Articles by Jeremy

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We Don't Save Lives

It has been a long time … The BMX Roots site is still in my blood and my BMX roots mean a ton to me, and influence me daily, but I’ve got a new site that’s much more broad, and hits on my other interests – though still with some BMX in the mix. I created it with my close friend and colleague, Stuart Wallace, an Englishman among Amerimen.

Since we’re in advertising, the name comes from that old saying “It’s advertising, we’re not saving lives…”

Check it out: http://wedontsavelives.com/

I Love My Bicycle

There is nothing more that I need to say about the devastating earthquake that occurred in Haiti last week. Now, with another hitting today, and the constant aftershocks, the people of Haiti can use any and all help far into the future.

One BMX-related way that you can help is to pick up “I Love My Bicycle, The Story of FBM Bikes”, directly from the director, Joe Stakun. All of this week, he is donating the profits of every DVD sold to the relief efforts.

You can order the DVD here: http://www.ilovemybicyclemovie.com
Follow Joe on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ILoveMyBicycle

Also, on the BMXMuseum, user Polanco, from neighboring Dominican Republic, has started a drive selling BMX parts or just looking for folks with a few extra bucks in their PayPal that want to contribute.

Follow the thread on the BMXMuseum board here: http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=191263

Mt Baldy T-Shirts

Mt. Baldy Pipe - Photo and T-Shirt by Jared Souney

Mt. Baldy Pipe – Photo and T-Shirt by Jared Souney

Jared Souney, action sports photographer extraordinaire, has T-shirts for sale on his site featuring one of his photos of the infamous Mt. Baldy. He’s only making a few in each size, so if you want one, go scoop one up, pronto! If Mt. Baldy means nothing to you, get yourself a history lesson, son!

Nice to see some well-designed, limited edition t-shirts popping-up in the land o’ BMX lately. DefGrip and Mutiny bikes have both put out some solid examples as well.

Good news – Rick got his bike back. It was found in an apartment across the street from the D’port skatepark. Missing its brakes, but otherwise intact.
Read about it here:
http://www.standardbyke.com/blog/?p=2479

If you’re in the midwest, particularly around Davenport, IA/The Quad Cities, keep your eyes open, for Rick Moliterno’s bike. It was stolen earlier today from the Davenport skatepark. All of you outside of the area, lookout for it on craigslist or ebay. It is a pretty custom ride, with features and parts that only Rick has.

Rick Moliterno's Stolen Standard 20" BMX

Rick Moliterno's stolen Standard 20" BMX

Here’s the info from Rick (Standard Byke Company Owner/BMX Veteran), himself:
My bike was my first and only bike made here in our shop. It had unique engraving on the head tube and drop outs. It had a custom green paint job to match my 1963 Ford Galaxie. The fork had straight cut legs and a freestyle steer tube instead of race. The compression bolt was a sample we never sold.

It had a titanium Standard front peg that is like 10 years old. Oh yeah, the frame has euro bb and a 27.0 seat tube…2 things no other freestyle frames that are up to date have. Man, I loved that damn bike! It had so much I liked plus being the first one from here and being the one I am getting back to riding full time on again….

If you see this bike, let Rick/Standard know via:
info@standardbyke.com
twitter.com/standrdbykeco

Stu Thomsen vs. Greg Hill

Stu Thomsen, Greg Hill and other race heros from the 80s.

Looks like Mark Eaton of Bang! Pictures and of course the “Dorkin in York” series of videos, is at it again. Following-up on the BMX documentary, “Joe Kid on a Stingray”, Eaton is releasing “Stompin’ Stu, the Story of BMX Legend, Stu Thomsen”. Looks like it will be similar in style to Joe Kid, with filmed interviews, vintage film/video footage, as well as still photos.

I forgot that Stu’s wife is Greg Hill’s sister. But hearing that in the trailer, I was reminded of how much the magazines used to push their rivalry back-in-the-day.

I love to see BMX remembering and celebrating its roots. For too long, we’ve only focused on the new and now. Every day that continues to change. Good stuff.

Check out the trailer here.

Discuss over at the BMXMuseum.

Found on ESPN, posted by Brian Tunney.

Man, it is a FBM weekend around here at the Roots.

Here’s my latest build. Yep, its single speed, 39/16 gearing in the back. So smooth and fun to roll on, and built with a BMX flair and BMX parts I had around.

FBM Sword 58cm frame
Giant fork 
Swobo seat
Swobo post

Profile seatpost clamp
Easton low rise mtb bars
Fly Ruben Alcantara grips (of course!)
No name stem
Weinmann DP18 rims
Formula sealed hubs
Serfas tires
39T Tree sprocket
16T BMX freewheel
White chain

Spurnic 175mm cranks
Wellgo pedals (switching to Odyssey)
Odyssey lever
Shimano front brake
Simple cable

Ride to the record store tonight and loved bombing the hill. No the ride up, well, I was cursing, Yosimitie Sam style.

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to check out Revolution Cycles. They’re in my neighborhood, and hooked me up with the wheels, tires, bars, chain and some last-minute necessities. They’re big supporters of the BMX scene around here.


Too good – I noticed this on the FBM site when Crandall posted about the video shoot a few months back. You gotta watch it to see how they got Jay, Murph and Lou to “ride” in their new video for their song “I’m Over It”, from their upcoming album, Farm. Can I just say that I’m stoked to see the original lineup lasting past the “reunion” of a couple years back?

Also, saw that Weezer was just shooting a video featuring some BMX riding as well. More to come on that. Greyboy supplied them with a whole bunch of Sundays to roll on in a LA ditch. Rad.

In related news, I saw Mike Watt and the Missingmen a few weeks back in Seattle and they tore it up.

Seen on InTheGnar and Defgrip

Dinosaur Jr - Sorta

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Nothing like a new term in BMX – and it is a trick that is completely over the top. Here’s a photo, courtesy of @odysseyBMX of Jim Bauer and Rooftop attempting a 1-handed backflip on a sidehack into the foam pit. They were at Woodward West for the Old School BMX Reunion. Should be a ton of coverage on this event soon, and we’ll keep you posted here at the ‘Roots.

Ah, video as well, from ShredorDie.com check it out.


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.


Baco 10 section with Chad DeGroot from chad degroot on Vimeo.

Chad Degroot’s part from Baco 10 – Kickstart my heart, indeed.

Explore and Enjoy


ODYSSEYBMX.COM: VISIT OUR DAILY WORD FOR THE LATEST UPDATES.

Taj Mihelich riding in an abandoned school, in Odyssey’s Electronical video.

I’ve written about the bmx perspective before, and I realize that it is not only unique to those on 20″ (24, 26) wheels. Skateboarding, mountain-biking, and other, more “traditional” outdoor activities (hiking, rock-climbing), also come from the idea of taking your environment and finding a way to adapt it to your activity.

What’s interesting about bmx and skateboarding is that so often, we’re looking at man-made objects to adapt in our quest for the perfect spot, be it a 3 foot bank to wall, or an abandoned building with an olympic-size pool – more on that one for another time… So often, the exploration is as good as the session. It was true when I was 16, and could throw my bike in my truck to venture to far-away spots, and it is still true today, when I see footage or photos of unique set-ups or abandoned junkyards full of vintage autos. Not always bicycle-related, but still conjure the same feelings of finding or creating something unexpected.

And that’s what I’m getting at – I think that so many of us who were (are) riders have that exploration built-into us, and it continues to permeate what we do. Be it as literal as my friend Scott, who shoots photos of his own “urban exploration” to beautiful results, or my friend Kevin, searching for the next perfect part for the hot-rod he’s building, or Phil and I talking about crazy boat trips up the Missouri or Kaw rivers. For me, it all revolves around some kind of creative outlet; building, photography, bikes, art, collecting, etc., and I know I’m not unique in this.

Funny that little bikes can open so many opportunities and perspectives for a lifetime.

By the way, check out Taj’s blog for a post featuring darn near every video he’s ever done. So rad…

Happy Holidays

I fell off the blogging wagon over the past few months, as seems to be the case with me every-so-often. My work and home lives have both been busy, and I haven’t come through with new material for a while. So, I at least wanted to say “Happy Holidays” to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings. I wish all of you and yours a safe and Happy New Year.

While visiting Iowa with my wife and kids for Christmas this year, my boys watched “E.T.” for the first time with their cousins, and they were both excited to tell me all about it, including the parts with the bikes. Funny enough, over on the SPRFLS blog last night, there was a comment with the link to the above clip, featuring the big chase scene in the movie. For many of us, this defined BMX, or at least got us excited enough to go jump some hills. Before “RAD” with Bill Allen as Cru Jones, there was Bob Haro preforming in and providing input to Steven Spielberg on all of the bicycle stunts in the movie.

Now, there are no big tricks (other than E.T. making all of the boys fly), but there is amazing camera work and the feeling of just pedaling like hell. Look for the scene near the climax where all of the federal agents and police come into the frame giving chase on foot. Good stuff.



In the infancy of this site, I posted about a contest that happened in KC at the Pleasant Valley Skatepark. During the contest, I noticed a guy rolling around on a skateboard, filming. I was told by Ivy Melvin from Red Bull that the guy on the board was Trevor Hawkins of Butter Films and she had hired him to grab some footage. So, over a year has now gone by, but I stumbled-upon Trevor’s work on YouTube last week. Almost 10 minutes worth of some great footage of the good times had. Gotta love the long-jump section around the 3-min mark.

Barack Obama on a bicycle

America, your president-elect. Barack Obama is indeed your new bicycle.
Now that you rocked the vote, rock a helmet like him, too.

Hacks and Kicks Videos

DJ Truly Odd and Greyboy released a promo video for their new sidehack company, Hercules, a couple weeks back, and it is awesome. Just looks like too much fun. They’ve ben working with Ben Ward from Odyssey on some of the design details, and showed a prototype at Interbike last month. Can’t wait to see more.

Lotek VIMBY Banner

Also, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of Lotek shoes, as they come in 14s, and are totally functional and have some rad styles. Recently, I picked-up a pair of the 2008 Deltas direct from their store. Well, Rich Hirsch and the Lotek crew have filmed a ton with a number of their riders over the summer, and you can now see the fruits of their labor over on VIMBY. The Lotek SF Mixtape Episode 1 was very street focused, and Episode 2 has quite a bit of park riding. Both are awesome in their own right, keep an eye out for their new episodes. Go check ‘em out.


Video by Jordan Utley
As you have probably heard by now, and as I mentioned on the site last week, Mike Aitken was injured, and as the appeals have gone out to give him and his family a hand, the BMX community has responded. Odyssey and 5050BMX shop are raffling off a one-of-a-kind S&M LTF, Profile is auctioning an early Hutch frame, and there is a bunch of other stuff happening that you can check out at MikeAitken.com. You can also hear about Mike’s progress at his site.

Positive thoughts go out to him and his family.

I got a couple great links from a couple friends this week. You can call them vintage, retro or whatever, but here’s some enjoyable viewing to be had.

First up, from Jason, I got the above video, “Industry on Parade”, featuring Columbia Bicycle manufacturing. A great look at an American bicycle factory in the 1940s. Check out the women who could be our Grandmothers lacing wheels around the 2:40 mark. As Jason said, it is definitely “worth the 5 minutes”.

Airwalk 540s

Next, from Andy, who gave us the behind-the-scenes on the Nike Olympic designs a few months back – airwalkprototypes.com. Ollie pads, lace-savers, neons, and more. The site is a labor of love by a guy with a serious fetish for some rare kicks.  Though I often rocked the ever-popular Adidas hi-tops or Chuck Taylors, I destroyed a few pairs of Airwalks back-in-the-day. The best thing is that you could probably re-create the visual design of many of these by using Nike ID, or Converse One.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some updated ways to help Mike Aitken, as well as a couple of new big bikes I gotta tell you about.

Get Well, Mikey!

Pro-rider, father, and BMX style-cat, Mike Aitken fell hard and is in need of the BMX community’s help. I hate posting this kind of news – similar to Jimmy Levan and Stephen Murray, amongst others, last year. Aitken is known for his amazingly smooth, classic riding style, as well as his Fit frame, popular with so many kids these days, the S3. Hell, I even run an Odyssey Aitken seat. Now, he and his family need some help with the oncoming medical bills they’re facing with his injury. I encourage you all to do what you can, even in these trying economic times.

