Covid Cruisers from S&M Bikes

27 05 2020

With this whole Covid situation putting a damper on things in general, there’s at least  been a few  silver linings during this last little while.

First, it seems to have reignited the public’s interest in bike riding. Bike shops are reporting record sales and selling out of bikes and gear. Hurrah for the bike industry!

Second, S&M Bikes, with no regular production going on in The Warehouse due to the Covid situation, have been catching up on different projects and prototypes. One especially cool one is a retro Cooks Brothers-inspired 29-inch frame featuring an integrated head tube, mid bottom bracket and a 25.4 seat tube so all current S&M products will be compatible with it.

However, while it has all those modern touches, it still maintains its retro swoopy lines and the throwback looptail dropouts.

This is pretty cool news considering that, in the past, a 29″ frame seemed like a bridge too far for S&M. Granted, they did do the infamous 29″ Pounding Beers fork…but that just seemed like they were jumping on a gap in the market (or a chance to have some fun with Todd Lyons) vs. some deep-seated desire to get into this wheel size. I guess times change.

Or maybe it was the interest in the Fit Big Tripper that influenced them to dive into big wheels a little more. (Also, based on the latest picture of the Covid Cruiser above…it looks like the it will be available in both 29 and 26″ sizes).

I like the vibe of these Covid Cruisers. What do you think of them?

 

All pics: Mad Dog’s Instagram





Austin, Texas is about to get RAD

11 02 2020

Austin, Texas is going to get a whole lot RAD-der over the next little while.

Bill Allen, who most BMXers know as Cru Jones, of RAD movie fame will be in town for an appearance at the Cult Classic Convention this weekend (Feb. 14-16)!

I suspect in addition to offering handshakes (or high fives) and obligatory selfies, he’ll probably also be selling and signing copies of his behind-the-scenes book on RAD.

Then….

And I can hardly believe this is true/happening:

In March, a remastered version of the movie RAD is going to get the big screen treatment as feature presentation at the SXSW festival!

So crazy.

So rad!

 





Shredding on the 29″ Dyno

3 02 2020

One of the coolest stories of 2019 was GT bringing out a 29″ Dyno tribute bike for freestyle legend Dave Voelker.

As a big Dave Voelker fan and also being big into Dyno’s back in the day, it was great to see Dave getting the recognition he deserved…as well as seeing one of my favorite old school bikes reborn as a cruiser.

Of course, the Dave Voelker promo video was awesome too!

Thankfully, a couple more videos have been released of the 29″ Dyno in action.

Like this one below of flatland legend Gabe Weed putting the big wheeled tribute bike (with some custom touches) through an absolute flatland shred session.

And more recently, none other than “The Lord” himself, Dave Voelker, busting out a big fakie wall ride like it’s a Meet in the Street contest in 1987 or something.

So much radness.





Harvester podcast with Wade Nelson

9 01 2020

Harvester BMX has jumped into the whole podcast thing…and their first episode is with none other than Canadian BMX impresario and rider, Wade Nelson.

Wade’s roots in BMX go way back (in both Canada and US) and the podcast touches on a lot of the cool stories from Wade’s past, including the early Hoffman BS comps, the first X-games, working for Brian Scura and the west coast BMX scene.

Even yours truly gets a mention when the topic turns to zines (at around the 35 minute mark).

For those that don’t know I used to produce a zine  in the early to mid 90s called Mob zine.

It was awfully nice of Wade to give the shoutout (Thanks Wade!)

What didn’t make it into the podcast were some fun stories I recall from my encounters with Wade.

One is the time that Wade managed to get the opportunity to answer the “letters to the editor” section of Ride Magazine. Keep in mind, this was in the early days of Ride and let’s say the typical letter was less than genteel in those days. Wade handled that assignment with ease though. I still remember our chat about it about it up on the deck of the ramp at the Boucherville Quebec Play contest (in ’95, I think).

