaton took third with such antics as a forward-rolling tailwhip after beating Gary Pollak in a tie-breaker. Can you imagine being a judge for 100 riders who all did front.and backyards (it seemed like it, anyway) ?
16-18 EXPERT FLATLAND RESULTS: 1.Karl Rothe 2.Joe Gruttola 3.Mark Eaton 4.Gary Pollack 5.Marty Stoyer
19 AND OVER FLATLAND CLASS.
In the 19 & Over class, Rick Moliterno beat out Kevin Jones for the win. If you remember the Austin, Texas, Masters, you know that many felt that Key should have won. Well, Rick left absolutely no doubts in Ohio. "Sweet" Pete Kearney finished third-his highest contest placing to date. Some other trivial flatland highlights included Ron McCoy's no-touch run, some guy pulling off a no-handed, no-footed pedal picker, and Dave Voelker ending his flatland run with one of his patented quarterpipe footplants.
19 and OVER EXPERT FLATLAND: 1.Rick Moliterno 2.Kevin Jones 3.Pete Kearney 4.Chris Ketchum 5.Jonathan Garcia
PRO FLATLAND CLASS.
In Pro ground, Dennis McCoy didn't win! He did take second, however. R.L. and a ripping Chris Lashua tied for third, but R.L. took the bronze after the runoff. Dave Nourie ripped as usual, but a few too many mistakes kept him down in fifth. Woody Itson didn't look his usual self-he took sixth. Wilkerson, Robert Peterson, a sick Rick Allison and funny-guy Maurice Meyer rounded out the ten pros. Ten pros? Ah, yes, this one pro did backward and forward Ninja stands, forward and backward bar rides, a sit and spin, a pedal picker walkaround, bar spinner Miami hop-hops, a roll-back into a no-footed slider, an undertaker, a no-handed backyard, a finger-flip bar spinner: tailwhips (both ways), a walkaround, a smoothie -boomerangpedalrang-fire hydrant-walkaround combo, a long flail, a flail-out, a funky chicken, a double kick-whip into Woody-whips into a boomerang, a G-turn, a one-handed coaster wheelie, a full nelson into a pile driver (?), a cross-footed flair and a cross-footed flail-out. What kind of guy could do all of that? None other than the main Ninja himself, Martin Aparijo.
PRO FLATLAND RESULTS: 1.Martin Aparijo 2.Dennis McCoy 3.RL Osborn 4.Chris Lashua 5.Dave Nourie 6.(tie)Woody Itson 6.(tie) Ron Wilkerson 8.(tie) Robert Peterson 8.(tie) Rick Allison 10.Maurice Meyer
Mark Eaton, steamroller.
Karl Rothe, Karl Kruzer, first place.
|13 AND UNDER RAMPS CLASS.
In the ramps classes, Greg MacComber won 13 and under, he pulled airs two feet out, did one-handers, one-footers and a fakie, plus some cool kickturns.
13 AND UNDER EXPERT RAMPS: 1.Greg Macomber 2.Eric Evans 3.Zane Trisler 4.Bill Gawich
14-15 RAMPS CLASS.
In 14-15 Ramps, Matt Hoffman rode like he usually does (getting first), and Beau Cobb took second.
14-15 EXPERT RAMPS: 1.Matt Hoffman 2.Beau Cobb 3.Jamie Eastman 4.Todd Thibo 5.Ryan Lee Dunman
16-18 RAMPS CLASS.
A big surprise came in 16-18 Ramps when Joe Johnson did no-handers, lookdowns, one-handed one-footers, nofooted cancans and a kicked-upwards fakie lookback and didn't win. For some reason, the judges gave the win to Chicago's Bob Kohl. Don't get me wrong-he was great: nofooters, no-footed one-handers, lookbacks and no-handers were totally radical, but whether or not he should have won is questionable.
16-18 EXPERT RAMPS: 1.Bob Kohl 2.Joe Johnson 3.Gary Pollack 4.Joel LaMonthe 5.Duane Duncan
19 AND OVER RAMPS CLASS.
Rick Moliterno also put in a good ramp run in 19&Over; a second there and a first in ground gave him the overall for the contest and probably for the whole year. "Lord Vulgar" Voelker won with his usual assortment of footplants, no-handers, lookdowns and the like, plus some of the highest airs of the contest in the nine to tenfoot range. Steve Broderson stayed healthy long enough to take third. There were also some bad crashes in the Ramps class that kept a few contenders out of contention. Mongoosers Robbie Van Patton, Joel Alamo and Marty Schlesinger all crashed their ways out of the contest. Robbie slammed on one of his first practice airs-bummer. Chris Potts was also ripping, until he conked his coconut and had to set out the remainder of his routine.
19&OVER EXPERT RAMPS: 1.Dave Voelker 2.Rick Moliterno 3.Steve Broderson 4.Dizz Hicks 5.Ryan Benning
PRO RAMPS CLASS.
