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Tory and Lauren Re-Up To 2020

February 15, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Tory Nyhaug and Lauren Reynolds
As outstanding ambassadors for their respective brands, Tory Nyhaug and Lauren Reynolds have, this week, signed on for four more years with John Sawyer’s Advantage Bicycle Corporation (ABC). Both will stick with the ABC brands they have been running (Answer for Tory and Ssquared for Lauren). An official release on the news came over our “Big Ears” news ticker yesterday. Here’s how it went:

Advantage Bicycle Corporation, parent company of Answer BMX, Ssquared Bicycles, and Clayborn Bicycles, is pleased to announce the contract renewal for both Lauren Reynolds (Australia) and Tory Nyhaug (Canada) through year 2020. We really enjoy having both of these riders part of the family and it’s a bonus to watch and assist them as they pursue their dreams.

Lauren will remain part of the Factory Ssquared team and had this to say

“It’s been a real pleasure to ride for John and the team at Ssquared Bicycles in conjunction with Answer BMX, and now to extend our partnership for the remainder of my career shows the loyalty and trust behind the brand, it has been a real honour.”

—Lauren Reynolds

While Lauren is part of the Factory Ssquared team, Tory will continue his career on the Factory Answer team.

“I’m very excited to continue with Answer/Ssquared for the second half of my career. They’ve believed in me since day 1 and I’m proud every time I put on that jersey. I’m Looking forward to the next 4 years”

—Tory Nyhaug

Aside from the re-up news, we also received the full Answer and Ssquared Factory Team rosters for 2017:

Factory Answer
Tory Nyhaug
Larry Dardini
Andre Lacroix
Matthew Meekins
William Silva
Michelle Senger
Tyler Rooney
Ronan Weber
Arthur Fishel

Factory Ssquared
Lauren Reynolds
Maliek Byndloss
Alfredo Campo
Santiago Marin
Ronalds Ritins
Lee Baker
Bryce Stroud
Blake Sawyer

A big BMX News high-five to all listed here! We look forward to see y’all in the viewfinder at a race real soon.

Tory photo via Facebook (possibly by Andrew Ling). Lauren photo by Mike Carruth

Links

Answer BMX Website

Ssquared Bicycles Website





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2015 Golden Crank Winners and Award History

December 11, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Golden Crank Award Winners

The Golden Crank Award dates back some 23 years as the top popularity award in the sport of BMX Racing. Each year, thousands of BMXers vote for their favorite Rookie Pro, Pro, Bike and Team of the year in an effort to push their faves to the front of the pack.

BMX News reached out to the four Golden Crank winners of 2015, to get their personal quotes on what winning the award meant to them. We also wanted a deeper-dive on the history of the award, and received a great day-one-to-present account of how the award has evolved over time.

Rookie Pro: Brandon Cato Brandon Cato - 2015 Rookie Pro of the YearWinning the Rookie Pro of the year was more of a “In the Moment” awe . There are much larger goals I want to achieve before I can be considered as awesome in Bmx . But something I want to leave you guys with is “Don’t make excuses, make sense” . I also want to give a shout out to all my sponsors @bayareabmxers @tangentproducts @westsidebmx @esntlofficial @eekoe for help making 2015 great, but I know 2016 will be better . Thank you to all those who voted for me as 2k15 Rookie Pro of the year !

—Brandon Cato

Pro: Alise PostAlise Post - 2015 Golden Crank Pro of the YearWinning a Golden Crank Award is a true honor within USA BMX. It recognizes not only excellence on the track, but also off of it, which is something my mama always told me was important. She always preached being a good person and taking time for others, and I feel that she would be very proud to see me holding up that peer-voted award. I was lucky enough to be the first girl to win one back in 2006 with my “Rookie Pro of the Year” award, and honestly I never really thought I would win one again.

