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Podcast: Bob Haro on His New Ikonix Brand

May 8, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Bob Haro debuts Ikonix BMX Bike Brand
Whether you were a rider, an aspiring BMX entrepreneur, someone who admired BMX art, or were in to the industry side of the BMX scene, Bob Haro was kind of a one-stop-shop for hero worship in the golden era of BMX. At 16, Bob invented the concept of a stylized number plate for BMX (versus the square or oval stock plates), and sold them at the races for $7.50ea.

Bob had great success with his number plate company, and eventually expanded the product line into frames, with the advent of the Haro Freestyler (world’s first purpose-made freestyle bike, which corresponded with his invention of BMX flatland). The company expanded into complete bikes, then apparel, then racing bikes–all wildly successful in the booming BMX marketplace of the mid 1980s.

By 1986, West Coast Cycle–a prominent wholesale distributor of BMX bikes, parts and accessories–purchased Haro Bikes from Bob (then 28 yrs old), and he stayed on for another five years to shepherd the company through the transition and remain the “Steve Jobs” of the Haro brand.

After his exit from haro Bikes in 1993, Bob had a creative hand in many BMX related projects over the years, including design work on the 2008 Team USA Olympic uniforms, and the “eagle” logo for the 2012 US Olympic BMX kit.

Bob was out of selling product in the BMX from 1993, and makes his official return tomorrow, when he debuts the “Ikonix” FS-1 complete bike.

We are anxious to see the bike in the flesh, but before the website goes live, we wanted to get the story of how the Ikonix product came to be, and what Bob’s plan is for the brand.

LISTEN NOW
http://www.bmxnews.org/podcasts/at-093-bob-haro-ikonix.mp3
iPhone users: paste this URL into your phone's browser - http://bmxurl.com/at93bh

Look for updates on the Ikonix story as they come in to the BMX News Global Command Center. Meanwhile, set yourself an alarm for Noon Pacific tomorrow, and go see the Ikonix site when it goes live.

Images

Bob Haro's first sell sheet for Factory Plates, 1977

^^Bob Haro’s original sell sheet for “Factory Plates,” circa 1977

Ikonix FS1 BMX Crank
^^The crank that will come on the Ikonix FS1 complete bike, available May 9 on ikonixbikes.com

Bob Haro at the 1980 Jag BMX World Championships
^^Bob at the 1980 Jag BMX World Championships–caught near the elevators at the Indy Hyatt Regency, by a 14-year old superfan.

Links

Ikonix Bikes Website
Will go live at Noon Pacific Time (3PM Eastern Time) on May 9, 2014






BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Nic Long Homeless Handout 3

March 17, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Nic Long - Homeless Handout 3

Last month, Nic Long and more than a dozen other BMX family members came together for some home cookin, and good-doin as part of Nic’s on-going “homeless handout” program.

The group put together around 200 meal boxes with spaghetti, bread, bottled water and cupcakes, loaded it all up into eight waiting SUVs, and headed to downtown San Diego to distribute the goodies.

The giveaways did not stop with tasty treats. Nic put together other things that homeless people, especially, can use: 150 blankets donated by Haro Bikes, boxes of clothes from Vans and Dan’s Comp.

Nic literally had some folks dancing in the streets, as you’ll see in the Deft Family edit below.

Last week, some freestylers riding street in Downtown LA drew the ire of both social and mainstream media worldwide, as they were painted as disrespecting the homeless by bunnyhopping over, and generally menacing (but not hitting) them. The riders in the vid didn’t hurt any of the unsuspecting homeless, but as they say in media coaching circles, the “optics” were not very good (translation: it didn’t look good).

We like Nic’s edit, because it shows BMXers doing something that needs doing. Our guess is that they would be out there doing it, whether cameras were rolling or not, which makes it all-the-cooler.







BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Nate Berkheimer: Life on a BMX Bike

December 19, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Nate Berkheimer

Earlier this week, we ran an “Industry News” piece on the departure of Diamondback from the BMX market. While the company did not issue a formal release, long-time Diamondback rider, Nate Berkheimerk, sent BMX media outlets the details in answer to swirling rumors.

Nate has been around forever (well, nearly 25 years, which is forever in our game), and that had us curious what his next move was, now that he was minus a sponsor? Would he be pitching his services to other companies? Or maybe taking this opportunity to hang up his helmet along with the Diamondback brand?

We reached out to Nate to get more of his personal BMX story, and what the new season holds for him. He wrote back with a great look back on his career, and some photos of the journey that he describes so well.

Being back at the races has been a whole lot of fun these past two years. My last full season racing AA was 2007 and like most others at the time, I was chasing points all over the world. The Olympics coming into BMX really changed the mental game in our sport. I had no shot and was having no fun pushing myself, spending all those hours training when I wanted to be riding. We all started riding BMX because it was fun, and the fun was gone for me, I needed some new excitement. I hung up the race bike, dialed in a few tricks and went out to the Dew Tour Open Qualifying event in 2008. I made it through the OQ and went on to qualifying 2nd going into the finals. It was an unreal feeling at first, being rewarded simply for having a ton of fun on my bike, I was hooked.

I spent 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 hitting every stop of the Dew Tour and even a few international events. It was a breath of fresh air for me at that time in my career. I had been racing for 20 years, I put in 10 years with a AA license never reclassifying, I made 2 UCI elite worlds mains (2001,2004), I raced the X-Games Downhill BMX twice, I raced the first ever SX race at Woodward and even raced on the first ever SX hill in Switzerland. I had seen so many things happen over the years and felt like it had hit a dead spot. I left racing for 4 seasons to ride dirt, then had a terribly bad ankle injury in February of 2012. Story here.

