Monday, June 17, 2019

Crankworx Slopestyle insanity from Innsbruck last weekend

Three completely freakin' insane runs from Crankworx Slopestyle in Innsbruck this past weekend in Innsbruck.  David Godsiak.  Emil Johansson.  Bret Rheeder.  There's nothing to write.  Just watch the clip.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Phil and Hailey haulling butt on Burke Mountain

Here we have a rally watchable GoPro POV (Point Of View) video of Phil and Hailey doing a bunch of different trails at the Burke Mountain bike park in Vermont.  There's a ton of cool single track riding, much of it through the woods. There's a lot of jumping on this, Phil from this Skills with Phil channel definitely has some jumping skills.  He clears most of the jumps, and stops to work out and try several unofficial gaps along the way.  The part where Phil's following Hailey, and they're on parallel double tracks just looks really cool visually.  The big "wall ride" in the still above looks more like a wooden berm to me, but lots of fun.  It's barely noticeable in the video.  All in all this a good POV video of what looks like some really fun, and pretty burly, downhill, MTB trails.  A good video to watch and get psyched to go ride, and hey... guess what... today's Saturday!  And there's a cameo appearance by Red Fox.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Up and down super steep hills in Indonesia

Are the hills in America (or Australia) just not steep enough to really challenge you while riding?  If you said "Yes," well you're a pretty sick individual.  And probably a hardcore cyclist.  So this guy says Indonesia's the place to really find the steeps.  This video has insane hills, beautiful scenery, and a tip on a great place to stay near the end. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fat bike tour of Death Valley and Las Vegas desert area

OK, this one looks totally fun to me. Yeah, I'm weird and I like the desert.  I try to find a wide variety of bike tours, trips, and treks from all over the world, to share in this blog.  Today I wanted to see what videos there were from the American West.  On a personal level, after ten years in the humidity of The South, I'm back in California, and living in the desert town of Lancaster, north of L.A..  So I went looking for a cool bike trek in the Western U.S. today.  Fat biking Death Valley and the Las Vegas area desert through Arizona and into California, is definitely not for everyone.  It's not for many people at all, but that's the whole point.  I love the old sign that says, "Nothing."

The deserts of the American West look so wide open and desolate, but it's amazing how much is going on in them, how much wildlife there actually is in the deserts, and how many human made ruins there are all over.  So there's your bike trip inspiration for the day, have a good one.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Suggestions for an Old School BMX video night

This is Ride On, the 1992 video by former Skyway factory rider, street legend, and all around good dude, Eddie Roman.  In 1989, the major bicycle companies decided freestyle was over, and mountain bikes were the new thing.  So they pulled money from BMX racing and freestyle, and the more mainstream, non-bike businesses, did the same.  The major bike companies sunk their money into mountain bikes, and only GT and Haro kept some BMX and freestyle guys sponsored.  The money left, we had no reason to wear MX type leathers to ride anymore, and flatland, street, vert, and dirt jumping were all progressing at stratospheric levels.

Rider-made videos were growing in  number, rider-owned companies were springing up, mini ramps were still a new thing, as were spine ramps.  The 1990 recession was officially over, but the economy didn't really come back until late 1996.  Like that guy in the Monty Python movie, freestyle kept saying, "I'm not dead yet."  Ron Wilkerson was putting on vert and street contests.  Mat Hoffman stepped up and started putting on contests as well.  It was a tough time to get a good job, but a great time to ride BMX bikes, because only the hardcore riders were left.  That's the world this video was made in, and if you're going to invite some of today's young riders to check out an old school video, this would be my first choice.

A few posts back, I wrote asking if Old School riders thought it was a good idea to show our world of the 80's and 90's to today's riders who may be interested.  People went apeshit on Facebook.  The post got something like 400 views, 175 likes, and maybe 60 comments, most of them negative.  I was baffled by the response.  Obviously, a lot of those who commented didn't read the post.  I learned why blogging legend Seth Godin disabled the comments on his blog more than 15 years ago.

My idea was a simple one, I thought it would be cool suggest that some Old School riders might want to have a little event to introduce today's BMX riders to a little of our shared history.  It wasn't a mandatory thing.  I know most Old School riders don't want to bother doing this.  I just wanted to suggest it, for the handful who might like the idea.  Have an "Old School BMX video night" at your shop or skatepark.  Or your house if you're not too creepy.  Hold a "Old School vs. New School game of BIKE" at a favorite riding spot.  Maybe even have a demo or small contest, 80's or 90's style, if you're really motivated.  That was it.  "Hey, here's an idea, give it shot it if sounds cool."  That's all.

For the handful of people who actually thought it was a good idea, here are my top video suggestions to pick from :

Joe Kid on a Stingray - (2005) This is the best, and only, documentary looking at the whole history of BMX racing and freestyle, from 1970 to 2005.  Produced by Mark Eaton.  You'll have to find the DVD, it's not online.  From Scot Breithaupt and the early races at the B.U.M.S. track in 1970, through the rise of racing in the 1970's and beyond.  The movie also documents Bob Haro and the birth of BMX freestyle, and it's rise during the 1980's and beyond.

The Bob Haro "Master Class" - (2012-France)- This is Bob Haro, the guy who invented BMX freestyle itself, giving a one hour slide show and talk about how it all happened. French Old School riders Seb Ronjon and Franck Belliot put this event together in 2012, and just shared the video with me a couple of weeks ago.  It's on Vimeo, so this link just goes to the blog post I did about it, which has the video on it.  I spent a while in the industry, and was around old school riders for the better part of 20 years, and I learned things I never knew in this talk. 

