With all this talk about a massive wall that Donald Trump wants to build between the United States and Mexico, it’s hard to imagine much good coming from the $15 billion dollar estimate cost. It looks like Dan Foley has taken an optimistic look at this wall and started brushing up on his wallride skills in preparation if it ever does happen. Hit play to watch Dan Foley go to work on a bunch of walls around town where he brings a ton of style as always! Take a look!
Search Results for: Dollar Bet
Here’s a gem for all of you Mid School guys out there. Here’s footage that was supposed to go toward the sequel of the “A Day Late and A Dollar short” video that ultimately never made it into a DVD and, thankfully, found its way online many years after the project had lost its traction. The back story is a bit of a bummer, but the silver lining is that there is still some really good footage that did end up seeing the light of the day! Check out what Steven Hamilton and the rest of the crew cooked up!
“It was fifteen years ago when Andy Marshall’s ‘A Day Late and a Dollar Short’ introduced some new progressive Central Ohio street riders to the world of BMX.
For some, the video marked the end. A scene and a crew, a time period captured in a video. For others, the video marked the beginning. And for others, it was somewhere in-between.
This footage was kind of when we all started going our separate ways. Looking back, it’s cool to see all of our riding really maturing
during this period. You can see that higher level of confidence here.
In a way, it’s a shame this video never happened. What if the trips had never ended, and we all kept riding together?
But life gets in the way sometimes. Though a lot of this footage ended up in other places, it’s nice to see it together and wonder, what if?” – Steven Hamilton
Filmed and edited by Andy Marshall
It’s 2016, it has never been easier for a rider to get a message to their favorite pro rider or hit up a brand with a question about a product or something else that they could answer. With that easy ability for communication, there’s undoubtably going to be a lot of questions coming through on those direct messages from people all over the world. When you’re in charge of constantly answering those questions in multiple languages (shout out to Google Translate), you start to see a lot of frequently asked questions that you get really good at leaving in the pending message requests or giving a quick answer that essentially means no. When we were at Interbike we asked a few people who handle social media accounts for brands what some of their least favorite messages to get in their direct messages. Maybe we’re turning into that salty old guy, or maybe we’ve just seen enough weird messages that it pushed us over the edge and felt it was time to say something… So, we decided to compile a list of five things that you should (in our opinion) AVOID asking when you are hitting up a brand on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
5. The Warranty Card
A while back we covered What Does A Warranty Cover? that explained what some of the different levels of warranties cover and why some things are covered and why other things aren’t. A product breaking isn’t uncommon in BMX. When you see the stuff people put their bikes through, it’s a miracle they’re still alive and the bike hasn’t exploded into a shrapnel disaster. Unfortunately, there’s a big difference between a manufacturer defect and damage caused by riding and a good number of people don’t really know how that all works. There are really only about three routes that the conversation can go…
1. You first off ask if the product can be replaced or if it’s covered by warranty. Being polite in this situation goes a long way. If you filled out the warranty card, have the receipt for proof of purchase and you’re in the time frame (90 days to 1 year is common) and it’s not caused because you beat the hell out of it, then you’re good and these messages are great… That’s about the only good way this can go.
Now, two ways it can go wrong…
2. You politely ask if a brand will replace a product that you have had for a long time, it’s scratched and beat to hell and clearly broke because it gave out from a lot of abuse, not because the product was defective from the manufacturing process. Then you’re out of luck. A brand cannot control how you ride your bike and isn’t responsible when you destroy it. That’s like saying Apple is responsible for your screen cracking when you dropped it on the ground.
3. When you break something and you hit up a brand rudely demanding a replacement and try to threaten blasting the brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to make sure nobody ever buys from the brand again, then you have just voided any chance of getting a smooth warranty process. If you’re willing to do that, then why do you want a replacement in the first place? We understand it’s frustrating when you break something, but blowing up a brands DMs, causing a bunch of unnecessary drama isn’t in the warranty instructions that came with that frame. We checked.
Seriously… Check out What Does A Warranty Cover?
In short, demanding a warranty and being impolite is something to avoid.
4. You should follow me and give me a shout out!
Now, some brands do give shout outs to people. For example, Subrosa and Volume both post up bikes they have submitted with their products, which is cool. Don’t get us wrong here. We’re not trying to discourage you completely. There’s a time and place for a shout out. But when you’re dropping a line demanding a follow and/or a shout out for no reason at all other than you just want to feel like you’re super cool and famous, there’s a good chance you won’t be receiving a response or adding another follower to your count. Brands are not on these social media channels to promote you (unless you happen to be a team rider, then expect to be promoted), they’re there to promote the brand and their products, while answering questions for the consumers.
