|Date: October 26-27, 2002.
Place: Storm skate park in Derby, UK.
SOUL BMX VIDEO Issue 21.
|The arena was the smallest of the three this year, and with a big crowd crammed in it meant the atmosphere ruled.
Taj Mihelich: Watching Taj take to the course was worth seeing alone, massive wall rides transfers were crazy enough, but that downside whip from the volcano to the driveway was one of the best things I've seen in BMX. He must have been determined to go home broken, with gaffa tape holding his trousers together and then taking it in the face on a downside attempt. Taj emerged 5 minutes later after being checked out by first aid, grabbed his bike, dropped in and pulled the biggest downside whip transfer about 15ft in the air, everyone just went insane.
John Heaton: Massive manual lines, tweaked 360 tables over the volcano, back flip to manual transfers from the quarter to sub box and general games console riding.
Baz Keep: Just made everybody else who rode the very wall quarter look like they weren't even trying. Only a few people aired out the top, no-one aired 5ft out and pulled inverts and old school no-handers.
Ruben Alcantara: If there's any kind of wallride, Ruben is all over it. Transfer wall rides, realie wallrides, alley-oop wallrides, wallride to tailwhip, alley-oop realie wallrides and realie wallride to tailwhip back in attempts. All this along with the most tweaked inverts and barely a sign of pedalling.
Garrett Byrnes: Along with team-mate Taj, pulled the biggest wall rides of the weekend, clearing the whole driveway to pedal grinds, constant flow and all at twice the speed of everybody else on the course.
Owain Clegg: 540's over the volcano, big fakie wall rides to barspin back in and various toothpick tricks.
Kye Forte: Fresh from a trip to the States, took some hard slams but rode with flow and a smooth style, table and turndown 360's over the volcano as well as fufanus to table on the back rail. All thrown in with massive wall rides.
www.fatbmx.com: The last Etnies Backyard Jam of 2002 was intended to be the most low key one of the three, but no-one must have passed this information on to the riders. Pro and amateur street were totally full up again and the riding went off the dial. The Jam street course had undergone some changes with hips added to the drive way, a big new sub rail, and a vert wall created out of the quarter/sub rail. The tight dimensions of the Derby arena also gave the street course a bunch of new options. The arena was the smallest of the three this year, and with a big crowd crammed in it meant the atmosphere ruled.
John Povah had worked overtime to get as many Etnies riders over as possible - he arrived in the UK with Taj, Heaton, Ruben, Garrett, Nate Wessel, Stricker, Leif Valin, Edwin, Sandy and walking-wounded Joe and Rooftop. Etnies riders featured large in the street contest, none more so than Taj who qualified first and took the win in the finals. His massive whip from the spine to the drive way was the one moment everyone will have taken home with them. He crashed hard on the first three attempts, got his mouth fixed up by the paramedics, jumped back in the arena, eventually tracked down his bike and pulled the whip clean first try. Joe said after that he hadn't seen Taj ride like that for a long old while.
Corey Martinez turned up unexpectedly with Wiz and tore the place up. His 540 fufanu on the sub box and ice pick grind up the rail were treats and earned him fourth place. Highest placed Brit was Baz Keep who finished third despite landing hard on his knee in the final. Baz was huge, airing a good 7 or 8 feet out of the quarter/vert wall including a massive, tucked no-hander. Ruben couldn't quite pull a reallie to tail whip, but his run was still awesome and landed fifth place. Heaton arrived with a bunch of new tricks including a 540 wall ride, he totally ruled and impressed the hell out of everyone for second place.
Osato couldn't make it over for Derby in the end, but Miron made up for the shortfall of Canadians. He tried everything in his repertoire and sacrificed his body in the process. The whip to manual over the drive way still proved elusive, but Jay ruled all the same and he'll get it next time for sure. There were so many other standouts it's impossible to list them all here, but it was definitely a treat to see Stuart King in a contest again.
Ryan Barrett, bmx.transworld.net, january 2009: Most people reading this may have only seen the Seventies promoted Backyard Jams on Props or in the magazines. Unfortunately you cant sum up those events in print or video completely. There was an energy in the air that you could feel. The crowd, the riders, the staff everyone knew that good things would happen anytime Stu and Ian put on those events. So this particular event was in Derby, England, inside a hockey rink. All of the heavy hitters from around the globe showed up. One of my personal favorites, Taj Mihelich, was no stranger to these contests and was there that weekend. Ive always been into his unique views on life, art, and his approach to bike riding. It was the latter that brought the entire crowd to their feet screaming at the top of their lungs. Taj had spotted a huge transfer from the street spine on one side of the course to the driveway on the opposite side. Not only did he want to jump the transfer, but he wanted to tailwhip it. But it did not come easy for him. He tried at least three times before pulling it and with each try came a crash. One particular crash split his lip wide-open leaving blood covering his mouth and chin. He slumped off the course to visit the medics only to return minutes later to finish what he started! No one could believe it! He was bloody and beaten, with almost an impossible feat was still in front of him. The crowd began to call out Have it! and this time he would. He did one of his signature downside whips; picture perfect, slow, SO big. The crowd and everyone went nuts. I got goosebumps. Hell, Im getting them now just typing this out! The battle between bike and body had been overcome and won in Tajs favor. I want to thank Stu Dawkins and Ian Morris for hosting the best contests there will ever be, and to Taj who continues to inspire on and off his bike.
PRO STREET RESULTS: 1.Taj Mihelich .96.25 2.John Heaton 93.75 3.Baz Keep 92.75 4.Corey Martinez 92.50 5.Jay Miron 91.75 6.Ruben Alcantara 91.00 7.Javier Ortaga 88.50 8.Garrett Byrnes 86.75 9=.Owain Clegg 85.00 9=.Kye Forte 85.00 11.Ben Manuel 84.75 12.Scott Foster 84.00 13.Northern John 82.25 14.Will Jackson 81.00 15.Robin Tenwin 79.75 16.Nate Wessel (USA) 78.25
AMATEUR STREET RESULTS: 1. Peter Butler .90.00 2. Lewis Martin .88.13 3. Lorenzo Reid .87.00 4=. Liam Oakes .86.00 4=. Chris Madigan .86.00 6. Leo Forte .84.50 7. Ben Wallace .82.00 8. Matthew Roe .80.25 9. Keith Jones .75.00 10. Jason Judge .72.25
|www.fatbmx.com: Flatland was held on the upstairs basketball court and was a near perfect set up for the riders. The circle of balance comp meant the pro entry was limited to 8 riders, but they were all quality. French brakeless legend Alexis Desolneux, Portugal's Sergio Goncalbes and Leif Valin from the USA were all in the UK for the first time and put on a show. Effraim eventually took first place to give him a hatrick of Jam wins this year with Sam Foakes grabbing second.
A FLATLAND RESULTS: 1. Effraim Catlow .93.25 2. Sam Foakes .92.25 3. Sergio Goncalves .90.25 4. Alexis Desolneux 89.25 5. Dino Jeffers .87.00 6. Brian Tunney .83.75 7. Leif Valin .80.75 8. Amos Burke .79.50
B FLATLAND RESULTS: 1. Alex Vickers .83.00 2. Steve Green .75.50 3. Dan Margetts .75.25 4. Mike Bureaux .72.50 5. Tom Marsh .66.00
C FLATLAND RESULTS: 1. James Kendrick .78.75 2. Keelan Phillips .77.75 3. James Smith .77.00 4. Iain Young .75.00 5. Chris Wright .72.25