The company where I work along with a bunch of webmasters, writers and sales people had a company picnic by the beach.
I brought my BMX with me since it was by the beach and so I can go from end to end on the beach. We were at Crown Point by the side of Mission Bay.
I grew up doing BMX racing and freestyle since my highschool days until early college. I was always up to date with the news, X-Games did not even exist and it was all American BMX Association (ABA) and National BMX League (NBL) for Racing and American Freestyle Association (AFA) for freestyle. The Ron Wilkerson’s 2Hip contest came out, vert, street, dirt content. Then Matt Hoffman started doing his Bicycle Stunt contest and was getting much coverage by media with the help of ESPN and MTV. That somehow became B3 – Bike, Blades, Boards contest and I guess with the EPSN coverage, and popularity was getting better, then X-Games was born that included all sorts of extreme sports.
All these information in the early days was all from magazines. BMX Action and BMX Plus. BMX Action also published Freestylin’ and Go-The Riders Manual. Cheap magazines came out, like SnapBMX. Today’s magazines include Ride, which is a Transworld publication. I subscribed to BMX Plus for 2 or 3 years I think. There was no X-Games then, and the only BMX we see on a TV screen was from videos ordered from the US and borrowed by BMXer’s and Freestylers in the Philippines. The have the movie Rad and the oldschool Movie BMX Bandits that had Nicole Kidman. Also the Hi-Torque Publication videos 101 Freestyle Tricks, part 1 and 2. I also have the GT Demo Tape. There were actually Betamax tapes.
And whenever a new trick came out, that you read from the magazine, you really do not see it, but just read the descriptions and just imagine how is was done, like when the tailwhip airs came out, the 900s, I never really save how they were done, but I ready about them.
Then the age of X-Games came out, there we saw everything in the Philippines, how everything is done here in the US. Ever since I was in highschool, until the X-Games age… one thing in common that you will see in a lot of BMX news… a lot of it happens in California.
The BMX companies were in California, many of the freestyle pros lives in California. And when you live in the Philippines and is a hardcore BMX fan, you start thinking, BMX is really hot in California. I remember the early Playstation game that came out, called California Games that had BMX, Skateboarding, Rollerblades, Surfing.
Now I’m in San Diego for 1 year already. I got a BMX, and I see BMX nowhere. Yeah I see people biking, but just by looking at their bike, I already know, this person does not freestyle. Where the hell are these people? LOLz All that BMX sh*t I see in the magazines all in California. Well one thing I didn’t consider is California is really a big place. Bigger than the Philippines alone. If there are a lot of BMX people in California, there are more people that do not give a damn about BMX. lolz And just want to ride a bike the normal way.
My skill depleated over the years, but I do not care, I still ride for fun. I can still rockwalk, and do a smith boomerang, a simple tailwhip, wind surf, framestand, and yeah, the lawnmower nyahahaha, the balance lawnmover too. Front hops and back hops, the infinity roll. All old school tricks. I do not even have a single scuffing or rolling trick dialed in. I cannot pull off a hang five, steamroller, backyard funcky chicken, freak squeak or other similar tricks.
And when I brought my bike to the company picnic, being in San Diego, California where (Ron Wilkerson used to live for some time too) I was thinking that I would have many co-workers that would know freestyle. And would probably pull off a hang five easily and I might even ask them to teach me. And when a BMXer sees a BMXer, and we are in the same company, for sure, they will try the bike out and pull something off with it.
Everyone that approached me, I offered them to try the bike out, and I was surprised no one was really doing freestyle. Some said they used too, like Chris Jilly, but way back 1980’s. Eric Ricasa said he had he share of BMX accidents in the past. When Justin Sepulveda saw me doing simple freestyle tricks, he said: “Is that Benj? What? Is that Benj? What? That’s Benj? Get off of that bike.” LOLz
So everyone in the Philippines reading this… if you think California is all BMX because of the magazines you read. Not exactly true. I guess it is true that the good riders are here, but not true that you can easily see them everyday. California is a very big place.
Or maybe I just haven’t seen all the hot spots yet?