Getting back on the bike was hard, I went out to the local track, Ridge Meadows BMX, to pump around and feel it out. I met some of the locals and felt right at home. Seeing such a thriving local BMX community really got me involved with racing again.

I never really wanted to race A pro again, that’s just where I ended up. There was talk of the age limit for vet pro changing, that news got me excited to race. Unfortunately that never happened and the sanction still says that as a pro, you aren’t qualified to race vet until you reach the veteran age of 33. However, if you happen to be a decent amateur over the age of 33, you’re welcomed right into the class. No offense to any of those guys, some of them are pretty damn fast, but the make-up of the class should represent it’s title and the definition for veteran is everything but that. I want to get in there and mix it up a bit, that class needs some excitement. Javier and I had a good battle for the NBL A Pro title (yes those used to exist) 13 years ago and I got to race Cristian and Matt nearly my entire AA career, I’d love to race with those guys again. If vet pro were 30 and over like it is in the rest of the world, we would actually have a really fun class.

I would absolutely love to race this coming season, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Racing A pro is cool, it makes me proud to beat kids that train their asses off while I’m putting in 40 hour work weeks and spending time with the family, but its not for me. I’m not out looking for a ride or someone’s jersey to wear, I’m just going to enjoy time on the bike, put out some creative videos and have fun. I might make it to a race or two, but living in Vancouver, BC now is a bicycle paradise in it’s own. Anything I want to ride is just minutes away and the scenery couldn’t be any better.

I ride as much as possible these days, but my attention has been on my family more than anything. I have a 4 month old daughter, she has been such a joy in my life, her name is Mabel. She attended her first-ever Grands last month with my wife Natalie and I and got to meet many of my BMX friends and family.

BMX is in my blood, next year is my 25th consecutive year riding and I’m looking to make the most of it. Big thank you to my family and all those who support my riding, the fans for appreciating what I do on a bike, and my friends and fellow riders who keep me motivated on my bike. Keep the dream alive!

—Nate



Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Nate. We know we’ll be seeing you ’round the way, so be sure to let us know when we can count on some of that signature style again real soon!





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Editorial: “Do You Know What BMX Is?”

May 8, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Mike Carruth actually knows what BMX is

I have never really thought much about “getting old.” I figured, “I had a pretty open mind, and was accepting of lots of different ideas on things, and had an adventurous spirit.” What’s “old” about that, right?

But sometimes, the difference between how old you think and how old the world may see you is visited upon you in a strange way. Maybe you catch yourself saying “hey, can you turn that so-called music down?!” Maybe it’s the first time someone calls you “sir” or “pops” or (gasp) “gramps!”

For me, it happened today, at my normal Starbucks. As I walked in, I noticed there were four BMX bikes out front (freestyle bikes–small sprockets, no stickers, two with no brakes). Two were flipped upside down, as we would all recognize, and two were laying there on the pedal and grip. Walking inside, I ordered the normal “Trenta unsweetenend Ice Coffee with Soy,” and moseyed down to the end of the counter to wait for it.

The four with the bikes were already down there, and they were looking at me in a strange way…kind of a “what’s up with THAT guy” type of vibe. It was then that I realized I was wearing a “BMX News” T-Shirt (same as above). So, I looked over and said “what’s up, guys? how’s it goin?” They gave me a “what up” upward nod of the chin, and about a minute later, one of them said “Sir? (motioning to my shirt), do you know what BMX IS?” He didn’t say it in a condescending or cocky way… it was entirely possible that I found this shirt in the 4x bin at the local Goodwill, afterall, and just started wearing it.

I paused for a second, honestly trying to gather a response, then chuckled. “Yeah, I know what BMX is. We’re more into racing, but I was into freestyle a little too, years ago–mostly as the guy running the contest, or announcing the show.” Those your bikes out there?” We talked for a few minutes about the scene around our area (“nonexistant”), and where the good trails were (“kind of over by a place in Villa Park,” I got the distinct impression they did not want to get more specific than that–although I already knew about that place), and where they get their parts from (“Dan’s,” all the way around…”sometimes Albes”).

I had to bolt–had a conference call at 10, but just before I said “later,” I turned the tables. “OK, you asked me…now I’ll ask you…Do you know what BMX is?” They kind of looked at each other…a few shrugs, and one spoke up (the same one who asked me): “I mean. it’s just…you know…just RIDING.” Good answer, kid…good answer!

—Mike Carruth

Photo by Mandy Loorham, Random Start Photography

Links

Dan’s Comp Website

What would you have said to the question “Do you know what BMX is?”

To Do This Weekend: Kid DynaMite Skatepark Tour

March 28, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Kid DynaMite and Dan's Comp Skatepark Tour

With a break in the racing schedule, we know you might be looking for something out of the ordinary to do this weekend.

Sure, a lot of us will be scurrying over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house for Easter–but for those of you looking for bunnyhops instead of chocolate bunnies, Kid DynaMite Apparel and Dan’s Comp has a basket of fun in store in Ohio.

It’s the “Red, White and Rad” skatepark tour. Three days, three parks, and all the shred you can stand.

News doesn’t normally stray over to the freestyle side, but KDM and Dan’s are both obviously strong on the racing scene, and it’s always good to have a little variety in your digital diet.

Dusty Wilson from Dan’s had this to say about their involvement with the tour:

We’re stoked to be part of the KDM Park Tour. Dan’s Comp has always been involved in BMX Freestyle events such as this. Kid DynaMite is an outstanding brand for us, with an exciting future in BMX, so the Park Tour makes sense.

They have some cool designs, and Eric is always changing things up. He started KDM to cater to the needs of the younger racers, and it’s been a huge hit for him, thus the expanded product selection.

