Sunday, February 2, 2014

DionRidesBikes is now RiderInBlack

I posted about the move in September 2013, but this site will become a generic domain in March 2014. Thanks for all the banter and comments, but I have moved on to a new, improved site that offers more ways of sharing my riding experience.

Please go to: RIDERINBLACK for the newest version of DionRidesBikes.com.

See ya' there! - Dion

Friday, September 6, 2013

MOVING OUT OF HERE! New site: RiderInBlack.com

Hey Friends,

I'm going to be posting at a different site from here-on-out: www.riderinblack.com

I have my specific reasons, mostly because I like the interface much more than Blogger's. I will still retain my e-mail address of dion@dionridesbikes.com, but will moving over to dion@riderinblack.com as time moves on. Eventually, I will delete this blog entirely and will be at riderinblack.com only.

So, please give me some time to move my thoughts and words over to the new site. Thanks for reading!

-Dion

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What is My Legacy?

This is going to be a somewhat obscure post, but it does relate to bicycle riding. I don't have any product reviews, posts about new builds or new events I've attended to blabber about (well, I do, but that will be later) - but the legacy question is something I've been pondering lately and thought it would be cathartic to put into outer-space.

So, if you don't like such things... I don't mind if you just X-out this tab and move on to MTBR or The Come Up (I don't blame you), but if you're interested, please make yourself comfortable and help me dig a little.

I am 1 1/2 years shy of my 40th birthday. While for some, that may be considered "young" I truly I thought I'd be in a different place by now. I mean, career is going well, I'm married, etc., etc., but one of the things I thought I'd definitely be by now is a Dad. There are certain things (medically) with me that reduces (to nearly zero) the chance of ever being able to conceive a child with my wife. Adoption is financially prohibitive.

To me, being a husband and a father is the ultimate sacrifice a man can give. I have the utmost respect for all my friends who balance play, work and fatherly duties. These men, if all goes well, will leave behind a legacy. Big or small - it is still a legacy. Their name, their memory... will continue on. Sure, there are douchebags out there - but let's put it into perspective - most men who are fathers want to do the best they can to provide.

So, I ask the question: How will I be remembered when I am gone? What will be my legacy? Will I have left any lasting impression on this world for the positive? Was I a good man? A good person to others? Was I a good husband?

When we die, there are two numbers: your birth date and your death date... with a "-" in between. That "-" represents everything you were during your life. So, I will ask myself, when the time comes: Did I make that "-" count?

Bike riding has become such an integral part of my life it is where I place my identity. Many men my age will talk about their work, career, family... I talk about bikes. BMX and MTB's are my true passions - these are the activities that keep me drooling over the thought of the upcoming weekend on a Monday morning. It's what I talk about with my friends, my family, coworkers... I probably can get pretty annoying with it (I apologize to my wife!). 

Ultimately, me doing something on my bike isn't what drives me. Rather, it is the trials and tribulations of other riders that inspire me to want to keep going with it. I want to be there when they shine.

Nothing gets me more amped than my friends getting on podiums at races, a fellow BMX'er doing a trick that we all thought was impossible or hitting an obstacle that is frightening to most. Seeing somebody overcoming obesity or soldiers healing themselves through the therapeutic act of pedaling a bike.

I love it when I see somebody crest over a hill they thought was going to kill them, or seeing children progress on 18" BMX bikes in 2 years what took us 8 back in the day.

I love it when I see my wife get PR's and the occasional QOM's on Strava. She pedals her ass off. I'm so proud of her.

Watching companies and bike shops not only survive, but succeed. See innovations come out that solves problems.

Seeing the most incredible pieces of bike related digital film and artwork for free. All the heart, sweat and passion into projects and edits done - for the labor of love for bikes.

I love the groms. The crack me up and they remind me when I was a young BMX'er with nowhere to go but up. These boys and girls are the future superstars.

I love hugging my friends when they do well, sharing a brew or even a puff. I love the handshake-fist-bump acquaintances I've met along the way and all you on the web who have interacted with me through picture sharing and forums.

