|York is located in Pennsylvania a about an hour or so from Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD.
Mark Eaton, www.vintagebmx.com, august 2004: The York Jam was created in 1990 to be a big flatland jam session without any type of competition-just riding. Many of the Dorkin' videos were premiered at a movie theater the night of the Jams which made for a great ending of a Jam day. The York Jam is the oldest flatland jam and draws 100+ riders from all over the world.
Kieran Chapman, www.ewirezine.com, 2000: There's a group of riders from York, Pennsylvania called the Plywood Hoods who helped push flatland riding from stupid hopping and balance tricks into the present. (If you're wondering why predominantly-flatland riders were called the "Plywood Hoods", ask an old person. Most notably were Kevin Jones and Chase Gouin, who continue to move riding forward it's safe to say that they're about five years ahead of everyone else.
One of the Hoods, Mark Eaton decided to make his own riding video to replace the crappy how-to videos we had at the time. Thus "Dorkin' in York" was born: videos with sick riding, cool music, and some funny stuff, too. Over the years, honorary Hoods who have appeared in the "Dorkin' in York" videos include Dave Mirra, Jay Miron, Leif Valen, John Huddleston... The York Jam was an excuse to get riders (mainly flatlanders, as you can guess) from all over the country together to ride, and also watch Eaton's latest video creation.
|august 18-19, 1990|
|Go august 1990: York, Pennsylvania's first annual "Uninvitational Mt.Rose Jam" will be going down august 18 and 19 and will not only feature every Hood known (and unknown) to man but many other hot flatlanders such as Team Scrounge, chess king John Huddleston, Jym Dellavalle, and Chase Gouin - halfpacker master. Video filmage will be happening as every main hot spot in York will be ridden hard.
Mike Daily Go december 1990: The house was packed. Somewhere in the neighborhood of forty guys and some bonus "jam ambs" (young impressible girls) were huddled in Eaton's living room the night of Saturday, August 18, 1990. Ells Watson's latest underground classic video, "Dope Ammo", was on the agenda for its premiere East Coast screening, but the tape had been recorded on the wrong speed ... translating into instant heel points for Ells. Raw comedy footage of George Gallo saved the day and set the pace for a night of raging party fanfare: Music, dancing, roulette wheel wagering with Lungmustard on the famed "Dominguez" mic (standard microphone with signature ODI sleeve handle), carelessly spilled sodas, and a storm door ripped off the hinges. What better way to celebrate a fine day of no-pressure sessioning? Whatever you do, DON'T miss the next Plywood Hoods Mt. Rose Jam in York, Pennsylvania -no matter how far away you live.
About 100 riders trickled in from Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Canada to ride in the illustrious parking lot of Mt. Rose Church. Brett "Maverick" Downs promoted himself to Event Organizer and manhandled such tasks as P.R. guy with the church personnel and placing obscure but telltale "signs" near each highway exit-like a red Tuff Wheel hanging from a bridge, which reportedly bewildered police. The idea of staple-gunning an old pair of Kevin Jones's factory Skyway leathers to a York sign crossed May's mind more than once, but it just never happened.
Speaking of The K, his presence was not a part of the weekend festivities as many had hoped, including Kevin himself. He left the WAL tour in Texas a few shows early and drove with James Shepherd for 30 hours in an admirable but vain attempt to make it to the inaugural Hoods jam. It was hard to say who was more disappointed: Big Daddy "K", or all the guys who had their tri-podded video cameras charged up and ready to K-stralitate (film Key non-stop). Oh well. Highlights of the jam?
John Huddleston showing up with a crew-cut, roller blades, and a GT Aggressor. The roller blades he worked at Olympic speed through the jam circles and over the launch ramp. The bike he worked in a similar manner. Yes, he's still got it.
Charles Atlas... er uh, Craig LePage and his now even-larger physique, putting his Peregrine through a bevy of original new routines that looked hot. Craig, incidentally, won the Pro flatland class held in Germany a few months ago.
George Gallo and "The Dogs" -Kennen and Brian -from New York. Kennen won the "distance jumping contest" off the launch ramp with a manly 29 feet (thanks goes out to Maverick and his trusty tape measure for the official measurement). Eaton hooked George up with a mobile PA. system which Gallo used for amplified stand-up insanity and grocery store comicalness.
