Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Part Three: How does winter treat you?

Once again we are back with other winter article, seems timely as I fly off to California today to escape the freezing tempertures and snow in the UK right now. The diversity of what each rider does is very interesting. Check it out!

Erico Melo:
Back in the day when I used to live permanently in Portugal, I remember getting really frustrated at the weather whenever we got 2 or 3 days of rain in a row because that meant going to ride in a really sketchy indoor spot inside an apartment building. After moving to Finland in 2003 I realised that the winter had a whole different meaning and that my frustration and my friends complains about the winter in Portugal were kind of non-sense. In Portugal, especially in the south were I am from, you can pretty much ride shirtless all around the here.
When I was planning to move to Finland I remember that the one thing that was stressing me the most was the problem of riding in the winter. I didn’t know what to expect. In the beginning I didn’t really understand how you should behave during the winter. I hadn’t even used a scarf before in my entire life.
One of the first things I bought when I moved to Finland were skis, cross-country skis. I thought that in order to adapt to this new environment and culture I have to adapt my hobbies a little bit as well, so instead of going for a jog I would go skiing instead. This hobby soon made me realise that if one can ski in temperatures around –20 or even less for hours I should be able to ride as well.
During the first winter in Finland I didn’t have a proper indoor place. I rode in a spot, which has a roof, but it is not totally closed from the sides and has no warming system whatsoever. The winter then wasn’t so harsh; the coldest it got was something around –16, with most days around –10 so it wasn’t so bad. I learned a lot on how to be able to ride in cold temperatures during that winter. Small things like long sports underwear or start riding with both wool and normal socks and then change to ride with only normal socks after warming up made a huge difference. Nowadays, I have an indoor spot where I can ride, it’s in a shopping centre’s underground parking lot, but it has a few problems. It is very dusty, sometimes full of smoke, some of the security guards are not so cool, and believe it or not too hot. This winter I haven’t yet been riding in this “warm spot” because I am trying to save myself psychologically. I know this winter will be very long (we already have loads of snow and temperatures around –15), so at some point I will be spending many hours in the dusty smoky parking lot. Instead I have been riding most of the time in the “cold spot” where I rode during my first year just because the floor is perfect, the view is awesome, and the feeling, at least for your mind, is better than being locked inside a “sinister cave”.

Aaron Frost:
Well I recently moved to Austin and we have access to covered garage known as the O.G. and i'll ride there most of the time. We also have access to a climate controlled garage for the cold days. I also heard we may have an area inside the new Empire Shop! Austin does not get to cold so...lucked out there.

George Manos:
Winter in Greece is supposed to be easy, but in the city I live,which is in the north part deep in the mountains,winter is pretty hard with zero degree temperatures and the worst part,raining till August!! Seriously it's like english raining kind of weather!
These conditions made me looking for an indoor spot the last 2 years,so i found myself exploring the city in some pretty dark and bizare places:abandoned buildings,underground garages etc.this actually formed my riding style cause I should ride in dark,tiny,pumpy slippery,dusty floors and running pegs and doing big combos was not an option.
Conclusion,shitty weather made progress in a strange way!

Takuji Kasahara:
I feel lucky to be in eastern Japan in every winter. We don't get snow much, it snows for only about 7 days every year here.
Also I have some covered spots to avoid rain and snow. Most of the spots are train stations and they are ridable from when the train stations close till they open. I usually work 8:30 to 18:00, getting sleep as soon as I get home from work and wake up at 0:30 in the midnight then go ride till 4:30 am, coming home and sleep for a couple of hours then go work. "Sleep twice" is how I deal with the winter and the rainy season. Japan is a very safe country, it is safe to ride at train station in the middle of nights. I don't recommend this if you are living in unsafe countries.

Trevor Meyer:
I moved south! But even here it gets cold at times, so then I ride in the garage.Winters are not bad in Arkansas sure beats a Minnesota winter, where I grew up!

Martti at the infamous white room, yes old footage, but thats not the point! Very inspirational edit still to this day!

Martti Kuoppa:
I am really lucky to be riding at my white room. The place is a huge sports complex from any kind of sports and I have a special permission to ride there and it only costs me 20 EUR / month. On top of that I can do other sports like gym etc. If I want to.. Only downside of the place is that it is usually full of cheerleaders from 5 pm to 10 pm and nowdays as I am working full time it is tricky to find time to go there.
Friday and saturday evening is quiet and I am okay to ride there then. Yes, I´m lucky!

