Profile Mia Kaleb Bolton Maiden 9 Of 26
12 Oct 2016

Maiden America 2016 - Snapshots from the Road



Story by Steve Crandall - Photos by The Crew

Each year, sometime right in the thick of summer, I get a call from Matt Coplon and Jay Schlie, to get the Bus ready, because it’s almost time for our Annual Maiden America tour, where QBP, Profile Racing, and FBM come together to visit bike shops, ride with locals, and promote the ideas of community, fun, riding bikes, and to raise the awareness of two of the few remaining BMX companies that do In-House manufacturing, and hire BMXers to keep the dream alive.

The Lure of the road, and the tales spawned while in motion are both fuel and currency. It’s been said that folklore is the traditional art, culture and practices that are passed on through real life human interactions, storytelling, sharing ideas and values of a particular group. In BMX it’s been seen at jams, on road trips, on bike rides, around a campfire or on someone's porch surrounded by empty beer cans. Personally I don’t think social networking carries the same weight. 

Travel does.
Profile Mia Jay Schlie Img 3206

Pissing rain in the big black spaceship somewhere in Maryland. Windows up, temperature rises. Sometimes she's uncompromising. Photo by Jay Schlie.

The passing of time. The passing of landscape. Giant bridge crossing into Delaware.  Make sure you always have unexpected toll money in hand. Photo by Jay Schlie.

Secret passage into a secret staircase at the Library Congress on a private tour. Just like real world politics: Knowing the right people at the right time will get you into the right places. Photo by Jay Schlie.

Common fare at the 7th annual Gwar-B-Q. Trying wearing these outfits all day in 107 degree hear index. Photo by Jay Schlie.

For us, it was how we learned about music and art, and how we shared it with others. Tunes might be on the radio at a session somewhere down the line, or you’d meet a rider taking pictures and pick up some tips on gear, or might even notice a different kind of shoes than your crew wore or a fashion you were unaware of. Before the web, the road was the vessel for how the culture and the ideas surrounding BMX were shared, how a jump was built at a different set of trails, or how a ramp was layered, or an approach to finding and riding street spots. All, a simultaneous ripple effect reaching each other via road trips to jams, random towns, events or what have you. For us the travel is how we continue to learn.

Profile Mia By Steve Crandall Unnamed 1

Our Tuesday night, late night monuments ride ended at the Lincoln Memorial. Overwhelming. Powerful. Perfect night cap. Photo by Steve Crandall.

Profile Mia By Steve Crandall Unnamed 2

Jay Schlie, Steve Crandall, Matt Coplon, Jason Hammacher. Bad Brains sans lightning bolts. Photo by Steve Crandall.

Profile Mia By Steve Crandall Unnamed

Garrett Ginch. Deep pool. Excessive pool coping. Making due. Arlington, Va. Photo by Steve Crandall.

"For us the travel is how we continue to learn."

- Steve Crandall

Profile Mia By Steve Crandall Unnamed 3

The Babe Ruth walls. Mandatory Baltimore stop. A TM shooting a TM. Matt Coplon. Pocket air by Steve Crandall. (unnamed-3)

As the world connects more digitally, and becomes more disconnected in real life, we patiently wait outside the bus, watching people walk in and out of the truck stop as we fill up on expensive diesel and cheap coffee...we are the Folk Lords of Fun. Mile after mile, we aim towards our next stop, where on the Maiden America tour, we spread the word of community, BMX, and good times in the spirit of the DIY movement we grew up with. Meeting riders of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicity and gender, we can’t help but be affected the same way as the socio-economic and race barriers (and so much more) are transcended by a simple passion for learning and two wheeled fun. With each visit we are exposed to countless versions of BMX, each as unique as every different person, and their set up. I could be recounting some wild tale with a group of locals outside our bus, and look over to see a school teacher, a juggalo, a drug dealer, an athlete, a parent, a child, a veteran, a scientist, or an everyday teenage degenerate, all sharing time and space, that would otherwise never happen. And each one has their own story to tell, and each one leaves that session taking something with them that they might not have if they weren’t on that BMX bike.

Profile Mia Kyle Sidor Josh Pool Plantn

Josh Bailey has the best IG account ( @nofoodporn ). Follow him for a damn good time. Thanks for making us smile. Photo by Kyle Sidor

Profile Mia Kyle Sidor G Pool Air

Wild Scene #20. Permission pool care of Joe Fowler. Meta: A photo of a photo part one. Photo by Kyle Sidor

Profile Mia Kyle Sidor L Pool Ice

Meta again: A photo of a photo part two. Matt Coplon on Latane Coghill. Photo by Kyle Sidor

Visiting small towns no one has ever heard of, major cities, and all the weird spaces in-between, meeting people from all walks of life, on wheels of all sorts, the influence goes all directions, from the people we meet, to the people we travel with. Each experience is something learned, something shared. In our modest efforts, sometimes even for just one afternoon, we make our own lives more fun, more exciting and more meaningful. And in that, new stories are written, sometimes inspired by our own old tales of travel, riding these kids bikes. Sometimes, in just getting a cup of coffee someplace new.

