Austin VanHall / 21 / I’ve been on a bike since I was 6.
What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? I have not problem with 26ers.
Name / Age / Time Riding
Justin Allen aka Jwall / 19 / 6 years
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? I think what really brought me into BMX was seeing all the older kids in my neighborhood riding BMX bikes everywhere. Jumping curbs, riding “the pits” down the street from my house and thinking I really want to do that. As I got older, I met people, one of these people being Bobby Proctor. He really showed me the way, always making me try new things and bringing me new places. BMX means everything to me. Most of the people I know, the places I’ve been, and the people I have met are because of my bike. BMX opened a new world for me and it created who I am. Everyone knows me from bikes, whether it’s from selling parts or having “the yellow bike.” If I’m not riding, I’m building a bike. If I’m not doing that, I’m selling parts. If I’m thinking about riding, I play Dave Mirra or think, “Oh I wonder if that’s ridable” as I drive by it. Bottom line is BMX has impacted my life in such a big way that I don’t know where I’d be with out.
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Yellow…just kidding. I like my bike simple as can be and what is comfortable to me. I’m a bigger guy so 21 inch top tube, no breaks, left side pegs, uncut forks, and weight doesn’t matter. Bars I can be picky with. At the moment I have uncut forks, top load stem andmontana bars. So my bikes on the tall side. Oh, I also ride bars back, line them up with the fork! That’s a huge deal to me if my bars aren’t where I like them. Other than that just keep a clean and simple bike. Keep all my parts tight.
– Who do you ride with and where? I ride with a lot of people, but I mostly ride with my brother Darian and his buddy Justing Shanley. As of where I ride, mostly the ramp in my driveway and the trails. I don’t have the best setup but it works with my schedule. It always keeps me entertained and partly because my town doesn’t have a skatepark.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? In ten years I’d be 29. I see myself just having fun like I am now but I’d like to be like a lot of the older guys I ride with now. They go out and kill it! If I could accomplish that and gain some type of flow/style I’d be pretty happy!
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first car or a job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? Or if you’re younger, do you think this will slow or stop you from riding? I didn’t get my first job until my senior year in high school. So if I wanted to put gas in my car that meant I needed money and with no job I turned my favorite thing to do into a job. I started selling bike parts. From there it just let me ride more. Having my own car I could ride anyplace and luckily I had no real job so that just allowed me to have so much time to go ride wherever whenever. Now having a real job has definitely slowed down riding but it won’t stop it.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? I really had to sit down and think this over. There are so many places that came to mind but the one that really stands out is theNew Bedford ghetto spot. Every time I ride it the place has something new and depending who you’re riding with, everyone rides the place different. It’s a small place but you can get very creative riding there and always have a fun session. It’s sketchy but that’s what makes it fun.
– What would you change about the industry? Haha, such a good question! What I’d change is companies making light weight non-durable parts. I’m a big dude so I ride what would be considered a “heavy bike.” Stop making these shitty parts that crack and break and take pride in your product, with the exception of manufacture defects. I mean some things you can’t help but you really don’t need a stem with holes all over it. You don’t need a frame with the smallest tapered rear end or super light tapered forks. This goes along with the “trendy” and “look” factor. Don’t tell me my bike isn’t in or it doesn’t look good. My bikes my bike! Don’t tell me to lower my seat, I have it where it is for a reason…because I use it. I also like when I hear “your bikes so old” I don’t change my set up so what? I don’t need perfect ten bars and a slammed fat seat. I’ll take how my bike performs over how it looks forever because they are quality parts that hold up. Another thing is, kids and there hubs! The first question I hear when buying a hub is “is it loud” or “do you have any loud hubs?” This won’t make you any better. If anything you are now dumber in my eyes for asking that. So to all those lucky kids out there that get to build a custom bike and spend all this money on all the new and lightweight parts…think before you do this, ask yourself if you’re going to spend this much money is this going to benefit you while riding? Will this hold up or will I like riding these parts? These are questions I ask when I build a bike because I ride all used parts!
