Revisiting King For A Day 2012 - Ride UK BMX

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Revisiting King For A Day 2012

Words and photos by Joe Bailey

I honestly cannot imagine a better jam than the King for a Day jam, it is almost perfect in every way. Even the hype of the old Backyard jams have nothing on this weekend of carnage.
The amount of people that attend, the sketchy ramps built every year, the way the weather is touch and go but the sun always comes shining through the rain clouds, the alcohol consumption, the long jump over bikes (which is only really there to watch people hurt themselves) and the bonfire of ramps at the end of the day. Most of all, and above all of the aforementioned is just the friendly ‘don’t give a shit’ atmosphere. Simply put, no one was there with an attitude, or was trying to show off (apart from Ben Murphy).

The only thing that is missing every year is Charles Prow himself, and it’s such a shame that it takes something as terrible as Charles’ death to bring everyone together and have probably the best weekend of the year, but I guess that’s just how these things end up happening.

Now three years on and a total of four jams after the tragedy, it becomes easy to forget why we put this event on every year. With the awesome memories from previous jams, it’s easy to get excited and narrow-minded and just focus on the fun stuff, but it only lasts a second as Charles is in all of our heads and hearts every day, as he was such a great character. We aim to make the best jam we can, in the exact way Charles would have wanted and believe me when I say that he would have wanted non-stop alcohol fuelled fun and mayhem.

The week running up to the jam was a bit tense, as I’m sure all of you know the British summer has been dog shit! Rain, rain, rain. So checking the weather everyday was a must and back up plans were starting to be thought about, but strangely and just like every other year, that flaming ball of heat in the sky actually came through in the end. If I was religious I would probably say something like “both Charles and God were looking down on us again” but I’m not insane, so I won’t.

Most of us started the day with a hangover as we were all out the previous night. The usual tomfoolery transpired, with ripping off of t-shirts, pushing people over and sweaty testosterone fuelled arm wrestling. It was a seriously gay night. But of course hilarious at the same time. So with a few beers to get the day started and the hangover at bay, we headed up to Hyde Park and kicked the day off. Of course people rode all day but there were equally just as many people just chilling and taking it all in, it’s crazy to see the amount of people that knew Charles, riders and non riders alike.

Do I need to talk about the riding? Really? Ok, but I’ll keep it brief. Everyone did loads of good stuff, people ate shit on the long jump and Mega Spin – AKA The Spin Doctor 360’d it. Azeez Salu – AKA 12 incher back flipped over the bench out of the GDC built Blast Artoise ramp, then later when everyone was more pissed and done with riding, we burnt the ramps and a few people jumped over the fire. Chris Jenner was obviously the man of the day, sending tables and turndowns over the huge chasm of fire. It was so hot the print on my t-shirt felt like it was starting to melt and my camera was definitely hotter than the sun. The fire brigade and police turned up but thankfully just like last year, they just stood in shock and laughed at drunken BMXers jumping over a shit load of burning ramps… Cheers lads.

After the jam, like most others, there is always a big night out. It started out at the local social club with a bunch of rad bands and rock ‘n’ roll karaoke (it’s always good to have a drunken mosh)! After that we headed into town where I’m sure you can imagine what went down. One memorable moment was some crazy bitch punching Tommy C repeatedly in the face, so Jordan Waters head butted her to the floor. The bouncer didn’t have too much to say about it and the crazy woman just ran off and close-lined an unsuspecting man. Obviously I could bang on and on about the day and the night out, but please do yourself a favour and just come and find out for yourself next year.

Let me just get this out of the way, I didn’t build any of the ramps or organise any of the day, or prizes and anything else that needed doing so I would like you all to thank Liam Oakes for being the gaffa of the construction of the ramps and ferrying them about in his van, and Ben Murphy AKA Grandad Balls for organising the nights antics. If you didn’t know who Grandad Balls is, he was the drunkest guy around with the Irish accent covered in sweaty slime drawing on his own face with his pants around his ankles… Not to mention all the rest of the lads and everyone that turned up and rode hard, laughed hard and had a beer in the memory of Charles.

Long live Charles Prow, long live King For A Day!

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