Profile Mia Kaleb Bolton Maiden 21 Of 26

Live in rural Maryland and got nothing to ride? Built a cement skatepark in your front yard. Crandall by Kaleb Bolton

Culver Bluffs, Maryland. 100% humidity.  An awesome forest ranger showed us a mix of 9 to 11 million year old fossils found on the beach. Photo by Kaleb Bolton

DC Brau. The first Independent brewery in DC since the 50's. Run by punks, beer brewed by punks. Do it yourself. Thanks to them for an amazing tour and their generosity. Photo by Kaleb Bolton.

Profile Mia Kaleb Bolton Maiden 7 Of 26

Dre Tylee. Going where few have gone before. Baltimore, Maryland. High Noon. Photo by Kaleb Bolton

"Regardless of the the fact that we are BMXers, what we do is important: sharing the ideas of community, of inclusion, of creativity, individualism, and the spirit of DIY. "

- Steve Crandall

Profile Mia Kaleb Bolton Maiden 25 Of 26

Eric Holladay. Fast plant out of an arguably non-transition. The master in his obscure element. Photo by Kaleb Bolton

Regardless of the the fact that we are BMXers, what we do is important: sharing the ideas of community, of inclusion, of creativity, individualism, and the spirit of DIY. 

But even more so, sharing the notion that anything is possible when we work along side like minded good people...

-Steve Crandall

Profile Mia By Dillon Leeper Discord Direct

Dischord Records. Thanks to Jason Hammacher for hooking up the tour. The tie in between the punk and BMX scene is so intertwined. It was hard to not stop smiling. Photo by Dillon Leeper.

Google Map an uncared for pool, then negotiate with the owners on a trade: mow their yard or paint their house in order to drain it and ride it. Such was the case. Matt Coplon and Latane Coghill on frog patrol after a fresh drain. Photo by Dillon Leeper

107 heat index. Take shelter under a logistical container. Garrett Ginch. Maryland. Photo by Dillon Leeper.

Profile Mia By Dillon Leeper Fbm Bus

"The Lure of the road, and the tales spawned while in motion are both fuel and currency."

- Steve Crandall

Profile Mia By Dillon Leeper Latane Coghill Tooth Trolley Bikes

The first street spot of the first day happened to be on the stoop of a bike shop. Trolley bikes, bike rack. Latane Coghill amongst the crew. Photo by Dillon Leeper (latane coghill tooth trolley bike)

Profile Mia By Dillon Leeper Shane Leeper Shin

You know the deal. Shane Leeper, dealing with it. Photo by Dillon Leeper

Profile Mia By Matt Coplon Dillon Leeper Bar To Ice

Paul Horan spearheaded this first stop of the MIA trip at Trolley Bikes. Something as simple as this flat rail initiated a seven hour session that continued from here and deep into the streets. We were 50 deep. The stoke was high. Dillon Leeper: Bar to Ice Grind Pic by Matt Coplon

Wilmington MVP and all around good dude, Jeff Purdy. Thanks for the tour and smiles through a city most often off the beaten path. Turn down at one of the best, most well organized DIY spots in the Northeast. Pic by Matt Coplon

Alpha Bear. Team Leader. Steve Crandall. This might have been right around 9am at the legendary Landsdowne Skatepark. A cup of coffee, Check. No shade, check. A drenched in sweat, fast plant, check. Pic by Matt Coplon

Profile Mia By Matt Coplon Jay Schlie Berm Tabe

Up first.  In bed, last.  Jay Schlie. The third, on the road, Papa bear repping QBP.  9am, hot, humid, mosquito infested Richmond Trail Session. Pic by Matt Coplon

Profile Mia By Matt Coplon Garrett Ginch Tabe Arlington

Garrett Ginch: "Hell Yea." His motto. His perfect tabe. Arlington, Va.  Ducking under swarming CIA helicopters. Pic by Matt Coplon

"Before the web, the road was the vessel for how the culture and the ideas surrounding BMX were shared..."

- Steve Crandall

Profile Mia By Matt Coplon Latane Xup 4060

Dodging rain. Dodging heat. Latane Coghill. Bonus day number two in Richmond. This x-up 60/40 made perfect sense at this spot. Pic by Matt Coplon

Profile Mia By Latane Coghill 83760026

Portraiture. DC. Photo by Latane Coghill

"...and each one leaves that session taking something with them that they might not have if they weren’t on that BMX bike."

- Steve Crandall

Matt Coplon. Landsdowne, Maryland. 9am. Photo by Latane Coghill

Jay Schlie, can silhouette through the heat and humidity. Photo by Latane Coghill

Dre Tylee. Bar at Babe Ruth. We didn't think this was possible? Photo by Latane Coghill

Matt Coplon. The Slab MD before a torrential downpour. Photo by Latane Coghill

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