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Jon Ritchie’s first blog of the year!

Added on August 23rd, 2011 by ecfmx @ 2:25 pm

Hey everyone – this is the first blog of 2011… a little late in the year, I know, but here’s a little update of what I’ve been up to so far this year.

The year started off kinda slow, the winter was a long one and thinking back, I can’t remember even getting the chance to ride at all between November ’10 and March ’11. So the year really started when I got a call from Phill to test out the new East Coast FMX landing one or two weeks prior to our first show. It was a good chance for me to dust off the cobwebs and get a little practice in before the first show. Practice went well, we had a little issue with the landing, but nothing major and we were all set for Brighton.

March 19th – showed up in Brighton for the Ace Cafe / In-Car-nation event. The weather was perfect and I had a good feeling that this was going to be a good start to the year… probably helped by the fact that the Fuel Girls were there as well ; ) The demos we did went really well, the crowd were enthusiastic and it was good to get some positive feedback while signing autographs at the end. Be sure to check out our “New Pics” section, there’re a few awesome shots from the demo!

April – with no shows booked in this month I took the opportunity to revamp my practice facility near to my hometown. A few changes needed to be made to the landing, run-in and a general tidy up was in order. After I don’t know how many man hours, what is probably now thousands of pounds spent and the headache that has gone with this project, it has all been worthwhile. A big thanks to my buddies that have helped get the place in order, they know who they are. Thanks.

May – another show this month, this time for Dad’s Day Out which was held at the venue where TopGear is filmed. The show went well, we had some trouble with the arena being smaller than preferred. The only solution was to run a slightly smaller gap which makes it a little more difficult to trick but considering the cross wind as well, it was probably safer to run a smaller gap. Danny rode well as always, where I felt like I struggled… maybe it was down to the conditions but I came away with motivation that I wanted to improve. It was good to see the crowd getting involved and once again the feedback we received was all positive! I know that I probably signed more posters that day than I had in the whole of 2010!

June – my main focus this month was on the Bolddog FMX Championship at Rougham Airfield where I competed in the first ACU affiliated Amateur FMX Competition. My run went okay but I was a little disappointed with my last jump. I was planning to do the biggest ‘deadbody’ I’ve ever done but I caught my feet as I went through the bars, looped out as well then caught my feet again coming back. Not how I wanted to end my run but I guess it was enough to get the win. Big props to my buddy, Stu Macey who is killing it this year, and he took home 2nd place. The event itself was really good for our sport and the small scene in the UK, hopefully things progress and we have a full series in 2012.

July – was a busy and good month for sure. Having returned from a weeks holiday surfing in Hossegor I was motivated to get some good riding in. With 3 big shows on the horizon for Scott Mays Air-Devils Tour I needed to get some much needed bike time, especially as we’re jumping a 21m gap at these shows. The weekend before my first show in Coventry, I spent all weekend getting used to jumping 21m at my home setup. Albeit my ramp is a 9m radius and the shows were being done on an 8m radius, it was good to just get the feel for the bigger gap.

First show in Coventry went incredibly well, I was happy with the way I rode and was a good confidence builder for the next two stops as well for the rest of the year.

The next shows was in Aldershot, we were a little unlucky with the weather, it had rained all week prior and we were riding in a field this time, not concrete like the week before. Come showtime, you guessed it, it rained. The run-in was slippery and kinda dangerous so we chose to run a slightly smaller gap, keep things safe and put on the best show we could considering the conditions.

The final stop was at Arena Essex for the first floodlit show of the tour. To date, I think this is the best show I’ve been involved in. There was a good buzz from the crowd and this is a major factor in the influence on how we ride. When the crowd are loud and genuinely enthusiastic, it makes things that much easier… things just seem to flow. The night was topped off by Chris Birch backflipping from ramp-to-ramp on his final jump of the “Best Trick Competition”. The crowd went nuts and he easily took the win! Arena Essex 2011 is one I will definitely remember!

To finish off the month, our final show was again for the Ace Cafe, this time near Brent Shopping Centre, London for the Streetfighter & Stunt Festival. It was nice to be back riding for the Ace Cafe, they always put on a good, well organised event and the other attractions on the day included the Street bike Stunt competition, Drift Car demonstration and of course, the crowd (guys) favourites… the Fuel Girls! We performed two demonstrations on the day, the first show went well but I felt a little sketchy for whatever reason, it was a little windy at times so maybe that had something to do with it. The second show went a lot better, the crowd showed their support and I was happy to go away knowing I’d been able to pull of all my tricks. I look forward to 2012 and the next Ace Cafe event!

For the rest of 2011 I plan to spend as much time on the bike as possible, learn some new things and hopefully start 2012 on a high.

Thanks for reading and hopefully catch you again soon.

Jon Ritchie

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