There is always that natural progression for BMXers from the Track to Freestyle–even if it’s in the off-season, or to sharpen their bike handling skills. Racers are riders, whether they are on the track rubbing elbows, or tearin’ up the streets or trails.

Come on out and have fun….It will be an awesome experience!!!!

Kid DynaMite chief firecracker, Eric Bess gave us the full 4-1-1 on the tour:

“Red, White & RAD” KDM Freestyle tour was assembled to get all our sponsored freestyle riders together on One mission, to showcase their talent, film a mini doc style video edit and to just have a Blast!!! For around a year now, KDM has been hand selecting riders, mostly 16 years and younger, from all over the world, to represent our apparel company. It is time to showcase these little ripper’s talents and personalities. Unfortunately not all of our freestyle team members could make this tour because they live so far away but this is just the 1st leg of this tour and plan on many more as the year goes on. Planning future dates in the South East, Mid West, North East and West Coast.

List of KDM riders on this tour:
-Reed Boggs (16-Ohio)
-Eddie Rovi (11-NJ)
-Cameron Eader (12-Maryland)
-Jayden Mucha (10-New York)
-Marcus Christopher (10-Ohio)
-Lukas Halahan (10-PA)
-Nathan Halahan (8-PA)
-Mikey Liberatore (13-NJ)
-Bob Meade (24-Ohio) Gonna show these kids a few new tricks

Friday morning we’ll be kicking off the tour and heading to Columbus Ohio to ride a private session at “The Flow” from 1pm-4pm and riding there for the public session starting at 4pm. Saturday KDM will be heading north to Cleveland to shred Chenga from 12pm-4pm and then hitting Ray’s Mt Bike Park from 5pm-close. Sunday (Easter) will be back in Pittsburgh hoping the weather is nice to get some outdoor riding done at some concrete parks. Last event on the tour will take place at a private session at the, soon to be open, The Wheel Mill in Pittsburgh. 3 days, 4-5 parks, cameras rolling. Should be Killer!!!!

Kid DynaMite would like to thank the following sponsors for helping this leg of the tour possible. DANS COMP (www.danscomp.com), VR Transportation, Cincinnati, Ohio (www.vrtransportation.com) and Ammon Outdoor Design, Northern Kentucky (www.ammonoutdoordesign.com)

We’ll have constant tour updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also DANS COMP will be posting live updates of the tour, on their websites and social media.

Follow us at:
www.facebook.com/kdmbrand
www.twitter.com/kdmbrand
www.instagram.com/kdm_apparel
www.instagram.com/kdmbrand

News will have some photos from the weekend to post next week, and if you get some good snaps, be sure to send them our way (news@bmxnews.org), or tag @bmxnow in your Tweets.

Links

Kid DynaMite Website

Dan’s Comp Website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Last USAC Jr. Devo Camp of 2012 Underway

October 17, 2012 by · Comments Off 

USA Cycling BMX Jr. Development Camp - October 2012

The Summer Games countdown clock in the athlete center at the US Olympic Training Center/Chula Vista has been re-set for a countdown to Rio 2016 (1387 days to Opening Ceremonies). Sounds like a LONG time from now, doesn’t it? But it will undoubtedly pass in the blink of an eye, just as the time between Beijing and London did.

Getting the next crop of “hopeful-Olympic-hopefuls” in the swing sooner, rather than later, is a prudent thing to do. And USA Cycling is not waiting. The final Jr. Devo camp of 2012 convened on Monday with 12 athletes. Some will be age-eligible for 2016, and some will be looking toward 2020.

Here’s what the roster looks like:

Josh Banuelos
Kavin Bradner
Matt Chism
Savannah Davis
Carlie Ferree
Colin Hudson
Rachel Mydock
Taylor Stephens
Alex Strand
Max Turk

J&R Bicycles Captain’s Jersey Recipients
Shealen Reno (photo left)
Sean Gain (photo right)

Traditional coaches, Jerry Bradford and Brian Fell are on hand to provide one on one coaching, and an overall picture on how things work when you decide to go down the path of becoming an Olympian.

US Olympian Mike Day coaches Jr. Development participants
Speaking of Olympians, Mike Day was on-scene this week as well, as a guest athlete coach (above). MDay can give the riders a perspective that only a handful of Americans can give. Also in the role of “Athlete Coach” for this camp is 2012 US Jr. Men National Champion, Nick Koehler. So, a pretty stacked coaching opportunity.

Over the five days, here are some of the activities, both on track and off, that the “lucky dozen” is getting into

Riding the Pump Track
Riding the USA BMX Track
One on one meetings with the coaches
Learn the Proper way to do a Dynamic Warm Up
Ride on the SX track with one on one instruction by coaches
Guest speaker for recovery
Guest speaker for nutrition
Guest speaker for weight training
Timing on sprints and gate start/kink timing/90-foot line timing
Vertical jump testing
Fun activities such as a ping pong tournament, Movie night, field trip
Full-Lap time trial on the SX track
Mock SX race
Evaluation/Report cards at the end of the camp
Suggestions/Training program opportunities to improve

Friend of News, Pete Dylewski, is in attendance to talk to the riders about BMX Sponsorship, How to conduct yourself as a future Pro rider, Social Media, and help riders with questions on bike set up and products from Chase BMX and Tioga BMX.

Pete and the USAC staff also put together a killer goodie bag for each rider, with items donated by Oakley, Fly Racing, Tioga, Insight, Kicker, ODI, and USA BMX. Riders also are offered a set of Tioga Tires, if they have no tire sponsor obligation.

Pete says he also uses the camps as an opportunity to scout for up & coming talent, and says it helps when making future sponsorship decisions and earmarks. It’s great “networking” for the riders to be exposed to the industry side, as well as the “I’m fast” side.

