|American Flatland League
International Flatland League
By flatlanders for flatlanders.
En octobre 1999 par Chris Day (top pro des années 80), Jason Pischke (Odyssey team manager) et Sam Peterson (48 zine) rejoints peu après par Chad Johnston (inTRIKat) et Brian Sofer (theflatlander.com) fondent l'AFL (American Flatland League) qui deviendra ensuite l'IFL.
|AFL round 1
Place: school playground in Harbor City, CA.
Date: 11 mars 2000.
Medias: Freedom #33, www.ridebmx.com, Cream #6.
PROS 1.Nathan Penonzek 2.Trevor Meyer 3.Alain Massabova 4.Jimmy Petitet 5.Stephen Cerra 6.Ed Nussbaum 7.Dave Hanson 8.Alexis Desolneux 9.Dan Rigby 10.Gabe Weed 11.Sean McKinney 12.Eric Stefano
EXPERTS 1.Kotaro Tanaka 2.Wayne Seigmund 3.David McDaniel 4.Paul Pagano 5.Sean Parker 6.Jeffery Foster 7.Jorge Luzuriaga 8.'Flowzine' Fred
INTERMEDIATES 1.Jerry Milborne 2.Khoi Le 3.Johnny Lopez 4.Daisuke Suzuki 5.Kazuyuki Eda 6.Lorenzo Buratti 7.Edward Boniol 8.Carlos Perezv 9.Justin Hoey 10.Mark Blayney
BEGINNERS 1.Eric Wittman 2.Brandon Seville 3.Tim Fraley 4.Jason Sison 5.Samar Carillo 6.Sho Hokari 7.Kurt Baron 8.Sam Manzanares 9.Mark Pitchford 10.Calvin Bryen
McElwaney, www.ridebmx.com: There was a good-sized crowd at this event and surprisingly a lot of East Coast representation. One of the nice things about this series is the atmosphere that surrounds them. It was evident from the amount of support the riders gave each other during their practice and contest runs that they were all much more relaxed than at the large televised events. It was good to see everyone together in a contest atmosphere without all of the stress. Stress levels were reduced amongst the younger riders by having four divisions at the contest. The AFL understands they must support the future generations of flatlanders and assured the contestants that no one would have to compete with someone that was light years ahead of their abilities. The contest divisions were broken down into beginner, intermediate, expert, and pro. With over 40 riders entered, the contest ran for a good portion of the day but no one seemed to mind because the beautiful Southern California weather.
|AFL round 2
Place: Roswell, Georgia.
Date: May 14, 2000
Medias: Cream #7, www.ridebmx.com
BEGINNERS RESULTS: 1.Michael Potts 2.Shayne Khajehoori 3.Mark Mundt
Kent Pierson, www.ridebmx.com: John Dowker, of the Athens Family, busted out some nice links and he finished with a switch-footed caboose into an undertaker for fifth. Chris Lilly brought down fourth place. Scott O'Brien and Mickey Gaidos battled for third and second place and it came down to the narrowest of margins separating those two. Gabe Kadmiri had come south from Vermont for the North Carolina CFB contest and stayed in Athens, GA the following week so he could go to the AFL contest. While in Athens that week Gabe had his 16th birthday and to celebrate Gabe unleashed his wrath on the expert class, taking home a much deserved first place victory. Gabe is small in stature but makes up for it with huge tricks like one-handed hitchhiker jugglers.
EXPERTS RESULTS: 1.Gabe Kadmiri 2.Mickey Gaidos 3.Scott O'Brien 4.Chris Lilly 5.John Dowker (Athens Family)
Kent Pierson, www.ridebmx.com: Eastern's Keith King did a halfpacker down a sidewalk, dropped off a curb, and kept it going out into the contest area to take tenth. I pulled a couple of links and proceeded to peg bonk one of the contest barrier barrels to show my thanks to the Athens Family street riders that came to show their support. Art Thomason had a smooth style and some flowing front wheel tricks/switches. Kotaro Tanaka came all the way to the U.S. to represent with loooong no-footed deathtrucks and forward straddles where he would 180 his bike into a peg wheelie then 180 his bike again to go back into forward straddle. Everyone expected Kotaro to be near the top but somehow he ended up in sixth. A well-deserved fifth place went to Australia's Simon O'Brien. Simon is a nice and fairly reserved guy but his tricks are anything but reserved. Simon threw down many smooth multiple one handed whiplashes. My favorite was this trick where he would boomerang and kick straight into on-the-pedal, forward nose-wheelies, then boomerang again straight into one-handed, on-the-pedal, forward nose-wheelies. Sick! Corey Stratychuk didn't let a small slam slow him down and did some hard stuff for fourth place. Effraim Catlow did some big tricks including some really hard hitchhiker links to score 3rd place honors. In second place was the shirtless Frenchman, Alex Jumelin. Alex's runs are packed with so many tricks at such an unbelievably fast rate that it is hard to realize what he just did before he's already made a switch into an even harder trick. He hit everyone with this barrage of tricks and then finished it off with McCircles holding the seat while standing on one of his grips. At the top of the list once again was Mr. Nathan Penonzek. Nathan took the first AFL contest, then nailed down the CFB contest, and now has done the same with the second AFL contest. All of these top finishes are not by coincidence. Nathan brings everything together when he rides. New tricks - check. Unbelievably difficult tricks - check. Flow - check. Smoothness - check. Style - check. Almost never touches - check. First place money - cash please.
