Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Holidays.

Yeah, man. The weather in NYC is still delightful, although the post-Christmas shoppers are wearing on my last nerve. LOOK UP WHEN YOU CROSS THE STREET, ASSHOLES. I'm definitely gonna be hitting somebody this week, I can feel it.

Haven't been riding much lately—was back home on Strong Island for Christmas, and I don;t have a bike at the folks house right now. I have every intention of building up an old Standard to leave there one of these days. Preferably a Trail Boss, although I don't actually have one yet. If you've got a 21", let me know.

I stopped by the old hometown bike shop while I was home, and man, it's scary what they still have laying around. Not only do they still have a bunch of BMX stuff from the '80s (I bought a set of GT folding forkstanders from roughly '86 still sealed in the package), but they have tens of thousands of dollars of '90s mountain bike parts (including a complete titanium Mongoose, of all things) all still listed at their original retail prices. I find it hard to believe they ever sell anything. And while I'm pretty sure I got the last pairs of Shimano DX pedals out of there years ago, but I still hesitate to mention the name of the shop lest it get cleaned out by some enterprising eBayer. Find it, you won't.

Other than that, I got to contribute a top five list to Defgrip, wrote up something on the Brooklyn Banks for the next FBM zine (good lookin' out, Steve), and I took the Odyssey Twisted PC pedals off my coaster bike (and added an Evo II front brake). Heading out now (with the camera), so hopefully I'll get some new flicks soon. Otherwise I'm gonna have to make something up. Like BMX resolutions for '07. Hm. That might be fun anyway.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quit Your Day Job

Recently I wrote a story on Bob Scerbo for an upcoming issue of Ride UK (issue 100, if I remember correctly). While I was doing the research for it, I watched Don't Quit Your Day Job a bunch of times. It's not like I wasn't already familiar with it, but I wanted to make sure I remembered everything.

Those of you who know me, know that I have a little bit of a bike problem. OK, a lot of a bike problem. I probably have more BMX bikes and parts in my apartment than any shop in the city. So watching DQYDJ gave me an idea for my latest project. And when I found a 1" chrome Standard Lengthy frame and fork on eBay for $45 shipped, it all came together.

I call this one Project: Taubin, for obvious reasons. It still needs a Standard axle in the front, and a set of chrome Standard pegs, but other than that it's pretty much perfect. I never had a Lengthy back in the day (just an S&M Dirt Bike and then a long run of STAs), so it's about time I had one. And of course I had to ride it.

Took it to the Banks this weekend, set up with an Animal 45t sprocket (too new-school to keep on) and Standard two-piece Strips (the six-piece were more appropriate). It rode really well, except for the usual early '90s problems (the chain tensioners, front hub and headset all loosened up). There were a whole bunch of kids there, and they were all staring at the chrome. One kid, braces gleaming, rolled up on his Fit or whatever to ask a question: "Is that some sort of old race frame?"

Maybe some other people need to watch DQYDJ, too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Whenever I run into Blackman, two things are guaranteed: 1) his bike is fucked up somehow, and 2) he wants me to shoot some photos. Usually it's just MySpace stuff—as was this—but this one was good enough to share. He's been talking about doing it for a while, last night was the night. Oh yeah, his chain was so tight that the cassette sounded like a chainsaw.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Gonz—the original

Two days of posts in a row! Amazing.

Went to the Banks last week (on the 28th, to be exact) to ride a little, only to find an entire camera crew camped out in front of the main wallride pillar. Still and video. Turns out it was an adidas shoot, featuring one Mark Gonzales. That would be the Gonz, the OG Gonz, the one who essentially invented street skating back in the '80s. One of the illest skaters of all time. So, despite the fact that no one else could ride, it was actually OK. How often do you get to see an exclusive session with a legend?

