What you’re about to read is a deal. Not like a deal on some part you’ve been dying to get, but an arrangement between Jeff Zielinski and me. The deal was: I write this story while he does the photographer shuffle. So all Metro weekend long I sat in the stands, relaxed, shot the shit, and when the course was clear, I rode. Jeff, on the other hand, spent most of the weekend throwin’ elbows and doing full sprints across the course to get the photos you see here. Thanks for taking the short-end of the stick, Jeff.

Although I had never been to a Metro Jam before, I’ve spent some quality time at some well-known contests over the years. But as I soon came to figure out, the Metro Jam is more than a contest, and even more than a jam… it’s somewhat of an experience. For every day leading up to the Jam, there’s something to keep both the riding and social side of BMX entertained, whether it’s a barbecue at a local park, a video premiere, or a BMXer hockey game, there’s something for everyone.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get the chance to experience most of those events, but over the three full days I was in Canada, I had the chance to witness some amazing riding, as well as some good times after the sun went down. The first day brought the experts to the course and the class at Metro further blurred the lines between ams and pros. When the so-called amateurs are doing fakie-tailwhips, wallride-whips, and pretty much any and every tech trick possible, some of the ams begin to blend in with the pros. Fakie-whipper and first place in Amateur went to Joey Pierce, who was bumped up to Pro the next day and managed to get a respectable 25th.

The following day, the 60-some-odd pros who signed up all went at it in groups of four for ten minutes at time. Highlights included Jake Honesto’s perfect 360-tailtap-to-tailwhip over the sub-goda. Although I already knew Jake was a badass, most people up in Canada had no idea. It was awesome to hear the crowd erupt into cheers and the bullhorns blaze when he brought that banger out. Other highlights in qualifying came from Jim Cielencki who brought back the flip-fakie and Rooftop, who tried to flip-fakie a crazy wedge-to-one-foot-tranny-to-four-feet-of-vert. I couldn’t understand what I was watching on his first attempt. The thing was just hard to get to the top of and he’s trying to flip it. Rooftop didn’t get it done, but came really close. Tobias Wicke hung out on the barrier, literally. I don’t think I can even explain the stuff he did… a sort of tailwhip-nosepick-to-opposite-foot-catch-to-tailwhip back the other way thing was just one example. There were a ton more highlights, but I think I need to save myself for the finals. It got wild.

Sixteen people made the finals and from there they were split into four groups of four and rode for ten minutes (or so) a piece. The loosely-set jam format let everyone do what they needed to and in tur, made for a wild contest. For some reason Alistair Whitton didn’t feel like riding, so the next guy in line was Rooftop, but he too couldn’t ride because he collided with someone during practice. Next up was Darin Read, who rounded out the Northwest trio of riders with Jeff Landtiser and Paul Kitner. All three of them flew around the course, went about 18 feet in the air (okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but they went high) and pretty much killed it over all. Jeff Landtiser seemed to be the crowd favorite… it was probably the Griz-air out of the Jersey-barrier billboard wallride. Jake Honesto threw the 360-tailtap-to-tailwhip again, but it didn’t look so easy this time. He took it pretty hard on the first two tries and then proceeded to do the shadiest 360-tailtap into a clean tailwhip off. It didn’t look right. Clint Millar started off his first run like a dream. He Canadian nosepicked the big sub straight into a no-hop downside whip-to-tailtap on the smaller sub, then over-toothed the Jersey barrier, and eed it with a double tailwhip nosepick on a quarter. Other highlights from Clint were his fufanu-to-icepick-to-270 tailtap-to-icepick on the other side of the sub-goda. Sorry, that’s a mouthful; just believe me when I tell you that it was good. Stephen Lilly rode really well and even managed to wallride the fence and then pull all the way off into a feeble down the ledge to 180. Dave Osato seemed to be pretty relaxed, but still managed to launch off the face of the Jersey barrier and nosepick the big tranny/vert wall thing on the wedge and even gave a straight bunnyhop-tailwhip-to-feeble grind a few tries, but after taking it pretty hard a few times, he decided to save it for another day. Eric Ream from Idaho was the new face of the finals and had a bunch of stuff including an alley-oop Smith on the side of the billboard to x-up out. Ryan Guettler rode amazingly. Not only does he have double-whips wired, but he can also spin like a top. I guess he spun the equivalent of an 810 over the Jersey barrier hip, and a big part of me wants to say it was alley-oop (or maybe it was opposite), as well. Then there’s Nyquist. Ryan barely squeaked into the finals, but he let loose once his group started. Full speed (and I mean full speed) flairs about eight or nine feet out of the seven-foot quarter, trucks over the box… backwards. Double-barspin 540s out of the eight-foot quarter, toothpicks-to-270 out, 360-tailtap-to-barspin over the sub-goda, and even a 360-nosepick over the sub-goda. Ryan had tricks for days and if the contest would have gone on that long, he would have brought them all out.

