Basically, before I moved, I cataloged as many Wizard Publications photos as I could, then rode my bike to Torrance (from Redondo) and stood all over the parking lot of the place that once housed Wizard Publications. This was from August 1984, featuring Ron Wilkerson (left) and Rich Avella (right). Together, they formed the core of the 2-Hip Trick team, and that name later morphed into the first vert series (2-Hip King of Vert), the first street series (2-Hip Meet the Street), a fan club (2-Hip Society), a video series that once featured a Beatles song made to include George Dossantos references and ultimately, a bike company that created a steerer tube system known as 'Groovetech.' While some may argue over the merits of the 2-Hip Pork frame or the Burning Bike Festivals, I can't really knock Ron Wilkerson's vision for rider-created competitions. He was among the first to push for loosely organized jams that emphasized BMX progression over perfect runs, and that's something that still happens to this day. On this random day in January, I was proud to shoot a spot where he once posed for a lawnmower in front of a Porsche.
I meant to post this on my birthday and didn't get around to it and now I just feel weirdly self indulgent posting this. On top is me sprocket stalling this really narrow pole atop a bank near Spider House Cafe in Austin in 2006, shot by @sandy_carson. I am far from a decent bike rider but I always liked this photo because it was pretty precarious to aim a bike and balance a sprocket and chain atop a two-inch wide steel pole. And on the bottom is the same spot from this year. What really jumped out at me is how much the background changed in less than a decade. While the BMX spots in the South Bay of Los Angeles have remained largely the same, Austin is constantly in motion and the empty spaces that used to exist are now apartments for transplants like me. And before anyone asks, I have no idea what the deal was with the white shoes.
Getting paid as an employee in the State of New York after moving to California ultimately led me to the corner of Sepulveda and Crenshaw in Torrance in 2012. Let's blame the I.R.S. since accountants that can do State of New York taxes in Southern California are not easy to come by. There was one in all of the South Bay area — she was in Torrance, at an H&R Block across the street from a non-epic curb cut that weirdly looked familiar at the time… I had no idea who Scott Clark was (or what magazine this is from) at the time, but he was in the right place at the right time and could blast a curb cut with style. And that talent was recognized by photographer Windy Osborn. She was/is an unstoppable force in regards to recognizing style and reflecting it as it should be seen. And she paved the way for Spike Jonze and Brad McDonald and everyone after them. Then the next generation kept it going till the page count fell off. I hate that photos aren't as appreciated or emulated as they once were in this disposable culture. I like that I remember a time before that.