Related links:



More Am Groundtactics!

Not only about the pros, Ams are giving it their all to!

Monolithic Voodoo jam treats

Voodoo Jam 2009 Pro Practice from Erik Otto on Vimeo.

Stuttgart scene 2005

Leo/Dane B/Golf/X pro Groundtactics

David Hoffman Pro Groundtactics

Ku-chan no handed g turn clip

Anyone recall Brian Blyther doing something similar, this is held out longer of course...
101127Ku-chan from bmx_usj_local on Vimeo.

Guelo/Toon/Chiang Mai Pro Groundtactics

2010 Bmx School in Saga Rd 2

The japanese sure know how to have fun...good times!

Ramon/Navid/Phitak Am Groundtactics

Monday, 29 November 2010

Gino Stuart Am Groundtactics

Luke Malone Am Groundtactics

Ron Monis Random Clips 1992-2007

Ron Monis Random Clips 1992-2007 from Ron Monis on Vimeo.

Bob Walter clip

Thore Saggau Am Groundtactics

Sunday, 28 November 2010

James White Pro Groundtactics!

Aleksi Ritsila Pro Groundtactics

Thomas Noyer Pro Groundtactics

Ronny Engelmann Am Groundtactics

Best of Old school sundays part 2

*6) One of my favourite riders of all time, Ross Smith.

*7/8) I posted this in a pioneers article I did on Dennis McCoy and Kevin Jones on the inspiration they had on the flatland scene, it was going to be an Old school sundays, but turned into a lil' more indepth article, watch these two great runs and feel the energy. I grew up watching Dennis McCoy's run on a skecthy VHS tape, and rinsed it to death! Love the crowd reaction to his run here, bustttttt it!!!! Jones' originality was and is always a treat!

*9) Ian Clemens 88 AFA New jersey run,way ahead of the time!

*10)Last but not least, Rick Allison's 87 Tizer World Cup run in manchester!

Best of Old school sundays part 1

Old school sundays began just over a year ago, on Sunday 22nd November 09, it seems like longer, heres the first half of my top ten favourites during that time in no particular order, two parts in 101 trix style...

*1) Kevin Jones, no touch run from the 88 AFA Velodrome Contest in Carson, California.

*2) Albert Retey killing it at the 96 Worlds in Koln, Germany,

*3) Backwoods 2 video, in the Vhs days, golden footage of Puente, Degroot, Jones, Gouin, Day Smith, Edgar P ripping.It may have no volume, but ton of great riding in this!

*4)Carly Garcia's run from the 88 AFA Contest in Carson, California, what a treat!

*5) Ton of good stuff back in the day, whoppers from Nitschke and Meyer, McCoy, Degroot, Richie Rich, Geoff Martin, so much good stuff here.

Kazuma Nakajima Pro Ground Tactics

Michele Maiolani Am groundtactics

Flatland on Vietnamese news

Sadly can't understand a word of it, but for for those of you who can, this is a great feature!

Gold Passion Vol 3

Some great riding and a whole lot of fun, underground japan style, Hotokes combo last combo is intense!!

Adrian Furniss - Best of 2010

Adrian Furniss - Best of 2010 from Lachlan Cameron on Vimeo.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Flatmatters is two years old today!

Today “flatmattersonline” is two years old, a lot has changed in that time, when I first started the blog, I didn’t know of any other flatland blogs, there was only  the global-flat website that I recall, two years on, there are almost ten blogs/websites flatland related that I check daily, and maybe you do to. This is healthy for the sport.
During these two years I hope some of the content has inspired you to go riding, that is the whole reason “flatmattersonline” is here.
Many of you may not know the name flatmatters began ten years ago, and originally appeared at King of Concrete 2000, on a t-shirt design that I collaborated with Adidas with that read “Flatlandmatters” (on the front), @ King of Concrete (on the back) in a Franklin Gothic font, the graphic was inspired by The Guardian newspaper, google it if you are interested.