– Which do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? I would pick watching someone flow around making bike riding look natural any day over watching someone land a trick that hasn’t been done before. I see so many kids that can tailwhip, barspin and backflip. Its cool and all, but how come you can’t turn down, table or manual? Ask them to flow something, watch their style…most don’t have any style, they ride super stiff and too hard! BMX is all about having fun and just ripping a sweet stylish line with a nice flow and clean looking simple moves like tables and euro tables. Like when you rip a nice flow line you can do it again and again. You can have your buds jump in and flow it with you then they put their own twist on it and you see it in a new view. With a new trick you pull it…that’s cool…what now…only you can do it…where’s the fun in that?!
– What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? I’m definitely not against it at all! I love watching mountain bikes at parks and trails. Those dudes kill it! Give them props for shredding such a big bike! That’s a whole lot of bike to move. I rode a cruiser for awhile and it’s a lot different than a 20 inch bike, I’ll tell you that. But at the end of the day I don’t think anyone should “not like them” come on we both have petals and bars, both come to the park or trails to do the same thing. It’s not like their doing anything different then a guy on a 20 inch! A bike is a bike regardless! Just get out there and shred!
Justin Noun / Age: 15 / Time Riding: 3 year
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? My cousins rode and it looked fun so I got a bike and I just stuck with it ever since. What BMX means to me is that it’s all about riding and having good times with your friends. It’s about meeting new people and going to places you would never end up going to if it wasn’t for bikes. I have met all my friends through riding BMX. Riding my bike helps me get my mind off everything and just focus on having a good time.
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Or doesn’t it matter? I like my bike setup pretty simple, no brakes, my rear end is slammed at 13.6 and a 20.75 top tube and my bars are 8.5 by 28. I’m only riding 2 pegs at the moment but I like to switch it up. The weight doesn’t matter to me.
– Who do you ride with and where? Chris Murphy, Brandon Kirk, Matt Donovan, Jake Molineueax, Garrett Gage, James Rodriguez and a few other dudes. I mostly just ride around the south shore and sometimes the city.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? I would say I would see it the same way it is now. Just riding as much as possible with my friends.
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first car or job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? Or if you’re younger, do you think this will slow or stop you from riding? I don’t have my license or a job yet but when it happens I don’t think it will slow or stop me from riding. Having a car will allow me to go to more spots that I can’t go to now…so if anything, I hope to be riding more.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? I would have to say the banks and ledge atOceanState. Probably because its right down the street from my house and I have learned the majority of my tricks there.
– What would you change about the industry? If I could change one thing about the industry it would be how some people and companies aren’t letting the riding speak for itself. I think its sad how some companies use booze, girls and homeless peoples antics to sell there products. All of those things have nothing to do with bike riding.
– Which do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? Seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural. I like tricks but the tricks these days are just getting way too out of hand.
– What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? I don’t mind it. Their usually all cool dudes. I think it’s pretty sweet that they can move around a bike that big like its nothing.
Name / Age / Years Riding
Mike Pomerleau / 34 years of age / Been riding for 16 years
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? I use to skateboard in junior high through high school and when I moved to a new house all my neighbors had BMX bikes. Some had jumps around the neighborhood and I thought it was a blast hittin’ them up. Been hooked ever since.
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Or doesn’t it matter? I like my frame to be 20.75ish with a steep head tube 13.75 rear. Pegs on the left 8.25 bars cut down just a bit. Gotta have brakes with a gyro lever bent slightly. Weight is not a big concern. Rather have parts hold up and be a bit heavier than be light and break all the time.
– Who do you ride with and where? I ride with Brandon Christie, Ox, Tim Roxburgh, Tony Long, Rocco, Mike Kent, Clint and all the dudes from Mauls. Pretty much ride anywhere. But can mostly find me at the trails withBrandon and in the wintersRye and skaters edge for the most part.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? Who knows where riding will be in 10 years. At the rate things are progressing now, hard to say. Just when you think, “Oh, that’s not possible” someone is doing it.
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first car or job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? Or if you’re younger, do you think this will slow or stop you from riding? I think I was already driving when I started riding and saw it as an opportunity to expand my riding and go more places and experience more than just what was within pedaling distance from where I lived.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? One of my personal favorites is FDR but I would have to say the Unit is the most amazing spot I’ve had the pleasure of getting to ride.
