Due to some technical difficulties and an insane amount of footage to go through, a few things either didn’t make it or ended up getting looked over for the original edit in the madness of Chad Kerley’s vitaminwater® Invitational. With some time after the contest to give things a second glance, we found some bangers that just needed to be seen, like Rob Wise’s hard backwards grind down the yellow rail and Garrett Reynolds’ feeble to hard truck driver on the outledge. There are also a couple other awesome clips in there from Dakota Roche and Mike Jonas. What are you waiting for? Click play above.
I’ve also compiled some personal highlights from the weekend which you can read below:
1: If there had been a category for “most creative rider” of the weekend, Mike Jonas would have easily taken the win. From cross footed grinds to regular stance landers on the red rail to his nollie over pegs on the yellow rail to his epic gap to ledge ride to 360, Jonas brought the flavor that Kerley knew he would and all with a smile on his face.
2: It really is insane how talented the younger generation of today is. Stevie Churchill, Devon Smillie, and Sean Ricany all killed it over the weekend and showed a scary good future for street riding. There really is too much to explain–just check the highlights reel for examples. It isn’t hard to see them coming into their own styles either–imagine what these kids can accomplish by the time they turn 21.
3: Chad Kerley and Brian Kachinsky absolutely killing the course outside of the public eye. Chad hopped into the Friday practice session and made his clips in the The Bakery’s Premium Special Recipe look like warm ups under the influence of his best friends going off in practice. Kachinsky also hopped into the action Saturday morning before the contest, charging at every setup with speed and even learning new tricks–especially awesome considering that he is still only a couple month’s post getting doctor’s approval to ride. Two humble and amazing dudes stepping back to let their friends shine is beyond respectable.
4: Off the bikes–plenty of good times were had off of the bikes. Riders stayed at the Hard Rock downtown, taking over a generally classy bar and filling it with a bunch of grimy BMX riders. And who could forget the celebrations that took place at The Bakery during and after riders took their runs–a much more loose and ultimately, more fun and relaxed environment that got wildly out of control.
5: Good friend to Brian Kachinsky and The Bakery, Chicago hip hop artist Reap the Raven recorded a song within 24 hours of the event after being hyped as a spectator and sent it to me to be used as a song in the final edit. He also donated two other dope tracks and really set the tone for the contest’s official edit. Thanks again bud. You rule.
6: Chad giving invitations to Bakery locals Timmy Theus and Jeff Klugiewicz. Timmy puts in countless hours assisting Brian with the rest of the Chicago scene in keeping the place clean and spiffy and Jeff had his hand in building the entire place, even building the Secret Obstacle with the assistance of fellow rider Ryan Harris just days before the contest. Both Jeff and Timmy had a blast and killed it–good looks on that one, Chad.
7: Despite the injury of MARKIT head honcho Dennis Enarson, the crew still got to go to the contest and kill it inside and outside of The Bakery. The MARKIT crew didn’t slack a minute and hit it hard at the contest, at local Chicago spots, and at the after parties. Shouts to Dennis for making a dope trip for his friends happen that he wasn’t able to go on–what’s with the California based Nike team having their heads screwed on straighter than plenty of people double their age in this world?
8: Tony Neyer isn’t known for being a contest rider but put a serious hurt on The Bakery and himself the entire weekend. Tony doesn’t play when it’s go time and though he didn’t podium, he certainly made a statement on every obstacle he rode and used the Secret Obstacle in a manner that only he could pull off.
9: Fiend riders Garrett Reynolds and JJ Palmere showing up at last minute to kill it. JJ said he was going through some back injuries prior to the contest and Garrett’s elusive nature and late arrival to practice really made everyone even more psyched to see the two friends present and having a blast with their fellow riders. Good moves on Reynolds’ end–he took home four trophies from the weekend.
10: This truly was a rider run contest. Riders’ iPods connected to big speakers provided the tunes, the jams went well over their time limit to let friends pull stuff, and there was absolutely no animosity at all. Other competitive facets of the BMX world are notorious for the cool and stoic relationships between the top competitors, but the Chad Kerley Invitational was only about good vibes and great riding.
It’s no secret that a contest just like this needed to happen for BMX street riding–top street riders have been talking about this for years. In an age where street contests are oftentimes just a mislabeled park contest or merely included as a rail jam (or some sort of other lackadaisically planned after thought), the CKI really showed why street riding has become so popular as of late. Insanely creative riding and progressive moves happened throughout the weekend and the atmosphere was full of nothing but camaraderie and good vibes. Chad Kerley and everyone else who made this event possible really set a standard and precedent for future contests of this nature, and I personally hope that this serves as a springboard for more things to happen like this as time goes on. With the success of this initial offering, it won’t surprise me if we look back ten years down the line and upon a series that has plenty of respect from the BMX world.