To most, I am an internet ghost, Instagram goof and blogger - and most likely we will never meet in person. But to those who I get to spend those bright days and dark nights, spinning wheels, grinding ledges, jumping things, mashing trails and and falling down to do it over - I can only hope this will be my legacy - as I really have nothing else to offer but my passion for bikes and for the people that ride them. The connections we've made are all very dear to me.

I will probably be cursed with a very long life (longevity runs in my family), but before those years add up and creep in, and my ability to pedal a bike, do a BMX trick or rail singletrack is gone, I feel I needed to put this into cyberspace while it was weighing so deeply on me.

Thank you all for sharing the passion with me. You are the reason why I ride.

-Dion

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ramblings: Disconnecting from the forums | BMX State of Mind | New Dropper Post

Disconnecting

I recently did myself a favor and logged off MTBR and other forums completely. While these forums provide great info, insight, advice, etc. they also provide a big distraction from work and responsibilities. Admittedly, I had a problem with them (MTBR in particular) - I'd get sucked into conversations, get into internet "flame wars" (I know - it's very stupid), I'd get "trolled"... and the very reason why I joined these forums was fading away into obscurity.

Also, I'd get real upset over stuff in these forums, and feel real stupid for letting this stuff bother me. I'd ask myself "Why?" - most of these people are strangers, anonymous people behind screen names... so why was I getting sucked into these types of conversations?

I have lurked in to get some info on my new Jek, but that's about it. I still did not log-in.

While I enjoyed the local banter, I am over the trolling and flaming. I feel better - like I eliminated negative people in my life. Fuckin' first world problems...

I know, it's very silly. A grown man shouldn't be pondering this BS, but a grown man shouldn't be doing tricks on a BMX bike by most peoples standards. 

BMX State of Mind

More silliness.

I've turned this thing into my mantra. I believe it was The Come Up that originally came up with this, and I've owned it since. 

I love this saying. For the past 22-some-odd years after quitting BMX, I feel like I've been searching for "me". Meaning, I've looked into motorcycles, fixed gear bikes, MTB'ing, trials riding, road riding, etc. but I've never felt "me" doing these things. Like, "...yeah, that's fun... but not quite."

It was real bad in my mid-20's: I remember feeling "bored" and out-of-sorts... like something was missing. I was super depressed, in fact, I've battled with depression for many years - always yearning to feel "right".

There is something about freestyle BMX riding that has made me feel whole again. Like, a complete person, and I can't pinpoint what it is about riding that 20" bike that makes me feel this way. It could be the care-free creativity that comes with it; or possibly the freedom to be able to do anything your mind can come up with. The level of riding we see today shows there are no boundaries. It could be that it is completely void of mano-a-mano competition - those alpha-male pissing contests that runs rampant in XC MTB'ing and even worse in road bike riding. Maybe BMX satisfies my self-diagnosed AAHDD.

Whatever BMX does to stimulate that little grey organ rattling around in my skull - it does it. I don't quite find that in MTB'ing. While I love MTB'ing, it does not do what BMX does for me on a cognitive level.

So, I've adopted "BMX State of Mind" as a silly saying and have applied it in all facets of my life, from my marriage to my profession. To me, it says to live life without boundaries. To - in a figurative way - "grab your bike and walk out the front door". To live life creatively. To appreciate even the smallest positive effort, because in that effort, if built upon, will turn into huge things later. Doing positive things repetitively becomes internalized and becomes a habit that you can teach others. To congratulate people on things that would normally go unnoticed. To learn from young and old. To squash the bullshit and negativity by ignoring it. To push boundaries and make your own rules about life. To not think outside the box, but to not even have a "box". This, to me, is living life in the "BMX State of Mind".

BMX'ers turn simple, everyday things, into all-day sessions. Empty parking lots, a curb, a set of stairs... even a garage floor. You don't need anything but the earth, gravity and your bike to make magic happen. Making use of the environment and evolving with it. Rolling with what has been provided and building upon it. I have chosen this attitude to permeate everything I do. 

