Well, it just so happened that I typed the whole thing into Word a while back—probably when I was outraged over something on Vintage BMX. I'm pretty sure I e-mailed it to a few people, but never posted it anywhere. The second-to-last paragraph pretty much sums up what I think of things like the Holmes re-issue and the Subrosa RL-20II (somewhere, a kid who's stoked on that frame has no idea what I'm talking about).
Here's the piece in its entirety:
"Remember your roots." Old guys with real DX pedals and a closet full of magazines love the roots. Hey, I'm down with the roots just like the next guy, but you can't go overboard. Sure, looking back a lot of really cool stuff happened. In general, though, the sport was pretty gay. Mostly because the average rider had no clue. I had no clue. Jimmy'Z shorts. Fold-out-motorcycle-style-bitch pegs, mags and no f***ing clue.
Today, with rider-owned magazines and bike companies, people know what's up. John Q. Rider wouldn't stand for the crap that used to be shoveled out. It wasn't anyone's fault, really, the sport was new and just blew up. One day you were some pin-headed kid, and the next you're a high-paid pin head pro riding for a company run by an old man. It's really pretty funny. I won't go over everything, we'll just wade through a few of the more idiotic parts of the sea that was BMX AND FREESTYLE.
First of all, let's talk bikes. I hear people whining about how some new frame sucks, or that forks bend too easily. You want to talk about crappy bikes, bikes used to SUCK. I mean really SUCK. Try getting a Spin Master to work with caliper brakes on mags at the age of thirteen. It just doesn't happen, my friends. Clueless companies made stupid frames with standing platforms that extended as far back as the rear axle. Great for carrying luggage, not so good for schralping on down at the spot. If you want to show your roots, ride an old MCS Styler, but you won't be retro, you'll be retarded.
Now let's talk pros. Ex-superstar Mike Dominguez took his bike out of its box a total of six times one year. Those six times were to ride contests, which were part of his contract. No longer wanting to ride, but still wanting to draw a check, he rode as little as he possibly could, and people loved it. It was a little before the whole "ride to live, live to ride" thing.
Then there was the rollerskating retard, Fred Blood, who crossed over into the pro freestyle ranks. This fruitcake had about as much skill as an I-hopping 10-year old, but put him in an ad with a chick, two minitrucks, a complete bike, and you've got yourself a pro. That couldn't happen today, unless Jess Dyrenforth makes a comeback.
Then there were magazines. There is no doubt that almost everybody with roots considers BMX Action and Freestylin' to be the riders bibles, but even they were not without flaws.
Bob Osborn, who owned BMXA and Freestylin', had a son named RL. RL happened to be a great bike rider. He was so great, in fact, that during his pro career he got (I'm guessing) over thirty covers of his father's magazines. Ask Woody Itson (one of RL's main competitors at one time) how many covers he got. I'll bet he could count them on one hand.
Bob also had a daughter named Windy who shot photos for the magazines. Windy had a boyfriend named Eddie Fiola. Maybe you've heard of him? When your girlfriend works at a coffee house, chances are you can get free coffee. When your girlfriend shoots for a bike magazine, you're the king of coverage. Actually, the real king of coverage was Mike Loveridge, because he lived down the freeway from BMX Plus. Whooaaa!
Location didn't hurt Chris Moeller, either. In 1987, when Chris was still Mad Dog, he made the cover of BMXA four times. In case you don't know, getting four covers of the same mag in one year is ridiculous. Chris is definitely bad ass, but come on. If Ride's overlord, B Rad, pulled that crap you guys would have his ass tarred and feathered faster than the autowind on his Nikon.
Honestly, I don't think the sport was entirely gay, I'm just trying to make a point. Some people miss the past so much, they don't enjoy the present. It's not that bikes were so great, it's that you were young. Everything was great. No rent, no bills, just riding and trying to get laid. That's what people really miss, and hell yeah, I miss it too. If you're young and just got into bikes, this time in your life is the shit, so live it up. 'Cause one day you might grow up to be some fruitcake burnout with a beat-up old Dirt Bike that rambles on for hours about how great growing up riding was. If you are some fruitcake burnout with an old beat-up RL20II, sorry, but "F*** 'em if they can't take a joke."
Remember your roots, just don't let them keep you from where you're going. (That last line makes me look like a fruit.)