BMX Plus! Ceases Publication

September 15, 2015 by · Comments Off 

BMX Plus Magazine Ceases Publication

In a world where newspapers and magazines fight off the shadow of death with every issue, this may come as an anticipated-though-painful headline. BMX Plus!, a title that had not missed an issue in 37 years*, will now fall silent, having just released its November 2015 issue. Its first issue (above, left) was November 1978.

*there was no May 1983 issue. June 1983 was released at the same time the May issue was expected by subscribers, and on newsstands to synch up with Hi-Torque Publications’ production and cover date schema

The news jolted the BMX community like an earthquake on Monday, September 14, with this matter-of-fact tweet at 5:35PM Pacific Time:

For a moment, we envisioned a “goodbye” issue this November, with pages of old gold photos and BMX legends from all 37 years of its run once again gracing the pages with a farewell story of what the magazine meant to them. But then, reality.

It’s print, so the November issue is released the end of September. That’s NOW! A quick look at the second-to-last tweet before the shocker confirmed that 2015 World Champ, Niek Kimmann was, in fact, November and the final cover.

The plug was pulled rather abruptly (perhaps even in one of those end-of-the-day meetings everyone dreads being called into, given the time of the tweet, though we don’t know that to be the case).

The decision was so-abrupt that the full content of the December 2015 issue was reportedly finished and ready to run, when the decision was made to call it quits.

Ben Crockett, the magazine’s editor for the past 16 years, told News, via email:

I’m proud of the mag and what we achieved with so little funding for so many years. We all loved and believed in print and the editorial staff would have paid out of pocket to make it happen monthly. (Publisher) Roland (Hinz) was paying out of pocket for years to keep it alive, based purely on his emotional attachment to the magazine. Have to respect that.

It was a great run but I realize it’s a fight I can no longer win.

He also posted the following on the BMX Plus! website alongside the tweet:

BMX Plus December 2015…But unfortunately, this is the end for BMX Plus!

After almost sixteen years at BMX Plus! which is about to turn 37, I am very saddened to say that the magazine will be officially closing its doors. It has been an amazing ride for me, from growing up reading the mag, to being able to run it for a decade and a half. It has been an honor. Hats off to Hi-Torque Publications for supporting the magazine based on a pure love for the sport for so many years. I am bummed we couldn’t bring you at least one more issue, but I am proud of all the content we have been able to bring to the sport. Our main focus now is to ensure the archives live on and that the public can continue to benefit from the history BMX Plus! has dating back to 1976.

Thanks to all the fans, readers, staff, riders, contributors and companies that have supported BMX Plus! all these years. I never dreamed I would be the one sending it off but on such short notice, I am kind of at a loss for what to say. Enough angry emails may be enough to get a digital version of the final issue released, but either way, this will be the last cover. Special thanks to Chris Arriaga for hanging in the final years and former Editor Adam Booth for teaching me all I know.

Many of you know that I was on the BMX Plus! staff from 1985-1988, first as Associate Editor, then as Advertising Director. Though I had been freelancing as a writer and photographer for four years by the time I got the job, it was my first “real” job, reporting to an office every day.
BMX News reports on the closing of BMX Plus! Magazine

Hi-Torque Publications, the company that has published BMX Plus! since 1983 was/is led by Roland Hinz–a savvy publisher who cut his teeth in the “teeny-bopper” magazines of the 1960s and 70s. Roland had/has both an enthusiast’s passion and a CEO’s business brains where his magazines were concerned. And while some of us cringed at the sensationalistic cover lines of the day, touting “Shootouts,” “Who’s Radder?,” “Poster Spectaculars” and “Rider1 versus Rider 2, versus Rider 3,” etc., it was Roland’s experience in publishing and leadership that navigated BMX Plus! into being the top seller in BMX magazines by 1988 (yes, even bigger than Mighty BMXA). As unhip as we thought they were, those cover lines sold magazines on the newsstand, back when kids bought magazines on the newsstand.

Hi-Torque is a company so well-run that, looking at the masthead, I see many names still at the company with whom I worked in 1988. The company continues-on after the closing of BMX Plus! with six other magazines on the production roster–most famously Dirt Bike, Motocross Action and Mountain Bike Action.