A note to my fellow Old-Schoolers: I know we like to bask in our former glory. I am equally as guilty. I know we like to hang on to tricks we did 25-30 years ago and still do them - there is nothing wrong with that. However, we should grow; evolve. We should watch and learn from the younger riders and ask questions. Get pointers. Try stuff we never did "back in the good ol' days" because either we were too scared to do it or it hadn't been invented yet. My riding is rapidly progressing simply because I'm looking at BMX with fresh eyes. I want to update my efforts, and not be stuck in 1991 for the rest of my riding life.

Here are some pics from the weekend. Learning from the younger riders and being inspired is helping me evolve as a rider.




New Dropper Post

Hey, 100mm X-Fusion HiLo for $140 off FeeBay, brand new? I couldn't pass it up. Now, just waiting for that damn firm fork spring to arrive. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Got Me a New Bike... This Time Not a Frankenbike: 2012 Cannondale Jekyll 4

Yup. 

I joined the rest of the world and bought a complete. After showing off the pictures of my new bike, people posted comments, like, "This is not a Dion bike..." or "I thought you were too hardcore for full suspension..." Ha. 

Honestly, I've been riding pieced together frankenbikes as long as I've been into bikes. I've never owned a high-end complete, even when I was a kid. I guess my last few completes were bought online, but I've never bought myself something off the floor like a normal human. I've never got to enjoy "free maintenance and repairs" from the shop. I've always done it myself. 

I spotted this thing at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale, Ca. after having lunch at our usual Vegetarian Asian restaurant. I really wasn't "looking" to buy a bike, just browsing. I've had, in the back of my mind for a few months now, a thought to consider picking up a full suspension bike - to be more exact, a trail bike. Something that rails the flow. I mean, I've been riding these rigid bikes or hardtails for so long now. The last FS bike I had was a Motobecane DS Comp. Not a bad bike, and at times I regret selling it. Oh well. 

Sports Basement is a sporting goods store with a good bike shop, but it leans more towards the roadie and townie crowd. The MTB's look like they've been sitting on the floor for some time, and if they were shelter dogs, they would've been put down by now. The two that caught my attention were the Ibis Mojo and the Cannondale Jekyll 4 ("The Jek" is what I call it). The Mojo was a lower end build of a high end bike: through axle up front with a 9mm QR in back, XT and SLX components. The Jek is an X7 build, through axles both front and back with the Cannondale proprietary Fox DYAD RT2 rear shock and a RockShox Sektor TK coil fork up front. 




I what initially got my attention of the Jek was the price. It's only a year old and it was marked down from the MSRP of $2,700 to $1,800. Dude, I could afford that - just got to let go of a bike or two to offset the purchase.

The Mojo was $2,750. That would take a little creative maneuvering of money and selling more than what I feel comfortable with. Plus, after riding the Mojo (they only had a medium) - it felt small to me. the Jek is a large and fit me much better.

For shits and giggles, I test rode a Cannondale Scalpel FS 29'er. Um, no thanks. 26" wheels for a trail bike. Thank you.

With a 10% discount and a purchase of some Crank Bros. Candy 2 pedals, I was out the door with a brand new bike. As wiped out as I was from my buddy's bachelor party the night before, I took a nap and went for a test ride.

Ride 1: Feeling it Out




It was everything I expected. Full-Suspension is just weird for me. So many levers, adjustments to be made, finicky settings, etc. I took the suggestions of what people were saying online about the DYAD RT2 shock and set it up accordingly. What resulted was a plush ride, but serious pedal strikes - so the shock was too soft for what I need it to do. The front fork is way too soft for me and needs a firm spring. That will come soon, and I'll report the results of that on my 3 month review of the bike. Because - as it sits with the medium rate spring for lighter riders - I don't think the bike is "there" yet. 

Fit, color, graphics, ergo's... all very nice. The bike climbs as I thought it would - slow'ish, steady, not XC speed at all. But what really surprises me is the flat-out speed it possesses. I feel this might be a result of the lateral stiffness and rockin' the big ring (yes, it has a triple) is not a knee injuring activity. One would think that the Hans Dampf tires it comes stock with would resist rolling, but they seem to work very well with this bike.

