Stickers: A Love Affair

June 14, 2018 by · Comments Off 

BMX Stickers: A Love Affair
One of the best things about going to the big races as a young BMXer was coming home with a haul of stickers from “Factory Row” (admittedly, before it was called that).

Hunting stickers at nationals was the way we killed time between motos, and made a lasting emotional connection to brands. Even if we weren’t riding the products of a given brand, if we had their stickers. They went on coolers, toolboxes, school notebooks, the workbench at home–anywhere, really. The one above, from the 1980s, belonging to John Freewalt, Gavin’s dad, is a prime example, and still in use today.

Of course, that’s why companies give them away–to tee-up a lasting reminder of their name and logo whenever you reach for a Gatorade, or a wrench.

Recently, some BMX Industry friends and I had a discussion about how kids are not coming around, asking for stickers at the races anymore. That was a big shock to me, given how big a deal it was for racers in the not-to-distant past, and previous generations.

These are reps from household-name brands who reportedly handed out 500 stickers, posters and other brand swag in a weekend. Now? A couple dozen, on a “good” day.

So, what’s up? Why are BMXers not hunting stickers at nationals anymore? In pondering that question, we came up with a few possibilities:

1). Brands don’t HAVE stickers at their pit to hand out.

2). Riders don’t KNOW to go hunting stickers.

3). Riders don’t CARE about hunting stickers.

4). The nature of today’s racing is such that riders are too busy at the races (warming up, cooling down, psyching up, posting on social media, or being otherwise-engaged) to hunt stickers.

BMX News sent out an undercover operative at the Dixieland Nationals to hunt stickers from every team and brand tent there. Here’s what he came back with:

BMX News' undercover sticker hunter's haul
No question, it was a good haul of branded goodness. So, #1 on the list above is busted; brands HAVE plenty of stickers to hand out.

*Bonus points to TNT Bicycles for giving out a tote bag as well, but it wouldn’t fit in the shot.

Busting/Confirming the next three on the list is up to you. With the Midwest National starting today, your assignment is as follows:

* If you’re a rider, take some time between motos and go on the hunt. Say hi at the team/brand tents and ask for some stickers. Maybe even introduce yourself; you never know where that can lead.

* If you’re a parent, tell your rider to put down the phone between motos (and leave it), and go out on the hunt. It will be great conversation for the trip home, and you’ll remember the race, and all that happened there, based on what you bring back (moreso than how you did, trust me).

What’s that you say? You’re not going to Rockford? That’s OK, keep this story in your head for the next big race you go to. Your coolers and toolboxes will thank you for decades to come.

—Mike Carruth, Sticker Hunter
The BMX Archives

Thanks to John Freewalt for the top photo, and the memories!

SWAG ALERT! Post your sticker haul from Rockford in the comments of our Facebook post on this story. The top five will earn a BMX News swag bag, mailed directly to you (no double-dipping! One trip to each tent).

Big Opener in Bako for Tangent Pro-Am Series

March 13, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Anthony Dean Wins Stop one of 2018 Tangent Pro-Am
Even with the threat of rain, the first stop of the 2018 Tangent ProAm was a huge success! There was a great turn out with 35 men (19 Pros) and 10 ladies (6 Pros) coming out to Metro BMX in Bakersfield to line up with the fastest Pros and AMs from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

The Men’s early rounds showed who had the right stuff and moved the quickest on to the Quarters. After the quarter dust cleared to say the semis were stacked would be an understatement, as the top four from each made up a main event close to what you’d see at a full-on National.

No ams would make the main this day so that left the Pros to battle it out for the $3000 purse. The two-main format was skipped due to a little rain so it was a dash for the cash and the IG Banger from Australia walked away with the win, and a pocket full of cash. Texan Billy Russell and Arizona’s Corey Reid banged it out for 2nd and 3rd to round out the podium.

The ladies came out and definitely put on a great show for the fans. With 6 top pro women on the gate the racing was full of action. In the main Ashley Verhagen laid down a killer first straight and picked up the Answer Holeshot cash but hometown favorite Brooke Crain battled back for the win with Rachel Mydock hauling in the last spot on the podium in third.

It was a great day of racing for sure, we can’t wait for rounds 2 and 3 in Leemore and Hanford next month. Back to back racing Saturday and Sunday with some good purse money to boot. See ya there!