PROS RESULTS: 1.Nathan Penonzek (Dig-It) 2.Alex Jumelin (GT) 3.Effraim Catlow 4.Cory Stratychuck (Ares) 5.Simon O'Brien 6.Kotaro Tanaka 7.Art Thomason (Hoffman Bikes) 8.Kent Pearson (Athens Family) 9.Keith King (Eastern)
Kent Pierson, www.ridebmx.com: At the end of the day, everyone had a good time, and was still riding, still smiling, still sunburned, and had enjoyed a good contest like in days past.
|AFL round 3
Chris Day, www.ridebmx.com: These AFL events are turning out to be the most fun us flatlanders have seen in a long time. We have as much fun at the event as we do before and after it.
The day of the event turned out to be pretty good because it wasn't raining, and it wasn't too hot, and the DJ (DJsyko) showed up early and began spinning tunes by 11am. We have to give huge props to the Christian Heritage Assembly of God Church pastors and Dan "the man" who helped us set up tables, tents, and audio equipment with a smile.
The turnout was decent in both the beginner and expert classes: 10 in each. We had so many products to give out to the riders that we displayed it all from the back of Chris' truck! Every amateur rider who entered walked away with at least an AFL logo T, their choice of one of our sponsor's shirts, a hat, and two assorted products supplied from our sponsors! Quite a return for a $35 entry fee don't you think? That's what we're all about! The winner of the beginner class was Jeff Smee from Pittsburgh, PA. Jeff walked away with a Standard Tao frame, Standard bars, Odyssey grips, two shirts, a hat, an Oryg cable, and a big smile! Second place was a tie between Ron C. and Dave Petrin.
We came up with a new way of judging that we think helps weigh the more important areas of riding a little better. Rob "Tex" Thayer just got back from the European flatland contests where he was a judge at one of them and he suggested the idea. He thought that we should put more "value" on the difficulty score than the other three areas we judge on. Our judging system scores a rider on four categories of their run: difficulty, originality, variety, and consistency. Each judge scores on only one of the categories. The rider's final score is based on their best of two runs. We decided to score difficulty at a higher range of numbers than the other categories. For example: 1-40 was an "ok" run, 40-80 was "good," and 80-100 was a "wow!" The other three categories were scored on a 1-50 scale: 1-20 was "ok", 20-40 was "good", and 40-50 was "wow!" These numeric scales, combined with the single category allow a judge to easily focus on how high a score the rider really deserved instead of guessing. Judging flatland is so subjective that you really have to take a different approach as to how you view their performance. We constantly strive to communicate with all the Pros as to how they view judging, and what theories they have. Maybe in the future we will have a secret balloting system that the Pros write down who they thought should place well. The AFL, and soon to be IFL take great pride in our flexibility and communication with the Pros as to how they want their league to run. In addition to the change in judging, we also did something new with the Pro purse distribution. Instead of giving most of the money to the top three places, we decided to give each pro an even cut of the purse. They all thought that was a great way to get all the Pros some well-deserved money, and take the pressure off as well.
