Initialement programmé le 26 novembre 1989, le 6e Bicross International de Paris Bercy est reporté au 18 mars 1990.|
Invert june 1990: The first demo was by 3 French riders, They didn't do ground, just ramps. They were impressive - variations at 10ff, a high 540, a Tailwhip, and double airs in classic Wilkerson and Blyther demo style. After the quarters the stadium went dark. Above me I could see the Space Shuffle and Superman lit up by spotlights. They flew (well, you know ... they were on cables really) slowly over the crowd and landed on a plafform in the infield. The them from 2001 was playing. Superman knocked on the door of the shuttle. It slowly opened as clouds of dry ice surrounded the craft. Two spacemen emerged. 'Who are you?' ground control asked. "Je m'appele Matt Hoffman" "Je m'appele Kevin Jones" The crowd roared and the astronauts were rushed out of the spotlight and into darkness presumably for de-briefing. The spotlight was on Superman. The commentator (who looked like a raver straight out of a hair mousse advert) asked who he was in French. He evaded the question. The crowd screamed suggestions, in French. I screamed Alice Cooper. I was sadly disappointed. It was only the Duke Of Oakley - a regular at Bercy and a big hit with the French fans (God knows why). The Duke commentated on the demo. Hoffman was on fine form but Kevin Jones seemed bemused by all the hype. He restricted himself to stuff that he was 100 percent sure of pulling off - no footed coaster wheelies etc. At the end of the demo Hoffman asked to borrow the K's bike for his last trick. Reluctantly he obliged. Hoffman did one of those bail pop out things like he did in Aggroman. He kicked the bike away and landed on the platform from a forward somersault. The bike landed on the ground on a load of expensive camera gear, that seemed to break the fall but the handlebars still bent. Moral: never let Matt Hoffman borrow your bike for his last trick.
After the mains they were back. More of the same - Hoffman pulling no handed 540's and some gnarly lip tricks (like tail taps to nose picks) while the K was cramped by the small arena and Duke getting in his way. The Duke announced 'Matt's going to attempt a trick that's only been performed 2 or 3 times in America". Hoffman pulled a near perfect 6ff 900, he lost it on landing. Duke "Matt has a new trick that he's never performed in public before". I didn't know what to expect, perhaps a 900 variation. Evidently the trick was something he'd been saving for the next 2 Hip but had decided to try it on for size with the crowd in Paris -despite the too small too tight ramps. He approached the ramp at, well high fakie speed. He went straight out and up. As he maxed out at 6ft he backflipped and came down backwards. He fell off after he landed because he was going backwards so quickly. Yes folks, the Backflip Fakie! The crowd screamed. Some of them just stared. I wept (I didn't really but it reads better that way).
Bicross magazine: La salle est plongée dans le noir,. Les couleurs nationales apparaissent. Sous le bleu Johnny Petit, sous le blanc Kiki Bioules et sous le rouge Phil Pereira. Nos trois biomen sont prêts, juste le temps pour le «chien» et moi d'essuyer l'oeuf envoyé par un gentil spectateur (merci man !) et le show peut commencer. Phil et John rentrent cross over, c'est le début d'un superbe show aérien. 16 h, la salle est a nouveau plongée dans le noir. La navette Challenger atterrit suivie de Super Duke. C'est le premier show ricain. Rien d'exceptionnel, si ce n'est que Matt accroche dans le canyon, et bien sur crève. Il lui faut cependant réaliser un dernier trick. Empruntant alors le velo de Kevin, «Thor» nous rentre salto avant par dessus le guidon. Enfin on remet les coupes, c'est la fin de la fête et c'est surtout l'occasion d'un dernier show US. Kevin exécute six Whiplash into Hang five into lnfinity Roll into Perverted Decade et un tas d'enchaînements que les connaisseurs ont pu apprécier. Matt nous donne l'impression d'être en contest. Il va haut, fait toutes ses figures dont 540° no hand et revient sur la plate forme quand... Duke: «chers kidz, Matt va réaliser un trick qu'il n'a rentre que très peu de fois, ça s'appelle le 900° ». Et oui Le public retient son souffle, Matt prend son élan et réalise ce que personne en France n'avait encore jamais vu. Quand, pensant qu'après cela rien ne pouvait être ajouté, le Duke nous dit que Matt va effectuer une figure qu'il n'a jamais montrée à quiconque auparavant. Que restait il pour nous tuer ? 900° no hand ? Et bien non, s'élançant sous les cris du public. Matt Hoffman exécute sous nos yeux effrayés un back flip, quôa?? Qui j'ai bien bien diiiit un back flip. Alors la, c'est «l'oeuf au riz », tout le monde lui saute dessus, les kids se tapent la tète sur les gradins, Pedro mange son talky, Roman avale son appareil photo, J. P. Montiel en perd son fish eye et Matt, lui, se marre. Rien de mieux n'aurait pu achever le Bercy le plus radical. Les confettis tombent du ciel, c'est ça Bercy.