More recently, in a previous Toronto stint, Wade had suggested we grab some food before a Sunday session at the Wallace Emerson skatepark. I wasn’t sure how that would work as Wade is a hardcore vegan….and well, I believe eggs are an essential part of a Sunday breakfast. Somehow, Wade found a vegan/vegetarian place that served eggs and off we went. That day ended with me driving Wade to the hospital….because even though Wade was (and still is) a big proponent of wearing a helmet while riding…he hadn’t quite embraced the same passion for wearing knee pads. As Murphy’s Law would support that would mean Wade would mistime a bar-spinny type maneuver and find his knee making a quick and unintended impact with the concrete surface of the Wallace Emerson park.

Wade’s got a lot more stories to tell though…and the Harvester podcast captures a pretty good collection of them.

Check it out.





Dee Snider & S&M: The backstory

26 11 2019

In a recent episode of Grilled, S&M Bikes owner, Chris Moeller gets asked

“How did you get to know Dee Snider [of Twisted Sister]?”

After appearing to momentarily dodge the question, Chris answers with the story of a Florida bike shop calling with a customer that was cruiser rider looking for a bike….it turns out that rider was Dee Snider.

Check out the video below starting at 9:45

Well, Chris was a big fan so he offered to hook him up with a bike.

Dee Snider ended up coming out to visit the S&M HQ, they hit off and then they ended up doing a signature bike with him: The Widowmaker.

 

Pretty cool story (and part of BMX...and heavy metal(!) history). To think it all started because Dee Snider just wanted to ride.





Ted Emmer resurfaces, ready to ride

12 10 2019

Ted Emmer’s been called a freestyle pioneer (by me and this blog at least) ever since he made his imprint on the world of freestyle and skatepark riding with his iconic picture in the first issue of Freestylin’ back in the day.

For me, that picture really stood out…for many reasons.

Ted Emmer

First off, he’s competing in a skatepark competition on a 24″ cruiser…and we’re not talking a new school 24…he’s essentially on a converted race cruiser.

Second, those wheels! Custom 71(!) spoke Z-rims….48-spoke wheels hadn’t even become a thing yet at this point and ol’ Ted Emmer is jumping all the way up to 71 spokes (the 72nd spoke wouldn’t work because of the valve stem being in the way, if memory serves).

But what happened to Ted Emmer since that iconic photo?

Sure, we gave him some love with the occasional ThursdayThrowback or FridayFlashback ….but I always wondered what became of this trailblazer.

Imagine my surprise, when I got a message from Mr. Emmer himself earlier this week that simply said,

“I restored a bike you might be interested in”

(In my head) <Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?>

(Me)”The bike….from bitd?”

“Indeed”

Then the pictures came.

Sure enough, there was the iconic 24, along with the OG riding gear.

 

Pretty awesome….but I had to ask…what happened to the custom Z-rims?

Turns out they got stolen out of a storage locker….which is heartbreaking from a historical/BMX Nerd perspective. (However, Ted says he’ll whip up another set if he can get a hold of another set of 24″ Z-rims.). So the mags are on there now.

So what’s Ted been up to?

Ted’s is a drummer and rocked out in Hollywood during the hair metal years.

Fast forward to  the (almost) present and a series of events led him to getting the bike back together and riding.

He lost his wife a few years ago which got him thinking about reconnecting with biking. Then, a designer he was working with learning about his BMX roots and together they started digging through storage and decided to bring some of his stuff back to life. (The Wall to Wall Freestyle book was a nudge too). Then the restoration began and you can see the final results.

 

Ted’s now 54 and says “he’s starting from scratch again” with his riding. He’s been riding a small skatepark near his place to get his feet wet.

He’s already got some war wounds to show for his efforts. (see above)

Next on the agenda, a new helmet and a bigger park.

And after that?

Ted’s says his goal is “A sick photo with me, a bike, and sky.”

I like where this is going.





The Lord has risen – video edit incoming

31 07 2019

Early this year we learned that Dyno was making a comeback as a 29er ….and not only that, said 29er was going to be a Dave Voelker signature model.