Here’s the press release from Aaron Cooke, of the Athlete Recovery Fund, an organizing body that is trying to implement insurance for Action Sports riders and their families…

Mike Aitken is a Professional BMX rider in need of our help.  Mike is an icon in the sport of BMX and is someone who rides with incredible style and passion for the sport.  He is also a proud husband and a father.  Read the message below from his brother Jeremy Aitken:“Mike Aitken has been hospitalized in serious condition. While in Pennsylvania over the weekend, Mike was seriously injured when he over-rotated a 360.  He is currently in the ICU unit and has not regained consciousness.  His injuries include a fractured eye socket, sinus and both sides of his jaw.  A CAT scan shows no swelling on his brain.  As soon as any changes in his status are available, we will pass them on.  Thank you for your faith, prayers, and support of Mike and his family.They are needed and greatly appreciated.”10/6/2008

This is a time when we can pull together to make a huge difference in Mike’s recovery.  No amount is too small and if everyone pulls together and offers a little bit we can make a dent in the medical bills to come.

Ways for you to help:
www.5050bmx.com There is a link and a Paypal account set up for Mike and his family.

www.athleterecoveryfund.com Click the “Make a donation button” and because ARF is a 501(c)3 Non Profit the PayPal fees are less than most anywhere else, meaning more of your donation goes to Mike and his family.  All donations made at this time go directly to Mike Aitken and his family.

Mail a check to:
Athlete Recovery Fund c/o Mike Aitken
27636 Ynez Road L-7 #284
Temecula, CA 92591
Write check payable to Mike Aitken

Athlete Recovery Fund is in the process of providing a grant to also assist Mike and his family through this tough time.  While extremely unfortunate this is the reason why we started our charity.  For the PayPal and mailing address we are simply helping coordinate donations with the approval of Mike Aitken’s family.  For large donations or concerns about receiving tax deductibility please contact aaron@athleterecoveryfund.com.

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.

24? Quadangle Looptail from SE Bikes

Okay, here it is – I’m gonna lay it out for you. Cruisers are the new black, and bike manufacturers seem to be getting the drift – or is it making the drift? This is about the fourth post I’ve made in the past month about a cruiser.

For today’s rider – when you’re not feeling it riding your slammed seat, brakeless bike across town to enjoy a beer, you might want an alternative.

For the older guys – when you don’t want to tear up your childhood dream bike, and you need something to ride to shave off the beer belly, (I’m speaking from intimate knowledge here) it is rad to ride something roomy.

So, maybe I’m stretching it a bit by thinking that your beer bike is this limited-edition Quadangle Looptail from SE, but it is damn clean looking, and would be a classy way to roll. I think the chrome rims are what do it for me, personally.

Here are some specs from Todd Lyons at SE:

  • Limited Edition Retro Cr-Mo Double Downtube Quadangle Frame w/ Looptail Rear End & Retro Dropouts
  • Chrome Alex Double Wall DM24 Rims
  • SE 3-pc 48-Spline CR-MO Cranks
  • Retro Blitz Seat w/ Bottle Opener
  • Fluted Seatpost
  • Quadangle Padset & Grip Donuts Included

Only 250 will be available in the US, so get a hold of your SE dealer now if you want one.

Related:
MacNeil Cruisers Coming Soon
Smitten with the Big Wheels
Knight Cruiser

UPDATE (092308): The 2005 250S is sold… I’m selling of my frames, bikes and parts, so I thought posting them here, as well as on some of the other BMX sites I frequent wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Check out the descriptions as well as the images, as I’ve tried to be as detailed and honest about their condition as possible. I’d like to receive payment via PayPal. Email me if you’re interested, or want to see more photos: jeremy (at) bmxroots.com. Thanks for looking.

2005 Standard 250S F/F

Frame #1: 2005 Standard 250S
I didn’t buy this new, but based on research, and the SN starting with 05, this is a 2005 Standard 250S. I sprayed it a flat blue, with a number of coats of matte clear. It could use some sanding if you refinish it. I didn’t wetsand, so it has some fine sanding scratches. It also has some chips and scratches, from riding, but overall is free of dents, dings, cracks, etc.

It has a 21.25″ top tube, standard headtube (no h/s included), 14mm dropouts and a Euro bottom bracket. I’ll throw in a 22mm Primo euro bottom bracket.

SOLD

Here’s a link to the frame built-up in July: Standard 250S

2003 Standard TRLS 250
Frame #2: 2003 Standard TRLS 250
I didn’t buy this one new, either, but I’m pretty sure it is a 2003 – the SN starts with 03. Anyway, it has “the gusset” , which was a feature of Standard frames for many years. It has a 20.5″  top tube, standard headtube (no h/s included), 14mm dropouts and an American bottom bracket (not included). No dents, dings or cracks – just awesome American-Made tubing.

The frame is raw with spray-paint clear. NOTE: The clear is spraypaint, and has some large spots missing where stickers were removed, so should be redone if you decide to keep it this way. It currently has a newer 250L Standard sticker-pack on it.

Looking for $100.00 shipped via USPS in the continental US.

Here’s how I had it built up Last November: Standard TRLS 250

Black MacNeil Cruiser

Black and Orange Macneil Cruiser. Photo courtesy of the Defgrip Photostream

Just perusing Defgrip, and saw what appeared to be a clean-looking cruiser on their Random Photo feed. Sure enough, it linked me to the DefGrip photostream, and viola – a couple of shots of the new MacNeil cruisers. Harrison Boyce (Defgrip contributor and MacNeil Art Director) says that they’ll have them at Interbike, which starts this week, and that they’ll be available for purchase, soon. More specs as they come available.

MacNeil BMX Cruiser - White
White Macneil Cruiser. Do I see a big-ol’ gusset? Nice. Photo courtesy of the Defgrip Photostream

Look for a site for the cruisers off of the MacNeil site soon. Oh, and while you’re at the MacNeil site, check out Travis Collier’s new frame. It is a very traditional looking flatland frame that’s meant to be ridden on most-any terrain. Simple and clean, without flatland-specific geometry that limits the use of the bike.

For the past four years, one of the good guys of the vintage bmx scene has held a party at his house in New Jersey. Brian P and his family let a bunch of BMX kooks invade their yard, street and home for a day of fun. Folks bring out their bikes for show, and to get their kick-turns on with the wedge ramp. Enjoy the video from this year’s 4th annual Summerjam.

This is what “roots” are all about, indeed.

Oh, and you KNOW I mean “kooks” in the best way possible. Heh.

UPDATE: Looks like Ride has added a video feature to their site to capture the happenings during the party. It isn’t exactly live streaming, but it is being updated quickly, and is very cool nonetheless. Check it out on their homepage.

Ride BMX Magazine 150th issue logo

If you’re in SoCal, and can make your way to Tustin, CA (1421 Edinger Ave. to be exact), you should go to the party that Ride BMX Magazine is throwing in celebration of their 150th anniversary at their HQ. They’ll be giving out copies of the magazine, handing out beer mugs to the first 150 or so people, and having a bunnyhop contest and a mini-ramp jam. Plus, there should be a bunch of pros of all eras on-hand. As of this posting, you have 4 hours to get there (it starts at 3PM PST).

Mulligan posted about all this on his blog and said “Consider yourself officially invited. Bring your bike and a smile, we’ll take care of the rest.” Go, dog, go, and if you’re there and shoot some photos or video, send ‘em my way and I’ll post them on BMX Roots.

Congrats to the Ride staff (past and present) on this achievement. Can’t wait to see issue 200. Also, I dig the understated approach to using the above logo on the cover. Nice and clean, but there for all to notice – plus, it looks like there is a special 15oth issue poster inside.

Ride BMX Magazine 150th issue party invite

Dave Mirra at his warehouse
Dave Mirra might not show up at your next homegrown jam, but the SNAFU parts he rides might. Photo from Mirraco Bikes

McGoo’s been posting like mad over on the SNAFU site. New product, new photos and new words that should make you stop and think.

Anywho, he mentioned that they’re getting ready to do a bunch of updates to their MySpace page, and with that, he wants anyone doing a contest, jam or other bicycle-related shenanigans to send him a flyer of the happening, as well as info about it. They will post it on the SNAFU MySpace page, as well as their blog, and send you some product to give-away at your event. Gotta make room for the ’09 product, so why not give it to those evangelizing the BMX-culture? Sounds like a solid plan to me, so, hell, why not go plan something right now? Summer is almost over, trail season is firing up…

If you are planning something, drop me a line, and I’ll post it here on the Roots as well.

Knog Frog
Business in the front…

I work a full-time job, have two rad kids and an awesome wife. Thus, I ride on the weekends, early in the morning or at night. This time of year, early in the AM in the midwest = darkness, plus, my late-evening rides are becoming darker, sooner, as well.

I’ve been nosing around my local shops looking for some sort of light that had a few key features:
1) Small in size – I want to use it on my BMX bikes and my road bikes, and not look like a complete dork – meh, I wear a helmet, too, so who cares about my “street cred”?
2) Easily mounted/unmounted – I don’t want to buy a whole bunch, I want to swap between bikes.
3) Show up to cars and pedestrians – I don’t need it to light the streets, just let people know I’m there.

Earlier this week, I got turned on to the Knog Frog from another site, I don’t remember which one, but it seems the fixed-gear crowd are using them as lights and fashion-accessories, as they come in multiple colors and styles. They’re perfect for what I need – they fit all of my criteria above, and are relatively cheap. I picked up the single light model – the Frog – front and a rear (white and red, respectively) for approximately $25. Knog also offers multiple-light versions called the toad and bullfrog as well – these are larger, but also provide more power and visibility.

Knog Frog - Rear light
…party in the Back.

The Frog features a waterproof silicon body, a LED with two modes (steady and flashing) and uses two coin-style batteries. The design is clean, and makes me smile when I see it. Kinda reminds me of an alien from Star Wars.

I dig Knog’s brand statement very much – “Knog loves bikes and bike gear for the city streets – simple.” A perfect way to describe the Frog.

We’re only a few weeks from the wrap-up of the Beijing Olympics, and the London 2012 organizers have released the plans and the above video for the “VeloPark”, which includes an indoor velodrome and outdoor BMX track. As this is one of the premier permanent facilities for the 2012 Games, it will remain a part of the London cycling scene, and an additional 1-mile road cycling path and MTB course will be added after the games. Read more about it over on the BBC.

I know this is for the Olympics and all, which means big plans and a big outlay of cash (though not to the extent of the Beijing games, I’ve read) but it would be great to see more multi-use bicycle facilities in the US. With the popularity of track/fixed/single-speed bikes, it would seem that there is a market for more velodromes, and BMX tracks and skateparks should just go hand-in-hand.

Related:
2008 Olympics BMX coverage on BMXRoots.com


RAD, GNARLEY, DUDE BMX Freestyle illustration by Bob Haro, 2008
“Rad. Gnarley. Dude,” illustration by Bob Haro, 2008. Click to view at 3x (1500x1211pixels).

Well, I’m a week late to closing out the week of Bob Haro here at BMXRoots. However, I think this installment and the above image makes it worth the wait. See, after I began scanning a bunch of the previous illustrations from my old magazines, I began digging deeper into the web and I found a couple of Haro’s images that others had scanned, and then I found the image above – a recent illustration that Bob had created and passed along to a guy by the handle of “Wildman” over on the vintagebmx.com forums. I knew I had an week-ender with this image, but because Wildman mentioned that Haro had sent it to him personally, I wanted to see if I could get Haro’s permission to run it here.

So, I fired-off an email and waited. Note that I had also waited to send the email until last Friday, the same day the official Bob Haro week was ending, but anyway, I digress. My email was at least 4 paragraphs long. I had so much to say to him, I mean, this is BOB HARO, c’mon, but knew I should cut to the chase. Seriously, I was anxious enough that I shot the email off and forgot to attach the image. Nice one. Bob was kind enough to write me back, ask to see the image, which I promptly sent again, and then wrote me back almost immediately giving me the okay to post it for your viewing pleaseure.

I love this one because it encapsulates the history of Freestyle in one simple image. As with the other illustrations that I’ve featured, the details are thoughtful and at-times humorous, from the bikes and clothing featured to the brands and sponsors. Unlike the Zipatone shading of the older drawings, this seems to be marker-drawn and scanned (or illustrated with a pen pad, directly) and then shaded on the computer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these illustrations/cartoons/drawings as much as I have. Keep looking here for more features like this, including some bike collections, and even more history from a broader swath of bicycle culture.