There are so many talented people out there and with there being a dominant number of males in the sport, it seemed like it would be near impossible to win Pro of the Year up against all of the heavy hitting Elite Men year in and year out. But, the women in the sport have been progressing rapidly and putting on great racing, so I think this award just goes to show that people are taking notice of that. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to giving it your best, racing hard, pushing boundaries, having success, and being a good role model. Needless to say, I am humbled that boys and girls alike voted me as the rider showcasing those traits best in 2015. Its a true honor, THANK YOU ALL!

—Alise Post

Bike: SsquaredSsquared - 2015 Golden Crank Bike of the YearTo say we were surprised to win the Golden Crank Bike of the Year award for the third year in a row would be an understatement. There are so many frame companies in the sport now and every racer seems to be loyal to their respective brand, I thought it would be difficult for any brand to win year after year. With that said, we are honored and humbled to have won again. While we offer a great product in the Ssquared frame line, an award like the Golden Crank is won by image and the voting public’s perception of the brand.

We are fortunate to have some great riders out there promoting the brands, and the Ssquared Answer Factory team and the Answer-Rennen Factory team representing us so well all season long really goes a long way in attaining that winning image. Combining that image with the quality product and our growing dealer and distributor customer base seems to all add up to us fortunately winning the Bike of the Year award again. We appreciate, and sincerely thank everyone who voted for us.

—Ryan Birk, for Ssquared Bicycles (pictured above with Michelle Senger, Global Sales Director)

Team: Factory SsquaredFactory Ssquared - 2015 Golden Crank Team of the YearIt was a great feeling to win the Golden Crank! I know it’s just a trophy, but it makes all the work not seem that hard. It also defines us as an elite team, to me anyway. I would like to thank my wife Therese, for letting me spend 30 weekends a year on the road. I really don’t know how to put into words how much this means to me and my family, and the team, as a whole. It’s 40 years of racing in one night, and it’s a lot to take in. Thanks to our sponsors: Ssquared Bicycles, Answer BMX, Dan’s Comp, Rennen, Tioga, Crit, Park Tools, Bell, ANSR, Sidi, BMX News, ODI, and all the friends and families that make it possible.

—Jim Buchanan, Factory Ssquared Team Manager (second from right)

Some History on the Golden Crank Awards
By gOrk

original 1992 golden crank trophyWe started the Golden Crank Awards in 1992, upon Clayton’s suggestion that we needed a “popularity award,” after Go magazine folded and there was no longer a NORA Cup (Number One Rider Award). The last issue of GO: The Rider’s Manual was December 1991. The NORA Cup had been the popularity vote up until then – but with their demise, ABA wanted to continue the tradition. My request to Oz and my former Wizard Pubs co-workers got nowhere, so we decided to start our own. Thinking that if the NORA Cup was the “Academy Awards” of BMX, then I figured that the Golden Globes would be the next closest thing, and I came up with the Golden Crank award.

A few years later, once Oz had completely checked out from the scene, Brad McDonald at RIDE magazine brought back the NORA Cup for freestyle–without Oz’s blessing, I believe.

Instead of a Silver Cup like the NORA Cup had been (which more resembled our National No.1 Championship trophy), going with something “golden” would be cool to do. I envisioned the gold-plated crankset on top of a wooden base. We wanted it to be a bit old school and totally generic, so we bought four pairs of steel cranks, four steel gears, and four cheap-o rat trap caged pedals from SBS and took it to local BMX welder Woody Woodruff to work his magic on it.

Woody created a base and used some old BB shells from his stash of Reach and Enigma spare pieces. He would spot-weld the pedals so they didn’t turn, and weld the gear to the cranks, and then welded the entire crank to the shell. Once he had those done, the next job was to get it gold plated. We went thru the yellow pages and found a plating place in Tempe that could do it. Funny thing is, though – instead of Gold, it was actually a brass plating process that gave us the 24-carat “Golden” look.