Sean Leslie's heroic Superman slam in the jumping exhibition. The fall dislocated his shoulder which he popped back into place with his bare hands. Before that, Sean was kicking out the jams on jump variations and warping minds with his latest flatland inventions. And I do mean inventions.
Eaton charging ten bucks apiece for rented floor space. Thirty + people slept over. Every room in the house on Sunday morning looked like Jonestown, minus the Kool-Aid.
Chase Gouin -calm, cool, and collected resident of the Eaton household -chewing half a pack of gum at a time and proving himself the master of very hard trick combos, many of which are personal creations. Is he really getting a large "Plywood Hoods" tattoo on his back ?
Dale Mitzel. In full effect.
The special edition "First Annual Mt. Rose Jam" t-shirts drawn by Mr. Andy Jenkins. They were a "musthave" momento of the jam. Maybe the biggest highlight of the jam-styled gathering of riders was the sense of brotherhood that was involved. There wasn't anyone clapping, seeking autographs, stressing out, winning, losing, or waving to the crowd during John Doenuts -just people laughing and fidging around on bikes, doing some of the best riding I have seen in a long time.
Chase Gouin busted dialed backwards cliffhangers.
The elusive pachyderm, Scott Powell, caught at the first York Jam on the cover of Mega zine issue 3, 1990.
|october 19-20, 1991|
2nd annual Mt. Rose jam.
Media: GO march 1992.
Two-thirds of the riders didn't enter the comp including Kevin Jones, Bill Nitschke, Chase Gouin, ... Geoff Martin, the crazy spinning canadian messed up but less than everyone else. First place. "Tex" Thayer, reigning master of the halfpacker, came in second place. Mark Hilson took third with a clean run. Chad Degroot 4th. Chris Rye 5th. Eric Cookus from Maryland got sixth. He did bunnyhop cliffhangers. Fifteen years old Tom Haugen got 7th. Shawn Exton 8th. Mike Noonan 9th. Joe Bellino 10th.
krtschmidt.com: BACO 3 York Section.
|Avant première de la vidéo "Hypnosis".||
|June 25, 1994|
|Medias: Ride BMX US #12, Props #3, Freedom #6, Dig #3.|
Two hundred people showed up to ride in a parking lot for the sixth annual York jam.
This year's jam was the biggest to date with people coming from all over the East Coast, Midwes, and the West Coast, as well as Germany.
Mark Eaton, Ride BMX US october 1994: It wasn't a contest, so I'm not gonna tell you who did what tricks, and who got what place. This was a jam where everyone shows up and rides, and there is no stress. Just people bustin' out all day. Here's what happened:
Friday night, the people who were in town already, got kicked out of the jam parking lot and were told that "You're not allowed to ride here". That made things very stressful to me because of all the people who were going to be there on the jam day. Fortunately, the next day went smoothly without any hassles. (There was just too many people to kick out.)
I rented a generator for music. Holly & Heidi sold food, T-shirts and tickets for the premiere of Wheelies. Chris Young. Edgar PLacenscia. Ivan PLacenscia (Edgar's brother), and Richard Zabzdyr rode non-stop all day. Later on. Chris BUSTed out the cramper. Chase Gouin was on vacation. Kevin Jones stayed "low-dig". Leif Valin was hounded by the media. Props video mag covered it. Bobby Fisher rode a black Standard (Sponsored?). Luc-E did a rollback bunnyhop busdriver and I was concerned. The Massachusetts gang showed. Ohio regulars Carl Potts, Dave Schaeffer and Scott Powell of team Peregrine rode good. The Pitt posse of Trey, Paul, Sean, and Val were in effect. Basically. the jam is the party, and the video premiere is the cake. If you want your cake and want to eat it too, come to the next one. I'll continue to try to satisfy your freestyle appetite with a four-course video to serve hundreds. If you need a second helping, push rewind. Thanks to everyone who came out, and peace to Richard Zabzdyr. +
|19 août 1995|
|Riders. Leif Valin, Brian Tuney, Val Nasso, Kevin Cunningham, Lionel Cardoso, Ross Smith, ...|
Kieran Chapman, www.ewirezine.com: August 19, 1995 was the day for our annual "suicide trip" to Pennsylvania for the York Jam. Cheap guys that we are, we leave early Saturday morning and leave after the video premiere, thus avoiding springing for a motel.