Thanks again for the inspiration, BH.
-Jeremy

Related:
Bob Haro week, Day 4
Bob Haro week, Day 3
Bob Haro week, Day 2
Bob Haro week, Day 1

Thrown-back; Bashguards and Twin-tubes
A little of this, and a lot of that…

A couple of new complete BMX bikes have been hitting the web in the past few days that reference earlier times in freestyle. One from the recent past, and one from the very beginning.

Subrosa Bash Bike

First, Subrosa has released news that they’re going to be doing a bashguard bike that is a modern take on the old Bully bashguard frame of the early 90s. As Ryan Sher, of Subrosa puts it on their site, “I can vividly remember seeing a bike that I only wished I could own, or even knew how to use; that bike was the Bully R.L. Inc”. He goes on to say that it was around this time that he was inspired by the progression of BMX, and the street riding “style” that became so prevalent.

Subrosa Bash Bike Detail

Ultimately, he says that it is about bringing the fun back into BMX. A topic that seems to be popping up in a number of places (Thanks, mcGoo – note I meant “sight”, not “site”, ugh). I’ll keep saying it – remember, this is about riding bikes, and bikes should be fun. If sliding on a plastic bashguard helps to get you there, cool, go for it.

2009 Haro Retro 1st Generation Freestyler Complete Bike

Next, there’s news that the retro Haro Bikes Gen-1 Freestyler is  finally happening. After a couple years of speculation, and a few prototypes (one of which was at last year’s Interbike), there are images of the 2009 Haro Bikes catalog floating around that shows what should be close to the production version of the retro Freestyler, based on Bob Haro’s original Haro Freestyler,the predecesor to the ubiquitous Haro Master. As with the Subrosa Bash Bike, it looks like an integrated headtube and “updated geometry”, as they say in the catalog, are part of the package.

Rumor has it that both of these are going to be limited-edition run. With all of the clamor about the Haro, I have a feeling they’ll go quick, but then become available over the upcoming months. This is the third retro model done by Haro, the first was a Dave Mirra-based Freestyler, the second was the 2005-06 retro Sport. For Subrosa, the bash bike is a continuation of what they started with their Letum cruiser.

I’m down with either of these, but of course, I have a lot of heart for the Haro, just because it has been discussed for SO long in the vintage bmx circles. However, I have to dig the Subrosa because it not only has graphics in the vein of the Bully designs, but also because I was right there, watching RL and Chris Day tear it up on early Bully frames at a mall show in Overland Park, KS, during a summer tour. We snuck our bikes in and rode through the mall – good times…

FBM Featured on local Binghamton, NY news
Click the image to watch the video over on the NewsChannel 34 site.

FBM has a piece from the local news station about their facilities in Binghamton and their new complete line of bikes. Their master welder, Big Dave, John Paul Rodgers and Steve Crandall are all featured in the video. It looks like most of the bikes being built in the video are FBM Fixed frames, which look so damn nice. Side note – awesome to hear the reporter say “Fat Bald Men”.

Related:
FBM Owner’s Group
FBM Shop Tour

Found over on DigBMX

Bob Haro Illustration - BMX Action Magazine, January 1985
“Ampin’, Rampin…” illustration by Bob Haro from BMX Action Magazine, January 1985. Click to enlarge 3x.

Way before the X-Games, Bob Haro knew that kids were into all kinds of different fringe sports. BMX, Motocross and Skateboarding are all represented in this illustration from 1985. I love this one – the over-vert 2×4 transition quarterpipe really does it for me…

One more day of Bob Haro week – be sure to check in Friday. In the meantime, check out this interview with Haro during the Olympics on CNBC.

Related:
Bob Haro week, Day 3
Bob Haro week, Day 2
Bob Haro week, Day 1

Bob Haro Illustration - BMX Action Magazine, September 1984
“How to Save Yourself from Going Over a Berm” illustration by Bob Haro from BMX Action Magazine, September 1984. Click to enlarge 3x.

Alright, we’re half-way through the first ever Bob Haro week at BMX Roots, and here’s one that wasn’t a part of “Haro’s Corner”, his semi-monthly feature in BMX Action. Instead, this is a double-page spread for an article called, “How to Save Yourself from Going Over a Berm”. Elbows flying, speed lines and rat-trap pedals. What more do you need?

Also, note that Rider #33, taking the elbow to the head, is running what looks to be a Zeronine plate and Dyno pants – both competitors at the time of Haro Designs soft/hardgoods business, as seen on rider #6. A not-so-subtle shot at the competition? You be the judge.

Related:
Bob Haro week, Day 2
Bob Haro week, Day 1
Freestylin Book Launch

Bob Haro Illustration - BMX Action Magazine, April 1984
“Factoryman and Yoshi” illustration by Bob Haro from BMX Action Magazine, April 1984. Click to enlarge 3x.

It is the second day of Bob Haro Week here at BMX Roots. Yesterday, I posted an introduction to this feature I’m running this week, and the illustration was of a rider popping out of a quarterpipe, doing some “trick riding” as it was known early-on. Today’s illustration is much more about the race scence of the early ’80s, especially the perception of the factory riders.

The tiny details are what count in this one. For example, the DG sticker on the toolbox, the can of 3M Chain Lube and the lifted box truck, which was, in fact, very much in-line with the motocross (motorcycle) rigs of the day. Also, you’ve got “Factoryman” with a cold drink in his hand, and his “ace mechanic”, Yoshi, representing the team. Again, I believe these caricatures were picking up on the moto references of the time.

Technically speaking, the illustration is done in marker and Zipatone, the preferred shading method of cartoonists in the days before the computer.

Related:
Bob Haro week, Day 1
Freestylin Book Launch

Bob Haro feature spread from BMX Aciton
Bob Haro from a feature spread in BMXAction magazine in 1983. Click to see the whole page.

In recognition of the first running of BMX in the Olympics, and all of the build-up and hype that surrounded it, I wanted to share some stuff that is pretty special to me.

One of the best things to come out of this Olympic thing, as I’ve called it, was the re-introduction of sorts of the BMX masses to Bob Haro. Through his contribution to the Olympic efforts by lending a hand to Nike – curating the Lightning Bolts numberplate art show, co-designing the Olympic uniforms and generally being a great ambassador, it has been so good to see some of the spotlight shared with such a major influencer of BMX culture.

On the heels of this, there have been a couple articles about Haro in both RideBMX and DigBMX magazines, and you should take the time to hunt them down. These stories give background on what he’s been up to since selling Haro Bicycles in 1993, and what inspired him to create probably the most successful brand name in BMX. If you don’t know, he’s been running a successful design studio, Haro Design, and launched Axio, a “performance luggage” and “technical pack” company.

What he hadn’t done much was show or talk about his art, which was so inspiring to so many of us BMX kids. That is, until just recently, showing his “cartoons” and photographs in the Bike Curious art show that opened in LA during the 2008 X-Games, as well as a multi-page article in the August 2008 issue of the art magazine Juxtapoz. Seeing those images of his illustrations slapped me back to my 10-year-old self, thumbing through BMX Action magazine, enamored with these black-and-white drawings that showed these exaggerated characters having fun on their bikes. And, true to his roots, Haro didn’t discriminate; he drew guys on tracks and dudes on quarter-pipes, usually with Haro numberplates and pants, JT gloves and the ubiquitous accessory of the 1980s, Oakley goggles.

As I said in my first post ever on this site, guys like Andy Jenkins and influenced me to explore art, photography, and ultimately my career in advertising/graphic design/digital media. How I left Haro off of this list of influences, I have no idea. I’ll be correcting that throughout this week, with Haro’s illustrations scanned from my archive of BMXA magazines. I left them pretty much un-retouched (thus yellowed, torn and faded – look, I flipped through these pages SO many times…), and if you click, you’ll get them at a larger size.

Enjoy the first of these illustrations, from March of 1984. Mr. Haro, this week is for you.

Bob Haro Illustration - BMX Action Magazine, March 1984
(Click to enlarge)

Related:
Freestylin’ Magazine Book Launch
Interview from Ride in 2004.

Download Donny Robinson, US Olympian and Silver Medal Winner

Well, even after the semi-finals were rained out, and thus, not televised as planned, the BMX events in the Olympics put on a solid 45-second (per race) show. Jill Kintner, Mike Day and Donny Robinson all medaled for the United States with bronze, silver, bronze, respectively. Maris Strombergs of Latvia won the men’s gold, and two French riders, Anne-Caroline Chausson and Laetitia le Corguille took the gold and silver.

Stuart over at DHADM sent me a couple of videos in the build-up to the BMX racing events in the Olympics. One from the Seattle program, Evening Magazine, and another from MSNBC. The video from MSNBC, above, features some more behind-the-scenes of the track, and an interview with racer, Donny Robinson.

Interesting that the host on Evening Magazine, John Curley, mentions that if you haven’t heard of “BMX Motocross” before, you’re not alone. Strange, because I know that BMX has always had a good footprint in the Pacific Northwest, and, well, it has been around for what, 30-plus years? Public perception of BMX never surprises.

Download Evening Magazine BMX Feature, featuring some solid Washington racers

If you didn’t get a chance to see the Olympic medal rounds on tv, you can check them out here

Oh, and George over on Kranky found some great photos (via We Mine Deeper) of the Olympic BMX races, shot by a non-bmx photographer. Cool stuff.

On the heels of this, I’ve dug through my archives, and I have something pretty special planned starting Monday – it will be Bob Haro week at BMXRoots. Check back for some stuff many of you may have never seen.

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.

Knight Performer 24? Retro Cruiser Standing Platform

Seat stay/framestand and bologna-cut top tube detail. Photo: George Yang

Looks like there’s already quite a bit of chatter about the Knight Performer – I’ve seen it pop up on a number of the vintage BMX sites over the past couple of days. One thing that’s been discussed is the geometry of the ride, and how it compares, considering it is overall, a pretty modern ride. I hit George at Knight up for some more information, and he sent over pretty much all you might want to know:

Material: 4130 Chromoly
FRAME
Top tube length: 21.5″
BB height: 12″
Chainstay length: 15.25″
Head angle: 73 degree
Seat tube angle: 70.5 degree
Headtube: Integrated
Bottom Bracket: Mid type
Brakes: 990 mounts
Seat post: 25.4mm
Dropouts: 3/16″ thick
Axle type: 3/8 axles
Extras: Coaster Brake plate like the 20″ version

So, there you have it – the top tube length should keep it roomy, yet quick for a cruiser. With the 3/8″ axles, you might need to hookup a set of the Skyway Graphite TuffWheels to go with the frame. Keep a lookout here for shots of the prototype as it gets built-up.

Related: Knight Retro Performer Prototype

Knight Performer 24? Prototype Frame
Raw and fresh out of the jig. Photo: George Yang

The 24″ Retro Squareback Knight released last year was very well received by those looking for a cruiser with vintage styling. Modeled after the Redline squarebacks of yore, it was a fairly traditional cruiser frame, with some really nice detailing.

I think that the new 24″ jam from Knight will up the retro BMX game – other manufacturers should take note. In fact, it is only retro in styling, as it features all of the modern features of today’s BMX bikes – integrated headset, mid-bottom bracket and 990 brake mounts. However, look closer at the photos of the prototype – a coaster brake tab and a standing platform. Yeah, I said it – a standing platform, just like the GTs of yore – on a 24″ cruiser. Knight is calling it the Knight “Performer”, but I don’t know if they’ll stick with that name. They say it is a tribute to one of the most recognizable early freestyle frames, the GT Performer/World Tour, and Eddie Fiola – who helped make GT so prolific early in the freestyle game. Be sure to hit the link on Eddie’s name – there’s a great story on lifelounge.com, with some of Eddie’s personal photos.

If you want one, get a hold of Knight quickly. They’re going to be made in limited numbers, and available very soon. Damn, just like yesterday’s post – did I find yet ANOTHER bike/frame to obsess over? Check more photos over on the Knight blog.

Swobo Del Norte

Alright, I’ll admit it, I’ve got a thing for a new bike. Not just a new bike, but a new kind of bike. See, part of the reason I started this site was because I wanted to not only explore BMX in all of its facets, but also bicycling in general. As I’ve said, I never really felt comfortable on my mountain bike that I had for a few years. Grip-shifters, derailleurs and an oversized frame just didn’t do it for me. I need simplicity. So, that led me to the purchase of my 24″ BMX, then to rebuilding my old 20″ bikes, and to the current-day, with a couple of modern-day 20s at my disposal.