It is a packed week, and one that moves these riders from the “NAG rider” stage of their careers to the next level on the BMX ladder of stardom.

The dates for the 2013 Jr. Development series have not been announced yet, probably pending the release of the 2013 USA BMX National schedule. We will bring them to you, once we have them.

Big props to USA Cycling, Nike, Chase BMX, Tioga BMX and J&R Bicycles for sponsoring the program, and keeping the US prospects for Rio 2016 and beyond close in our minds.


Chase BMX on bmxnews.org

Thanks to Pete D for contributing some story background and the above photos to this story.

Links

Chase BMX Website

Tioga BMX Website

J&R Bicycles Website

Jr. Devo Rolls in After Oly Trials

June 26, 2012 by · Comments Off 

June 2012 USA Cycling BMX Jr. Development Camp

After the US Olympic Trials weekend, we learned the names of the three people who would join David Herman and Arielle Martin in London this August. Thus, marking the end to qualifying season for Olympic BMX in the United States for this go-round. Our head is still swimming from all the action, anticipation, thrills of victory and agonies of defeat that this two-year qualifying round served up.

And while it’s true that on Saturday night, the process officially ended for 2012, elsewhere in the massive Chula Vista Olympic Training Center complex, the seedlings of 2016 and 2020 are being planted. Just as Mike Day and Donny Robinson faced challenges from riders who were riding 15 expert when the last Olympic gate dropped so, too, is it likely that Connor and Corben will face challenges four years from now–possibly from someone in the above photo.

Pete Dylewski sent along the following report on the USA Cycling Jr. Development camp which started the day after the USA BMX US Open Nationals. USAC’s BMX program has done a great job of “developing the development path” for riders to go from top expert, to Jr. Elite…and into Elite when they hit 19 (in “UCI years”).

The second USA Cycling BMX Junior Development Program camp was held the week of June 18-23rd. The top 13 Jr. Devo riders that qualified, via the USA BMX Jr Devo series were hand-picked to attend the camp. Designed to give the next generation of BMX riders not only a chance to ride at the USA Olympic training center–the only facility in the world that has TWO full-time SX tracks– but learn all aspects of training from the Jr Devo Program staff at the OTC.

An outlined program from Camp Directors Brian Fell, Jerry Bradford, and Elite rider Tyler Brown gave the riders direction for the week. The Jr Devo campers go through seminars and hands-on instruction in many different areas, such as Nutrition, Recovery, Dynamic Warm Up, Gym, Weights, and more. Riders are also tested in many areas to further help develop training programs and address areas of improvement that the riders may need help in the fundamentals for BMX racing. The riders were also on the Supercross track for two training sessions a day while at the camp. This camp was special, as with the newly completed London-replica track, the campers were able to ride both.

The riders honed their skills all week long, and it would all culminate on Friday, with a time-trial for each rider to qualify for a mock race, held on Saturday (just like in the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series). The riders were given two runs, and the faster of the two would be used to seed the racers for the motos in Saturday’s mock race (on the “Beijing” track).

Chase BMX Olympian Connor Fields was on hand for a few days of the camp as well, riding with the campers, and giving advice and tips to the riders. Also on hand during the camp were fellow 2012 Olympians Nic Long, Arielle Martin, and Alise Post.

In Saturday’s mock race, Collin Hudson had a wide lead, but J&R’s Hunter Pelham gained some good ground down the second straight. As the pack came into the berm jump, Hunter crashed out (but walked away), and Cameron Moore and Tucker Rice took up the second and third spots, which held to the stripe. Final order was Hudson (Crupi BMX), Moore (Answer Rennen) and Rice (MCS).

Here’s the video of the final:



The future of BMX in the USA is very bright and the Jr Devo program is helping to prepare the 15-16 year olds for the lifestyle choices and discipline it’s going to take to get them to the top of the SX (and perhaps the Olympic) podium in the future.

Prizes were donated to the camp from Chase BMX Team supporters and some of the best in BMX: Tioga, Oakley, Kicker, ODI, USA BMX, Insight, Elevn, and Kingstar. Thanks so much for your support to the Chase BMX team and the Jr Devo Camp series.

There are two more camps left on the 2012 schedule: Aug. 13-18 and Oct. 15-20. Riders qualify to attend the camps based on results in one of four qualification periods in USA Cycling’s BMX Junior Development Series, which runs as part of the USA BMX National series. To learn more about the series, camps or how to qualify, please visit USA Cycling’s BMX Junior Development Program web page (link below).

Camp participants (right to left in above photo): Justin Knapper, Tucker Rice, Ryan Zinzow, Hunter Pelham, Luke Roarty, Caleb Minthorn, Matt Chism, Collin Hudson (back row), Cameron Moore (front), Carlie Ferree, Tyler Wagner, Shealen Reno, Gavin Nelson and the Chase RSP 1 Race bike.

Collin and Carlie topped the Jr. Devo points this round, and earned the J&R Bicycles “Captain” Jerseys for the camp.

Camp Sponsors:
Chase BMX, Tioga, J&R Bicycles

Links

USA Cycling BMX Jr. Development Page





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Facebook “Offer” Scam Hits BMX Fans

May 2, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Oakley and Redman Bikes are early victims in offer Scam

Checking Facebook has become an irresistible, many-times-a-day habit for tens of millions of people in recent years. Great content travels fast, and we tend to see the same images, videos and headlines shared on multiple walls, as people utter a collective “dude, check THIS out!”

Combine that with Facebook’s new “Offers” ad product, currently in the beta testing phase, and you have a phenomenon that is part “FREE BEER!” and part train wreck–you just HAVE to click through–like scratching inside your leg cast with a coat hanger.