The last group included the qualifiers Morgan Wade, Gary Young, Van Homan, and Josh Harrington. And from what went down in qualifying, it was going to be an awesome show. Unfortunately for Josh, he only managed to get in one run before his tire went flat, but he did manage to fufanu the side of the wedge-to-vert wall out of the barrier before going off course to fix his wheel. The three remaining guys all took their respective turns, with Van doing a wallride-to-downside-whip transfer out of the side of the sub-goda, as well as 360ing over the entire sub-goda, and blasting about eight feet over the hip. Morgan Wade, with his sleeve of fake tattoos, was almost scary to watch. Rumors of stuff he may have planned on doing were flying around most of the weekend. Morgan started off slow (in relative terms, of course) with a 360 over the box followed by a 720. He then moved on to flairing the seven-foot quarter and tailwhipping off the top of the sub-goda into a wedge. Then the bikeflips came out; the first attempt had him ball-riding out, and the second attempt was maybe the most amazing f-k up I’ve ever seen. Morgan threw the bike out for the bikeflip, but didn’t let go of the bars, sending him into a superman with the bike way past vertical, almost upside down, and he somehow managed to pull it back and get a foot on-it was nuts. The third attempt went much smoother and the crowd and bullhorn rejoiced. Josh Harrington magically reappeared and came with guns blazing, firing out a barspin-to-icepick on the big sub-box. Unfortunately, Josh’s bad luck continued when he fell twice on a wallride-to-barpsin-to-barspin back out of the billboard. The second attempt left him with a rolled ankle and I think Josh decided to call it there. I should mention that Gary Young was riding during all of this. And when I say riding, I mean winning the contest. I can’t remember who said it, but they definitely hit the nail on the head with, “Okay Gary, you can stop. You won, like, four tricks ago.” Gary was full speed and full of gnarly tricks. In one outing he 360’d the box backwards, straight into a opposite-wallride-to-downside-whip on the billboard, then 360-xup’d over the driveway, and then three-whiped the box. Then there was the regular wallride-to-table about a foot over the billboard wallride and then the wallride-to-regular whip on the billboard. And then the sub-goda session: wallride-to-downside icepick, wallride-to-slider, wallride-to-slider-to-revert, fufanu-to-icepick-to-jump-over, and fufanu-to-icepick-to-jump over fakie. To say Gary had it in the bag was a mild understatement. After hurricane Gary passed, Morgan sat up on the deck essentially being taunted by announcer Paul Roberts to fulfill the rumor of the weekend-a wallride-to-bikeflip. Having never even tried one, Morgan decided to give it a few goes. Keep in mind that the billboard wallride was a wedge-to-barrier, over and behind a rail, and landing into another barrier on top of a wedge. Needless to say, it wasn’t an ideal setup. Morgan gave it about five attempts, nearly pulling it the second to last attempt-if he would have spread his legs, he could have at least ball-rode out of it. The last attempt left Morgan a little lighter from the removal of some skin, so he decided to end it right there. Even though it didn’t get pulled, it almost couldn’t have been a better ending-a wild finish to a wild contest and a wild weekend.

RESULTS:

Pro:

1. Gary Young

2. Ryan Nyquist

3. Morgan Wade

4. Dustin Guenther

5. Van Homan

6. Ryan Guettler

7. Josh Harrington

8. Clint Millar

9. Jeff Landtiser

10. Brian Foster

Expert:

1. Joey Pierce

2. Adam Dyke

3. Taylor Leigh

4. Travis Sexsmith

5. Jordan Hango

Oakley Hard Trick:

Mike Hoder-gap-to-hangover toothpick down the rail

Oakley Hard Trick (during the contest):

Dustin Guenther-360 gap to feeble grind

FOUR QUESTIONS WITH THE TOP THREE

Why do you feel the need to come out to a Metro Jam?

Gary Young

If I didn’t come Jay said he would break my leg… Just kidding. I come to watch mainly; it is always so amazing watching the ams coming up, and all of the pros’ new tricks. It is just a really motivating atmosphere.

Ryan Nyquist

I don’t feel like I need to, I feel like I want to. They always look like a lot of fun and I figured that I was missing out by not going.

Morgan Wade

Because everybody who had been to them before said that they are worth going to, and to have fun. It was a good time and I had a fun roadtrip to it.

What was your own personal highlight from the contest?

Gary Young

De Dutch. It’s this place in Vancouver that specializes in amazing, Dutch pancakes. They’re in between a crepe and a pancake.

