Re Print: Joey Garcia - Remember Me?
“I appreciate the fact that when I ride now, it's completely on my own terms.”
30 May 2015
Story by Joey Garcia Originally printed in DIG 90 'The Legends Issue' Sept/Oct 2012
It's hard to find things that define me as much as BMX has. It's been a part of my life in many different capacities. As a kid, it was all about racing and dirt jumping with my brother and friends. Through high school it was more about dirt jumping with our local crew (including Chad Kagy, Ryan Nyquist and Mat Mardesich) and it consumed our life. After High School (1996) was when riding became a little more serious as sponsors were now paying, I was traveling every month. Every day we were riding dirt, street, and running/riding the San Jose Ramp Club with Brian Jackson, Ryan Nyquist, Chad Kagy, Mat Mardesich, as well as many others. Today I ride BMX when I can get a few friends together, ride Moto with my brother and a handful of other guys. Riding to me is about escaping the every day tasks and having a blast with good people. It's about the memories, the good times and the friendships.
By the time 2001 rolled around, I was riding well, but always felt timid because my knees had been reconstructed four times. I knew the next time I ripped my knee apart I would have to call it quits because the surgeons had already taken all the cartilage out of my knees. The UGP Roots contest was my last contest. In my last run I wrecked myself on a downside feeble across the sub box, as I came into the quarter my foot planted and knee popped out of place. By the time I got up I knew it was all over and the next phase of my life would begin, after another surgery of course.
After reconstruction and rehab #5, I went back to college, got my B.A. in Business, and minored in graphic design. Every time I was hurt, I ended up shooting photography and had an interest in graphic design so I was able to get a formal education in those interests. For a few years I was a freelance web developer/photographer working with agencies in the Monterey Bay area that needed my help. As a freelancer, income always fluctuates and can be frustrating, so I decided to focus on getting into an agency working on print, web and photography projects. I've been at Full Steam, a full service marketing agency for a year and a half now. I work in all departments of the company and work on the photography projects. It's great when you work with talented individuals as a team because you not only meet the clients’ expectations, but you meet your own.
Riding has definitely taken a back seat in my life. Although I miss the traveling and riding with great riders, I appreciate the fact that when I ride, it's completely on my own terms. The pain of progression has taken a backseat and made room for only the good times. – Joey Garcia
"It's hard to beat BMX"
DIG: When did you start riding?
Joey: 1982 (racing 4 at years old)
A garage sale bike (Mach V) my aunt bought me.
First magazine photo?
BMX PLUS! (Mark Losey) 1994
My parents and my brother Jimmy, they supported me through all my broken parts and took me to riding spots. First company sponsor was a bike shop called Fernandez Bikes in Seaside, CA.
Schwinn, UGP, Airwalk. All long-term sponsors that had great people behind them.
Happier then or happier now?
That's comparing two different lives. The life of a pro bmx rider is awesome; travel the world, ride/compete, and surround yourself with friends. "Fortunate" is an understatement and were days I will never forget. The downside was always blowing out my knees. I hated ending up in surgery and being laid up for months. Thanks to my parents, my brother Jimmy, John Paul Rogers, Ron Bonner, and Alan Foster. They made BMX my life, gave inspiration and always looked out for me.
Nowadays I have more appreciation for everything in my life; a career that doesn't kill my knees, awesome friends to ride BMX and Moto with, and an amazing family and fiancé. The pace is a little slower but I'm still surrounded by everyone that made the BMX days fun. I'm happier now because I have a house with my girl and I get to ride whatever I want, wherever the good times are.
High point over the years?
Traveling. Whether it was to Japan with the UGP team, driving 24 hours to Texas to ride 9th St., or to England to ride with Zach Shaw and Simon Tabron.
Having both knees reconstructed at the same time and being laid up for 8 months... Buzzkill.
Did you earn more then or now?
When you add up all the airline tickets, contest contingencies, contest winnings, sponsor salaries, it's hard to beat BMX.
An interview with Shadow and Subrosa's latest addition
'There are more FBM videos than I can even remember..." - Steve Crandall