When we got to York, a sign let us know that the Jam had been moved from its usual parking lot to some school. When we got there, we found a smaller number of riders on a slanted riding area. It kind of brought us down some, but there was no use complaining (although I did my share of it--sorry Brian, Jon & Rick). And to top it off, the cops came and kicked us out, forcing us to a church parking lot (I think the lot where the jams were originally held, but I'm not positive--I'm not well-versed in York history), which was worse than the previous place.
There weren't any "big name" pros there (except Leif Valin, of course, but being a York resident he almost had to be there), but some riders I did recognize included Brian Tunney, Ivan the Terrible (someone told me his last name, but damned if I can remember it), Brian Huffman, several Ohio riders (minus Carl Potts), the Pittsburgh Posse, and of course a good chunk of New Englanders. There were also a couple French riders (one I recognized from the Virginia B.S. contest) who were more than a little impressive.
These days flatland is so complicated, confusing, and basically impossible to describe, but I'll mention a couple I can remember, and can actually try to describe: Brian Tunney was doing steamroller to half-barspin to hitch hiker, into a darkside variation where he turns around and goes to an inverted backwards wheelie (did you follow that?). Ivan rides so smooth and does cool, original stuff, including megaspin to inverted megaspin, and some cool rolling walkover variations. Speaking of rolling walkovers, Kevin Cunningham was rolling them clear across the parking lot--sick! PP's Val Nasso had some real cool original stuff (including a rad front wheel string that included, among other things, a full bar-spin Karl kruzer), and Leif Valin was trying a weird cross-handed steamroller switched to blender on the pedal spinning counter-clockwise.
Mark Eaton didn't have a new Dorkin' video to premiere, but he had done the new Haro video (called "Candy") to show at the theater. The showing was at 10:30, but by 7:30 our little group was ready to return to Massachusetts. So because of our early departure, I can't tell you about the video, though I heard that I didn't miss much since I'm not really into BMX racing...
In hindsight, I guess it wasn't really that bad of a trip, but at the time it totally sucked--the low rider turnout, the hassle of getting kicked out by the cops, the mediocre riding areas all compounded to make it seem worse than it really was (to me, anyway). And the fact that the car got a flat tire and the CD player broke on the way home just topped it off nicely.
|September 9, 2000|
|This year's York Jam was the first one in five years. The guys from the Dig-it team were there.
Medias: Dig it zine october 1990, Ride BMX US january 2001, southriders.tripod.com, www.ewirezine.com.
Kieran Chapman, www.ewirezine.com: I hadn't been to all the Jams (this was my fourth), but even though I was told it wasn't as good as the early days, I'm happy to say that this one was much better than the last one. Brian Chapman, Gabe Kadmiri and I pulled into the parking lot behind Queensgate Cinemas around 1:30 or so, after what seemed like an extra-long drive. Weather was warm and sunny, despite what Yahoo weather had told me. We unpacked (it should be said that Brian is quite a master bike packer) and reassembled our bikes and hit the rider-filled lot. New England was also represented by Jesse Hicks, John Cote, Sean Maher, Mark "The Ice Cream Man" Florek, Rich Upjohn and Jim Cavanaugh. Also in attendance were Leif, Brian Tunney, Brian Huffman, Terry Adams, Armin Batoumeni, a bunch of Hoods (past and present), and a ton of other guys whose names I don't know. Japan was in the house as well several riders were there (I didn't catch all of their names), and I finally got to meet Skip from Dig-It face-to-face. Kevin Jones made his usual brief appearance (blink and you'll miss him), doing some hang-5s in the parking lot and whiplashes down the hill; then it was back to wherever he goes to avoid the limelight. Jarhead was shooting for Ride (which resulted in flatland pics will ending up in the magazine woo-hoo!), Large Ray was roaming, Mike Daily was shooting photos, and TV semi-celeb Kenan Harkin was taping for some show and driving around in a butt-ugly Pontiac Aztek. Kenan also brought out a box jump, which is not a normal sight for a York Jam... But back to the flatland. Despite a