Street

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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

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

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.

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

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

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.




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

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

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.

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…

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.

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:

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.

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