Ryan Nyquist

For me and my own riding it was 360 nosepicking over the sub-goda thing. I was so happy after I pulled it because I had never done anything like that before and it was really hard to pull it off.

Morgan Wade

There are several. For one thing, being in Vancouver for the first time was really cool. And I guess I was pretty excited to almost pull that wallride-to-bikeflip. I didn’t even think I was going to get close (laughs).

What was your overall highlight?

Gary Young

Dustin Guenther did a 360 over the driveway to feeble down the backside. The weird part of it was he did it in the middle of one of his runs. From my angle it looked like he was just doing a regular 360 but jumped too far. It took a second for me to realize that he just did a 360-to-feeble as smooth as can be.

Ryan Nyquist

I was pretty pumped when I saw Jim Cielencki pull a flip-fakie on the seven-foot. I had been trying them and crashing all over the place-much respect. Also Dustin Guenther’s 360-to-ledge-feeble was tight. As well as Clint Millar’s runs… so much hard tech stuff packed into a run. Plus Gary Young and Morgan Wade were riding like they always do and that’s always fun to watch.

Morgan Wade

I’m going to go with little Jeff (Landtiser) in general. He’s really fun to watch ride.

What do you think separates a Metro from other contests?

Gary Young

Most everyone who comes to a Metro Jam rides or at lea the sub-goda session: wallride-to-downside icepick, wallride-to-slider, wallride-to-slider-to-revert, fufanu-to-icepick-to-jump-over, and fufanu-to-icepick-to-jump over fakie. To say Gary had it in the bag was a mild understatement. After hurricane Gary passed, Morgan sat up on the deck essentially being taunted by announcer Paul Roberts to fulfill the rumor of the weekend-a wallride-to-bikeflip. Having never even tried one, Morgan decided to give it a few goes. Keep in mind that the billboard wallride was a wedge-to-barrier, over and behind a rail, and landing into another barrier on top of a wedge. Needless to say, it wasn’t an ideal setup. Morgan gave it about five attempts, nearly pulling it the second to last attempt-if he would have spread his legs, he could have at least ball-rode out of it. The last attempt left Morgan a little lighter from the removal of some skin, so he decided to end it right there. Even though it didn’t get pulled, it almost couldn’t have been a better ending-a wild finish to a wild contest and a wild weekend.

RESULTS:

Pro:

1. Gary Young

2. Ryan Nyquist

3. Morgan Wade

4. Dustin Guenther

5. Van Homan

6. Ryan Guettler

7. Josh Harrington

8. Clint Millar

9. Jeff Landtiser

10. Brian Foster

Expert:

1. Joey Pierce

2. Adam Dyke

3. Taylor Leigh

4. Travis Sexsmith

5. Jordan Hango

Oakley Hard Trick:

Mike Hoder-gap-to-hangover toothpick down the rail

Oakley Hard Trick (during the contest):

Dustin Guenther-360 gap to feeble grind

FOUR QUESTIONS WITH THE TOP THREE

Why do you feel the need to come out to a Metro Jam?

Gary Young

If I didn’t come Jay said he would break my leg… Just kidding. I come to watch mainly; it is always so amazing watching the ams coming up, and all of the pros’ new tricks. It is just a really motivating atmosphere.

Ryan Nyquist

I don’t feel like I need to, I feel like I want to. They always look like a lot of fun and I figured that I was missing out by not going.

Morgan Wade

Because everybody who had been to them before said that they are worth going to, and to have fun. It was a good time and I had a fun roadtrip to it.

What was your own personal highlight from the contest?

Gary Young

De Dutch. It’s this place in Vancouver that specializes in amazing, Dutch pancakes. They’re in between a crepe and a pancake.

Ryan Nyquist

For me and my own riding it was 360 nosepicking over the sub-goda thing. I was so happy after I pulled it because I had never done anything like that before and it was really hard to pull it off.

Morgan Wade

There are several. For one thing, being in Vancouver for the first time was really cool. And I guess I was pretty excited to almost pull that wallride-to-bikeflip. I didn’t even think I was going to get close (laughs).

What was your overall highlight?

Gary Young

Dustin Guenther did a 360 over the driveway to feeble down the backside. The weird part of it was he did it in the middle of one of his runs. From my angle it looked like he was just doing a regular 360 but jumped too far. It took a second for me to realize that he just did a 360-to-feeble as smooth as can be.

Ryan Nyquist

I was pretty pumped when I saw Jim Cielencki pull a flip-fakie on the seven-foot. I had been trying them and crashing all over the place-much respect. Also Dustin Guenther’s 360-to-ledge-feeble was tight. As well as Clint Millar’s runs… so much hard tech stuff packed into a run. Plus Gary Young and Morgan Wade were riding like they always do and that’s always fun to watch.

