With Achim Kujawski organizing the Verthaus jam in Germany and Simon Tabron doing the Spin Like Hell vert weekend in England, it was time for Peter Geys to invite the vert riders for a weekend of halfpipe riding. The weekend was named Garden Of Vert as Peter's ramp is sitting in his backyard. The garden was prepped to the max and Peter had made sure that there was something for everyone. He rented an air castle for the kids and made sure the beer was flowing all weekend. Respect to Peter and his crew for the set-up, it was amazing.
Friday evening saw the HARO High Air contest. 6 riders entered from 5 different countries. German Tim Eichert was riding with a collarbone that was not healed completely (5 weeks) and was just cruising the ramp getting a solid 4 feet with the lowest part of the bike. Sander Nieuwenhuis from Holland went higher with every run he did. He started off in the 4 foot range but ended up going 6 feet plus when the session ended for 5th. 4th place was for a very stylish brakeless rider from Switzerland who listens to the name of Jean-Marie Baertsch.
JMB tabled to 6 1/2 feet on the HARO height pole. 3rd place in high air was for Tuomo Ilmonen from Finland with 7 1/2'. Peter Geys couldn't use his home advantage to grab the win. The Bike Devil got stuck at 9 1/2 feet. The inverts he does have his bars leaning towards the coping which doesn't help the score where the lowest part of the bicycle (his bar end) counts. First went to Atze Etzold with a solid 11 feet, almost clearing the height pole. Aze was really flowing on the ramp and even carved on his high airs.
Saturday was the day of the actual competition. All weekend long clouds were going over the ramp. Sometimes this resulted in some rain drops but it did not effect the contest. Mr. Voets made sure the local airforce base sent out some F-16-s to get rid of the clouds when it was time to ride. Achim Kujawski and Sven Kabush from Switzerland had shown up on Saturday to join the contest. Sven is actually JMB's riding buddy in Switzerland and pushed his limits to do well in the comp. Most of the riders usually ride by themselves so to be on a ramp with some friends resulted in everyone riding better and more than they usually would have. Sven got 7th place and showed cancans, one-handers and inverts in the 4-feet range. Achim Kujawski had just returned from the X-Games in the USA and was impressed by the new tricks that the guys did. In Belgium Achim stuck to his old program and did turndowns, inverts, x-ups and also pulled a few tailwhips for 6th. Tim Eichert can't slow down. With a few Jupilers in his throat the pain was gone and Tim went for tailwhips, 540-s, barspins and flairs to end up in 5th place. The GOV wasn't really about results but since there was a competition we'll let you know who did what and who finished where. JMB got 4th. Watch this guy. His style is amazing and unique and he's only 18 years old. His tricks: unlookbacks, regular lookbacks, no-handers, cherokees, a grind with no pegs, one-footed-x-ups, cancans and inverts. He even pulled a 540 in the ramp which is a start in the right direction to master "the big tricks". Tuomo Ilmonen came all the way from Finland. His variations were in the 7 feet range and included one-handed tables, x-ups, no-handers, barspins, no-footers, turndowns and also a 540 at the end of his run. Tuomo was flowing in Belgium and got 3rd behind the Aze/Bike Devil duo.
Both riders turned it up a notch. Peter was doing his variations in the 8 foot area. He pulled some alley oop stuff like his signature style lookbacks and also did no-handed "peg-grabs" even if he's not running any. He also did those lean-back one-handers, no-footers, 1-foot no-hander and his flair, 540 and tailwhip. For Peter the session could have lasted a bit longer, he seemed to have plenty of tricks. Atze is on his way to the vert top. He carved the ramp more than anybody else, did opposite airs and he was actually having pegs on his bike and used them for several lip tricks like barspin tailtabs, no-handed feeble to rock to tiretap, alley-oop and regular 50-50 grinds, icepicks, disasters and he tried barspin to disasters. His manual was "ace". Atze threw down some cool variations like one-handed tables in the 10 feet range, one-hand/one-footers to cancan, turndowns, MX-style carve airs, no-handers, x-ups and threw in a cool 540 and a flair. When all points were put together Aze scored 272 points and Peter 271. It was close.
In between the riding sessions the GOV had all kind of entertainment. Acrobatics on a RedBull beer table, inline demos, skateboard demos, an air castle for the kids, Mr Free was there to do some breakdancing and multiple DJ's made sure the sounds was good. The last day was reserved for the DC Best Trick contest and actually drew the biggest crowd. Rain kept the sessions short but the metal ramp dries in 10 minutes when the sun comes out. Sven Kabush tried tailwhips in the hard trick session, Tuomo did nice 540-s, JMB did a no-hander where he grabbed the front tire and also did a 540 in the ramp. Atze pulled a clean flair and stayed in the ramp this time. Peter Geys had the 900 on his mind. He pulled one in England a few weeks ago and wanted to pull one for his home crowd. Before we knew it the first attempt was there. Peter span around two rotations and was getting ready for the landing. It looked damn good but his bars crossed up a bit too much when he touched down and he slid out. The crowd went wild and Peter had another attempt ready. This one ended at the 720 mark and the HARO rider fell on his ribs again and that hurt as one of them was already broken. He called it a day and the judges called Atze's flair the winner of the Best Trick comp making him the King of the GOV with three wins.
Thanks goes to the Geys family and crew for their awesome hospitality and the sponsors (DC - HARO - Freecaster) for making this event possible. Now enjoy the pics.