Airlines have regulations allowing only one dog on each domestic flight, and now I know why. I was in the rear of the aircraft, so I don’t know the exact details. What I do know is that twenty minutes after we should have left the gate, the flight attendant made the following announcement: “We apologize for the delay, and for the folks up front, we’re doing everything possible to take care of the odor.”
Forty-five minutes into our delay I learned one thing, you’ve never seen it all. Three men, we’ll call them the poop patrol, came on board to assess the situation. After a few minutes of careful planning, a member of the poop patrol walked to the rear of the aircraft, entered the bathroom and returned with a tissue…yes, it took a simple tissue to remedy the situation.
Dirt. The dirt contest was held at a BMX track in Akron. There were two sets of doubles, which utilized the track’s starting hill for speed. I heard mixed reviews on the jumps, but overall people seemed pretty happy. Some big names showed up including Chris Duncan, Robbie Morales, Joey “Whitesnake” Marks, Adam Aloise, Mike Ardelean, Ryan “Biz” Jordan, and Jerry Bagley. Todd Walkowiak spun 360’s in both directions, and ended up with the win.
Music. Three bands played, with Orange 9mm as the headliner. The 2-Hip crew rented a flatbed truck for a stage, a sound system, and lights for the bands. Aside from some “technical difficulties” during the set of the opening band, things rocked pretty smoothly. Orange 9mm had to leave directly from a show in Virginia to arrive just in time to play a set on the 2-Hip stage. I’ll be honest, I’m not an Orange 9mm fan, but it was cool that they’d go out of their way to play a small show in the middle of Ohio. Burning bikes. Last year it was a giant burning bike, this year it was a pile of burning Huffy’s, Murray’s, Columbia’s, and assorted other garbage day goodies. Dirt Master’s Chris Beecher was in charge of the inferno. A few 2×4’s and a pile of hay were used to ignite the fire, which burnt during the set of Orange 9mm. There were rumors throughout the day that a few individuals were planning to set the bikes on fire a bit early, but it never actually happened.
Camping. Those who got hotel rooms generally stayed near Chenga World Skatepark, about an hour away from the dirt contest. The area around the BMX track was open for camping Saturday night, but I’m not sure how many people actually toughed it.
Chenga. I’ve always wanted to go to Chenga World, and this contest gave me that opportunity. Chenga has something for everyone: rhythm, spines, transitions, rails, and even a flatland area. The rhythm section was blocked off for the contest, giving spectators a place to sit. With the rhythm closed, people were forced into other areas of the course, and as a result some interesting lines were created. “Toledo” Joe Prisel did one of the craziest superman seat-grab transfers I have ever seen. Josh Heino’s runs were filled with countless big tricks, including a downside footplant on a wall that was on top of a six foot quarter. Drake Miller flowed through the park like a local, with all kinds of wall-rides and transfers. Mike Ardelean jumped an unexpected gap into a double peg grind on the spine of the mini, in addition to all kinds of pedal flip tricks. Shaun Dorton made lines where there were no lines, and ended up with a well-deserved victory. Spending the last few summers at Woodward have definitely paid off, as Shaun ruled Chenga. Keep your eye on Dorton, because he is blowing up.
Flatland. Chenga is owned by Pro fllatlanders Scott Powell and Dave Schaeffer, so it’s no surprise that they set aside a flatland area in their park to help get them through the Ohio weather. The floor takes a little getting used to, but once you adjust you can spin your brains out. Being used to the floor paid off, as Scott got second in Pro flat. Ohio local Brian Ryback really impressed me with some incredibly original tricks, but he couldn’t put it together during the contest. Chicago’s Matt Wilhelm turned Pro for this contest and spun fast enough to make the crowd dizzy. Both Matt and Paul Palmer were doing a crazy pedaling upside down megaspin, but Matt was able to pull it together and ended up in second place. First place went to York Uno from Japan. York rides brakeless and does a lot of juggler type tricks, along with a few front wheel switches. He stayed off the back wheel almost entirely, but still managed to pull out the win. York spent a few months in the States hitting the last few contests of the season and placing well at all of them.
The end. This contest marked the end of another year for 2-Hip. There were 170 entries at Burning Bike, proof positive that BMX is continuing to grow. Burning Bike is definitely more of an experience than a contest, and if you only hit one contest next year, you might consider Burning Bike. You won’t be sorry.
Burning Bike ’99 Results September 25th and 26th 1999Prizes donated by Primo, Play, Redline, Pro Designed, UGP, Caffeine clothing, Vans, Ng Records (Orange 9mm), and Fat Wreck Chords.
Great Dirt1. Mark Flippowitz2. Kevin Coffee3. Beeler Van Orman
Really Great Dirt1. Todd Walkowiak – $8002. Aaron Bostrom – $5003. Ryan Jordan – $2504. Paul Kitner – $1255. Jerry Bagley – $100
Good Street1. Shanton Wilson2. B.J. Gruitza3. Dacian Gingrich
Great Street1. Keven Salmon2. Jake Finley3. Brandon Stafford
Really Great Street1. Shaun Dorton – $8002. Mike Ardelean – $5003. Josh Heino – $2504. Joe Prisel – $1255. Jason Suchan – $100
Good Flat1. Dane Beardsley2. Chris Abraham3. Scott McIntyre
Great Flat1. Jeff DesRoche2. Terry Adams3. Michael MacPhaden
Really Great Flat1. York Uno – $8002. Scott Powell – $5003. Matt Wilhelm – $2504. Brian Tunney – $1255. Batoumeni Armin – $100