Sun’s up! Lets roll! Friday greeted us with a blue sky and the anticipation of what was to come from the next three days. Once Jamie had the registration table rolling, the doors opened and everyone made their way in. Clean surface….Check. Flatland riders…. Check. Sound System…. Check. The weekend was ON! Right from the opening hours, Team Quebec came in and destroyed! Simon Marson, Jf Boulianne, Jayson Plourde, Mike Lubenski and JW Provost are all names you should write down and remember. Why? Because if you ever see their names on a pre-registraion list for a contest, you best put a few extra hours in at the lot if you want to hang with them. Jason Kale, Tony Strickler and friends made their way up from Pennsylvania to enjoy the flatland goodness. The Pergentile trio was in full force as usual along with the regular cast that we all have come to expect to see at Ontario events. Ok, you know you’re badass when you show up and everyone stops to watch you ride and that’s exactly what happened when Justin Miller came through the door. This guy drops his bag, pulled out a stretch or two then just goes off! I’m sure we all wish we could “warm up” like Mr. Miller.
By now the crowd had gathered to see what all the commotion was about. With all eyes on the Flatland stage, Chase was up. For anyone who’s been wondering what he’s been up to recently, judging by his consistancy/difficulty of the combos in his demos, I’d say he’s been riding! Some of the most incredibly difficult whiplash combos were witnessed by all. After the show’s doors were closed, everyone rolled back to their hotels only to meet up with the ASC at Cinecycle to get some DVD’s watched! Vibe 9 was unleashed to the world and then was chased down with Style time’s Unreal 5.
That excitement we all felt on Friday morning quickly turned to “Ahhhhhh, just gimme a few more hours of sleep” on Saturday. Well rested or not, there was an Am Contest to be won!
Once all the dust settled from the qualifying rounds, the top ten guys were ready to do battle for the top position. Tenth place went to JW Provost. Versatile is the best word to describe this guy’s bag of tricks. He can do it on the front wheel….He can do it on the back wheel. My money is on this guy for top three in 07. Next in line was Ottawa native Prasheel Gopal. Shirt-tuck wheelchairs, hitchhikers and smooth outs got him ninth in the finals. Congrats bro! Michael “Lube” processes anti gravity powers…I’m convinced of it. How anyone can spin so fast and do with NO FEET, well, it’s the only logical explanation. Whatever his secret is, Mike decided to landed himself right in eighth postion.
This is what I like to see…. How many parents would drive 4 hours to get their son to a contest and actually stay and WATCH? Not many. Alex Poirier spun himself and the Poirier family name into the record books with big ol’ seven! Over the weekend, newlywed Adam Pergentile was trying hard to impress this one particular girl with overtaker combos and original front wheel switches. I think he caught the attention of the judge’s as well. In the end, he got the girl and sixth place! Come on Adam, no need to impress. You already had Rebecca when you put that ring on her finger! What can you say about Jeff Smee other than he is SMOOTH. Mr. Smee was seen dropping his patented style bombs all over the floor. Brakeless decades and 360 halfhiker kick flips grabbed him the five spot while his good looks won our hearts. Well done my friend! At the end of the qualifying round, yours truly decided to play match maker and introduce “Mr. Knee” to “Miss Pedal”. Needless to say, the date did not go so smoothly. With the help of “Dr. I.B Profen”, the day was not a complete loss. Fourth place goodies and a few battle scars for my troubles. It’s a safe bet to say that many have not heard Rob Savard’s name in quite a few years, but that all changed this weekend! Recently coming out of “re-tire-ment”, he looked in top riding form. Deathtrucks, smith decades and arm pumps to the crowd, Rob deserved his position more than anyone. Toronto’s number two man was Jf Boulianne. Captain momentum, Jean Francois, was seen laying down some of the longest links in the Am. Class without even touching the tire once. For you pros out there, don’t be surprised if he makes the class jump next year! JF would have had it locked up if it wasn’t for the fact that Simon Marsan was so incredibly dialed! Take any possible front wheel trick and there’s a good chance Simon will be able to juggle it. Hang Ten’s, juggled backpackers and more secured him as the winner of the Flatland’s Unlimited amateur Class. Congratulations Simon. Hope you have a shelf big enough to hold that trophy!
Before the contest started on Sunday, a riders meeting was called to discuss what the competitors wanted, how they were being judged and the format of the event. Once everything was out in the open, Lachlan was first out of the gates. Respect to Mr. Cameron. After all these years, he decided to make the jump in the professional ranks. “Hats off” to you my friend…. Ninth place.
Hoffman bikes sent up their main man to represent in the Great White and that’s just what Art did. His front wheel mastery scored him an eighth spot on the judge’s cards. Rumour has it James McGraw pedal deathtrucked his way up to Toronto from Detroit. Rumour also has James placed in the seventh spot. I can’t confirm the first but the second, well that’s a sure bet. Word up James! Sherwood Park, AB has given us many top Canadian riders over the years and Cory Festor is next inline to continue the dynasty. This guy is good! Backwards boomerangs to backwards crackpackers, 360 body varials to T-kettles…. Trying to describe his unique style will do it no justice. Cory flew home with Sixth spot and more drive than ever. Aaron Benke, enough said. This guy’s tricks left many people scratching their heads and wondering what the heck he just did. A fury of cross armed / footed goodness found him a fifth position. DK’s Dane Beardlsey took some time away from his teaching position to school us on why our bicycles have a rear wheel. His second run consisted of TWO combos that filled his time. Not impressed? Keep in mind each run was three minutes long with an option one minute. Class dismissed. Fourth place for Dane. Toronto’s own Jeff Desroche made it difficult for the photographers by turbining and spinning every trick that he pulled. The only distinguishable picture we have of Jeff is the one with him holding the third place trophy. From a spectators point of view, it couldn’t have gotten any better than this. Having Justin Miller and Terry Adams, two of the top flatlanders in the world duke it out or top spot…lets just say it was an edge of your seat kind of finale. Justin dropped his hitchhiker kickflip to backpacker, not once but TWICE in one combo while Terry made the leap of faith over his backwheel and pulled his signature trick, the “Katrina”. The battle continued. Line after line, bomb after bomb, both riders wanted the first place cheque and the bragging rights. When the scores were added up, the two rider’s runs were separated by only a few points, but it was those few points that made the difference. Justin was in second while Terry’s name was announced in the number one position.
DONE! With the long weekend coming to a close, the CFO would like to thank the people who made this happen. First, thank you to our sponsors! Syndicate Clothing, Neon Media, Too Wheels Bicycle shop in London Ontario, Mountaintop Fab. and Vibe Video magazine (in no particular order). These people came through for us to make sure you guys had some goodies to take home with you. Support the supporters! Second, thank you to Neela at the ASC and Cinecycle in Toronto for getting the video evening rolling for us. Third, to everyone who helped out over the weekend, including the weeks leading up to it. Fourth, to the riders. You guys all rode hard, and made the weekend enjoyable for all. And, last but not least, the Toronto International bicycle show for allowing us to do our own thing. Let the 2006 season begin!
2-Jean Francois Boulianne
10-Jean William Provost
Pics: Aidas Rygelis
This year's HAMJAMS: