It’s always hard hearing that a BMX rider has passed away. Word started floating around that midwest legend, Ryan Boen had passed away. Although the circumstances of how or what happened are still pretty unclear at the moment, it’s never fun hearing the news. Some of you might remember Ryan from the early 2000’s era when the Midwest BMX and Minnesota scene was going really strong. Ryan rode for Manmade Clothing and was on Empire in its early stages. Although we haven’t heard much about Ryan in recent years, word on the street is he was still riding occasionally and we’re sure he was still on it just like he was back in the day. Above is his old section from the Manmade DVD that came out years ago. Rest in Peace, Ryan. BMX lost another great.
Tom from Empire put together some great words about Ryan on Instagram as well..
“I remember the first time I talked to Ryan Boen, on the phone while I was working at Trend Bike Source, and saying to myself “this kid is wild”. It wasn’t unusual for Ryan to call and talk for 30 minutes about the minutiae of frame geometry, true vs listed tire widths, and mind-bogglingly ridiculous brake customization. After a year or two of similar calls and subsequently stressful (for him) purchasing decisions, Ryan and some friends from Minnesota came to Austin and I was incredulous when I saw him in person. His phone voice was that of a tiny weird mini-human, but in reality he was a giant! Ryan became one of our favorite riders, his style was genuine, effortless, and 100% bad ass. As time went on and we left Trend to start Empire, Ryan was on board and part of the team. One of my favorite memories was when I took Ryan and the man/myth/legend Heyblackasss to one of my favorite spots, and I naturally thought I’d seen everything that could be done there already done, but Ryan proceeded to blow my mind and fire out some wild shit. We’ve seen individuals who are haunted by things in their darkest places thrive when on their bikes, and I choose to remember Ryan when he was making me smile in amazement at what he could do on his, regardless of what was sometimes tearing him apart inside. The video above is his Manmade video part, which I think perfectly sums up the Ryan I remember. Awesome rider, signature “stop looking at me” glare, and the little crack of a smile. Please watch the full part and enjoy.
We kept in touch over the last few years, though not as much as we should have, and I regret not being there more for him. We hope you’ve found peace Ryan, we will always love you and miss you.” – Tom