In my time there, I had the privilege of working with some incredible mentors–Roland, John Ker, Scott Wallenberg, Jeff Shoop– who sent me out into the entrepreneurial world with a solid heading, a nose for news and firm guidance that the readers come first–always.

Apart from management, my colleagues in the trenches were BMXers first, along with their own flair for words and photos. Scott Towne, Todd Britton, Karl Rothe, Tony Donaldson, and Byron Friday. The miracle of social media has kept most of us in touch to this day.

BMX Plus! survived its 1980s-era competitors, BMX Action and Super BMX by more than a quarter century. Modern-day print competitor Ride BMX turned off the lights in its pressroom earlier this year, but still publishes online.

At a high point in the mid 1980s, BMX Plus! was selling more than 160,000 copies per month. But the realities of the digital era, coupled with kids spending time on video games and television; and falling participation in both BMX racing and freestyle, saw the numbers drop considerably in more recent times. The publisher’s statement printed in the January 2015 issue listed the paid circulation at a little under 24,000 copies. And, of course, the BMX Industry’s inability to support a print publication with monthly ad buys likely added another cinder block to tip the scales in favor of this action.

And what of a digital or online-only version of BMX Plus!? Afterall, Ride did it, along with so many more once-print publications now on the digital newsstand exclusively. Ben’s email seems to indicate, in the immortal words of our Magic 8-Ball “Signs point to No.”

We’ll leave you with a few quotes from long time legends and fans of the magazine, and all it represented.

Being on the first BMX Plus issue is something I am very proud of, at 14 years of age you really do not grasp the total picture but years later you look back and it’s like “man how cool is that?”

I am sad to see Plus! go. Wishing all the staff all the best as they begin new chapters in their life.

—Greg Hill

BMX Plus! May 1980 Cover“We learned our “English” out of this mag and the teachers had no clue what we meant with: RAD!, GNARLY!, TUFFWHEELS etc, all words they never heard of hahaha. Every page was seen a million times and we knew what picture was on what page. BMX PLUS! Was the only “book” we were reading at home. Thanks for teaching us “BMXenglish”!

—Paul de Jong, Dutch BMX Legend

BMX Plus1 December 1986 Issue CoverThe end of an era. BMX Plus! Magazine has ceased publication after 37 years. That’s a good haul. This is me on the cover, 1986, shot in the dark by my friend/mentor/adversary John Ker on one of the worst bikes I’ve ever ridden. Whatever it takes. Reading this news tonight brings up a lot of thoughts and memories. A sad day for BMX, but a true sign of the times. I guess #‎printisdead for real. RIP BMX Plus!

So many great tributes over the last day for BMX Plus Magazine, as they’re closing their doors after 37 years. Like so many, I began my collection of BMX Plus magazines back in the early 80s and I still had a subscription right up to the lastest issue I got a few weeks ago in the mail. I was always so stoked to get a shot in the magazine over the years. This one goes back to March 1993 were I was fresh of the plane from the UK riding at Sheep Hill when the guys at Plus turned up with a Parkpre Bike and wanted to know if anyway wanted to test it for the mag. I knew testing it would guarantee me some coverage and get me my first bit of US exposure. I quickly volunteered before anyone else did. Can’t say I went big but it was an honor to put on the famous BMX Test Force uniform for a day and get my first piece of US coverage. Good luck to everyone at Plus in the future.

—Dale Holmes

We wish our buddy, Ben Crockett, all the best in whatever’s next for him, and thank all those at Hi-Torque who put their heart & soul into producing a magazine–from the typewriter era to the Internet Age.

—Mike Carruth

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

BMX Wedding: Jake Reeder and Afton Schrimpf

September 17, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Jake Reeder and Afton Schrimpf Wed in CA

BMX weddings are always the best kind of weddings. Probably because we get to see the people we see in BMX duds every week, showboat their wardrobe skills. Last weekend, Jake Reeder and Afton Schrimpf tied the knot in California. The reception was held aboard the world-famous luxe-liner, RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor. And what is a BMX wedding without cameo appearances by famous BMXers. Old Schooler Johnny Johnson was spinning the tunes in the DJ pit, and BMX Plus! Editor Ben Crockett was behind the camera.

