Photo Story: Sam Pilgrim's Invitational 2015

Sep 29, 2015
by Simon Nieborak  
Emboldened with a massive success from last year's edition of his own show, Sam Pilgrim knew it had have to happen again. Hosted at the UK's Cycle Show, this year was improved in some ways as the event flowed well and everybody from the riders to the general public who came to watch left Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre with big smiles on their faces. A show with Sam Pilgrim's name assigned to it has a unique atmosphere, and the the cream of British dirt jumpers and some of Europe's top riders made their way to top of the roll-in to give their best through the set of neatly prepared jumps and amuse, amaze and entertain the good people who gathered to look at these "crazy guys who can go up-side-down on a bike".

bigquotesThis year, we decided to have two jumps in a row and a quarter pipe at the end of the course, removing the drop, we had last year. Two jumps in a row is much more fun and for the crowd. It looks well good, too! So yeah, the jumps are cool, not too big, but definitely fun to ride. It's good to have this event, because when I was younger, I used to do this sort of thing all the time and then it stopped happening... until now. Next year is going to be even bigger! - Sam Pilgrim


Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Sam Pilgrim mustered his buddies and decided to have one more session before they all fall into winter hibernation.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

bigquotesI have been here since Tuesday, helping to build the jumps. We had a few problems with dirt being too wet, because it rained the day it was brought in and it didn't dry out on time. Now, we've got some wood on top of it and making the best out of it. I especially like the idea of the 90's session with no tailwhips nor 360s, because this makes you do tricks you remember from back in the day. The crowd is really happy and that's all the matters! - Sam Reynolds

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Eric Walenta couldn't wait to jump, so he used every small opportunity to get some airtime.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Time to roll in!

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

bigquotesLast year was the first time Sam Pilgrim put this event on and it definitely was the highlight of the Cycle Show at the NEC. Sam's Invitational can't been seen as a comp; it's a show and we get awarded for doing tricks. If they did make a competition, everyone would ride in a completely different way, be more stressful and the crowd would see the stress. Whereas now everybody can smile and have a lots of attempts to nail a trick, they can, if they want to chill out with the friends, then can do it, as well - Matt Jones

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Ray Samson is a long-term friend of Sam's and he proved his spot amongst the invited riders more than once during the day.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Daryl Brown cutting air with a sharp 360.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Chris Smith was the one who decided to break some rules and jump on his big bike.

bigquotesThe Cycle Show is always good fun, because it's a pretty chilled and laid back competition. I have been coming here since something like 1998, quite a few year and I love it! The crowd really makes it worthwhile. We've moved the venue a couple of times, but the NEC is always seems to be the one - Chris Smith

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Chris's decision definitely paid off and did not stop him from doing some of his best tricks.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  During a little break before the show started, some guys decided to chill out...

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  When others wanted to show off their skatepark skills!

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Freddy Pulman nailing a textbook inverted tabletop.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  A little pre-show session on the quarter pipe was very good to watch. Adam Williams showing how a proper tail-whip on a quarter should look like.

bigquotesIt's a pretty sick event to be fair! It's cool to come a place where is no pressure on riding, there's good vibe between the riders and that what makes it fun. Usually when you get to a comp', it's serious, everyone has an individual run, but this is literally hanging out with your buddies and having a good laugh - Adam Williams

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  This picture says it all about Sam Pilgrim's Invitational. Cool tricks, big smiles while sessioning with friends in front of like-minded crowd!

bigquotesThis is a pretty cool way to end a season. It's a very good comp to have some fun with the boys, where's no pressure, but only good times and big tricks for cash! - Tomas Lemoine

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Sam kicked off 'The 90's' session. It was fun to watch all those guys to dig deep in their bag of tricks.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Yannick Granieri looked like a fish in the water with his acrobatic background.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Even younger riders liked to partake in this session and do tricks they have seen in old school bike movies.

bigquotesWhat's good about being at Sam Pilgrim's Invitational is that it's almost like going back to my roots, especially being down here at the NEC - you've got good jumps, big crowds and everybody from the industry is here. It's always a positive fun vibe and I think it will show in all the riding. It's the best time of the season to do something like this where you can see some big tricks and have a good laugh! - Grant 'Chopper' Fielder

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  'The 90's' session was a good laugh, but soon after the main event started and it was true eye candy for all freestyle mountain bike enthusiasts.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Riders could literally grab cash for doing tricks.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  But not always everything went according to the plan for some of them.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
No trick...
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
No dollar!

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  They had to try real hard.

bigquotesI think, it's better this year, because we have more than one jump, so you can put a little run together ending on the quarter, which is pretty cool. It's definitely better for the riders and of course the public, because there's more to see. - Ray Samson

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Ray spins around with a trick as flat as a tabletop.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Max Fredriksson was on fire all day long.

bigquotesSam's doing a really good job, here! Seems like everyone's appreciating 'Cash for Tricks' format, which keeps us motivated to go big and yeah, I am stoked to be here! - Max Fredriksson

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  Danny Pace was flying high.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

bigquotesIt's really good to be here! It's way better than last year thanks to an additional jump and the half-dirt quarter pipe! The old-school session was... weird, but super fun, because we got to do tricks we don't usually do - Eric Walenta

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  The gathered public let Matt Jones stuff more money into his pocket. He won their hearts with a great attitude and a butter-smooth double back-flip.

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
  It rained with cash for Max. He was voted for Riders' Rider prize and no doubt he deserved this title!

Sam Pilgrim s Invitational
Sam Pilgrim s Invitational


MENTIONS: @lunatyk




25 Comments

  • + 20
 The amount of typos in this article is unreal, anyways, putting that aside, this event looks sick, just a small jam session with pro riders riding mainly for fun. Such a good time!
  • - 42
flag scott-townes (Sep 29, 2015 at 20:04) (Below Threshold)
 Nazi
  • + 19
 ^^ Daft uneducated individual.
  • - 36
flag scott-townes (Sep 29, 2015 at 21:56) (Below Threshold)
 I have tourette's. Quit being a Nazi about it.
  • + 2
 borin' ell !
  • + 7
 Like the idea of the 90's jump comp. I was pretty good at doing "cross ups" in the 90's but that was on 90's size jumps.
  • + 1
 I'm with you there. I've got grizz airs for days.
  • + 6
 That dirt looks terrible to work with.. they put carpet and boards down
  • + 5
 Great photos and everything. But no video? Frown
  • + 5
 Anyone notice how f*cking boring things have been since World Cup is over?
  • + 1
 good thing Rampage is around the corner, October 17th is when shit gets real again
  • + 3
 It was a lot of fun being in the crowd watching these guys perform their tricks, I hope it happens again next year.
  • + 3
 blah blah blah bitch bitch bitch
  • + 2
 An stunning collection of photos Simon, you've done an awesome job on capturing the atmosphere of an amazing event!
  • + 1
 Good photos and article!
But its not *textbook inverted tabletop* on photo, just a opo table with oppo/goofy 180 in a quarter.Big difference.
  • + 1
 Lets all just be grateful Sam was too busy organising this to do another awful 'fail' video on YouTube.
  • + 1
 So gutted I missed this last minute. But as always you've done a stellar job at capturing the event, Simon!
  • + 1
 Reynolds bars look wiiiide
  • + 1
 let the pictures do the talking
  • + 2
 Reminds me of Bike '98!
  • + 1
 Mr Nieborak this is a Pound not Dolar(according to No trick..no dollar..)
  • + 1
 Cool
  • + 1
 o right

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