The Pro class turnout was an interesting mix of riders who don't usually enter contests; instead they basically hide out in their own hometown. This group included Brandon Fenton, Jeff Deroche, Aaron Frost, Brian Rybak, Scott Powell, and Shawn Burnham. It's great to see that the concept of the league can get Pros who don't go to traditional contests, to show up and enter our events. Shawn came out from Nashville where he works at XXX skatepark. Unfortunately, Shawn just couldn't seem to hit his links like he wanted to, but Shawn has such a kickback attitude that it didn't seem to bother him at all. Fourth place went to Aaron Frost who said to me that he never goes to contests, but he had such a good time at ours that he would make an effort to get to our events whenever possible. That's the kind of impact we're trying to make on Flatland. Aaron recently took his brakes off in order to push his progress and was doing all kinds of killer front-end walk-arounds, time machines, etc. Third place went to Scott Powell who is one of those riders that's been riding for so long, (14 years) that he doesn't need to go to every contest. We were lucky enough to do an event near his Chenga World Skatepark, so he could make an easy trip down the road to hang out with us. Scott pulled an upside-down mega-spin to decade for major props in one of his two runs. Brian Rybak nailed the second spot with all kinds of cool, original stuff. He's got this one front wheel bar switch where he keeps one foot on the pedal and keeps crossing the bars up, switching hands, and pushing the tire. I saw him do six of those switches the night after. Yeah, I'd say he's pretty good. Amazingly enough, we wound up with a tie for first place! I can't remember the last time I heard about a tie for first in a flat comp! Brandon Fenton, and Jeff Deroche both received a best-run score of 216. Both Jeff and Brandon had one really amazing run each to put them in the top spot. For Brandon, it was his first run, and for Jeff it was his second run that made the difference. Brandon's good run was totally smooth, slow, and clean pulling almost everything he did. Jeff's second run was really aggressive and fast with lots of switches, bar-flips, and spinning tomahawks to name a few. I was really pleased to hear all the Pros say they had a nice relaxing afternoon at our event, because that is our goal each time.
|AFL round 4
|Place: a shady warehouse in San Francisco, CA.
Date: november 4th
Medias: Ride BMX US april 2001
PROS 1.Stephen Cerra $300 2.Adam Pintek $160 3.Kerry Gatt $100 4.Cory Stratychuck $60 5.Dylan Worsley 6.Aaron Frost 7.Dave Hanson 8.Sean Mckinney 9.Eric Stefano
EXPERTS 1.Gabe Kadmiri 2.Edward Boniol 3.Wayne Seigmund 4.Ryan Sanchez 5.Andre Reyes 6.Chris Anderson 7.Lynard Thompson 8.James Mcgraw 9.Jeff Hoefs 10.Justin Hoey 11.Chris Day 12.Mike Woods 13.Jorge Luzuriaga 14.Chris Wright
BEGINNERS 1.Devon Ilalooky 2.Samar Carrillo 3.Paul Corcoran 4.Jason Sison 5.Ying Thao 6.Mark Jeffers
Place: Maplewood, New Jersey. The event was in a small YMCA gym, and the turnout made it almost impossible to ride.
Date: march 18th, 2001
Medias: Dig #17
Place: Toronto, Quebec, Canada.
Date: june 24
PROS RESULTS 1.Jeff DesRoche 2.Brandon Fenton 3.Brian Chapman 4.Mike MacPhaden 5.Stephan Clark 6.John Dowker 7.Gabe Kadmiri
EXPERTS RESULTS 1.Steve Bergeron 2.Chris Pergentile 3.Adam Pergentile 4.Jeff Smee 5.(t) Eugene Andrews 5.(t) Bert Williams 6.Luc Moreau
BEGINNERS RESULTS 1.Tim Hall 2.Nick Vaes 3.Jake Cavan 4.Jeff Bedard 5.Charles Rohert 6.Ryan Riley 7.John Findlay 8.John Thurn 9.Matt Hess 10.Eric Effinger
Darren Hough, www.ridebmx.com: Compared with last year's Roswell contest, this year's rider and spectator turnout was a little low. The European X Games and confusion over the date of the contest may have contributed to this, but even with the absences of a few expected riders, lots of great riding happened all weekend.
After a successful test at the Toronto contest in June, IFL events are now being run in a jam format. Contestants have 30-second runs, with no break between riders: beginners have three runs; experts and Pros have four. Multiple runs allow for some margin of error (in case you make a lot of mistakes in one run) and are relaxing for the participants. The format can be confusing for spectators, however, who don't know who is who with no announcement between riders. In theory, the jam format should also be faster than a normal contest format, but almost everybody took more than the allotted 30 seconds. No one was complaining about the format, though, as it was a rarity for flatland events.
The last IFL had a large beginner class, but this time around only four riders entered. Ron C. coasted a backward-hitchhiker about 50 yards for second. Atlanta's Bill King pulled a clean backward hiker and multiple McCircle variations. He was both shocked and stoked to be awarded first place and the Tao frame that went with it.