“Facebook Offers” is an ad service that is being slowly rolled out this month, where companies can offer daily deals, targeted in much the same way the ads on the right side are targeted–only these are more compelling, because they are from companies you already “like.” These ads will show up inside your news feed as Editorial content–straight to the bloodstream, no digestion needed.

Back on April 13, through popular tech outlets like Engadget and Tech Crunch, we starting hearing that testing in Europe was coming to an end, and Facebook Offers would be hitting US shores by the first of May in “beta” form.

This seemed to be the “gentlemen, start your engines” moment for spammers and scammers to get their evil game ramped up, because on April 30, we started the day seeing the above “Red Man BMX Bikes” [sic] ad in our news feed, offering a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal, alongside the honest-to-goodness Redman Bikes logo.

Well, if Redman is selling frames two for the price of one, we want some of that action… and so did a lot of our friends list. The offer was quickly in the “share-stream,” and before you knew it more than 100 people had “claimed” it (including us–”just to see…”). Of course, nothing happened when you claimed it, but the scammer had your info now, as someone who was interested in a deal like this. And who knows what else in our profiles they were able to access because we clicked on the link.

It did not seem legit, especially because it bared the hallmark of scams everywhere–Mispelled words! The “Redman” of Redman Bikes is one word, whereas in the ad it was expressed as “Red Man.” Still, we had to run it down, and BMX News contacted Mike Redman to find out if this was a legitimate offer. “Absolutely not…I don’t know anything about it” was Redbone’s immediate response.

Then, on May 1, Oakley saw a Facebook offer scam take wing, which quickly spread like wildfire all over the site. I mean, who doesn’t want two pairs of Oakley glasses for the price of one, right? If only!

Oakley put out a statement on Facebook, disclaiming the offer, saying the following:

Some of you may have seen an ad or wall posts featuring a promotion for free Oakley eyewear. We want you do know that our company is not behind this and do not recommend clicking on the link. Unfortunately, Oakley and other brands, have (been) targeted by a scam falsely offering our product for free.

This activity naturally strikes deep into the heart of the credibility of the legitimate-and-as-yet-not-officially-launched Facebook Offers product. If scammers can so easily replicate the look and feel of the “Offers” (capital “O”) design, how will anyone be able to trust it when a legitimate offer is presented?

Facebook is keeping mum on the issue, probably for the dual reason of the quiet period leading up to their IPO, and because they are banking heavily on the success of Facebook Offers to give them a foothold in the wildly-popular, wildly-profitable “Daily Deals” market, ala Groupon, Living Social and others.

Five Tips For Avoiding Facebook Offer Scams

* Do not accept friend requests from people who do not have at least 10 friends in common with you.

* Be very careful which Facebook Apps you allow access to your profile. Be especially cautious of video apps that want to show you something wild, or outrageous, and games you have never heard of.

* Do not click on “Deals” unless you already “Like” the company on Facebook.

* Carefully read the copy in ads, and ignore any with misspellings, or awkward wording (i.e. “Red Man BMX Bikes,” when we all know the real deal would be “Redman Bikes”)

* Immediately report any ad you know to be a scam using the little arrow at the upper-right of the post.

Bonus: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. (ala two-for-one Oakleys).

Bonus 2: Now would be a good time to evaluate which companies you truly “Like,” and which you do not. Un-like (de-like?) those you do not, or prepare to have your Facebook timeline mobbed with offers, legitimate or not in the coming weeks and months, as Facebook’s real Offers product comes online to the full audience.

Our STRONG advice is to avoid these offers at all costs, regardless of how good the deal. Clicking on evil Facebook links can transmit viruses, and also can expose private information to the scammer, including your photos, timeline data, and friends list–giving them the ability to masquerade as you to your friends.





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

UPDATED! All Winternats Photos Posted

April 22, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Maris Strombergs on his way to a big win for Free Agent/Rockstar

For some reason, the time change between central and Pacific time is kicking our butt like it’s never been kicked before. A 6:30AM wakeup call was of no utility when eyes sprang open at 3:45. Meditation, Prayer nor the constant regurgitation of the day’s headlines on HLN were no match…may as well get some work in.

So, in the two hours between 4AM and 6:15AM, we got the full photo gallery for Saturday’s race prepped and posted. Rather than wait til the full re-cap and Sunday gallery were ready, we thought we’d give you something to look at in the meantime.

For a brief peek under the Saturday curtain, Elite class wins were booked by Maris Strombergs and Dom Daniels, both of whom won by healthy margins at the stripe. Neither one lost a lap all day. So, too with the straight-aces thing for the Juniors. Rusty Nesvig and Felicia Stancil took it to the front all four times.

UPDATE: Monday 10:37AM, PDT>>All WinterNats photos are posted. Here are the links for all three days:

USA BMX Winter Nationals Photos – Friday

USA BMX Winter Nationals Photos – Saturday

USA BMX Winter Nationals Photos – Saturday





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

A Dozen Questions on the USA BMX Gator Nats

February 14, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Juan Marin of Team Free Agent Leading the 19-27x Main

Questions By BMX News Readers
Answers and Photos By Mike Carruth
All photos are above the content discussing them

We received an unusually high number of reader questions about the Oldsmar race this weekend. So, rather than try to weave them into the fabric of a story, we decided to MAKE them the story.

Vital Stats on the race: Moto count, etc?

A total of 213 on Saturday, which included three “racks” of Striders, four racks of A Pro, three racks of Vet Pro, One Rack of Junior Women, Four Racks of Jr. Men, Four Racks of Elite Women and EIGHT racks of Elite Men (50 riders in that class, largest of the day). Racing kicked off about 12:20, and the last race hit the finish line at 8:27PM.

