11:00hr. For the show I could use the Canon 40D. I got a zoom lens on it and a flash. I checked the batteries and they were full. I also got the iPod ready for the interviews and music for the road.
12:00hr. I could hardly wait to leave but had lunch first and packed the backpack with some drinks and fruit for the road. The Gelredome in Arnhem is a one hour drive from Helmond.
15:00hr. We were off to Paul's Boutique BMX Hardware store to pick up uncle Paul and aunt Carry. Pim van den Bos was still shopping but it was time to kick him out because Nitro was waiting.
15:20hr. We were on our way to Arnhem. I punched in the address in the Tomtom and used house number 24 instead of 25 because Tomtom did not know that number. We did not have a traffic jam so we made it to the Gelredome at 16:20hr. The Beat the Street nightliner buses were already parked which meant that the crew had made it to the venue already.
16:25hr. Paul paid the €13 Euro parking fee and we parked the car in London. That was the name of the parking lot. At that time Daniel Wedemeijer called to see if we had already made it there. He said to meet at the main entrance.
16:30hr. Red Bull's Myron Walravens and Daniel Wedemeijer met us at the front door and managed to get us inside the stadium before the show started. I recognized the hallway from last year and was stoked to be at this place again.
16:40hr. I could not wait to see the ramps again. Daniel said we could try to go inside. Practice started at 17:15hr and the Nitro Club started at 17:00hr. We had a few minutes to get close to the ramps before the doors opened. It was very dark and the ramps looked very big. We walked behind the giganta ramp and I noticed Travis Pastrana's 199 bike. I could not believe I was standing next to all the bikes and the starting hill. Then Daniel said we can go up the Giganta ramp! I was getting nervous now. The stairs were huge. It felt like it took a couple of minutes before we made it to the top. The ramp is very big, around 15 meters tall. After we snapped some shots with the phones, Daniel jumped in and made it down in 2 seconds. I wanted to do the same but dad said I should not do it. We took the stairs down and thanked Daniel for the tour. We had not picked up our tickets yet and we were already on the Giganta ramp! Crazy!
17:20hr. It was time to pick up our tickets. The booth opened up at 17:30hr and we had our tickets 2 minutes later. We saw Jarno Henraat and his dad Andre at the ticket office too. Jarno won the tickets at the 040BMXPARK contest. Nice.
17:35hr. Dad and I had to meet the Press lady at gate Q which was on the opposite side of the Vitesse soccer stadium. She came to meet us and we had to sign some paperwork. FATBMX Kids and FATBMX were in the stadium now shooting some practice photos from the sidelines! I also got a Nitro Club pass and VIP poster which I was happy with. It felt very official being in the stadium watching the riders go nuts already.
18:00hr. Till this time I had carried my autograph book and marker with me in case I saw riders and they could sign my book but I had not asked anyone yet. We put it in the backpack and decided to get some food at the McDonald's next to the stadium. I got a happy meal and finished it quickly so we could go back to the action.
18:30hr. With Andy Z's wristbands we could walk straight in the door via the red carpet. We ran into some riders and had a little chat. That's when I got my book out again and started collecting some autographs. Travis Pastrana also walked by and said: "Hey guys, how are you doing?." I like Travis. He's a happy man.
19:15hr. Paul, Carry, Bart and I were looking for our seats. We were in the South, gate 113. We had good spots looking at the landing of the ramps. We were close to the Nitro Bomb and had a good view on a big screen to watch the movie clips and Paul's commercial. I did not believe he had a commercial on that big screen so we made a bet.
19:30hr. Lights out and everyone was screaming. Me included. The show was about to start and riders were brought onto the floor from different areas in the crowd. Fireworks went off and a lightshow followed and then Travis set off the Bomb! I was very excited for what was about to come.
20:30h. The first hour was awesome. Non stop action from the best in this crazy business. BMX-ers, R Willy, FMX-ers, snowmobile, quad guy, MTB's, ski's, skaters, mountain boarder, and a bunch of crazy guys doing crazy things. It was time for a 20 minue break.
20:50hr. We did not want to get a drink or anything because Paul wanted to see his Paul's Boutique BMX Hardware store commercial on the big screen. He had spent his entire advertising budget on it and of course we had that bet going. After the 20 minute break was over, I had not seen his commercial yet.
21:00hr. Andy Zeiss got on the microphone and thanked the sponsors/partners of the show. We were waiting for a Paul's Boutique mention on top of the list, but he was not even ON the list. The bet was looking good for me, and uncle Paul got quiet. He took his phone to prepare his motor buddies to go visit the commercial guy who took his money. He also tried to show me his commercial on his phone but the reception inside the stadium was bad or something. I couldn't wait for the second half of the show.
22:00hr. The show was incredible. The tricks were insane and the contraptions they used to go down the giganta ramps were sketchy. A lot of tricks were pulled which made everyone happy. So sick.
22:05hr. It was time for some more autographs so we walked back to the place where we started. On the way we noticed screens that were playing commercials where all the food stands are and the toilets. We sat down for 8 minutes to see if Paul's 10 second commercial was playing there. And finally, the clip was shown. Instead of on the big screen inside the stadium for thousands to see, the clip played in the hallway in between 50 other 10 second commercials. That's the last time uncle Paul spent money on a commercial, I'm pretty sure.
22:15hr. The grey wristband got us back to the riders area. Everyone was stoked on the show as most riders pulled their tricks. Andy helped me out getting more autographs from the athletes and I got Jay Toohey's, Jed Mildon's, Matt Whyatt's, Daniel Wedemeijer's, R-Willy, Street Bike Tommy, James Foster, and 199 Travis Pastrana. Travis liked my Nitro hoodie he said, and told me it was cool I was doing FATBMX Kids. It made me very happy. I like Travis. The MVC trophy for this show went to Jed Mildon, who pulled a double backflip tailwhip in the show. It was his second MVC trophy of the tour.
23:00hr. The nightliners were pulled up in front of the stadium for the riders to hop onto the bus. We said goodbye to everyone and got into the Vito bus ourselves. It was a killer night, even better than last year. Thanks to eveyone, hope to see you next year.
00:00hr. Back home. Time for bed. Zzzzzzzz
Philip de Jong