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Sprocket Making Video from andy chapman on Vimeo.

Nice little video of the making of the world-famous Tree sprocket at the world headquarters of Phil Wasson’s shop, Super Rat Machine Works. Damn, I miss Phil and Courtney, and my hot-pepper infused lattes (heh) from the Songbird.

Found at TheComeUp.

Interbike 2008 - Coverage from ’round the net

I made a pretty bold claim last year, in my piece about Interbike 2007, stating that “We’ll be there in-person next year, with bells on.” Well, here it is, 2008, and I’m in Kansas. So, yeah, didn’t make it this year, either – oh well, there’s always next year. Maybe I’ll get Mr. Wasson to go with bags full of Super Rat pedals. No “booth”, just bags full. Pure marketing genius I tells ya… But I digress.

Just like last year, I’ve culled the web and dug up some links for your viewing pleasure. A little video, some photos, Kurt from BMX Union’s take on his first trip to Interbike, and Russ over at SPRFLS questioning some of the apparent Buff Guards of our time. Enjoy.

Vital BMX Interbike 2008 coverage

Ride BMX Magazine 2008 coverage – check out the Nora Cup action.

BMX Union – A “first-timers” point of view from Interbike. Nice work, Kurt.

SPRFLS – Superflouous? You be the judge.

Minnesota Faction BMX Olympic Watch Party

The BMX competition in the Olympics is only three days away, and with that, there are some lively discussions popping up all over. Since most of my time has been on the freestyle/non-racing side of BMX, I’m focusing on this side of the fence. There are plenty of other places to get the BMX racing contingent’s thoughts on the Olympics, and a quick search will get you there pretty quickly.

First, Phil at Super Rat Machine is giving you a shot at winning a set of Super Rat Prototype pedals as one of his Friday Freebies, for answering these questions in the comments of his site:
Since this is the first year of bmx in the olympics and since it will essentially expose millions of people to bmx racing what are the pros and cons of the event as you see it? and do you think it will affect your daily interaction with joe public? and to go along with that do you think any other form of bmx will make it into the olympics?
Post your answer here by Friday, August 22nd, for a chance to win a set of sweet not-even-yet-released pedals.

Over on the RideBMX site, there’s an interesting bunch of quotes from BMX-industry folks and riders. Mat Hofman’s response and comments (taken from another interview in a German newspaper), have sparked quite a bit of discussion. Rad to see the infamous McGoo throwing some thoughts, as well.

(Note that I’m not the Jeremy commenting on the Ride site, it is me on the Super Rat site, however, for what its worth…)

On a lighter note, I encourage you to take a cue from the Minnesota Faction BMX crew, and get some other riders together and watch the racing. If you’re in Minneapolis, join them. What better reason to ride, drink and eat – in whatever order you prefer? Thanks to Paul Smith for the heads-up.

Super Rat Pedals
Corked pedals…not pedals made from cork. A Super Rat Friday Freebie.

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/

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…

Super Rat Machine Works - New Products and Site

Veteran BMX pro, Phil Wasson, has been running Super Rat Machine Works for a couple of years out of Kansas City (KC Pride!), making parts for a number of BMX manufacturers you know and love like FBM and Solid, and some others just starting up. Super Rat also manufactures prototypes and products for other industries as well. As a pro, Phil was known for having a dialed bike with tons of custom mods, and his love for solving problems with creative solutions shows in the work the shop produces.

Just a few days ago, Super Rat launched their new site with more information about their projects, past and present, and the going-ons of the shop. One of the most interesting bits of news is that they’ll be doing their own line of products, starting with pedals like the prototype shown above. Read all about them via Phil’s post, here. They’re going to be a bit wider than “normal-sized” pedals, and should be available by the end of March.

Also on tap is a new stem from Terrible One (scroll down the news on the left), and a new stem from Sequence, a flatland-focused company – check out the photos below.

Friend of BMX Roots, Thad Allender, redesigned the site, using a modified WordPress theme from his company, Graph Paper Press.

Super Rat Machine Works - Projects

DVD Cover of Standard Video - Stronger Than AllMayhem and Metal from SBC. Photo by Jeremy Schutte.

As planned, I got the Standard Stronger Than All video in the mail this week from Goodtimes, and I’ve watched it three times since. That’s three times through both DVDs. See, the first one is all about the Standard Army, section after section of their riders, both US and European, tearing it up both on their bikes and off. The footage is cut with archival military footage and some home-grown destruction. The second DVD has separate riding sections from 13 of the guys in the videos. Street, parks and mini-ramps are well-represented here, with a small bit of trail action.

