Podcast: John David on Florida State Series

July 24, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: John David on Florida State Series
On May 17, BMX News reported the story of a USA BMX decision to suspend authorization of the Sunshine State Association (SSA) to promote BMX Racing events in the state of Florida (link below). SSA had run the “Florida Cup” series for decades, and there were a fair amount of opinions voiced on both sides of the issue.

A letter sent to tracks on that day, signed by USA BMX COO, John David, and CEO, BA Anderson, promised an all-track meeting on the afternoon of July 21, to “discuss structural options of the new series and finalize the details for 2019.”

That meeting took place, as scheduled, this-past weekend in Orlando. Two representatives from each of the 15 Florida tracks attended.

To recap some of what was discussed, and to give BMX News readers the details of what was ultimately decided, we are joined by John David, on Episode 143 of the Announcers Tower Podcast.

Listen now:
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We look forward to seeing the realization of these plans in the 2019 series, and are also-anxious for your comments on what John said, in the comments below.


USA BMX Shuts Down Florida SSA Series


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

Editorial: John Paul Rogers Podcast

June 9, 2017 by · Comments Off 

John Paul Rogers on Dale Holmes PodcastEarlier this week, Dale Holmes recorded an episode for his “High-Low” podcast show featuring long-time BMX industry legend, John Paul Rogers.

I was looking forward to this episode since Dale told me about it a few weeks back in Nashville; JP and I just-missed each other in terms of our respective California adventures. If my understanding of the timeline is correct, he got there in late 1988 or early 89, and I pretty-much checked out of the BMX scene in March of 89, returning in March of 2008.

Two-hour podcast episodes are usually too long for my taste; I prefer to keep it to about an hour, both for listening and for our Announcers Tower podcast, here on News.

But, I have to admit, this was one I wish could have gone another hour—JP tells his stories in a way that keeps you smiling between belly-laughs, and provides plenty of useful detail into the outlines of history we have sketched in our minds.

The first hour or so of the episode was good-ol-days stuff, and we strongly encourage you to listen from the beginning; there is some true old-gold there.

But the purpose of this editorial is to give a tick-tock of what he covered, vis a vis present-day BMX Racing, and his opinions on some relavent topics therein.

We include some of our own notes on the points, and will include the embed to the show at the bottom, so you can listen along.

PARENTAL ADVISORY – This episode contains explicit language and adult themes. It may not be suitable for younger listeners.

Timecode – Topic

1:11:29 – Pro Racing is not an asset; does not bring riders in.

1:12:38 – What Freestylers think of BMX Racing

1:13:54 – SO much potential for BMX Racing

1:14:11 – Why are tracks so big?

1:15:30 – Elite Women

1:17:34 – Dale Asks: “Would Freestyle shot-callers get interested in BMX Racing?”

1:18:13 – On Greg Hill

1:19:15 – The only ones who have done independent events are freestyle guys

1:20:10 – BMX Racing is “Elitist” and exclusive.

1:20:23 – Racing’s Appeal to kids

1:20:50 – USA BMX Develop Pump tracks

1:22:43 – Smaller events

1:23:44 – They should have dirt jumping competitions at pro events.

1:24:03 – 100 pros, 100 amateurs and their families in Dirt Jump

1:26:00 – Reconnecting with the rest of BMX

1:26:19 – Faction Magazine

1:27:41 – Magazines and media

1:30:39 – “The money’s not bad” (in BMX Racing)

1:31:00 – “How can racing get big hen you’re only in 12 cities?”

1:32:06 – Pros should race for “$1000 per weekend x 40 weekends”

1:33:13 – Racing needs to “reconnect” with freestyle

1:34:15 – Talk about the freestyle brands, and bike sales numbers

1:37:24 – Prediction: 2020 will be the last Olympics for racing

1:42:36 – Talked to Mat Hoffman about UCI involvement in Freestyle

1:44:02 – Baffled USA BMX did not take up freestyle in North America
Editor’s Note: USA BMX *did* take up the cause of UCI BMX Freestyle in North America. It was big news last year, which we covered here on News, but we have not heard a peep about it for almost a year. Historically, freestylers want NOTHING to do with anything related to racing–even though, ironically, many top freestylers have racing roots, the rank-and-file do not, and want to stay as far away as possible from racing.

