Been a busy couple of weeks on the Boost Mobile Freestylemx.com Worldwide Tour presented by Monster Energy. They had a huge contest in Twin Falls, Idaho and then went across the USA to Richmond, Virginia for a NASCAR demo where the tour put on a special deal for the troops in recognition of 9-11.
Twin Falls is a fair that the tour did for a few years straight, but then they needed a breather. They hired in another group do to some demos last year and realized what they were missing! Ten riders made the trip, and so did a weather front that brought high winds the day of show. Tour owner, Marc Burnett, mobilized his techs and in 8 hours went from standard ramp to ramp contest to a Speed and Style course complete with big berms, whoop section, rhythm section and a 17 foot gap jump! I know it does not sound like much, but this was done with some weird type of front end loader meant to clean out horse stalls (small bucket), a few shovels, no extra dirt and in the very small confines of a rodeo arena-with two full 75 foot ramp to ramp setups squeezed in as well! The course was kind of small and turned out to be one lined, meaning that passes were going to be full blown take out moves. Think Chad Reed and James Stewart every turn-the race wouldn’t last a half hour and the show was contracted at two hours, so once again a format change was needed. So the powers that be decided on a time trial format which put the rider against the clock and his competitiors times. That covered speed, but style still needed judging. A panel of judges was set and then crowd power was added in after the runs.
The Etnies First Round Qualifier saw James Carter, Jeff Griffin and Jim Mcneil make it into the final with fast times in the 38 second range (for one lap) for Jeff and Jim. Carter was a couple seconds off in speed but made up for it with style to beat out Anthony Murray and Kenny Bell who was riding with a freshly surgically repaired and wired shut jaw! In the Monster Energy Second Round Qualifier, Beau Bamburg and Bryce Hudson timed out with 38 and 39 seconds while 7 time X Games Gold Medalist Matt Buyten nailed the one lap qualifier with a 35 second run!
Before the final , the crowd got to judge the General Tire Best Whip and Fox Racing Best Trick comps. General Tire Best Whip went down to two riders-the upstart James Carter and the vet Beau Bamburg. Carter does a turn down that puts him beyond perpendicular (past 90 degrees for you math types) to the lander while styling up and looking back at the take off. Beau does the flat (in a relative sense) whip that puts him AND the bike up side down. If we built a special ramp, I will bet we could get Beau into best trick at X Games 18 with a Barrel Roll! Both riders up the ante by bringing the tricks back so late they look like certain disaster and that made it tought for the fans to pick a winner in Beau Bamburg. The Fox Racing Best Trick was tough too as once again James Carter showed just how much he has improved with a KOD Flip that has his feet six inches off the pegs still when the front tire hits the landing ramp. Matt Buyten pulled a fan favorite with the Captain Morgan and Jim McNiel barely pulled the win with a Cordova Flip and Lazy Boy Flip (riders get two jumps) that were flawless!
Those done it was time for the Boost Mobile Shrinkage Final which went to two laps on the course with riders still going one at a time. The fastest time of the final was set by Matt Buyten who scorhed the track with a 56 second run! Last in the run was Bamburg who tried to answer with the time but made a slight bobble in the flat turn and timed in with a 58. In the judging it was within .2 tenths of a point, making the final scores nearly equal. The crowd was asked to pick a winner and they chose the style of Beau Bamburg who tossed in one of his Disaster Whips and stole the win. The riders all finished out with a 15 minute jam session featuring all ten riders and then a two hour autograph line!
A few days off allowed me to get home, mow the lawn, kiss the wife, play chase with the baby then fly right back out for Richmond. On tap were two days of FMX demo’s with John Distler, Matt Buyten, James Carter and Jim McNeil. Set up took all day due to rain which nearly flooded us out of the paved lot the track had put us in. A shortened run up and shut down area made it more dangerous for the riders who were tricking over the Boost Mobile Tour bus at 75 foot gap. The riders still put on a fantastic show with all manner of flips in 10-15 mph shifting winds with no incident. At one time during the six demo’s we had over 3,000 fans and intial estimates are at 12,000 sets of eyes on the shows throughout the weekend. Boost Mobile, in a thoughful gesture, bought $10,000 worth of tickets just 10-15 rows from the race track for the local troops at Fort Belvoir. The winners got a swag bag from Boost and tickets and were recognized during our last demo and during the race too.
All in all a great trip and now with some time off it is time to get ready for our upcoming shows. Las Cruces, New Mexico gets us next from September 28th to October 2nd at the Southern New Mexico State Fair. Riders scheduled for that are Bryce Hudson, Jeff Griffin and Garrett Ahlf. If you have not heard of these guys before-you will be hearing more soon! Do a Google search on these guys and I guarantee you will want to see a few riders that are the future of the sport! Another NASCAR demo weekend takes the other bus and ramp to Dover, Delaware on October 1st and 2nd with James Carter, John Distler, Jim McNeil and Matt Buyten on board. Hope to see you there!