To brass plate each crank was originally about $75 each. Every year, they raised the price. Then, one year, the grease in the cheap-o rat-trap pedals messed up the plating job, so we stopped making them with pedals. To make it easier on us, we began making 12 Golden Cranks at a time, so we’d have stock of three years worth and would get a slight discount for buying in bulk. After I left for Redline, in 1999, the plating place went out of business or something – or could no longer do brass-plating, so that’s when they began gold powder-coating the cranks. I never liked that, as it was a big step down from the original.

While at Redline, I tried to talk my pals at ABA in to using Redline Flight cranks instead of the generic steel one-piece Wald cranks. But they stuck with our original plan, to keep it generic and unbiased. SBS continued to supply ABA with 12 sets of steel cranks and sprockets – and the sprockets would occasionally change to a different pattern.

Profile Racing Team Manager Gus Lanzilotta with three of the Golden Crank trophiesTwo years ago, Profile approached us about getting more involved with USA BMX on a custom project. Updating the long-standing Golden Crank trophy was the obvious choice. We met with Gus, Corey and Charllie after the Gator Nationals and began throwing around ideas for a new Golden Crank design. Jim even came in to the meeting and added his design ideas to the base. The best thing about it would be that the cranks would be anodized Gold, and would look way better than the previous powder-coated ones.

Voting for the Golden Cranks has also evolved throughout the years. The first decade or more, you could only vote with an official ballot from the magazine, that had to be mailed in. The first year, there was no limit on ballots – not many rules. But we soon found out that tracks who got a box of magazines to give to riders could easily stuff the ballot box. It was a close battle that first year for Rookie Pro between Bryan Ruest and Shan Hatfield (Shan won it). The following year, we added the rule that limited the number of ballots per envelope to a maximum of five. That helped a little, but still tracks would heavily campaign for their local pros…which they should, in my opinion.

Not sure what year we went electronic with our voting. It might’ve been 2010 or 2011. And it’s easier now to catch ballot-stuffers, as we require a membership #. All duplicate or fake votes can easily be detected and deleted. I think we now have the most fair system for voting.

The best thing about the Golden Cranks is that it is a POPULARITY award. It’s not always about who won the most races, or who dominated the year. I think it’s more about who put on clinics, who regularly goes to their local track(s) and who is most accessible to their fans. The past couple of years, it’s also become a bit more about who has a good social media following and presence. I think Cato’s Twitter and social media following is what helped him win this year’s Rookie of the Year award, although Tyler Whitfield’s YouTube presence helped push his votes. It was the closest count ever for Rookie Pro, between those two.

Alise’s win this year – being the first girl to ever win Golden Crank Pro of the Year – same as she did in her Rookie year, says something about her likeability and accessibility to her fans. Carley Young being in the top-five the past couple of years also proves that those who are doing clinics and helping out at the local or regional level has an impact with the voters. Could be a good lesson to all of the male AA-pros – a lesson that dates all the way back to 1985(ish), when fan-favorite Mike Miranda won the NORA Cup more for being his jovial-self than pulling off wins and podium finishes.

What a great story! Thanks very much to gOrk and USA BMX for giving us so much detail on the history of this prestigious award.

And, of course, a big BMX News congratulations to all four award winners. The Golden Crank truly is the closest thing we have to an Academy Award.





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Hayden Robinson: My Night at JFK Airport

October 26, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hayden Robinson's night at JFK

Tell most 14-year old boys flying alone that their late-night connecting flight has left, so they are going to need to spend the night sleeping in New York’s JFK airport, and you are sure to set-off a serious panic in the stranded flyer.

But BMXers are different. BMXers pick up the way of the worldly traveler, often before they’re in middle school, so when this kind of thing happens once they are flying solo, it’s a shrug and a search for the comfiest place to set up camp for the night.

Such was the adventure of 14x Factory Ssquared ace, Hayden Robinson on his way back to upstate New York from Oldsmar a couple weeks back.

