Letter: Why Didn’t You Edit Costa?

December 19, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Reader Letter: Why Didn't You Edit Costa? 
Great podcast with George Costa. But why didn’t you cut the part when he said that pulling advertising on your site didn’t make any change? I would have cut that part out, and I’m curious why you didn’t?”
—JB, Midwest

Thanks for your message, JB. I normally edit each podcast a bit, mostly to remove the “ummmms” and pauses, sometimes for time (I like a 1-hour episode, give-or-take), and sometimes if I, or the guest, goes on a tangent that repeats what we have already said, if will not have an effect on the content.

I view every guest on Announcers Tower as I would a guest sitting on the couch in my own living room. Which is to say, that I would (almost) never tell them to stop talking, or edit what they said for my own purposes. In 146 episodes, I am almost-certain I have never done that.

If you haven’t-yet listened to the episode, JB’s letter refers to the part of the show, queued-up below, where George talks about his plans for the future, and looks back at some of Rennen’s past marketing efforts–most specifically pulling-back from online advertising in places like (click to start at the moment-in-question):

At 38:04, George acknowledges that, with no team on the track, he may re-evaluate that plan (but also says his gut says no)–still, if/when he does, we would be stoked to welcome Rennen back to the advertiser community, here on News.

George sent-over the following as an additional reply to your letter:

First off, I’d like to say I fully support what Mike and BMXnews are doing here with his websites. I was an advertiser for 6 or 7 years and in the days of intense Internet sanction drama on VBMX we would always see good clickthrough numbers on our Google Analytics in those days. My reasons for pulling back were mainly due to personal circumstances that arose about 2 years ago where I had to very closely evaluate every dollar we spend.

I was just freely speaking to Mike and I hope the sentiment I was trying to convey was “don’t take things for granted that the brands or sites or magazines you love will be around forever if you don’t help support them.”

Maybe it is time for more owners like myself to speak up and issue a warning call that if you care about something help support it.

Maybe instead of selling your used frame on the fence at the track, give it to a kid in need or donate it as a loaner bike to your local track and buy yourself a new one at retail. Sometimes people don’t know how good they have it while they are experiencing something. How many people are still reminiscing about the NBL, but didn’t support it to the level they needed to stay in business.

I have loved BMX ever since I first discovered it in BMX Plus! (RIP) back in 1987. I don’t want the sport to die but it’s time that everyone opens their eyes about how the BMX world operates around them, and do the right thing.

Back to the podcast: at 38:37, I weigh-in to give my opinion on what he said. I have to admit: it was tough to put that mirror up to our efforts, but it would be disingenuous to say “everything’s fine,” when the picture has, in fact, changed radically for us, on the advertising front, in the past 18 months or so.

But we still have a solid group of advertisers who believe in what we’re doing–believe that a NEWS site about BMX Racing is important to support (By the Way: please click on their banners, if you’re interested in their products. It really helps.). That faith, on their part, drives the future ambitions of this site (some of which, you will see in the coming weeks).

BMX News serves a valuable purpose in the sport, as a primary source for news— not opinion— but NEWS (and some opinion, too). We do stories that nobody else does, and I love that part of my job.

That said, I have great respect for ALL of the outlets who also cover this thing of ours, and we each have our own unique style and editorial approach.

I have to admit: it’s difficult to “suit up” for press release stories, especially after the story is all-over social media. We love “scoops” that nobody else has (send those to

If you have a newsworthy story, work with us to develop it, then share our post on your social channels…it’s better when someone else is talking about you anyway, right? I don’t guarantee we’ll take every pitch, but many days I’m dying for something of news value to post.

Wrapping-up on your letter, JB, you should also know that George and I are friends. I knew, going in, that he is a guy who speaks his mind…which is what makes him such a great guest on the podcast.

So our discussion, though structured, as all of our episodes are, was a conversation among friends, who have a long history. We have broken news together, and we have broken bread together (but, to my knowledge, have never broken wind together, LOL). I was not-at-all offended by what he said on the show.

Thanks again for your support of this site, and for your reader letter on this topic!

