The Chicago Street Jam is an annual event where riders gather from all over the world. They gather because Chicago is one of the best cities in America for street riding. The urban environment is perfect for spots in every direction. Every year the turnout continues to grow, but this year did not stay in line with the steady growth, it exceeded it. Kids, parents, pro riders, amateur riders, were all in flocks pushing through the streets.
I stayed with the Peachy crew at Kirk Svenssonʼs house. We rolled out to the train in the morning.
Collin Niesen lost his scooter at the Tilt barbecue the night before. He found it later in the day, but he had to cruise Kirkʼs skateboard the whole day.
Alex Steadman was warming up on the train ride to start pushing through the city.
As we were riding towards the meeting place, in between two buildings we saw an enormous mob of people riding. The sea of people kept going and going. We sped up and joined the crowd, looking around in awe at the mass.
For the first spot Collin Snoek parked his car on the edge of a loading dock. I am not sure if everybody knew it was his car, because they were riding on the top denting it up bad. The crazy gap tricks jump started the day of hucking.
It was a slim group of people that were actually jumping over the car, but they landed so many tricks and ran back up so fast it seemed like many people were riding it.
On even the largest streets in downtown there were so many people that we could ride in both lanes of traffic and completely shut down traffic. Most cars didnʼt bother honking because they had no choice but to sit and wait for hundreds of people to pass.
The clock tower ledges were next. A classic Chicago ledge spot with many options to get creative.
This was new this year. Along with the classic ledge, the number nine sculpture was added to the best trick contest.
The park could barely house the amount of people that were riding.
This new handrail took a lot of people out. Issac Miller was the first to charge a trick other than a board slide when he pushed through this tall back lip.
Justin Lacosse took the role of corralling all the scooter riders to the spots and announcing the winners of each spot.
It was nice to see Chema Cardenas in Chicago. He fit right in doing tricks that were unique to his style.
The last spot was a stair set at Buckingham Fountain. This set was long and not tall, so everybody had to push as fast as they could to clear it.
Yara Haynes heel whipped it easy. The tricks that went down on this spot were surprising for how long it is.
The crowd was sitting back watching people throw themselves for the last spot.
New faces became familiar faces, the boundaries of what was possible in street scooter riding were pushed, and a good time was had by all. The turnout is only going to get bigger, so see you all next year.