– What would you change about the industry? I think the only thing I would really change would be the whole no bikes allowed in skateparks and see more bike friendly parks like Rye airfield that have more to offer than a bunch of bank ramps and foot tall flat rails. Not that I have anything against those things but I’d like to see more places with good flow that don’t get boring after 20 minutes.
– What do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? Me personally I would much rather see a guy who can flow and make riding look natural and still throw down big tricks.
What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? I admit I was once one of those dudes that thought it was lame but then I met Rocco, Mike and Clint and my whole opinion changed. It’s really no different riding a BMX bike. We are all doing the same thing, which is having fun on our bike.
Name / Age / Years Riding
Freddy Brown / 27 / Riding flatland for 6 years ,other than early teenage years
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? What originally brought me into BMX were the teenagers that were in my neighborhood. I was only 6 years old when they had me hitting jumps at a dirt track behind one of the kids’ house on my little Bart Simpson bike. I would always see them around the neighborhood either skateboarding or riding BMX bikes. They were always building ramps and such. As I got older hitting jumps just felt natural to me. I even remember having a friend over when I was about 8 years old and wondering why he didn’t know how to hit any jumps. I thought it was something everybody did. At the age of 12 I got my first official BMX bike, it was a Dyno VFR. At that time there were other kids closer to my age who I would ride with, seeing as how before the age of 16 nobody was able to drive so riding your bike was the only means of transportation for everybody. Also at this time was when I really started to check out BMX magazines and videos. I thought it was all cool, but everything also looked very difficult. People were hitting ramps, dirt jumps, doing flatland, grinding rails and riding vert (in my opinion it’s one of the most insane styles of BMX ever).
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Or doesn’t it matter? My bike is setup like a typical flatland or freestyle bike. I have four pegs and no brakes. I like a frame that’s between 18.5-19 inch TT. As far as handlebars, I’ve always just bought anything that I see the professionals running, or anything that just looks cool. My bike is very light (20 lbs) but also very strong. I’m not one of these people who go all out trying to make their bike as light as possible, but in my case that’s just how it turned out (I ain’t complaining haha).
– Who do you ride with and where? I ride with a group of flatlanders, most of whom I only met less than 2 years ago. The group varies in age from people as young as 22 to as old as 41. Just about every weekend we ride at a street hockey rink inCambridge,MA. I’d say there’s between 10-12 guys that ride there on a regular basis but we get outside visitors quite often. There are also other people who always come out to ride, just not as regularly as the others.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? 10 years from now I’ll be 37 years old and as long I’m still having fun I’ll be out there riding. Hell it’s a good way to stay in shape and also a good way to relieve stress. As far as others, it’s anybody’s guess.
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first car or job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? At the age of 17 my riding habits slowed down tremendously. All my peers were getting their licenses and cars. It was all about partying and doing dumb shit (no time for BMX anymore). Once I turned 18 I got my first car and I didn’t touch a bike again until I was 21 years old. What happened was my license got suspended for 60 days at that time. I was stuck in the house with no transportation and I was bored out of my mind. I came across an old milk crate full of VHS tapes that I had accumulated since I was a kid. This crate was filled with stuff I taped myself, store bought movies and most importantly old BMX videos that I received for Christmas at the age of 13-16. At first it just seemed really cool to watch old stuff that I used to watch non-stop as a kid, but the more I watched, the more I felt like riding again. It was crazy. Not to mention the only means of transportation I had at the times was an old Haro Master that was sitting down in the basement. I decided to put some money into that Haro and make it ridable again. Next thing I knew I was watching those old tapes just everyday and all I could think about was BMX.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? The spot inCambridge sticks out to me more than any other spot inNew England. It’s the most central spot for the New Englanders and whenever someone comes from a different state, country or city that’s where they end up riding for the time being. People have been riding there for years and the spot is well known in the flatland community.
– What would you change about the industry? If I had to change one thing about the industry it would be the lack of spectator/public exposure that flatland gets. There was a time that flatland/freestyle was the in the X games and all over the BMX magazines etc. along with all the other types of BMX. Now for some reason it’s only the “death defying” type of riding that keeps peoples attention these days. With all the hard work, dedication and practice that goes into flatland I think it should be a little more recognized and appreciated than it is. Like most people, I ride regardless of those circumstances just because I love it that much.
