Monday, January 19, 2009

Zero Degrees of Flat: Chicken Soup for the Flatlander's Soul

Hello from Whitby! from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

Zero Degrees of Flat: Chicken Soup for the Flatlander's Soul

First, a huge thank you needs to go out to all those that were responsible for and helped out with the event. Black Pony is a name that the Ontario flatland scene (or whatever's left of it) is starting to hear more of these days. Despite being a small shop in a small town (Oshawa), they are doing everything they can to gain the support of our scene, and doing a pretty good job may I add. After being the main sponsor for last year's Flatland Unlimited contest at the Toronto International Bike Show, they've gone ahead and organized their own flatland event for us (and will also be returning as FU's main sponsor this year!).

Now, I'm not sure if it's just me, but the concept for this jam-turned-contest is something I have wet dreams over in the winter. After dealing with unbelievably cold temperatures and too many feets of snow, being given a perfect oppurtunity to get together with old friends, ride indoors, possibly enjoy an adult style beverage or two, and party is more than perfect escape from the winter blues. For their first attempt at organizing event, everything went off really smoothly. Despite the location being a little cramped, and a little slippery (both of which were basically known at the onset), there was just such an amazing, fun, and encouraging vibe to the whole evening.

The event officially started off at 7pm, and riders headed to the 'dance' floor, taking turns one at a time brushing off the cob-webs formed over the winter months. A large variety of skill levels were present, but it didn't stop anyone from sneaking in their turn to throw down a trick or two in front of the large, and possibly quite intoxicated, crowd of on-lookers. With the help of the Red Bull girls (and bar staff), rider's maintained energy levels and enthusiasm all throughout practice, which only ended at 12am, in time for the midnight battle.

The battle got pretty heated, which made it a little difficult at times to sneak in your turn, but that only goes to show the enthusiasm on the floor, as everyone wanted their chance to show and prove by putting down their best tricks to wow the crowd (who,at the end, selected the winner by applause). Throughout the whole night, the crowd was able to witness lots of amazing riding by guys from all over Ontario, each possessing their own individual style.

Tall Paul progresses so much every time I get to see him. Lots of neat fire hydrant and halfpacker switches, and an incredibly difficult spinning cliffhanger varial/barflip. Lachlan Cameron was spinning up a storm on both front and back wheels, and even showed off his signature 'hat trick' to the drunken audience, who inevitably went nuts. Brother Dougald Cameron, despite not having any cranks, tried to go back in time with a large variety of time machine variations. Maza Kadri was there with even more insane rolling positions and switches. This guy is, in my opinion, the most unique and creative, yet still flowy, rider in North America. Big ups to him and his constant progression! Pralex team rider Andrew Wylie, although a little rusty, showed everyone how to pinky squeak, and turbine steamrollers and hang 5s, all in a tiny spot. Other riders that threw down all evening include Dmitry, Eugene Andrewsomething, Brandon Fenton, and Addison (Pralex graphic designer).

Despite showcasing extreme terribleness at biking and life, Alex Poirier (Pralex's better half) showed everyone present why it is we love him so much. A pair of pants that are beyond ridiculous, and some new Stereo Panda gear that made him look oh so good (SP, holla at your boy!), and lots of high speed spinning to brutal bails earned this rider another first place finish and a new St Martin X26 stem!

Thanks again to all those involved and those that showed up. If you were able to make it out and didn't, shame on you. Although the year just started, this is by far the best event so far, and will be hard to top (but you know us, we'll try hard to travel and find out). Keep your eyes open on here, Global Flat, and facebook for photos and video. Pralex photographer, Dylan Leeder, shot over 800 on our one night trip to Whitby, so stay tuned.

Here is Dylan Leeder's Flickr page full of other amazing shots, plus one of Alex, stay tuned there for more updates and amazing shots by him.


  1. I still need some ideas for your logo, I'm not freeballin this.
    Think target market etc.

    (pralex graphic designer)

  2. goddammit i love you guys!
    see you in march with vengence