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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/

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.

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.

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


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…

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.

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

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.


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

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…

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

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?

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.


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