N.E. Jam Chowda gets a rain delay
Since the '80s, the New England BMX scene has enjoyed a wealth of success existing almost outside the boundaries of traditional BMX. When the brands weren't sponsoring riders in the '80s, the New England scene created their own trick teams. When the popular events of the day (from American Freestyle Association to Bicycle Stunt Series) didn't make it to the New England area, the New England scene created their own events. When the magazines and videos failed to cover the New England scene, the New England scene created their own zines and video magazines. And so on and so on. It's a unique phenomenon in the realm of BMX, and it commands respect for those that have persevered.
Circa 2012, the New England scene continues to proliferate. From shops to brands (Bonedeth is based in Boston) to events, there is not another regional scene in the U.S. with the strong sense of community that New England possesses. And that holds true for their latest event -- a New England infused jam dubbed the New England Jam Chowda, which is slated for October 14 in Danielson, Conn. Recently, we caught up with jam organizer Chuck Goldy to get the inside info on New England's latest contribution to the BMX scene.
ESPN.com: There is a lot of buzz on the east coast going on about your event. What's it all about?
Goldy: It's about fun, friends, just the simplicity of getting people together to hang out and share in what we all love to do. The bike might be the smallest part of this whole thing but it is what brings us all together.
What are the details if someone is looking to go? When, where, times?
It's called New England Jam Chowda, (a sort of New England Texas Toast.) The Jam is at 44 Cottage st. Danielson, Conn., 06239. It's the Northeast corner of Conn., a half hour from Providence, a half hour from Worcester, two minutes off the highway, super easy to get to. It is on Sunday, October 14 from noon till dark.
Where did the idea of this event come from?
The idea of getting the core shops together for a non-competitive fun type of jam that could show off how good New England BMX is, has been in my head for three or four years, I just never got it going because of my shop events and just the everyday struggles of running a BMX only bike shop. Then I saw Texas Toast last year, and it really inspired me to get the wheels rolling on this thing using a part of that idea -- each shop would bring their own obstacle to ride and we would ride a course built by all the shops taking part in the jam.
Who are you expecting to see there?
I try not to expect anything, I know the shops participating are all pushing this thing hard on their end and they will be here in force. I guess a better way to put it is: I am hoping to see all my friends from over the years come out, so many people in the past ten to fifteen years that I have lost touch with a bit but are still in New England. I am hoping they all come out and we can hang at one place for a day all together. I feel like the shops we have, the people who run them, the people who support them, the brands that are based here in New England, these are the people we will see at the jam. There are a bunch of big names coming, there are bunch of no-names coming -- I think we are all the same, friends who have fun on bikes.
What obstacle are you bringing with you?
The obstacles that shops are bringing are just awesome. We have some normal stuff, and some not so normal stuff. All of it seems amazing. Dick Maul's made a man-size street spine, Fat-Trax is bringing a quarter with a hitching post on it, Full Circle BMX shop has a 14-foot rideable chowda spoon, we have a box jump built on a truck, all kinds of stuff to grind, and Circuit shaped up 90 yards of clay into some nice doubles and pump rollers. All these fun things are posted on our site, newenglandjamchowda.com if you wish to check em out.
What are you looking forward to most?
I am mostly looking forward to seeing all my friends, meeting the guys I have been talking to for months but have yet to meet in person, seeing everyone mesh and have a good time. I have gotten so much out of this jam already just by talking to the shops and seeing that there are all these other guys just as passionate about it as I am. I guess just seeing BMX -- this is what BMX is to me and that's why I love it. Fun and friends, I have said it a million times. I still can't believe you can spell BMX without an "F" in it. It doesn't seem right.
Anything else you want to add?
I guess just thanks to all the shops and brands and people making this idea a reality. It can't happen without all these people. I hope to see you all there! I'll be the guy eating a cheeseburger. Come find me and say hi.