Jeremiah Smith is one of those riders that has been putting in work year after year and it’s finally been paying off. He has a major bike sponsor, travels on a pretty consistent basis, rides exactly how he wants to ride, and just recently finished on the podium at X Games in Los Angeles. He ended up in third, right behind Garrett Reynolds and amongst the top street riders in the world. It’s not every day that you get to line up with nine of the best riders in the world on live T.V. but he’s no stranger to laying it down when it counts. He’s the type of person that knows what he wants, and does what he wants. He has his daily routine pretty dialed and rides more than most people that I know. I caught up with him as soon as he got back from the X Games to talk a little bit about riding, life and the future. Keep on reading to find out what he does in his downtime, where he plans on moving someday and what projects he’s currently working on.
This week’s column happened as organically as any. It was one of those things where I was waiting until the last minute to see what happens and luckily I recently ran into one of my good friends Mark Mulville and decided to sit him down and get him to share some facts about himself with the BMX world. We spent some time in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania chillin, getting some coffee and putting this piece together. It’s always a good time running into old friends and in true “TTL” fashion, I had no idea what I was going to do for #76 until yesterday. It wouldn’t really feel right if I didn’t wait until the last minute to commit to a column and every time it makes me realize how hard it can be to keep up on this series week after week. On that note, Mark has been killing it lately… traveling, filming, enjoying life and sharing positive vibes along the way. Take a minute to learn about one of the best riders out there and find out a few things about Mark that I can guarantee that you didn’t already know and enjoy the first-edition of “Fact Check.”
Well, this one is kind of an important column for me. Not only is it number 75, but it’s a piece that I was really stoked to share. Ben Hucke has been someone that I have enjoyed hanging with, shooting with and riding with for years now. He’s got a unique style, does things his own way and has a positive mindset on the regular. He has taken his own path in life, lives each day like it’s his last and truly understands how awesome BMX is. One of the few people who really get it and one of the few who will leave his mark within the riding world. He’s constantly busy raising his son, filming, shooting and working on multiple projects to keep his sponsors happy. His hustle is something that I can respect and on that note, here’s to number 75. It’s been a wild ride and I really appreciate every single person out there that has taken the time to read my column, share my column or just simply enjoy my column. When I get reminded of the fact that there are people out there that look forward to each piece I feel truly grateful to have had this opportunity. Thanks to Kurt, thanks to you, the readers, and thanks to BMX for shaping me into the person that I am today. On that note, let’s learn a little bit about Ben Hucke and show some respect to someone who’s in it for the right reasons.
Every once in a while a rider will stand out to me as unique, original, and passionate. One of those riders happens to be Chad Johnston. He is a flatland legend, has been around since day one and has always stuck to his guns. He rides his bike exactly how he wants, and sets trends along the way. No brakes, and no pegs are necessary for the style of riding that Chad does and as of late he has been breathing life back into the flatland side of things over at S&M Bikes and has been working hard on a signature line of flat specific products. As always, this column is forever changing, evolving and progressing. As time goes on, I try to keep things interesting while creating content that will appeal to the masses. Take a minute and get to know a little more about a rider that has been here, there and back again and keep an eye out in the future for the next original “Bio” piece.
Sam Schulte owns Tree Bikes which most of you have certainly heard of before and has quite the history in the BMX industry as an innovator and incredible product designer. Sam started Tree with the intent of creating parts that have solid thought behind them and builds products that are meant to last. He always has the consumer in mind and doesn’t feel right if he has to “sell” his products. Anyone that knows Tree knows that the stuff they make is 100% quality based and completely BMX to the core. On that note, anyone that knows Sam, knows that he has always had a unique outlook on life and truly lives according to his own rules and what he feels is right for his own life. There are a few people out there these days blazing their own path and making their own personal life choices and Sam Schulte is certainly one of them. He maintains a positive state of mind, carefully chooses what goes into his body and has a specific reason and purpose for doing so. Check out what motivates Sam to eat a fully raw diet and maybe learn a thing or two in the process.
As a photographer I am always searching out ways to set myself apart and create content that people will be into. It’s one of the biggest challenges and one of the hardest parts about it to be honest, especially these days when everyone has a camera of some sort with them on a regular basis whether it is a digi-cam or an iphone and life is being documented by the minute. It’s a mix of doing what makes you happy and trying to figure out what will make viewers happy as well. That’s where this new “A different perspective” idea came from. Over the years I have interviewed tons of pro riders about anything and everything except one important topic. What is it like from their perspective to go out and shoot with a photographer? What it is that makes one person better to shoot with than others? I have always wondered about what goes on inside a riders mind before they prepare to shoot a crazy banger and put all of their trust into the photographer. See what Ryan Nyquist, Greg Illingworth, and Daniel Dhers all had to say for the fourth edition of “A different perspective.”
One of the things that I love most about doing this column is the fact that I have full creative control week after week. There is no one telling me what to do or how to do it. As someone who has worked in the creative industry for over a decade now there is nothing better than creating an idea from scratch and watching it come to life. That is exactly what this week’s column is all about. I recently spent some time hanging out with James Covington, the owner of Native BMX, and got the chance to pick his brain about the custom leather seats that he makes. Not very many people are out there working with their bare hands, using timeless techniques and creating truly custom pieces. It’s one of those things that you have to appreciate. In today’s BMX industry parts are and can be about as cookie cutter as they come. Companies literally just take the same parts as other companies and just stamp their name on them and call them their own. To me, there is nothing good about that. The fact that there are people out there like James giving you the option to truly add a personal touch to your bike is what makes me think there is hope for BMX after all. The reason why most of us ever got involved with riding in the first place was to stand out from the crowd and not follow the normal path that was laid out in front of us. Find out more about the whole process and give some respect to someone out there making quality, unique, American-made products that could potentially last a lifetime.