Combine a guy who has been around BMX since the beginning…no not the Matt Hoffman beginning, THE beginning back in the 70’s. Back when the track at Millville was the ONLY place in NJ where all the BMX riders would gather. Take that and add a genuine enthusiasm for the riders and what they do along with an excellent business sense and you have the biggest BMX only shop in the state. That statement is not meant to diss any of the other great local bike shops around NJ but I am not lying when I say that this place is wall to wall BMX in every way imaginable. The in stock inventory rivals warehouse distributors. It’s almost sorta hard to explain without heading in there. This place is a BMX ONLY shop. No skateboards, blades, scooters, MTB’s, Road, nothing but BMX. I sorta dug it…but then again I am a BMX only kind of guy. Closest shop I can remember to looking like Ed’s was when the Gleasons ran Bicycle World back in the 80’s and its BMX section was wall to wall with every part, but even then they had other kinds of bikes for sale. For those of you that remember those days, take that image, delete the other stuff and picture only BMX. Awesomeness personified. At some point in the not too distant future, we’re gonna have a little interview with Ed and his long history with BMX in NJ.
Much like Hippie Steve and Jump For Joy, Ed has a tendency to lean towards listening to the riders and having lots of FUN. Yea fun, no stress, just riding, laughing and popping off a contest or 4 to give out some cashola to the deserving tricksters. The other thing that Ed has going on is a killer relationship with all his suppliers. A good enough relationship to get them to kick in over $5,000 simoleans (that’s dollars thar pilgrim) of prizes to the event. If you showed up that day you got a raffle ticket (two if you wore an Ed’s shirt) for FREE to put you in a drawing for all of that BMX goodness that was being given out. A bike, frames, forks, parts, goodie bags, all filled with BMX stuff. The raffle itself went on for almost and hour and a half. Totally awesome to have someone give back to the BMX community like that.
I’ll get more into the raffle radness later but first a quick rundown on the day, some shout outs and the winners of Ed’s Games II.
When I pulled into the parking lot at about 10:45 there was about 20 or so locals busting out on the ramp and grind rails on the side of Ed’s. I wandered about for a moment then went inside to say hit to the main man and his wife and thank them for helping me get my new frame for me last month. I was stoked to see Ed and his crew once again ’cause their enthusiasm for the BMX realm is completely off the hook. Ed was good enough to copy up some of his shots from the early days of BMX in NJ (1977 to be exact) and give ’em to me for later posting on the site! We b.s.’d a bit more about the early days and Ed let on that he was a bit worried that the crowd seemed off from last year. It was sorta warm that morning and I just had the feeling that the majority of the crowd would not roll in till later in the day. Possibly even sleeping off some “pre-games” festivities the night before. I just kept telling Ed not to stress it, I’m sure that there will be a big crowd later in the afternoon. Well by 1:30 or so the Ed’s magic came through because car loads of BMX riders and spectators were filling that parking lot from all over. It was sorta crazy. I can’t b.s. the semi-loyal readers of this website, Ed had the biggest crowd at a BMX event that I have seen in the past 4 months. The riders just kept coming and coming and at around 2:30 or so, Ed decided to start rolling out some of his comps.
I’d get into the rundown of what went on during the contests but we’ll once again be saving that stuff for the next issue of BMXNJ Magazine. (man Brett you are starting to sound like a broken record with that s**t!!) For now though we’ll do a quick recap of who deh winners was. (yea it’s bad english but come on what fun is constantly speaking in some monotone voice…..snoooorreeee)
First up, the grind box. Last year the manager, CEO and financial wizard of Delmont Skatepark, Mike Paton took home the bacon at the comp. Watching the whole thing go down this year I figured he had it once again with some crazy combo grinds to bunnyhop variations at the end. The celebration though didn’t go down that way as Matt Leviege, “The Sez” came in from PA to scarf the cool benjamin for best grind, leaving Mike P with the number two this time around. Placing didn’t really matter though because the Lord of Paton Place got the champagne bath anyway after the festivities from his bros. The after party was at Mike’s pad so he gets the first place for helping out all his buds the most.
A quick turn around and Ed and Joe had the bunny hop bar set up. First up, this was something that we all did as kids. Have a bunny hop contest, it’s the first real “trick” we learn and one we keep up with throughout our riding lives. A simple, fun, bitching idea. Number two was that bunny hopping really shows the different styles of the riders. It all came down to about 4 different riders. I
was betting on Kev Little to put this one to bed as he had the best style over the bar and was totally racer style kicked out when he was clearing it. He topped out at 42″ though and didn’t make the top 2 he is still however the grillmaster at Delmont Skatepark. The number two dude and collector of 50 fat ones was Davon Johnson with a loft of 43″. He got this done on a bike that had me thinking of the old school DG BMX racing machines that were all blue and yellow from way back in the early days. The man who put it all away though was Ricardo who boosted over the bar with a leap that would have made Jim Thorpe proud. (um…google the name….) He was able to make a 44″ blast over the bar and take home his 100 beans. Sometimes it’s just the simplest stuff that produces the most fun times.
