words and photos: JP Walker
I started work on this event back in October from the comfort of my couch, thinking that this type of thing wouldn’t be that hard to put together–just get a few guys up there for some handplants for a day. No big deal. Turns out, it was quite the process. I started with a concept for a scoring format and a long list of tricks–some dreams, some do-able–and an idea to include some of the riders that influenced my riding into the event. Seven months later, the day finally came, and despite all the ups and downs, it couldn’t have been any better.
First, I tapped my long time sponsor, Nixon for any ideas to help make the event the best possible (and you know they have a good idea how to do this, from a little thing called, the Jibfest). Next, I partnered with Sony to bring in a cool POV cam sponsor to the event, so we could film with their equipment and give some product to the riders. I sent one idea for the park to Clayton Shoemaker from Bear Mountain, exchanged a few emails and had a few three-minute conversations about the event, and that’s all he need to make the set up a reality.
When I finally got there to inspect it, I found my ideas taken to the next level! The set up was almost too grand to take in at first, but the park staff knew exactly what to do to make the ideas I gave them work in a real, on hill situation. The riders slowly trickled in the night before the event and suddenly I found myself in the most unlikely of roles: leading a riders’ meeting and discussing the rules of a contest. We randomly divided up teams and everyone checked out the trick list and talked about what was actually do-able. The day of the event, everyone snapped into shred mode without any direction. Dale Rehberg and Dave Downing lead the two teams. It reminded me of the first Jibfest: a small group of guys all on the same page, with no outside distractions and only one goal, to have fun. In the end, Team One took the “W” lead by MVP (Most Valuable Planter) Simon Chamberlain. Team Two wasn’t far behind in the scoring and it could have gone either way, depending on how the teams were drawn. We fell back to our private cabins on the lake and had dinner catered by Casanova Tacos and let the sore muscles sink in.
Good times and maximum respect to all the riders and sponsors that made the Handplant Holiday a success. Full video from the event will be dropping on May 4th from Jibberish Volume 2.