In Pro ramps is where the word 'ripped" really comes into play. First of all, everyone in the class: Hugo, Mike, Dennis, Brian and Ron all ripped. Hugo Gonzales did a one-handed footplant, a 270 drop-in, a no-footed one hander and a bunch of cool fakies, but unfortunately, he couldn't land backwards. He took fifth. Mike Dominguez blasted a lookdown, an X-up and a purist air in the stratosphere, but ended his run less than halfway through by hanging up and slamming on the exit end of a six-foot-high 540 (that he pulled off even higher in practice). To have to judge the next three riders would be a nightmare; each one was absolutely amazing. Brian Blyther rode to AC/DC and blazed airs in the nine to ten-foot range: an X-down, a cancan footplant, a front-wheel 360 on the short ramp and on the quarterpipe, a cancan X-up, a chicken-man air, Blyther hop-hops, a 540 about two feet out and ended his run with a 540 flyout. After Brian, Dennis McCoy started out by launching an abubaca from the deck of the quarter, and then a high air, a no-footed fakie, a shortramp Miami hopper, a 360 flyout to 270 drop-in on the quarter, a turndown, a lookdown, an alley oop fakie, a high X-up, a front-wheel 360 on the short ramp, a high fakie cross-up and, after trying to get into it twice, a drop-in from a cherry picker! No way. Wilkerson came next, he started his run with a pedal picker drop-in, and then did a high fakie, a cool kickturn, a no-hander (so high you wouldn't believe), a hop-drop, a onefooter, a rocket air, a no-handed fakie to crash, a perfect no-handed fakie and a Miami hopper drop-in after his time was up. Ron went so high and got so radical that everyone, including myself, thought that Ron had the win in the bag. The judges didn't think so, however. They gave Ron third place, and the crowd booed for five minutes straight. Ron happily accepted his third-place check, ripped it up and handed the pieces to kids in the crowd. Dennis took second, and smooth-man Brian won his first AFA contest of the year. Although Ron thinks he got ripped, there's no denying that Brian Blyther absolutely, without a doubt... ripped.
PRO RAMP RESULTS: 1.Brian Blyther 2.Dennis McCoy 3.Ron Wilkerson 4.Mike Dominguez 5.Hugo Gonzales
Bob Kohl, Superman.
|Pro: Dennis McCoy
19 and over: Rick Moliterno
16-18: Gary Pollack
14-15: Matt Hoffman
13 and under: Greg Macomber
|Mat Hoffman, The Ride of my Life, 2002: My favorite part about the contest scene was the feeling of being immersed in bike riding, bonding with my friends one epic weekend at a time. Contests were about seeing the new tricks, kicking a little ass on the ramp, heckling my teammates, and at the end of the day, getting goofy at the Dennys dinner tables. All that began to change midway through 1987, at an AFA event in Columbus, Ohio. It was the biggest AFA contest to date, about 260 riders strong. Eddie Roman and I were amusing ourselves (and no one else) using a homebrewed geographic joke: With a cheerful expression, we'd approach other riders and exclaim, "Oh. Hi! Oh...
The sport was booming, and the influx of new riders meant the manufacturers were pumping a lot of cash into freestyle bikes, tours, and teams. Each month the number of kids seemed to multiply and companies added to the sport, defining it with a contagious energy. T-shirts and 'zines were being created, forming the bike subculture that surged up from the underground. At the Ohio comp, it was evident how popular riding had become in a short time. There were thousands of spectators, and hundreds of bikers who swarmed like lemmings to the contest -some didn't even compete, they just came to ride.
Ohio was one of the first contests where the extracurricular activities surrounding the competition overshadowed the event itself. Rebellion was in the air. Big parking lot flatland jam circles and allnight street riding were becoming the norm. Despite the best efforts of AFA president Bob Morales and his affiliates around the country, the riders at AFA events wanted more than just a contest. They wanted a scene.
A lot of guys had traveled to Ohio on their own, unsupervised by parents, for what seemed like the first time. The host hotel was a Holiday Inn. It was inundated with riders who found power in the pack mentality-sometimes it was five or eight guys, plus bikes, to a room. Mayhem ensued. The telltale signs were all around -skid marks on the carpet, tire scuffs in the elevators, stickers on lampshades. And there was noise, constantly. High-speed, ride-by pillow jousts left the hallways littered with shredded feathers and giggling idiots. Room service trays were sent flying out of hotel room windows, clattering onto the sidewalk below. Patio furniture found its way into the swimming pool, Coke machines toppled over, trashcans were sent tumbling down stairwells, and fire alarms rang at least once a night throughout the weekend. The hotel managers were beyond irate and called in the cavalry. The flicker of red and blue police lights sent riders scattering like roaches-seeking cover in their rooms or taking off for the streets. This was repeated a couple times over the course of the weekend.
Most people had arrived at the contest Friday night, and by Sunday morning, rumors were flying about bikers-versus-helicopter street chases with twenty or fifty guys trying to elude the searchlights. Many had been threatened by the hotel management with eviction from their rooms or had been forced out by the chaos. Legend was born when Large Ray, a freestyle cult figure, hatched a fist-sized turd on a napkin, then placed it in the continental breakfast kitchen microwave, set to "high." Ten minutes later, the odor swept through the hotel ventilation system and penetrated the entire building with a suffocating, sulfuric stench.
Everybody needs to rebel against something, but that contest was an all-time low. I was satisfied just being annoying with my Oh-Hi-Oh joke.