So, about four months ago, I bought my first road bike, ever. Seriously, throughout my life, I had the aforementioned mountain bike, one 26″ beach cruiser, and an AMF pseudo-motocross bicycle when I was really young (a very strange beast), but everything else has been BMX. I picked-up a refurbished and semi-modernized early-80s Trek 710. 700c wheels, a bunch of gears and a leather saddle. Very cool, as it is easy-to-ride and nice and tall, so it fits me quite well. I bought it because I wanted something comfortable to ride long distances, as I find myself hopping on the bike to get around town, as many folks are these days. However, that whole “simplicity” thing keeps interrupting my brain while I’m riding – “Do I NEED all of these gears?” “Man, vintage roadbikes can sure flex” “Hmm, how well will it handle this drop off of this curb?”. On and on I go.

Uh, oh, you’re thinking, here comes the old BMX guy with tales of fixed gear fondness. Not quite. See, I cannot give-in to pedaling all of the time, I’m just not comfortable with it, (at least not yet), and frankly, I love bombing the rather large hills of my town, and hearing the buzz of a freewheel behind my ear. So, I think the single-speed roadbike is where I’m headed. And I’ve got one picked out – the Swobo Del Norte. One gear, two brakes, flip-flop hub (freewheel or fixed), loose bmxish-styling and modern parts/geometry. Yes, I am smitten. There’s a new shop in town that carries the Swobo brand, and I think I might just have to go have a look.

I know that to some, this all may seem a bit random as the site is called BMX Roots. However, as with a ton of riders who ride many different kinds of bikes, my personal roots are in BMX. Yet as long as we’re talking about bikes with wheels that are FUN to ride at their core, then why shouldn’t all types of riding be respected?

Oh, and, just as I was working on this today, I hit the Volume bikes site, where they have photos of both their Creedence fixed-gear bike, and the new Sledgehammer. Maybe I have three bike crushes right now.

Related:
My Standard 250S
My Standard 250L
My 1987 Haro Master on the BMXMuseum


BMX Starting hill at the USA Olympics practice facility in California
THAT, my friends is a starting hill… Photo Credit: Casey Gibson/USACycling.org

As I type this, the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics are underway. Controversy aside, it is pretty amazing to see BMX recognized as an Olympic sport. Thanks to the good folks at the OS-BMX Forums, here are the broadcast schedules for the Olympic BMX coverage on NBC, here in the United States. If you’re a night-owl, you can watch some of this live online at nbcolympics.com

August 20, 2008 – 12:30am – 2:00am EST
Late night (LIVE) BMX cycling, featuring men’s quarterfinal races.

August 20, 2008 – 8:00pm – 12:00am EST
Prime time (LIVE) cycling’s BMX finals.

August 21, 2008 – 2:00am – 5:00am EST
Prime time Replay BMX finals.

Wanna know more about the bmx athletes? Check these links:
jillkintner.com – Personal site of the sole female USA rider and all-around badass cyclist
USA Olympics Cycling Team
Redline’s Global Olympic Team Page
Mike Day (Olympic rider) on EXPN.com

Uhh…

Related:
Nike USA Olympic Uniforms

Dan’s Comp has 3 of the 2,500 limited edition Freestylin’ Books from the Nike Collaboration to give away. These are much sought-after in certain circles, and I gotta say that I’d love to get my hands on one as well. You can enter once a day, and there’s no purchase necessary. Check out the details here.

BMX at the Kansas Action Sports Contest

Double foot-jam tailwhip at the Kansas Action Sports Contest – rider’s name coming. Photo: Jeremy Schutte

Alright, I’ll get the obvious out of the way first – August in Kansas is HOT. Not quite Texas hot, but we can get damn close. Heat and humidity combine to make some sweaty, exhausting times. So, first, props to the 12-15 riders who rode through the heat yesterday in the state capital of Topeka, for the bmx portion of the Kansas Action Sports contest – which also had skateboarding on Saturday and Inline skating on Sunday as well. It was pushing 100 degrees yesterday at the end of the contest, with 90+ % humidity. Ugh.

Ty from Topeka organized and announced the bmx contest, held at the Rip On Skatepark at Shunga Glen Park. Rip On is a small park with some big features – definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. Seeing that I had my almost-4 and 6-year-old boys with me, I didn’t get to meet many of the riders, but I gotta say that, as always, the midwest guys easily throw-down with any rider out there. A nice mix of new and old tricks, with footjams, whips, big boosts, grinds and wall-rides all represented.

Rumor has it that they are considering moving the contest to earlier in the summer, and I gotta say that this, along with wider promotion of the entire contest, across all disciplines, would boost the contestant and spectator turn-out. Again, especially with BMX, we gotta evangelize it, and I was glad to see the amateur group available to the younger/less-experienced riders.

The contest was sponsored by Capps Bike Shop, Midwest Skateboarding, Topeka Parks & Rec, the City of Topeka and Pepsi of Topeka. Nearly every rider walked away with something in-hand from the sponsors – always a nice touch.

I’m planning on shooting some photos with some of the riders, in the upcoming months, so look for those here, soon.

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.

I thought we might see more coverage from the Nike SB BMX/Freestylin’ launch party today, and indeed, the info keeps getting better and better. Above, there’s a video that just came up on YouTube, from what I believe to be is Mark Lewman’s (Lew for those of you Freestylin’ Magazinephiles like me) design company, Nemo Design. Note that John Martin, Nike’s Director of Action Sports spearheaded the project, and he gives a very emotional introduction to the Nike BMX work. Cool to know his history of BMX as well.

Vital has a photo album and a great introduction by Mark Losey, here:
http://www.vitalbmx.com/features/Freestylin-Retrospective-Launch-Party,3925

Discuss this over at the VitalBMX forums:
VitalBMX Old School Talk Forum

Update: Sounds like the release party was a helluva good time. Ride has a video of the festivities on their site. So good to see the originators of BMX receiving the recognition they deserve. Check the video here. Note that Mark Lewman mentions the limited edition book (only 2,500 printed) will probably be available to view online.

Nike Trickstars

Yesterday, Nike released their limited-edition SB BMX pack in honor of the first Olympics to feature BMX – this year in Beijing. This is a continuation of the participation Nike has had, starting with the Lightning Bolts show last month. The SB BMX collection will feature four different shoes, including a limited-run pack that includes the “Trickstar” Dunk Low and Blazer Hi, as well as a couple throwback Hutch-styled jerseys. Only 600 Trickstar packs were made, and were released at DQM in NY and Brooklyn Projects in LA – both shops participated in the design of this collection. The other shoes will be out later in July, though the Trickstars have already hit the ‘bay.

Also, rumor has it that these will coincide with a Freestylin’ book release, more info as I hear it…

Interesting, because though it is great to see Nike giving major support to the BMX effort this year, they’ve never been known as much of a BMX brand. Recently, they have built a BMX team with Nike 6.0, but in the 30+ years since BMX began growing, their participation has been limited. That said, a big brand getting behind the Olympic BMX effort should only help the recognition of the sport.

Also, I’m a bit confused by the fact that they have released the BMX collection under the SB (skateboard) brand, and not the 6.0 moniker. Probably has something to do with distribution, but seemingly minor details like this unfortunately only add to the little-brother status of BMX riders to our skateboarding brethren.

See other shoes in the colleciton:
Michael Lau Chinese BMX Federation
and
Kuwahara ET

Skyway T/A Wallpaper

Jeremy Johnson’s survivor Skyway T/A. Photo by Jeremy Schutte.

In honor of the recent appearance of the 1st of the 150 Skyway T/A frames being made this year at the Rockford BMX show last weekend, I’ve pulled out a desktop wallpaper (background, to us Mac users) that I created back when I shot this photo last year. For some reason, I never posted it, but new that now the time was right. Visit this post to learn more about the history of the bike, and go to the Downloads page to pick up either the 4:3 or 16:9 versions. Plus if you haven’t checked them out before, there are two others there for ya.

Plus, it has a nice “red, white and blue”, 4th of July thing going on… So, why not?

I’m back. After a long unplanned hiatus (life, work, etc. got crazy for a bit). Enough about that, though…

Knight Bikes Inverted Retro Stems

George at Knight just sent news that he’s got some new inverted Pro-Neck-style stems available, as well as the traditional top-loaders back in stock. Right now, the inverted stems are available in silver and gold, with blue available next week. Check ‘em out and order directly from Knight. So, if you wanna drop your bars a bit, and do so with a clean, simple looking, retro-styled stem, you’re set.

I’m interested to hear what you think of these, compared to the other retro-styled products that are starting to crop up. Drop your opinions over at the Vital BMX Old School Talk forum.

Hutch Hi-Performance BMX Logo
I wondered when it would happen. We’ve seen a number of retro products over the past couple of years being pushed out by Knight, SE and other manufacturers. Just yesterday, it was announced on a number of the BMX message boards that John De Bruin, who has been making repro Hutch pedal cages and decal sets, has acquired the rights to the Hutch Hi-Performance BMX brand, as well as CW. He plans on creating new product “reissues” that have at least one detail that is different from the original, and down the road, creating more modern products. Read his full press release here.

This story holds interests me a lot, because I was a Hutch kid. When my department store Columbia BMX (that had been quite updated, mind you) cracked on a jump, my dad and I went to BMX Pros, THE BMX shop in Kansas City in the 80s, so that I could pick out a new frame. They had all the flavors of Hutch Candy. I picked a Candy Metal Blue, had it built with the good parts from my Columbia, hooked up a pair of white Skyways, and so the freestyle story began. I’ll scan some photos over the next couple of days and tell more – that bike was THE nicest thing I had ever owned, and it was absolutely my baby.

Needless to say, with the prices of Hutch parts continuing to climb, Hutch Hi-Performance with be something to watch. Interesting to see if John will build bikes with modern geometry and old-school flavor, a la SE, or vintage-style frames with 1″ headsets. Hell, they’re making “new” 60s Ford Mustang bodies now, so it was only a matter of time until we saw this happen with BMX.

Chris Moeller, 2004

Chris Moeller, 2004. Photo from sandmbikes.com

Just got word from Steve over at OS-BMX about a huge interview he and a couple of the other fellas from the forums over there just completed with S&M’s Chris Moeller. It is an excellent read, giving Chris’ thoughts on the history of S&M, the current state of BMX, and for the vintage guys out there, a bunch of info about the different models of bikes over the past 20 years. Check it out, now. Oh, and while you’re there, sign up and spend some time digging around. Some good people on that site.

Also in S&M news, they’ve got some new chrome parts out – Slam XLT bars, Race XLT bars, and Race XLT forks, are avialable now, with Pitchforks and LTFs coming soon. Just saw Ryan Guettler’s new bike on the Mirraco site as well, looking straight outta 1986, with purple, pink and chrome – is this the 2nd (3rd?) coming of chrome?

S&M Race Forks in Chrome

…especially on April fools day.

Profile and Eastern have some rad new parts coming out soon that they’ve just posted about recently – hit the links to check em out. Pure awesomeness from two cutting-edge bmx companies.

I’m sure we’ll see some other “announcements” coming out today.

Tip o’ the hat to Kranky for the Eastern news.

FBM Owners Group Logo

Have a FBM bike? Wanna show it to the rest of the unwashed FBM masses? Then get on over to the new FBM Owners Group site and submit your ride. As the site says, “The FBM Owners Group is for anyone; industry types, pro riders, FBM staff, and kids everywhere. Basically anyone with an FBM they wanna show off.”

This is a great way to get riders involved intimately with the brand – which is especially important with the rider-owned companies. Fit has a similar feature on their site as well, with the Fit Trust. Dig.

Lotek T-Shirt

I needed some new kicks recently, so I went on the hunt with a few things in mind:
First: I wear a size 14, so my choices are always somewhat limited.
Second: Function – Gotta be able to be supportive while riding, and last a while.
Third: Style – I want them to look good in most any situation.
Fourth: I always try to support rider-owned companies when I purchase anything bmx-related.

Being an avid reader of Defgrip, I knew about Lotek, the clothing brand run by rider Rich Hirsch. I didn’t know if they’d be able to meet my size criteria, as so many smaller companies don’t make shoes for guys like me with “giant feet” as my kids say. But, lo and behold, Lotek makes the 14s. I did a little research and I read many reviews about their shoes, so I know they would be “rideable”, and because the Delta, their shoe I was checking out, was designed by Volume Bike’s Jason Enns, I knew they would last. So, I hit the Lotek site, and via their online store, I ordered a pair of Delta’s and a Fremont wallet for a helluva deal. Thanks Rich!