So I sat in the back, pulled out my camera, and tried to time my shots with the professional flash. Did pretty well, too, probably got eight out of 10. These are the best of them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I don't mean to be getting all weekly on everyone. My bad, I promise to be a little more alive. I guess part of it's been that I haven't been shooting as much—and it's finally feeling a little like winter out there. Dipping into the 30s this week, sweet. Thanks to the weather changes, I'm also working on my first killer cold of the season.


Rumor has it that James Dickens is gonna pump up the volume this year and hit all the high-bunnyhop comps. And, if you know him, you know that a lot of people are gonna be in trouble. Late-night Banks hop over a construction barrel. Clean as a whistle.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm Back.

Well, between Thanksgiving, some super-nice weather (which is still with us for the time being) and lots of work, I kind of lost track here for a second. My apologies. I got a few shots over the past couple days, but haven't even uploaded them yet. Which means you're getting another old photo—and I haven't even decided which one yet.

Been hectic in the city lately. Lots of filming going on (for Skavenger—see Grindstate for more on that, and Prototype), lots of bangers dropping, lots of people getting broken off. Some more than others. Marlon, who normally does hang fives like some people do manuals, slipped on one on a narrow ledge and broke a couple toes. Badly. He spent the night in the hospital, and is out of commission for at least a month. Get better soon, Marlon.

It's funny, though, because this might be the last good week for a long while. Winter's coming, and these 65-degree days can't last forever. Edwin's leaving for three weeks or so on a DC trip with some other stops, and by the time he gets back it'll probably be time for the northern migration of the triple-fat goose.

Oh yeah, a photo. Dave Roman with a wallride to X back in September. Gonna be harder to do these now that you're running those Slams, Dave.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wormz on Defgrip.

The interview is up. And I've got a lot more shots here that I may as well post up (sent some to FBM as well—I believe in sharing the wealth). Wormz is gonna blow up big this year, I can feel it. About goddamn time, too.

Brooklyn Banks railhop. Up the bank, over the stairs and rail to flat. I thought the contrast with the autumn foliage looked neat.

Fakie barspin on the steepest part of the bank. Not only is the rollout sketchy, but there's no lip or anything. He threw a whole bunch of these, and even the misses looked good.

George D. rail, Brooklyn, NY. This spot's right over the Brooklyn Bridge, and has been sessioned by everyone from George Dossantos (duh) to Will Taubin. Wormz fired out this icepick first take. Look at his face—it's as easy as pedalling down the block.

Oh yeah, big ups to Rob-O for comin' through with a copy of Fitlife. It was worth the wait (damn, Van Homan).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wormz shoot.

Went out with Wormz a couple days ago (Friday, to be exact) to shoot some photos for an interview he did with defgrip. Figured I'd post one here—I'll post more (and a link) when the defgrip stuff goes up. Actually, you might want to click on over there right now to check out the interview with Will Taubin.

(Oh yeah, it's worth noting that he didn't really like this photo, and absolutely didn't want me to send it to defgrip. I didn't. Although if I ever pulled a turndown like this (especially on a steep, sketchy bank), I'd probably print up t-shirts with the image and wear one every day. Then again, I ain't no pro. Wormz is the best.)

Friday, November 17, 2006


My main man Muffinman, no homo. Joshua Aaron Fuentes is 17, runs uncut Slam Bars and bright-ass Profile hubs, and says 'no homo' more than anyone alive. He also does whips to the pedals and all sorts of disaster variations, no homo. My man Shino has an interview and some rad videos up on Grindstate. Go check it out, no homo.

Brooklyn Banks, August, no homo.

Footjam nosepick, October, no homo.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I found this box of tapes outside my apartment buiding one night as I returned home from riding. I didn't take any of them, because I've got way too much crap to begin with, but had to take a picture because I thought it was an interesting mix. Queen Bee!


Was sitting on the basketball court at the Banks today, frustrated to the point of bike-throwing over hang fives (today wasn't my day), when the SK3 rang. T.I.'s, "Ride Wit' Me." Meaning it was a fellow rider. Nigel Sylvester, to be exact. Calling from LAX, where he was waiting for a return flight to NYC. I didn't really ask what he was up to out there—but he's sure got a lot going on right now between MirraCo, Nike 6.0, and whatever other new sponsors he's down with. Hopefully this means—at the very least—he's gonna be getting more coverage. Here's a few shots to tide you over.

180 bar up the stairs on We The People, August.

Huge 180 bar flyout on MirraCo, October. Actually, this may have been a double bar attempt, or a bar-to-bar back. Whatever it was, it was HIGH.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Is the best, period. He's always down to ride, and—more importantly—always down to scavenge a piece of wood so everyone can ride the Union steps. And I don't think I've ever seen him mad. Ever! I was super-stoked when he got on Volume, because he deserves a spot on a real company more than anyone I know. He reps BASE Bkln and Animal HARD (check the screened Abercrombie shirts for proof), and he did a lot for Bulldog that went unappreciated. If Jimmy Mac had listened more, maybe the company could have actually kept some of its better riders (and, um, had frames with internal headsets).

I've seen Skinny do some amazing things—like 180 bars anywhere and everywhere, and putting his bottom bracket back in with a rock. I also have no doubt that, if you needed it, he'd give you the shirt off his back. Logos and all.

Tailwhip up the wood, Brooklyn Banks, 8/12/06.

Edwin De La Rosa

I've known Edwin for a long time now—since he was just another scrappy kid rolling around on a second-hand (probably more like fourth-hand) cracked STA. Thing is, Edwin was never "just another" anybody, really. He was always doing something worth watching. And when he got put on Fit (good move, Robbie), he just got better. Quickly. He let the haters hate and just produced banger after banger, progressing at a geometric rate (check the difference between his parts in Turbulence and the first Animal video—let alone Can I Eat?, All Day and Fitlife (still waiting, Robbie)).

After however many years of riding, Ed hasn't let anything grind him down. To me, at least, he's the same quiet dude I met way back when. He may be living in Philly now, but it's always good to see him back in NYC. He may not have started the whole four-peg, no-brake thing (Will Taubin, motherfuckers), but he's done much to preach the gospel of street riding to the masses worldwide. And with Fit, DC and Animal on his side, he should continue to do so for a long time.

*Disclaimer* I've ridden two Ed frames, both acquired courtesy of Nick Benson at Fit. While I'm not running one at the moment, I have nothing but love for those guys. You too, Robbie. Get back out here more often.

Straightforward street gap, Bond Street off Broadway, NYC. Warm-up stuff...

...for this. 360 street gap, stomped clean. Same spot 10 minutes later.

Something on the Banks pillar—360 wallride, maybe. Bob Bars, yep.

Random photo post

As I continue to go through the hundreds (thousands?) of photos I've shot over the past couple months, I'll need to do the occasional photos-only post to keep things moving (and hopefully interesting). Eventually maybe I'll even be caught up.

Launchpad's Halloween costume. If you don't know who he's supposed to be, please kill yourself.

These guys rolled past Union Square more than once this summer/fall in their matching $200,000-plus cars (a Ferrari F430 droptop and a Lamborghini Gallardo—I think), zooming around other traffic and stopping to talk—about what, who knows? Probably supermodels and cocaine. Those Lambo exhaust pipes are, how you say, bitchin'.

BooJuw does pretty good hang fives—better than me, anyway. Another night at Union.

I shot this bird at the Oklahoma City zoo a couple years back when my sister used to live there. I'm not sure where the "ORLY?" phenomenon started, but I'm always glad to partake. SRSLY.

Tyrone Williams, full factory.

Joey didn't pull this particular icepick. I'd like to think it was because the ledge flat-out rejected him (gold and green polka-dot bike? cuffed girl jean shorts? tie as headband?), but he was probably just having a bad minute. I shot the whole sequence, but thought I'd leave well enough alone.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tyrone Williams

I ain't gonna lie—when you meet Rone for the first time, you might think he doesn't like you. And you might even be right. But you might also be wrong, and if that's the case, you're good. Because there aren't many realer dudes in the greater NYC area.