Was it a “Night at the Museum” experience, or something more hum-drum til the next morning’s schedule started up? We had to know, and hit-up Hayden to tell us the story, in his own words.

They say all good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This one begins with me lying face down in the dirt. I have to give John Sawyer props on the new Oldsmar track…that dirt is packed pretty darn good. It was like hitting a brick wall. That first jump had me screwed up all weekend and it took me until the 13-14 semi opens on Sunday to finally meet my enemy face-to-face—literally!

As the medics helped me off the track all I saw was RED! I was covered in blood head to toe. My jersey was red, my pants were red and my brand new helmet was red – sorry Jim Buchanan. I got checked out at the medic tent, my nose stopped bleeding and as Jim and I started walking back to the trailer, we realized I still had time to get back up there for my class semi. People were in dis-belief that I made it back up there after such an awful wreck. Everyone said how tough and strong I was to race that soon after the wreck but to me, I did what any good team member would do, I got back up there to do my job. I had to do what I could to help my team win. It wasn’t pretty but I made the main.

The middle of my story starts when Jim drops me off at the Tampa International Airport. We got checked in, plane was scheduled for an on-time departure, we said our goodbyes and I was off to my gate walking a little slower than normal because of my road-rashed knees. It was at that time I realized how much my nose hurt.

I thought to myself, “all I want to do is get home and take a hot shower.” That didn’t happen-at least not that day. My flight out of Tampa was delayed, and by the time I got to JFK my connecting flight had already left, despite my mom’s frantic calls to JetBlue representatives, they just couldn’t hold the plane for me any longer.

There I was, stuck for the night at JFK airport. The JetBlue representative said they could get me a cot, if you want to call it that. It was this hard plastic thing that was raised off the floor. I didn’t have a pillow or blanket so I used my sweatshirt to lay my head on. I really wasn’t mad, sad, afraid, nervous, or anything– it was just something that happened and I had to go with it. When things don’t go as smoothly as planned, our family motto is, “It’s all a part of the experience!” And that’s how I viewed this…just another experience.

Finally, the end of the story. Halfway through the night I ditched the cot and I ended up on the floor, not too different from how my story began – lying face down! I think I got, at the most, two hours of sleep. Around 4:00AM people starting coming into the terminal for their early flights. I got up, and man did my body ache all over! I started walking. I was looking for a place that was open to get something to eat. I finally found a pizzeria and ordered an egg and cheese Stromboli.

It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I went back to the terminal, my home away from home, and waited for my flight, thank goodness it was on time today. I made it to Rochester and I finally felt a little emotional when I saw my mom. Even though we still had a two hour drive, I felt like I was finally home. I slept most of the ride and the first thing I did when I got home was take that hot shower I had been dying for since the day before. I slept the rest of the afternoon and when my dad came home from work, he said, “You ready to do some sprints?” And just like that, we were back to our normal routine!

My parents keep telling me that I am wise beyond my fourteen years and that I am gaining so many skills and qualities through these experiences that I don’t even know I have: determination, self-discipline, responsibility, adaptability blah, blah, blah. I’m fourteen! All I know and care about right now is that I’m gaining great friends all around the country and the world and I am having the time of my life!

I am grateful for having the opportunity to travel because of BMX and the overnight in JFK was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life! I am on the best BMX factory team there is!

Go VOTE for SSquared for factory team and bike of the year, Tyler Whitfield for A-Pro of the year, and Justin Posey for Pro of the year for the 2015 Golden Crank Awards!!

—Hayden Robinson

This story is a great example of the life skills BMX Racing brings, off the track. Way to go, Hayden— thank you for taking the time to bring it to us. The good news is that the website sleepinginairports.net rates Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 as “The cleanest and most modern of all the terminals (at JFK).”

Links

Website: sleepinginairports.net

2015 Golden Crank Awards Voting

Ssquared Bicycles Website

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