Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Been A Long Time, I Shouldn't Have Left You

Or maybe I should have? I don't know. I had no intentions of taking a week off, but there was Halloween, and then the weekend, and then this whole Obama thing, and Mikey Aitken is doing much better, and the thought of being all negative and cynical just didn't seem right. In fact, it still doesn't. But I guess one has to do what one has to do.

Only, what is that? I don't really want to be the Sarah Palin of the BMX world, belittling and you-betcha-ing all over the place behind my frameless titanium glasses. (Heck, I should probably do a whole post on those, huh?) And at the same time, I haven't ridden my bike in—well, a while, and I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Who am I to say what's right and what isn't? Maybe frames with five-inch seat tubes are a great idea, and I just don't realize it.

Haha, OK, maybe not.

Regardless, though, things in "the industry" have been awfully quiet of late. There's this new complete WTP, but what's there that I haven't discussed yet? Low seat, big bars, integrated clamp, blah blah blah. Sure, the spokes are so widely spaced that the nipples must be right on the edge of the rim, but what of it? And apparently Kink is doing rims of their own that allegedly look like photocopies of another popular rim, but the RIDE website is such a nightmare that I can't even find the photo.

Oh well. I guess I'll just post the best bike ever and leave it at that.

Until tomorrow.

••••••••••••••••••


33 comments:

Mark Westlake said...

That 'complete' was the same as last year's Earls Court 'complete' - just a show-case of their parts to show their new colour-range and some of their new products. The lime-glow/white Lo-fi from last year only went on sale after a lot of distributor interest at the Cycle Show, and I think they were just trying to build on that success this year. Equally, having seen some of the booths in Interbike this year, displaying parts in context (i.e. on a bike, rather than just in a fancy acryllic box) works way better to give you an idea of what they're like, etc.

I guess you could argue that even if they aren't releasing it as a complete that they still make these 'trendy', 'fashionable' parts, but I'd like to point to WTP's great track record for making innovative and good products, and also to the fact that they're a business who are trying to make money and stay afloat. I doubt there's really the same kind of money in the "Sour that people don't run old school setups" market as there is in the new "Trendy" market.

Regardless, my point was that they were show-casing a new colour-way, not making a cash-cow complete, which is what they were seemingly being called out on.

ted from seshin said...

Why the heck has BMX gone back to plastic seats?

Man, my ass still hurts from riding plastic seats in he early 90's

Anonymous said...

Dogs just don't look right with Director legs.

I'll never get used to it.

Mark Westlake said...

Ted - although I wouldn't want to run one 'cos I'm still a fan of padding, I guess the way that plastic seats are used on bikes like that WTP complete are slightly different to how plastic seats used to be used on bikes before? By that I just mean height, positioning, etc., and the way that now people are trying to keep them out of the way whereas before they were used more for tricks 'n' the like.

Anonymous said...

this blog is dead


move on

Anonymous said...

Yup.

The best part about this entry is the tag.

Right on, man.

Smitty said...

Nah, there's still a need for intelligent discussion on the state of BMX. You're free to go back to BMX Board at any time.

Great news about Aitkin getting back on his feet. This note from his blog was thought-provoking to me:

"He also talked a lot about the need for a change in BMX culture concerning helmets. Mike says he’s learned a lesson about safety, a lesson he nearly paid for with his life, and he never wants any other riders to go through what he has gone through."

I've been thinking this for some time. Go look at the mid-90's videos often referenced here. You will see way more riders wearing helmets than in current vids. The pendulum swung away from helmets, and I would like to see it swing back. Helmets won't prevent every head injury, but obviously, they will prevent some of them.

I'd like see Mike get several other pros to join him in a “helmet coalition.” Maybe they could get one of the big Hospitals, or Insurance companies, or Medical Device companies, to back them with an ad campaign (not a helmet company – that would be too easily ridiculed as pure marketing.)

The goal of the coalition would not be to sell more helmets, but to educate kids that head injuries (1) suck, and (2) are preventable.

ted said...

Is it just me, or is a plastic seat, still a plastic seat?

Riding a slammed plastic seat does not make it few padded :)

gob said...

Someone posted Ruben's section from the most recent Etnies video over at Drunkcyclist.com, which is mostly Road and MTB oriented. Many commenters were shocked that he wasn't wearing a helmet, considering how big he was going and what the cost of failure would be.

I know guys who always wear their helmets riding park, but who wouldn't be caught dead with a helmet when they ride street or even when shooting pictures.

It just doesn't make sense to me. It's the cheapest insurance you can buy. Protect your head.

Josh said...

It wasn't until Mikey's injury that I strapped a helmet on. And I'm not just talking about when I'm eyeing up a new rail I've never ridden, I'm talking all the time. Recently there was a kid near my house riding a path on the way to the park who went over the handlebars and fractured his skull; 14 and in a wheelchair for life doesn't sound all that "cool" to me. Probably the biggest thing that made my decision was the fact that I have a 2 year old at home. Again, Mikey's situation opened my eyes and I would never want my wife to have to explain to my daughter why her daddy is in a coma because he thought it was corny to wear a helmet.

RL Osborne said...

85% of the parts that came out this year were completely unnecessary and un-needed (SPRFLS) which makes this blog still relevent.

Andi said...

What's exceptionally stupid about those widely spaced nipples is the fact that they are not cross-laced, making the spacing essentially useless. It does in fact WEAKEN the wheel and does not bring any considerable benefit whatsoever.

Ali said...

It has been shown for decades that bike helmets reduce mortality and morbidity by significant amounts. That is why they are compulsory in some parts of the world.

