|Date: march 28-29, 1987.
Place: Multnomah County Expo Center, Portland, Oregon.
BMX Plus!: It was maybe the most exciting freestyle contest ever. The flatland battles were good enough, but the ramp competition was a mindblower with a final pro matchup between Mike Dominguez, Todd Anderson, Ron Wilkerson, Josh White, Brian Blyther and Hugo Gonzales that had the crowd gasping for breath and screaming for more.
|BMX Plus! july 1987: The flatland competition is getting ridiculous. There were some incredible new tricks on display here, thanks mainly to the legions of unknown riders trying to break into the big time. Here are some examples:
John Donald pulled off a standing backwards infinity-roll wheelie. It's supposedly called a 'backyard." Whatever you call it, it's hot.
Aaron Dull was anything but dull. He did a cherrypicker squeaker that was too rad for words.
John Washburn did a balance trick with the bike resting on one rear peg. Then he made the bike turn around in circles. It's called a can opener, somebody told us. It's cool.
Paul Mackles did a high-speed forward side glide. Hair-y!
Jonathan Garcia did a backwards infinity-roll squeaker wheelie.
Kevin Martin did a trick called the "yodel" that almost has to be seen to be believed. He gets going really fast, pops a wheelie, then jumps up and puts one foot through the bars as he spins himself and the bars around backwards. That puts him in a high-speed backwards framestand with his legs wrapped around the stem and bars. He does it with style, and no hands, too. It's radical.
What may have been the best trick of the contest was one that Mike Loveridge introduced. He does an upside-down seat grinder and turns it into an upside-down bionic infinity roll. Unfortunately, Mike lost control at the end of the trick and the bike spun out of control into the crowd. Bob Morales of the AFA called it the hottest ground trick of the contest up until Loveridge lost it. Loveridge took fourteenth in his 16-18 Expert class and, without a doubt, his score would have been a lot higher if he had pulled it off.
As it turned out, most of the guys who did the best in the results did so with hot routines that didn't rely on new tricks. Eric Evans, Ruben Castillo, Adam Jung and Rick Moliterno won their classes with hot riding, but mostly tricks that others have pioneered (except for maybe Moliterno).
R.L. Osborn and Martin Aparijo have been giving Dennis McCoy some tough competition lately, looking like they could maybe steal a win from him someday soon. They didn't have to steal it this time. McCoy was still recovering from the injuries he received in a bad crash off the Dan'up quarterpipe four days earlier.
The class was a real showdown. Dave Nourie rode the hottest routine of his life, including a radical Miami hopper peg spin that might have won him the contest if he hadn't fallen off at the end.
Martin Aparijo and Ron Wilkerson both ripped, too, but R.L. Osborn was the man this time. He whipped through four minutes of boomerangs, backwards wheelies, hopping all over his bike, bar riding backwards (he fell off at first, then did it again perfectly), and even a cherrypicker before he finished his run to AC/DC's 'You Shook Me All Night Long." It looked like a winning run to us.
Some people said Nourie should have won, but the judges put Dave in fourth, Wilk-O in third, Martin in second and El Cid on the throne.
Pro flat results: 1.R.L. Osborn 2.Martin Aparijo 3.Ron Wilkerson 4.Dave Nourie 5.Rick Allison 6.(tie)Pete Augustin 6.(tie)Robert Peterson 8.Josh White 9.Chris Lashua 10.Fred Blood 11.Dave Vanderspek
19 and over expert flatland: 1.Rick Moliterno 2.Dino DeLuca 3.Jonathan Garcia 4.Pete Kearney 5.Kenneth Evans
16-18 expert flatland: 1.Adam Jung 2.Chris Mitchell 3.Brett Hernandez 4.(tie)Gary Pollack 4.(tie)Terry Cleaton
14-15 expert flatland: 1.Ruben Castillo 2.James Coppock 3.Aaron Dull 4.Gregg Rogers 5.John Donald
13 and under expert flatland: 1.Carl Argila 2.Eric Evans 3.Eddie Montalonga 4.Timmy Carter 5.Richard Cockrell
Martin Aparijo, undertaker.
|BMX Plus! july 1987: The contest offered the first use of the new Dia-Compe quarterpipe built especially for the AFA. A big steel-and-wood job, eight feet high and eight feet wide with a giant ten-foot platform on the top, it's a ramp that will be trucked to every remaining AFA Masters Series contest this year. There is even a matching short ramp. The biggest complaint about the new quarterpipe was that there weren't two of them. As it was, the guys had to slow to almost a stop at the other end of the small arena after each air, turn around or do a kick turn, then start accelerating again. As Dominguez put it, "It's like practicing starts all day."
CW's Eric Evans set the mood for the day with what was probably the raddest ramp routine ever performed by a kid so young. Only nine year old, 59 pounds, four-and-a-half-feet tall and riding a custom-made 16-inch CW, but riding ramps for four years already, Eric blasted one, two and three feet out of the ramp with tricks like no-footers, a turndown, a cancan, and a whole bunch of other stuff. He says he can do no-footed cancans, but he didn't do one here. That's okay. We can wait. In a few years this guy should be challenging the sport's top pros. We're sure we'll see that trick someday.