Afton posted this on Facebook on Monday:

Jake and I would just like to thank everyone who came and shared our most perfect wedding day with us!!! It was such an amazing day and we truly are so thankful to all of our wonderful friends and family for being so great to us! And special thanks to Ben Crockett for capturing it in photos and Johnny Johnson for making our reception the best dance party ever!! #reederwedding

The happy couple is off the Europe for a honeymoon as we speak. We wish them all the best from their pals here at BMX News!

Panel: How to be More Media Savvy in 2013

January 8, 2013 by · Comments Off 

How To Be More Media Savvy in 2013,

Proportionate to their revenues, BMX Racing companies invest heavily in sponsoring athletes and teams. They are making this investment in order to draw attention to their products and, if it all goes to plan, sell more units. It is the ultimate intangible, because it’s rare for riders to be directly responsible for the sale of a frame or set of cranks to a consumer.

So a lot of it is about image, how the riders and teams present themselves to the public–and, of course on-track performance.

It is up to the riders and teams to help their sponsors realize a return on their investment. And since there is not a race every day of the year, the best way to stand above the other teams and/or riders in the prowl for the public’s attention, is to have a sharp media relations game.

There are some over-arching themes where BMX Racing folk miss the mark in media relations. We, in the BMX Media, talk about it all the time while we’re waiting for mains to start, or during practice.

So, rather than just talk about how you can step things up, we decided to come together for an all-hands discussion on the topic.

On the panel, we have (listed alphabetically):

Mike Carruth – BMX News
Ben Crockett – BMX Plus! Magazine
gOrk – USA BMX Communications Director
Jerry Landrum – BMX Mania
Pat Nugent – ESPN/Action

All respondents (including BMX News) did not know the content of the other participants’ responses. So, you will see some similar points being echoed from time to time. When that happens, it’s only because it is THAT widely-practiced.

It ended up to be a fairly-long article, so feel free to print it, or bookmark it if you have to read it in chunks. But we all think there is some important content here, and wanted to give you as complete an account of things as possible.

And now, on to our questions…

1). What mistakes do teams make in how they present their riders to the media?

Mike Carruth – One mistake is that many teams do not present their riders to us at all. I can only speak for our sites, of course, but it’s rare that teams reach out to us to say “hey…what about a story on X, Y or Z.” I am not looking for “do a story on me, just-because” pitches, but with every rider, there’s a unique story on something. I want those stories. Content that is uniquely for our readers.

There is a LOT of opportunity for teams and riders who truly want to represent their sponsors’ brand, and are willing to put in a little non-race-day work to make it happen.

There are many “ideas” on how to make a team more visible, that are not necessarily “mistakes,” per se. I will cover some of these in #3, but one major point that could be characterized as a “mistake,” if we want to use that term, is that I need to know your riders better. Contact me before a national, and arrange a time for me to meet your whole team, and their parents. Let me shoot some headshots on Friday– or Saturday, during second round. I have never had such an invite that I did not pre-arrange myself.

Ben Crockett – They don’t (present their riders to the media). Between racing and freestyle do you know how many calls I received in 2012 from team managers or representatives to set up a meet with a team? Two. The biggest mistake teams make is getting in the mindset of, "I’ve created a great team, with awesome uniforms and a kick-ass pit, now I am going to sit back and wait for the media to come to me." That’s fine, and we will recognize your top contenders, but what about the rest of your team? Teams are more then just top pros, and it shows strength and pride when a team manager will set up meet and greet days with the team, or even set up times at the major races where the entire team will be in the same place at the same time. Media outlets have a very broad reach in the industry, but it generally comes down to one representative at any given race; Mike Carruth, Jerry Landrum, myself… If you have 30 riders on your team, all running wild at a national, there is no way we are going to take the time to track them all down, but if you were to say, come by the pits at 12:30 and meet the entire team, you can bet we will all be there.

gOrk – Whether it’s presenting themselves to the media – or more importantly, to the public (their customers), I can see quite a few mistakes being made. First off — sponsorship is about having a rider who is an advertisement. When you break it down, a factory rider is really a breathing, racing (and hopefully winning) billboard for their brand. Any smart manufacturer wouldn’t run an ad with another manufacturer’s product – but they allow their factory rider to. That’s mistake No.1. If you’re riding for a factory team, yet don’t like, or can’t run, your sponsor’s product – then DON’T ride for that company! Sponsors need to put their foot down as well; if your factory rider is substituting your product for another brand, that’s a breach of contract and that rider should be dropped.

