Remembering Dave Mirra

5 02 2016

I’m still coming to terms with the news that Dave Mirra is gone.

When I saw the news (a friend had posted a news story) I didn’t want to click the link because I didn’t want to believe it was true.

But it was true.

And as more and more people heard the news, the internet lit up with pictures and stories detailing the impact that Dave had made on so many lives.

A number of people have said it felt like a punch to the gut to hear the news…it sure felt that way to me.

After watching his BMX career, from a kid with exceptional bike skills to X-Games superstar, it’s hard to fathom that he’s gone now far too early.

Seeing all the pictures and video on social media felt bittersweet. Remembering all the amazing things in his career, where we were when it happened and the times when we crossed paths.

For me, it took me back to the ’94 BS Finals (the Hoffman contests that predated the X-Games). I had road tripped there with friends and it was one of those BMX contests where all the big names were going off.

Dave Mirra was no exception.

As BMX Plus put it:

By watching Dave ride in practice, you could tell that there was no way he was going to let anyone beat him. Mirra lofted huge transfers, pulled a flip twist, went for a tailwhip flip, carved a tailwhip air about seven feet up and 5 feet across between two street ramps and wasted two wheels on his way to first place. (BMX Plus, March 1995)

I was snapping photos for the zine I did at the time and managed to capture Dave Mirra during the run that won him first place.

At one point in that run, something went wrong with his bike.

Not missing a beat, he grabbed Todd Lyon‘s bike (his then team-mate) and proceeded to uncork a huge flair/flip twist.

Dave Mirra Mob Zine

The fact that Lyons’ bike was set up like a stretched out race bike (notice the caged pedals in the pic) vs. Mirra’s freestyle setup just served to up the difficulty factor.

Seeing that moment (at about 0:12) in the video above brought that moment back in vivid clarity.

He would go on to become one of the most dominant athletes in X-Games history but as many of the stories that have been shared show, he still made time for the kids that looked up to him.

As Chris Doyle wrote yesterday in touching Facebook post:

He was larger than life and he still took the time to say a few words to an overwhelmed kid who had nothing to offer. It meant the world to me and I will never forget that day.

As I work through all the emotions of this difficult situation, I’m trying to remember the adage that we don’t honor him in mourning his death but in celebrating his life.

Still it is hard.

We will all miss Dave Mirra.

Rest in Peace Dave.

Dave Mirra cruiser surfer





Top ten of 2015

31 12 2015

So, we find ourselves here again…the end of the year.

As always, I like to take a look back at some of the top cruiser news on this, the final day of the year. (Granted, the list took a hiatus last year while I was away traveling…but it’s back now.)

So without further ado, the top ten.

10. The  refrain, “What’s old, is new again” is something that I found myself saying throughout the year. Case in point, Gary Turner’s return to the BMX world with a line of cro-mo frames…kicked off by the intro of a nice 26″cruiser frame.

9.  Redline came out with their “nod to the past” PL-26 cruiser. Aping the style of it’s iconic PL-24 cruiser, Redline capitalized on the current interest in 26″ cruisers and introduced a 26″ version.

8. As alluded to above, 26″ cruisers continued to enjoy their moment in the sun. Interbike had 26″ cruisers on display around every corner it seemed. Heck, Skyway even announced a 26″ T/A for 2016, so this trend seems like it will continue.

7. Colony surprised us with a well-spec’d new school 24″ cruiser. Nice to see another core company offering a big wheel option to riders.

6.  Summer 2015 might well go down as the Summer of the BMX movie. A surprising number of entertaining flicks were available to choose from. I caught Turbo Kid in the theater and was grinning from ear to ear the whole time.

5. After months of teasing, anticipation and finally the introduction of the 24″ Chase Hawk tire…people were stoked on this high-performance tire option. However, its swan song seemed to come way too fast (with the announcement that Odyssey was dropping Chase from its team). Whether Odyssey will continue to offer it under a different name remains to be seen.

4. Encore Bikes, an outfit out of Canada, introduced both a new school 24 and 22-inch complete to their lineup. Nice to see these models, right out of the gate, from the new face in the market.

3. BMX Plus!, the longest-running BMX magazine, announced it was shutting down. A blow for sure, especially in a year with so much focus on the old school and bikes like back in the day.

2. Stolen Bikes continued to do the big wheels right. Dialed completes, limited edition tan tires and solid components. It’s easy to see why so many folks are rollin’ on Stolen.

1.  The passing of Scot “The OM” Breithaupt shook the BMX world hard. The man who essentially wrote the template for BMX back in the day (and founded SE Bikes) was gone. News spread quickly, it trended on social media, and it had everyone reflecting on the man and his legacy. In the end, however, it seemed to remind us of how special BMX is, and what an important part Scot played in “making it happen.”

As I said in my post about Scot,

It’s up to us now to continue to make it happen…whether that’s holding a jam, piling into a car with friends for a BMX roadtrip or just getting out on a bike for some fun…we have to continue to make it happen.

