Photogallery: Devon Denham March 2015

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It’s always a good day when we can release a new photogallery from our friend and photographer Devon Denham! This time around we have a batch of BMX photos that span the course of the last 5 years or so featuring the likes of Ryan Howard, Jon “Gremlin” Bechtold, Jake Coulson, Chad Kagy, Jimmy Levan, Dan Diehl, Mitch Doran, Dan Norvell, Eric Mesta, Brian Hinkel, Scott Steele and Tony Cherry! You can check out the full photogallery by visiting the link below!


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Editorial: Police Escorts and Cemetery Wandering in Barcelona

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Words and photos by Justin Schwanke

In the last few years of my life I’ve contracted the travel bug. It’s a strong virus with symptoms of vagabond desire, a craving for adventure, and a longing to be well-cultured. For me, the bicycle seems to be the paramount device to assist in spreading this virus, and connecting with other infected individuals. As a proud victim of this infection, I hope to share my stories and experiences in this series, bicycles involved or otherwise. In doing so, perhaps I may be able to achieve the status of a parasite and inspire others to contract the travel bug themselves…

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Quicky: Shawn McIntosh

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It has been a little while since we have caught up with Shawn McIntosh, and between a whole slew of signature products, a banger of a section in the Fit Bike Co. “Holy Fit” DVD, recently making a trip over to the U.K for the 4Down One Up video contest and making the move back to Oregon from California, we figured it would probably be a good time to catch up and see what was new with the guy! Let’s see what he had to say!

Name: Shawn Mac
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Cult – “The First Five Years” Book

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Today, the mailman dropped off a little surprise that we didn’t expect from the guys over at Cult. Inside, we found a copy of their new book “The First Five Years” that looks back on the first five years of the brands existence. The book is filled with photos, print ads and words that cover trips, events and really just a look at the diverse family that Robbie Morales and the team have formed since its inception in 2010.

It’s kind of crazy how something like this can spark a memory you forgot about. The first thing I thought looking into this was one from Interbike in 2009 hearing rumors that Robbie was working on something new and there would be some interesting things coming about. That was my 2nd or 3rd Interbike and the industry was still pretty new and unfamiliar territory to myself, but you could feel the excitement and tension revolving around how Cult all came to be. It was hard to not take notice and want to find out what was going on.

Since then, the entire Cult (CVLT for those of you who remember the early days) program has definitely proven that the decision to make some moves to do something on their own terms (I say they because it was far more than just Robbie that were driving forces behind making this happen) was right for them. Honestly, in BMX’s tight economy that has really seen some pretty rough times over the past few years, it wasn’t an easy accomplishment to even make it five years, but today they’re still here and one of the most well known brands in BMX. They have seen hardships, a good amount of resistance or hate from some riders and plenty of good times along the way and this book is a good reminder that BMX is more than just about tricks or bikes.

I know The Union wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of Cult, or really any of the other amazing brands in BMX that have been helping to grow and push this sport of ours in new directions and places, and this book is a reminder of that for us personally.

With that being said, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Robbie, Neal, Veesh, Javee and all the guys behind the scenes at Cult making that ship float on a daily basis. On to the next five years.

You can learn more about “The First Five Years” and pick up a copy for $19.95 in the Cult Webstore now.

Review: Macneil – “Any Means Necessary” DVD

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It’s always a good day when a new DVD pops up in the mail. We recently got our hands on a copy of the new “Any Means Necessary” DVD that Macneil released a few weeks back! After checking it out a few times, we figured it would be a good idea to toss together a quick review to give you guys some insight into what to expect from the video if you’re on the fence about picking it up! Let’s do this…

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Federal – Anthony Perrin Signature Frame Promo

Federal Bikes just dropped their latest BMX video featuring Anthony Perrin getting loose on the streets of Israel and Barcelona to promote his new signature frame! Anyone who has seen Anthony’s riding knows this is one well deserved opportunity! Hit that play button because this is a must see for sure!

Get the full specs, details and photos on the frame RIGHT HERE!

Anthony Perrin putting his new signature frame through its paces on the streets of Israel and Barcelona.
Filmed and edited by Rich Forne, additonal filming by Fernando Gomarin
Music by Sunder “Cursed Wolf”

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Steadicam Curve GoPro Handle Review

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With the popularity of GoPro cameras and other similar cameras in BMX, there’s no denying that people are always looking for ways to improve the overall quality to give it a somewhat professional look. Although GoPro cameras now have the capabilities to get some very high quality footage in the 4K range, they are still pretty compact and the footage can easily be ruined with a shaky hand. We recently were given the chance to try out the Steadycam Curve from Tiffen, which is their compact handle that is designed to keep that footage smooth when moving around with the footage. We have been playing with it for a little bit now and figured we would put together a little review.

