Stop the presses: a 26″ custom Trail Boss

29 07 2014

Hot damn…this is one awesome looking bike.

Standard Bykes built up this custom 26″ Trail Boss for artist Chris Piascik and featured it a short while ago on their Facebook feed.

I’m actually kinda speechless about this bike, I’m digging on it so hard.

Chris Piascik's custom 26in Trail Boss(pic from Standard Bykes Facebook feed)

I don’t have all the particulars on it, geo-wise, but Standard has said in the comments regarding this bike that:

If we get a few guys into ordering these we’ll do a “stock” run of them…which means regular stock pricing!

Stock pricing? This bike is getting more tempting by the minute.

I have to stop looking at the picture.

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Back when I was a zine fiend

24 07 2014

It all started innocently enough.

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, Freestylin’ magazine would run articles on zines (small, indy-style, xeroxed publications) that riders were producing for their local scenes.

I was intrigued by them and managed to get a few through the mail. It was cool seeing the different scenes out there and the unique ways that people would put stuff together.

Time passed and one summer, while catching a freestyle team doing a bike shop tour (was it Haro, GT? I can’t remember…) someone handed my a copy of the iconic AGGRO RAG zine.

Wow.

I was blown away.

It was so good.

I had to get in on this action.

I quickly started amassing pictures, images and anything else I could think of.

I threw it together old-school style with scissors and glue-stick and took it off to a local printer to do a print run.

zines

I handed them out whereever I could, mailed them off to people and even sent a few off to the big mags at the time, GO and BMX Plus.

Then…nothing

I’m not sure what I expected at that point but I was hoping for some kind of response. I heard back from a few people that they liked it but that was it.

A few months passed.

Then…out of the blue…I started getting multiple letters a day for people asking about the zine (remember this was before email took off). I couldn’t figure out why.

Then finally, someone gave me a clue…”I read your letter in BMX Plus!

BMX Plus! had printed my letter, address and all, and people were into checking out my little old zine.

I was stoked.

And then I realized I had to make issue #2.

That started off a 6-year journey of sporadic publishing, writing about contests and crazy road trips and all the associated shenanigans that come with it.

It was  a good time.

I miss it sometimes.





Sneak Peek: 2015 Ssquared CEO 24

23 07 2014

Ssquared has built up quite a following in the race community over the past few years.  They have a reputation for solid bikes that have a geometry that people really seem to dig.

2024 BMX mag snagged a sneak peek of the 2015 Ssquared CEO 24 and featured it on their Twitter feed a few days back.

Looks pretty nice.

Check it out.

2015 Ssquared CEO 24

 





Sneak Peek: 2015 Fairdale Taj Cruiser

17 07 2014

Fairdale Bikes recently put out a preview of their 2015 lineup and part of that preview included the 2015 Taj Cruiser.

The Taj is now in an eye-catching red and features Odyssey grips, seat, pedals, brakes and levers. It will be available as a complete and as a frame and fork kit.

2015 Fairdale Taj spec shotsAnd while complete specs and geometry will be released later (probably around Interbike in September, I’m guessing) the preview does promise that the Taj Cruiser features:

“Wheelie Poppin’, Curb Hoppin’ Track Certified Geometry.”

That’s good enough for me.

2015 Fairdale Taj complete

Check it out.

 





Big Ripper getting a big-time launch party

10 07 2014

A bike launch party hosted by a rock star?

This might be a first.

The SE Big Ripper is getting the rock star treatment.

But when you’re the biggest cruiser in the SE fleet, maybe a big-time event is what you need.

As you might recall, we first talked about SE’s collaboration with Travis Barker back in January. It was a special project called the TB x Famous Stars and Straps Big Ripper bike.

Barker’s no stranger to BMX, or to riding SE Bikes, as he was known to roll on an SE Big Ripper prior to this project.

Now Travis is ready to give it a proper launch at Brooklyn Projects (on Melrose Avenue) in Los Angeles on July 12th.