On Sunday, 197 motos total. As normal, some classes dropped a bit. In the top classes, four racks of A Pro, two racks of Vet Pro (losing two riders), One rack of Junior Women, three Racks of Jr. Men, Four racks of Elite Women (only light one of the Chinese women), and EIGHT racks of Elite Men (50 riders again). Maris Strombergs, who won Saturday’s Elite main was not feeling well for sunday, and sat out. And Dom Daniels, who crashed while in qualifying position in Saturday’s semi was nursing a banged up left hand from the wreck.

Elite Men was, by far the largest class, at 50 riders. Runners up included 19-27x and 17-18x at 38 riders apiece. Cruiser turnout seemed low at this one, with 41-45 being the largest class at 14 riders. Girls class turnout was also a bit thin, with 13G charting the most riders at 13. Note: All rider count numbers are Saturday figures, unless otherwise noted.

That is some geeky stuff right there, but I know some of you like the nuts and bolts of how the classes broke down.

What’s the deal with the UCI North American blah, blah blah?

Saturday at the Gator Nationals doubled as the 2012 UCI North American Continental Championships. Unlike the National Championships (coming in March in Chula Vista), in which only US Citizens can participate, the continental championship is open to any and all riders…though we heard that there is a formality for non-North American riders of submitting a letter asking permission to attend.

UCI Races are graded in “categories” from 0 to 6. The lower the number, the more points are up for grabs. Category 0 is the Olympic Games, Cat 1 is the World Championships, Cat 2 are the Supercross World Cup races…and then you have the Cat 3 Continental Championships, of which each continent has their own. Most of the USA BMX schedule races are either Cat 4 or Cat 5 races, and the USA Cycling National Championships (open only to US Citizens) carries the lowest points ranking at Cat 6 (probably due to the fact that it excludes the deep comp from other nations).

So, as we have said in previous day’s reports on Oldsmar, the Cat 3 points are coveted enough for the National Governing Bodies to make the effort to be here. Also, the fact that it is one of the early opportunities for the riders to measure up the competition for March, when the World Cup season kicks off in Chula.

How was the track?

The Signature feature of Oldsmar’s 2012 build is an “S turn” in the third straight, which snakes the pack under the pro straightaway, and into the inside of the last turn. as noted in previous reports, there was some grumbling about it at first, but by the first gate on Saturday, everyone had their theory on the fastest line, and used it first round. Those who did not have it dialed…well, they got to give it another go second round :)

The hyper-technical last straight rhythm section played “nom, nom, nom” on a few dozen lead riders, some popping back up, and others not so quick.

Alaina Henderson and Phil Delizia of Answer Rennen at the USA BMX Gator Nationals
Alaina Henderson is the toughest chick I have had the pleasure of having in the viewfinder in a while. She got bruised and contused after a wreck in the final feet of the Sunday Semi, and still had enough mettle to smile for our camera after the race, cuddled up next to A Pro winner Phil Delizia.

Hanging around during practice on Friday, there were more than a few saying “I don’t usually like ‘lippy’ tracks, but this one is fun, once you stop being terrified by it.” And a couple who were not suited up, saying “plenty of races between now and November…I decided to sit this one out; the track is just beyond my skills” (needless-to-say, older riders who know the meaning of “$1000 deductible”).

Pro Section at the USA BMX Gator Nationals
On the other side of the spectrum, you had Junior and Elites who ride SX tracks all day, saying they wish the pro set was “bigger.” This group is tough to impress with anything less than the full magilla, but there were enough dings in the backside peaks of the pro set (above) to know it was well executed, given the hill and other straights that had to be ridden by all comers.

Looking at the results, double wins were more scarce than usual in Oldsmat–and that is actually a good sign. It meant racing was mixed up, and no rider could count his points before crossing the line. I attribute that to the track, in large part.

Was the “S turn” sweet or sour?

S Turn at Oldsmar BMX
In a word, SWEET. Now, that is from a spectator / photog’s point of view. Early on Thursday, before people hit the hill, there was a generous amount of grumbling and bellyaching. But the bottom line is that it’s a tug-o-war between the people who are saying the tracks are “too cookie cutter” and those who scoff at unconventional (for today’s flavor of BMX racing) obstacles. Personally, I am not a fan of “hell track” type obstacles…but this S Turn was all-the-way-live, and raised the level of excitement for the fans in the always-packed stands.

What pros were going fast?

Sam Willoughby leading an Elite Men Quarterfinal
Well, you had pretty much every top name on the planet on the sheets (except for a couple guys like Nic Long and Kyle Bennett who are out, due to injury). So to pick one or two who were “going fast” is like picking a winner in a rocketship race.

That said, special horsepower hashmarks have to go to Maris, Willers, Willoughby and Connor Fields–all of whom aced every lap on Saturday, until they paired off in two semis. On Sunday, SW91 and Connor aced up all laps leading up to the main. But, and here’s where we get into the rocketship thing, you also would have enjoyed seeing Mike Day tearin’ it up, and Tory Nyhaug acing all moto laps, (though maybe not enjoy seeing Tory end on the turf in the Semis on Saturday, and pulling the plug just after the first jump in Sunday’s semis–issue unknown)–but still lookin strong.

Ekaterina Komnatova of Russia leads Mariana Pajon in the Sunday semi
You’d have to be crazy, or blackheartedly-biased, not to give all due props to Mariana Pajon. She was in full command on Saturday with wins across the board, including the podium-topping main event. Sunday…not a complete span of 1-1-1-1-1s. In fact, that semi was her toughest lap of the weekend. Started out leading, gave up the lead to Komnatova of Russia in the first turn (above), and dropped back to fifth by the third straight. She was out of the main event, until Alaina Henderson bit the dust in the final feet of the rhythm, and Mariana ended up third. She chalked the semi choke up to a bad gate and basically not finding her groove (our words). Well, she found it by main time, because it was her and her alone on the Sunday box.

