Nitro Circus Shared Sacred Ground in Colorado
Touring small-city America has its perks. From the glorious foods to the prideful ownership of the “World’s Largest Something,” there is engagement around every corner. I survive by gathering old friends and meeting new locals at skateparks and spots. Seeing Colorado Springs on the schedule, I instantly knew it was going to be a sensation. We had to cancel the show last year due to snow, and the internet roared over it.
The instant we landed, Colorado Springs Legend Duncan Gore was on hand and swept Jed Mildon and me to a historical tour of the city. Duncan is BMX. He has watched action sports live and die through thousands of sponsorship dollars. For over 30 years he could be found learning flatland maneuvers or blasting ramps to the moon. I grew up with a picture of Duncan on my wall, and when I met him the first time we straightaway filmed clips, the decisive sign of friendship.
We ended by a window tint shop that had a light on. I peered in and was surprised to see AFA BMX champion James McGraw filming in an incredibly small garage. Action sports is in the veins of Colorado. I was stoked!
The conversation instantly turned to the venue. Duncan started telling me how the lands were enchanted and started bringing up how in 1998 there was a King of Vert contest at the exact location of our Nitro Circus Live show. The King of Vert, or KOV, series was put on by Ron Wilkerson, who was throwing wild contests at any venue that would let him. Often, he would set up ramps in an abandoned lot with no permits and call it “Meet in the Street.” It’s hard for me to fathom that any venue knew what was exactly happening, and that made it even more fun. James added in several stories about how the level of riding at that time was incredibly intimidating. He talked about Leo Chen pulling a decade air on vert and Kurt Schmidt blowing minds doing backwards hang 5s on the deck. It was this kind of do-it-yourself contest that kept action sports alive in the early ’90s, and it rules to do a show on the same ground.
The moment we returned home, I began searching vigilantly online for anything about the contest. I found some archives and a video and thought it would be rad to share them with you. Enjoy!
BMX insider Micah Kranz is one of the Nitro Circus Live MCs, currently on tour with the show. To watch him work, hit this link to see where we’re headed next, and make sure you check back every week for more fine words from him.