A 20 Point Guide to Surviving Simple Session 20
Are you prepared?
30 Jan 2020
FOR MORE INFO: simple.session.ee/
The 20th instalment of Estonia's finest export, SIMPLE SESSION is fast approaching and we've got together 20 points to help you through the whole process. If this is your first visit, or you just want to know what you're missing by not being there, then we've got you covered...
1. Don't fuck up your hotel room.
Flash back to roughly seven years ago and ex-ride uk editor Nathan Beddows checks in to the Park Inn hotel with only a faint memory of his unruly behaviour the previous year. However, the Chase Hawk lookalike receptionist greeted him with, "Ah Mr Beddows, here's your bill from the damage you caused last year. Have a great stay."
2. Need to escape the mayhem?
Under the Old Town is a labyrinth of 17th century tunnels. During WWII these were used as bomb shelters, but they were not widely known about to visitors until 2010 when 380 of the passageways were opened to the public.
3. Estonian is a complicated language.
Luckily for most of you, pretty much everyone speaks English.
4. You better enjoy pizza and pasta because you'll only eat at one place the whole time, Vapiano.
If you're on a budget just keep asking for more of the free bread.
5. The shuttle bus to the contest is a hoot
...especially the return trip. Some of the most debauched behaviour of the weekend can be witnessed here.
6. Police in Estonia don't mess around...
so behave yourself when you're rolling back from the club at 7am. We even watched one well known American pro get chased from the Park Inn reception by two angry policemen, only to slip out of his t-shirt and their grasp, disappearing into the snow like a polar bear with a sniff of freedom.
7. Hungry shopper?
Luckily for you the contest is usually sponsored by a snack company, whether it's an odd chocolate bar you've never heard of or Doritos, they've got you covered with snack attacks flying past your head most of the time. If booze is key, avoid the steep bar prices and get yourself to the supermarket next door.
8. You might not know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.
Twenty years is a long time for a contest to run. This year Simple Session will be celebrating the end of its second decade - that's older than half of the riders there! Drop some history knowledge and win the respect of a disgruntled mid-schooler with a bad back watching via Facebook.
9. Keep your eyes peeled whenever exiting the shuttle bus...
High speed snowballs are constantly getting launched at anyone and everyone, so stay low and move quick.
10. If you get excited and feel the need to throw yourself off the balcony into the crowd below at the afterparty, don't bother.
We've seen it go wrong a few times with bloody noses and tweaked ankles. In fact, Scheckler was the only one who seems to have pulled it off. Last year a certain vlogging Alfredo ManCaliBro even fell off it just by standing there and trying to be a cool guy.
11. It would be easy to assume such a big contest is coordinated by a massive crew of people,
but for most of the year it consists of a dedicated handful. That's a whole lot of work and not making their job any more difficult is always appreciated .
12. If you enjoyed watching your favourite bike riders slide about on ice trying to chase a puck, then unlucky because it's not happening this year.
However, it's replacement is even better - a huge game of BIKE on the Thursday night.
13. Get lucky? Chimney Sweeps in Tallinn continue to wear 19th century uniforms.
If you see one make sure you run over and touch one of their brass buttons. Myth has it that this brings good luck.
14. Bring your big coat.... or don't.
Usually it's sub-zero with huge piles of cleared snow but this year global warming has the city at unseasonably 'high' 5C (41F) It'll probably still feel fucking freezing though. Pure Baltic...
15. Don't make the mistake of booking an early flight home.
Your life will be much much worse if you have to leave straight from the club. Like, "fuck my life" bad.
16. Like tattoos?
Take a break from the riding and go get yourself some sweet tribal in front of 30 people watching in the stadium itself.
17. Flying into Tallinn?
You won't be stuck for options. There's heaps of airlines that fly into Tallinn regularly. Look out for the magical door with no walls on either side, that takes you from no mans land into Estonia. A short 15 minute drive is all it takes and you're at the hotel.
18. Risto Kalmre and his team work their ass off to make Simple Session happen.
If you happen to see him or his brother Mario over the weekend (which you may well never as they're so busy), give tthem a slap on the back and show some appreciation.
19. Bring your pyjamas.
A few years back one BMX company owner forgot his and took a stroll in the middle of the night, while asleep, out of his room and into a Russian metal party a few doors down. All was solved after recovering a new key from reception wearing only a tight pink t-shirt and boxer shorts.
20. If you're riding at the event and get asked for an interview, please watch Chase Hawk's from Simple Session 2008 and take note.
Seeking out fun no matter what
"We definitely need more of these cross-brand trips in BMX" - Joris Coulomb