Hot damn, one of my favorite riders from bitd back in the limelight and this time…on big wheels.

And now, Dave’s back with a new edit….and it’s so good!

It starts off with some classic footage of Dave going BIG….it’s almost like a highlight real from his biggest BMX hits. From there it segues into some superfun big wheel shenanigans…complete with the classic Voelker footplant.

Check it out:

It’s good to see Lord Voelker back.

The Lord has risen….Praise the Lord!





Rolling with the Toronto Rad Ride

22 07 2019

Today I got together with over 200 Old School heads and BMX enthusiasts for a fun ride along Toronto’s waterfront.

This was my first time attending the Toronto Old School Rad Ride event and dang, I’m glad I got a chance to make it out.

In the past the Rad Ride fell on the same weekend as one of the bigger Provincial/State races in Ontario so I, along with a lot of local racers, ended up missing it. Thankfully, this year the stars aligned and there wasn’t any big races scheduled so a bunch of us race-y types got to partake in the festivities. (That’s my buddy Damir from Milton BMX)

Not only did the race schedules do us right but Mother Nature did as well. It was a picture perfect summer day. From what I heard it was a record turnout too so that’s pretty awesome.

Check out all the bikes, so many cool rides!

 

 


It was also a great chance to catch up with a lot of old friends along with putting  a face to the name of online friends and acquaintances.

A good day out for sure!





The kids are alright in Boston

21 07 2019

A recent Boston Globe article’s headline says it all,

Since I got my bike, I’ve stopped playing Fortnite“.

Kids are rediscovering how fun bikes can be, cruising with their friends and popping wheelies…and they’re doing it all on cruisers.

As the Boston Globe article sees it,

It is their vehicle, their tool for youthful freedom, the glittery thing that for whatever reason kids have latched onto. If they don’t have one, they pine for it, falling asleep at night dreaming of the glorious day they, too, will be able to go cruising.

Not only that, the allure of a youthful freedom machine has them putting away the Fortnite and motivating them to get out and hustle to get their rides. The article describes the effort two brothers went to to get their riders:

….hustling for more than a year to get the bikes. They saved the money they got for birthdays and communions. They spent four days painting a porch. Nathan [one of the brothers] got straight A’s on his report card.

It almost brings a tear to your eye….kids getting stoked on bikes and getting them motivated to work for what they want.

If that’s not impressive enough on its own (which it is, really)…the article also mentions that kids are hanging out at the bike shop shopping for new grips and tires because “no one wants to run stock”.

Could this new wave of kids getting stoked on bikes bring back BMX parts back to the local bike shop? If so, they’ve upped the ante on their “alrightness” to another level….

 

Pic: Boston Globe





Is FitBikeCo tripping?

3 06 2019

In some ways this was unexpected…but in other ways, perfectly in line with S&M Bikes/FitBikeCo style antics.

When overbuilt frames were a thing, S&M responded with the Heavy as Fuck frame. When things veered in the other direction, the Light  as Fuck frame came into being.

Now with 26″ BMX cruisers having an extended moment in the sun….partly helped along by the #BikeLife movement….the folks at The Building, specifically FitBikeCo are set to introduce the 26″ Tripper later this summer.

And yes, if you think they’re trolling SE and Todd Lyons a bit here….well, I can’t speak for FitBikeCo, but signs point to yes, that seems to be happening.

 

From the name, an obvious takeoff of the iconic “PK Ripper“…to the colorways “Stu Blue” and Gloss Black with Gold Anno…you know what  style they’re trying to evoke.

 

 

Heck, Dougie Darrah even has the iconic OM BMX skid on lock already!

 

I guess it was only a matter of time for Chris Moeller to cook this up, given the success of their Pounding Beer forks (another SE sendup)

I’m kinda curious to see how Todd Lyons is going to respond to this…are we gonna see some dust ups between the two of them?

Similar to the old “run-ins” Chris Moeller and Harry Leary used to have back in the 80s ?

I’m looking forward to finding out.