My take:

Many of the points above are JP’s opinion on a given person or topic, and we’re not going to nit-pick those.

Much of this discussion was taken from the pro point of view (talking about the number of stops on the USA BMX tour, and pro payouts, pro events and like-that).

But I felt compelled to weigh in on a few of the points concerning how BMX Racing should proceed in the future.

The concept of bringing the various BMX disciplines together (shoe-horning racing into the world of dirt, vert, park and/or street) is an interesting concept, but the reality is that it never really works in practice. The CULTURE of these groups are so different that it’s an oil & water scenario, with the rough and tumble freestyle crowd— PBRs in hand— dodging in and out of racing families walking to the moto boards or starting gate. Introducing that dynamic into national BMX Racing events would be, in my opinion, the worst possible thing for our sport, from a cultural point of view.

At root, BMX Racing is a family sport. Try-as-some-might to build it into it a spectator sport, an Olympic Sport, a Professional sport, a TV sport, etc.—it can be all of those things—but above all, BMX Racing is a family sport, in a way that the freestyle disciplines never will, or want to, be.

Yes, the freestyle events have lots of spectators, beer sponsors, etc. I’m not knocking the vibe or the setting for those events. But I, for one, would not want to see BMX Racing blended into those events–apart from a few choice instances (Sea Otter, for example, or if someone decided to stage an all-BMX “festival” of some kind).

A BMX Racing renaissance will not be found on the coat-tails of Freestyle this time (JP was correct that, in previous booms, this was the case). This time, we are really going to have to do it on our own, via the grassroots. We know from history that the pro and upper-echelon levels do not work to grow the sport by playing-up its extremes.

Let’s grow the grassroots to 100,000 or 200,000 participants in the US, then use those numbers to take things to the next level, then the next. THAT is the new paradigm that BMX racing needs to devote energy to. Because, by doing that, the culture of our sport is within OUR control, and we are not forced into a “take or leave it” choice by bringing non-racers into racing events, and introducing dozens of freestyle brands into our already-crowded ecosystem. We don’t really need them here; the BMX racing brands have things more-than-covered.

Don’t mistake the difference of my opinion with what was said as being “anti-change.” I think we MUST evolve BMX Racing in order to shape it into a program that works for the modern era. Between JP, Dale and many of the other voices out there talking about evolution, I line up with many of their points. I just think the evolution starts at the place we have paid the LEAST attention to over the years: grassroots. THAT is where we’ll find our 100,000 participants, not via bringing freestyle and racing together at nationals.

Big props and thanks to Dale and John Paul for a very entertaining and enlightening show! Can’t wait for part 2.

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: via, via Facebook. No photo credit available.


John Paul Rogers Podcast on

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Podcast: Steve Spencer Talks GT 2017

February 3, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: Steve Spencer of GT BMX

Since the Grands, we have been watching for signals from the GT tent as to what their on track forces would look like for 2017. To this point, there have been some indirect indications that the team would live-on, even amid rumors to the contrary.

Well, we’re please to put all the rumors to bed, and bring you the straight story on all-things GT BMX for 2017. Joining us on this episode of the BMX News Announcers Tower Podcast is Steve Spencer, GT Bicycles Sports Marketing Manager for BMX and MTB. Steve is also a familiar face at the BMX track, as a key player at Rad Canyon (indoor and outdoor) in Utah—which is one of the top attendance tracks in the US of A.

Once the GT tales are told, this show goes into a “state of the sport” discussion, in which we hear Steve’s learned opinions on the subject of pros, BMX Racing grassroots, and national riders racing locals. It’s quite an episode, and we know you’ll enjoy it.

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

A big thanks to Steve, and GT Bicycles for bringing BMX News readers and listeners the straight story, directly, without us having to read about it in the nooks and crannies of someone’s social media profile.