Besides working a full shift at Metro Bikes on Canal, Rone finds time to produce like crazy. Animal, Prototype NYC, Redline, [fill in shoe sponsor here]—if Rone's riding for someone, he commits 100 percent (on either side of the camera, even). Notice how many ads he's been in lately? Also note the color coordination he's got going on with the signature Piff bars. Always thinkin'. And it's always been like that, even when he was riding a free STA, or getting flow from Fly.

So if you see him rolling, say what's up (whether he's on the NY-monogrammed pegged bike or the raw and orange pegless freecoaster Phantom). It can't hurt. Much.

Up the bank, to alley-oop rollback to halfcab bar back in.
Wallride to tiregrab out.
All previous photos from the Brooklyn Banks, 10/21/06.

Other side of the lens. 10/10/06.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


If Chris Brescia ("Grease," from here on out) didn't have a full-time girl and a part-time dog, he'd probably find a way to actually live at the Banks. OK, and if he wasn't a full-time student and worker as well. Actually, it's hard to believe that he finds time to ride at all, let alone be good at it. He's a bit of an anachronism among New York riders—for starters, he has those two weird clamps on either end of his bike connected by cables to levers of some sort that make his wheels slow down and stop, and—it's probably related—he knows how to use a spoke wrench to make his wheels more round and straight than is usually required. His idea of "dialed" is actually DIALED, not the usual "hey, it rolls when you pedal it."

He won't stop watching the Front Brake Revolution DVD (and if you sit on his couch for more than two minutes, you're gonna end up watching it, too), and considers Rob Ridge and Rick Moliterno to be somewhere up there with DaVinci and Mozart. And, since his time is indeed precious, if you're out there to do something other than ride, he's not interested. Respect that.

Double footplant whip. He pulled it. Now, if he'd only pull a REGULAR whip.

Something resembling a double-peg stall that's more like—whatever. He pulled that, too.

Both shots above from a balmy November 1st, 2006.

Vinnie Sammon

Vinnie Sammon's from West New York, New JERSEY, which doesn't make any sense, but we try not to hold it against him. He used to come around with James Kennedy a lot, and while James disappeared somehow, Vinnie became more or less a regular. He lives in Jersey City now, but still makes New York appearances more than some people who actually live here. One of the OG Animal (and Skavenger) dudes, he's also on Zoo York, Duffs and Sunday (he's the best possible tester for the "dent resistant" wavy downtube). It all couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, despite the whole Jersey thing (check the headtube sticker—and the little Jersey outline on the bars). Zoo Jersey? Wouldn't surprise me. But hopefully comes back for the first time first.

Some sort of unpulled topside grind on the li'l sub at the Banks (but he's pulled it plenty before, and the shot just looked cool). 10/21/06

By the way, you can thank Vinnie for pointing out I posted the wrong address for this site in my myspace bulletin. And I can thank him for my current frame—thanks, Vinnie.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


...knows what time it is.

MLK High, 10/22/06

I know I'm jumping around a lot here, so bear with me. October 22nd was the second day that Glenn Milligan was in town filming Dave Dillewaard, Yonny Wakefield and Ryan "Biz" Jordan for various projects. The first day we all rolled down to the Banks—and inevitably would up staying there all day. During a late-night drinking session at Max Fish, I asked Glenn where we'd be going the next day. "Anywhere but the Banks," he said. Fair enough.

Martin Luther King High, up in the 60s on the West side, has been the site of quite a few BMX moments, most recently Blackman's feeble to death drop off the ledge along the steps—it was both a RIDE cover and his banger clip in All Day. At the top of the stairs, there is a sizeable platform with benches, planters, and all sorts of little stuff. And this giant iron cube.

