Nike knows how to throw a party. Last weekend Nike held their BMX Night Jam in Los Angeles, California. My favorite part of the weekend? When my friend Ana who was meeting me there asked, “Casual or dressy”, to which I said “It’s in the LA river. Downtown”. To which she said “Ok. Casual.” Honestly when I heard about the event I was pumped. Everyone has seen the Nike Just Do It campaign – surfers riding in a black ocean, snowboarders riding at midnight with stadium lighting and fireworks.. And the event downtown LA did not disappoint.
Taking place in literally the LA river which, for those of you not from LA, here’s a bit of crucial information – there is no LA river. There used to be, but then it dried up, so now it is essentially a concrete highway for water that doesn’t exist, and Nike saw this as a fitting place to host an event. Go Nike. Over on the east side of LA, Googling the address, party-goers were lead to a random alley which boasted countless kids on bikes and 2 Nike trucks. In attendance with me was our BNQT intern Joyce who said “uh is this it?”, to which I said “uh.. yeah I guess”. Well what you couldn’t see from your parking spot was the tunnel which, after signing your life away and receiving a bright orange shoelace indicating you did so, boasted all the action. Like at least 100 guys on bikes, who you had to walk through to get to a decent standing place in order to watch them, one after another, hit this ramp at the end of a very short runway. Being the mature adult I am, I have to say it looked like an accident waiting to happen. But accidents, for the most part, didn’t happen.
What did happen was a very impressive display of both pro BMX riders and amateurs hitting the same ramp, all in very close quarters. Riders had a whopping 60 yards to hit the ramp at the bottom of the tunnel; spectators were bound to the banks of the tunnel, everyone standing at a 45 degree angle. Fortunately anyone participating in the event didn’t need to worry about asking their friends, moms, coworkers to take their action shots – Snapsportz was on hand with their innovative technology. Everyone riding in the Nike BMX night ride was fitted with a tag (similar to when you run a marathon; they know when you’re cheating); when a rider hit the ramp, their tag essentially triggered the camera, and after photos were snapped, they were instantly uploaded to the rider’s Facebook page. The results of these creative efforts were being streamed at the event onto a flat screen next to the ramp and they did not look bad. The lights, the fog, the professional cameras and set up..the next time Nike hosts one of these, you’ll see me there participating instead of as a spectator. Given that I haven’t ridden a Redline since 9th grade, it may be fair to say I’m lying .
VitalBMX was at the event and put together a great little synopsis vid of the night.