Some 60 BMX riders from up and down the Island and as far away as Richmond convened at Oceanside Skate Park recently for the annual GT Jam, and the memorial for local teenager Justin Gair just keeps getting bigger.
Held May 22 down at Parksville Community Park, the sixth annual Justin Gair Memorial Jam, better known as the GT Jam in keeping with Justin’s nickname, ran all day.
Zane Hudson from Campbell River helped start the GT Jam and was definitely in the spirit as evident in his riding.
“It was an awesome day, I had a wicked time. The wall ride really added to it, for sure.”
“It went really well,” Justin’s brother, James, 20, added from the sidelines on his ride near the end of the jam.
He logged a lot of rides that day and admitted, “I’m tired, but it was great. We didn’t think we’d be getting any prizes this year, but Grind Skate and BMX shop from Campbell River came through with lots of really cool stuff.
“There’s a lot of great riders here today,” he confirmed when asked about the big air and jaw dropping stunts.
“We’re like a big family,” he said, adding, “they come from all over Vancouver Island and we’re starting to get people from (the Mainland) … it’s getting well known.
“It’s something he used to love to do,” said James, who has a tattoo of his brother’s full name on the inside of his left forearm.
“It’s a day of celebrating, of remembering my brother.”
Justin Michael Gair, for the record, was 18 and in his graduating year at Kwalikum Secondary School when a car he was a passenger in crashed and he was killed. Alcohol was a factor.
“I think it’s great everyone keeps showing up year after year — it’s inspiring,” said James, adding, “we all hang out and became friends because of (Justin), and that’s pretty awesome, I think.”