The Tangent ProAm Series has a dedicated website with all the information you need including locations, dates, payouts, and results (Link Below).

We would also like to thank our long time and new sponsors Shimano, Answer Holeshot, Fly Racing, Odi, and Tioga along with all the tracks and individual donators that help us make this series happen.

2018 Tangent Pro-Am Series
2018 Tangent Pro-Am Series, Stop #1 Results


Place Name Age Hometown Sponsors Purse
1 Brooke Crain 24 Visalia, CA Haro/Rockstar $525
2 Ashley Verhagen 26 Glendale, AZ   $300
3 Rachel Mydock 21 Phoenix, AZ Supercross BMX $180
4 Dani George 23 Palmdale, CA Throdwn $150
5 Rachel Jones 22 , AUS   $120
6 Cayleigh Van Staalduinen 18 St Albert, CAN Staats $90
7 Breanna Winter 13 Antelope, CA Factory Rift $75
8 Madi Gomes 18 Ripon, ca Nut up/team calculated $60


Place Name Age Hometown Sponsors Purse
1 Anthony Dean 26 San Diego, CA Supercross, Troy Lee  $1,050
2 Billy Russell 24 Desoto, TX Doublecross  $600
3 Corey Reid 30 Phoenix, AZ Rockstar Rift  $360
4 Trent Jones 23 Christchurch, NZ Box, Thrill  $300
5 Kameron Larsen 18 Bakersfield, Ca Us Junior Development  $240
6 Max Cairns 21 Melbourne, AUS Chase/Lux  $180
7 Layne Gainer 23 Peoria, AZ Gordys Bicycles, Tangent, Fly  $150
8 Jordan Miranda 24 Bakersfield, CA Free Agent  $120

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Rich Pelton at Tangent for getting us the above report, and putting on a great series. We look forward to bringing you more from the next stops. /MC


Tangent Pro-Am Series Website

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Anthony Dean Wins Stop one of 2018 Tangent Pro-Am

Best Waffle House Locs to See the Solar Eclipse

August 12, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Best Waffle House Locations to Watch The Eclipse

On August 21, a total eclipse of the sun will occur. It is the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will be visible across the 48 contiguous United States (although the prime viewing will be in a corridor about 70-miles wide, stretching from Washington State to South Carolina).

The Twitterverse has been active in reporting to followers, the best places to view this important cosmic event. But the group of Tweets that attracted our interest, from a BMXer point of view, is the “Best Waffle House Locations” to view the Eclipse.

The most-prime Waffle House is at 2923 Fort Campbell Blvd, Hopkinsville, KY, at 1:25PM, US Central Time.

Hopkinsville is 81 miles North of Music City BMX in Nashville, and 89 miles South of Burdette Park in Evansville, IN.

Waffle House is a favored stop for raceday eats, and travel grub for BMXers in the Southern US.

If you’re not Waffle House-certified, they do not serve fries, but hash browns (shredded potatoes) instead, on the grill, along with eggs, burgers, steaks, and all the other goodness they serve-up (link to menu below).

There’s a Waffle House “code” on how to order your hash browns properly. String multiple designations together for full-customization.

Scattered (spread-out on the grill, for a crispier result)
Smothered (Onions)
Covered (with Melted Cheese)
Chunked (with Ham)
Topped (with Chili)
Diced (with Diced Tomatoes)
Peppered (with jalapeño peppers)
Country (with sausage gravy)
“All the way” (all of the above)

Let’s call All the Way “Eclipsed” for August 21 only, since all the toppings will fully-cover the hash browns.

We recommend the patty melt, with “smothered and covered” hash browns, except on 8/21, when we’re going “Eclipsed” for the full-effect.

Check the link to the NASA interactive map below to see the full-continental corridor of the eclipse, and the Waffle House website for their menu and locations nearest you.

BMX News will be working with USA BMX to figure out the best BMX tracks at which to view the eclipse. Watch for that, closer to Aug 21!

—Mike Carruth


NASA-Interactive 2017 Solar Eclipse Map

Waffle House Website

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Will Stars Align For BMX Racing at Interbike 2018?

