Pro tip: use an umbrella in staging

22 08 2014

BMX racers are always looking for that extra edge.

A couple years back, we learned that drinking a slurpee could make the difference on a hot race day.

Well, I think I have stumbled on to the next game changer in BMX, the umbrella.

If you look at other racing disciplines, it’s not uncommon to see a racer being shielded from the elements by an umbrella held by a helpful assistant.

Just look at motorcycle racing.

superbike umbrella w

Or auto racing

(Heck, the sun’s not even out here!)

auto umbrella


Not sure why BMX racing hasn’t latched onto this ground-breaking idea.

ODI even manufactures a pit umbrella, complete with a lock-on grip at the end! It’s practically crying out for BMX racers to use it in staging.

Odi golf umbrellaActually, maybe I’m being a little hasty.

I did spot a racer in staging this summer that was trying out this umbrella idea.

umbrella in staging

That’s me in the blue TLD jersey, hating life because I don’t have any shade…while over beside me, that kid is just chilling…waiting to take on his class; all cool, calm and collected.

Must be an early adopter.

I gotta jump on this bandwagon…I think I’m going to order an umbrella today.

About these ads

Cruiser class split into 2 proficiencies

14 08 2014

It’s finally happened.

The cruiser class has been split into two proficiencies: expert and sport.

When did USA BMX/BMX Canada institute this change, you say?

Well…they actually haven’t.

It was Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC), the sanctioning body in Quebec, Canada that made the change.

I first heard of this development when I was catching up with Quebec racer, Andrew Mueller, at a race a few weeks back.

Andrew Mueller Steve Di Monte CYL Photography

Andrew Mueller lays the power down at MBMX (pic by Steve Di Monte)

I was stoked to hear the news. I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while and was always disappointed when it would be raised on BMX racing forums and then quickly dismissed (shot down is a better description) by folks saying “it would be harder to fill gates”, “there are already too many classes”, “go race 20 then”…blah, blah.

Turns out these arguments to stick with the status quo are all bunk if the results in Quebec are anything to go by.

According to Mueller, more and more riders are entering races and it’s not uncommon to get 2-3 full gates in the “sport’ class alone.

Older riders in Quebec are now returning to the sport (or just giving it a try for the first time) because the intimidation factor is significantly lower. They no longer have to gate up immediately with highly experienced/skilled riders that are not afraid to bang bars or hit the big jumps.

BMX racing’s appeal and selling proposition was always “nobody has to sit on the bench.” Yet the Cruiser class (in USA BMX/BMX Canada) has always kept some people on the bench by not offering an option to people that are not willing or interested in racing an expert-level class.

Kudos to FQSC for making this important move.

Looks like it’s really paying off for them.

Will USA BMX/BMX Canada have the courage to make a similar change?

We’ll have to see.

Bobby Parker’s Burly Park session

5 08 2014

Bobby Park just dropped this video of a Burly Park session in Burlington, Iowa.

Entitled Dramatical Model C the video offers surprisingly little drama…instead, just clips of straight-up shredding.

I have no problem with that.



First look: Subrosa 26″ Malum

5 08 2014

The Subrosa 26″ Malum is a new addition to the Subrosa lineup for 2015.

It features a full chromoly frame (with an ovalized downtube) paired up with full chromoly forks and handlebars (7″ X 28″).

subrosa malum 26in

In terms of geometry, the frame sports the following specs:

  • 72 degree head tube
  • 73 degree seat tube
  • 22″ top tube
  • 16.65″ chain stay
  • 14.75″ standover height

You can find the rest of the specs here: 2015 Subrosa lineup.

Not too shabby but I’m not sure if I dig this as much as last year’s offering from Subrosa: the DTT TTWOFOUR frame and fork.

Word on the street the DTT TTWOFOUR is no more for 2015.

Which is a bit of a shame really because that frame was one of the more unique frames on the market last year.  If Subrosa decided to offer that as a well-spec’d complete…now that would be something!

Rob Ford makes crack about BMX track

1 08 2014

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, famous for his admission that he used crack cocaine “in one of his drunken stupors, is also notoriously anti-bike.

Now it appears his anti-bike stance has extended to the construction of the BMX track being built as one of the venues for the upcoming Pan-Am Games in Toronto.

As part of an online video series, called Coffee Run, Rob Ford takes a ride with musician DeadMau5 to talk local politics, driving in Toronto and…the construction of the new Pan Am BMX track.


Here’s just part of the conversation (starting at about 17:30):

Ford: “There are some things that are just ridiculous. Like they’re building a BMX track.”

Deadmau5: “I saw that.”

Ford: “$4.5 million … They’re saying a professional BMX track, they got a quote, listen to this, for a million and a half bucks. A f–king track!”

Deadmau5: “I’ll do it for $500.”

Ford: I’ve got more calls coming in, and they said, ‘Hold on a second, no, the real cost is going to be $4.5 million.’ And I said, ‘Whoa partner.’ I said, ‘How can you get a quote for $1.5 million and then all of a sudden it triples in price?’ There’s a scam going on if you asked me. It’s ridiculous.”

Granted, $4.5 million does seem a little rich for a BMX track.  (That must be one heck of an announcer’s tower being built.)

Regardless of where you stand on the price tag of the Pan Am track, and Rob Ford in general, it’s still funny to hear him say, after all his past shenanigans, “I’m not a BMXer” in an interview.

That, and to think of how much caffeine is in his coffee order…five espresso shots(!) in a single cup.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 86 other followers