Jerry Landrum – I think that the first thing that people miss is that they don’t do anything at all. There are some great options out there for publicizing your team on the internet. I think most of the web guys I know are "Up For It" when it comes to publishing team news from those who understand what good publicity can do for their team.

Pat Nugent – I think the single biggest mistake is the brands often side- step the media when making announcements. Rather than sending out a press release to a handful of media outlets, they prefer to release the news themselves on their blog/Facebook/twitter. I realize that this has alot to do with the instant gratification of the news being done and out as soon as they post it. A link to an article on BMX News or espn/bmx would make their news seem like actual news instead of some internal release. Rather than it just saying “here is our news” it would say “we have this big news and it’s been posted here, here and here because people outside of our brand are interested in it!” Send a press release out to the media the day that the news is official and then wait a few days before tweeting/posting to your website. Along with having links out to show that your news was relevant, you will also have people thinking it’s a rumor and talking about your brand for a couple days extra.


2). What mistakes do individual riders make in how they present themselves to the media?

Mike Carruth – The biggest one here is for the rider, however young or old…Expert, Girl, Cruiser or Elite, to understand that, as a sponsored/co-sponsored rider, when they are at the track, they need to consider those “business hours.” If you’re sponsored, regardless of your deal, someone is always watching–do you want them to see you and your sponsors at your best, or your worst?

That means whenever you are on the track, you need to be in your FULL racing kit, including pants and number plate! It is so frustrating to get a great shot in practice, but not be able to use it, or pass it on to the sponsor for their promo, because the rider is not fully kitted-up. For the top riders, I may only get two or three chances to shoot them in a day, since they are out first round, then we do not see them again til the semis and/or main. Practice adds more chances for coverage, but not if you are in warmup pants, with bare bars– or, God forbid, a random USA jersey from the worlds five years ago. Speaking of jerseys, when yours is off, have one of your sponsor’s T-Shirts on, so any pit photos also represent what your sponsor and, by extension, you, are selling.

Ben Crockett – Ego. Maris Stromberg is the greatest thing in BMX racing right now, but if he never took the time to sign an autograph, teach at a Free Agent clinic or make himself accessible in the pits because he was too full of himself, or he felt it was beneath him, his Gold Medal would count for nothing. This also spins off into riders who feel as though they are above the team. When you have an entire team in one set of gear, or running hubs made by a team sponsor, but you are running something different without good reason (i.e. They don’t make a part in your size), it projects very negatively on you as a rider and team player.

Finally, poor sportsmanship and excuses. If you or your parents are contesting passes or moves other riders are making in every-other rac, and you have a laundry list of excuses every time you don’t win, then no one want to deal with you. You don’t need to tell us why your loss was everyone else’s fault, racing is racing and you won’t win them all. We would much-rather run a story on the fastest rider in a class who was beat by the slowest and be able to quote the fastest rider as saying, ‘John Doe got a great start and really owned that race, they really deserved the win,’ versus ‘They cut me off and I got balled-up on the outside, after drawing gate 8…’ Want me to put names in these? Because I will do it all day long.

gOrk – In the same sense, a company wouldn’t normally run a blank ad with none of their products in it — yet you see some factory riders doing the “blank ad” thing at the races. Example? I don’t think there’s ANY excuse – other than laziness, as to why a rider doesn’t have his numberplate on his bike during practice. There are still photographers out there, there are still plenty of fans watching and idolizing them, and that rider is still sponsored as if they are in a race – and by not running a plate, they took away their number-one form of logo placement for their sponsor and all of their co-sponsors. …not to mention, they set a bad example for the young, impressionable fans who strive to be like them. That to me, is just plain stupidity… yet you see so many factory riders – both Ams and Pros, doing it.