– What do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? I always like to see riders come up with newer stylish tricks that have never been done before, but I also love when a rider has all of their tricks dialed and make it look effortless, as their shredding and smoothly.
– What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? Me personally I think it looks kinda goofy when they do BMX tricks on them. In my opinion it certainly doesn’t look easy so I give them credit for that, but the tricks just look cooler on a BMX bike.
Name / Age / Years Riding
Bryan Dinardo / 15 / 3 years
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? I started off skateboarding but saw what bikes could do and started switching my group of friends into bikers. For the most part we’ve stuck to that.
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Or doesn’t it matter? I like my bike to stay dialed all the time, even a loose chain bothers me. I ride brakes, 2 pegs on the left and generally big bars.
– Who do you ride with and where? I usually ride with friends Joe Tupper, AJ Rams and Mike Hayes. We usually just mess around town, at schools, at edge or rye. Rye is my favorite.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? In 10 years I’d hopefully be progressing still and hopefully still riding just as much. I think other people will probably be doing crazier and crazier stuff too.
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first car or job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? Or if you’re younger, do you think this will slow or stop you from riding? I know friends who have stopped riding because of cars and jobs and it sucks to watch so hopefully I won’t be doing that.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? Any gnarly spot I see stands out and I take the opportunity. I always seem to find sweet ledges leading to stuff like fences and rails or walls.
– What would you change about the industry? I love the biking industry. There’s really nothing I would change about it. That’s why I’m so into it.
– What do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? I’d much rather see someone flow around a park or trails naturally. It just shows the capability of a bike and the rider, but a crazy trick is always cool to see.
What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? I don’t really mind the mountain bike thing. They’re still bikes that the guys are riding. We’re all riding, having fun, getting hurt and progressing. Whether it be a normal sized bike, a mountain bike or a little bike is fine with me.
Name / Age / Time Riding
Chris True / 29 / 24 years on a BMX bike but I would say 15 solid years trying to kill myself on one.
– What brought you into BMX, and explain what it means to you? I’m pretty sure I can blame this one on my father. Ever since I can remember I would hear stories of my dad and his days or riding dirt bikes with his brothers and all the fun they would have doing so. I think it’s because of all the fun they had and the trouble they got into as kids, that I wasn’t able to get a dirt bike for myself, so the next best alternative was ripping around on a BMX bike. My first BMX style bike without training wheels was a Frankenstein’s monster of a bike that was an old Huffy Racing 45 frame, a spoked rim on the rear and sweet white mag wheel on the front. Back then BMX to me was a way to escapte to get out of the house and hang out with my friends. IT seemed like back then everyone in my neighborhood or my friends from town had a BMX bike so it was the thing to do. Slowly something that transported me to my buddy’s house on a summer afternoon turned into a vessel to hurl myself off of one thing or another just trying to land on those two rubber wheels. I can honestly say that the feeling I had at the ages of 10-15 are the same feelings I still have to this day about BMX. To me BMX is a way to get away from the day to day world. It’s a way to get out there and just let go. A great way to be with friends with similar interests and as of most recently a great way to meet new people who have the same feeling about BMX who just want to laugh and have fun.
– How do you like your bike to be set up? Brakes, pegs, frame dimensions, bar size, weight? Or doesn’t it matter? I am not very picky on my bike set up and never really have been. Dimensions never were a problem to me, although my back would most likely tell me otherwise. This is an aspect that never really attracted me nor deterred me from choosing a frame. The last two frames I have ridden were bought solely on the fact that they were in shop and I could leave with them that day. I do ride with brakes, always have always will. Pegs are on the right side of my bike although I have tried switching a few times, but with zero success. Recently I have moved to taller bars, 8.85” T-1’s and I have to say I am a fan. Bike weight has never been an issue. If the bike was too heavy I got used to it, if the bike was too light…well I’ve never had a bike TOO light.