lot of riders in attendance, there wasn't a crapload of riding going on. I, for one, get rather nervous riding in front of (or, in this case, with) a lot of people, and I know I'm not the only one. There's also the intimidation factor: riding alongside some of flatland's pros can kinda get to you (don't let him fool you: Leif Valin is one intimidating sonofabitch). It's all mental, I know, but I think it affected more people than just me. Ridiculous as it may sound, but I think flatlanders like to be alone (or at least in smaller groups). But riding jitters aside, it's awesome to see people I rarely see, as well as meet new people (some of whom, I was happy to hear, actually read eWire). There were several riders who were tearing things up, but no doubt it was the Japanese riders who really impressed everyone, particularly Morisaki Hiroya and Takahiro "Eno-yang" Enoki. I normally don't like trying to describe flatland tricks, but the stuff they were doing is worth an attempt. Hiroya had the most amazing string: halfhiker to half-barspin kickflip to cross-footed forward karl kruzer, into a cross-footed halfhiker flipped cleanly into a halfpacker, then flipped directly into a two-footed wheelchair. Eno-yang was doing a lot of the new-style cross-handed steamroller / opposite-spinning circle-K / spastic tomahawk stuff, totally brakeless and more importantly in control. Not to mention the aggressive style he had, which made his stuff look that much more impressive. The police showed up a couple times during the day, but we never got kicked out like last time, although John Cote matched the description of a robbery suspect they were looking for (no arrests were made). When dark came, we hit Wendy's for dinner, scored a hotel room, then returned for the 11:00 showing of the new Dorkin' in York video.We got there early, and the waiting began. They finally started letting people in a little after 11, but it wasn't until almost a half hour and several staring contests later that we were sitting in the theater. Then it was time for part two of The Kenan Harkin Show: He showed us his home video from crashing the MTV Video Music Awards. Though a few parts were kinda funny, the whole ordeal was way too long it might've only been 15-20 minutes, but it sure seemed a lot longer, especially when you're waiting for Dorkin' 10. ("Dorkin' 11 is going to be out by the time this is over.") Kenan built things up a bit too much "This is the part where we meet Jennifer Lopez!" when the celebrities for the most part just whisked on by. ("So, you talked to a girl who got to hug Bono" was one person's comment.) When that was over, it was time for the real reason we were there. This story is getting pretty long, so I'm not going to go into the details of the video. But here's the short of it: Eaton compiled kind of a "best-of" video with footage from old Dorkin' videos, plus some new footage. Chase's new section alone blew off the roof, with everyone cheering in disbelief. The old stuff shows just how far ahead of everyone else the Hoods are (a good five years); the new stuff keeps them there. The video wasn't completely edited yet, but what we saw was quite impressive (and, as always, worth the wait). Most of us bought the full video (sight unseen) ahead of time, to be mailed to us when it was done.
Brian Tunney. Pic: ewirezine.
|Date: Saturday, August 24, 2002 and Sunday, August 25, 2002.
Medias: BMX Plus! january 2003.
Brian Chapman, www.ewirezine.com: Jams are the most positive aspect of flatland for me. No pressure. No cares. Just ride your bike and enjoy yourself. That's what we try to do when we're alone at our favorite spots. That's why we keep doing it. But to be in a lot with 80 other flatlanders is a great feeling. It justifies the flatland mentality of spending hour after hour practicing tricks on bikes. To actually hit the trick in front of another member of your tiny community instead of being like a tree falling in the woods. It's definitely worth the drive time.
The York Jam is just something I never want to miss. It's a pretty good excuse for me to get out of New England and ride with other people too. Aside from the dismal New England turnout, there were quite a few riders there. Since it was held the week after the Philadelphia X-Games, there were some big names there like Marcos Jesus, Stephen Cerra, and Matt Wilhelm. Bobby Carter also made the trek from Hollywood with Steve Scheurer to hang out, ride, and film for Diversion.