If you’re sponsored – you should be promoting that brand from the moment you get to the airport (or when you hop in the car) to go to a race, to the time you get home Sunday night. I’m amazed when I see a factory rider who’s wearing some other brand of shirt when I see him in baggage claim, or when he arrives at the track to sign up. I often think to myself, “How much is that cool t-shirt brand you’re wearing, that has nothing to do with our sport, paying you to be here?” Riders need to remember who’s signing their checks – or simply, who they REALLY ride for.

Jerry Landrum – Once again, not making the initial effort to do something is always amazing to me. Why not give it a try. Another thing that I feel might add to team’s efforts is for someone on the team to be in charge of getting photos. With today’s phones being so easy to use to take good candid / lifestyle shots, someone could easily get some good shots that could be posed or taken in the pits to add interest to team news releases or race reports.

Pat Nugent – I feel like, for the most part, the riders do a pretty good job of presenting themselves to the media. The thing that alot of riders don’t do well at is meeting up on a race weekend to shoot some side photos (for a bike check or something else). I understand that on a race weekend they are under alot of pressure to perform, but finding 5-10 minutes to shoot a few photos and chat shouldn’t be that difficult to come by.


3). How can someone who has never met you personally, get on your radar?

Mike Carruth – The best way is a face-to-face introduction. Call me over to the fence line at a race, or invite me into your pit to meet the team. Better yet, email me your cell number before the race (, so we can arrange a place to meet before the action gets going. I typically shoot the first round on Saturday and Sunday, then roam the pits (or go back to the room to get a jump on processing photos, if nothing else is going on). This is a great opportunity for me to meet riders and teams.

Obviously, meeting you is not a guarantee of coverage, but it puts you “on the radar,” as the question asks.

Ben Crockett – I will find myself admiring riders at the track I have never heard of or seen before if they have crazy lines or bike handling skills, but I don’t always have the time or means to track them all down, especially since riders take off their jerseys and head off to pits-unknown, immediately after crossing the finish line. If I get the chance, I will catch these riders while they are on the track or in staging and introduce myself, but what really makes the name and face stick is when a rider follows up without a full-face helmet and gear on. It really makes a rider pop when they have skills but they are also acutely aware that there are thousands of other people in the same place, in similar gear and on similar bikes, doing the same thing and they shouldn’t hesitate to put a name and a face with a compliment when it comes around, not simply bury it in the ego pocket and disappear into the woodwork.

gOrk – When I was at Redline, a few riders caught my eye by just being out there on the track, in the lead and looking good. Anthony DeRosa got on Redline way back when by wearing a blank white jersey and totally dominating his mains. I could tell by his style that he was a kid worth tracking down. Then there was Denzel, who we watched for a coupla years and slowly began helping out with parts. Denzel was consistent and persistent. Every year at the Winter Natls, he’d come up to me and ask if there was room on the team for him. After two years of that, it really showed how serious he was – plus, at the time, he had a grey-background numberplate on his bike with a No.1 on it.

For the most part — Redline, and myself, look for what I call the “complete package.” Bubba Harris is the best example of that – he was the total package. He was not just fast and always a title contender, but he was great in the pits – friendly and approachable. He’s a good looking guy, so he was easy to use in advertising and outside-the-sport promotions. He spoke well for interviews and knew how to plug a sponsor … the list goes on and on. Some riders can go fast, but then they’re so tatt’ed-up that it scares away parents, or keeps outside-media attention away. Or other pros who go really fast, but may not know how to speak well to their fans; either they’re too shy, or soft-spoken. There are just too many factors to list them all. But I’d recommend a rider to just try to be the BEST they possibly can be, in all aspects of life. There’s more to being a factory superstar in BMX than just winning races.

Jerry Landrum – Email me at BMX Mania, just hit up the Email Link on the front page and check in with me, I’m easily available and welcome the opportunity to help team managers or media personnel to get their stories published on BMX Mania. My policy on BMX Mania is that we treat everyone the same, and I will run just about anything that is sent in regardless of what team it is from. I love helping teams get their news out.