Armen Djerrahian, juillet 2005: Le plus intéressant pour moi, cest le jour où lon ma confié la programmation du freestyle pour le dernier Bicross de Bercy et où javais fait venir Matt Hoffman et Kevin Jones ! Déjà, rien que le fait de les emmener rider sur nos spots pendant deux jours, cétait diiiinngguue ! Matt nous avait prévenu quil sortirait un trick de ouf pendant le show et bammm ! le premier backflip ever.
Mat Hoffman, The Ride of my Life, 2002: Every year there was an annual spectacular race in Bercy stadium in Paris. The French magazine Bicross put on these events, and they were the same folks who'd arranged the KOV invitational contests and demos. The French promoters loved to make a spectacle, regardless of the sport. They had been known to fill the Bercy stadium floor with six feet of water and hold indoor jet ski races, or bring in huge fans and create an artificial windsurfing ocean. The Bercy BMX races were always quite the production, and the trips were legendary.
My demo partner was the best flatland rider in the world, Kevin Jones. The fact that every ground wizard had copied most of his moves didn't seem to affect Kevin in either a positive or a negative way-his true focus was just riding his bike, regardless of who took note of him. Since the Bercy event was a race, Kevin and I were outnumbered by a lot of pro BMX racers on the trip, including Mike King, Todd Corbitt, and Matt Hadan. Spike Jonze was there shooting for Go magazine. On the Paris trip Jonze Jones, and I spent a lot of time hanging out together. The trip contained the usual trappings of a luxury vacation custom-tailored for a biker. We rode the insane brick-banked lunar surfaces and planters in front of Les Guillottes in Paris -basically a building façade with perfectly shaped craters and ridable pillars, turning it into a public skatepark that nobody planned. We all got in a few food fights with the rock-hard bread of France, which our hosts kept telling us was "breakfast." There were numerous bewildering attempts to use tactical French on random people, introducing ourselves as "helpful monkeys," "moody jugglers," "crazy eggs," and whatever other phrases we could piece together in our translating dictionaries.
After the last stadium race was run, it was demo time. Just before we started, Kevin and I were handed silver space suits and helmets. We thought it was a joke, but, the promoters actually wanted us to put them on. We would be lowered in a smoking space shuttle and emerge from the ship wearing the suits (which made us each look like Q-Bert, the video game character). There were French girls dressed as cheerleaders on the spacecraft. And the theme song, as I recall, was "2001: A Space Odyssey." When we touched down in the stadium I was supposed to get on the mic and greet our fans with a "Je m'appelle Mat Hoffman." All I wanted was to ditch the fruity silver suit and get on my bike
The show went well, Kevin ripped up the ground with his trademark swirling flatland boogie, and I pulled all tricks out of my bag, saving the best for last. While I caught my breath I called Spike over. "Put in a fresh roll and shoot a sequence of this next one," I said to him, trying to sound casual. "I'm going to try a flip." Spike found his angle just as I was ready, and I hit the Coca-Cola quarterpipe at full speed. I pulled off the coping, leaning back as hard as I could, and got about six or seven feet out as I peaked. I remember being upside down, seeing flashbulbs popping. I don't think the French spectators were ready for what they saw, but the reaction was thunderous. I landed hard and slid out, but I guess that didn't matter. History was made People freaked, and the promoters wouldn't let me ride anymore because things were rapidly getting out of control. The floor was rushed by fans and riders, and some kid grabbed the laminate around my neck, strangling me until he got his souvenir. The flip fakie made the cover of five bike magazines, including Go, with a headline that read: "Sickest Trick Ever."
vimeo.com/oldschooltv, 2011: Bercy 6 - Matt Hoffman & Kevin Jones.
Avec le WAL de Kevin Jones.
Invert #11, june 1990.
Bicross and skate magazine #88, mai 1990.
Go #9 july 1990. Photo: Spike Jonze.
FAT zine #17/18
Kevin Jones, 6th International BMX of Paris Bercy (March 18, 1990) numérisée par Satoorne.