Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 17th, 2011 at 12:15 pm
On Saturday, I got a glimpse into another vibrant part of our local bike scene at the Portland Winter Classic Flatland Jam. The annual event was held inside a non-descript warehouse in inner Northeast, just north of E. Burnside. There was a two-sided vert ramp for the jumpers and a large open space where the trick riders could do their thing. Fans and friends stood around the edges of the action, erupting into cheers whenever someone landed a tough trick.
The Jam was put together by a few guys who just love the sport and want to see it thrive. Justin Hoey is one of them. In between tricks of his own, I asked him what type of people had shown up. "It's a mix of local street kids, to established pros, to the "gurus" who started riding back in the '80s." Hoey says BMX was at its peak in the 1980s, but by the mid-1990s it had "died out."
Today, the sport looks to be alive and well. The warehouse was buzzing with energy. Local professional photographer Jared Souney was snapping photos for ESPN (check out his amazing shots), event organizer Joe Loumena was passing out prizes and keeping everyone happy, and there was a steady stream of jumpers and trick riders.
Other faces in the crowd included local pro flatlander Blake Hicks, X-Games street riding champ Bruce Crisman, and Bret Hadly (one of the "gurus" according to Hoey).
Check out more photos from the event in the slideshow below...
For more, check out these local BMX links:
- Goods BMX Blog - The local BMX shop. See their blog for more photos of the Flatland Jam and other updates on the local scene.
- Enjoy The Trick - Website for local group who puts on the Flatland James (stay tuned for a larger event this summer).
- Everyday Paradise - The online home for Justin Hoey's action sports media projects which includes the monthly BMX/flatland/freestyle web TV show, FlatwebTV.
- BMXMuseum.com - Portlander Gary Sansom's world-renowned site with classifieds, forums, and much more.