Al “deh big man” Dimino was back on the contest front this month after coming off a late winter bone fracture which caused the main rider-promoter to postpone the eighth round of the Invasion.
Well waiting that extra time paid off as the rider count was bombing and the prizes and sponsors were oaf deh hook this round.. Names like: DANSCOMP, FELT BIKES, MIRRA BIKE CO., INTERBMX.COM, RIDEBMX MAGAZINE, BMXNJ aka BROKENSPOKES, PROPS VISUAL, HOFFMAN BIKES, SIDEWALL DISTRIBUTION, S&M BIKES, FIT BIKES, REVENGE INDUSTRIES, PRIMO, TIPPLUS DISTRIBUTION, COLONY BMX, MUTINY BIKES, FAT BMX, DIRECTBMX, ANIMAL BIKES, VITAL BMX MEDIA; LONG ISLAND BIKE SHOP, SE BIKES, KNIGHT BIKE CO., ACTION WHEELS BIKE SHOP, GO 211 MEDIA (FILMING THE EVENT) were dropping goods and coverage of the jam. The sponsor list was huge with the top 3 winners in each class going home with over 600 beans of goods. Al and Rich D went overboard on the prizes for this one, so the comp level was high but laid back enough for everyone to have a good time.
Before the event got underway, Rich Dimino led the riders in a moment of silence for fallen BMXer Jeremy Barcik who was tragically taken from the scene in a motorcycle accident not to long ago. It was quite a moving moment to have the usual loud buzzing and clanking of an active ramp park go dead silent as every person who cared about BMX hung their head in memoriam for another rider. BMX riders are a different breed and to loose any of them is loss that is hard to take. RIP Jeremy, gone but not forgotten from the scene. Rich also gave word that a memorial jam will go down later this year at a local outdoor park.
Well…. We all know that Hackettstown has a long rep as a killer place to hold comps from the days of Jim Dellavalle, to Steve Wisbeski’s Jump for Joy comps and these last few years with Al D taking the reigns and running the BMX Invasion comps, the BMX freestyle underground scene jus gets better and better. Big thanks go out to Roach, old school maniac freestyler for djing and announcing the whole comp as well as throwing a surfer or two in the mix and Kenny Hirsch from Long Island Bike Shop for judging.
The classes. Well, I’d have a much better wrap up if I could have gotten my digital recorder to work right but instead I got plenty of static to drown my head out when trying to give all these guy the proper heads up on their shread antics.
Guys in the beginner class were dropping 360’s, big transfers and crazy tricks on the titanic ramp, a sort of under vert 30′ long 1/4 pipe with a little ramp in the middle of it. Two micro midget BMXahs got the 2nd and 3rd, Shane Kelly and Cody Ziegler. Mark Barcik, (Jeremy’s bro) got the win this time around. These guys are the future of freestyle and it was great to see them shredding it with no fear out there.
It’s getting a little hard anymore to seperate the top expert guys from the pros and this jammie was no exception.
The expert class was crazy as well. The big guys were throwing out some of the most inverted tables ever and hitting wall ride transfers that had the crowd on their feet stomping and the ladies in the crowd fainting with anticipation. Speaking of ladies, expert had one woman rocking the house for Long Island Bikes and she was hitting the course hard with killer jump variations and a big abubaca on the spine. One dude nicknamed “Nature” was shredding mondo as well as sticking out from the crowd with a full on green outfit. That’s BMX man, people who think different. Big 360’s from Nature and other cool variations got him a top 3 finish in that class. The head cheeser in X was Steve Horvot rocking the park for none other than Roach’s own team, Useless Bikes. Expect to hear more from these underground mugs out of Bayonne NJ in the future, and expect it to be loud and over the top Other cool fuhshizzling in the class were big 360 variations like turndowns, barspin, switchhand, pro level stuff not more than a couple years ago. The min ramp jam going on in between rounds had a lot of the experts over there shredding it HARD on that thing with airs in the 8’ range not uncommon and this is out of a SIX FOOT HIGH HALF, 20+ years ago a big deal was made when Josh White (google the name- josh white bmx) was busting that on a ¼ pipe and now these guys are kicking it like that’s just the way it is. Crazy cool.
Pro class, from bandanas to collared shirts it all went down in this class. Al ran the comp a little different this time which allowed more people to hang out and get to see the action these guys could throw down. John Ritchie was coming out strong at the beginning of his run but a run in with the small box jump during a switch foot tailwhip left him with a reinjured knee and sitting out the rest of his run, better to save the knee for future use. One guy who was going BIG was Jorge Herrera, he came out and busted a no handed front flip so huge that the whole park shook when he landed it, blowing the helmet off his head. A crazy flair on the titanic was also in his repetoire but all he could muster in the judges eyes was a 8th this time around. Look for more from Jorge this year. Rumor had it that Ryan Nyquist was in the house but it was actually local ripper Hambone sporting the goatee and badass moves, Hamien was busting some BIG backflips out there on the dance floor. Collin Evans got the 3rd with a crazy barrell roll over the box, first time I saw it done live at a comp in NJ and pulled clean, way nuts. Chris Childs pulled in the 2nd and was the variation master on the box, way stretched no foot can cans. The main man for the day though was Brandon Christie, consistency, speed utilizing the whole course and smoothness wins comps and Brandon took care of this one. Realistically, every one of the pros brought some trick or killer style to the table that made you go, damn, if only I could do that and makes ya want to go out and ride that bike even harder.
Big thanks go out to all the guys and gal who rode, the people who helped out, the sponsors, Brett from go211.com, Dirk Lesko pro photographer and Skate 57 for giving us BMX mongrels a place to hang for the day.
No word yet on when BMX Invasion 9 will land but I’m sure the Dimino gang is already laying tire to ramp trying to figure out how to make the next one bigger and better. Meanwhile we’ll be looking out for the Jeremy Barcik Memorial Jam and heading out to Crazy Bill’s 4th of July Jam in Somerville.
For more pics and video check out BMXInvasion.com, go211.com and as soon as I find his weblink that I wrote down, Dirk Lesko’s site. (Ya talk to a guy who looks pretty mild mannered for 5 minutes and the next thing you know he’s a snowboarding shredder and maniac who does 50 on a road bike…being at BMX comps rules. Hehe) Ya know you hit an event like this and it reminds how much BMX isn’t like other sports or activities or whatever you want to label it as, it’s a brotherhood of people who just want to cut loose on their bikes and express their individuality on ’em.
Check the results below and the rest of BMXNJ’s pics here: bmxinvasion shots. We’ll also have a little write up and some not seen here shots in the next issue of BMXNJ Szine (formerly NJ BMX Szine) that will be available in better BMX lifestyle shops near you and in pdf form right here at BMXNJ.com and as usual it will be… for free, to support the guys who support the sport, the riders.
See ya busting the curb jumps,