Ride 2: Adjustments and Fine Tuning

Again, I struggled with the full-suspension. This time, I was dabbing all over the place, having to walk sections I normally would glide right over and just having a frustrating day. It was also 96ยบ, windy and dry. I had not played with the suspension settings on this ride, and I was experiencing the same issues with pedal strike. 

I flipped the stem and lowered it slightly. The stock set-up felt like a beach cruiser.

I played with tire pressure, lever reach and seat post height. Between the heat, poor traction and with the past weekend starting to catch up with me, I didn't have much of a ride, but counted it as an "adjustment" ride.

Ride 3: Getting better - The Fireroad Test




Many of us, if not most, have to deal with fireroads in some form or another. Personally, I hate fireroads - but they are a part of MTB'ing and unless you're getting shuttled up the hills or if you only ride singletrack, we must sit and spin up these things. 

Coyote Peak Tower climb at Santa Teresa County park is a decent climb. It's steep, long'ish and sits at around 1,200ft. of elevation (although the elevation gain is 600ft. and is 3 miles long). It feels worse than 600ft.

This day of riding, I did play with the rear shock settings, and set just a few steps below the manufacturer recommendations. That made a huge difference - very plush on the rocks and rough, and efficient for the technical climbs. I cleared everything as I normally would.

The DYAD rear shock has two positions: long travel and short travel. There is a bar mounted lever that allows the rider to toggle between the two. I have played with this setting and discovered that the short travel is pretty much good for fireroads and extremely non-technical riding. When things get slightly rough, the long travel provides better traction and more pedal efficiency. 

For the fireroad climb, I set the rear to "short travel" and deployed the dual-position (DP) feature on the Sektor TK fork which lowers the fork from 150mm to 100mm. I also locked it out.

To my surprise, the Jek motored up the hill without issue. I thought the weight would play into things, but I really didn't feel it as much as I anticipated. The bike also didn't wander - but that could be attributed to the lowered fork. There were no traction issues, even in the loose stuff.

I was +/- 1mph slower on this bike up that climb than my 6lbs. lighter, On-One Inbred 29'er with XC wheels. This was to be expected, but I was surprised the climb wasn't worse.

Positives, Criticisms and Upgrades

Pros:

  • Great bike fit. This varied between riders, but this bike, off the floor, fit me perfect. Just a few minor adjustments and I was very happy.
  • Fox DYAD RT2 rear shock: sweet design and great feel.
  • Ride quality is stable, efficient and great lateral stiffness
  • I broke all my downhill personal records on the first ride!
Criticisms:
  • Limited adjustability of the stock RockShox Sektor TK fork: You must replace the spring tuned for your weight. I am 200lbs, and the medium spring it comes with makes the bike squirrel'y dive'y and just not a pleasant ride. Handling is compromised without getting this dialed. I have the firm spring on order and looking forward to getting it dropped in.
  • Weight. My bike is 32.58lbs as shown, but will likely be over 33lbs after I do the upgrades. However, the geometry and ergos help in this regard and you don't "feel" the weight as much as you'd think you would. 
Upgrades:
  • The immediate upgrade I did was the handlebar. For a trail bike, you would think Cannondale would stock this with a nice, wide handlebar. But instead they give you a 680mm handlebar. I swapped out their narrow bar with my wide Answer DH riser bar the afternoon I bought it.
  • Bash guard. Just a safety precaution, but with the triple, I wouldn't want to come home with a bent chainring. The MRP bash guard is en route, and will add the extra protection needed for big logs and rocks.
  • Dropper post. Found an X-Fusion HiLo dropper post on eBay for $140. While the reviews are mixed on this post, I think it will add a dimension to descending that is greatly needed for my trail bike. I have always been against dropper posts, but now, after riding a true trail bike, I can see the point.
I will update the review of this bike as time progresses. I hope this helps some on the fence about the Cannondale Jekyll 4.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reflections on the Old School BMX Reunion (OSBMXR) at Woodward West - a FIRST TIMER Perspective

Now that I've had a week gone by, it's given me time to reflect on my time spent at the OSBMXR. Being a first timer, I wasn't sure what to expect; Steve Swope's itinerary helps some, but not all. I hope my report helps other first timers get a feel of what to expect and what to bring. Also, there's a little insight of how this event changed me.