Bobby Carter cross footed no handed hitchiker. Photo by Brian Chapman.
|July 26, 2003|
|The 2003 York Jam will be taking place on Saturday, July 26, 2003 and there will be people hanging around Sunday, July 27, 2003. It will be going on all day - show up anytime, there is no 'official' start time, there is no official end time.
www.bmxtrix.com: Every year this jam manages to pull in upwards of fifty flatlanders from all over the world to ride in a dusty parking lot that featured several areas covered with broken glass. Brooms in hand and a good attitude with a lot of sweeping and the riders were all set to go. Sure, the lot sucks, but really, it's not any worse than most contest areas that are provided for flatlanders. Most of all, it's a huge lot and despite being somewhat... ummm... 'unofficial', the police don't hassle us.
This year, we saw some familiar faces as well as some new ones.
It's not worth writing up a story about who was there and what went down. The only thing to talk about is how good the vibe was throughout the day. It was hot, the middle of July and when we rolled into the parking lot around noon or so there were about 75 guys covering the parking lot. Turnout seemed lower than last years, but planning was not as exact as last years jam either. With riders all over the place we snaked our way through the lot to a somewhat shaded parking space and pulled the bike out for a day of riding. No, the video camera was to stay in the car for most of the day so the focus could be on the riding only.
It's something special when you run into about 30 people you consider friends and by the end of the weekend there were a few more people added to the list that I look forward to seeing next year.
As the day settled into night some people got into their cars and headed off to restaurants and hotels or headed back home, but those that hung out were treated to what many were calling the next day, the best part of the jam. www.bmxtrix.com had brought along a ten foot screen and a video projector and about 50 or so remaining riders hung out to watch the preview of the upcoming BMXTRIX Horizons video as well as a Bobby Carter's newest installment of the Diversion videos. While BMXTRIX was familiar with all the stuff showing in Horizons, we had never laid our eyes on Diversion. Bobby Carter does an incredible job with cameras and editing to put together something really fun to watch with some interesting short interludes. Most of all, the finale with Terry Adams simply kicks ass.
About halfway through the video showing a police officer on a motorcycle rolled into the lot. Try to picture about fifty people sitting around on the ground with lots of BMX bikes around them in this huge parking lot and a screen with a BMX video going on and music blaring out of a sound system (thanks to Mark Eaton for that!). I'm not sure what was going through the cops head, but my guess would be that he was saying something like "What the fuck?". The officer sat there for a while, saw that nothing dangerous or harmful seemed to be going on and after sitting downwind for a while he didn't smell any weed in the air. The cop took off without interrupting anything at all and we were free to watch to the end of the videos in peace.
Props and thanks to all those who attended and most of all to Mark Eaton, Brett Downs, and Kevin Jones for making the city of York a trip that every flatlander in the world should take at least once in their lives.
Photo: J. Spangler, www.bmxtrix.com.
|October 2, 2004|
|Leif Valin, www.fbmbmx.com, june 2005: The york jam was this sat. good riding and fun for everyone and no flats thanks to b.downs and everyone who helped the meticulous parking lot cleaning,hurray! Kevin had his new contraption on hand for anyone to try, its fun! Chapman showed up with his brother Kieran and friend and rode well all day with pedaling circle death trucks (...)|
|This Jam will be the 10th one.
The 20th anniversary of the Plywood Hoods is going down on the same weekend as the latest York Jam. Yes, that's right. Kevin Jones and Mark Eaton formed the ragtag bunch of ex-breakdancers 20 years ago! Anyway, this will be a loose affair, with lots of riding, Brett Downs' box jump and street spine, so don't be afraid if you're more prone to ride ramps than flatland.