Also in Lotek news, they just finished a t-shirt design contest. The winning design is above (click to see the entire design, by Nicolas Ferreira), and you can check out the other entries here. Rich mentioned on his blog that it was tough to pick a winner, but after seeing all of the entries, I think they made a solid choice.

KHE, the German BMX company with roots back to 1988, has a couple of new products out that remind me of how the BMX industry should always look back at its relatively short history for ideas that worked before, and can still work today. Both their Centaur handlebar/stem combo and 1pc seat combo refer back to products that were popular some 20-odd years ago.

KHE Bar/Stem Combo

KHE Centaur circa 2008.

Vector Pro Bars

Vector pro bars circa 1984 – photo by “oldmetal” on the bmxmuseum.

The influence of the Vector bars and Troxel seat are immediately apparent, though with modern geometry, technology and materials, KHE has created something totally new in today’s bmx market. For example, with the seat, by removing the seat guts, they were able to significantly lower the weight and the price will be comparable to a standard saddle alone. With the bars, KHE wants to again create the purest form of a handlebar and stem, again to reduce weight and simplify the number of parts on your bike. The Centaur bar/stem will come in a couple different angles, though the seat will only come in one angle.

KHE Seat/Post Combo

KHE prototype seat/post combo prototype.

Troxel seat

Early ’80s Troxel Comet combo seat/post – photo by “bmxr68″ on the bmxmuseum.

Both of the KHE products should be available in Spring 2008. Will be cool to see how KHE continues to reference the past while offering something new.

Taj Mihelich airing at the Terrible One Ramp

Joe Rich at Terrible One just posted a couple videos from their fakie contest they held a couple weeks ago. One features just the fakies, shot in DV, and the other has a bunch of footage shot of the whole event, shot in HD. You’ll recognize some of the riders, such as Taj, Chase Hawk and Tony Cardona, tearing up the T-1 compound in Austin. Plus the HD video features “Cactus” by The Pixies, how can you go wrong?

These kind of contests are what bmx is all about, and I can’t wait for the spring to get here so I can get to more of them in person.

Related: Red Bull Pleasant Valley BMX Jam – Kansas City

Rob and Big on SE bmx bikes

From Todd Lyons at SE Bikes:
If you’ve ever seen the “Rob & Big” TV show on MTV, then you know that Big Black is a very, very big guy. He told us a while ago that he’s really into the whole old-school BMX scene. But his problem was that he couldn’t find a BMX bike that came anywhere close to fitting him. So being the cool guys that we are at SE Bikes, we built him a custom sized PK Ripper Looptail that would fit him like a glove. I went up to Rob’s house & gave it to him a little while ago & they filmed the whole deal for an episode of the “Rob & Big” TV show. I even went to a BMX track & rode with Rob & Big & their whole crew. And man, was it funny watching those guys ride!

Anyways, I’m pretty sure that this stuff will air tonight at 10:30pm ET & PT on MTV. Check it out. And if this segment of the show doesn’t air on the show tonight, then I’m almost positive that it’ll air next Tuesday night.

Click here for more info & other air times & to check out the show in case you don’t have cable:
http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/rob_and_big/series.jhtml

I’ve watched Rob and Big a bunch, and it is a good show, with a bit of “Jackass”-like humor. From the looks of it, good times will be had on the bikes. I appreciate the fact that Todd and SE continue to push their bikes and therefore, bmx, into the public eye, continuously. More exposure leads to more riders, and so on. May the circle be unbroken, or something like that…

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

SE Aluminum Sign

So, you’ve got your vintage looptail PK Ripper, your retro O.M. Flyer, and all of the latest SE t-shirt designs. Continue to show your love of all things SE with this 47″x14″ aluminum sign. They’re available now through any SE dealer for MSRP of $36.00.

Vital BMX Site Relaunch

Vital Media Network launched the first version of vitalbmx.com back in December of 2006. They’re about to drop version 2.0 of the site anytime now. I was a part of the beta testing, and have seen the changes they’ve got on tap, and I think the community will be pleased. Some really smart functionality that will create a better overall user experience, and keep people hanging around the site longer. Plus, there will be more to come after this relaunch goes live.

Quick Update (February 12, 2007): The site is up, and Vital is looking for your thoughts and any technical issues you might come across via a link at the top of the page: Welcome To Vital BMX 2.0! We’ve listened to your feedback over the past year and put it into this re-design. Click here to let us know what you think or if you have any technical problems. Thanks!

Albe’s Christmas In July Even Though it is February Sale
Starting today, Albe’s BMX mail-order shop is running a Deal of the Day sale throughout the end of February. Offically, it is called the “Christmas in July even though it is February Sale!!!”, and they are planning on offering some killer deals every day until February 29th. They are also having some sales that are not part of the daily deals, but will be on sale through the month. Get all the details here, and check out today’s deal on the Albe’s store homepage.

Related:Albe’s Mail Order Video Contest

New Year, New Bike

Standard 250L

I finally finished my newest bike, a Standard 250L with a 20.75 TT, integrated headset, mid BB and welded-on gyro tabs. I wanted to go with something lighter and with more modern geometry than the Standard 250S I built in October. I picked it up online from Marc at Street Mafia BMX – he’s an old school rider, and a great guy to deal with. I recommend checking out either of their shops, on both coasts, or via their ebay store. Marc custom-ordered this frame from Standard with the unusual top-tube length and gyro tabs.

The bike has been sprayed in a jade/aqua color with a metal-flake clear coat that shows when the light hits it (check the photo below). Really different and I dig it much. The bike rides so well – it is very quick and tight. Though because of the cold-ass weather we’ve been having in Kansas, I’ve only been on it for about 30 minutes since I finished it last weekend. That should change tomorrow, as the weather is supposed to break a bit.

Most of the parts came off the old 250S, but some have been upgraded:

Frame: Standard 250L (Mid BB)
Fork: Hoffman Fat Free with 990 mounts
Bars: S&M Slam XLT
Grips: Odyssey Gedda
Stem: FBM Protect Ya Neck
Headset: FSA Impact
Wheels: Alienation 36H. Black Sheep 14mm with Haro hub and 10T cassette – rear. PBR 3/8″ with Haro Hub – front
Seat, Post, Clamp: Primo seat, Shadow Conspiracy post, Kink clamp
Brakes: Dia-Tech Hombres, Odyssey Monolevers, Odyssey GTX Gyro
Cranks: Primo Hollowbites
Sprocket: Simple Copenhagen 28T
Chain: KMC with halflink
Pedals: S&M one o one
Pegs: 4 of ‘em – Odyssey JPEGs and JPEG lites

Standard 250L Close-up

Standard 250L Close-up Paint

Terrible One Barcode 2008 Colors

Funny, I was just chuckling about the ad on albes.com that says “1988-2008. We’ve been around since the first time neon colors were cool”. See, there was a time in the very recent past when BMX went chrome and black, with a few colors mixed in here or there. I believe it had a lot to do with the fact that not only did painted or anodized colors go out of “fashion”, companies probably cut back on the number of colors available to cut production costs. Pre-X-Games and the recent growth of BMX, companies simplifed yet also fed the desires of the riders who remained at the core of the sport.

Now, there is a virtual cornucopia of colors to be had from most manufacturers. Painted, powdered, anodized – whatever a rider may want, he can have. Or it is common to custom paint the parts, or strip them down to their raw, welded state. Terrible One just released their new colors for the 2008 Barcode frame, and following the desires of their buyers, they’ve got a beautiful robin’s egg blue, and a hot (welded, get it? hehe) clear/raw finish. Their site says that this is just the beginning of things to come for 2008. Also, if you’re near Austin, be sure to head to the T-1 ramp this Saturday for a fakie-air contest. Should be a fine time.

Oh, and I’m right there with the bright colors – I just built a new Standard 250 that was custom-painted a bright jade green. More to come on that…

Knight Spider for Profile Racing Cranks

Hot on the heels of their other recent retro/vintage releases, Knight has come out with a vintage-inspired chainwheel spider for Profile Racing Cranks. Made from 6061-T6 alloy, with a 19mm hole, this retro spider keeps it simple and classic. Order it directly from Knight.

See More BMX Videos at VitalBMX.com

As a kid, there was a certain magic to getting a new frame, or hell, even a new part. Especially when it was something that you KNEW was not only rad looking, but also built to last – it is a feeling I still get today. Any part I’ve purchased from S&M Bikes usually fits that bill, as they continue their tradition of hand-building frames, forks and bars in California for S&M, Fit, and Metal. Vital has a video tour of their operations led by Sean McKinney, shot in October by Bret Rohlfing. Always dig this kind of behind-the-scenes look into turning raw metal into rolling machines.

Related: FBM Shop Tour

Endless lines at Camp Woodward.
Endless lines at Woodward. Photo from the Camp Woodward site.

The Penn State Daily Collegian has a recent article about the BMX pros who call the area around State College, PA home, so they have full-time access to the Woodward sports camp. The article features interviews with Jamie Bestwick and Chad Kagy and gives some good history on the camp, with insights from Woodward main man, Gary Ream.

Interesting to read all of their thoughts on the popularity of BMX, and how Woodward helps this progression.

Check out the full article: here

They also have a couple of slide shows with audio: here

Sidewall Distribution Outlet
Recently, I was on the hunt for a set of 3/8″ forks with 990 brake mounts for a new bike I’m working on. I was looking for options, and stumbled upon some SNAFU forks shown on the Sidewall Distribution site. I rang them up to see what they had in stock, and though they didn’t have any of the SNAFUs, they had some ’07 Hoffman’s with the specs I was looking for. I ordered that and a Simple Copenhagen sprocket.

After about a week of awaiting the arrival of my shipment, and not seeing anything, I dropped Scott in their sales department an email, and he figured out the issue on their end, and apologized for the delay. He mentioned he’d be dropping something “special” in my shipment, and that I’d get it in a day or two. Sure enough, in two days, I had the forks and sprocket I paid for, PLUS a Hoffman “Broke Off” DVD and a set of Hoffman grips. Nice. So unexpected, and it really made up for the delay.

So, if you’re in the market for Hoffman, Simple, SNAFU, Props, Coalition or any of the other brands they distribute, I highly recommend checking out Sidewall’s Outlet store here: http://www.shopsidewalldistro.com/home.php They’ve got some amazing deals on close-outs, blems, and overstocks. Tell ‘em Jeremy from BMX Roots sent ya.

Knight Bike Co Retro Stems
Oh, man, I’m drooling over this eye candy…

Knight Bike Co have released their vintage Pro-Neck style stems for all of you who want something truly different for your threadless headset bikes. Featuring an etched Curb Dogs Bulldog logo (courtesy of Maurice Meyer) in place of the old Tuf Neck tiger, and a nice array of classic colors, these would be perfect for a retro-fied modern bike, or even better, on a Knight Squareback – their 24″ throwback frame.

Get on over to Knight and check out their array of vintage-influenced parts, as well as their modern work. Note that George at Knight knows his BMX history – they were one of the primary sponsors of the Tuff Love art show last year.

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.




Local Exposure Tour Arizona
Local Exposure Tour 4. In Arizona, 2007. Photo by Ryan Fudger.

Hot on the heels of Alan Cooke’s RV Check over on Vital, there’s news from Allan’s brother Aaron, about the 2008 Local Exposure Tour. You can help them pick the places they’re going to hit in April. Not too many other sports allow you such access and influence with the pros.

Check it out:

2008 will mark the 5th year that we take Local Exposure Tour (LET) on the road. We have some amazing things planned for the pros and the participants! We are looking for your support to determine where we take LET in 2008!

Email us at letusknowwhatsup@localexposuretour.com and speak up if you want us to come to your local park! Based on where we have traveled in the past, 2008 is going to either visit the North West (Southern CA, Oregon, Washington) or the North East (Greater New England area).

2007 was an amazing tour with the most pro riders we have ever had on the road at once and the biggest prize for amateur riders who participated in the tour. “The Golden Ticket” Champion Marcos Torres received flight and hotel for the first two stops of the AST Dew Tour Qualifiers and he is still enjoying a full year of product from most LET sponsors.