Redline's Alise Post back in the lead after six months off.
We talked a little about Alise Post’s triumphant return–or at least that this would be the race that would see it– in previous reports, and Beasty did not miss a beat after her lame six months in a chair and on crutches. Second place on Saturday, and a down-and-up tangle with Manon Valentino in the Sunday Semi keeping her out of the main event. So stoked to see #11 back in the results!

Brooke and Dom were in the same moto Saturday, and were shadow dancing much of the day (with Dom’s 1-5-1 to Brooke’s 2-1-2), til the Semi, when Valentino seemed to nose-case the second peak on the double into turn two, folding the bike out from under her and taking a second place Amanda Geving down as well. That led much of the pack to plow into them, Dom among them. Brooke, who was in fifth going in, skillfully avoided the carné asada, and came out in first, and went on to win that lap, ultimately hitting the podium for a third in Saturday’s main.

Dom Daniels after injuring her hand in the Saturday Semi at the USA BMX Gator Nationals
Dom ended up with a tweaked left hand, and pulled out of Sunday’s race. News will bring you an update when it’s available.

Among the Juniors, we heard the names Nesvig, Byndloss, Ramirez and Van Ogle by the announcing team of Riley and Redbone a lot. Rusty scored the win on Saturday, having never lost a lap. Local-ish hero, Maliek Byndloss had the track oh-so-dialed, and took home the 1-1-1-1-1 on Sunday, with Rusty on the left step. Van Ogle’s Hyper ride was in for third on Saturday, and it was Ramirez rounding out the podium on Sunday.

Though he was not on the podium this time around, keep an eye on Layne Gainer–out of Illinois. He is on London Wilmot’s new Hyper-backed team (but is still riding an Intense–at least for the moment). We know him due to his Illinois local status, but we saw him tearin up the Chula track at the U23 camp in January, so he is definitely on the right people’s radar. Should be on yours too.

Junior Women was a nice back & forth battle between the All-American fast-girl-next-door, Dani George, and Denmark’s Simone Christensen. They split the wins on the weekend, and the Danimal made the home country fans proud.

What about A-Pro, and Vet?

Both were stacked to the rafters with talent.

Sunday's A-Pro Main Event Hits the first jump at the USA BMX Gator Nationals
A-Pro was a battle royale between Supercross star, Jeremy Rommel and Answer Rennen’s newish pickup, Phil Delizia. “The General and the Dragon” sounds like a B-Movie in the war-fantasy genre, but it was actually a compelling A-Pro story of a come-from-behind win on Saturday, when Rommell pulled even, then ahead down the last straight. Phil rode it all the way home on Sunday, though Rommel was leading the pack over the first jump, at least for a shutter-snap (above). He lost some ground in the second straight, and fell back to fourth, and the race was pretty much over for the General at that point. Elliot McGrath hit the podium in third both days.

Vet Pro…wowza! Colombo is on a tear, winning both days in Guthie and splitting the wins with Pohlkamp in Reno. In Oldsmar, it was the aforementioned usual suspects of Javi and MP3 soaking up the spotlight, but we were also stoked to see Joey Albright back up front and way-in-the-mix. Gunz was in 50-cal mode in the Saturday main, as he shot to the lead, and stayed there til he had a sizable margin on Matt, who crossed second and Tim Dinger who was third. On Sunday, it was Javi all the way, railed up the inside of the first straight, and into a permanent lead. Albright was second and Pohlkamp third.

Any new products floating around at the race?

More than a few, actually. Renny Husada from Yess BMX was down from Canada, toting a new fork and a new stem that you’ll be seeing in the market soon. The stem has a couple brainiac features that will make you say “ha! now why didn’t I think of that?” Dani George was running some proto-ala-moto 20mm Supercross forks, said to be 19.8 ounces with some trick thick happening up top on the steer tube. Material-wise, it’s that Easton Aluminum we all know and love. Both of the above were kind of on the Downlow, so hope we’re not in any kind of trade secret trouble here :) Also in the heard-but-not-seen department, some forthcoming new products for Morphine.

The “jersey wars” are jumping off in a big way…in a world that used to be, more or less owned by one or two companies, we see Stile Industries taking a major role in the jersey game. So, too, for Crit Customs–which Mike Rodrigues added to the surging Crit Plate empire. Lots of fast guys gettin Crit this year.

We were stoked to see the Black Crown frames in the flesh for the first time. USA Made, and set up with an artist’s eye for detail, the “Throne” line is definitely something you should take a gander at when you’re ready to upgrade.

Who are the hot ams shaping up to be for 2012?

Sean Gaian at the USA BMX Gator Nationals BMX Race
Well, in the upper-teen classes, we’re seeing Bryce Hocking up front a lot this season, ditto for Kalvin Davis in 19-27x. Both were haulin the mail down in Oldsmar, with Bryce scoring a win on Day one. This was the first time we saw Juan Marin in the new season, and he was fully activated in both class and Cruiser, with double wins in 17-20 Cruiser, and a 3-1 finish in class.

No question that Byndloss is toward the top of any hot-in-the-new-season list, as is Sean Gaian (above), Collin Hudson and Crazy legs’ Crupi compadre, Myles Wamsley from Vegas. All posted strong laps in Oldsmar.