Brian Chapman, www.ewirezine.com: The longest running annual flatland jam in the world still proves to be the premier meeting ground for flatlanders from across the country. This year's jam was held on October 2nd, which was a nice change of pace to the normally sweltering York summer. Although the turnout wasn't as large as past years, there were still around 75 to 100 riders hanging out at the aging lot behind the Queensgate Mall. The threat of rain made many riders wary of making the long journey. It's unfortunate that a poor lot will keep riders from coming to York, but it's a fact that flatlanders can be very particular about the surface they ride on. I feel as though the York jam is just as much about meeting up with friends you only get to see once or twice a year as it is about riding. Rumor has it that the Plywood Hoods are scoping a new location for next year. Since this is such a long-running event, I hope they're able to find a suitable location. Not having a York Jam in 2005 would definitely make for an incomplete riding year. The Plywood Hoods were in attendance and quite active as well. Mark Eaton was on hand selling the highly anticipated Dorkin' in York DVD box set and York Jam 2004 t-shirts. Brett Downs was (to the best of my knowledge) the main organizer of this year's jam and deserves props for taking on that responsibility. He also trucked in the Porta-Jawn for some box jump fun (unfortunately not so much fun for Adam Pergantile). Flatland living legend Kevin Jones was there as well riding throughout the day on an old red Hoffman Big Daddy (I guess that old frame still has some kick left in it). As always the jam was well worth the drive and if you didn't go or have never been, you should definitely hit it up in 2005. There aren't a whole lot of flatlanders in the world. Often times it's the case that there's only one in an entire city. The feeling of pulling into that lot and seeing it swarming with flatlanders is truly unique and almost essential experience for a flatlander, if just to confirm that you're not crazy for getting on that little bike everyday to ride for hours at a time just to learn a trick.
|June 23, 2007|
|Erik Otto, vimeo.com/monolithic: Lachlan Cameron, Jared DiChiara, Mike Moore, Alex Poirier, Isaiah Jordan, Dougal Cameron, Jesse Cantore, Bryan Huffman and Stephen Cerra at the York Jam, June 2007 in York Pennsylvania.|
|York Jam 2008 is June 21st at the same place of last year. Sovereign Bank Stadium parking lot, North George Street.
Erik Otto, vimeo.com/monolithic: Mark Harris, Lachlan Cameron (camo bike), Nolan Lott, Ed Nussbaum and Josh King. I shot very little footage. I waited too late in the day to start filming. What I did get was very smooth so check it out.
|George, www.global-flat.com, june 2009: Like the t-shirt says, "I Drove 3,000 Miles To Ride My Bike In A Parking Lot" (Ok, almost 3,000.) York Jam 2009 capped off the ultimate road trip June 20th in the very new and very spacious Sovereign Bank stadium lot. Flatlanders came from across the country to share some good times and witness some serious Flat by some of the greatest riders ever to grace the sport. As many who have made the pilgrimage to York will tell you, it´s truly a sureal experience to see places and meet legendary riders you´ve only seen in videos. Dorkin In York is a BMX institution and the sessions had that day in York totally lived up to the legend. The current flatland scene in North America is pretty exciting. The level of riding is imageoff the charts and the frequency of events is really picking up. I´ve seen my share this year, mos def. Contests are super exciting, but York Jam is something different. There is zero pressure, no prize money, and no judges in York. You go to York for one thing... for the love of riding. Soul Ride. York Jam is like a giant block party, where everyone just happens to be ninjas on bikes. BMX is a bond and a brotherhood that I´m proud to be part of. York Jam is still one of the most important events in flatland. The vibe I feel while riding in York is what flatland is all about..In my opinion. If you´ve never attended and you ride flatland: it is mandatory. Plan now. Eaton, Downs, AND Kevin Jones were in attendance along with a TON of other notables and they all looked stoked that so many people showed. (...) Totally goinig back in 2010!|
|Erik Otto, www.monolithicflatland.com, may 2010: Did you know that it is the 20th Anniversary of the York Jam? Be there on Friday June 25th (Hidden Spot, 1410 Sixth Ave) for the Pre Jam and on Saturday June 26th (Sovereign Bank Stadium Lot, North George Street) for the actual Jam. Can't wait to see everyone again.
Erik Otto, www.monolithicflatland.com, june 2010: York Jam 2010 has come and gone. Another great year with familiar faces and some new ones too. The 20th Anniversary still sounds surreal to me. I can't see why we can't have 20 more years. Lot's of riders made the trip this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. Not too hot, no rain, a nice breeze. A tent this year with Dos Equis made it complete.