Whilst I appreciate that Aitken now has a new outlook on life and I’m sure only wants to prevent other people going through the same harrowing ordeal he, his family and friends went through, campaigning after the fact is a bit like shutting the barn door after the hoarse has bolted. It’s a bit Christopher Reeve in a way.

Synclinal people may say ‘he only cares because now he has a personal interest, where was he on this cause before?’

Positive cultural change in BMX always takes way way too long, grommets won’t ware helmets because pros and insurance companies say so, you’ll have to make them fashionable some how (and they can't be slammed, heat treated and have always come in plastic). We all know the scene is too dense to make changes that might prevent injury and prolong life that aren’t considered cool.

In a year that has seen at least two fatalities of amateur riders at parks or trails (and a coronal investigation resulting from at least one) expect the health ramifications of riding to take more attention over the next few years. Let’s just hope that attention is constructive and not pious.

And you can’t stop Russ, I don’t see these kind of discussions anywhere else in BMX.

t.f.a. said...

several years back BMX Plus(!) had an unwritten rule that said they wouldn't run a photo of anyone that wasn't wearing a helmet. after a few months of giving coverage to just racing and contest runs that rule quietly went away.

peglessEBCo said...

Whats really gay is the fact that I heard a certain "big time" bmx filmer pretty much wont take any footage if the rider is wearing a helmet. I dont know if this is true. I would like to think its not.

Russ said...

Didn't SNAP only run photos if the guy was wearing a helmet?

Smitty said...

Freestylin (or was it BMX Action?) had that rule for a few issues too. It's a stupid rule, and it's no wonder that no mag has ever been able to keep such a rule going. It is not the media's job to try to do anything other than to tell their readers what is going on.

But it would be different if a few pros said "I'm gonna wear a helmet when I ride street, cause that gap is too big, that concrete is too hard, and it just ain't worth the consequnces." A guy could even get committed to it and say "I'm not gonna record any video parts without a helmet."

See - that's different from a magazine or a filmer telling them that they won't shoot a helmetless rider. That's being your own man, even dare I say, being a maverick?

Russ said...

Gary Young wears a helmet all the time now, right? I've always wondered what would happen if a big-time street guy—Ruben or Edwin or Corey—said "hey, I think a permanent brain injury is too high a price to pay for looking all tough. I'd rather be wearing a helmet in a video than a ventilator in a hospital." Would that change the way the average rider looks at things?

Of course I don't wear a helmet unless I'm riding my road bike or riding a skatepark (um, it's been a while), so I guess I'm a hypocrite. Or something.

Noel said...

As a guy who suffered a disfiguring and expensive head injury (wearing a Pro-tec, no less) and now uses a full face, I've been wondering for years when a big-name pro was going to take it. I'm sad it happened, but with the level of riding where it is, I'm surprised it took this long. I wish that more of the spotlighted guys would be like Jay Miron and Gary Young.

Anonymous said...

i remember when jay miron was photographed riding street in ride with a helmet some years back and i think the caption or his interview defended it saying he's taking so many hits he doesn't want to risk anything.

or when ride defended helmetless riders because they were documenting the scene, which is defendable in a sense if a lot of the pictures these days and then weren't from intentionally set up shots like video shoots (but how candid was a lot of bmx photography ever?).

i've definitely taken plenty of bad hits without helmets (once an er doctor looked at a knot on my temple for a second before he rushed me into a catscan to make sure my skull wasn't fractured, which, gladly, it wasn't) on my fixed gear and my bmx and i really should buy a helmet.

basically i just really need to find a good helmet for my oddly shaped head and stop risking it despite how unstreet it is. i'd try to wear it no matter which of my bikes i was riding.

Smitty said...

As long as we started naming names here, Jimmy Levan, God love you for what you've been through and what you bring to our community. But if you don't wear a helmet every time you ride from now on, I'd have say that those knocks to the head left you without any common sense.

It's interesting because blows to the heard are a hot issue in a lot of sports these days - not only football, but baseball and soccer, maybe others too. There are university professors studying the effects, issuing guidelines for making a return to competition, etc. But I doubt they'd ever waste time studying what happens to multiple-concussed BMXers - they'd just say "Wear a damn helmet."

waesa said...

Back when I raced road bikes I took so many nasty brain hits.. That was back in the day when leather hairnets were legal. I've never taken it so hard on a BMX as I did on a road bike. But I still believe in helmets. Just not for flatland. That's gayer than gay.

Anonymous said...

apparently, you can still get seriously hurt riding flatland. look what happened to alexis desolneux recently. he punctured his lung and almost died. it's not so hard to smash your head when you fall backwards i guess. but still i never wear helmet, not even on my roadie.

Anonymous said...

this blog will be dead for a while. all the companies have released for the most part, their 2009 gear. except of course, gsport.

fucking ratchet

ali said...

You can't ware a helmet on your lung. What happened to Alex was bad but a fluke, I wouldn’t expect a rush of such injuries unless it becomes cool.

Flatlanders do not need helmets, there is no mechanism of injury. If flatlanders should ware helmets for their own protection then so should people who walk or run down the street. The speed and the height of the falls are practically the same.

On a similar note, I think all old people should be forced to live in rubber houses, as 60% of all traumatically injured patients that present to Victorian hospitals (that’s Australia) are old people how have fallen over and broken their hip.

DBZ said...

Everybody has to die some time.

Jake said...

where is russ? we need him back

Anonymous said...

DEAD BLOG

t.f.a. said...

blog shoulda been wearing a helmet

Anonymous said...

now that's funny!

Anonymous said...

russ, you suck, you used to post every day, now you never do, its lame, i have nothing better to with myself, post more

VxD said...

This blog was Russ's midlife crisis.

Russ said...

Oh, it still is. I just need to pace myself a little bit.