Pat Nugent – It’s as simple as them introducing themselves. BMX isn’t my full tine job, I follow it pretty closely, but if a rider isn’t in the top 10-15 he is probably off of my radar. So aside from doing well at races, the only way onto my radar is by actually meeting the rider.


4). Give us five things teams and riders can do to boost their media profile in 2013.

Mike Carruth – Understand that I am there to tell a story, in words and photos. For all the people at the race, there are thousands more of our readers who are not. My job is to put the reader at the event, and tell them what happened, maybe even better than if they were there themselves. What’s your story from the race? Email me immediately after the race (within 4-5 hours), to give me your take on what went down (perfect task for the car ride or flight home). By Noon Monday, it’s old news. Chances are, if it’s good, and timely, I will work it in to my coverage, and maybe contact you for an interview, bike check or feature.

I almost-never run press releases, or stories that are going out to every news outlet in the known-universe. If your plan is to send me a release that you are also going to post on Facebook, and then email to all the other outlets, I will probably not run it. In this day of Facebook-as-magazine, our readers do not benefit from seeing the same content everywhere they turn. I want the stuff nobody else has. The size of our audience rewards your efforts in coming to us first. Scoops are great, if they are newsworthy. At the very least, a different version than you are sending to everyone else will improve your chances of getting it posted on our sites.

For riders and industry insiders (team managers, brand managers, etc), if you have a Facebook and Instagram presence, be sure to take some photos of you, with your jersey or a company T-Shirt on every once in a while. If there is news about you, I am going to go there first to grab a photo, if I do not already have it in my library.

For Team Managers: If you are sending me news of a new rider pickup, plan ahead and send me a photo of the new rider, in your jersey or a company T-Shirt, as part of the scoop. Give me a quote from the company, a quote from the TM, and a quote from the rider (that you are not sending to anyone else, or posting on Facebook). Bonus points if you make the photo 580×440 pixels in size.

Write an article for us on something other than yourself or your team. With five Websites online, I am always looking for solid, original content. Maybe it’s a BMX mom’s guide to going on the road, or a how-to vid of one of your riders (in full kit, of course), taking a tour of next week’s national track where s/he’s a local. I am open to ideas, so come on with it! That is all stuff I would love to run, and would get your sponsor(s) a link, and some coverage for your initiative.

Bonus: Choose your pitches strategically and wisely. I can’t run stories on you or your riders every day, or even every week. So look for the good opportunities (upcoming news that nobody has yet is best), then hit me up at And send your copy in plain-text (.txt) format with attached JPG images at 580×440 pixels in size.

Ben Crockett – Keep us posted with media blasts, but don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what you are up to on a more case by case basis, especially if you are passing through our town.

You never know when we may have a hole to fill in the mag or online and could use a rider.

Don’t use Facebook or the like as your sole form of PR. If we don’t follow you, then we have no clue what you are up to and if we don’t know what your up to, then we aren’t going to follow you.

Contact us directly with news. We all want the scoop, or at least a unique quote on what in the news; so don’t hesitate to follow up.

Finally, be a good sport, be positive and represent your sponsors

gOrk – I’d just like to see more professionalism from the teams. Riders are getting away with things – like the no numberplate, or Adidas sweatpants in practice, because sponsors are allowing it. The look of their team pits should emulate AMA Supercross — I’d say Redman~Rockstar does this best. Their set-up is 100% Factory. I like the consistency of GT’s team numberplates, with their bikes lined up on custom bike stands. The more BMX can look like Supercross, or other pro sports, then the more likely it’ll be to draw outside the sport sponsors — like energy drinks and cell phone companies. Lastly, I’d say communication is also key – Morphine does a great job getting their post-National news writeup to the BMX media, and more teams should do like that … but not limit yourself to just the BMX media. Send that stuff to other sports outlets. You’re just preaching to the choir on most BMX sites – when the goal should be to reach new, potential customers.

Jerry Landrum – A. Communicate with media outlets to see what they can offer the team as far as media coverage is. You don’t know til you ask!

