When it's early March and you live in Holland, it does not make sense to organize an outdoor event. It snowed heavily the week prior to the Battle Of The Lamp (Flatground weekend) and things didn't look too bright for Saturday March 6th.
The initial plan of having the contest indoors at the Beursgebouw in Eindhoven failed so it was all or nothing depending on the weather as the contest was moved outdoors to the Stadhuisplein. It rained/snowed in the morning but we had good hope it would dry up. Yes, it was cold but you can dress against that.
The loose plan was to have the flatland jam between 12:00 and 15:00hr and meet for the street ride when the Flat battle contest was over. Things didn't go as planned (really?). The surface was wet and we had to wait for better times. Around 2pm some of the big tiles started to dry up. That's also the time that the A'dam posse started to make their move down South.
Paul's battle of the lamp part one took place in Helmond in 2002. James Alberto won the contest and received a super ridiculous lamp as the first prize. Paul had to find something better for the 2004 edition so he went to Dik van den Eventuin and bought a stupid lamp for a couple of Euros as the main prize.
At 15:45hr the battle was on. Everyone just rode for half an hour. With no PA present it was not clear for all riders what was going on. After 30 minutes we said to come to the HARO tent where we would announce the winners. With some help from Renato "FLATtv" Bloemenhuis we figured out which riders deserved prize packages from Snafu, FlyBikes, DIG, HARO, FLATtv, EBC, KMC, Paul's Boutique and Eastpak.
Chevy kicked ass on his red-tired V-bar BMX bike doing record breaking peg-backwheel hops to win a FLATtv T-shirt. Boy was he stoked. Local Alain Ballering had been on the phone with a sportshall owner all day to see if we maybe could to rent the place for a few hours that day, in case the rain would come back. Fortunately things worked out as far as the weather goes so Alain could go back to his bike and show his skills. The EindhovensDagblad cover boy scored a 5th place.
The Walt is an Eindhoven local from Deurne. How that works, I don't know but Bram told me to make sure to mention that. Walter has progressed a lot on his black bike and finished 4th.
Deuk's signature combo is a nice one. He's got it wired too as he pulled it more often than not. Hang-five, squeak and barflip (where's Renato when you need him). Deuk won the vase, worth 29DM, no kidding. Joey came down from Uden to do plenty of rolling moves, grabbed second place and hitchiked back to Uden to learn some more tricks. It was good to see a lot of new faces at the Flat Battle and we'll be hearing more from Joey.
With James Alberto not present and the Amsterdam posse still on their way down to Eindhoven, it was an easy win for www.dutchflatland.com's Bram Verhallen. Bram was one of the people who did not know the contest had actually started and he just rode. Bram's got talent and it doesn't take him long before he picks up new tricks. He's got a signature move too that you can see in the title of this report.
The lamp he won has magical powers. If you look into the light for 23 minutes, new tricks will come to your mind. You have to negotiate with Bram on your personal lamp viewing session.
Battle of the lamp part 3? Some day, some place. Stay tuned, start practicing.
1. Bram Verhallen
2. Joey Uden
3. Roland "Deuk" Mijer
4. Walter Schramma
5. Alain Ballering