ACT Jam 2019 Recap - Part One: Belco
If you've been to an ACT Jam in the last few years there will be no denying, it is one hell of a time!
ACT Jam 2019 went down a couple of weeks ago and we are blown away with how it all went down this year. If you were there, you know already!
This is the biggest year so far and we feel that it's already shaping up to be bigger next year..
A big year deserves a big recap, so we're breaking these down into days.
Want a recap of what went down on day one of ACT Jam 2019? As well as some things you didn't know happened?
This year marks the seventh year since it's reincarnation from the OG ACT Jams that happened from 2001 - 2005 and this year we were able to join forces with BentSpoke Brewery, who came on board as a major sponsor to help to give away a whopping $8k prize money.
This sort of prize money wasn't all BentSpoke's doing though, we had a lot of help from the Australian BMX industry kicking in to help pay BMXers who kicked ass riding.
If you don't know by now to support the brands that support ACT Jam (and hence Australian BMX), then this is a reminder!
The weeks leading up to the jam:
This year we had crew from all over the world spending time in town, enjoying what the Canberra BMX scene has to offer. There was plenty of BMX sessions going down at spots across Canberra by a varied crew of BMX riders. It was cool to have trail riders rolling around the streets - and vice versa.
There was also copious amounts of coffee being sucked down at our humble BMX shop by a bunch of legends.
It was cool to have so many BMX riders in town, there was a real energy in the air and a lot of positive vibes.
Kris Fox was lighting up Belco bowl on the first day of the jam. Jack Gruber photo.
ACT Jam 2019 stop 1: Belconnen:
There was no doubt going to be some heavy BMX action on day one of the ACT jam. For those who don't know, above Back Bone BMX shop in Belconnen is Lakeside Tattoo parlour, who this year was a sponsor of the jam and stepped up in a big way by freeing their schedule and offering walk in ACT Jam and BMX tattoos to those willing!
Pat Freyne is now a lifer.. Photo: Jack Gruber
The bowl at Belconnen was damn near shut down by the Fast & Loose crew. Jason Watts, Kris Fox, Cody Pollard were blasting and I'm sure I saw Corey Walsh do an air that swung around half of the bowl - I know for certain at one stage he took off 15 feet from the left of the channel and still aired over it.. considering the bowl is round, 12 foot tall, with pool coping, that's as gnarly as it gets.
Corey Walsh voted best rider - Belco bowl for ACT Jam 2019
Guaranteed Corey Walsh swung this table around from far left of frame and will be landing outside of the right frame of this photo. Photo Jack Gruber.
The snake run was destroyed by many, but a stand out was no doubt Boyd Hilder. Boyd has that 'hard stuff done effortlessly' thing going on; he did triple truckdrivers, x-up whips and everything else in the BMX trick list with a smile on his face. Full blown ripper.
Boyd Hilder voted best rider - Belco snake run for ACT Jam 2019
You'd be psyched to be that nosed in just straight jumping.. Boyd Hilder, cannonball. Photo: Jack Gruber.
The street course was the last thing to be shut down on the first day of ACT Jam 2019, special mentions to Jack O'Reilly who battled and conquered a nollie tooth hanger the big down ledge, Jacman Hinns who did a bunch of hard moves including an oppo barspin to ice down the rail, and Cal Eggington who rode the bowl like a savage, the snake run, and then busted moves on the street section.
The night and street section belonged to Lewis Mills though, who tore apart the rail both, going both up and down it. Bar-crooks-bar down and up-rail 180 whip were just a couple of bangers from the Fiending shredder from Sydney.
Lewis Mills voted best rider - Belco street for ACT Jam 2019.
Lewis Mills up the rail and 180 whipping off the end of it! Photo: Jack Gruber
Pat Freyne balanced.. Photo: Jack Gruber
It didn't just end at the final trick of the official jam and that's what makes ACT Jam so good; it's three days of real deal BMX mayhem. At one point I was set to leave at around 8.30pm (the official jam finished at 7pm) and as I was driving out, I couldn't help but see a huge mass of ACT Jammers crowded around the deep bowl.
I parked my car and walked up to find Sean Thompson, Cal Eggington and Brazilian Cauan Madona (who missed the official jam completely) going back-to-back for some of the gnarliest riding of the whole night. I'm fairly certain Madona knows no fear, because he didn't have any issue pumping out a shoulder high double whip among other things that had the crowd going bananas. Madona knows very little English, but I sure hope he understood by the screaming, swearing and jumping up-and-down from the crowd that his presence at the jam was highly appreciated that night.
It was an amazing way to encapsulate just what the ACT Jam is; full blown freestylin' for the love of it.
And we still had Tuggeranong and BentSpoke to go!
Cody Pollard on full blast. Photo: Jack Gruber.
The party kept going and the show went on for two more days..
I'm still jazzed just thinking about it, and there is so much to go through that we'll release part two and part three of the jam separately.. So keep an eye out!