Name: Jeff Dowhen!
Location: West Allis, Wi
Sponsors: Madera and Sun Ringle’ helps me out. So, my wheels are running smoooooth while the rest of my bike is rickety.
Years riding: I’d say close to 10 by now.
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories?
My friend Chad Panzenhagen had a dyno in 6th grade, just looked too cool to not get one. Just riding miles to session 1 spot with my friends like Nate Westerdahl and Luke Mouradian. That and when I was 12 and Mike Hinkens bunnyhopped over our entire 2ft tall launch ramp and then rode away into the sunset.
How are things going sponsorwise these days? Anything going on with you and Madera? Any new sponsors?
Ha, Madera is sweet and Sun is always real cool. I can’t thank Matt and Jon enough for helping me out. I just got back from a trip to jersey with the entire team and it was a blast to get to meet the entire team. Bryce said to me ”We just met last night but I feel like I’ve known you dudes for years”. Which I think is just a compliment to Matt for picking rad ass guys.
I noticed you were rocking a lot of Federal in your bike check on the Madera site. Anything you can tell us about all that?
Just love that Notorious frame. My bike was stolen a few months back and my friend Ryan Hyatt had a new Notorious for sale, so I just got another haha. I actually was mistaken for Ty Morrow on the Madera trip and was asked if the notorious was my signature frame.
So, you just got back from the New Jersey trip with the Madera team. How did it go?
It was a blast and a half. We met some chill guys, hung out, and rode a bit. Thanks again to Jeff Kocsis, Scotty, everyone at the house we stayed at, and Wade for the filming and keeping it real.
You had a solid part in the Madera video that came out recently. Have you been filming for anything else lately? Ah, thanks, I wish I would have put some effort into that project and checked a few things off the list in my hometown. One of these days…. Everyone killed it for that video and it is definitely worth the watch.
Besides the trip you just went on, do you have any other big plans anytime soon?
After the trip me, Mike Hinkens, and John Ludwick flew into Milwaukee. We spent the night going out with friends, and then drove 6 hours northwest to Lake Owen Camp where im staying til mid august as the BMX director. After that just back to school I suppose.
Where are some places you would like to get out to at some point?
Well I’ve been north, south, central, and east, so i have 1 direction left. Jeff K, Edson Nieves, and I have been talking about going to Texas in winter. We’ll see if I can scrounge up some gas money.
You live in one of the bigger BMX scenes in the Midwest. Who is your usual riding crew these days? Any up and coming riders you think people should keep their eyes out for?
The scene here is awesome, Mike Hinkens officially handed me the street map of Milwaukee while he goes onto ventures in central america teaching, hopefully I dont screw it up. West Allis has shredders every year. I usualy ride with Hinkens, Jeff K, Edson, Lukem, Nate W, Ryan Wiberg, Kyle Kompas, Grant C, Andy E, Koontz, Jake G, or a plethora of local stallis rats that are down for whatever.
Do you feel like having guys like Jeff K, Grant Castelluzzo, Mike Hinkens, and the endless list of talented riders in that area has pushed your riding further than it would be if you hadn’t had them around?
Growing up having such a scene of riders (see the Horizon video) was the best thing. guys like Andy Kent, Mike Hautenan, Brutus, Ron Yocum, Preston, Nate Bauer, all those guys were such an influence on me and the kids I grew up with. Peg bonks all day.
Where can you usually be found riding these days? Do you feel like your area has been blown out because of how much filming and everything that has been going on around that area these days?
I usually find myself just cruising the streets around my neighborhood or down by Jeff and Edsons by the college. It’s a lazy summer. There has been a lot of filming but the spots in Milwaukee and close to the city are just getting tapped. Jeff K has been filming like a madman as of late so hopefully we can share some gems with the rest of bmx.
Do you find yourself riding street all the time, or do you like to mix it up with some trails and random park sessions to keep things fresh?
Before I left me and my friend Chris were riding the “trails” quite a bit. I love street I’m always out on that mission, but its nice to sit at a nice outdoor park. After being up at Lake Owen for a month I can’t wait to cruise some sidewalks.
