In the year 2000 we took a trip to Europe for the first and ever Road Fools abroad. Road Fools 6, or Road Fools Europe as it is better known, followed the crew through France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and England over an 11 day journey. On the first day in Paris we happened to roll into a certain public square in the city. Oddly protruding out of a big flight of stairs was a 20 foot tall piece of stone artwork which has become known in BMX circles as the “Shark Fin”.
Our favorite Spaniard Ruben Alcantara spotted a gap into the Shark Fin, and with a hurting leg proceeded to do a wild transfer off a bank and hip into the side of the Fin. The above Redux edit contains new footage pulled from the Road Fools Europe source tapes and re-cut to help revisit this moment again.
I had a chance to ask Ruben about the famous gap he jumped over a decade ago which follows below, and you’ll also find the Shark Fin section clipped from the original video.
You were one of the riders on the only ever Road Fools in Europe. On the first day of the trip you found a wild obstacle in Paris that resembled a “shark fin” protruding oddly out of the middle of a staircase. What was that thing exactly?
It was just one of the sculptures from this plaza.
Think back to that first day of the trip when we rolled into the square where the Fin is. Did someone point it out to you, or did you see it yourself and thought you could do it?
It was very cool looking so we kept looking around to see what you can do on it and I thought about the line.
Your leg was already hurting coming onto the trip. Thinking back to that day, how did the injury affect doing the gap?
Yeah the day before the flight I was in a B3 comp where I tried a tailwhip to rail but I missed and landed with my both legs on the rail. It hurt a lot the next few days but that thing was so cool that somehow it gave energy to try.
The approach to the gap was a bit awkward. Describe what it was like.
Yes was really hard to get speed because the runway has this building in front and I have to pedal hard and with my hurting legs was worse.
On one of your attempts you came up short and got a flat casing a stair. Were you over it at that point or did you still really want to pull it?
When I did try, I had no idea what could happen so when I land close to it and get the flat I knew was possible so I was excited.
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