Earlier today, I learned that Brink Distribution, formerly 1664 Distribution, was going out of business. Home to S&M/Fit, T-1, Animal, Profile, United, 1664 Parts and more, Brink was a dedicated BMX business run by actual bike riders that put on contests, supported the scene in Edmonton and beyond and genuinely cared about BMX.
Yesterday, Canadian S&M flatland rider Pete Olsen stepped down from S&M and I just didn’t put two and two together. But he was sponsored by S&M through Brink, and with them closing up shop, he stepped down from his position. My brain didn’t go in that direction. It all makes sense now though. Continue reading RIP Brink Distro
July 2017: We’re in Minneapolis, driving to check out Paisley Park Studios before heading to the airport and talking about all of the insanely influential BMX riders that have emerged from my home state of New Jersey. On a whim, I think to myself, I could definitely create a list of 50 BMX riders from New Jersey that made an impact on riding in some way, and make plans to do so. Upon returning home though, I looked at that list and thought twice after reaching ten write-ups on riders from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s era that influenced me or the scene in some way. I have a full list done, but I can rattle on and on about my experiences with each of them and then I won’t have time to ride or work or do anything. So until my hips completely give out, here are the first ten write-ups, spanning the General Bicycles/central Jersey flatland era and beyond. Continue reading 10 BMX Riders from New Jersey
I hated “Black Hole Sun” for over twenty years now. I hated it so much that I never ever bothered to turn the radio off or tune to a different channel whenever I had heard it play, which has to be hundreds of times in my life by now.
I know that makes no sense. I know none of this makes sense, but for a time before Soundgarden broke into the mainstream, they were my band, and to a certain degree, my 20-year-old self took “Black Hole Sun” as a betrayal against my allegiance with Soundgarden. Continue reading Lack Hole Sun
A few weeks, an obscure BMX frame popped up on eBay that grabbed my attention. It wasn’t the “ultra rare” tagline or the CAPS used in that statement — it was the name “Kevin Jones.” Jones, the father, grandfather and godfather of modern BMX flatland riding. Jones invented almost every basic trick position used in modern flatland riding, and to this day, his techniques, styles and positions are the building blocks for everything being done in flatland. His riding and progression was also heavily documented in the “Dorkin’ In York” video series (for over a decade) and because he was not the poster child for a media-friendly BMX rider, he was also this enigmatic character that emerged from York, Pennsylvania and unknowingly carried this mystique with him in BMX circles. Continue reading Bizarre Tales of The Rust Belt: Flatland Edition
This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I was bored, it was a Sunday afternoon and I decided to go for it. I turned 43 on April 6 and decided to do 43 tricks that made me feel less 43 and more 13. I don’t know why I decided to include a string.
Special aside here, I used a few seconds of songs from Franklin and ‘Father’s Day’ from Jesu/Sun Kil Moon.
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December, 2011: It was a bleak, very overcast day in late 2011 in Redondo Beach, California. I had just moved across the country from the East Coast and was a bit lost, disconnected from the culture and familiar surroundings I had grown to love. The week I had moved, a few days before Thanksgiving Day of 2011, Washington D.C. label Dischord Records had released a new album from a band called Office of Future Plans. I didn’t know the band’s work — I only knew that it was the latest project of J. Robbins, formerly of Jawbox, Burning Airlines and Channels, all bands I had championed and loved in my late teens, 20s and 30s.
I had found the local train station in Redondo Beach. I was doing manuals on the curbs, and I pressed play on my iPod Shuffle. The first lyrics of the album, (“In the kingdom of the dead/we don’t talk about the weather”) hooked me (see video above). I was new blood in an alien place, listening to music from an artist that had accompanied my life for 20 years, in search of familiarity. J. Robbins and the Office of Future Plans record was unknowingly comforting that cross country transition for me. I needed an old friend on that day. Continue reading J.Robbins: A Return To Channels
Re-adding the BS some bot deleted. Thanks for the nothing…
In January of 2015, I moved to Austin, Texas from Redondo Beach, California and decided that I should eventually get around to filming a new video. My dear friend Stew Johnson volunteered his time and effort and skills, and together, slowly but surely, we amassed enough footage to put together something I was happy with. I then DM’d Patrick Kindlon of Self Defense Family to see if we could make sweet, beautiful love together (I.E. use their song) and he said 100% use it. With help from a clip filmed by Robin Fenlon in Newport Beach, we spent the day after Thanksgiving 2016 sitting in Stew’s office and came up with the following. I owe dear thanks to so many people for pushing me to keep going on this bizarre BMX journey for over 30 years now, and this is dedicated to each and every one of them. Thanks for watching a 42-year-old no one…