Big Ripper release party

The event promises a meet and greet with Travis Barker himself, limited edition tees (only available at the event) and a bike giveaway. I’m sure The Wildman, Todd Lyons, will also be in the house which should also liven up things.

Sounds like a good time to me. Check it out if you’re in the area.





First look: 2015 SE Floval Flyer

3 07 2014

Hot damn!

Just spotted this sneak peek photo of the 2015 Floval Flyer from SE Bikes.

I’m not sure how much it has changed spec and geometry-wise from the 2014 model but I’m sure digging on the look.

The new-for-2015 high polished frame makes this bike look dialed.

Can’t wait to see one of these completes up close!

2015 SE Floval Flyer

 

 





Who’s radder? BMX racing vs. Roller Derby

26 06 2014

If you spend any time at all on BMX racing websites and forums, it’s inevitable that you will stumble upon a thread on “how to grow the sport.”

That’s because BMX racing participation rates, while steady, have dipped considerably since the glory days of the 80s and early 90s.

Sure, BMX racing got some media attention from its inclusion in the past two Olympics, but it’s effect at track level was hardly the magic bullet many thought it would be. Many tracks struggle to make a full gate in many classes and local races can often have only a handful of motos.

In comparision, Roller Derby has seen a growth spurt in both popularity and participation that BMX racing can only envy.

What does Roller Derby have that BMX doesn’t?

Let’s take a look.

Roller Derby is primarily local. In BMX racing, “Nationals are the new locals”. Marquee riders are hardly ever at local races beyond stopping in for some gate practice. In Roller Derby, bouts between local teams are common. Moving on to national or international competition is secondary. Leagues and teams are sprouting up everywhere…from small towns to major urban centres.

Roller Derby participants are characters. From their outrageous costumes to their crazy nicknames, these girls create a persona that people can latch onto. Remember when  BMX superstars like Stompin’ Stu and Pistol Pete Loncarevich used to have their nicknames and funny sayings sewn onto the back of their race pants?  They were characters with larger than life personalities…contrast that to a pro of today with earbuds in, riding rollers between motos. In Roller Derby, these girls are larger than life.

Roller Derby bouts are not just a competitions, they’re a show. Look into a crowd at a BMX race, even a big one like a National, and chances are the the audience is made up of parents, spouses and brothers and sisters of the participants…maybe the grandparents too. You would be hardpressed to get a person off the street to plan an outing out to a BMX race just to watch. Contrast that with Roller Derby.  People plan on a night out to check out a Roller Derby bout.  People get into the characters, the excitement of local teams battling it out, the whole spectacle of it all.  And most Roller Derby venues serve beer…that can’t hurt either.

Roller Derby is full contact in a way that BMX used to be. In Roller Derby posters you can often see lines like “the hits are real”. Roller Derby is full contact with people working their way through the crowd and sometimes winding up on the floor by a hit from a rival team. Likewise, back in the day it was more of a berm warfare kind of thing in BMX racing…elbows out and going for it. With the advent of more technical tracks and clipped in riders…many races end up being follow the leader type of exercises once riders exit the first turn with riders trying to avoid unclipping if they happen to end up going sideways  (granted there are exceptions to this, but I’m speaking generally here).

Roller Derby walks the line between outsider and accessible perfectly. For all its badass babe mentality, a roller derby bout is something you can bring kids to without worry. If anything, witnessing a roller derby bout could be an empowering experience for the little tikes.  Yet, 2o-year old hipsters also find it right up their alley too.

It’s interesting  that in the roller derby movie, Whip it, the protagonist blows off the SAT prep to pursue Roller Derby. It reminds you of how in the movie RAD, Cru Jones forgoes taking the SATs to participate in the big Helltrack race that came to his town.  But even in Rad, it’s all about the big race and Cru trying to fit in with the factory hot shots.  In Roller Derby, it’s less about the competition and more about expressing who you are. Without trying so hard to fit in, Roller Derby has created something that people can buy into…and that appears to have made all the difference.

 








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