—Mike Carruth

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Podcast: Dale and JRich Recap the Olympics

August 30, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Dale Holmes and Dr. JRich recap the Olympics

Dale Holmes and Dr. Jason Richardson posted-up the latest episode of the BMX Pro Podcast Show: Olympic Wrap-Up Edition. The show is definitely worth a couple consecutive listens to get the full-effect of their assessment of all the inside goodies going on in Rio during the Games. Read more

Podcast: Jamie Staff and Brooke Crain

February 4, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: Jamie Staff and Brooke Crain

A vanload of 17 BMXers from the US Olympic Training Center/Chula Vista headed South of the border at the end of January on a long-planned volunteer trip to build a house for a needy family in Rosarito (located about 40 miles South of San Diego).

The trip was organized by More Than Sport, a nonprofit that pairs athletes with worthy causes in over a dozen specialties. On the BMX side, USA Cycling BMX Director, Jamie Staff, got an impressive posse of pedalers together.

Raising the Walls

A line of BMXers raises the walls on a More Than Sport home build project in Rosarito, Mexico.

Measure Twice

Jamie Staff says all the BMXers learned some valuable skills during the two-day trip. Here, “measure twice, cut once” is successfully applied.

The group was in Rosarito on January 24-25, and completed the ground-up build of the modest structure right on schedule, complete with a key-turn ceremony for the single-mother of four and her boys to step inside to see the handiwork of their new friends.

More Than Sport BMX Edition

The grateful recipient family of the work BMXers did for More Than Sport in Rosarito, Mexico

Brooke Crain was one of the 14 athletes who made the trip, and both her and Jamie were gracious enough to take time out of their training camp this week to talk with us about the trip, and how it impacted them and their teammates.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished photo with the full More Than Sport BMX Crew, support staff and the family who would move, in moments later.

Aside from Jamie and Brooke, here are the others who made the trip: Jeff Glynn, Alise Post, Dani George, David Herman, Nic Long, Steven Cisar, Justin Posey, Felicia Stancil, Sean Gaian, Jared Garcia, Shealen Reno, Tanner Sebesta, Jordan Miranda, Tommy Zula and Ryan Pettigrew.

While you’re listening to the Podcast, browse through the extensive gallery of photos the group brought back from the trip; it will put you right in the moment with them (link below, will open in a separate window).

Listen Now
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Big props to all 17 of our friends who pitched in to create this moment of a lifetime for the family who received a new home.


More Than Sport BMX Photo Gallery

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Podcast: Strider’s Ryan McFarland

December 24, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Ryan McFarland of Strider Bikes

A fitting guest for our Christmas podcast, Ryan McFarland from Strider bikes has played Santa throughout 2014. The “Strider Gives Back” program takes 1% of the growing company’s GROSS revenue, and allocates it for charitable purposes. One part of the program this year was to give seven bikes a day to special needs kids (and six of their their friends) who have been told they did not have the ability to ride a bike. Within a week or two of getting on the Strider, the whole world changed for these new riders.

Ryan tells us about the experience of making this kind of difference in young lives, and also tells us a little about the amazing story of taking the company from tinkering in the garage with an idea in 2007, to literally revolutionize how kids learn to ride bikes on planet Earth (Trivia: more Strider bikes are sold outside the US than in the US).

We also take time in the discussion to talk about the future of cycling, and the whole “kids riding bikes” movement. The next generation of parents did not grow up riding bikes around the neighborhood, so getting their kids on bikes is going to be less important than it was to previous generations. That will send ripples through the whole of society–which I realize sounds dramatic, but it’s not over-stated.

Listen Now

All in all, it’s a great discussion with a down-to-earth guy who embodies the image of American entrepreneurship.

—Mike Carruth


Strider Bikes Website

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Preview: Standard Byke Co. Factory Tour

May 2, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Rick Moliterno of Standard Byke Co.

BMX News spent a day at the Standard Byke Co. factory in Iowa this week, where we saw how frames go from a pile of tubing to race ready. A big part of the visit was hanging out with SBC founder, Rick Moliterno as a prelude to our interview with him that will accompany the factory tour.

