October 2007

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As I’ve been digging deeper into the Interwebs for bmx information, I’ve quickly realized how many sites there are featuring action sports (and thus, bmx) videos. And I’m not just talking about general video sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or Revver, but rather sites that are focused exclusively on action sports, lifestyle and culture. Pretty much all of them encourage user participation simply through video upload, or by becoming a member of their crew of shooters.

Though I always have a lot of heart for beautiful still photography, it is awesome to see the constant progression of video shooting and editing – much like the riders that are featured.

Here’s a sampling of sites to check out:

Vital BMX, featuring both Vital created features and a large amount of user content – updated almost daily

Fuel TV – If you’re lucky enough to get Fuel, then you know wht this is all about. If you’re like me, then you can at least check some clips

Freecaster TV – High-quality video programming, broken out into multiple channels, based on interest

Lat34 – AOL’s action sports site

VIMBY – “Video in My Backyard”. A newcomer, still listed as a beta. Self-described as a youth lifestyle and culture site

Go211.com – Action sports news aggregator. Covers BMX racing as well

Stephen Murray Air

Last night, after the dirt finals of this year’s AST Dew Tour, they broadcast a very heartfelt update on Stephen Murray, the pro rider who suffered a serious spinal injury during a double-backflip attempt on June 22 in Baltimore. It has been amazing (but not at all surprising) to see all of the support from the BMX community – something immediately evident in this video, broken up below into three segments.

I was watching this last night and found myself choked up a number of times because of his determination and spirit.

Here are a number of links to learn more about Stephen, benefits held in his honor, and his family’s foundation:

Stephen Murray Family Fund

Stephen Murray MySpace Page

Stephen Murray Benefit Jam Video Coverage on Vital BMX

Dan’s Comp Wristband Purchase – Donate and get a chance to win a limited edition PK Ripper

Stay strong, Stephen.

Nicole
You stole my soul with your cute little bunny hop, your radical table top
Girl I wished you would never stop.

Back when Nicole Kidman was an aspiring actress in Australia, she made a movie called BMX Bandits that most of you BMX-heads have seen, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve seen it countless times. I always dug the fact that the three kids rode in full gear while being chased through the city by goons with a trunk-load of guns. But, being an aspiring gearhead as well, the Austrailian-issued 4 door Ford LTD with mags also intrigued my 12-year-old brain. A giant Ford with mags? What?

Well, the band Wheatus must’ve felt the same (at least about the BMX bit, the car thing is totally my issue), because in 2005, they released a song called “BMX Bandits” that was on their album Too Soon Monsoon. The video has a pretty cool collage/illustration style, and features a red head who appears strikingly similar to Ms. Kidman. In keeping with the smattering of music videos I’ve posted lately, I had to get this one on here.

Random trivia – BMX Bandits is also the name of a Scottish band featuring members of pop-rockers Teenage Fanclub and The Soup Dragons.

BMX Old School Custom Toy

“BMX Old School” created by Israel Chavira, image from Custom Toy Lab.

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of custom toy makers, creating vinyl/metal/plastic toys rich in detail and creativity. Much like BMX, there is an obsessive community that surrounds this very cool culture. I became aware of this a couple years ago via Kid Robot, and I am lucky enough to have a Lettus Bee figure signed by Andy Jenkins. My very cool former-team in Seattle gave it and another piece of Andy’s artwork to me as a going-away gift.

Today I found a toy that, unfortunately, is a one-off, but a rad one-off nonetheless.

Israel Chavira is an artist and designer from Guadalajara, Mexico and he’s created a character called “BMX Old School”. I dig the details of the the scarred helmet, JT gloves and matching shoes. I think a bunch of us riders need to come together and order enough so that Israel can get them made. He can be contacted via his website.

There are a bunch more photos and details on the Custom Toy Lab site. Check it out.

Bat for Lashes – What’s A Girl to Do Music Video

This video has been around for a while – long enough to earn a nomination for a MTV European Music Award’s “Video Star” award. However, it was new to me, and since it showed up hot on the heels of The Cool Kids’ “Black Mags” video I posted a bit ago, I couldn’t resist posting it here. Wait for right around the :45 mark – and you’ll understand why. BMX riders in giant mascot-sized animal head costumes, with choreographed moves over a video comprised of only what appears to be one long shot. What more could you need?

Bat for Lashes is essentially Natasha Khan, British musician and artist, and much like the Cool Kids, she was also recently picked up on MTVU. The video was directed by Dougal Wilson, who has done some other pretty amazing work from some artists you may know.

S&M .38 Special with RealTree Camo

Find the frame in this photo … no really, it’s in there.

No, it isn’t a trail report, or some dirt contest in the backwoods of Kansas, featuring Warren Beatty and Burt Reynolds. Instead, some brief news about an extremely rare animal.