What is the trick that has been giving you the most trouble lately? What is the trick that no matter what, you will never do it for one reason or another?
Everything has been killing me lately, I’m passed my prime. Tailwhips are impossible to land with both feet and without a double dribble.
If you couldn’t live in the midwest anymore, where could you see yourself going. East or West? Anywhere in particular
I thought about moving a lot lately, but Milwaukee’s home. I haven’t traveled enough to figure out where I’d like to move. Ask me again next year haha.
Do you ever find yourself getting burned out on riding or is it something that you just can’t get enough of? How do you keep it fun?
During last semester I was working full time and pushing 17 credits, I hardly got to ride. I’m done with school and quit my job. psyched. Cruise all day hangout all night.
What do you think you would be up to if you never got into BMX?
Hopefully something just as cool. I used to play a lot of pool so maybe a pool shark?
What are you usually up to when you aren’t riding bikes?
School and work. I used to be real into writing, been trying to find time for that again.
You got a pretty gnarly mustache, do you feel like a mustache makes you all that is man?
Ha, I find it makes me all that is grime.
I’d imagine you guys like to get pretty loose over in Wisconsin with all the fireworks and Old Millwaukee flowing. What makes for a good night of partying for you?
I hate fireworks almost as much as Matt Coplon. I got a $676 ticket for 1 roman candle. A good night consists of good friends, cute girls, and a few brews.
After a quick session creeping your facebook, I noticed you seem to have girls around quite a bit. What is your key to success with the ladies? Is it that mustache?
It’s all about the myspace angles.
Since you have that Ron Jeremy stache going, I would imagine you have one or two wild sex stories. Lets hear it.?
ha I don’t know how psyched mom will be if she reads this. I’ve woken up under a bridge once..haha
How do you feel about Brett Favre making the switch over to Minnesota?
That hit hard.
What kind of music is a guy like you into?
Indie and as Wade Young put it “feel good music”.
How do you feel about Twitter? How important is it for you to tweet?
The Last trip me and Ludwick were animals about that, primarily to anger Hinkens. I’ve been at it a lot lately because I have no reception up here but the wifi is rocking!
If you could legally sell an illegal substance or product, what would you sell and why?
I’d sell street riding. a medical street riding card.
Have you ever been arrested or in a fight? Whats the story behind that?
Thanks to Wells I can check both of those off in 1 night.
Photo: Jake Geisel
What is the worst thing you have spent your money on lately?
Tickets. on the other hand i just got a car from my friend Anthony for practically nothing.
You go to school right? What are you going for? How important do you feel something like college is?
i just finished a 2yr degree in liberal arts, just something to get me started. Hopefully going for journalism and marketing this year. Education isn’t the idea behind college for me, it’s the health insurance, the lifestyle, and the ride. I don’t want to be working a 9-5 ever and I feel with some knowledge behind me I have a better shot of acheiving that goal.
Who or what are your biggest influences on your life?
Mike Hinkens is a huge influence, he saw what he wanted to and got it. I wish him the best of luck man, see you soon. My grandpa is a big influence as well, hes 80 and still kickin ass and laughing every day. Besides him just anyone who lives life to the fullest, goes with what they know and isn’t afraid to ask some questions.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Finish school and have a job that allows me to travel. Keep my best friends close and my good friends closer. Move maybe?
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Thanks to anyone who lent me a spot on their floor to sleep or showed me and my friends around your town, Mike Hinkens, Jeff K, Matt Coplon, Jon at Sunringle’, John at FBM for helping me out (i have a macaroni thank you card at home i was meaning to send you) everyone I ride with day in day out, and my parents for keeping an eye out, and Kurt for sending me a billion questions aha. Thanks to Luke Mouradian ( http://lukemphoto.smugmug.com/) and Jake
Giesel for shooting all my photos, and Grant C, Logan Reynolds, and
Jeff K for filming when they can
Anything else you want to say?
I told Dave Mirra his video game was awesome and gave him a high five. Psyched.