Friday's six-hour long practice was another good one for all three groups of riders at Tallinn, Estonia's Saku Suurhall. Yesterday the skaters had the morning session, but as today's warm ups started at 10 a.m., it was the BMXers who had to battle their morning-after-conditions from a long night of partying. It wouldn't be Simple Session without the parties though, and they are just getting started. Each night the clubs and bars in Old Town Tallinn get more and more packed with rowdy riders looking to get loose and celebrate good times.
Everyone seemed to be more comfortable on the course today, and as a result the lines and speeds were increased (along with the number of collisions). A few riders whose bikes hadn't shown up as of yesterday finally got their luggage from the airlines, so there were a few new faces on the course, but unfortunately some bikes were still lost when practice started today, like that of last year's second place winner Brett Banasiewicz. Brett and a few others whose bikes have yet to arrive will have to get used to the course during the short practice time before tomorrow's qualifying. Even with the disadvantage that gives Brett, he is still expected to do very well this year.
One of the incredible aspects about this event is how diverse the selection of riders is. There are very few contests where you can see Mike Spinner kicking a double whip over a box jump simultaneously as Tony Neyer does a gap to toothpick hangover on a rail, but that's exactly what Simple Session brings together, and it's nothing short of awesome -- and as always with Simple Session, it truly feels like all the riders are just hanging out and sessioning with their friends.
Since the second day of practice has officially come to a close, everyone has taken the chartered bus back to the host hotel, has probably eaten pizza or pasta at the popular nearby restaurant Vapiano, and is likely getting ready for tonight's BMX video premieres and after party at Club Hollywood.
If the history of this contest and the riders who are slated to compete in it teaches us anything, you can bet that Saturday's qualifying will be absolutely bonkers, so stay tuned to see who does what and which riders make the illusive cut into the finals.