11 Times BMX Won
It's not all doom and gloom.
25 Dec 2016
First published in DIG issue 99.5 - Summer 2016
There are a lot of absolute ‘misery guts’ out there, riders who fail to comprehend the continued sarcasm of the written word from a bunch of guys have been doing a magazine longer than they care to remember. Sometimes though, we have to stick a fork in the proverbial ‘avocado of life’ and say, “Look, we’re done with it being all negative today, not today, of all days, sweet baby cheesus”.
Instead let’s roll up our sleeves, appreciate what BMX has done for us and salute those who dream to dream big. Let’s hold our nut-roasts high in the air and scream at the top of our lungs “I WILL BE HAPPY TODAY AND I WILL NOT OFFEND THOSE WHO ARE FANTASTIC AT RIDING SMALL BIKES”.
Below is a simple, harmless and completely accurate list of why most of the times BMX is a winner...
1. D.I.Y. Street Jams.
Going against the grain is what humans do so well. The FBM Ghetto Street Jams, 2Hip Meet The Street Jams, Lambrini Jams, DUB street jams and lots more were all reactions to a stale contest environment that BMX projected all too often in the very early days. Long live those progressive attitudes.
2. Rider Owned Companies.
BMX brands were born from BMX’ers, not from old men in suits. Over time some of those brands grew and morphed into mainstream shopping mall monsters, leaving behind nothing. We salute the people who didn’t sell out and inevitably became the most popular anyway.
3. The Never-ending Devotion Of Trail Riders.
Trails and ‘trails riding’ have never really been mainstream, even within BMX, but I think most trails riders would prefer it stayed that way. Somebody somewhere is digging right now and nobody told them to, that’s a fact.
4. Chase Hawk Winning The X-Games.
That one time that Chase Hawk gave the X-Games judges a bunch of weed cookies and then destroyed the park in front of their red blurry eyes with a shit storm of turndowns, flowing alley oop’s and not one fucking tailwhip. Showing them, and most importantly all the couch zombies at home, what BMX really is.
5. When Almost Everyone Stopped Riding In The Early Nineties.
Oh the 90’s, you were so kind to us, you gave us handrail grinds and XXL t-shirts (those were from the nineties first, not from 4 years ago). A huge sacrifice was made in this era; riders had the misery of bending axles and dropouts, heavy frames and loose headsets. Tires popped for the fun of it and if you did a feeble to smith you were probably a bit progressive. That early 90’s graveyard laid the foundations for today’s modern BMX world, whether you like it or not. It deserves a medal.
6. Road Fools.
The legacy of Props Road Fools will live long; even if it was way before your time it did so much for the future of BMX and BMX video in general. You also got to see Robbo’s skid marks.
7. Mat Hoffman.
Imagine legitimately being able to say, “I did the first handrail in BMX” and then following it up with “I’m Mat Fucking Hoffman”. He did it all before anyone else, he went higher and further and broke every bone multiple times because he’s a bad motherfucker (oh and he is still doing it).
8. Street Riding.
How can you sum up something so visceral in one paragraph, or even fifty? You can’t. Street riding is everything. From the early days of Dave Vanderspek in SF to the locals at the South Bank In London, UK, and, to Van Homan in his prime and everything since; Street Riding did indeed save us.
9. Our Industry Makes Really Good Products.
I feel seriously sorry for the mid 1990’s riders who at the time were oblivious to the fact that bikes would one day actually work. They missed out on so much and spent so much time repairing. You were born in the wrong decade my friends. Life for a rider today is great.
10. Local Crews.
When your parents hate you because you look like a hooligan and spend all your time bleeding on the bed sheets they are forgetting that you are also forming the fundamentals of friendship, understanding videography, tackling gravitational challenges, and working together as a team to achieve something that will last forever. Its not a job though is it? They can blame the Curb Dogs for starting it all.
11. BMX Community.
If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face and make you take a minute to think about the bigger picture then there’s probably something wrong with you. BMX is a community, and after everything is said and done, stripped down to the bare bones – it’s just a bunch of friends riding bikes and being sociable. Life is extremely precious and not one person out there has a real say in what happens next, being part of BMX means more than just riding a bike, it’s a friendship circle that has your back no matter what.
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