There are two very distinct eras of freecoaster riding in BMX: the early days of Standard Byke Co. and the riding of Rick Moliterno and Krt Schmidt, who pioneered the first fakie combinations on spines and minicamps, and Pat Casey, full stop.
On Tuesday June 6th, word began to spread that Pat Casey, pro for Mongoose, Vans and Monster Energy, passed away at the age of 29. Devastating news that was soon to be confirmed by a post on OUR BMX.
But Pat Casey’s use of the freecoaster, which he’s been riding for just about a decade, pioneered a path that no one else in BMX will be able to touch for years to come.
As a child, Pat “was nuts” according to his father. After attending the GT Air Show in a stroller in 1995, his parents enrolled him in BMX racing at age 5. He rode everything, from dirt to driveway quarterpipes, and even wrote reports in grade school about how he was going to be a professional BMX rider when he grew up. At age 13, he was asked to choose between football and BMX, and he chose BMX. In his first Dew Tour competition at age 16, he beat Dave Mirra. BMX progressed to the point where he bought his first house as he was graduating high school, and he immediately started building his “Dreamyard,” a backyard maze of minicamps and spines.
As a rider, Pat Casey was someone who lived BMX and embodied the definition of determination. Not only did he create new tricks on the fly, sometimes forwards and often times backwards. But once he had an idea, or got close enough, he was full send until he made it a reality. “It comes down to you defeating the trick, or the trick defeating you,” said Casey in a 2020 X Games interview. “You started it, now you have to finish it.”
That type of commitment and determination, paired with Casey’s use of the freecoaster, created a revolution in BMX riding that no one has caught up to. It might be years before anyone gets as comfortable landing fakie off of a double whip 180 over a spine as Pat Casey. It might never happen. But Pat Casey made it look easy.
Late last Summer Pat posted a video (below) of himself doing a decade fakie air on his backyard ramp, stomped, pedal to pedal. In all of my years riding, it’s something that no one ever dreamed possible, to the point that no one even voiced a “what if this was possible” about it. Pat Casey not only dreamed it up — he made it happen, made it look good and then moved on to the next impossible feat.
Rest easy Pat. Our thoughts are with the Casey family and his close friends at this time. - BT