So, in short… avoid asking a brand to give you a shout out for no reason unless they’re doing bike shout outs or something like that. The shout outs are just a way to get their products in front of more people and to say thanks for buying their products and supporting the brand by purchasing their products.
3. Just Saying What’s Up…
This one will probably make us sound like an asshole, but until you experience it… You don’t even know how annoying this one is. Imagine at some point in your day, somebody messages you and says “what’s up?”, “what are you doing?”, “Hey” or something that you would text your buddy, but they don’t have anything else to say or ask? Add in the additional random emoji a couple minutes later or something to send an additional reminder that they messaged you and you haven’t responded. As a brand, the direct message feature is really meant as an easy way for a person to ask a question that is specific to the brand. You know, “what sizes and colors does this come in?”, “Do you have this product in stock?”, “I am having an issue with this product, can you help me figure it out?”, “Do you know any shops in this area or how a shop can get product?”. So, if you’re looking for a random conversation, stick to your friends. Brands are just here to help answer a question about their brand or products.
2. Can I have free products?
This is one of those weird questions that is asked just about as often as number one on this list. There’s that saying “you never know unless you try”, but hopefully this one clears this up. This question is asked in a few different forms and sometimes it’s hard to come up with an answer that doesn’t make you look like a complete asshole. There’s the blatant “hey, can you give me free parts?”, there’s the “Would you be interested in collaborating with me. I would like a free frame / parts / bike / etc. in exchange for me promoting your brand through my social media channels” and then there’s the “Hey, my bike got stolen / I’m down on my luck / my parents hate me and won’t buy me one / I have a rare disease killing me / I have no money / can you give me a new bike?”
Now, the whole blatantly asking thing is pretty bold, and oddly enough at least they are being honest and not beating around the bush, but you’re not going to be getting a yes unless whoever you’re asking is having a damn good day or decided to answer messages after a few too many drinks. The odds aren’t very good. Think of it this way. If a brand gave away free product to every person that asked, there’s a very good chance that they will not be around for very long because it happens ALL THE TIME. So, next time you want to ask for a free product, ask yourself if you were running a business and had somebody come in and ask / demand a free product from your store… Would you just give it to them? The answer should be no.
The exchange of product for promotion thing is one of those grey areas because realistically, this method *could* work… If you had a massive following (a lot more than the brand has is usually a good gauge) and were good at promoting products in creative and unique ways. Another key is actually being into the brand or the products you’re promoting. Oddly enough, a lot of these requests come in from people that don’t even ride. Unless you have a lot to offer a brand and a clear plan of how you’re going to promote the brand and its products, this is most likely not going to happen. If you’re killing it on social media and a brand wants their products seen by your followers, they will likely reach out to you if they’re interested. So, just avoid asking…
The story is a tricky one. Humans are usually empathetic, so when somebody hits you with a story about a rough time they’re going through or makes it sound like finding the money to get a bike or a new frame is impossible because of their current situation, it’s definitely hard turning it down. Unfortunately for every one person who is actually going through a hard time and could actually benefit from some support, there’s a bunch of people leveraging their completely made up story to scam the brand in hopes of getting free product. So, this isn’t going to happen. It’s a bummer, but a brand cannot afford to be giving everything away just because you’re in a tight spot. Imagine having to give away 20 bikes a month because somebody wasn’t able to buy a bike? That’s thousands of dollars that would just be given away… Avoid asking.
1. Will you sponsor me?
The number one most asked question in the DM’s. Sometimes a riding clip is sent through, sometimes a link to an actual video, sometimes it’s a photo and sometimes it comes with promises of promoting the brand everywhere you go! That’s great, but it’s 2016 and that’s not how it happens. I’m sure it has helped get a few riders on a brands radar by putting themselves out there, but the odds of you getting sponsored because you asked a brand in their DM is pretty low. Alright, it’s very low.
Brands aren’t looking for the kid that can do all the tricks or the kid that has a huge following on Instagram. They want a rider that has talent, but also has a great personality. They want a rider that is going to standout, not just be the next rider that can mimic another trend or bought a lot of followers. Most importantly, they want somebody that is going to get along great with the rest of the team. Imagine if a brand picked their team based off the number of Instagram followers they had? Nobody would get along because everyones ego’s would be in crisis mode.