August 4, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Interbike 2018

The annual Interbike trade show in September is the one-time the entire bike industry is in the same place, at the same time. The traditional lead-up to the actual expo, where every bike industry figure prowls the aisles for 10 hours a day, is the “outdoor expo.”

During that two-day affair, every-manner of bicycle is tried and tested by dealers, and their appointed-experts.

But conspiciously-absent from the Outdoor Expo has been BMX, specifically, BMX Racing. No demo of the latest-and-greatest BMX Racing rides, no nod to the reality that BMX Racing is, in fact, the gateway to cycling for the younger generation.

That may-just change in 2018, as Emerald Expositions, producer of Interbike, announced, this week, that Interbike would be moving to Reno-Tahoe in 2018, after many years in Las Vegas. The show has roots in Reno, so this is somewhat of a homecoming.

The 2018 show, now dubbed, “Interbike Marketweek” is set for September 15 – 20, with with a “consumer festival” on Saturday, September 15th, at the Northstar California Resort…and the actual expo starting on September 18 and ending on September 20.

A release said that “Northstar is home to Northern California’s largest bike park with countless downhill runs, cross country trails and is accessible by gondola and chair lifts, offering an epic experience for consumers to test products from the most innovative brands in the bicycle industry.”

Where this potentially intersects beautifully with the BMX Industry is the USA BMX Blackjack Nationals. This year, it’s later in the schedule—on October 13-15.

But MAYBE, just-MAYBE, in 2018, it could be pushed-forward a month to happen on September 14-16, which would put the entire bike industry in town at the same time as the race, and allow-for people who would normally not see BMX Racing to see it, AND, perhaps, allow for a true BMX “outdoor expo” at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, where the national is being held.

Interbike has committed to Reno as the location of their show through 2022, so BMX Racing has a golden-opportunity to insert itself into the action, in a way previously impossible, for the next five years.

As always, BMX News will be at Interbike in 2017, to report on the latest-and-greatest in the Bike business. We look to 2018 as an opportunity for BMX Racing to take its place, alongside all the other cycling disciplines, and get it’s due.

—Mike Carruth

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Interbike 2018

Letter: My Son is Moving to Expert, May Quit if He Does Bad

June 26, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Main Event Qualifier Image
My son is a few wins away from moving up to expert. He doesn’t take losing well, and I am afraid he is going to quit once he moves up, because he will probably be at the back of the pack for quite a while. Any advice?

—JR, Pacific Northwest Read more

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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Letter: What Does #AgeOfTheBeginner Mean?

May 21, 2017 by · Comments Off 

What is #AgeOfTheBeginner
For the past couple months, I have noticed you and Donny Robinson and a few others using the hashtag #AgeOfTheBeginner in your Facebook posts. What does that mean? Is it something to do with your BMX Beginner League?

JP, Florida

Thanks for writing JP. As you are aware, an “age” Read more

Winner of Throdwn “Factory For a Weekend”

May 10, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Braydon Vititow Wins Factory For a Weekend

The local track is where it’s at this summer! Over the past several weeks, BMXers from across the country created videos to promote their local track as part of the Throdwn “Factory For a Weekend” contest.

Starting on April 21, contestants worked hard to promote their videos to friends, family and others in the BMX community. The video with the most likes, shares and views, added together, on May 5 at 11:59 Central Time would be the winner, and become “Factory For a Weekend” at the 2017 Music City Nationals in Nashville.

Before announcing the name of the winner, all the contestants need a high-five on creating their video and promoting their local track.

Of all the videos entered, the one by 13-year old Brayden Vititow of Mesa, AZ promoting Black Mountain BMX, captured the most likes, shares and views, with a total score of 73,365. Ryan Nester of Wyoming, MI was second with 67,531.

Braydon told News the following about his experience in the “Factory For a Weekend” contest:

On making the video
A friend from the track, Clive Christopher edited the video for me. He did it all on his iPhone and my step-dad used a Go Pro to get the track footage.

On people’s reaction to the video
The response was overwhelming! I was really surprised by it. I thought it was pretty cool to have some of the big names in BMX — Josh Banuelos, Bryce Batten, Tyler Brown and others sharing and liking it.

On finding out he won
Waiting for the notification was tough, I’m glad I didn’t have any tests in school on Monday! I was at home when the phone rang, and it was (Throdwn President) Charlie Jahnke saying “Congratulations buddy, you won the Factory For A Weekend Contest.” I don’t remember much after that.