Local Exposure Tour is a creation of pro BMX rider Allan Cooke that puts some of the top pros in BMX Park, Street and Dirt on a RV for a road trip before the contest season begins at the end of April. The purpose of the trip is to have fun, but along the way discover some of the best in unknown amateur BMX riders and give them exposure from the BMX Magazines, sponsors web sites, Fuel TV and year end DVD that we produce. The pros will visit six bike parks in the duration of the tour and at each stop pick one rider that impressed them the most. At the end of the tour an overall champion will be chosen by the pro riders and a huge package of travel money and product sponsorship will be won! On top of all the goods the Champion will also be invited to attend the next years LET on the RV with all the pro riders.

Hit the LET website for videos, photos and more from previous years…www.localexposuretour.com

When I was visiting family over the holidays in Davenport, Iowa, I hit the Goodtimes Superstore (also the home to Standard), as I always do when I’m up there. I got to check out the artwork (created by 57Even) for the new Standard Byke Company video, Stronger Than All. They didn’t have the video in stock, quite yet, but it is now, and I’ve got one on the way to my mailbox.

It has been eight years since Standard has released a team video, and based on everything I’ve heard as well as the preview video that has been on YouTube for a while, I have no reason to think that it will be anything less than outta control. I’ll have a full review as soon as the DVDs arrive and I dig into it.

Head over to the Goodtimes site to check out all of the details, and order one up by calling them direct. There’s also a sneak peek at some new SBC product on the site as well.

Stronger Than All Video

Craig “gOrk” Barette (Redline’s Marketing Director, and O/S BMXer), or krog, as he’s known on the Vintage BMX forums, just posted a link to a video of “Fish” Johnson doing a 2-mile long hang-5, a few years ago. The video is almost 6 minutes long, and in the youtube comments, Fish mentions that he was hitting 30-35 mph during this downhill run in Auburn, WA, which, after living in the Seattle area, I don’t doubt at all. Pretty rad to watch, as you can see the proverbial wind in his hair (or is that a jester hat?) as he hauls down the canyon road.

The Bike Man
On Christmas Eve, I saw a great story on ABCNews.com about “The Bike Man”, Lewis H. Davis, a retired maintenance man, who rebuilds bikes for kids in Durham, North Carolina. He does it out of the good of his heart, through donations people make, or bikes he finds – usually rebuilding up to 150 a year. So good to see stories like this, especially when it involves getting kids into riding bikes – regardless of how, or what they ride.

Check out his story here: ABCNews.com (Thanks to FenwayKid over on the BMXMuseum for the link).

Also, I want to say Happy Holidays to all of you. I hope you and yours are enjoying the season and looking forward to 2008.

Lupe Fiasco’s Black/Gold Black Lightning

Black Lightning, the boutique bicycle and clothing company, has done four custom bikes for the release of Chicago hip-hop artist, Lupe Fiasco’s new album, The Cool. This is just the latest in Black Lightning’s promotion of the bmx culture since providing bikes for The Cool Kids’ video “Black Mags“.

It should be no surprise that Fiasco, with his documented love of skateboards/comics/bikes, would hook up with a company like Black Lightning to do something special for his latest album. His first single was “Kick Push“, an ode to skating, that earned him multiple award nominations.

The bikes feature the custom finishes Black Lightning is throwing down, with graphics in the style of the album art. Check out more images on the Black Lightning Blog – look closely at the details, some really detailed touches on these bikes.

Fiat 500 vs. BMX Riders in Budapest

Top Gear is my absolute, all-time favorite television show about cars, and a few months back, BBC America finally began running it here in the States. Last week’s UK episode featured riders Sebastian Keep and Ben Shenker racing one of the hosts, James May, through Budapest in a Fiat 500 retromobile. The way Top Gear shoots cars is always so well done, and they apply the same techniques to the riding here as well. Sebastian and Ben pull out some bangers along the way in unexpected places – some of which were obviously staged, but rad nonetheless.

Check it out at RideBMX UK (via defgrip).

SE auction package for Stephen Murray

It has been quite a week for news out of the SE camp, as I just got this little tidbit about another great auction for Stephen Murray. So rad to see the continued support of the BMX Community. Go bid now, you know you want to…

SE Bikes, one of the OG’s of BMX, has put together a one of a kind package to help raise funds to assist Stephen Murray in his fight to “STAY STRONG” and recover from injuries he sustained at the Baltimore AST Dew Tour.

These items are for collectors and serious BMX enthusiasts!

The Bike
This is the FIRST production bike of the 2008 PK Ripper Looptail. It’s the same EXACT bike that was on display at Interbike in Las Vegas. All of the normal production bikes have the serial numbers stamped in numerical order on the inside of the rear dropout. But this bike is unique in the fact that it does not have any serial number stamp. Only 250 of this bike will be available throughout the year in the USA. This was the first one made!

The Shoes
These are a brand new pair of the limited edition DC/PK Ripper DC Shoe. This shoe was also VERY limited worldwide and all stores are completely sold out. Size is 10.5. As a bonus, these shows come with a re-release of the “Joe Kid on a Stingray” video with bonus footage.

The Jersey
The most legendary BMX jersey of all time, the SE retro jersey. Made by Hot Shoppe in the USA. Size large.

Get in on the auction at EBay where you can type in Stephen Murray for the item or the listing information below.
Stephen Murray SE Bikes Collectors Package – 200185371813

Special thanks to Todd Lyons and SE Bikes for making this effort to raise funds! Happy Holidays to all!

Also visit www.stephenmurrayfamilyfund.com & www.myspace.com/murraystrong

There is a second auction package that will be released on EBay soon as well that includes a Quad Angle frame and tons of SE goods.

SE Shirt Design
Shirts from SE – click for a larger image.

Todd Lyons at SE just sent over the news that they have all four of their new shirt designs in stock from sizes small to XXL. The BMX shirts come in the classic blues and browns, and they have one representing their single speed bikes which looks rad as well. You can get them through your local SE shop, now, just in time for gift-giving.

Personally, I’m digging the “number plate design”, and I’m a XL if anyone needs to know, heh.

Fuel TV Videos and Podcasts

Fuel TV, the Action Sports channel available through most cable providers, (unfortunately, not Sunflower, my local provider, though we did have it with Comcast in Seattle, but I digress) has a number of their videos available at their site, or via the podcast menu in iTunes. Quick, well-produced segments from video-makers like Props and Fuel-produced shows like Firsthand, give you some great BMX videos to watch wherever you like.

There is a ton here from other sports as well. Plenty to waste at least a few hours on during these cold winter months. Sorry, we just had our first ice storm in Kansas, so I’m a bit bitter in many ways…

Check it out at the FuelTV site here – click on the BMX tab to the far right
Or
Download the podcasts directly from iTunes

Dennis McCoy, 1988 AFA Flatland Finals
Dennis McCoy grabbed from a video by krtschmidt.

Kurt Schmidt has a great site with a bunch of vintage freestyle info, and a ton of videos that he has put on YouTube. His most recent videos feature Eddie Fiola, Woody Itson, Dennis McCoy and Rick Moliterno at the 1988 AFA Finals in Wichita, KS. I wasn’t at this contest, though it was only a few hours away from my home in Kansas City, but some of my friends went, and I remember how stoked they were when they got back. You can hear the crowd just LOSING it over the tricks being pulled, something you don’t hear as much on the televised spectacles of today, even as guys are pulling triple-tailwhips – perhaps because the tricks are just SO big today…

Interesting to see the different styles between the four riders. Moliterno and DMC just fly through so many of the rolling tricks that were becoming popular at that time, whereas Woody and Fiola pull more of the power-moves that helped progress freestyle past the balance tricks and hopping of the early-80s.

I believe Schmidt filmed these videos, as he was deep in the freestyle scene of the mid-80s and 90s, and has the knowledge, history and footage to prove it. In 1991, he formed Standard Industries with Rick Moliterno and Bill Nitschke.

Check out krtschmidt.com, and then jump over to his YouTube collection. Make sure you have some spare time available. You’ll be there a while.

Winter Sports


See More BMX Videos at VitalBMX.com

I found this video over on the Vital BMX site today. First, it is a rad old-school trick adapted to street – one I haven’t seen many times before – a whiplash (rolling tailwhip) to stair jump. Second, Ryan Harley, the guy doing the trick, and I’m assuming filming, pulled it in Alaska, with snow all around, in a limited window of time because the days are so short this time of year.

I’m done complaining about the 30 degrees we’ve had in Kansas. Look at his face after he lands. Brrr…

Dan’s Comp - Support Jimmy Levan

Jimmy Levan continues to progress well after his fall and head trauma that occurred a couple of weeks ago. He’s not healed, but he is healing.

Over the past week, a couple more chances for you to help him as he heads into a rehabilitation facility have been announced, and both give you opportunities to get a little in return. For the vintage guys, Profile has dug into their warehouse and has an auction running on ebay for a NOS 1985 Profile ProStyler Frame, Fork, Ladder Handlebars (Still with original warranty card), Padset (Still in original packaging), and old style Profile polished seat post clamp. For those of you new-schoolers, Dan’s Comp is offering a chance to win a new Shitluck Magnolia frame signed by Shitluck main man, Leland Thruman.

Click here for the Dan’s Comp Levan page.
Click here for the Profile auciton on ebay.

Oh, and the auction for Jim Bauer’s bike ended, raising $1,025 toward Jimmy’s recovery fund.

Vintage Profile package for Jimmy Levan

Today, we’re saddened by the news that Evel Knievel, the first Daredevil that anyone over 30 knew when we were kids, died today at 69 years old. Knievel had cheated death many times throughout his motorcycle-jumping career, with stunts that went awry, but amazingly he always pulled through. He often joked that he had broken every bone in his body, except his neck. Knievel was most recently in the news for an amicable settlement with Kanye West following a lawsuit against West for using the likeness of Knievel in a music video for West’s song “Touch the Sky“.

He was the reason many of us built our first ramps, launching our bikes over our own version of Knievel’s “Snake River Canyon Jump”. I even had the stunt cycle toy that you would wind up and launch a plastic Knievel over anything in its path. I have a feeling my boys might end up with their own this Christmas.

Mat Hoffman was one also one of the kids under the Knievel influence, and once he finally met Knievel, they struck up a friendship and Hoffman Bikes built a limited run of 500 Evel Knievel signature bikes in 1998 and then followed with a Wembley Stadium edition in 1999. There was also a few Harley-Davidsons built to celebrate the launch of this collaboration.

Hoffman Bikes Evel Knievel Bike

Close-up shot of a 1998 Hoffman Bikes Evel Knievel bike, 1 of only 500 made. From BMXmuseum.com

From EXPN. com: “If you asked Mat to make a list of who the most influential people in his life have been, one name that stands at the top, in regards to his influence on Mat’s riding and determination, is nothing short of pure Evel. Evel Knievel that is, the greatest stuntman to ever dawn a two-wheeled vehicle. Now, in honor of Evel’s lifetime of achievements, Hoffman Bikes has been granted the privilege to manufacture a signature series bicycle worthy of flying the Evel Knievel banner.”

The decals on the bike featured a quote from Knievel, “You’re never a failure in life when you fall, as long as you try & get up.” Truer words have not been spoken. I mean, c’mon, he did these jumps on a freaking 300-pound Harley-Davidson, after all.

Andy Shohara, airing at the Krause Family Skatepark in San Diego

Birthday Boy, Andy Shohara. Photo by John Leonard

As we noted a little over a week ago, a skatepark jam went down in San Diego, celebrating the 40th birthday of longtime rider, Andy Shohara. Sponsored by Black Lighting, about 30 riders plus some of their kids, showed up to the park which was reserved for this event. Andy (on his new Black Lightning bike), Brian Blyther, Dave Voelker, Todd Andersen, Lee Reynolds, Woody Itson, Xavier Mendez, Alvin Mullins and others all ripped up the park for a few hours. Mullins has posted about the event in a couple of places, and has a bunch of images John Leonard shot, on his Photobucket (note that you may need to be a member to see all of them).

Happy Birthday, Andy! Damn, California Dreamin’, indeed.

Mullins’ post on the OS-BMX message board.
Photos on Mullins’ Photobucket.
Quick write-up on the event by Lee Reynolds on Fat-BMX.

Fit, Animal and Mirraco

The past week has been a big one for bmx industry site relaunches. Two of the growing rider-owned bike companies, Mirraco and Fit, and Animal, the east-cost parts and lifestyle brand, all launched new site designs. All three have built what appear to be very flexible sites, meant for easy updates to quickly feed the hunger of the unwashed internet masses.