One of the best things about going to an AFA contest is getting to see Matt Hoffman ride. He went from obscurity to hero status as the sport's most radical young rider in less than one year. In the past, Matt's best runs have been in practice, but that all changed this day. Just the announcement of his name sent the crowd into a screaming frenzy. Matt didn't disappoint them, either, as he came out and pulled off the most exciting ramp routine of the whole contest. He started out with a 360 fly-out and a 270 drop-in, then he started getting crazy. His next air was an eight-foot invert, then he did a cancan over-and-out seven feet out. He followed that with a no-hander into a no-footer seven feet out. Next was a no-footed-cancan fakie air three or four feet out, which drove the crowd berserk. He did another cancan variation that we couldn't even see because of all the flashes that went off at its peak, then came back and did the raddest no-footed cancan of all time, the "Indian air," which is one where Matt twists his body around backwards in midair and crosses his legs before spinning back around and putting his feet back on his pedals for the reentry. It was one of the raddest tricks of all time and it sounded like everybody in the building, all 1100 spectators and 126 competitors screamed their appreciation at the same time. Matt then did a high no-footed invert and a high no hander to finish off his run. The judges may have been cheering too. They gave him a 93.7 for the run, far and away the highest score of the contest.
The excitement didn't reach the same fever pitch again until the pros came out, but 19 and Over Expert Dave Voelker brought it pretty close. Voelker started out with one of his upside-down footplants, then blasted the highest air of the contest so far, with a nine.or ten-foot-high tabletop. He went back and did a radical kickturn on the other end, then came back for a no-hander that was up around seven or eight feet out. His next one was a fly away bike grabber, seven feet above the platform, then a seven-foot cancan. He did another eight footer before his time ran out and the crowd went crazy again.
Actually, there was one rider that the crowd cheered even louder than Voelker in that class. That was Portland local Monte Hill, who tied for second with Dino DeLuca, then lost the runoff to Dino for second place. The trick that put Dino over the top was one o the raddest lookbacks of all time (judging from the videotape). Seeing it in person was impressive enough, but it really had to be seen in slow motion to be appreciated. We've never seen a more contorted lookback.
The pros drew for positions, and Dominguez came out first. His first air was as high as Voelker's best-in other words, it equaled the highest air of the contest. Michael came back with a series of variations that were all incredibly high. He did a turndown up around eight feet out, a one-handed cancan eight feet out, a fakie air three-and-a-half feet out, a six-foothigh no-footer, a six-foot lookback and a one-hand one-footer about six feet out. After doing a framestand on the short ramp, Michael came back and blasted the highest fakie air of all time-at least five feet out. He came back with a 540 five feet out, with 1100 people screaming their brains out, then finished up with a couple of other high airs. It was a killer run, one of the best ones in Pro Ramps' history, and maybe Michael's best run ever. It was going to be a tough one to beat.
Todd, Brian and Josh all tried to do just that. Todd Anderson did his amazing barspinner air, sky-high cancans, inverts and one-hand one-footers, and even a 540 as high as Dominguez did his. It wasn't good enough.
Brian Blyther did eight-foot airs, a 540 fly-out, a crossed-up one-foot-high aerial on the short ramp (!), a rock-and-roll fakie, a high one-hand one-footer, a turneddown X-up and a 540 about two feet out. No chance.
Josh White did a one-footed X-up over seven feet out, a Grizz air about the same height, a cancan lookback six feet out, a tabletop fakie air about three-and-a-half feet out, a no-footed cancan six feet out, a couple of other airs, and then a 540 five feet out, the same as Dominguez and Todd. It was a great run, but Mike's was still the best.
Then came Wilkerson. Ron blasted a rocket air eight feet out for his first air, and we knew we had a contest. He went back and did a radical kickturn on the short ramp (he did a few in his run), came back for a six-foot tabletop, then a backwards abubaca, a 270 drop-in, a frontwheel abubaca, a seven-foot no-hander, a Miami-hopper drop-in, and then a no handed fakie air about four feet out the first one ever done in a contest. He landed okay but slid out at the bottom of the ramp and fell, then jumped up shaking his fist in jubilation as the crowd went crazy. His time was out. It was going to be close, but it looked like Ron had done it.
Hugo Gonzales came next and he was good, too, but no match for the others. He bailed twice, but he also did a good 540 the same height as Michael, Todd and Josh. Still, he didn't have a chance. The class belonged to Wilkerson. Michael was second-best this time.
Pro ramp: 1.Ron Wilkerson 2.Mike Dominguez 3.Josh White 4.Todd Anderson 5.Brian Blyther 6.Hugo Gonzales
19 and over expert ramp: 1.Dave Voelker 2.Dino DeLuca 3.Monte Hill 4.Marty Schlessinger 5.Rick Moliterno
16-18 expert ramp: 1.Joe Johnson 2.Gary Pollack 3.Steve Broderson 4.Sean Wilkerson 5.Marty McFarland
14-15 expert ramp: 1.Matt Hoffman 2.Brian Belcher 3.Gregg Rogers 4.Beau Cobb 5.Mel Cooder
13 and under expert ramp: 1.Eric Evans 2.Philip Johnson 3.Ryan Lee Dunmann
AFA Masters pro ramp Oregon 87 shared by rtaylor on vimeo.
There's an overall champ for every age class in the AFA. The AFA figures out who they are by adding the points from the flatland and ramp classes together and seeing which riders have the most points. In the 13 and Under class, Eric Evans came out on top. In 14-15, Brian Beicher took the title. In 16-18, Gary Pollak snatched up the trophy, and in 19 and Over, Rick Moliterno was the man.
But who was the Pro Champ of the day ? Wilkerson. First in Pro Ramps and third in Pro Flatland put him first in the Overall Pro class. The AFA gave him a seven foot trophy and a check for $350 for taking that title. Wilkerson was stoked about that, but he was even more excited about something else. Ron wants to be the top freestyle rider in the world again, the way he was in 1985 when he won the Overall Pro title in the AFA. Ron didn't like losing that title to teammate Dennis McCoy last year, and he doesn't want to lose it again. It's not just the title, either; this year there's a prize. American Freestyler Magazine is giving an Izusu truck to the Overall Pro in the AFA at the end of this year.