Gaian won Jr. Devo boys on Sunday and got second after Cole Tesar on Saturday. For his part, Rock & Roll Cole had a decent weekend, with some setbacks, but still rode like a champ. Second in class on Sunday, after missing out on Saturday’s main (due to a crash in the semis, if memory serves…but we could be wrong. Our fingers were too frozen to write by that point on Saturday night).

Zaithyel Soekandar of Aruba wins in 14x at the USA BMX Gator Nationals
Is it just us being slow on the uptake, or is the name Zaithyel Soekandar one that is not familiar when the talk turns to double-F-Fast 14 year olds? Well, I’m here to tell you that this guy was the boss of the class all weekend long, putting a chill on some hot-commodity-comp like Walker Finch. He was rockin a generic Redline jersey, aboard an Intense bike…with enough hair hangin out the back of his helmet to make Amanda Carr jealous. Word is he’s from Aruba, and riding for the Southeast Redline/Monster/One Industries team (via TLack on Vintage). If he’s on a US team, chances are we’ll be seeing more of him. Cool to see dudes coming in from nowhere and taking a class by storm like that. And we’re sure the Dirt Bird is recalculating his attack strategy for the next meetup.

What about the team sheets?

The newly-crafted Answer-Ssquared-TLD team is the 2012 incarnation of the Snap Factory team from Illinois. Their team sheet is covered with ace-high players, from Super Cooper Sheldon, who brought home double cruiser wins in 9C, to Tyshawn Carr, to their iron-clad presence in the teen classes with guys like Ryan Zinzow, Justin Richmond (who is starting to get his footing with the 14 year olds, after aging up just before Reno), Brandon Ceslok and, of course, Tyler Whitfield. The team chalked up their first Factory Team win with the New Sponsor on Saturday (Intense Factory was second).

The first cousin to the Answer Ssquared team– Answer Rennen, took home factory team honors on Sunday. Impressive enough, but moreso, when you consider that it was without the services Shawn Diprete on Sunday. A crash in his 20″ main on Saturday made his pinkie look like a lightning bolt. Ouch! Says it’s on the mend now…no autopsy, no foul. Second place Factory Team on Sunday went to Carlos Perez and the Felt Factory Team.

Speaking of Team Sheets, any teams looking especially “tight” in Oldsmar?

Well, obviously, the ones that did the winning…Answer Ssquared, Answer Rennen, Intense Factory, and Felt were all five-star. But also the Yess BMX-supported AllTow Wrecking Crew, Black Crown had some good moments, as did Morphine. SpeedTech, out of North Carolina just became the newest Ssquared-supported team, and had a few riders on-scene (though likely not as many as we’ll see in Powder Springs in a couple months).

London Wilmot’s FBN/Hyper team is suited up, and lookin factory. His posse had a couple wins for their maiden voyage, with Emily Krickler putting one on the board in 26-30 G-Cruiser, and Lance McGuire’s win of 28-25x on Saturday

Anything more on “The People” at the race…man-in-the-pits kind of stuff?

Michelle Cairns reclassified from Girl Pro to 28-Over Girls starting in Oldsmar, and took home the win in a class of three the class was 17-over for Sunday, and she still managed a third behind way-fast wimmens, Shelby Stacy and Kristen Bob.

Connor Fields of Chase BMX / BMX Racing Group
BMX News did an all-afternoon photo shoot with the elites and teams on Friday, shooting over 600 photos for our files, and having a great time in the process. We will be posting the selections from that session later this week, so keep an eye out for it. Connor Fields was one of the 75 riders who participated in the session.

Was great to see Toby Henderson and Michelle Enriquez from Box components on-scene to scope out the on-track awesomeness of their man in uniform, Marc Willers. A quick chat in the pits says that things are coming along well but, like a famous pitchman once said “they will sell no BMX part before its time.” Lots of love going into the line, and we’re anxious to get some of the first production pieces to review (hint,hint).

Donny Robinson of Team Hyper running Nema Gear for 2012
dR is fitted out in Nema pants for the new year, and lookin GOOD!

The Kenda Arch over the finish line deflated after the power briefly went out to that quardrant. Might make for a nice new obstacle…like the windmill shot in miniature golf. USA BMX staff jumped in and held it up for the incoming moto, “London Bridge” style. It was arching in full for the next rack.

Lots of great chatter about next week’s USA BMX Summit in Louisville. Some folks sticking around in the region, and hitting Morristown on the way back. It’s crossed our mind too, since we’re going to both.

A big shoutout of support to Floridian, MCS factory ace, and friend of News Raul Gomez. It was announced a couple weeks back that Raul has Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. That was devastating news to those of us who are Rual fans, and we definitely want to do whatever we can to support him in this umimaginabley difficult time. Watch for more on the “I WILL WIN THIS RACE!” bracelet campaign in a separate section of BMX News this week.

Haro and Rockstar have parted ways after a few years of togetherness. TM DB44 says the Pink and Black TLD gear KY and Brooke wore in Oldsmar was a temp step to a more “factory” kit– on the order of the awesome jerseys they were rockin at the Grands.

Saw our old friend Billy Maule, who has been living back in Jacksonville for a while now. He recently teamed up with a JAX company, Burro Bags, to bring the way-cool backpacks, messenger bags and such to the BMX community. Check them out at burrobags.com/

What’s your next race?

Next race for BMX News will be the Volunteer Nationals in Morristown, TN. Should be a big turnout, with so many riders in striking distance.


Links From the USA BMX Gator Nationals

Saturday Photo Gallery

Sunday Photo Gallery

@bmxnow full twitter feed from Oldsmar

Oldsmar Results, via USA BMX

Oldsmar Discussion on VintageBMX.com

Thanks to Cheyenne Grant for her help this weekend making sure all the races on our list were video taped for later review. It really helped us bring you a more complete story.

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