Freestyle's Raddest Tricks by BMX Plus! magazine- (1985) This was the first freestyle video I ever bought.  When this was made, BMX freestyle had only been a sport for two years.  The first skatepark contests were in 1983, and flatland and ramps contests were in 1984.  To make a video like this you had to hire a professional video production company, using $50,000 cameras and a $500,000 editing system.  Consumer video cameras were still a new thing, and decent editing was pretty much impossible.  This video probably cost $30,000 to $50,000 to produce, so only top factory riders with uniforms and helmets were allowed in it.

The Curb Dogs video - (1986)- This is the anti-BMX Plus-style video.  Led by San Francisco's visionary BMXer/skater Dave Vanderspek, the Curb Dogs was a bike/skate demo team an unruly posse from San Francisco.  In addition to Vander, brothers Maurice and  Ray Meyer, and Tommy and Tony Guerrero were members, among several others.  Vander and the other Curb Dogs saw the future, avoided uniforms when possible, pioneered street riding and skating, encouraged and helped up-and-coming riders, and set the course for the future.  Dave, unfortunately, died in 1988.  But his legacy lives on, partly in this video. 

Dorkin' 4- Mark Eaton- Not sure where you can find the whole video, but the Dorkin' series, starting with Dorkin' in York (1988), has to be on this list.  With one trick in Austin in 1987, Kevin Jones changed flatland forever.  Here he is from Dorkin' 4, about 1992 (?) 

Headfirst-(1991)- Eddie Roman- This video, almost entirely of one rider, Mat Hoffman, is, WITHOUT A DOUBT, the single most influential BMX freestyle video, ever.  Almost everything in this video was brand new tricks, and basically Mat and Eddie said, "OK guys, here's the next 20 years of vert riding.  Oh, and we'll up the ante with street riding you've never seen, and Chase Gouin on flat, just to round it out." Oh yeah, Eddie is the Veg-O-Matic at the start.

The Ultimate Weekend- 1990- Steve Emig (that's me)- Am I an ego maniac for putting my own video on this list?  Probably.  But this self-produced video did have the first handrail slide down steps, the first icepick grind, the first mini ramp in a BMX video, the first spine ramp in a BMX video, the first 360 over a spine in a video, and the first person to try one handed and no handed backflips (into water) in a video.  There are more firsts as well.  Oh, and did you ever hear of S&M Bikes?  Chris Moeller, the S&M Bikes crew, and the P.O.W. House riders (Pros Of Westminster), this is the first video they were ever in, as well.  Keith Treanor is the star of this video, and, as a hungry rider straight outta Jersey, he stepped up and put himself on the map in it.

44 Something - (1993)- S&M Bikes- This is another video I edited.  It's the second S&M Bikes video, but this one sold thousands of copies in the hands of S&M owner Chris Moeller, and heavily influenced the emerging Mid School BMX world of the 1990's.  It may have been the top selling BMX video of the 1990's.  No flatland, more dirt jumping, more street, and Chris Moeller, Dave Clymer, Keith Treanor, Mike Griffin, Jimmy Levan, and a little Brian Foster make for a tight, "get psyched to go ride" video.  Ryan "Biz" Jordan once told me he watched this video every day for like a year, until he wore the video out, in his early days.

Rippin' - The BMX Action Trick Team video- (1985)- R.L. Osborn is one of the original pioneers of BMX freestyle, starting just after Bob Haro himself.  Coming out the same year at the BMX Plus video, Rippin' found really disappointing sales.  That's a bummer, because R.L. and Ron Wilton introduced thousands of people to BMX freestyle, and inspired a lot of them to start riding.  R.L., as top pro rider and entrepreneur, was the guy I most wanted to model when I got going in freestyle.  That was an epic fail on my part, but I did make it into the industry, which was cool.  Unfortunately, this is another video made by a professional video production company, and this one bores even me. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Fit Bikes crew at Street Fighter 6

Over the weekend I felt the need for speed, and showed some haulin' butt bicycling in three different flavors.  It's Monday morning (here on the West Coast), time to get the blood flowing with some New School street riding.  A few months ago the Fit Bikes posses loaded up the van for a long ride east to Phoenix.  They joined the roving BMX bandit brigade for the Street Fighter 6 Jam, on a tour of AZ street spots to see who could step up and throw down.  Big drops to flat, and big hops off a little ramp.  Good stuff.

You guys all know where to find your Fit Bikes and components, right?  Yep, that link below will get it done for ya, and have cool stuff showing up at your door...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The fastest person on a bicycle is a woman who pedaled at 184 mph

There are a lot of dangerous things you can do on a bicycle.  But riding inches away from a dragster, at well over 150 mph, is probably the most dangerous.  Tiny mishaps, mistakes, or accidents would all likely lead to death.  This two woman team blew the doors off the old world record.  Denise Mueller-Korenek pedaled 183.9 miles an hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2018.  Another woman, pro race car driver Shea Holbrook, had the daunting task of driving the specially designed dragster, while making sure Denise was within a couple feet behind her.  This 21 minute video shows a dangerous kind of bicycling that even the craziest street, park, vert, and MTB downhillers wouldn't want to try.  It's a 21 minute video, a testament to goals and Girl Power, and a really interesting watch.  Check it out.