The expert class consisted of eight riders. Shane Khajehnoori rode a crankless bike painted like the U.S. flag to third. He stayed mainly on the front wheel, flipping the bars into wheelchairs and side squeaks, and throwing in the occasional attempted hitchhiker spin for good measure. Shane is getting good really fast. I was in second with megaspins-to-perverteds and a few barflip/pinky squeak combos. Chris Woodling pulled no-handed hitchhikers, one-footed cliffhangers, and a dizzying time machine route that went into a time machine, pumped the pedal with his foot for speed, stepped up to straddle the frame, jumped down to pump the pedal again, jumped up again and took off his hands. A commanding first place finish was all his and he took a new Standard Tao frame back to Louisville, Kentucky, for his efforts.
By the time the pro class got started, a lot of the non-rider crowd had already left. It was starting to cool off, and the music was turned down a little. It seemed anticlimactic to begin the Pro class this way, but once the riding got started, the energy level started to rise. Kent Pearson pulled some pretty technical stuff for a guy who supposedly hadn't been riding much flat lately. Touches in his later runs held him back to sixth, but he muscled front wheel barflip links that seemed to go on forever. His one-hander pedal landers from front wheel links were a crowd favorite. Brian Huffman came down from North Carolina to take fifth. Powerful and consistent are two words that I would use to describe Brian's riding. Upside down to cross-footed stick bitch and megaspin barspins were two highlights of his runs. James McGraw and Shawn Burnam tied for third place. James rolled tricks like spinning gerators and dumptrucks to spinning death trucks faster than anyone else in the Pro class. He also did the fastest hang five ever and a backwards bar ride. There aren't many riders that can do that anymore. Shawn put his Stout Boy through front wheel switches, backwards-hiker whips, and a brakeless rolaid that he attempted about a dozen times before nailing. The crowd kept telling him to keep trying and went crazy when he hit it. I hadn't seen Brett Crowther ride in nearly ten years, but in Athens he proved he's been riding a lot lately. Brett held it together (on a surface with a major slant to it) with hang fives-to-halfpackers, cross-footed, no-handed hang fives, and smooth and fast front wheel rolling tricks. Brett has a very controlled style that's fun to watch. Kent told me before Jody Temple's first run that, "come contest time, Jody lets it fly." Jody made sure not to prove his friend wrong as he pulled a fork wheelie barflip-to-tomahawk-to-cross-footed elephant glide-to-cross-foot Karl cruiser out. He also did a hang five 360-barflip and a variety of front wheel switches too complicated to list. Considering he wasn't even planning to enter, Jody had to be stoked to win his first pro contest. He made the AthFam proud.
The jam the next day was held at the Tate Center, which is a significantly more level surface than the YMCA parking lot where the contest was held. A lot of good riding was going on at Tate, and a report of this weekend would not be complete without mentioning it. Everyone seemed pretty exhausted from the contest (and the after party) the day before, but I saw more insane stuff being done there in just a few hours than I did all day on Saturday. I like contests, but the jam was the highlight of the weekend for me. It was great to get to ride with so many good riders in such a relaxing, laid back environment. A good time was had by all. I left Athens that evening completely exhausted, but wishing I could stay and ride longer.
Halfway through its second year, the IFL definitely seems to have the attention of hardcore flatlanders. If you are into flatland, don't miss one of these events. Thanks to Standard and Odyssey for sponsoring the contest series and providing the prizes, and thanks to Chris Day for putting these comps together. It was a good time, and I hope that next year's event will be even better.
Kent Pearson, www.pedalbmx.com, november 2003: I worked very hard on the one in Athens GA and it looked like I was the only one - heart was in the right place but it takes alot more organizational skills and follow up to do such a thing the right way...
|Place: Athens, Georgia
Date: july 14-15, 2001
PROS RESULTS 1.Jody Temple 2.Brett Crowther 3.James McGraw (tie) 3.Shaun Burnham (tie) 5.Bryan Huffman 6.Kent Pierson 7.John Dowker (tie) 7.Matt Ward (tie)
EXPERTS RESULTS 1.Chris Woodling 2.Darren Hough 3.Shayne Khajehnoori 4.Mike Evans 5.Brant Hughes 6.Jeff Smee 7.Roman Wilson 8.T.J. Flexer
BEGINNERS RESULTS 1.William King 2.Ron Seay 3.Luke Mayton 4.Brian Size
Place: Las Vegas, during Interbike
Date: september 30.