2010 Red Bull Fight With Flight Recap – 8 Antidotes To The Weekend

2010 Red Bull Fight With Flight Recap
8 Antidotes To The Weekend
Text and photos by Fat.

This is the second year Indianapolis, Indiana was host to the Red Bull Fight With Flight contest, and the organizers definitely stepped it up this time around. They refined their concept, learning from any shortcomings last year, and put together one hell of an event. More than sixty riders competed in four classes, and everyone there left with a smile on their face and some great memories. The riding was top-notch, but you’ll be able to see that for yourself in our photo gallery and video, so I won’t get into that in this article. Instead, here are eight noteworthy things that I saw go down over the course of my stay in Indy.

Red Bull Warehouse Pre Jam
The Thursday night before the contest Red Bull opened up one of their warehouses in Indianapolis for a pre jam session. The session was definitely laid back and had a chill vibe, but there were still a handful of people throwing down. It was a good way for everyone to meet up and get to hang out before the contest weekend started.

Here's part of a screen grab from a video that I filmed at the pre jam. Look for that edit to hit the site in a few weeks.
Here's part of a screen grab from a video that I filmed at the pre jam. Look for that edit to hit the site in a few weeks.

A Truck Ablaze On The Freeway
One of the contest organizers Alan Young crammed seven riders including himself, Matthias Dandois, Terry Adams, Dominik Nekolny, TJ Perry, Tyler Gilliard, and me into his extended cab pickup truck to bring us from the pre jam back to the hotel. While plowing down the freeway the truck started smoking from under the hood so we pulled over to check it out. No one could tell if anything was wrong, so without knowing what else to do and a little push from me (“Yeah dude, you got it…it’s only a few more miles to the hotel. She’ll make it that far!”), we trudged on. Bad move. A few minutes later fire was bellowing out from under the truck in ever direction. Alan pulled over as fast as he could, and with lightning speed everyone bolted out of the truck and up a hill on the side of the freeway. Seven bikes and my camera gear bag were in the bed of the truck and we were all panicking, waiting for the moment where the truck would go “boom,” like in the movies. We watched for a few minutes as a fiery oil leak dripped from the car to the road and eventually burned out. There was never any explosion, no one was hurt, and everyone’s stuff was unharmed. It was one of those life situations where it was scary as shit as it was happening, but funny as shit a few minutes later. Except for Alan…he didn’t think it was funny that his truck was toast. Sorry, bud! Hope insurance takes care of you!

A little piece of the action as seen from Terry Adams' iPhone.
A little piece of the action as seen from Terry Adams' iPhone.

“…we were all panicking, waiting for the moment where the truck would go “boom,” like in the movies.”

The AM Circuit
This year is the debut of the AM Flatland Circuit in North America, and Fight With Flight was the first stop in the series. The circuit is an awesome idea and brainchild of Upstate New York resident Steve Lapsley. Basically, he has organized a points system and has named four of the major North American flatland contests as a stop of the circuit. Am riders in the expert and master classes will accumulate points throughout the year, allowing for an amateur champion for 2010 at the end of the fourth event. The next stops are the CFO contest in Toronto, Jomopro in Missouri, and DK’s contest in Dayton, Ohio. You can learn more about the AM Flatland Circuit from their Web site at amflatlandcircuit.com.

Bryan Huffman rode really consistent this weekend and scored the top spot at the first stop of the Amateur Flatland Circuit.
Bryan Huffman rode really consistent this weekend and scored the top spot at the first stop of the Amateur Flatland Circuit.

The Contest Venue
For the second year in a row the contest was held inside an airplane hangar at Vincennes University. The judges sat on top of the wing of a Boeing 737 and the riding went down just beside the massive plane. Don’t ask me why riding your bike next to an airplane is cool, but it is… Besides a pretty slippery floor, it seemed like all the riders were really stoked on the venue.

Helicopter? Red Bull army truck sound system? Boeing 737? Check, check, and check.
Helicopter? Red Bull army truck sound system? Boeing 737? Check, check, and check.

The Pro Qualifying Results Mix-Up
When the pro qualifying results were announced, they listed Terry Adams as qualifying eighth and Matthias Dandois in first. No big deal, right? Wrong… In a single elimination bracket format for the finals, the eighth place qualifier has to battle the first place qualifier. With the two-time defending world champion Matthias battling last year’s Fight With Flight winner Terry Adams, it would mean that one of the two guys expected to place on the podium would be eliminated in the first battle, ensuring he would NOT have a chance at a podium finish. It made for an interesting scenario until they announced that there had been an error when calculating the judges scores and Terry actually qualified in seventh. So that meant that two of the biggest names in flatland wouldn’t have to battle each other in the first round after all.

Matthias Dandois has been all but unstoppable in the past two years, but says not making the podium this time around only made him more motivated to get back out there and kick ass next time.
Matthias Dandois has been all but unstoppable in the past two years, but says not making the podium this time around only made him more motivated to get back out there and kick ass next time.

Matthias Dandois And Terry Adams Eliminated In First Round Battles
With the thought that both of the heavy hitters would in fact get their shot at a podium finish, the battles raged on. However, neither Terry Adams nor Matthias Dandois were riding as consistent as they needed to be in order to win their first round battles. Both of them lost the quarter final battles and were out of the finals, opening up the field for anyone to take the top spots.

Terry didn't get this peg wheelie to whopper in his run, but stuck it for the crowd after time had expired.
Terry didn't get this peg wheelie to whopper in his run, but stuck it for the crowd after time had expired.

Matt Wilhelm Wins
Matt Wilhelm has been in the flatland game for a very long time and has been at the top of the contest scene for almost just as long. He told me he had actually been getting a bit down on himself as he began to feel like maybe his time to shine was coming to an end. However, his feelings changed after he dropped his new video and had an interview here on this site just two weeks ago. The positive feedback he got from the BMX community surrounding the video and interview was a huge confidence booster, and it showed when he rode this weekend. Matt was the most consistent rider on the floor all day, rarely dabbing a foot throughout his runs and battles. His tricks are original, difficult as all hell, and faster than just about anyone else. (It’s not an easy feat to spin that fast on a slick floor I might add.) Winning this contest made Matt go from the mindset of, “my time may be coming to an end” to “I’m just getting started…”

This first place airplane propeller is going back to Chicago with Matt along with his fresh outlook on his current place within the sport. Click to enlarge.
This first place airplane propeller is going back to Chicago with Matt along with his fresh outlook on his current place within the sport. Click to enlarge.

The Beginning To A Great Year For Flatland
Everyone has been talking about how big 2010 is going to be for flaltand, and this contest was an amazing way to kick things off in North America. With nearly 50 ams competing at Fight With Flight it shows a lot of promise as to what’s in store for the rest of the year. I can’t wait for the next contest! See you there!