—Mike Carruth

Podcast: George Costa on His Team Retirement

December 18, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: George Costa on Team Retirement
It has been a long road of ups & downs, with some big successes along the way for George Costa, owner and team manager of Factory Answer/Rennen for the past seven seasons. Before that, he was title sponsor for Rennen-Intense, and got a feel for how the Factory Team scene works. Read more

Podcast: Donny Robinson in Saudi Arabia

November 20, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Donny Robinson in Saudi Arabia for the USA BMX Foundation

Donny Robinson is just off the plane from a week-long trip to Saudi Arabia on behalf of the USA BMX Foundation. It was Bike Week at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), outside Jeddah. The planned community around the campus itself is 13 square miles in area and is a model for the kingdom’s future progression to be the science and technology hub of the region.

Donny was there to spread the word about cycling, and inspire students of all ages with his message of “How Far Can Two Wheels Take You?” But he was also there on a mission to expose the sport of BMX Racing within the kingdom, in hopes something might-just take root in terms of getting a track built on the grounds.

We were stoked to sit down with Donny earlier this week for a quick 34-minute episode to hear all about his trip, the people he met and the “universal language of bicycles.”

Listen Now
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BMX News will update this story as Donny makes more progress on his international mission to get kids back on bikes. We’re sure we’ll see him in Tulsa a time or two, so who knows what other gems he will reveal. Stay tuned to News for the latest!

Podcast: Factory Redline 2018

May 10, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: Factory Redline 2018
The last time we saw someone rockin a Factory Redline jersey was at the 2016 Grands, most notably, on Alise Post hoisting the cup on the Saturday night, as 2016 the #1 Pro Woman.

Redline paused the Factory Team program in 2017, as a corporate shake-up changed the game. Read more

Podcast: Toby Henderson on Fake BMX Parts

April 10, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Toby Henderson

As it becomes more common to order goods directly from the Chinese factories that produce them, it is no surprise that we are starting to see more and more BMX-style products appear in the factory-direct online marketplaces. Notice how we said “BMX-style.”

And while some make a case for purchasing apparel items, fish filters or reptile lights off Alibaba, to purchase a non-branded product from an unknown factory, for BMX racing use, could result in serious bodily harm.

In order to drill-down on some of the potential pitfalls of ordering Asia-direct for BMX parts, we enlisted the help of Toby Henderson–president of Box Components, and someone who has extensive experience working with sources in Asia, and around the world.

At just-over 15 mins, it’s a short segment. Listen now:

iOS users, paste the link below in your device’s browser:

We are not saying that all Asian product is bad, or dangerous–far from it. We ARE saying that most, if not all, of the branded product on the market today, purchased through a reputable source like your local bike shop or favorite mail order outlet is vetted and tested, and likely carries the right certifications and product insurance. You still have to exercise consumer judgment, but it’s easier to do so when you know who you’re dealing with.

Going factory-direct on generic products, via online purchase, is a full-stack gamble. You take on all the risk to your rider if something goes wrong with a product that has not been properly tested and vetted.

It’s just not worth it.

Related Story

Bicycle Retailer: Retailers Spot Component Knock-Offs

Toby Henderson

Podcast: Jerry Landrum of BMX Mania

March 15, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: Jerry Landrum of BMX Mania

Earlier this week, BMX News reported that BMX Mania Publisher, Jerry Landrum was stepping back from regular updates on the website he founded in the mid 1990s. Well wishes flooded in on social media, from around the world, celebrating the contribution our friend has made to this great sport.

As promised in that article, we sat down with Jerry for a podcast interview, to hear some of his best BMX stories, his “Mount Rushmore” of both riders and events, his thoughts on the future of BMX Racing in the Olympics, and what’s next for him now that he will have all that free time on his hands.

iOS Users: Paste the URL below in your device’s browser to listen:

Please give it a listen, and comment below with your personal Jerry Mania stories.

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: “Super Jerry” by Christophe Boul

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Podcast: Jerry Landrum of BMX Mania

Podcast: BMX Racing League Update

May 12, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Podcast on the BMX Racing League

For the past eight months, BMX Racing League has been testing and proving-out the concept of a Beginners-only program for new families coming into BMX Racing, with great success. The League sets up a program where families pay a single entry fee, which includes five sessions of instruction, five races, a League jersey, number plate, season-end award and pizza party on the last day. All participants are USA BMX “trial” members, which sets-the-stage for them to eventually join the “Open Racing” program at the local track (AKA the regular local program).

In this, the 139th episode of the Announcers Tower Podcast, Donny Robinson fills-us-in on the details of the League, as well as his success at his own local track, North bay BMX in Napa, CA.