B. Take some good photos with your camera or phone around the pits and use some of those cool free photo apps to include with your news release or race report.

C. Appoint someone within the team family to be responsible for writing up team news. It’s important to have a Go To person to be responsible for this important task.

Pat Nugent – A. Facebook. Most brands and riders are on their already, use it more. Share more photos. Post your race weekend updates. Tag all of your orders. DO NOT TAG MEDIA PEOPLE. I haven’t been tagged in anything, but I imagine after saying that there would be a likely chance.

B. Twitter. I hardly follow any brands on twitter because anything relevant is retweeted by all of their riders. I do follow most of the riders. I see that half the Elite class is spending their winter riding snowboards and all of that. It is still important for the brands to tweet and for their riders to represent them on their as well.

C. Instagram. I personally don’t use instagram (due to an outdated iPhone but I play it off as thinking Instagram is lame).
Link your instagram to your twitter and Facebook. Post photos from the pits at the races, the travel to/from races, save some of the photos for off weekends so you can still throw some stuff up there. Kids in 2013 are lazy and would rather see photos than read a release. The written stuff is for older riders, parents and the records when someone has a question in the future.

D. Talk to media people at the races. I regularly chat with Dale Holmes (Free Agent), Pete D (Chase), Derek Betcher (Haro) and Brian Fell (MCS) at the track. It helps to have an idea of what is going on in the future of their brands. Pete and I were talking back when their brand was starting up and did a full bike check pretty much immediately after they released their frame and lines of parts. Dale has had Maris all over the place this year. Those dudes are doing it right.

E. Do something different.


5). Anything else you would like to add to the discussion?

Mike Carruth – This is a topic I could go on-and-on-and-on about for days. But, as a brief closing, begin to understand what the media are looking for, in terms of covering you. I would be happy to take you through some of the finer points, personally, if invited to do so. Have a pre-prepared statement of what you are going to say when you’re interviewed–who to thank, where the logos should be in your photos, and so-forth. Don’t schedule me to come see you 10 mins before you have a practice. Learn the correct pronunciation of your sponsors’ brand names (for example, Sinz is not “Sins,” but pronounced like “Signs”). And, if you have the good fortune to land on a podium somewhere, for God’s sake, don’t show up in street clothes, or blow it off entirely. Full kit, always! Watch a few AMA Supercross races on TV for tips, as they always do a great job.

Ben Crockett – On the independent rider front, let your sponsors know what you are doing. Let them know at regular intervals what you have been doing, what tracks you have been going to and what you have been doing to rep the brand. We are seeing more and more big name riders dropped because they are either coasting, or their sponsors are under the impression that they are coasting because the riders aren’t keeping them sufficiently up to date. Don’t expect people to follow you, but strive for them to.

Jerry Landrum – I can’t speak for the print media guys but I can speak for some of us who run BMX racing web sites and I think it’s important to point out how available we are. Get in touch, allow us to help you, I’m sure it’s easier than people think. I know it is on my web site, I love it when people get in touch and allow me to serve them.

Pat Nugent – I think a lot of people don’t realize that media guys pretty much all come from within BMX to an extent. For a while a lot of people thought I was just some random dude who stumbled into the role that I am in. For the most part, I AM some random dude who stumbled into this role, but it was through having a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances that I know solely from riding BMX for the last 17 years, with Brian Tunney (the general editor for espn/action).
The other misconception is that this is a full time job for me. It isn’t. Not even close. When I go to races, I typically leave from my regular job on Friday afternoon, take the last flight out to wherever. Get there late. And then on Sunday, if I am fortunate enough to be on the east coast, take a late afternoon/evening flight, get home at 10 or 11pm and have my alarm set for 6:30 Monday morning. If I am not on the east coast, I fly redeye, get in at 5:45 am and head straight to the office a couple hours early.

My regular job is shooting photos and doing photoshop for a corporate photo studio in NYC called Camera 1 (

I would like to thank Ben, gOrk, Jerry and Pat for participating in this important discussion. All of us share a deep commitment to the sport, and want to see it grow in participation and as an industry.

—Mike Carruth


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