A brand doesn’t learn that you are a rider worth sponsoring through a direct message or by watching your video. The best way to get sponsored? Show up at events! Don’t have any? Throw your own event or TRAVEL. Travel, travel, travel. You want to meet people, experience new things, put in your time and have fun riding your bike. If you’re talented on a bike and don’t suck as a human, people will notice and talk you up… Brands will notice. You have to put in A LOT of work if you want to get sponsored these days. If it was as easy as shooting a DM, we would ALL be sponsored. I’d be willing to bet some brands get 20-30 people asking about getting sponsored by them every single day.
Want to get sponsored? Stop sitting around and start riding, traveling, having fun on your bike, keep learning new tricks and most importantly just be a good person.
In short… Avoid asking a brand to sponsor you in the direct messages.
So, that’s a list of 5 things to NOT message a brand about in their direct messages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or whatever other form of social media you might use.
We want to hear from you! Let us know what you think in the comments below! Are we just being mean?
If you haven’t heard, the Boondocks Trails in New York are under pressure and could have the place plowed. The crew have been working hard to prevent that from happening, and here is a video they put together to help that cause. Above is a look at the trails along with plenty of excellent riding and examples of how this place benefits everyone who uses and builds at the trails. Below, you can find the words from the video as well. Let’s help spread the word to keep this place rolling! They have also setup a GOFUNDME PAGE so you can donate!
“A video by Jon Lynn.
The Boondocks Trails written by Thad Allender.
Thumbnail image by Jon Nemecek
The Boondocks Trails are a world-class set of bike trails located in Pineridge Park in Melville, NY. The 162-acre park is landlocked between a landfill, parking lots, Interstate 495, and a residential neighborhood.
The park has been used by the public for decades for hiking and biking. Soil samples indicate that a major fire within the last 50 years destroyed what was presumably woodlands around the time of the construction of Interstate 495. The park is now comprised primarily of new oak trees and low-bush blueberry.
About 11 years ago, a group of volunteers began to maintain and improve the existing bike trails. The trails has been diligently maintained by dozens of local volunteers ever since. The bike trails consist of paths for beginners and experts. Riders as young as 2 years-old and as old as 76 years-old ride the trails. The hand-built trails are now at risk of being bulldozed by city officials from the Town of Huntington, with one local volunteer isolated and presented with the bill to pay for demolition.
The bike trails are a destination for local bike riders and riders from all over the world. For example, on Saturday August 27, riders from as far away as Australia visited the trails to ride the trails. There were also riders from Washington. D.C., New York City, upstate New York and various cities located in Long Island.
More than 3,000 bike riders visited these bike trails in 2016. They include engineers, CEO’s, firefighters, police officers, designers, construction workers, the list goes on and on.
On any weekend, the bicyclists who visit the trails purchase hotel rooms, train tickets, rental cars, food, and bike parts from local businesses. Every out-of-town bicyclist injects an estimated $100 per day into the local economy. It’s not uncommon to see upwards of 20 bicyclists riding these world-class trails on any Saturday or Sunday. These bicyclists are a familiar face at businesses including nearby restaurants including Kitchen Coliseum and bike shops like Bicycle Playground and Cyclefast USA. These bicyclists play an important role in the success of these local businesses. Without the trails, these businesses will suffer and there will be one less place to enjoy bike riding and the outdoors.
The volunteers who maintain the bike trails are stewards of the park, which has no on-site management or oversight. Unlike sports like golf, basketball and baseball that require expensive development, the terrain that bicyclists require is minimal, low-impact and environmentally-friendly. The only terrain required for bike trails is dirt. The trails were hand-built with shovels and work with the natural terrain and trees. Trees are never disturbed. Flora is always transplanted if it intersects a trail. Drainage is maintained to eliminate standing water. There is a stated “pack it in, pack it out” policy that is enforced by volunteers and respected by all bicyclists. The environmental impact of the bike trails is minimal. It’s precisely the type of outdoor activity that should be encouraged in landlocked, unmanaged parkland.
Destroying the bike trails with heavy machinery would cause irreparable damage to the park, it’s trees, it’s vegetation, and wildlife. It would also unintentionally create new roadways into the park, which ATV’s, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles would unquestionably start using.
COST TO BUILD
The trails were hand-built with shovels over the course of 11 years by volunteers from the local community. The cost to build trails of this caliber, while maintaining the same minimal environmental impact, would cost the Town of Huntington well over one million of dollars.
In 2011, the city of Boulder Colorado spent $1.2 million dollars on the Valmont Bike Park, which the city considers a signature project. Similarly, the park attracts riders from all over the world.
