Erin Fricke (Donato) 2015 Flatland Edit from Louis Orth on Vimeo.
It’s hard for me to believe that I even met Erin Donato as a young teenage kid sometime in 1989, when she had a co-sponsorship from General Bicycles and rode a Fred Blood pro model, but I’m old and it happened and all these years later, Erin is still riding. For years, when I lived in the New Brunswick, N.J. area and Erin lived not too far away in Bound Brook, we rode together almost religiously at the infamous Rutgers football stadium parking lot. We rode together so much that we barely talked, but we had an unspoken arrangement in which seeing each other riding at that parking lot motivated the other one to get off their ass and keep riding. It was a good time. I ended up moving away and finding riding spots that were closer to my house, and eventually our time together faded into the past. I think we last rode together in Jersey City sometime in 2011, and we haven’t really spoken since. A few days ago, Louis Orth connected with me and gave me a heads up that Erin was releasing a new video. It turns out, Erin ended up buying a house with a double wide garage, kept it empty for riding purposes, and is continuing to progress on her bike. Her style hasn’t changed, she’s pushing techniques she developed into new territories, and she’s probably embarrassed that Louis even compiled this footage, edited it down and released it. Erin is a true classic and this was a welcome surprise to watch this week.
It’s been pretty quiet from Dave Voelker over the past few years. Now 48, engaged to be married and with two kids, Voelker remains legendary in BMX circles for his early BMX contributions in vert, park and street, but after completely shattering his patella over two years ago, he’s been off the bike. As a full-time demo rider, that means Voelker can’t make money and support his family, and because his medical insurance reached a cap, he is now paying out of pocket for his medical bills.
Voelker arrived on the BMX scene in the mid ’80s. Emerging from Santee, Calif. with sponsorships from the GT/Dyno camp, Voelker’s riding was and continues to be a phenomenal brand of 120% on everything in his path. Voelker went higher, clicked further and saw lines that no other rider recognized. Voelker was moved to full factory status by Dyno in 1987, but remained an amateur, racking up vert wins in the American Freestyle Association Masters series and enjoying a wealth of coverage in the BMX media. Continue reading
Following successful collaborations between the iconography of pizza imagery and BMX brands such as MacNeil, Subrosa, FBM and Deco, Southern California BMX brand Stolen Bike Co. has decided to expand beyond pizza-themes into more authentic Italian cuisine.
Beginning in 2016, Stolen will release a new complete bike in collaboration with the Olive Garden Italian Kitchen restaurant chain. The model, dubbed the Caprese, features Olive Garden ravioli grips (featuring ‘Ricotta’ rubber) and Pivotal style seat, along with a meatball-emblazoned 25-tooth sprocket. Continue reading
As a young BMXer in the late ’80s, you pretty much went one of two ways in regards to bike choice, favorite team and clothing options: GT or Haro. (Redline and R.L. Osborn were a close third. No offense R.L., but the RL-20 ll had a five-inch head tube…)
If you went the Haro route, you most likely rocked Haro leathers, rode a Master or a Sport, and looked up to riders like Ron Wilkerson and Brian Blyther. And if you went the GT route, you rocked a Pro Freestyle Tour setup, wore Dyno shoes and emulated riders like Eddie Fiola, Josh White and Martin Aparijo.
I loved Haro, but out of necessity (my local shop was a GT dealer), my first legit BMX bike was a GT Pro Performer. So the walls of my bedroom became a growing catalog of GT ads, and the GT Demo Tape (also featuring the Dyno team) was pretty much on repeat for most of 1988. I bought everything I could GT-related, and sought autographs from riders like Dino Deluca, Brett Hernandez and Eddie Fiola (before he left in 1988…) Continue reading