Much like many of the bmx sites out there, a flexible design means news in a blog-style, right on the homepage, with deep-linking in these news stories, and bigger areas of focus in the main navigation. This immediate access to news is something that is expected today, whether it is new product information, photos, videos or simply whatever has caught the eye of the sites’ editors. Both Animal’s owner, Shane Rossi, and Fit’s Robbie Morales, keep the updates flowing on their sites. Mirraco seems to have a number of contributors posting on the site.

The Fit and Mirraco sites are loaded with product information and technical specifications on their bikes – especially important as both are steadily pushing complete bikes in 2008. Animal sells direct to its customers, with a large online shop featuring a number of its soft and hard goods, including some limited edition products. All feature team links, though both the Mirraco and Animal sites are still in-progress within these sections.

Ride BMX has an interview with Robbie Morales that gets behind the motivation to redesign the Fit site and what you can expect in the way of updates. Robbie mentions a section to come featuring bike checks of the riders who send them in. More than a “send us a photo of your bike and where you ride it”, bike checks give their customers a chance to show their personal setups, which should be extensions of their riding style and personalities (not just rolling representations of the latest fads, though I am a realist, and I’ve been there before, especially as a youth…)

I’ll post here when I see new sections show up across any of the three.

BK Spec Video

With the recent bad news I’ve posted lately, I had been looking for something a bit lighter as we finish this holiday weekend. I was reminded of this gem by Stuart over at DHADM. We worked together on the Burger King interactive advertising account for a few years at VML, and this is some spec work we did for a Whopper promotion. Prior to “The King” and “The Chicken”, created by the venerable Crispin Porter Bogusky, we worked to push Burger King into the viral marketing space online – in 2003. This work never ran, but we had a blast creating it and influencing the thinking of the BK marketing organization.

So, when asked “What would you do for a 99cent Whopper?”, we answered with a bunch of Jackass-style clips, surrendering our bodies to a beat-down. In the first part of the clip, it is yours-truly, jumping a 12″ bmx bike, belonging to Stuart’s kids – listen for their laughter when I bail. Didn’t make the run-up the first time, but stuck it the second, with an almost-pulled 180 at the end. The second part of the clip features Stuart dragging a snowboard-type thing with our copywriter, Rick, behind a lawnmower. Ryan from The Jalopy Journal lays him out with a solid tackle that would make any college football recruiter proud.

Jimmy LeVan Table

Jimmy LeVan. Photo courtesy of Odyssey.

Recently, Pro rider and Metal Bikes main man, Jimmy LeVan took a hard spill on a skateboard, simply bombing down a hill after the Red Bull Down and Dirty contest. He incurred a head injury and has been hospitalized since November 3rd. Though he is out of the drug induced coma, he is still in the hospital, recovering.

With this, of course, come the pile of bills from the hospital stay and especially for the rehabilitation he will need. In another instance of the BMX community coming together to support one of its own, there are a couple of ways you can help Jimmy. Empire BMX shop in Austin, Texas and Odyssey (one of Jimmy’s sponsors) are making it easy to give, and Jim Bauer of Odyssey is offering his personal bike up on Ebay.

Empire BMX and Odyssey teamed up so that you can easily give to Jimmy on the Empire site. When you donate, your contribution will be matched by Empire and then the sum will be matched again by Odyssey, so your contribution will essentially be quadrupled. Here’s where to go to donate at Empire.

Also, Odyssey’s Jim Bauer is auctioning off his own bike, which is basically the test mule for all new Odyssey parts and features a bunch of pre-production or unreleased parts, and especially cool are the clear twisted pedals. Bid at ebay here, and see a larger photo here.

In this season of giving, let’s help out a fellow rider.

Flyer for Andy Shohara’s Birthday Jam

Just received this bit of news from Kevin at Black Lightning, a new BMX lifestyle/apparel/frame(?) brand, featured in the Cool Kids video I posted last month:

Black Lightning presents the Flyin’ Hawaiian Andy Shohara’s 40th Birthday Jam.
Where: Krause Family Skatepark, San Diego, CA. 8:45-10:45 sat. nov 24th
Riders attending: Eddie Fiola, Woody Itson, Brian Blyther, Dave Voelker, Lee Reynolds, Tony Murray, and more. Show up and have a blast with riders from the past.

Shohara competed in a number of the King of Skatepark contests in the mid-’80s and continues riding today. If any of you in San Diego go, send me pics and I’ll post them here.


Innovators…

RL Osborn and Mike Buff drove around the country countless summers in the early 80s, driving from shop to shop and mall t0 mall putting up their 8ft. wide quartepipe (maybe only 6ft?) and putting on shows, introducing the country to this thing called freestyle. They were a team in the loosest sense – nobody gave signals, or passed a ball, but they were part of a wider-reaching brotherhood that so many of us kids in the time grabbed a hold of. It is all about individual style and how riding made you feel.

My introduction came when the Haro team put on a similar show at Metro North mall in Kansas City. I got a front brake, put away my racing gear and started learning to do kicturns on a ramp my dad and I built from plans in BMX Action magazine. The magazine and these teams influenced how we rode, dressed and spoke.

This 8mm footage from Crabtree Valley mall shows the giant crowds these guys would pull, even as people questioned these growing men riding around on kids’ bikes.

Thanks to Kevin for the link.

I would usually say that Poison’s “Nothing But a Good Time” should only be used in a commercial if looking for a “retro” vibe. However, I will give this spot a pass because of the fact that it is being sung by a children’s choir, and because I actually stopped and watched all :60 of it when I saw it on television the other night.

So, why post about this on a BMX site? Well, first because I think this ad is so well-done, and it is rare that I’m inspired by television commercials these days. XBOX is working to win some of the family-play that Nintendo has so successfully built with the Wii. The look of bewilderment from all of the actors is perfect as the games drop from the balloons and the guerilla-style team of balloonists setup the living room in the parking lot. I’m hoping that XBOX and their agency have plans to act this out in malls across the land this holiday season.

Second, I have to wonder if we’ll begin to see more BMX bikes used as props in commercials and videos, much as skateboards have been for so long – check around the :52 mark – I was waiting for the dude to bust a whopper (bunnyhop tailwhip) or something. I’ve been guilty of boards as props – ironically for XBOX – though it didn’t make the final cut in the videos.

Third, because Rikki Rockett rocked the Vision Street Wear t-shirt in the original video (check it around the 1:57 mark) – one of the only reasons my Dead Kennedys-adorned 15-year-old self would watch it back in 1988. It was so rare to see skate/bmx anywhere outside of the magazines or videos (yes, VHS) back then.

Thanks to Stuart over at DHADM for a link to the Poison video and the :30 second version of the ad.

SBC Fork Designs

Standard Byke Company Shank and Race Fork graphics by 57 Even.

Well, since I’ve been on a Standard kick, with the build of my 250 over the past few weeks, I thought I’d fill you in on some very cool stuff that I’ve dug up about what’s coming up with Rick, Jess and the crew as we head into 2008.

First up is the news that the new shop that they’re building in Davenport is coming together quite well. I was in Davenport visiting family last week and visited the Goodtimes store, where I heard from Ryan that they’ve built a couple forks and are moving quickly to getting frames into production. Hopefully, I’ll be doing a feature on here about the shop in December.

Hot on the heels of this are some new graphics and apparel that 57 Even has worked up for Standard, and it all looks rad. 57 Even has been making a name for themselves in the bmx/skate/street culture. I’ve been watching their work since I started seeing it on the Standard site – they’ve done the graphics for the parts, apparel and site for the past few years – and it has been great to see them pickup other clients and adapt to their brands, while remaining true to their style, which is based in a hand-crafted collage approach. Have a look, and enjoy. You can see all of their work (I swear they don’t sleep – I think that is part of their mantra, actually) at: 57even.com

Standard Byke Co. Skull T-Shirt Design 2008

Standard Byke Company Skull t-shirt and poster by 57 Even. Check the details with the Standard logos and the textures that build the depth of the image.

2007 Standard 250L Frame

I’m running these on my 250, even though my frame is a couple years old – 2007 Standard Byke Company 250L frame graphics by 57 Even.

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.

My new build - Standard 250

So, my posts have been really lacking lately, and I think it has been with good reason – at least to other riders – maybe not so much to my wife. ;-)

I’ve been building a new bike, and I’m really happy with how it has turned out. It is my first non-complete new(er) school ride, and I’m getting ready to take it out on its shakedown ride as soon as I finish this post.

The frame was raw, but the clearcoat was in rough shape. I sanded it down and sprayed a number of coats of clear, so it has protection and a light shine. I dig how the color combination turned out very hand-made looking overall – dare I say almost traditional hot-rod style.

Frame: Standard 250 (American BB)
Fork: S&M Pitchfork with brake bosses (Yeah, I’m a part of the front-brake revolution – heh)
Bars: S&M Slam XLT
Grips: Odyssey Team
Stem: FBM Protect Ya Neck
Wheels: Haro 48s and Haro Directional Tires (From my Retro Sport – will be switching to some Odyssey Hazards, I think)
Seat, Post, Clamp: Haro (I’ve got a Primo Seat and a Shadow Conspiracy Post on the way), Kink Clamp
Brakes: Dia-Tech Hombre Brake, Odyssey Monolever, Odyssey GTX Gyro
Cranks: Primo Hollowbites
Sprocket: Tree
Chain: KMC
Pedals: S&M one o one

I sold my FST and some other vintage parts to fund this build, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Not to worry, though (I’m talking to you old schoolers), I’ve got a bunch of other builds planned now that old man winter has arrived. Thanks to those over at bmxmuseum.com who sold me parts, and bought other ones, and thanks to eBay for being like a bad addiction…

More photos to come…

Stephen Murray Props Auctions

Props Stephen Murray Bike Auctions. Video from Props.

Just saw this over on Fat BMX Magazine, and felt compelled to put it up as soon as I read it. Stephen Murray’s mom, Cynthia gives an excellent update on his progress. Just awesome to hear about.

“I would just like to share my happiness with you that after 130 days Stephen is vent free, oxygen free and trach free! Last night they took out his trach and so now all we have to wait for his the wound in his throat to heal. The relief of him not being dependant upon the ventilator is unimaginable. It’s better than winning the lottery!

Next step…………movement. If I say so myself I have a remarkable son who will defy all odds and amaze us all.

Thank you to all for your support
Cynthia”

Also, today is the first day of the auctions Props Visual has put together to continue to help raise money for the Stephen Murray Family Fund. Stephen’s accident occurred just as they were going out to film their latest video and they got 11 riders to donate their bikes. Mat Hoffman’s Condor is the first one up, and available today on Ebay. Bid high, and bid often!

As Mat’s signature on his bike says – “Give to the strength of our community”. Much respect to Stew Johnson from Props and all those who have donated. You can see the complete list at the link to Props, above.

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.

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.

KCI baggage claim
The Baggage claim at Kansas City International Airport – what a perfect ledge to slide

I wonder how many of you are as affected as I am. Every curb, ledge, embankment, handrail, and dirt path catch my eye, and I’ve been this way for what, 26 years, now? Even when I wasn’t riding as much as now, I’d notice the possibilities of the angles, and be able to feel the pitch in my mind’s eye. At what speed will you boost the most, slide the furthest, or clear the gap without hanging up?

There are those identifying marks which are always obvious – tire marks on a wall, a parking block at the top of a bank, or grind marks on a ledge. Maybe put there by bikes, could be by skaters, but there for a reason … because the opportunity to pull a move was too great to ignore. The feeling of landing something, even if it is the 172nd time you’ve done it, always feels right. Other times, there’s nothing to identify a spot, just that it is the right shape, in the right place, and most of the time it won’t be really big or noticable, at least to those who don’t have our affliction.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel a bit either on business or pleasure, and while out, I always see objects of desire – and I know that generally speaking, nobody else I’m with has any idea that I’m lusting over a 3′ high transition with a perfect run up and landing on the other side, on the side of a seedy restaurant, at the end of a dead-end street. But, there I am, searching and plotting, every day. It is a switch that was flipped long ago, and there’s really no reason to turn it off. Sure, I may be more conscious of personal property now, but I still love architects who seem to design buildings with built-in skateparks, and city planners who make perfect 5 inch kickers along the sidewalks.

Next month, I’m going to visit my wife’s family in Iowa, and there are a couple spots there I’ve been eyeing for years. This time, I’m bringing my bike. ‘Nuff said?

