July 2008

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Keith Mulligan’s BMX Sticker Board

Ride Editor, Keith Mulligan’s custom-made sticker board.

If you haven’t been over to ridebmx.com – aka bmxonline.com – aka bmx.transworld.net, get over there and check out their new site, which launched a couple weeks ago. Much more user-friendly, with content from the magazine and new blogs from their editors, the new site has a ton of reasons to visit and hang around for a bit. Personally, I’m just happy to see the funky photo gallery navigation/pop-up thing go away.

Keith Mulligan, Ride’s editor, wrote a “favorite things” post about a week ago, and most of them are of the vintage variety. From his first BMX racing trophy in ’81 to the plexiglass board his dad made, covered in hella-cool stickers of various eras, it is definitely worth a read. BTW, what BMX rider hasn’t had a certain place to stick, or horde the many stickers collected over the years? I know I do.

Check it here: Mulligan’s Favorite Things

Super Rat Machine Works bottle opener

Phil at Super Rat is doing a cool contest of sorts to get people excited about what he’s got going on in the shop and reward them for participation – wisecracks, sarcasm and innuendo are all welcome.

Basically, he’s got a small inventory of BMX parts and Super Rat schwag to give away for free. All you have to do is post an answer (in the comments of the site) to the question he posts on a Friday, and by the next Friday, he will pick his favorite. The winner gets the weekly freebie sent to them. Easy, eh?

This week’s giveaway is a Super Rat 7075 t-6 bottle opener, simply for posting your best hangover cure, and Phil says he’s got sprockets, stems and other parts to pass along in the upcoming weeks.

Check it out here: http://www.superratmachine.com/category/freebies/

Nike Olympic BMX Uniforms

My friend, Andy, (thanks, man) sent me a great link to the Nike Lab, a series of interviews with their designers, and there are a couple with John Martin, who led the Nike/Freestylin’ collaboration and is leading up their Olympic BMX effort. As most of you know, the 2008 Olympics in China will feature BMX (in the form of racing) for the first time in the Olympic games.

Hit these links to check out the uniforms and the shoes they’ve designed for the riders. Interesting to see the inspiration from the early Haro Designs uniforms and hear about their design process.

A Day of DMC

Dennis McCoy at the Pleasant Valley Skatepark BMX jam 2007. Photo by Thad Allender.
Dennis McCoy at the Pleasant Valley Skatepark BMX jam last year. Photo by Thad Allender.

A short three days after I posted the photo of Dennis McCoy riding at a custom car show in 1986, he pops up in two different places in the past couple days. Thanks to Phil W., Phil K. and KrtSchmidt for the knowledge.

Locally, he’s got a two-page interview in the Kansas City Star. A great history lesson about the man and his 41 years.

There’s another interview on the EXPN “The Endo” blog, by Cody York, as well as a bike check. As many of you know, he rides a FBM PW MOTO, designed by another upstanding Kansas Citian, Phil Wasson.

And finally, he has a video interview with Rooftop over on the ShredorDie site.

Check ‘em out, and give due props to a badass rider, ambassador of bmx and lifetime Brigade member…

Steve Fair - Abubaca, Shawnee, KS in 1988

I shot these photos of Steve Fair (sp?) back in 1988, in the parking lot of Little Darlings, a former 7-11 in Shawnee, KS that had been converted into a dance studio. This spot was a favorite mellow bank to flat that was a lot of fun to pop out of. Plus there was (is) a very small bump to wallride on the side of the building.

I didn’t know Steve very well, and we really only rode with him for about a half of a day. Like many of us at this time, he was a “street” rider, and a damn good one at that – definitely inspired by both the street skating of the day and pure BMX-style. Check the flattie below…

I used a photo of Steve in the new header graphic, above. I knew I had to give him his due on the page. If you know of his whereabouts, drop me a line.

Oh, and as always, click the photos to enlarge. I have a feeling I’ll be making a desktop/wallpaper of one of these as well.

Steve Fair - Flattie Tabletop, Shawnee, KS in 1988

Dennis McCoy 1987 at Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO

I’ve been using the new scanner a lot over this weekend, so here’s some samples of the goodness I keep digging up. Click on any of them to enlarge.

Above is a shot of Dennis McCoy doing a lookback in 1986 during a Darryl Starbird custom car show at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, taken by Mike Haefner. I say ’86 because he was riding an early fluorescent Haro Master, a color that was released on the ’87s. I remember people were going nuts for both the ramp and flat, and Dennis, always the showman, was feeding off of the crowd, blasting consistent 8-10 ft airs on a shady quarterpipe.

Tony Schrag, can-can out of a ditch in Lenexa, KS, circa 1989

Tony Schrag, one of the crew I mentioned in my first post of old photos. In the midst of either a candybar or a can-can, at a ditch in Lenexa, KS. I’m sure the DANGER sign behind him mentions not “playing” in the ditch or something.

Jeremy Schutte - Bar Endo on the Trickstar, 1987

Here’s another shot of me on my Hutch Trickstar, with a bar-endo, circa 1987. I stripped the candy flake blue off of the frame and repainted it grey with Freestylin’ Magazine stickers, pink griptape, and a duct-taped numberplate.

