Yohei Uchino: Soaring on Flatland

And it’s not even that Flatland is an easier form of BMX, no, sir. That Yohei makes it look like an amazingly effortless work of art is an entirely different thing. The way the bike responds to every move of his, rotating and cocking a wheel in the air at his command, you’d think the bike is merely an extension of his body.

It took him some time to get here – he was only crowned World Champion last year – but now that he’s here, it’s a joy watching him make that bike dance to his tunes, performing the ‘Ucchie Spin’, stretching the bike to what you thought was definitely off-limits – till he makes it happen. It’s so fluent, so pure that it’s almost a dance form of its own. Biker’s ballet is what it is.

Yohei is surprised to see the untapped BMX potential in India, when he recently attended a workshop organised by Red Bull. “For first-timers, they’re very good; over time, we should see some world-class Flatlanders from India,” he says. Here’s hoping we find some misinformed but champion teens of our own soon.

(Words: Amaan Ahmed)