The idea was to get clips, of course, and Glenn picked out a likely spot. Don't be fooled by the short sleeves—it was kind of brick out there. And he might live in Cali now, but the purple Skavenger shirt and flat-brim camo New Era means he still belongs to us. The lavender front end in the foreground is Biz's new Volume 81. Nice bike.

It was cold, as stated earlier, so there wasn't gonna be any crazy stuff going down. Instead, Biz and Dillewaard decided to have a little competition to see who could pull this line first—feeble on the wooden bench to pop-up whatever this is on the i-beam, to pop off. Simple enough, I suppose, if you discount the 15-foot drop off the other side. And the fact that no one could pull it clean. Right around the same time Biz was saying "this is the hardest trick I've ever tried," I was realizing that it probably would have been a good idea to recharge my camera battery after taking roughly 500 photos the day before. No good. Biz eventually pulled the line clean, and after a few almost-attempts of barspins out, we moved on to the next spot.

Just one more shot from MLK, though. Nigel Sylvester and Ralphy showed up, and this shot gives you a pretty good look at Nigel's MirraCo prototype. It's loooooooow. And light. The flat brown paint job is tuff, but the frame can (and will) be tougher. Thicker dropouts and stays, taller triangle, and a final weight of a bit over five pounds (I'm guessing) when it's all done. And no brake mounts. Feel me? (Nice Nikes too, B.)

Nigel's got the fairly typical NYC setup going—four pegs, no brakes, Animal Jumpoff/Piff Bars/sprocket/seatpost clamp/Hamilton pedals/GLH-ASM combo, and Macneil Pivotal seat/post run looooow. It'll be interesting to see how many people trade those in for FBMs just for the hXc/American style points. I'm still not sold on 22-8 gearing, though, despite the fact that I ran it for a couple weeks. It just LOOKS wrong.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Since the last post was all photo, this one is going to be all words. If that's OK.

There's something about riding BMX bikes that I'll never understand. At least once a week, without fail, I ride past a big group (could be kids, could be slightly older folk) and someone yells "do a trick!" Sometimes, if they've seen a little X-Games, they even specify. "Do a tailwhip!" Or whatever. Then, when I ignore them, they act all upset, like I owed them something.

That part I understand, mind you. People are stupid, people in groups get stupider exponentially. But why does it happen to us? Why don't people wearing running shoes get asked to sprint, or people carrying a basketball get asked to dunk, or dribble between their legs? Hell, even skateboarders and road bikers get off demand-free.

So yo, my fellow BMXers, next time you see someone with a laptop? Insist he or she show you their Tetris skills. Pass someone out shopping? Yell "buy something!" I just think we need to start fighting back.


Joey Piazza II

Shot this one at Union in August with someone else's slave flashes. Sat in the crosswalk to shoot it, keeping one eye on the traffic and the other eye on Joe. Shot four acceptable frames, of which this was the best.

Oh yeah, it's a 180 over the hydrant (and whatever those little poles are) and into the street.

Guess Who?

Three bikes parked in front of Mamma Mia's Pizza in Jersey City, home to one hell of a big slice. Mine's the one you can barely see. Can you guess which Jersey-based pros the other two belong to? (Don't bother checking the filename, it won't help.) Bonus for identifying the rider in the background.


Flatlanders appear to be somewhat of an endangered species in NYC. Either that, or they simply ride in places that I don't know about. It used to be that Union Square was the place to go for those with small gears and short wheelbases. James Kennedy ruled the spot for years, before disappearing to parts unknown. Now it's Joe's turn. Three artsy night shots—hitchhiker, halfpacker and stick bitch(?). Oh, and a timer shot of yours truly with a half-assed hang five at the Banks volleyball court. They've since gotten a lot better.

How Soon Is Now?

Sorry, was just listening to that song and thought it would make a right proper header. Now, to find an equally perplexing photo...