City Battle 2 Flyer

I just found out about a skatepark jam/contest coming up this Saturday, July 12 in Topeka, KS. Teams of riders from different cities will compete against each other in a sort of advanced game of B.I.K.E. This is all going down starting at 10AM, at the Rip-On public skatepark.

From MySpace user TY! (sorry, I don’t have his real name – will update when I do), who is organizing City Battle 2:
“The first city battle was a game of bike. We had 6 cities/teams and about 23 riders…City Battle 2 will be more riding and less sitting around, more of a jam style. Lets say I turndown the 8′, Team Topeka gets 1 point but if Trent from Manhattan pulls one on the same obstacle the point is taken away. So basically its going to come down to which team has the biggest range of tricks and creativity.”

The Rip-On Skatepark is located at 23rd and Washburn in Topeka, near the Washburn University campus, by the soccer fields. Get a hold of TY! via his MySpace page for more info. Definitely check it out if you’re near the area.

One Got Fat, Archive.org Video

I’ve known about the Internet Archive for a long time, and have used it for work and personal research for years. Between the Wayback Machine (a website archive – here, check out RideBMX’s site from Sunday, June 18, 2000), and the Live Music Archive, you can literally spend hours finding hidden gems of all sorts.

The sweet spot, to me, however is the Moving Images archive. Especially the vintage films found in the Prelinger Collection. You say you want a Chevrolet World’s Fair movie? Check. How about some AFL-CIO union worker training films? Sure, no problem.

Well, this being a bicycle/bmx-focused site, and all, you know where I’m going with this. After yesterday’s big industry discussion, I wanted to post something a bit more light-hearted today, so here’s some TRUE vintage for ya.

There is some great bicycle safety film footage from the 50s-60s that is too good. And in the case of “One Got Fat“, the gem above, it features a bunch of kids riding with creepy-as-hell monkey masks and running into steamrollers and other obstacles in suburbia. Seriously, the masks are waaay creepier than anything from Planet of the Apes.

Here are some others to check out. The first one reminds you that you should never be a “showoff”:
You and Your Bicycle
Drive Your Bicycle
Bicycle Safety – shot in Lawrence, KS

SPRFLS Header

Great discussion over on SPRFLS today, regarding limited edition parts/colors/etc. Something that’s been on my mind as of late, and Russ fired off a new post that got some discussion going. The second day in a row that the comments have really been flowing over there.

Check it out and participate in his comments section…

Here’s an excerpt of one of my responses:
Wasn’t it a similar mentality that lead bike shops to having massive amounts of inventory during the late 80s, that now lead to guys with major “scores” of NOS (new old stock) bright green Skyway pegs, dug out of these shops … how many sets of DiaCompe Nippon calipers did a dealer have to carry when they were manufacturing SO many colors?

Standard 250S

Doesn’t get much more American than the USA-made blue, white and red Standard Bykes S250 that I just built. Yeah, I know, the majority of the parts are imported, but I built this one on the cheap, and American-made components are getting harder and harder to find.

Check the specs over at the BMXMuseum.

My kids and I just dropped about $100 on fireworks, so it should be a looong night of fire, meat and beer. Perfect. I haven’t shot off my own fireworks since about ’95. For the past few years, my boys were still too young and freaked out by the noise. Plus, we’ll be able to see the community fireworks perfectly from my folks’ house.

For those of you in the US, or ex-pats abroad, Happy Independence Day. Oh, and don’t forget about the red, white and blue Skyway T/A wallpaper I posted last week.

Jeremy Schutte, Hang-5

Yours truly, hang-5 in Shawnee, Kansas - 1989. Nice bent seatpost – I always had to run a layback because of my height, and the short top-tubes of the day.

19 years ago, growing up in Shawnee, Kansas, I rode with 3 guys pretty consistently – Scott Haefner, Mike Alexander and Tony Schrag. We met when I moved from Kansas City, KS and searched out anyone I happened to see on another BMX bike. Back then, it didn’t matter if it was a race bike, a freestyle bike, whatever – just seeing someone else on a bike was enough to open up the possibility of cameraderie. We rode flatland, “street”, ramps (though they were few and far between, until Mike got more into skating, and had an amazing 6′ mini ramp), anything was a possibility, and we didn’t see any issue spending hours at the same concrete banks – there were NO skateparks within 200 miles at that point.

Though Scott, Tony and Mike were a few years younger (which for some reason, can seem like a big deal in high school…), we became good friends and rode together consistently from ’87-’91, when I graduated high school and left for college. We would ride off-and-on until about 1994 or so. I’ve kept up with Mike through the local music scene, and Scott occasionally via email, but haven’t spoken to Tony in years (where are you, man?).

Part of the reason I started this site was to share the photos and stories from this time. A time when freestyle, especially, was so raw and still fairly young. My other love was photography, and in fact, we all took photo class in school, and shot photos of each other. Well, I finally got a new scanner, so look for a bunch more of this stuff to come. This first batch is me, Scott and Mike. Tony will be in the next batch.

Discuss these or post some of your own over on the Vital Old School Forum.

Mike Alexander, wallride, Shawnee, KS

Mike Alexander, curb-to-wallride with Johnny Rotten sticker in full-effect.

Scott Haefner - Front Yard

Scott Haefner – spinning frontyard. Adidas high-tops, 2-Hip shirt and a General RL Hustler Pro.