Tehachapi, Ca.

Tehachapi is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Even as a MTB'er who explores the great South Bay Area, Ca. hills and forests, this place was magical. Woodward West is about 15-20 minutes outside of the small town, and everything you need for the weekend in terms of food and amenities can be found there - so if you forget your toothbrush or want to go dine out, it's just a short drive away. Nothing fancy, but whatever is there get's the job done. Since I don't eat fast food and I'm a vegetarian, my choices were limited, but I was able to "make do".


Woodward West sits at about 4000' above sea level, surrounded by mountains and green meadows. Wildlife has found its place there, as cottontail bunnies, deer and snakes wander about the Lodge at all times of the day. At night, the coyotes can be heard within earshot howling and barking, and bats flutter about as you drive to-and-from the Lodge and hangar as the sun sets.

If you stay at Hilltop - like I did - you will bunk with other OSBMXR attendees - so if you come with a group of friends, make sure you arrange to all room up. I went alone and had a great roommate - Dean Johnstone - a vert/park rider from Bristol, UK. The rooms are bare minimum, but have a bathroom with a shower. The beds are small bunk beds, and you will need to bring your own bedding, including a sheet to cover the basic foam cushion. Bring what you need for a weekend stay: a towel, soap, oral hygiene, etc. It is very much like camping as basic as it is.


The other rooms have one single bed, and if you get one of those, I would recommend you bring a cot or air mattress to sleep on if you have roommates. Honestly, I may bring an air mattress next year, even if I do get a bunk bed. It wasn't the most comfortable thing to sleep on!

If you have an RV, trailer or camper bed, sleep in there. Rooms are $20 a night, which is a great deal, but if you are self-sufficient, sleeping in the Lodge parking lot doesn't seem that bad. Then, bother one of your friends to use their shower in the morning.

Even if you are a brown boy like me, bring sunscreen. Especially if you are white. All the outdoor riding is in direct sunlight, and you definitely get burned. Also, hydrate as one should hydrate. I was so pumped to be there, I don't think I drank enough water at all.

I would also recommend bringing an ice chest full of goodies for the weekend. Food is essentially nonexistent there unless you want to drive into town. I did buy lunch and dinner tickets, but those meals were very small. I didn't even eat the dinner. If you are on a special diet like I am, I would highly recommend you bring your own stash of food. 

Bring all the tools and small parts you think you will need. I brought extra gyro and brake cables, tubes, extra brake pads and all the tools I would need "just in case". Last thing you need is to be in BMX heaven with a bike that's unrideable.

One last recommendation for a first timer is to arrive on FRIDAY if possible. I drove 5 hours from San Jose to Tehachapi, and if I didn't have all that adrenaline going, I probably would've dropped dead. I can rally as much as a man can, but that drive starting at 5am on Saturday morning simply SUCKED. I also missed a whole day of riding on Friday. I would've preferred to arrive there on Friday, get acclimated, and took my time. Saturday, I was up from 5am to 1am, and rode all day during that time. I don't know how I did it, but I was running on octane that day.

Riding Woodward West

Woodward West has about everything you would need as a BMX'er. There are about a half dozen parks, a dirt jump area, a flatland area (which I will get into in a bit) and, of course, MEGA RAMP. You must have full pads and a helmet to ride the park.

The hangar is filled with wood structures, including a big vert ramp, a handful of mini ramps, a foam pit and a resi-ramp. There is also a "street" area with benches, rails, platforms and a banked wall ride.

Outside, there are a few cement parks, a wood park and dirt jumps. Everything is ridable - sort of like the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "Everything is eatable".