The cost to rebuild this level of bike trails is easily in the millions of dollars. Many towns and cities around the country are paying millions to establish bike trails just like this for their local residents. The existing bike trails represent a 10,000 hour head-start and millions in savings that the Town of Huntington should take advantage of. The Town of Huntington should seize this opportunity and work with the local volunteers to establish “The Boondocks” as the first official bike park on Long Island.
Donate to The Boondocks Trails:
It’s weird how thoughts can be triggered and once those thoughts are started, you really can’t get it off your mind. This morning when I hopped on the computer to get the day started, one of the first pieces of news I came across was that GT Bicycles added Albert Mercado, Dan Conway and Jeff With Glasses to their team. Now, initially it triggered this thought “Man, GT have been really taking steps in the right direction”, but that really just scratched the surface because then it lead to a more in-depth thought which was that GT Bicycles have really stepped their game up since they brought Ben Ward on board. Ben has been making the necessary changes to the team, product and overall image of the brand to really get people looking at GT as a freestyle BMX brand that is putting in some actual effort versus just producing bikes with no real image beside affordability. That lead to the thought of how Haro have really revived their reputation since John Buutljens was put in charge over there.
When you work in the BMX industry, you will undoubtably hear that BMX goes in full circle where trends will come and go, to return later down the road in a more refined (or possibly worse) way. We’ve seen a lot of brands come and go and we’ve also seen the reputations of brands and riders go from high to low or the other way around. In an industry that relies so much on trends and reputations, it’s no wonder that people in power have to walk a thin line to ensure that things continue forward in a positive way. You have one bad falling out in public, like when Stranger added Adam LZ and most of the team quit, or a product that completely flops, you can expect to see that snowball into a shit storm because social media thrives on drama and things that push the buttons of ethics and morals.
It’s funny how a few changes can lead to some pretty amazing things, though. Now, you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you really pay attention but it’s pretty obvious that since John Buultjens has taken the reigns at Haro, the team has become incredibly stacked and the products and brand have received a much higher approval rating than it did in years past. It went from a brand that was associated with this mass production that wasn’t really one of the “core” brands, nor did it seem to really care what these core riders cared about because Haro’s target was more toward entry level riders scooping bikes up through bike shops. I specifically remember a time when a kid showed up at the skatepark on a new Premium frame that he was really stoked on, until somebody pointed out that Premium was a sub-brand of Haro and that he was essentially riding a Haro. It was really weird because there really wasn’t anything wrong with the product, it was just that the association with Haro wasn’t exactly a badge of honor, and that bummed the kid out.
Haro released this sneak preview of the Chad Kerley signature CK frame that is in the works.
Once John took over, he put a lot of emphasis on the retro, old school roots of Haro which a lot of people were kind of wondering what the hell he was thinking. Why would anyone be stoked on a bunch of retro bikes beside these “old guys” who are far beyond this “target market” range of 13-18 year olds? Sure, it might have been something that was geared toward going against the current trends in BMX and paying homage to the history of the brand to shake things up a bit, but that was just part of why it was done. In our opinion, John was reviving the old reputation of Haro. That reputation that it was a core BMX brand that had a history of supporting some of the best BMX riders in the world, pushing those riders to show the world that BMX is a legitimate sport to the riders and the masses. They stacked the deck with riders that kids idolized and the older guys respected because they were riders that absolutely crushed it. Haro had DMC, Mat Hoffman, Mike Dominguez to name a few back in the day, which followed up with the crazy Mirra and Nyquist days that put the brand in front of damn near every kid. That followed up with a bit of a quiet period. Mirra left, they really weren’t doing anything innovative beside moving product, Premium was introduced but, in my opinion, never really gained that quality after market reputation because it was attached to Haro. It was in a bit of a rut that was holding the brand down from it’s previous history. That’s what lead to the shake up that lead to John being hired and it’s safe to say they’ve done a good job of reviving the brand to some of its core values. They put Dennis Enarson, Chad Kerley, Tyler Fernengel, Jason Watts and Mike Gray on the team, along with the legends Ryan Nyquist and Dennis McCoy still holding it down like they have for years. Mix in that team with some more appealing quality product and a much more appealing image than they had in past years and it’s easy to see the changes that have been happening that helped alleviate that rut the brand was in.
Preview of the new 4-piece bars that GT are bringing back based off their originals that started the 4-piece bar back in the day.