Morgan Wade

I’m going to go with little Jeff (Landtiser) in general. He’s really fun to watch ride.

What do you think separates a Metro from other contests?

Gary Young

Most everyone who comes to a Metro Jam rides or at least knows quite a bit about riding. That may not sound like a big deal but when a backflip gets fewer cheers than an impossible tech trick, it’s awesome. You can really just tell it’s not another extreme roundup; it’s a jam with a bunch of riders having fun.

Ryan Nyquist

I think the courses are somewhat unique and the comp has an overseas feel to it, which is a little more laid back. Overall I think it’s rad because you get to see a lot of riders who won’t or can’t go to the bigger comps, and it’s always nice to see new faces and styles.

Morgan Wade

It’s laid back; the crowd is more into it. It’s more people who know what’s going on than just parents who brought their kids out because they saw Dave Mirra in the newspaper. I think it was organized a lot better and the jam format is way better. I prefer jams to runs because you get to ride more and have more fun because you’re not so much trying not to wreck, you’re just trying to get stuff done that you wanted to do.

BEHIND THE CONTEST

Interview with Jay Miron

Besides being one hell of a rider, Jay Miron is also the contest organizer behind the Metro Jams. So, to get a little insight into what motivates and separates Metro, we asked Mr. Miron a few questions.

Why did you feel the need to create Metro?

I created Metro mainly because I wanted to do a super-fun contest in Canada and because I wanted to show that a huge stadium contest could still be fun.

What kinds of difficulties are there when trying to put on a contest?

Getting enough money from sponsors is the hardest part. It’s been really tough for us to sign a sponsor from outside of the industry and industry sponsors don’t have enough money to pay for everything. That’s not to say that I’m not happy with the help that we receive from industry sponsors. They all rule for helping out and the contest wouldn’t be possible without them. Getting hotels to have us back for year two is also tough. I wish riders would stop wrecking shit. It makes it really tough for us to find hotels.

What’s your goal with the Metro Jam?

My goal is to provide a contest that everyone has fun at and builds the sport in a fun way.

What do you think separates Metro from other contests?

We’re on the forefront. We think of the good ideas first, then everyone else follows. For example, look at all the contests that have Jersey barriers in them. Everyone’s following Metro.

Why do you go out of your way to have these events all week long?

In Vancouver we do the events for the whole week because that’s what we’d be doing anyway. There are jams and parties all the time. So we just invite the world for a week around Metro.

least knows quite a bit about riding. That may not sound like a big deal but when a backflip gets fewer cheers than an impossible tech trick, it’s awesome. You can really just tell it’s not another extreme roundup; it’s a jam with a bunch of riders having fun.

Ryan Nyquist

I think the courses are somewhat unique and the comp has an overseas feel to it, which is a little more laid back. Overall I think it’s rad because you get to see a lot of riders who won’t or can’t go to the bigger comps, and it’s always nice to see new faces and styles.

Morgan Wade

It’s laid back; the crowd is more into it. It’s more people who know what’s going on than just parents who brought their kids out because they saw Dave Mirra in the newspaper. I think it was organized a lot better and the jam format is way better. I prefer jams to runs because you get to ride more and have more fun because you’re not so much trying not to wreck, you’re just trying to get stuff done that you wanted to do.

BEHIND THE CONTEST

Interview with Jay Miron

Besides being one hell of a rider, Jay Miron is also the contest organizer behind the Metro Jams. So, to get a little insight into what motivates and separates Metro, we asked Mr. Miron a few questions.

Why did you feel the need to create Metro?

I created Metro mainly because I wanted to do a super-fun contest in Canada and because I wanted to show that a huge stadium contest could still be fun.

What kinds of difficulties are there when trying to put on a contest?

Getting enough money from sponsors is the hardest part. It’s been really tough for us to sign a sponsor from outside of the industry and industry sponsors don’t have enough money to pay for everything. That’s not to say that I’m not happy with the help that we receive from industry sponsors. They all rule for helping out and the contest wouldn’t be possible without them. Getting hotels to have us back for year two is also tough. I wish riders would stop wrecking shit. It makes it really tough for us to find hotels.

What’s your goal with the Metro Jam?

My goal is to provide a contest that everyone has fun at and builds the sport in a fun way.

What do you think separates Metro from other contests?

We’re on the forefront. We think of the good ideas first, then everyone else follows. For example, look at all the contests that have Jersey barriers in them. Everyone’s following Metro.

Why do you go out of your way to have these events all week long?

In Vancouver we do the events for the whole week because that’s what we’d be doing anyway. There are jams and parties all the time. So we just invite the world for a week around Metro.