BMX Roots Interbike Coverage

We’re bringing you links to much of the major BMX media coverage of the Interbike 2007 bicycle industry trade show. New products and new technology is always released at this show, and this year seems to be no exception. I remember hearing about all of this stuff months afterward from the print bmx magazines, and then waiting months to see it in the shops (if at all). With this kind of coverage all over the net, it brings it to the masses quicker than ever. Especially the shops that will carry the products and the riders that will buy them.

Support the manufacturers by hitting their sites also – they’re all providing coverage as well.

We’ll be there in-person next year, with bells on.

Vital BMX – some good interviews (Brian Castillo of Volume/Demolition, Dave Mirra of Mirraco, Chad DeGroot of UGP, etc.) and a ton of photos
http://www.vitalbmx.com/features/Vital-BMX-Interbike-Highlights,2849

Go211.com – video interviews, including Robbie Morales from Fit and George French from G-Sport/Odyssey
http://www.go211.com/u/Interbike/videos

Ride BMX – photo coverage, check the top two links on their homepage
http://www.bmxonline.com/bmx/

DigBMX.com – photo galleries
http://www.digbmx.com/news/

RideBMX Insight Video

Dakota Roche, wallride to air, grabbed from the Insight Trailer. 

RideBMX Magazine has a full-length trailer of their new video, titled Insight up on BMXOnline.com. Looks like it will be out by Christmas, and this trailer is up just in time for Interbike, which starts today.

The title comes from the overall concept of the video, which, from what I understand, is to give viewers a glimpse into what goes into the making of a video, including the run-ups, misses and hits that go into each rider’s part. The video is shot and edited by Ride’s video guy, Ryan Navazio.

Spike Jonze Was A BMXer Sticker
Well here’s a new one, for me, anyway … a Spike Jonze Was a BMXer sticker, from DigBMX – have a look, and enjoy a brief history lesson – featuring a small who’s-who of ex-Freestylin’ magazine guys.

Anyone have any idea where these came from, or where they might be able to be found?

Volume Z06 Ad

Ad courtesy of Volume.

Continuing a long-standing tradition of bicycle companies creating bikes named after cars, (see the Schwinn Corvette or the Mongoose Blue Max) Volume Bike company is releasing a limited edition version of its Sledgehammer 26″ cruiser, called the Z06. I’m assuming the name refrerences both the Corvette Z06 (a badass production car in its own right), as well as the infamous Slegehammer Corvette – a twin turbo monster made by Corvette tuner Callaway in 1988. At 898 Horsepower, it was tweaked in every way possible to make it run like hell.

Now, Volume has taken their self-proclaimed “old man bike”, the Sledgehammer, and tricked it out with a full set of Demolition parts, full 4130 Cromo tubing, and custom Volume/Corvette graphics. This one, they’re calling the “supercharged old man bike”, and man is it clean looking. The Z06 Sledgehammer ad above features Volume/Demoliton main man Brian Castillo boosting high on the big two-six.

The Z06 is a limited edition, available in October via the Volume site or Volume dealers. Check it out here. As I know that many riders are also gearheads of different varieties, seems like a perfect combination.

Volume Bikes Z06 Cruiser

Photo courtesy of Volume.

Aside from all of the other madness in this clip, wait for the end… Scotty Cranmer and a front flip-whip. It looks like a videogame move or something. A couple of years ago, I remember Tony Hawk talking about the up-and-coming skateboarders, and the fact that they have been brought up on “Up, Down, Left, Right”. Hawk was referring to the fact that so many kids have learned skating through their game controllers. Totally what this clip of Cranmer reminds me of, whether or not he actually plays video games is something I cannot comment on.

From the FeltBmx site, Cranmer’s sponsor.

Head First Video - 1991, Mat Hoffman

A week or so ago, I posted here that the entire video of Aggroman was available on Google Video for all to enjoy. However, the real news is that Eddie Roman created “The Trilogy”, with Aggroman, Head First and Ride On all on one DVD. Looks like it is a limited run of DVDs, available only in a select few places – directly from Eddie via Aggroman.com and also from Sidewall Distribution – Hoffman Bikes distributor – let me know of anywhere else.

These are some of the earliest rider-created Freestyle videos, leading the way for so many of today’s bmx movies, regardless of format – VHS, DVD and most recently, the Internet. Granted, as I said before, some of the plots, especially in the case of Aggroman, are, well, a bit cornball. However, the riding is just so damn good, and it still holds up even today.

I’ve got my copy on order, you should too.

Albe's Video Contest Image
Albe’s – a great mail-order shop in the Detroit area, with serious roots in bmx – is having a video contest to get its users to make their next commercial for them. The winner gets a $500 gift certificate.

Pretty cool idea, and something I haven’t seen done a lot in the BMX industry to this point. Probably because there aren’t many manufacturers with the kind of ad spending necessary to do broadcast commercials with any sort of reach. However, with more online video outlets focusing on BMX, the short feature/video ads will become more standard practice. A ton of companies are taking this approach on sites like Vital BMX and Ride BMX. This ad will run in the next issue of Props Video Magazine.

User generated video content has been all the rage for a few years now with corporate marketing departments – some have nailed it, some have fallen beyond flat, and some are questionable (regardless of your political affiliation – we’ll see how ol’ Mitt’s campaign does). When user created videos really work is when the creators are passionate about the brand, the brand category, and have a built-in desire to create. In Albe’s case, I think they’ve got all of these ingredients to make this contest work. I’ll update the site with the entries as they come in.

From the Albe’s Site about the contest:
Here’s the chance all you aspiring Spielbergs, Tarantinos and Singletons have been waiting for. Props Video Mag let us know that the deadline for our next commercial is coming up but we’re way too busy to put one together so we’re asking one of you do it for us. Of course the winning submission will be paid handsomely in the form of a $500 Albe’s gift certificate but we’ll warn you that it’s gonna take a bit of creativity to be chosen to represent us. If we just wanted thirty seconds worth of dorks doing turn downs we could do that ourselves, we want something more unique. Silly, funny, mysterious, weird, thought provoking, cool, odd, interesting, whatever…have some fun. Sure there can be some riding in it if you like but in order to cut the mustard it better stand out. Make sure it’s 30 seconds long and has our name and web address in it somewhere. Now get crackin’… the entry deadline is October 26th. The rules are below.

Entries should be uploaded to youtube at www.youtube.com and a link e-mailed to us at albesbmxstore@aol.com along with your name and address so we can check it out.
The winner will have to be able to supply us with the video ad on a mini DV tape within a few days of being notified as the winner.
The best ad (as judged by us) will get $500 credit here at Albe’s
The 3 best non-winning ads will be posted here on www.albes.com
Have fun…don’t get hurt and try not to get arrested
Read the paragraph above to see what we are looking for.
If you have any questions e-mail us at albes@aol.com
We reserve the right to cancel / end this contest whenever we like if people nit pick and make it no fun.


Link courtesty of watchbmx.com and thecomeupbmx.netWell it’s 1989, okay? All across the USA… (Apologies to Iggy Pop).
Awesome riding footage and absolute zaniness as well. Oh, ninjas, too.


Mat Hoffman’s first 900 – 1990

Last night I was rolling around the driveway with the boys and hitting some old freestyle tricks – building nerve, hopping higher and spinning faster. However, it was the simplest of all tricks that got me – an endo. I was showing my oldest how to do it, and my foot slipped, the freewheel spun and, WHAM, pedal to the shin. It immediately bruised up, started bleeding and hurt like hell. Added to my scar tissue for the first time in a while, and it is throbbing as I type this today.

The night before, the oldest boy had his first big fall on a bmx. He was on his 16″ and got into some trouble with some walnut shells along the sidewalk, after a great hour long session at his school with the whole family. My wife rode my most recent acquisition – the ’86 Haro FST – more to come on that. Anyway, his tires were a bit low as well, so when he hit the walnuts, down he went, hard. He was very upset, and bleeding from his knee. It was just road rash, but his hardest fall on his bike. I don’t know that he’ll remember it, but I’ll remember, for sure.

And I know that if he keeps riding, there will be many, many to come. I just finished Mat Hoffman’s book, The Ride of My Life, and it gives a ton of details into Mat’s career, including major slams and injuries, and how he often had to alter his riding style or actually lost tricks because his body couldn’t move a certain way anymore. Scary stuff, though as the tricks have gotten bigger, the technology of protection has gotten better, with more options for helmets and body armor. Now the trick is to stuff the young riders into helmets at a young age and hope that they keep it on as they roll out of sight…

By the way, Hoffman’s book was co-authored by Freestylin’ Magazine alum Mark Lewman. I definitely picked up on some of his style in the editing.


See More BMX Videos at VitalBMX.com

A cool concept for an art show was held yesterday in LA at the SLB store. Called Tuff Luv, it was billed as “A celebration of the Skyway TuffWheel from today’s leading bmx companies”, sponsored by Knight Brand.

Vital BMX has coverage on their site (nice work, guys) – looks like a good time, and an excellent concept. The wheels were all done up by a number of bmx companies – I personally dig what Stolen and S&M did with their Tuffs. I’m really happy to see the bmx community participating in something like this. The skate community has been doing art shows and other celebrations of the culture for a long time, and it is time that we see this from the bmx set as well. It would be rad to see this show on the road and growing (which the organizer, George Yang, from Knight, mentions in the video). I hope I get to catch it.

Any other shows like this out there? Post in the comments and let me know.

haro_wallpaper.jpg

To properly welcome you to BMX Roots, I wanted to give you something to remember us by. One of the many objectives with the site will be to do some great photography, and share it with you. Here’s the first in what will be many photos available for your viewing pleasure. Hit the download page, and enjoy.

BMX Roots Downloads

-Jeremy

BMXROOTS

In 1986, I took my first swipe at becoming a bmx publisher. It was the early days of the ‘zine, and I made one of my own, called Motion. At that point, I also had a loose association of bmx and skateboard friends called the Motion Trick Team. We mostly drew logos on our notebooks and talked about what our shows would be like – drawing schematics of the ramps, p.a. setup and music choices. We rode for ourselves, mostly, but man, it was fun to work all of this out. Someday, we hoped, we’d get the gear and make it happen.

Back to the ‘zine: It was pre-computer (at least in my house), so I used a typewriter, the school photocopier, and my 110 Instamatic – I was loaded for bear. I put out 3-4 issues every 6 months or so, getting friends to help produce it, upgrading to an early Mac for typesetting and improving my hand-lettering and illustration, as well as shooting with a 35mm camera. Still, the content mostly covered my friends and our little scene in a suburb of Kansas City. I’ve got plenty of fodder for this site, which I’ll be scanning and uploading over time – trust me, you gotta see some of this stuff.

I kept riding throughout high school and into the beginning of college. I kept shooting photos and learning of this profession called graphic design. I went to school for advertising and photography at first, then switched over to visual communications (design), and as I began working, I stopped riding. My old Haro was in pieces and I found excuses not to ride. Too busy, too lazy, too old, whatever. Hell, I even bought a mountain bike thinking that I would be able to enjoy myself on that – however, when I rode, I missed something. I missed the feelings of throwing the “little bike” around, launching off curbs, and pedaling until you’ve got no more gears.

Last year, I bought my oldest son a Hoffman 16″ bmx for his 4th birthday. And thus it began… Though I had been following the bmx scene via the web, tv coverage and the occasional magazine, I decided that there was no way that I could ride a mountain bike while my oldest was learning on such a cool bike. With the encouragement of my wife (who still doesn’t quite understand what all the fuss is over beat-up parts – “but they’re vintage, honey“), I bought a 24″ Haro cruiser, then a 20″ Haro Retro Sport, and began putting my ’87 Master back together. Buying parts for the Master led me to many sites (bmxmuseum, vintagebmx, os-bmx) and I was amazed to see this community of people building, saving, riding, and racing these “little bikes”. However, I shouldn’t have been surprised. See, there are kids jumping on bmx bikes everyday – more than in years past, even, and there are guys my age and above who never stopped riding.

I became inspired by bmx again, at least that was the simple way to look at it. Yeah, I’m riding a lot more now, and I’ve got a few bikes that I’m restoring, but really, I had been inspired all along. My job is as a creative director for an ad agency, and it was under the influence of Freestylin’ Magazine, BMX Action, and BMX Plus! that I began my design career, and now, I want to bring those influences to the pages of this site. It will be current, yet reflective, and always feature stories that provide a peek behind the curtain – of riders, spots, shops, etc. I want anyone who stumbles on here to add to the stories, and provide ideas for more. I want to inspire others to create, no matter how their creations take shape.

-Jeremy