It’s a similar story for GT Bicycles. Over the last decade, GT kind of faded out of the freestyle side, sticking to their guns in the racing side of this sport of ours. Sure, they made some complete bikes and kind of dabbled in the freestyle stuff with guys like Jeremiah Smith kind of holding it down for them for a while, but there was never really much of a push to be innovative in the product department. At the end of the day, it was just this corporate brand that was going through the motions to keep the cash flow going.
I specifically remember the exact moment that I felt GT would be making some real moves to come back alive like it was in the past, though. It was at Interbike 2014, somewhere between the convention center and the hotel that I bumped into Ben Ward who had been kind of laying low after parting ways with Fit Bike Co., and Odyssey a few years prior to that. Ben had mentioned that he had just taken a new gig with GT and would be handling design work for them, along with their freestyle side of things. He didn’t say much at the time, but it was obvious that Ben would be putting a lot of work in his BMX role at the brand.
Immediately we saw a few shake ups with the team that ultimately lead to Brian Kachinsky, Rob Wise and Jason Phelan holding things down for the brand with Jeremiah Smith parting ways back in December. We started catching some sneak previews of some of their new products that Ben was working on, too. Then we got a look at a good chunk of new product at their Interbike 2015 booth, along with Ben filling us in on a few things he has been working on that wouldn’t be available for a little while. Now, today they announced that they have added Albert Mercado, Dan Conway and Jeff with Glasses to their squad, which is a pretty interesting combination of riders that we never expected to see representing the brand. But, it’s some new enthusiasm that the brand really needed to get some peoples attention again. It might not be on the level that Haro has went with, but seeing those changes are really good considering that a few years ago it seemed like GT didn’t really care to put much into the freestyle side of BMX.
Albert Mercado with his new GT Bicycles setup.
The next piece of the puzzle is seeing what Ben has been working on as far as the product development goes. What you might not realize is that it can take about two years before you can really see changes take effect because production and development of products is not a quick process, especially when a large brand like GT are working a few years ahead of what’s currently “new” and just becoming available. It might be 2016, but I guarantee there’s plenty of talk about 2018 at GT. These changes and new efforts being made can completely change the image and reputation that riders can have for a brand drastically.
The classic Pool tire from GT revitalized with the new energy from the brand.
So, now that I’ve managed to ramble on and on about two of BMX’s more iconic brands that have been making some key changes to revive their images, all because of some sponsorship news that popped up today. I should probably try and wrap this up and get to the point. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s pretty awesome seeing what can be done when the right people are given the reigns to put a brand back on track. Am I saying that we’ll be seeing Haro and GT taking BMX back over like they did in the past? No, and I don’t think that’s their goal. I don’t think they’re trying to compete with brands like Cult, Kink, Wethepeople or Subrosa, but I do think they’re trying to be a little more involved and current with the freestyle aspect of BMX than they previously had been in years past and that’s important. As much as BMX appears to reject this “corporate” side of the industry, it’s still important to have these brands involved because they do a really good job of reaching beyond the small core BMX community, which is important to draw in more riders and sponsorship dollars that this industry does need to keep the wheels turning. I guess what I’m getting at is that I appreciate that these classic brands still care enough to do things the right way versus what might generate the most revenue and I think that’s important to a lot of other riders, too.
It’s been a little while since we’ve posted up an interview, so we figured it would be a good time to get back on top of that. The other day, Ben Thompson‘s new Colony video dropped online and we were blown away by his crazy technical combos and balance that he was throwing down at his local skatepark down in Australia. We were curious as to just who Ben is, so we hit him with some questions to get to know him a little bit better. Let’s take a look at what he had to say along with a re-up of that crazy video!
Name: Ben Thompson
This is pretty awesome. Scotty Cranmer, Trey Jones, Matty Cranmer and Big Boy made their way to Home Depot to pick up a few pieces to cook up some creative ramp setups. Needless to say, they were successful and it lead to some entertaining riding. Trey Jones is an absolute mad man!
“We all took a $20 dollar bill and walked into Home Depot with the idea of buying random stuff under our budget to ride our bikes on! It turned out awesome! We had such a great time riding BMX on the strangest and most random obstacles ever! Big Boy had a mental breakdown over a barspin! Matty did a suicide No Hander off of a 2×4 and a bucket! I (SCotty Cranmer) did a 270 out of a peg stall on a concrete wall, and did a bunch of tailwhips in between! Trey Jones killed it! He did crazy gaps and rode full speed at everything and anything! Trey also did a Flair on the sketchiest pallet ramp I have ever seen! It was awesome! We had the best time and we will definitely be doing this again!” – Scotty Cranmer