Ed decided to up the ante this year (it’s a…50’s term?…) and plop a 5′ 1/4 pipe on the grounds to let the shredheads have at it. 2 contests were gonna go down on this thing and the first one up was best trick. 25 years ago we would have been busting out on a 8′ x 8′ 1/4 and trying to kick the best stuff on something that was not really conducive to ripping stuff on but in the 21st century better minds prevail. The stuff being pulled ranged from tech lip tricks to big air variations all the way out to flairs. Little Frankie got busy with some whips and variations, Frank “Security” Lynn had some good lip tricks, Clay Goldsmid lofted a 540, Albert Carlson (whom I was stupidly calling Travis Applegate earlier in the comp….sorry bro! Travis is cool but I shouldn’t be mixing names!) was double pegging the railing along with Mike P. So much good stuff was being thrown that it was becoming obvious that this best trick contest was gonna be a little tough to judge. Until it got down to the wire. “The Sez” came out and fufanu’d the railing, then Ant said….ok, I got that and pulled it was well. At that point everyone was shaking their heads thinking it couldn’t get any nuttier, until Sez comes flying at the 1/4 and BOOSTS over the railing landing flat ground about 10′ below. At that point the place lost it and the judges threw in the towel giving the win to Matt again who had just won best grind trick. Ant got the second for tying up Matt with that fufanu and the crowd was ready for the final gladitorial combat, the high air contest.
Now around this time, Ed was pumped at how well the event was going down but when the time for high air came around, he was a little pensive because he didn’t know how big these guys would huck themselves. I knew everything would be cool but at the same time I felt his anxiety having been in his seat at a lot of comps. As the height pole went up, the tension died down and it became apparent that this was going to be a good way to end Ed’s Games numero two.
Everyone started taking turns hitting up the 1/4 with a few guys becoming standouts right away, Clay Goldsmid brought his racer inspired skills over to freestyle and was boosting well into the upper 5′ range. Al Carlson was also going a nice even flat 5′, Frank Lynn was pushing up to the 6′ range with his front tire but it quickly became a show down between Chris Przywara
and Little Frankie Day over to who was gonna push the airs the highest this time around. Every shot that Chris took Frank would bust just a little more, it went back and forth for a bit till Chris lofted a fat air where his rear wheel cleared almost 8′. Since high air is judged on the lowest part of the bike controversy started to swirl about who was actually going higher. The judges in their wisdom pulled out all of Ed’s shots he had been taking as the comp was going on, analyzed them and after a few minutes of tense deliberation declared that…Chris had in fact millimetered out Frankie this time around. The two dudes collected their winnings for the day and Ed’s crew of BMX maniacs began to get ready for the big raffle.
Ed is pretty tight with most companies in BMX and was able to secure a buttload of swag, Animal, Eastern, Greenhouse BMX, Verde, Cult, Duo, Hyper, Kink, Blackout Distro., Odyssey, Profile, QBP, S&M, Fit, United, Seattle Bike Supply, We The People, Sidewall Distro, Hoffman, Sparky’s Distro, Shadow, Subrosa, Mutiny, Sunday, System Cycle Supply, DK, Tip Plus, Primo, Colony, and Triple 8 Helmets. Insane amount of stuff. The big winner was Quraan Johnson who snagged a Eastern Scythe complete that was worth almost 500 clams. He was purty stoked to get that new scoot. Other guys got some schweet new frames like George Strang winning a Hyper MIA, Jim Murphy grabbing a Fit Eddie V3 frame, Eddie Anderson snagging a Bulldog Illmatic, the list was huge. Tons of kids walked away with grab bags and parts and they were all able to get this for the small price of nothing, THAT is how you give back to your BMX community. Big props to Ed, his wife Carol and their crew for building and supporting such a monster BMX scene down there and keeping it real.
I’ll be back down later in the year to get Ed on video about his thoughts and history on BMX. His knowledge can only help the scene grow in NJ and more guys like him are needed out here to make people see how great BMX is for everyone.
Thanks again to Ed, Carol, Mike P, Kev, Frank Lynn, and Brad for announcing all day at the event and keeping things moving alongas well as Val for handling registration. I gotta recommend a pilgrimage down there to any core BMXer in the state to get at the very least a sense of the long history that BMX has in the gardenia state.
Bottom line, Ed kills it, his riders get it and his events are top notch, full on fun. The next time you see an Ed’s event going down…get there. Oh and for more pics and a local papers view of Ed’s Games, check out Ed’s Myspace page and this article and pics in Vineland’s Daily Journal .
See you somewhere out there where 20″ wheels roll.
Brett and the BMXNJ crew.