Rick has been part of every aspect of our sport–from local hotshoe, to national-threat am, to pro. He got his first taste of the bike business as manager of Bike & Hike, a bike shop in Rock Island, IL. Not long after winning his first AA Pro national (Waterford Oaks, 1984), he crossed the great divide in BMX, and changed from racer to freestyler. As part of the touring Hutch and Haro teams of the time, he traveled entertaining crowds around the world. When BMX cooled off in the early 90s, Rick decided to blaze his own trail, and create a “rider owned and operated” company, Standard Byke Company.

Steve welds up a 125R race frame at Standard Byke Co.
In this 8-minute preview to the interview and photo gallery we will post on Monday, Rick talks about how the name “Standard” came about, how the company approaches “innovation,” and his beliefs on “Made in USA,” and why some of his products carry it and some don’t–even though everything is made here.

Listen Now



See the Full Tour–Now Posted

Standard Byke Co. Website

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Podcast: George Costa on Rennen Smart Sprint

March 20, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Smart Sprint BMX Bike Computer By Rennen Design

The innovative products released by Rennen Design Group over the past four five years have always been round. First, the now-famous Rennen gears. Then G-Cog at the 2008 NBL Grands. Then Decimal Gearing…and most recently, the “IT” (Inertial Training) wheel.

And while this newest product is not following the truly-round tradition, it will keep your racing game sharp, and rolling forward at full boost.

As our guest on Today’s episode of the Announcers Tower Podcast, George Costa takes us inside development and functionality of the Rennen Smart Sprint–the first BMX-specific bike computer.

We’ll let GC tell you all about it, but one thing that impressed us about Smart Sprint is that, as part of the BMX-specific functionality, it gives you a 0-20 speed calculation (something previously possible only using the $1500 G-Cog), and eliminates the need for expensive timing systems by giving you a user-controlled distance timer. That’s huge.

Listen to the Podcast Now

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You can purchase a Smart Sprint right now by following the link below. Or, if you are ring to Desoto this weekend, they will be available at Dan’s Comp and J&R Bicycles on vendor row.


Rennen Smart Sprint Info/Order Page


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Podcast: Donavon Long on New Devo Team

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off 


In one of the “hanging out in the lobby” discussions that make BMX travel so fun, Donavon Long and some friends of News got to talking about his new Phantom Development team, last month in Louisville. It is a comprehensive program, with multiple points of entry and participation, and allows riders of all skill levels the aility to join, and become involved in the team benefits.

The benefits, in this case go beyond just jersey, bike and pants. Donavon is bringing a coaching and training component to the team benefits-list. This really steps the program into a higher-strata, the likes of which we have not seen from a non-factory team before–especially when you consider that the advice and coaching is the very same that got Donavon’s Intense Phantom Ontrac team to multiple Factory Team cups, and nurtured more NAG and National riders than any program in recent memory.

Donavon promised to give us some Podcast gold on the Development Team program, once the official website was up. Well that switch was thrown last week, and we sat down with him on Friday for the 4-1-1.

Listen Now

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I’m sure you’ll agree that Donavon has some great plans for the team, and has put a lot of thought and effort into making it happen. We look forward to seeing team updates, and following the Phantom Development regional teams as they get started.

—Mike Carruth

Back Stage Notes: This is episode #72 of the Announcers Tower series. In all 72 episodes, I have used the same USB headset for recording. It started getting buggy on me last week, and seems to have gone punk-dead just in time for this interview, without any indication. It just failed-over to the built-in microphone on my MacBook Pro. I normally use the mute button on the mic while I am recording interviews, so there is not interference from my side of the call. I tend to adjust levels, type new questions into my rundown, and always…always toss my Slinky Junior around all-the-while. It helps me think, and I never work without it.

Slinky Junior - the thinking man's toy
Well, this time, the mute button broke, along with the rest of the headset, so you are going to hear some strange jingling in parts of the recording. You might also hear a few seconds of typing, as I re-arrange some of the questions in the rundown. So, now you’ll know that those sounds are all just part of making the magic happen :)


Phantom Development BMX Website

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