S&M Bikes did up two of their .38 Special frames for the Interbike tradeshow wrapped in Realtree Camouflage. Realtree is amazingly detailed camo wrap and covering for all sorts of applications, primarily used by outdoors enthusiasts (hunters, fishermen, paintballers(maybe?)) on anything and everything, including clothes and hardware.

One of the frames S&M wrapped went to Shimano and racer Chad Roberts. The other one is on Ebay. There won’t be another one of these created by S&M, so if you want a 1-of-2-of-a-kind, get your bids in now. The auction ends Wednesday, October 17. Would be a rad addition to any collection. Again, cool to see bike companies mixing up finishes and creating limited editions that are released to the public, who want to see this kind of thing.

Link to the auction here: S&M .38 Special on Ebay

Chris Drake’s Schwinn Predators

Chris Drake of Independence, MO brought out a nice collection that included these two Schwinn Predators.

This was the second weekend in a row that I got to take my boys to an event focused on bikes. Never a bad thing. Sunday, we headed over to Independence, MO to go to the Peddler’s bike shop swap meet and show. Traditionally, this has been more of an balloon tire or track-style antique/vintage/collectors show (as with many bike shows), but as BMX collecting gains momentum, these shows have begun to open up. Through the influence of a few riders, including Chris Drake (above photo), there were a few guys who showed up with some nice bikes for sale and for show.

Though I think the rain/drizzle kept some folks away, it was great to meet some of the people I’ve previously only met virtually through the message boards, and meet a couple of new guys as well. At the next of these type of events, we need a ride or a flatland/dirt/street session as well. You can see a few more shots and more info about some of these bikes over on the BMX Museum as well. Check back here for more events like this around the midwest.

Skyway T/A

Jeremy Johnson, of Kansas City, MO, showed this survivor Skyway T/A. It is owned by his uncle, John Hershey, who raced it for years, though this was the “street” setup, with the white mags and skyway pegs. It has been in Johnson’s grandma’s basement and hadn’t seen the light of day for 8 years.

S&M Daily Rider

Johnson’s S&M daily rider – pure street.

S&M Holmes

Jake Gatschet of KCMO brought his S&M daily rider out as well – a meticulously restored 1990 S&M Holmes trail machine. It was recently featured in the news section of the S&M site.

I found an album with more photos from the Red Bull contest last weekend. Some nice shots from Mike Williams, passed along by “mtbjunkie” on the Kansas Freeriders forum.

Check out the Flickr album right here.

Thanks for the hookup, mtbjunkie.

Cool Kids BMX

“I’m on the Dyno with the black mags …”

More proof that, at least in the eyes of the general public, BMX culture is moving beyond giant spectacles like the X-Games. The Cool Kids are a hip-hop duo from Chicago, getting some major play at MTVU, who put them on their list of Freshman Five for this fall, with their video for their song “Black Mags”.

Black Mags has over 140,000 plays on the Cool Kids MySpace page. With a retro vibe that isn’t nostalgic, and solid, yet humorous storytelling, they could be one of the indie rap breakout stories of 2007. Nice to see the SE Bikes/DC Shoe P.K. Ripper getting some major screen time all over the video.

Thanks to “PJ Cruiser” on the BMXMuseum.com forums for the heads-up.

Here’s the official video from YouTube:

Skyway T/A Frame and Fork

Yeah, you read that right, hot on the heels of the Tuff Love art show, I’ve got some more news about Skyway.

First, at Interbike, there was a Skyway Team 20th anniversary reunion. Xavier Mendez has some great photos and stories over on the Vintage BMX forums. Very cool to see the 1987 Skyway Trick Team together. That team toured constantly, and featured a bunch of diverse riding styles, setting the groundwork for the types of bmx tours still going today.
Check out the post on the Vintagebmx.com forums

Also hot from both the BMXMuseum.com and VintageBMX.com forums is news from coloredtuffs/planetbmx main man, Ed Ferri that there will be 150 Skyway T/A frame and forks made, as well as retro-styled 20″ and 24″ frames in celebration of the T/A’s 25th anniversary. I’m only guessing here, but I assume this will follow the trend of other retro bikes of late, with threadless headsets, modern geometry and vintage-inspired paint/graphics – which is cool enough. Even cooler, the first 150 “originals” will use original True Temper Skyway tubing and have the exact geometry and design of the original ’82 T/A. Rad … The T/A was a badass race and early freestyle frame lusted after by many a kid back in the day (including this one), but it always freaked me out to see someone running it with spokes – never seemed quite right. Pro Maurice Meyer has a great account of rebuilding one to his original specs on his site. A serious freestyle history lesson there.