11 Times BMX Failed
Even DIG made it in
18 Dec 2016
Originally published in DIG issue 99.5 Summer 2016
We all have our downfalls and those moments of misguided decisions or actions that can lead to a cringeworthy world of misery. In more recent times the internet has become the biggest bully of all and will pounce on any perceived mistake, no matter how small, in a heartbeat. Yet, it quite often misses what's happening with the bigger picture and let's face it, it wasn't always around to cast judgement on some of history's more spectacular BMX failures. Let's not sweep those old, and sometimes recent - but not so obvious - faux pas under the imaginary rug of embarrassment. Instead, let's write a carefully organised and numbered list and then have a good old laugh about it.
This is a look at some very random shambolic BMX going's on from over the past 35 years or so. Some people can't even manage to get the wrong right.
1. That K-Rob NYC Highest Air Debacle.
When Kevin Robinson attempted to out-spaceman-air The Condor and realised he couldn’t so they just used a low camera angle to pretend he did. We’re as culpable as the rest of BMX media land for not calling it out at the time.
2. Curb Rider Trying To Turn Bikes Into Scooters.
I know, let’s remove the cranks, shove a pair of t-rex arms into the bottom bracket and then explain to our parents that we don’t belong in this world because no human would be proud to spawn such a turd of an idea.
3. The Internal Gyro.
There is a serious line that many inventors cross, when you forget about aesthetics entirely and you never come back from that viewpoint. BMX is a beautiful thing, it’s a subculture that breeds style, so why on earth would you encase a gyro in an empty can of baked beans. They were bad enough already.
4. People Who Think BMX Owes Them Something.
The moment you figure out that BMX won’t always pay the bills is the moment you are finally free. BMX does not owe you anything, in fact you probably owe BMX something, but I think you might default on those re-payments for your lame attitude.
5. Old Schoolers and Mid-Schoolers Wanting BMX To Be Stuck In a Permanent State of 1985 or 2001.
Everything was better when you were young because your fucking legs worked and your back didn’t feel like it was going to eject from your body. Have some fucking dignity and stop moaning about when everything was better, change is a significant and customary supplement to our history of evolution that should be left to its own devices. Leave it alone and go have a crumpet.
6. Rider Run Companies.* (*See also ‘BMX Wins’ coming next week)
Being a rider run company doesn’t automatically give you a get out of jail free card. Brands occasionally sell out BMX to Mr. Greed, or in the case of Stranger, they hire an Internet car guy who’s followed by children in an attempt to sell more product. You can’t win ‘em all.
7. This Isn’t Skateboarding.
We have all been there; we have all compared our tiny little community to the enormous and affluent world of skateboarding. We have all asked the questions, but we should all face the realisation that this really isn’t skateboarding and won’t ever be. Let’s move on people. And yes, that includes us.
8. BMX Shoe Company Start Ups.
Starting a shoe company in BMX is like running repeatedly into a brick wall while carrying 25 eggs on your head and betting your friend a quarter of a million dollars that you won’t break a single egg. Congrats to the three rider owned shoe companies that have broken slightly less eggs than the others.
9. BMX At The Movies.
Saying the words ‘BMX Bandits’ isn’t a cool thing to say. You don’t get gangs from South London called ‘The Bandits’. All BMX Bandits the movie ever did (and E.T. for that matter) was give the ‘Abercrombie & Fitch’ jocks a word they could use to shout at us. Unless Spike Jonze is in charge of a BMX film then it will probably be shit more or less every time.
Hanging around the edges of BMX media like a bad smell since 1993 rattling the cages of ego bloated newcomers and part time know-it-all’s who think BMX stops and re-starts in synch with their personal participation. All the while never being organised enough to be able to pay anyone more than minimum wage for coming up with ironic and arty ‘niche’ editorial that somebody somewhere will find time to whine about... because primarily it is or isn't about them. We can’t ever quit while we’re ahead though because we’ll never fulfil our potential and reach the top. You’re stuck with us and that’s how we like it.
11. ACS Z Rims.
Another eighties BMX invention that made no fucking sense to us (or anyone) whatsoever. The only good thing about the ACS Z rims was the rumor that if you put them in the fridge they would bend back into shape (much like the rumour about Skyway Tuff Wheels). First of all, who has a fridge big enough to sling a BMX wheel in with out throwing out a bunch of peas and fish fingers and second of all, STOP BEING UTTERLY STUPID.
More Northern DIY
It's not all doom and gloom.