The flatland area is one to contend with, however. It was small and slanted. It was ridable, but definitely not level. You find yourself going uphill in some areas and downhill in others. Some acclimation was necessary. Stuff I would normally pull, I just couldn't pull.

Mega Ramp was gnarly. I've never seen such a structure in my life - to a planter-box guy like myself, it was terrifying. Seeing the guys ride it was incredible and is something that you have to witness yourself to appreciate it - pictures do not do it justice, especially if guys are airing 15-20ft. above the coping. Adam Carolla would say, "This is why the terrorists hate us..."


The Vibe

In reality, a BMX'er doesn't have to travel far to ride. We all have our local spots, so while Woodward West is an amazing place to ride, we don't go there for that alone. The Vibe was so positive, so uplifting and gratifying, this is the reason why people travel from all over the country to attend this event. 

I got to meet nearly all the freestylers I grew up idolizing. Not only meet them, but ride with them. If I could travel back in time to a 14 yr. old version of me and tell myself that in 24 years, I would be hanging out with Martin Aparijo - my little brain would've exploded. Standing on top of the vert ramp while Mat Hoffman and Dennis McCoy floated above my head was incredible.

Meeting guys like Jose Yanez and seeing him - in his mid-50's - still rock a backflip like he did in the movie "Rad" was mind-blowing. Speaking of "Rad" - sitting in a theater while Eddie Fiola and Martin Aparijo gave us the inside scoop of the filming and production was very entertaining. 

Vans showed up and brought 200 pairs of free shoes and a pile of free t-shirts. Others brought swag and gave it out; thanks to Primo for the hat and shirt! Special shout out to the Curb Dogs, as well. Thank you, Maurice Meyer for the shirt and being so welcoming to the NorCal crew.

The weekend was capped off with a party at the Lodge. Drinks, food, socializing and an EPIC flatland jam. My edit below says it all.

L to R: Jorge Luzuriaga, Rick Allison, Martin Aparijo, Brian Gavagan, Dave Nourie, James McGraw, Eddie Fiola and Todd Carter. Photo: Steve Peralta

The Take-A-Way

Going to this event changed me. 

Being away from technology, TV and without a constant bombardment of negativity, politics, etc. gave me time to reflect what is important to me and what is not. It made me appreciate what I have and what I'm striving for. It even set into place for me what my career means to me and what it does not mean to me. It helped me identify who I am and what I love. It put into perspective why people act the way they do - both in positive and negative ways.

I love riding. I despise racing and alpha-male dominant inspired scowl-face competition. This event put into focus why I ride - why I got into BMX and why it has called me back. I can now confidently turn away from the cross-country MTB testosterone pissing matches with a smile. That no longer matters to me. With all respect to those that race, I can see how it can fuel some. To me, however, it destroyed my passion in a major way.

I know to some, that's a lot of mumbo-jumbo, but I needed something like this to inspire me again. I was getting burned out on MTB'ing, and training for racing really was the nail in the coffin. In fact, if it wasn't for this event putting it all back into focus, I was finding it harder and harder to unhang that MTB everyday to ride, because "training" was eating away at my passion and my riding soul.

I gleefully ate my race fees and dropped out of racing Sea Otter this past weekend, and I couldn't have been more satisfied by doing so. I woke up at 7:30am (sleeping in for me) and had pancakes instead.

BMX offers freedom. The ability to be creative; to do a trick, or simply roll down the street. To me, the restrictive nature of pumping away at personal records and Strava leaderboards was really eating away at the very core of why I ride. Thankfully, 300 fellow BMX'ers helped me get my passion back.

While this event re-surged my passion for MTB'ing, I also found that BMX has no limitations for me. I discovered that I am only limited to the restrictions my mind sets. I don't have to box myself in with a title such as "flatlander" or "park rider".

As my roommate, Dean, said, "It's all BMX."



More pictures can be found by "wired" on BMXMuseum's site HERE and HERE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adventures in BMX: BMX groms, saving a pill zombie's life and getting amped for OSBMXR...


I just don't get this kind of experience on my MTB. Maybe it's because I'm too busy chasing Strava segments. Anyway.

