This past Saturday Fox BMX team riders Pat Casey and Drew Bezanson competed in the first ever Vital BMX Game Of BIKE at the Vans skatepark in Orange, California. 32 riders all went head to head in a tournament style bracket until one man was left standing…and that man just so happened to be our very own Drew Bezanson.
Before the contest Drew was in his typical form and said, "Everybody's having a blast out there—I don't think anyone's going to take it too serious, and it's gonna be a good day."
Pat agreed and added, "I think it's a good contest…definitely way different than anything else. It's just real chill and no stress whatsoever."
In Drew's first matchup against Australia's Colin Mackay things were looking pretty close after Drew got letters on a couple of tough manual combos. However, after icepicking the sub wall and doing a super creative ice to fakie on the side of a ramp, Drew was able to edge out the Aussie and advance to the next round.
Pat Casey had to battle it out with fellow So Cal native Alfredo Mancuso in his first round, and even though Pat was able to give Alfredo a letter on a long footjam burner across the deck of a tight quarter, Alfredo's street moves were a bit too tough for Pat and the rail combos and big barspin down the stair set did him in and knocked him out of the competition.
In the second round Drew found himself pitted against Miles Rogoish who put up a good fight all the way until time ran out. Once time was up it was the last trick that counted—a 180 E.T. over the rail. Drew pulled through and made it count in his favor as he landed the trick and slid the rollout clean.
As the field of riders was cut in half Drew faced off against Dave Dillewaard who battled back and forth with a ton of tough tricks like an icepick on a super tight vert wall and an abubaca on the sub wall. Drew was finally able to hold him off with a flip to fakie and a flair on a really small quarter, which allowed him to advance to the semifinals against Nor Cal's Kevin Kiraly.
Although Kevin is thought of mostly as a street rider these days, he definitely has a huge bag of ramp tricks, too, so this second to last round was a good matchup to say the least. Drew found a way to use a one-inch piece of plywood on a back wall as a sub ledge and laced a perfect icepick on it to give Kevin a letter. Then he pulled out the flip to fakie again to send Kevin back to Norcal empty handed.
The final battle of the night was between Drew and Ryan "Biz" Jordan. After winning the coin toss and getting to go first, Drew quickly gave Biz his first letter on a nosepress E.T. to peg chink on a quarter. Biz put up a good fight and managed to give Drew a letter after pulling a fakie barspin down the Euro gap, but Drew answered back by using the tiny makeshift sub ledge again to precariously place a tailtap, giving Biz his third letter. The last trick of the night was a technical nosebonk to can-can footjam on a quarter pipe, and even though Biz got two shots at it, he couldn't pull it off and the win went to Drew.
After a bunch of friendly high fives and hugs Vital presented Drew with his first place trophy and a massive check to the tune of $6,500. However, Drew already had plans for the prize money and turned the entire thing right over to the Athlete Recovery Fund and donated it to the charity that helps injured action sports athletes in need.
In Drew's words, "I had a blast all day, and the ARF is doing a good thing… You never know when you could get hurt, and they need all the support they can get, so I'm just trying to help them out."
A big thanks goes out to Vital BMX and the Athlete Recovery Fund for making the day possible, and a huge congratulations goes out to Fox riders Pat Casey and Drew Bezanson for making us proud out there.