Boy cruisin’ the streets with an opposite smith.
This week I got the chance to interview Anthony Flores a.k.a “Boy” about what it was like growing up as a BMX rider in East Los Angeles. A lot of riders share a similar upbringing of cruising the neighborhood with their buddies to the ice cream store but Boy’s upbringing was a little more raw than that. Sure, he fell in love with riding just like most of us did but he also spent his childhood in the projects. By no means am I saying that it’s a bad thing, I am simply pointing out the fact that Boy avoided all of the typical shit that comes along with growing up in a rough part of a big city and decided to focus his energy into riding and I think that’s awesome. I have known Boy for a long time now and have been shooting with him ever since I moved out West. There has never been a dull moment hanging out with him, he’s always got some stories to tell, and a smile on his face. He also holds down a job, and does what it takes to make sure his son Jordan a.k.a “Mr. Young BOYrack87” is taken care of along with his girl. Needless to say, he has been there for BMX since day one and his passion remains. Enjoy.
Give us your name, age and hometown.
Internet alias: Boyrack87
Home: East Los Angeles, California.
East Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily seem like a breeding ground for BMX riders so when did you first learn what BMX was and what got you into riding?
I remember being on the balcony at my Aunts house looking down into the alley and seeing two of my older cousins talking and chilling. One of them was on a BMX bike and was trying to show the other how to endo and fail at landing a flat ground foot-jam tailwhip. I eventually went downstairs and they took turns trying to do tricks on this one bike…for hours. In between all of their tries they repeatedly asked me if I wanted to try and I replied “nah, fuck that” ha-ha. I didn’t get into BMX till about two months after that. I hung out with my cousin’s everyday and BMX was all that they did. I tagged along saying fuck it I’ll roll with, but I’m not about to do tricks or any shit like that…that’s gay ha-ha. BMX was completely new to me and I guess I didn’t like change. We literally rode everywhere and I hated the fact that both my cousin’s could cruise straight and if a curb came up they would just hop up it. Yet my bitch ass was going around the curbs like a buster ha-ha. That was the beginning.
What was the first bike you considered a “BMX” bike?
There were always bikes around. I had a Dyno that I had borrowed from my sister and never gave it back. It’s ok though, she stole it from someone else ha-ha. My first BMX bike was a beige GT “Vertigo.” It cost about $285 or so. More than my mom had hoped to spend when walking into Rudy’s bike shop that day. But we got it and I was hyped, thanks Mom! It had a 14mm axle in the rear and some forks with peg bosses on the side. Styling on them… right? At least so I thought. The bike was pretty much twice as heavy as me. The dope forks with the peg bosses weren’t so dope after they folded and broke and then my back end bent to shit. But it didn’t matter because that bike was the foundation for the next bike, and the next bike. About 80% of my bike parts after this were hand-me-downs or bought off a homie. As for the frame, I never owned another brand new frame (only used ones) after that GT right up until the day I got sponsored six years later. Thanks Barney, Nate and tip plus.
I know that the area you grew up in wasn’t necessarily the safest to place live but did it ever feel like that to you? Or was it just business as usual as a kid?
My family moved around a lot. So I actually grew up everywhere…some good neighborhoods, but mostly ghettos. I changed schools a lot because I had trouble with the district attorney for bad attendance or maybe I moved houses again and my old school would be too far. I can’t say it was just business but I guess somewhat yeah. That was life, and we were living in it. We expected to always improve but sometimes improvement is out of reach at the time. I was, and still am a happy-ass child. It’s not tears and frowns over here…we good. I’m just saying what it was. My mom did everything dope for us. A roof over our heads, birthday party’s, Legos, games, and even got me my bitch ass GT Vertigo!
Who did you grow up riding with?
In my early years it was just my three cousins James, Smurf, Hector and I. Then smurf, who got us all into riding, introduced us to his whole BMX crew. Heime, J.R., Arty, Gonz, Mike, and Johnny. They were all older than me and I learned something from all these sketchy fucks ha-ha. Much Love.
Obviously being based in the city shaped you into the rider you are
today but would you really want it any other way?
Nah, I love the city life. We use to ditch school and take the bus to Downtown L.A., cruise around then ride to USC, sit down and watch the bitches ride their bikes by us as we giggled like little school girls calling out if you can see their underwear or not. I don’t know man, them USC bitches love knee high dresses and riding bikes ha-ha! I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’m sure you have tons of crazy stories from growing up in the hood. What kind of shit would you get into?
Jacking off a lot… fin.
Have you ever had your bikes stolen?
Yeah, it sucks. Never off of me but jacked from leaving it outside the liquor store or chaining it up and slice! I walk in with a bike and walk out with a shivering lip ha-ha.
How old were you when you really started to understand what BMX was and considered yourself a rider?
I would say like fourteen. I guess I was a late bloomer to today’s standards.
When did you first feel like there was a BMX “scene” in East L.A.?