The footage spans a number of years, and you see it in the various styles of riding throughout. Front brake tricks, no brakes, boosts, foot-jams, lip-tricks, rail grinds, giant gaps, flairs, ledge grinds, whips, manuals; they all come fast and with abandon. Guys like John Rodgers, Drew York and Bommel throw down the latest tricks, with massive lines and flow. Vets like Rob Ridge, Jaimy Spreitzer and Rick Moliterno show just how they’ve been getting it done for years. None of the riders featured here currently have podium spots on the X-Dew-Action Tours, nor are they necessarily the riders blogged about or with multi-page magazine interviews. They rip anyway, period. And, there are a number who will be the riders generating the chat on a message board near you, soon.

In these times of HD and exquisitely shot bmx videos, with the bar being raised everyday, there is a certain beauty in the rawness that Standard has delivered with Stronger Than All. Some of the night riding is lit with flares, a couple of the edits appear to be self-shot, and the DVD menu, or lack therof, makes me crazy. Yet what matters to me is that STA makes me want to put on my headphones, crank the Dead Kennedys, and ride like hell. This video is purely about riding and pushing what can be done on a 20-inch bmx. Make notes when watching it – this video will remind you of how much fun you should be having on your bike.

Get it for $19.95 plus shipping from Goodtimes, now, though I’m sure it will be available other places soon. Check out the following promo videos that Standard put out in 2006-07 teasing the release of STA.




FBM Header

FBM is having a sale at their online store right now, so if you were thinking of getting into a FBM frame and fork, now’s the time. Choose from any one of their six 2007 frames, like the Autopilot, Bitchin Camaro, or The Joint, for example, and get a free Chopper fork. I’m one Kansas City boy especially tempted by the Phil Wasson signature reissue, the PWMoto, with only 24 of them made, in a rad-looking pearl grey. There are some great deals here, but once they’re gone, the sale is over – so hurry up! The site even gives you a handy updater so you know how many are available.

Also of note on the FBM site are Steve Crandall and team’s constant updates, and their cool behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the manufacturing process. This one is from Props #64, and gives you an idea of what goes into building the pieces of welded art we go out and beat-up.

Tom Dugan, toboggan
Major boost courtesy of Tom Dugan. Photo courtesy of Thad Allender.

Last night, Red Bull sponsored a BMX Jam at the Pleasant Valley Skatepark in Kansas City, MO, and it was fast, loose and everything a jam-format contest should be. Justin Mann, KC local, organized the whole deal and Red Bull provided the cash for the riders and the beverages for all. With as much Red Bull as was flowing, there were a TON of kids in the crowd who are probably still buzzed.(Editor’s note: I’ve been given more information on the contest, and want to pass it along, especially as it seems this crew has some big plans for next spring (more to come on that). Jesse McCollum worked hard to put this together with Kyle Munn and Justin Mann, mentioned above, and Ivy Melvin from Red Bull. Dig.)

The format of the contest consisted of multiple 10-minute open sessions with judges throughout the park giving $$$ for tricks pulled. Then, there were 5 or so 10-minute sessions on various features of the park, and winnings were given for longest jump, biggest gap, etc. At the end of the night, the riders turned in the funny money for cold, hard cash.

Personally, the contest was cool for so many reasons:

  1. The turnout was impressive – 25 or so riders competing, with many more all over the park, and a big crowd taking it all in. This all went down with mostly word-of-mouth promotion from what I can tell. My faith in BMX went up a couple notches.
  2. I brought my 5-year old (his first contest in-person), and he was so stoked about the whole thing, especially the gap session.
  3. I finally got to meet a couple guys whose work and riding I’ve respected for a while. Phil Wasson, FBM rider and now machine shop entrepreneur – he was one of the judges, and we talked about doing an interview about the work he’s been doing for Knight, Tree and others. Also met Thad Allender, an excellent photographer and rider, whose work I’ve followed for a while. He’s now a neighbor of mine, and I’m hoping to ride with him and his crew soon. Check out more of his photos of the contest at his Flickr site (need a flickr or yahoo account to view them).
  4. Got to make reintroductions with Dennis McCoy, as well as see him ride and introduce my him to my kid. I knew it was Dennis from across the park when I saw the full-face helmet (more riders should take note…), and the crazy-long hang-fives and nose-wheelies out of the transition and around the bowl. He said he was asked to judge, but was unsure of his schedule, with things like running and riding in the Dew Tour, for example. Instead, he just came to ride, watch and enjoy the level of riding from the locals.
  5. As I said, the level of riding was right-on, and the respect between the riders was evident. Technical and flow styles were represented, and both were encouraged by the judges and applauded by the crowd.

I hope that the organizers continue to put together events like this around Kansas and Missouri. With support from Red Bull and bike shops like Cycle City, (who gave a $600 gift certificate to one of the riders who was tearing it up on a beater of a bike for the unannounced P.O.S. award) I know they’ll continue to grow and pull in more riders, crowds, and kids wanting to give BMX a go.

If anyone has more photos or video, send me links, and I’ll post ‘em up.