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The Snitz Column
written by Steve Sommerfeld


I had one week off between the last tour to Indonesia and New Zealand before I had to pack my bags and suspension and do it all again in Indonesia for 3 more weeks of shows. It didn’t start out so great when we arrived in Purbalingga for round 3 and pick up from the first 2 rounds before Christmas. From when we arrived to when the show started it rained non-stop. The track builders were pushing around mud at the track was essentially at the bottom of rice-paddies which naturally funnels water downhill and there was nothing they could do but work with what they had.

Mud Landing

Unfortunately the down ramp couldn’t be built very big, and the ramp we wanted made for us was actually all wrong with 3 different parts to the ramp starting with a curved section, a big flat spot in the middle and then a tight curve at the top. It was all wrong, but with the rain coming down we didn’t have to worry about jumping it and giving the locals a week to fix the ramp.

Crap Ramp

During the second week we travelled to the conservative city of Bandung only 2 hours from the capital, Jakarta. Halfway through the second week we were getting restless, we hadn’t ridden our bikes, it was raining every day and things were getting boring. We headed out to a Karaoke bar which is the thing to do in Indonesia, so we had a go. Feeling a little silly we needed some Vodka to get us into singing like Elton John and it actually worked. We got a little bit tanked, but nothing was out of control, anyway things turned sour when some of the locals didn’t like that we were having some good fun. Although we didn’t do anything wrong we had to keep a low-profile for the rest of the trip and not draw attention to ourselves which was a bit lame. The second show in Bandung on the weekend was not much better than the weekend before. It rained all week and the downramp was built out of mud. The ramp was fixed reasonably OK and it was raining full on, but we really wanted to do a show and the sponsors were getting itchy too. So we pushed the ramp into 30 feet and just popped over it a few times to keep the crowd happy. It wasn’t really an issue, but each time we landed it felt like a pile of jelly and the bikes were going up to the swingarm in mud. A couple of near misses but we were ok.

Steve drumming

The third week we went to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to put on our last show of the Powercross series. The only thing we could hope for was no rain, but a few times through the week it was coming down like cats and dogs. Fortunately the track was built on sand next to a beach which meant at least the water could drain through the sand a bit better and it actually helped to pack it in. The day of the show was bright blue skies with a big bright sun. Everything was finally looking up. But 30 minutes before we were to start the show the monsoonal clouds were building and we were rushing to get started. We only had 10 jumps before the side wind picked up and the rain started to come down. We battled through for a couple more jumps until Sheeny and I were both hit with fireworks during our demo. Just as I was doing a look back Hart Attack and was about to land the pyrotechnician let the fireworks off one second to early. So when I was trying to spot my landing in the dark I was then hit with fireworks that came across in front of my face and the heat was pretty full on too. I landed and just locked the brakes on before I hit the fence. So that was really exciting haha. You can see the video here:

We then had to fly out the next day to Australia which was the worst flight I’ve had. Clinton and I were on the same flight to Brisbane and our domestic flight from Jakarta to Bali was delayed by an hour. Because our next flight was international from Bali to Brisbane we had only one and a half hours difference to get there. Because of the delay we almost missed it. After getting to Bali and sprinting to the International terminal we couldn’t get through and we literally had one minute to check in. We had to bribe a security guard to get us through to the Virgin desk and check in. Then had to argue with them about excess baggage to the point we almost still missed the flight. Ahh it just wasn’t a good day, especially when you want to get home after a long time away.

So now I’m back home in Australia. It’s rained since I got home so I haven’t had much practice at all. I’ve got the New Zealand Farm Jam competition in less than 2 weeks and I’m definitely needing some practice before I hit the natural terrain course which I won last year. Hopefully I can do well this time, but the weather here isn’t helping me. Nick Franklin and Levi Sherwood look like they’ll be riding the competition so the home-town New Zealand kids will do really well I think. But until next time, you’ll have to wait to hear what the results are from that competition or check out my site for updates.


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