When people we looked up to in BMX showed up to hang out and not just for a specific spot. I would be like what the fuck? Aye foo, lets take a picture, no-homo.
Who were the riders that you looked up to as a young kid?
What videos did you get a hold of to watch?
Ride’s “Turbulence” was the first BMX video that I ever saw and then Ride’s “Parts” and “Industry” videos. Oh, and I can’t forget Big Fat Wet Asses 4 ha-ha.
When I first moved here to California in 2007 the Los Angeles riding scene was thriving. There were a ton of riders killing it on a regular basis. What do you think about the current scene and what about it is different now compared to then?
It takes time for oil to form. A lot of the riders you met were from an old batch of cookies. Now most of them probably slowed down a lot because they got a car or finally got some pussy so they turned pussy. But there’s a new wave coming and some old waves still waving…Wtf am I talking about? Ha-ha.
The next generation of L.A. street riders. Meet Jordan a.k.a “Mr. Young BOYrack87.”
Do you still kick it with all of those homies?
I have a lot of old homies so yes and no. I kick it with the homie Jorge on the regular. E-man’s still shining. Others that still ride we’ll catch a sesh every now and then. The ones that don’t ride we’ll drink some 40’s or smoke blunts.
Who would you say is out there these days holding it down for Los Angeles?
LAX Films, Barney, E-man, Raul Ruiz, Lil’ D, Chris Brown, Andrew Jackson, Gabe Brooks and more…WEST SIDE! Ha-ha.
Spot wise, East L.A. specifically is covered with amazing stuff to ride and seems to be constantly offering fresh stuff to ride. Do you guys feel like you kind of try to keep things low-key and hold down spots for your crew?
I sometimes will be on my only share spots with people you break bread with. But when no one uses the spots offered to them that’s a waste. I’ve seen spots go down with riders, so I try not to care about spots. I’ll show them, when I have time. I don’t care. There’s a waiting list.
What’s your take on sharing spots?
It’s all good, holla!
When we were out recently we were talking about getting the L.A. scene back on the map and trying to make it a point to meet up and shoot more. What do you think it will take to keep the future generations of riders to keep cruising the streets?
It will take unity in Los Angeles. Because so many different crews equals so many Indians wanting to be Chiefs… and it will take these fuckin’ cops to stop giving tickets out to kids riding skate parks. Making kids quit because that’s all their getting out of BMX is fucked up shins and tickets that they cant pay.
What advice do you have for the kids out there that may have grown up in less than ideal living situations but still want to be a BMX rider, or kids that have bikes that barely roll but still have that passion flowing through their blood?
Get out now! Ha-Ha, I’m messing man chill. Always be real. I thought you knew…that’s all it takes is to be original. Always remember those bastard kids who thought they were dope because they had a better bike than you. Where you at now? In your skate park telling people you know me ha-ha. Anyways, give props if deserved but know respect is earned.
You have seen sponsors come and go, and you have seen BMX do its thing over the past ten years so what is your take on the current state of riding?
I think its huge now. I see new riders everyday. Although I have noticed that the life span as a rider has shortened for most. BMX is treading I guess. That’s a good thing to me. It will change, and then it will change again. Let’s just sit back and eat our over-priced popcorn and enjoy the show.”
Who or what influences you to keep cruising after all of these years?
I still love it.
Who are you riding for these days?
What kind of projects do you have in the works? I know you have to be filming for something. The people deserve some fresh Boy footage!
I have my “imaginary edit” dropping the 1st or 2nd week of April. That’s it; it’s capped on April 1st. I call it my “imaginary edit” because it’s been non-existent for a while now and I kept telling people that it would be out soon. If I filmed, the footage would get distributed to something else and the edit would never get done. It’s coming yo! No-homo.
Now is where you give some shout-outs and thanks.
First and foremost shout out to me ha-ha. Shout out to Manuel “E-man” Cantero. Thanks to Barney for sending me on my first trip ever and helping me get hooked up by Primo. Thanks to Nate Moroshan for everything he’s done for me from putting me on Primo to getting my passport stamped. All of my old homies who are still my homies. Shout out to food stamps and wic. Rest in piece to Rudy’s Bike Shop but thanks to the owner Sergio for everything he did for us poor riders. Shout out to the homies Jorge, Emo-Chris, Albert, Blind Mario, Daniel Yanez, Tommy Blanco, Possum, Petey, my cousin James, the homie J.R., Big Bast from East L.A., my Mom, my Dad and all of my sisters, and Primo Products.
Any last words?
Make sure to follow Boy on Twitter and Instagram @boyrack87
That’s it for this week. Hopefully this piece shines some light onto the fact that we all come from very different backgrounds but have one very important thing in common and that is BMX. Whether or not you grew up on the other side of the world, in a big city, in the sticks, in suburbia, in the hood, or wherever it doesn’t make a difference. If you love riding your bike, and have a good time doing it, that’s what matters. On that note, be sure to check back next Wednesday for the fifty-seventh edition of Through the Lens and as always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.