A big congrats to Brayden and, again, to all contestants who entered videos.

Here is Brayden’s winning video:

Now the fun part starts: watching Brayden as he begins his “Factory For a Weekend” transformation. Plane tickets have been purchased and hotel reserved. His Throdwn Factory-Replica bike will be sized and built-up, as will his Factory Throdwn uniform—all waiting for him to arrive in Nashville, ahead of the three-day Music City Nationals.

Keep an eye on, and their Facebook page for the latest leading up to the big day.


Throdwn Website

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Podcast: Dr. JRich and Arielle Martin

February 28, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Gold Medal Mindset Podcast: Arielle Martin

We have only caught one or two episodes of Dr. Jason Richardson’s “Gold Medal Mindset” podcast so far, but we have a bunch of them queued up for the 17-hour drive back from Oldsmar that starts in the wee-hours of Tuesday morn.

But this one was too good to wait. Read more

Black Mountain Opens Warm-Up Area

February 13, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Black Mountain BMX Warm Up Area

If you have been to the Winter Nationals in years past, you know that the area in which the track is located is kind of a special place. On one side of the track, you have…well…Black Mountain, an actual land form that is also an active mine. Across the street, you have open range land with Saguaro cactus, and tumblin’ tumbleweeds, straight out of a spaghetti western movie.

Between the two, you have Alameda street, which is the sole access road to the track. As you drive that road, day or night, you see long seatpost types warming up or cooling down.

It would make a challenging video game, because at any second, any given rider can and will abruptly pull a 180 and head back from whence they came—without looking or taking any precaution, of course. Oh, and usually wearing over-ear headphones.

This year, the scene will need to be different, due to some new “not-up-for-discussion” rules set down by the neighbors. Black Mountain has addressed the concerns of both riders and neighbors by creating a dedicated warmup/cooldown area.

Here’s what Black Mountain told BMX News about the situation.

Later this week, BMXers from around the world will be pouring into the infamous Black Mountain BMX speedway, for the USA BMX season pro opener. The Winter Nationals have been a staple race, on the national circuit, for years and a favorite to most riders.

What a lot of riders don’t know is that a few years ago, located a few blocks south of Black Mountain, a waste management dump site had reached full capacity. A new location was made east of Black Mountain. While it has no affected the racing at Black Mountain it has presented an issue this year.

The road, Alameda, that leads to Black Mountain BMX, also leads to the new dump site. This road is privately owned by the construction company known as Knuckle Brothers.

With that, they are responsible for any accidents on this road. Knuckle Brothers has given Black Mountain explicit instructions that there will be no “warming up” or riding of any bicycles on their road.

This includes practice night, local race nights and especially during the Winter Nationals. If any riders are caught on this road Knuckle Brothers can close down Black Mountain, not only for the National race but also for good.

Knuckle Brothers has been a friend to Black Mountain for some years now. Lending construction equipment for rebuilds and maintenance on the track.

Recently they helped grade and pack a fenced in “Warm up” area located in the parking lot. The crew at Black Mountain strongly advises the use of the new warm up area along with rollers when available. This no ride policy will be strictly enforced by not only the Black Mountain crew but also the officials at USABMX.

Along with Knuckle Brothers there is another issue that riders, and especially parents, need to be made aware of. As most attendees already know the mountain just south of Black Mountain is being mined.

This has resulted in massive piles of different rock. Recently during the Arizona state qualifier at Black Mountain, un known to us, a few attendees made their way back there.

In the past one or two kids would go climb the mountain and have fun. But since the mountain is an active mine, it is very unsafe.

Climbing on the rock piles can cause an avalanche and the results could be something no one wants. This area is extremely off limits. The mine will be taking precautions and posting a guard for the weekend.

On behalf of Black Mountain BMX, its crew and all the riders we thank everyone for your understanding in this situation. Also a huge shout out to Knuckle Brothers construction for the continued support of Black Mountain BMX.

Safe travels to all who are attending. We look forward to seeing all of you for an awesome weekend of competition.

Good to know going in how things will be set up, so a big thanks to the Black Mountain crew for filling us in.

—Mike Carruth

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