Ten years on heres the t-shirt, somewhat grubby. 
The name flatmatters originally had two meanings, the obvious, flat is important, the second, discussing topics flatland related, this became more meaningful when Mark Noble at Ride UK asked to start a flatmatters page in his magazine.
As you all know Ride Uk dropped the flatmatters page towards the end of Mark’s reign as the editor, I’m now thankful for Mark’s advice to start something online.  These two years have flown by, and fills a creative outlet that I lost via the magazine, and is so much more than the page. So much so, I can’t imagine going back to just doing a page in a magazine.
I’d like to thank everyone that checks flatmatters regularly, I’m stoked the blog has gone down well for most of you. The process of organising new articles and researching different topics through to a final published article has been a huge motivation for my own personal riding.
Two years and counting, flat does matter.

Thanks for your time!


Gabriel Higa edit

Style Bicycle show

Kyle Park jam garage session

Friday, 26 November 2010

Taiko Ground Tactics

Adam Kun promo edit

Nice feel to this winter edit by Adam and Tom @ Sevisual, pedal 5 to halfpacker at the end is sick! Adam @ Tom working hard, two edits in two days.Enjoy!

Related links:

Function Victim

Classic video by OG Marton featuring Chase Gouin, golden footage, go watch this!

Barre Neirynck Am Groundtactics

Jean Francis Boulianne Ground tactics

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Adam Kun iphone 4 edit

Yesterday I suggested a combo for Adam, here it is, I don't know if he already did it, but whatever, it is pretty serious! check it!

Part Two: How does winter treat you?

Part one created an interesting response, the most popular post so far in the history of flatmatters, some people are forced to brave the winter conditions whatever it may throw at them, some have indoor spots, some simply can't ride, some ride in a typically wet outdoor spot, the photo below of Adam Kun's bike, may be a typical scenario for you for example, it's a topic currently very fresh in peoples minds as its freezing outside right now here. Winter somehow has always been a good time for progression, you knuckle down to keep warm, sessions are more intense I find...
So I asked a few more riders the following question...

How do you deal with the winter? Indoor spot, only ride when it's dry or brave the elements and ride in the rain?

Adam Kun:
Winter is really hard period for me, because in the last few years I don't have indoor spot. Riding outside in winter is not possible in Hungary because it’s usually snowing from December to the end of February -10 degree.etc in the Last 3 years I couldn't touch my bike all winter,which is fucking bad for the Riding.I got injured at circle cow, because before the contest I couldn’t ride so this year I have to find something which gonna be big mission! I will Let you know if I find a spot and winter is hard I know, but don't give up because flat is awesome!

Dane Beardsley:
Winter sucks! I hate it. I grew up in Michigan where the winters are real long and painful. When I was younger I would brave the Michigan winters and ride in parking decks and covered spots. But I grew up and realized the easiest way to deal with the winter is to move somewhere where there is no winter. The world is real big and you can live anywhere you want.

Cory Strat:
I have been back in Saskatchewan for just over a year now. Last winter was real hard, because I wasn't used to the extreme way below sub zero temperatures here any longer,but I was lucky due to there being a heated 2 car garage in the back yard. At first, it was real hard to get motivated because of how shitty the floor is/ was- but then I saw Wilhelm’s video where he coked the floor and tried it only to find it works real good. The only thing was it was taking me an hour to prep the floor each time which really cut into my riding time.
One day I had no more soda pop left, so I improvised and dumped sugar in the water only to find it was better on the tires- but it still took an hour to do. Not much longer I purchased a spray bottle for $1.00 and put the sugar into this diffusion spray of mist onto the floor after it was clean that I must say is absolutely perfect. It is grippy but not too tacky and it takes so much time off the application process meaning more for riding.For me it's the time in which I have all to myself. There's no one around; the i-Pod takes over and I can just focus. It's a time to invent and re-invent. Now that I am finding how to attain this, my time is better.

Aleksi Ritsila:
Here it's sub zero temperatures (celsius) and snow at least from November to March, so guess no matter how brave you are, you need an indoor spot. I have been lucky enough to have a decent one for the past years. It takes though a lot planning, since I can pretty much only ride there during weekdays around noon, not the easiest time to arrange...

Related links:

Eiichiro Watanabe edit

Great to see Eiichiro still ripping after all these years, if you have the flatland manifesto vids, check him out on those, skills!

Flatland Jam Virada Esportiva 2010

More from the Special Element contest

Neighbourhood's grand opening bash!

Bummed I'll be missing this party by a few days, if your in the LA area, don't miss this, and support Chad (and Aaron's) new shop! 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Focus frame now in production!

Big news came through today, Mislav has just confirmed the Sam Foakes Zion Focus frame is going into production, after a year and a half testing, check out his website for all the details.