BMX has done a lot of looking back this year…but on the eve of 2016, let’s look ahead to see what’s next…to that next turn, that next jump, that next pedal.

Cheers everyone…and Happy New Year!

 





Flatland on the 24″ Quadangle Freestyle

8 10 2014

SE has been on a bit of tear recently, posting pics of the new 24″ Quadangle Freestyle.

You may recall that this old school-looking, new school-riding 24 caught our attention back in June when a sneak peek of the bike turned our heads.

Now a steady stream of photos in SE’s social media accounts have shown that this cruiser is no carpet queen.

Whether it’s Dan Hubbard busting out a classic cherrypicker (with a rider in a 2-Hip shirt making the perfect backdrop)

Dan Hubbard Cherrypicker SE Quadangle Freestyle 24

or @rrdblocks getting fresh with another flatland move

@rrdblocks SE Quadangle Freestyle 24

It looks like this bike has some chops.

Word on the street is that SE has also dropped off a Quadangle Freestyle off with the BMX Plus folks for a bike test.

SE Quadangle Freestyle 24Looking forward to seeing what they have to say about this new project from SE (not to mention it will also be some well-deserved coverage for the 24″ scene in a mainstream pub).





Redline Asset 24: are the specs for real?

25 09 2014

I got the heads up about the bike while attending Interbike earlier this month.

In most cases that would mean I stumbled across it while strolling the aisles of the show.

But, as you’ll recall, Redline wasn’t at the show this year.

Instead it was a picture posted by our good friend, Trent Brocker. Eagle-eyed Trent spotted it at a bike shop in Hayward, CA. He was surprised (like me when I saw it) that Redline made a freestyle cruiser.

Redline Asset 24 shopI needed to find out more. I headed over to the Accell booth (Redline’s parent company) and was immediately told that Redline wasn’t at the show this year. I was kinda hoping I had just missed their booth or they were set up in an odd spot.

I made a mental note to check up on it later.

More wandering around the show.

I then came upon the Hi-Torque Publishing booth.

Copies of the new issue of BMX Plus! were there for the taking. “Don’t mind if I do,” I thought to myself as I picked up a copy.

While flipping through the pages, I found a write up of the Asset 24.

Redline Asset 24 BMX Plus write upThe specs looked pretty good: 74.5 degree headtube, 71 degree seat tube, 13″ BB and 15.5 inch chainstays. Pretty similar to the 24″ S&M ATF. Nice!

Once I got back home from the show I thought I would do some followup research and check it out on Redline’s site.

Redline 2015 Asset 24I dug the look…and the picture seemed to indicate the geometry specs in BMX Plus were correct. But then I clicked on the “geometry tab” and saw this:

Top Tube    20.75″

Head Angle    75 degrees

Seat Angle    70 degrees

BB Height    11.8″

Chainstay    13.75″

What in blue blazes? Those specs did not make sense at all.

Attempts at reaching Redline through email and social media to clear up the confusion were not answered at press time.

If the specs that BMX Plus reported are complete, it looks like we have a very nice new complete on the market for 2015. If the specs on the Redline site are correct…well, then I’m still scratching my head.





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.





Liquid Bikes gets a mention in BMX Plus

22 02 2014

In most months, you would be hard pressed to find any sort of  24″ BMX coverage in the major BMX magazines. For them, 20″ coverage is where it’s at. And who can fault them? That’s probably what the bulk of their ridership is rolling on.

But every once and while, the BMX mags throw us a bone and feature something for the big-wheeled brethren.  Which is what happened in the April edition of BMX Plus! in the “Trick Stuff” section.  Liquid Bikes gets some good coverage of their Feedback V2 frame.

liquid bikes in April BMX PlusNice to see.

Hopefully we’ll see more of this.

Speaking of which, I have my fingers crossed that we’ll see a new edit from Liquid Bikes soon…for now let’s take another peek of this old footage of the Feedback prototype being ridden at the Koala trails.

 

 

 





Mike Day tries out some bigger wheels

10 07 2013

The August edition of BMX Plus! has an interesting column written by Mike Day about his new prototype Speed Series bike.

In the article, Mike talks about his desire to put together “the biggest-wheeled bike that was allowed to race” in the 20- inch class.

(Note: the bike in the video is not the prototype Speed Series…the video just highlights how smooth Mike is)

According to the UCI rule book that meant the diameter of the wheels, including the inflated tires, could not exceed 22 1/2 inches (57 cm).

Once he determined the parameters, Mike worked with GT and Tioga, to design a bike that featured a larger-diameter rim and low profile tire.

The result? A combined diameter just a 1/8 inch smaller than the maximum size allowed by USA BMX and UCI.

Pretty interesting stuff….especially given USA BMX stance that 22″ bikes belong in the cruiser class.

Wonder if this will prompt USA BMX or the UCI to make an announcement about this sort of thing…especially if the rumors are true regarding other companies working on their own versions of this.

Check out the BMX Plus article for more details.

MikeDay