Freestyle

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

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

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

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.