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BSD – Alex Donnachie, Dan Paley & Kriss Kyle Undercover

Now THIS is how you start your week off right! BSD just dropped this banger of a video featuring Alex Donnachie, Dan Paley and Kriss Kyle getting loose on Zone 74 Skatepark and Unit 23 Skatepark over in Scotland! These guys absolute CRUSH it with grinds and style! Must see for sure!

Filmed and edited by Dave Sowerby.

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Editorial: Perceptions: Vol. 2: 3 BMX Riders Walk Into a Bar…

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Photo: Eddie Welsch
Words by Henry White

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and riding with some spectacular athletes throughout my life. Whether it was my best friend Dustin Brakke who got me into riding, or shooting pics and vids of the legend Van Homan at a local bike shop tour stop for Fit, you tend to notice a lot about the traits of BMX athletes. As I discussed in Vol.I of Perceptions(BMX Union) the outside world tends to dismiss us because of our loud and boisterous attitudes, as always, it’s what they tend to overlook that has them at a disadvantage. Our outgoing, adventurous personalities combined with our incredible networking skills are vital in our success within the industry. Many outside our industry will have this forced upon them in college or are lucky enough to be natural at it. There’s no doubt it’s because of these traits that our numbers have grown incredibly since it’s inception, regardless our industry has remained and continues to be comprised of relatively small communities. Within these communities, almost everyone knows one another or has at least heard of each other, a trait you won’t find in traditional sports until you get into collegiate athletics, even then you have to break out to be noticed.

Breaking out: an often difficult step necessary to make it in an industry. A universal concept in all sports but in BMX we only encounter it in our search for sponsorship. Today’s generation an athlete often starts out as an individual, getting a friend to shoot some video, being sure to tag all the companies whose products they support before posting it on social media. Then, if lucky, the networking and talent will pay off and they’ll pick up that ever elusive sponsorship-everyone has heard of it, few have actually obtained it. It’s for good measure though, there are just too many riders in the industry for the competitions and companies that are leading and shaping our industry. What they put into their handful of pro riders would take too much away from the company. After all, they can’t treat everyone the same way.

What about team team play though? A rare topic of discussion in our industry…Does that make us a tad bit narcissistic? If you’re perception of being sponsored is all about you and your skill alone, you might want to rethink your approach. A bad attitude will keep you from a sponsorship just as quick as a lack in talent. If you haven’t noticed, every sponsor has a team of riders, I know for some people it’s obvious, others…welcome to the conversation. What I’m getting at is though we are a sport of individual riders, we should embrace the idea of team competitions and concepts, X-games introducing dirt doubles is only the beginning. In fact, if you take Mark Losey’s program that essentially created a NASCAR-esque rider poll position, the possibilities are endless, his contributions to the industry are seemingly endless too. I know many are against it and some are still on the fence but it’s really a remarkable innovation for our industry. Innovations, things we need more of, imagine a competition where riders are no longer judged just as individuals but their scores contribute to the overall rating/score of their sponsor, who’s had to carefully select their pro-team for an all around competition of the many disciplines (dirt, street, park, vert, flat). Revolutionary, I know, why hasn’t it happened? No one knows.

It’s things like this that leave me hopeful for the future. Hopeful that my peers will look past the harsh realities of the difficulty in making pro, and decide to push the pedal on their own ventures. I’ll be 32 this year, no real chance of becoming a professional athlete, my biking skills are far surpassed by the generations that lead our industry and those that are being raised as the next legends. I’m ok with that though, it will never stop me from getting on my bike and enjoying the sport, much like the adult softball and football league’s filled with drunken banter and witty conversations. Which leads me to my last thought; three bikers walk into a bar, one- a cameraman, the second- just a biker, the third- a digital media content manager. The Bartender asks “so who’s the pro?”…. All of them raise their hand. It’s this thought that helps me realize that though I might not be the best rider, I have other skills that are valuable in contributing to our multi-thousand dollar industry. Skills that will allow me to pursue my passion of riding until I can no longer hang on to my grips.” – Henry White

Interested in doing an Editorial piece of your own? Get ahold of us!

Lumia Pureviews – Back To Vietnam with Hoang Tran & Joris Coulomb

Hadrien Picard has done it again! With the help of two Lumia phones, he was able to produce this amazing video from a trip to Vietnam with Hoang Tran and Joris Coulomb who recently spent some time traveling and riding the country! This is one BMX video you won’t want to pass up!

A video shot with Lumia 930 & 1020

Come with us to a new exotic destination with the return of american rider HOANG TRAN to Saigon where he was born before his parents left the communist regim. Joined by the charismatic JORIS COULOMB, he comes back for the first time to this megalopolis jammed by scooters bike, looking for unique spots and rare bmx locals. Accepting the challenge of this not easy trip, Hoang and Joris managed to made it a total success as shown with this short document filmed entirely with some Lumia 930 & 1020 by Hadrien Picard. Take your time, have a coconut juice and enjoy this 5 minutes of pure BMX” – Lumia Pureviews

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