– Who do you ride with and where? For the 24 years I have been on a BMX bike all of those years I have rode with the same person, my good friend Stu Scipione. Many of our friends were there along the way but he is the one friend of mine that has kept up with BMX as much, even more, than I have. We both are at the same ability and push each other when that one seemingly unreachable trick is just a few more attempts away. Each of us had a series of dirt jumps that our parents were nice enough to let us build at each others house. Long summer days were spent out there with a few of our other friends that rode (Keith may he R.I.P.) digging, patting down and crashing into just to be done all over again the following days. The two of us are very much aware that BMX does not owe us anything. We know that there may never be a chance of us doing a 360 tuck over a spine but with our limited bag of tricks we are more than content. BMX to us is fun, will always be just that fun and time spent with friends. Recently we have had the pleasure of joining Tony Long, along with guys from Dick Mauls, and most likely a few of you who are reading this at Skaters Edge, or even just farting around at Mauls Shops ramps – and that has been amazing within itself. Reminds me of the days when there were 5 or 6 of our friends all riding together pushing each other, cheering each other on, or just observing and having a good time. Our local skatepark has recently been removed by our town representative. It was a nothing little park all pre-fab, but for us it was something we helped build from the ground up and that was where we spent the majority of our riding. But as of recently, my favorite places to ride have been Hyde Park, Stoughton MA park, Skaters Edge, Foxboro MA skatepark, Harborside skatepark in Boston and the surrounding areas, as well as riding some streets in Providence, Boston and local suburban towns.
– Where do you see riding going in 10 years? I see technology getting better, possibly frames and parts attempting to get even lighter. I see dimensions being changed, not drastically, but there seems to be changes here there and everywhere, so why would that change. I would hope to see less emphasis on the foam pit age and more on flow and what looks natural, but unfortunately this seems to be where the commercial aspect of the sport is going. Over exposure of the people doing the next best thing or the next quad flip 7 bar spin or whatever is not where I would like to see this sport go.
– Most kids quit riding bikes once they get their first care or a job, what kept you riding as you’ve gotten older? Or if you’re younger, do you think this will slow or stop you from riding? Getting my license absolutely put a dent into my riding but at the same time so did high school sports, girlfriends and then later in life college in the very white mountains of NH. Except for my good friend Stu, none of my other friends rode bikes. Some of them I got into skateboarding and they would go along with me to skateparks and what not, but that only lasted for a little while. After college I got back into BMX, thanks to Stu, like I was 15 again and everything changed. We explored more and found better places to ride and therefore turned BMX into weekend adventures for us.
– Is there one spot that has stood out more than any other? While in high school I had the pleasure of spending a week atCampWoodward for two consecutive summers. That place stands out the most but I would have to say it was mainly because of the experience of being there, meeting the people I did, rather than it standing out because of it being a “spot”. I can’t really say that I have a single favorite spot to ride, I feel that the list of places I ride is still very shallow and I am searching for my favorite spot. I try to make the best out of every time I ride because I never know when I could be back on my bike next.
– What would you change about the industry? The one thing that comes to mind when reading this question is the direction in which BMX has taken in the X Games era or the Foam Pit Era as I like to call it. I think too much is put on the next big trick and how many times you can whip yourself for the bike around before you hit the ground. I am big into the video aspect of the sport and the guys that make their name through video and less through competition. I enjoy art and I feel through video you not only get the videographers artistic vision but also the riders artistic view and sometimes when put together, even with a simple trick, its much more appealing than any X Games or Dew Tour run. Also while X Games is on the tip of my tongue…BRING BACK BMX DIRT.
– Which do you prefer watching: someone land a wild trick that has never been done before or seeing someone flow around making bike riding look natural? So if you have made it this far through my answers to these questions I am sure you know the answer. ANY DAY I would take watching someone do the simplest of tricks. Just flowing through a skatepark or bowl over someone flailing through the air trying to get that one extra whip or spin in to be the first person to land a trick. Although those tricks are impressive it’s just not what I personally like in BMX. I like natural, I like flow, and the smoothness of it is far more appealing to me than the next best trick.
– What is your take on mountain bikes at skateparks and trails (some guys don’t like it)? The only experience I have had with running into mountain bikes is at Skaters Edge and I can honestly say I have no issue on the matter. I enjoy watching them at the park just as I would watching anyone on a BMX bike.
A special thanks to my wife for editing and re-typing all this out! Props!