This episode is unique, among the other episodes, in that I, as host of the program, act as both host, and somewhat of a “co-guest,” since I also ran three “test seasons” of the League program at one of my local tracks, Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart, IN.

The reason we decided to do this show is because Track Operators, industry-folk, and many BMX families interested in growing the sport have sent-in questions—to BMX News, to Donny, and via the BMX Racing League Facebook Page (link below).

Donny answered as many of those questions, individually, as he could, but a central place to hear about the program, and its nuances, will help a broader-audience understand the scope of the program, and (hopefully) spur-on deeper discussion, as the program wends its way through to a larger rollout.

Listen now:
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser

Bonus Clips

“BMX Goggles: Bike Sizing”
“The BMX Goggles:” Bike Sizing
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser

“BMX Goggles: Transfer System”
“The BMX Goggles:” The Transfer System
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser:

It was a lot of fun doing this episode. There is SO much more to say, but both Donny and I really enjoyed sharing our experience with the League, and the details surrounding how it all works, and why.

If you are an interested Track Operator who knows that Beginner programming is needed, reach out to Donny ( to get on the list of tracks that will be among the first to be trained in running the BMX Racing League program–according to the “recipe.”

If you’re NOT a track operator, but know this program will be a game-changer for your local scene, contact Donny as well. The position of “League Coordinator” is open, and ready for you to fill.

—Mike Carruth


BMX Racing League on Facebook

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Podcast on the BMX Racing League

Podcast: Dale Holmes and Jamie Staff on Jr. Devo

January 23, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Kamren Larsen is one of four riders on USAC BMX Devo

USA Cycling took the Olympic year of 2016 off from Junior Development programming. Thanks to a new partnership with Dale Holmes, 2017 will see an expansion beyond the “camp” programming with which we are all familiar, and USAC will field a team of four hand-picked BMXers Read more

Podcast: John David on 2017 Pro Pay & More

January 20, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: John David on 2017 Pro Pay & More

The talk has been thick over the past 14 days or so about the USA BMX announcement relating to the pro pay scale for 2017. For all the hundreds (maybe thousands) of social media comments on the topic, plus a BMX News article relating to the subject, we have not heard the official USA BMX side of things.

On this episode of the BMX News Announcers Tower Podcast, USA BMX COO, John David, joins us to provide the inside-the-walls account of how the decisions were made, and also some points that affect BMXers at every level.

Listen now.
iOS users: paste the URL below into your device’s browser to listen

What stands out about this episode is that John gives us a rare look at how USA BMX views the pro class, the relationship with UCI, and how that affects the operational decisions made, as well as how cultural shifts in present-day America impact BMX Racing at every level.

Comments are open below, and we invite your opinions and feedback.

—Mike Carruth


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Podcast: Jason Carnes on Berm Academy

December 8, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Jason Carnes Berm Academy

Without question, the top road warrior in BMX Racing is Jason Carnes. For the past 17 years, we have seen him in the Redline pit, setting up the perfect environment for the riders under his care, and offering a place to put-down for friends who were pitless.

Whenever News showed up early for a national, we’d always see JC scrubbing the grit & grime off the Redline banners, wiping-down the bikes from the last stop, prepping them for the weekend, and generally getting the space squared-away, with almost military precision.

That was no accident, by the way, as Jason served our country in the US Army, as a Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He then carried an exemplary level of aesthetic discipline back into his BMX career as the face and voice of Redline Bicycles in the field, both at the races, and at Redline Flight School clinics.

Jason recently marked an end to his career in the Redline rig, and has launched a BMX startup like no other.

Jason Carnes’ Berm Academy offers a series of full-immersion BMX tours which allow riders 14-over to get the real-deal BMX road trip experience, directly from the guy who has been on the road longer than some of them have been alive.

News sat down with Jason to bring you a podcast that sets the scene for how Berm Academy works, and how you can be part of this unique experience for one week, or a full month of BMX life on the road.

iOS users: paste the link below into your device’s browser to listen

There’s no doubt that the road trips we take hold the best of all memories of our time in BMX. I, myself, wrote an article in the BMXer, back in 2008, talking about the very-thing that Jason is now offering to a new generation of BMXers (link below). So, who’s “in?”

—Mike Carruth


Jason Carnes Berm Academy Website

ABA BMXer: Lookback – Road Trips, June 2008

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