Vancouver Metro Jam

Jay Miron and crew brought their Metro Jam contests to Vancouver recently, and if you weren’t there, you missed one hell of an event.There was actually an entire week of activities planned, not just the contest itself. Ten-Pack held an amateur contest the week before, and there were several jams at some of Vancouver’s many public skateparks, as well as a flatland jam. There was even a BMX hockey game. Only in Canada...

Inside the Kerrisdale arena, riders were busting all weekend. The ams were ridiculous; the Vancouver/Northwest scene is definitely cranking out some amazing talent. Just about everybody that made the finals impressed me. I didn’t think it could get that much better, but when the pros hit the floor, there were so many different styles represented that shit was going down every minute. Practice wasn’t complete pandemonium, so most riders had a chance to work on stuff, which made for some wild riding in qualifiers and finals.

This guy can never keep his shirt on, even indoors. Local Travis Collier placed third with his wild front wheel combos.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Right off the bat, Tobias Wicke was the man to watch. Ridiculously technical tricks fired out in machine-gun succession, along with a seemingly endless supply of energy, is going to keep Tobias on top for a while, in my opinion. He was all over the jersey barrier with a thousand nosepick variations, did a tailwhip to icepick on the sub, a 360 disaster over the sub rail, and blew the deck spine to pieces with countless 360 variations. If you ever get a chance to see him ride in person, don’t miss it. Dustin Guenther rode smooth and big all weekend, topping things off by trying to nosepick the top of the fence on top of the seven-foot quarter. If his chain hadn’t broken, he would have had it. Taj Mihelich was eyeing up a wallride transfer line that simply looked impossible. He blasted around the course, hitting up other transfers and big tricks, but he was focused on hitting the wallride, taking laps around the arena until everything was just right. When he finally went for it, the crowd got louder than they would prove to be all weekend; everyone was so stoked, even though he didn’t pull it. It didn’t really matter; the fact that he made it across the huge gap and got onto the wall at all was impressive enough. Justin Inman has a huge, flowing style, and got things rolling with a fufanu on the fence and didn’t slow down from there. He and fellow Northwesterners Darrin Read and Jeff Landtiser were going crazy high over the jersey barrier/wedge hip. Guys like Ryan Guettler, Travis Lyons, Alistair Whitton, and Jim Cielencki packed a million tricks into their runs. Guettler pulled a whip to feeble on the grind box to end his run in the finals. Van Homan almost killed himself trying to barspin to icepick the fence, and just kept at it while most other riders would have moved on. He finally nailed it, and somehow found the energy to keep dropping bombs across the rest of the course. It was all tough to outdo, but Dave Osato managed it. 540 nosepicks on the sub rail, opposite whips everywhere, whips to nosepicks, and an opposite 360-whip over the spine were just some of the tricks he fired out to take home the win.

Dave Freimuth tailwhips out of the Jersey barrier.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

After the main contest, Oakley put up $1,000 for the best trick on the handrail. Riders had twenty minutes to bust out their best, and with a grand on the line, it was on. Jim Cielencki unleashed a long list of tricks on the rail, with just about every variation you can think oincluded. Robin Fenlon took a couple cracks at grinding all the way up the rail to barspin, and eventually got it, taking home the cash in the process. But Van Homan’s dogged determination was the story here. He wanted to barspin to jumpover grind, and repeatedly smashed himself into the rail, his bike, and the concrete floor. Time expired, but Van had no intention of giving up. Time after time, he continued to take it, until he hit it perfectly and the place went nuts. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen.

The flatland comp had somewhat of a low turnout, but with guys like Nathan Penonzek, Dan Rigby, Ryoji Yamamoto, and Travis Collier on hand, it was still pretty intense. Nathan was just plain on, firing out so many spins and bike flips I could barely keep track. Travis was the same way; he dropped a couple of new switches I couldn’t even follow. Ryoji...man, I don’t even know how he does the stuff he does.

The whole contest was really mellow, except for the riding, of course. The overall organization was on point, and everything seemed to go off without a hitch. If you have a chance to get to one of next year’s Metro Jams, I would highly recommend it. I know I’ll do whatever I can to be there.

Van Homan casually icepicked the giant fence in practice and later went on to barspin to ice it during the finals.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Jay Miron and his Ten Pack crew put a lot of time and effort into the Metro Jams, so we threw a couple questions his way...

Why did you decide to put on a Metro Jam in Vancouver?
It’s our home and it’s such a great BMX city. Ever since we started doing the Jams we’ve wanted to do it. It just took a little more work to get it done that we thought it would.

