A while back I got an email from a dutch riding buddy, Daniel Wedemeijer inviting me to attend the 2nd “Urban Sports Week Amsterdam” (I will add the link below so you can check out what its all about) I had a quick look at what was going to be there contest wise and decided it looked fun so accepted and decided to ride in the SOULCYCLE BMX Park championships and Spine events.
Travel plans were made with another riding buddy from the UK, Charlie Ash and a Belgian BMX rider and NinJaz Gloves team mate Kenneth Tancre. AMSTERDAM HERE WE COME!!!
I was excited for this one because I had never stayed in Amsterdam and knew there were some sikkk riding spots there and we would have time in-between contests to check them out. When we arrived on the Wednesday we got to our 1* budget hotel, it was OK to be honest it was clean and had a bed, the only annoying thing was the steep narrow spiral staircase up to the second floor where our room was and having to try and get our bikes up there as well after a day of riding was just knackering haha! The view made up for it though and the location. That night we just went riding around Amsterdam to have a look.
We went to check out the courses, it was all set up in the Museumplein, next to the Van Gogh museum, the whole square was one big urban sports fest. It was pretty sikkk. It was a full on practice day, We headed to the park course first, we got an hour an a half which is plenty of time to figure out some lines, It wasn’t a massive course but was pretty fun to be fair. I had a bit of a practice on the dirt course and registered to ride the SOULCYCLE BMX Dirt Championships as well, never rode in a dirt contest before so thought I would give it a go. Even though it wasn’t a dirt take off, just a dirt landing it was so much fun to ride and I loved the size of the ramps, then straight to spine practice ready for spine quali’s later on that night but it rained so got called off.
It was qualification day. BMX Freestyle Park was first, I did 2 smooth and dialled runs with variety and consistent tricks so was really happy with my riding and just had to wait until later for the results.
Next up was Dirt. never done this before so thought I would just do trick combos I’m consistent with, my runs went pretty good and didn’t fall off which is a bonus haha! although later on in the day I realised I had hurt an old ankle injury trying to stop after the last jump. Basically I had my favourite riding shows on, cream VANS (stupid idea for dirt I know haha). On my first run in warm up I tried to stop after the last jump, but it had rained the night before and was wet, there was no bern and I am a brakeless rider, so I didn’t want to put my foot down and ruin my shoes haha! so instead I ran in to the fence and felt my ankle twang (that’s the only way I can describe it) It held out for me to ride dirt quali’s must of been the adrenaline of riding but when I went for some food to wait for spine quali’s my ankle swelled and started to hurt pretty bad. I knew I had Park and Dirt finals the next day so I decided to rest my ankle up and pull out of the spine contest, which I was gutted about at the time but I had to think about the next day’s riding, I’m glad I did because it wasn’t too bad in the morning. Qualifcation results were 7th in Dirt and 4th in Park! I was pretty happy with that and knew I could up what I did in both for finals.
FINALS DAY! I’m pretty lucky really, I never get nervous before a contest I have a routine which I kinda follow and it works for me, I’m sure other rider’s and athlete’s have their own little ritual they do as well. I go over my runs in my head to make sure they are going to work and that it flows well to get the best use of the course.
The Park finals were up first and I put in another 2 solid runs with no mistakes and used as much as the course as is possible, tricking every transition possible and felt really good about my riding when I finished and after watching the other riders too was pretty confident to place Top 3, I have a lot of contest experience as a rider and have competed in over 40+ international contests in the last few years and can normally have an idea based on what I have seen, although you never really can tell but I finished in 5th place which meant a knock down from my qualification result and Ill be honest with you I was pissed off at the time because (I knew how I rode and it felt better than the week before when I won the contest in Reims), that hasn’t happened to me in 2 years, not sure what it is about the dutch judging but I never seem to place very well, they have said to me in the past that I make things look too easy, that is my style of riding, being consistent and making sure every trick I pull is done with the best execution I can and not just sending something that’s not pulled right or looks sketchy! Having said that I will return to Holland for more contests and prove them wrong haha! and they always put on a good event.
Dirt finals went ok the system is you get 3 runs and the best 2 count as your score and the 3rd is scrapped so it gives you the another chance if you mess a run up. I did just that, I fell off in my second run but pulled 2 clean runs and had so much fun on those jumps. (if you head over to my Instagram you can catch some clips, LINK IS in my social bar below). I finished in 7th place overall which I was happy with and its definitely made me want to enter more BMX dirt contests in the future.
The next few days me and Charlie rode some sikkk spots in Amsterdam, the well know Marnix Bowl. We chilled out and also met up with a mate we hadn’t seen for a while and he took us to The Hague for a street session which was awesome. Sometimes when I’m travelling for a contest you are that busy with practice and the event that you don’t get to see much of the city or country you are in so I try and make a point of looking around now whenever I go somewhere, if I can or have time.
Amsterdam is one of the prettiest cities I have visited (and definitely an eye opener haha!) I have been to quite a few, I will definitely be returning but next time I will take my girl with me because she has always wanted to go. Speaking of which when I got back to sunny Luton airport, she was there to pick me up and it was awesome to see her after a week. I love travelling with my bike and hanging out with all the dudes but its still the best thing to come home and spend time with my girl x……………………..until next time Amsterdam. PEACE OUT!
NEXT BLOG………… I have a few weeks at home to ride and practice for the next contest in a few weeks so I will do my next one on some UK skate parks that I visit.