Welcome To Roc Bottom With Dave Raffa

"Capture the vibes and energies of the riders involved, rather than to advertise their potential."

28 Oct 2015


We can assume that Otto is a Yankee's fan, but I wonder if he'd be as enthusiastic about Nick Spath's hop?

Words and photos by Dave Raffa

In these days of Insta-edits and straight to web content, the DVD has surely seen a decline. The internet may have also taken its toll on the scene video. A once common medium for BMX content that is seldom seen today. The crew video is a similar creature, but I am not entirely convinced that they are one in the same. A scene video is more a documentation of a scene, rather than a showcase of a riders skill. It is to capture the vibes and energies of the riders involved, rather than to advertise their potential. Videos like these should motivate you to get out and ride your bike. It may not be jaw dropping, you may never have heard of some of these people, you may never again hear of them; that’s no worry to me. This video is intended to be watched in its entirety with a bunch of your buddies. You should walk away saying, “I want to go ride” or “I want to ride Rochester”, and you should go do one of those things. Rochester is a great city filled with great people, great businesses, great food, a great BMX scene, and SPOTS. That is why I moved here two springs ago. It didn’t take long to assimilate into this scene. I was managing the local indoor skatepark “RASP”, and that’s where origins of this video began.

Related Video

Roc Bottom - Intro

Welcome to Rochester, New York - More Info


Rochester, NY after the sun has set and the session has ended.

"Rochester is a great city filled with great people, great businesses, great food, a great BMX scene, and SPOTS." - Dave Raffa

Roc Bottom is a Rochester BMX scene video produced by myself under the branding Breaking Free BMX. Roc Bottom is the sixth video released by Breaking Free, and it is the first to be made hard copy. Originally planned to be called 'Welcome to the Roc', it was renamed 'Roc Bottom' after a handful of misfortunes and some bad luck skewed what was initially envisioned. Nevertheless, Roc Bottom has been the most work (behind the computer) I've put into a project. From filming, to artwork, to DVD authoring, it was a truly encompassing task. My goal was to create a video the reflected the Rochester BMX scene. Although that isn't completely what I ended up with, I believe it captured what strongly depicts Rochester and a good chuck of its riding scene. A crowd funding campaign was created as a pseudo pre-order for the DVD. Shirts and stickers were available, as well as package deals. I absolutely couldn’t have accomplished this without the generosity of everyone who backed me. I am eternally grateful.


Tony Hamlin shares a split part with Phil Demattia in 'Roc Bottom' and crushes it in true Hamlin fashion. Rail gap ice on a gem of a setup.

Filming was primarily done with a Panasonic DVX100, although some Sony TRV950 (Nick Spath) and a touch of Cannon GL2 (Matt Smith) are in there also. This video was filmed over one riding season, with who ever was willing to contribute their riding time and energy. The retro video/audio clips in the DVD are from a 1963 film called “Rochester, A City of Quality”, the full video can be found in the bonus of the DVD. There is over two hours of content on the DVD; including a bunch of bonus material, and a handful of easter eggs, and even another full length video 'Breaking Free GR2' is hidden on the DVD.
A great deal of effort was put into making this a truly local video production. 99% of the footage was filmed in the greater Rochester area. The shirts used to fund the project were printed by Tinyfish printing who are located in downtown Rochester. Postersource handled the DVD duplication and printing, they too are local. The majority of music used has ties to the city of Rochester as well. Even the artwork includes the Rochester flower logo. Countless hours went into the production of this, along with painstaking attention to detail. I never could have done this without the guidance from the ever so meticulous Matt Smith, and all the effort put forth from the riders involved. Thank you guys, and thank you for watching. I hope you enjoy it, and it motivates you to go pedal around!


Ryan Cork eyeing up a hefty hop.

"You should walk away saying, 'I want to go ride' or 'I want to ride Rochester', and you should go do one of those things." - Dave Raffa

Roc Bottom - Intro

28 Oct 2015