Why did you buy your own street course, instead of holding the jams at existing parks?
There’s a huge misconception in BMX that big, well-organized contests are no good and small skatepark contests are good. I think that’s wrong. The biggest problems with skatepark contests are that the course almost never changes from year to year. So, usually the local wins because he has the park dialed. No one can ever see because there are no bleachers, and skateparks are almost always out in the suburbs with no nightlife anywhere near. By building my own portable course, I’m able to change it every contest. So the riders are all on a level field, everyone can see in a stadium, and by having them in cool areas, there’s always a good party at night.

Tobias Wicke rode unbelievably the entire weekend, just when you thought you’d seen it all he would throw out another wild tech move, like this no-footed-can-can nosepick on the Jersey barrier.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

You were riding in practice; why didn’t you enter the contest?
I don’t think it’s cool for me to enter the contest when I’m the one that designed the course, hired the judges, and made the rules. I also want everyone in BMX to know that these contests are in no way made for me to build my name and get rich. As long as I can pay the bills and enjoy a comfortable living, I’m happy. The sport comes first.

What are your future plans for the Metro Jams?
I can’t say much because I don’t want to give away any secrets, but I will tell you that we plan on continuing to move forward without compromise by keeping the course fresh at every contest to challenge the riders. We plan on doing everything we can to be sure that all aspects of street are represented. I would like to televise the events, too. Again, if we didtelevise it, nothing would change.

John Heaton no-footed-can-cans a gap from the subrail to the driveway landing.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Anybody you’d like to thank?
Obviously, I want to thank my staff and all the volunteers that make the contests possible. I want everyone to know that even though I’m the guy who gets all the credit, there’s no way I can do it alone. I want to thank all the sponsors for taking a risk on something new and different. It’s important that the riders out there support companies that support goodthings. I want to thank all the riders who have entered–it’s nothing without the riders. I want to thank all the video companies and magazines for coming and covering the events.

The Jersey barrier was by far the most heavily sessioned obstacle of the comp and Dustin Guenther’s nosepick to barspin was one of the many quality moves performed on it.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Click here to watch Dustin.

Results

Pro Street
1. Dave Osato
2. Tobias Wicke
3. Justin Inman (tie)
3. Dustin Guenther (tie)
5. John Heaton
6. Van Homan
7. Ryan Guettler
8. Jim Cielencki
9. Alistair Whitton
10. Benny Korthaus

Pro Flat
1. Nathan Penonzek
2. Ryoji Yamamoto
3. Travis Collier
4. Dan Rigby
5. Chad Johnston
6. Efraim Catlow
7. Art Thomason
8. Shintaro Misawa
9. Aaron Behnke
10. Cory Stratychuk

“Jeff Landtiser? ” Along with, “This guy rules!” Were the two things I heard quite often while this Portland, Oregon area shredder was on the course. Jeff and the rest of the NorthWest trail crew were skying off the Jersey barrier hip all weekend.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Expert Street
1. Karl Engstrom
2. Adam Perez
3. Jordan Cook
4. Rob Wise
5. Wade Lajlar

Expert Flat
1. Kevin Desautels
2. Damon Fox
3. Adam Pergentile
4. John Findlay
5. Adam DeGoede t are represented. I would like to televise the events, too. Again, if we didtelevise it, nothing would change.

John Heaton no-footed-can-cans a gap from the subrail to the driveway landing.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Anybody you’d like to thank?
Obviously, I want to thank my staff and all the volunteers that make the contests possible. I want everyone to know that even though I’m the guy who gets all the credit, there’s no way I can do it alone. I want to thank all the sponsors for taking a risk on something new and different. It’s important that the riders out there support companies that support goodthings. I want to thank all the riders who have entered–it’s nothing without the riders. I want to thank all the video companies and magazines for coming and covering the events.

The Jersey barrier was by far the most heavily sessioned obstacle of the comp and Dustin Guenther’s nosepick to barspin was one of the many quality moves performed on it.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Click here to watch Dustin.

Results

Pro Street
1. Dave Osato
2. Tobias Wicke
3. Justin Inman (tie)
3. Dustin Guenther (tie)
5. John Heaton
6. Van Homan
7. Ryan Guettler
8. Jim Cielencki
9. Alistair Whitton
10. Benny Korthaus

Pro Flat
1. Nathan Penonzek
2. Ryoji Yamamoto
3. Travis Collier
4. Dan Rigby
5. Chad Johnston
6. Efraim Catlow
7. Art Thomason
8. Shintaro Misawa
9. Aaron Behnke
10. Cory Stratychuk

“Jeff Landtiser? ” Along with, “This guy rules!” Were the two things I heard quite often while this Portland, Oregon area shredder was on the course. Jeff and the rest of the NorthWest trail crew were skying off the Jersey barrier hip all weekend.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Expert Street
1. Karl Engstrom
2. Adam Perez
3. Jordan Cook
4. Rob Wise
5. Wade Lajlar

Expert Flat
1. Kevin Desautels
2. Damon Fox
3. Adam Pergentile
4. John Findlay
5. Adam DeGoede