Global City, Fort Bonifacio. October of 2002.
Yeah. This event prompted me to re-activate my riding career. Saw these photos last week while cleaning the study table. I think it's about time to share the experience from that event, my first ever X-game (Asian Xgames) competion.
The last time I rode a bike long 'nuff for my butt to hurt was on April 1995. I got my bike (this bike) five months before this event (can't imagine I did that), and true enough, with short of a time to prepare, I was placed almost dead last from a 30plus competitors. Not a nice thing to brag to beer buddies, but it'll be another nice story to tell to my kids while they'll growing up.
Anyway, I entered the BMX Flatland event, while waiting inline, you could see some of the already some of the guys doing their practice runs. And just by watching them gave me a cold sweat and cold feet. But yeah, was determined to go through it. Besides, I dunno if they'll comeback the next year (they did and it was the last), so it's do or die.
After signing up, I went inside the arena.
I'm having a mixed feeling while walking towards the flatland area. Too happy and too excited to ride the floor, and in a couple of minutes of looking around. I rode circles around the floor and in just a few minutes was bustin my tricks.
I did my routine, and it went well. I have a combo tricks that I was doing since the 90's...so it's old school compared to what they are doing, fast linking trick. Well, mines not that old. I had some few new combos too. Let me try to break it down.
First part would be SIDE GLIDE to Steam Roller to Ankle Death to reverse exit.
2nd part was STEAM ROLLER to Funky Chicken to Boomerang to Boomerankle.
3rd, In and Over to bar hops entrance to Front Yard to Fire Cracker exit.
Then the back wheel tricks.
Bike stall to Locomotive to backyard to backyard glide to spastick backyard to a quick Lardyard exit. Twas insane! I pulled them (not consistently) at practice. I was happy with my practice run that afternoon. So happy-hyper that I even had fun riding the ramps (which they didn't allowed for flatlanders).
GAME TIME. It started around 6p.m. and I was very nervous as hell! My hands were sweating like fruit juice and my tummy started to have butterflies.
They gave us two - two (2) minutes runs to qualify. I was enjoying watching the other riders ahead of me and told myself that two minutes is too short of a time. I can finish my run after time expires or I might not finish it at all, for I thought I had a long routine.
STAGE TIME. When the called my name and number. I was confident. Confident in a way that I have an old yet decent run to show. So I pedal away.
I will do the first part of my routine, I said to my self. So I hoped out of the pedal and placed my foot to both pegs. Ready to kick and show them my tricks. And I did. Kicked the rear peg, the frame swang to the right going left as I ready my hand to catch the seat to align to my bar to perform a SIDE GLIDE, the tip of the seat slipped pass my finger. I didn't panic because I can grab the seat infront of me to do a steam roller, which I did. But when I tried to put my leg across the bar, I CRASHED! Crashed hard, that my bike slid. I pick up my bike and ride it again. Did the same entrance position and kicked! I did the Side Glide to steam roller and when I put the rear wheel down and let it flow to do the Ankle Death, my leg hit the front tire..and yes, I crashed again. Now I was panicking.
Panic mode didn't help. For the sweating hands also add more to my woes. I crashed after crash after crash. The short two minutes in that arena felt like an hour. And every crash made it hard for me to gain control of myself. I was killing myself out there. BADLY.
When my run was over, Archie Babiera talked to me. Told me to take it easy and I still have a chance to show my true worth. It was nice to hear some encouraging words after a badly beaten run. So I relaxed while waiting my turn. An hour passed and it's me again, have some little confidence in me, but I was just now determine to have fun and enjoy my time there.
I went to do the 3rd set of my routine, and I hoped to do a locomotive, but when I reached for the bars, it slipped. And, the fun went go with it. The crash was too loud and heavy and I almost fell on my butt first. What transpired from my first run was nothing different from my second run. I was disappointed to myself as I walk away from the floor. I just let the dark shadows of the ramps eat me to the point that they don't see me at all. I lay my bike on the ground and sat on it. Got my cellphone and texted my brother Jesse who was with me, watching from the bleachers. Text him "I DID BAD!", he just replied, atleast you've got to experience to compete in an XGAME arena. He was right. But, I'm still beaten so bad. It was a quiet night going home. Hungry and hurting...Inside.
I still rode and prepared for the next year. I was well prepared..but competition time, I came late. The comp started after lunch, we who didn't stay there were anticipating another night schedule. It was another heart breaking thing, A very heart breaking thing. The comp was held at Alabang. I still ride after that. Will be continuing to ride for the love for flatland.
After four years, sadly, the bike was stolen inside our compound. It was heart breakin' but I can't do anything. We tried to search for it for almost a month. But we just gave up. Up to now, it still hurts everytime I remember how precious this bike was to me.
I'm starting to built one now, from some second hand part and from good friends donating their old but still usable parts. Looking forward and hoping to ride again before the end of this year....word is "HOPING".
Anyway, this ride of mine is small but heavy. Here is my Bike's specs:
*GT Show Alloy (fake) Frame
(with Airwalk sticker wrap around on it's right side)
*KHE imitation old H-bar
*A'ME (white) Handle grips
*Haro bar-end (alloy)
*Tektro front brake
*Araya double wall 36 hole (f & b)
*Alloy seat post (mtbike)
*Powerlite (3pc alloy crank)
*Haro Plastic peddal
*Haro nuke (Chain ring)
*Chain (ordinary crome)
Haro multi (front)
Primo pegs with drilled holes (front & back)
The Primo pegs made the bike heavy and I guess the tires too. It has a U.S. bottom bracket so it is also one reason why it's kinda heavy.
The Manila event, sponsored by Toyota and supported by Toshiba and Polaroid, served as the fifth leg of a six-stage Asian XTour which kicked off in Shanghai last May. Bangkok hosted the second leg in June then Taipei in August and Kuala Lumpur last month. The final leg was held in Singapore in December.
I also have the TERRY ADAMS VIDEO "DREAMS" (click for the link). Robin bought it from FLATLANDFUEL as a Christmas gift.
Robin's super quick post-script: I'm squeezing this in while ducking from my boss but I just had to say that I love listening to Myke tell me these stories. In fact, we "almost" met at an X-Games event. I hope to be able to write about that soon :) For now, I keep hearing the lines from TJ Lavin's song dedicated to rider, Stephen Murray -
"I know deep down inside we're gonna ride again
we're gonna ride again..."
Baby, I _know_ you're going to ride again. And I'll be right there with you :)