Sunday is my designated BMX day... and that's when I injure myself so much, it's actually relaxing to MTB. Currently I have random bruises, scrapes, and a kinked neck. I tell people this: the reason why I don't crash on my MTB is because I use all my crash tokens riding my BMX. It's true.


Whenever I ride, I always end up passing by BMX groms (little pre-teen kids) and they always check out what I'm riding, and wondering why a guy their Dad's age is scooting around on a 20" bike. I busted some manuals, 360 bunnyhops and a couple hang 5's and that got them clamoring up and asking a million questions. Here are the one's that made me LOL:


1) Do you know Ryan Nyquist? (because I ride a Haro in S. San Jose)
2) Can you bunnyhop over that? (pointing at a rail that was literally 4ft. high)
3) Can you barspin?
4) Can you flat 3?
5) How do you keep your balance like that?
6) Did you ride in the Dew Tour?
7) Do you have a son that rides BMX?
8) Why is your seat so high? (I have a WHOPPING 5" of seatpost showing)
9) Why do you have so many pegs? (4)
10) Why is your bike so quiet? (Freecoaster)
11) What's a freecoaster?
12) Why don't you have a better bike? (I love my Haro! LOL.)
13) Why do you have a front brake?
14) Can you jump these stairs?
15) When did you start riding? ("When I was your age")
16) etc.

The BMX scene down here in Almaden is literally nonexistent. These kids never seen flatland, or even a hop to fastplant. Their minds were filled with barspins and tailwhips. They loved it all. Then I realized, I may be able to inspire these kids to keep riding just by being an old man on a bike showing them how to do a few things.

Then I realized I'd be a fuggin' awesome BMX dad. THEN I realized, this is how BMX has survived over the years. This is why us old guys can't stop. There are generations ahead of us that need to be inspired. Anyway, I taught them how to to footjam tailwhips and got them thinking about wall rides. One kid even learned how to peg manual. My work was done... so I thought.

Then there was this chick:



So, I'm riding home (jazzed for a little Game of Thrones action) and I see this female stumbling across the parking lot with bare feet. Then she went up to a Ford Club Wagon and was trying to open it with a Scion key. Then she paused, got all wobbly, then tried some more. So I stopped her, and asked her some questions - then I asked her if I could try and I took her keys from her. She was so high, she didn't even resist. I told her to sit down and asked her if there was anybody she knew or family or friends that could come get her. No cell, no ID... she said her boyfriend jumped out of the car. I stayed with her and she was talking gibberish, talking about how "Jared cheated on her with a girl from Facebook" and "...you can be from Jupiter and align with the spirits. Then I asked if she was drinking and if she took some pills.

"I took some pills last night..."

"What about today?"

Dead stare. Like Walking Dead. PILL ZOMBIE!

So I called 911 and P-Marshall's doppelganger showed up and I took off.

Nobody was going to help this poor girl and God forbid the Club Wagon was actually her's and she went off driving, high on 'scrips.

BMX always provides weird adventures. I highly recommend you get one.

Old School BMX Reunion

All those who have been invited to OSBMXR 2013 and are attending are starting to post comments, pictures and videos. I am so friggin' amped to go, I haven't been this excited about BMX in a long time. I'm starting to feel really dialed with my Haro, and it's time to start going for things like fakie tree rides and 360's off things now. It's strange, because after getting back into BMX, I thought I was pretty much keeping it to flatland - but now that I have a do-it-all bike, I've found joy in street riding again. I forgot how decent I was at it, so the new bike has opened up new doors for me. 

Here's Maurice "Drob" Meyer (of the infamous Curb Dogs) and old school freestyler, Rick Allison, doing it right. I don't know neither Drob nor Rick outside of just a little back and forth on Facebook, but it looks like both freestyle icons are ready to roll. According to Rick's FaceBook posts, he is now here in California (SoCal). I remember him being a total showman - looks like nothing has changed! If you ever come up to NorCal, Rick, you got a crew to ride with.

Maurice "Drob" Meyer - hip transfer with a flattie