Letter: Why Didn’t You Edit Costa?

December 19, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Reader Letter: Why Didn't You Edit Costa? 
Great podcast with George Costa. But why didn’t you cut the part when he said that pulling advertising on your site didn’t make any change? I would have cut that part out, and I’m curious why you didn’t?”
—JB, Midwest

Thanks for your message, JB. I normally edit each podcast a bit, mostly to remove the “ummmms” and pauses, sometimes for time (I like a 1-hour episode, give-or-take), and sometimes if I, or the guest, goes on a tangent that repeats what we have already said, if will not have an effect on the content.

I view every guest on Announcers Tower as I would a guest sitting on the couch in my own living room. Which is to say, that I would (almost) never tell them to stop talking, or edit what they said for my own purposes. In 146 episodes, I am almost-certain I have never done that.

If you haven’t-yet listened to the episode, JB’s letter refers to the part of the show, queued-up below, where George talks about his plans for the future, and looks back at some of Rennen’s past marketing efforts–most specifically pulling-back from online advertising in places like (click to start at the moment-in-question):

At 38:04, George acknowledges that, with no team on the track, he may re-evaluate that plan (but also says his gut says no)–still, if/when he does, we would be stoked to welcome Rennen back to the advertiser community, here on News.

George sent-over the following as an additional reply to your letter:

First off, I’d like to say I fully support what Mike and BMXnews are doing here with his websites. I was an advertiser for 6 or 7 years and in the days of intense Internet sanction drama on VBMX we would always see good clickthrough numbers on our Google Analytics in those days. My reasons for pulling back were mainly due to personal circumstances that arose about 2 years ago where I had to very closely evaluate every dollar we spend.

I was just freely speaking to Mike and I hope the sentiment I was trying to convey was “don’t take things for granted that the brands or sites or magazines you love will be around forever if you don’t help support them.”

Maybe it is time for more owners like myself to speak up and issue a warning call that if you care about something help support it.

Maybe instead of selling your used frame on the fence at the track, give it to a kid in need or donate it as a loaner bike to your local track and buy yourself a new one at retail. Sometimes people don’t know how good they have it while they are experiencing something. How many people are still reminiscing about the NBL, but didn’t support it to the level they needed to stay in business.

I have loved BMX ever since I first discovered it in BMX Plus! (RIP) back in 1987. I don’t want the sport to die but it’s time that everyone opens their eyes about how the BMX world operates around them, and do the right thing.

Back to the podcast: at 38:37, I weigh-in to give my opinion on what he said. I have to admit: it was tough to put that mirror up to our efforts, but it would be disingenuous to say “everything’s fine,” when the picture has, in fact, changed radically for us, on the advertising front, in the past 18 months or so.

But we still have a solid group of advertisers who believe in what we’re doing–believe that a NEWS site about BMX Racing is important to support (By the Way: please click on their banners, if you’re interested in their products. It really helps.). That faith, on their part, drives the future ambitions of this site (some of which, you will see in the coming weeks).

BMX News serves a valuable purpose in the sport, as a primary source for news— not opinion— but NEWS (and some opinion, too). We do stories that nobody else does, and I love that part of my job.

That said, I have great respect for ALL of the outlets who also cover this thing of ours, and we each have our own unique style and editorial approach.

I have to admit: it’s difficult to “suit up” for press release stories, especially after the story is all-over social media. We love “scoops” that nobody else has (send those to

If you have a newsworthy story, work with us to develop it, then share our post on your social channels…it’s better when someone else is talking about you anyway, right? I don’t guarantee we’ll take every pitch, but many days I’m dying for something of news value to post.

Wrapping-up on your letter, JB, you should also know that George and I are friends. I knew, going in, that he is a guy who speaks his mind…which is what makes him such a great guest on the podcast.

So our discussion, though structured, as all of our episodes are, was a conversation among friends, who have a long history. We have broken news together, and we have broken bread together (but, to my knowledge, have never broken wind together, LOL). I was not-at-all offended by what he said on the show.

Thanks again for your support of this site, and for your reader letter on this topic!

—Mike Carruth

Podcast: George Costa on His Team Retirement

December 18, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Podcast: George Costa on Team Retirement
It has been a long road of ups & downs, with some big successes along the way for George Costa, owner and team manager of Factory Answer/Rennen for the past seven seasons. Before that, he was title sponsor for Rennen-Intense, and got a feel for how the Factory Team scene works. Read more

Answer-Rennen to Become Factory Answer in ’19

November 21, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Factory Answer Rennen Becomes Factory Answer in 2019

Team changes are historically held til after the Grands, out of respect for the current sponsor. In this case, however, the current sponsor IS the new sponsor, so we’re cleared to take off the duct tape on this one going INTO the Grands, instead of as a post Grands report.

For longer than some BMXers have been alive, there has been a Factory Answer/Rennen team (and Rennen/Intense, before that). George Costa has been one of those guys who has perfected the art and science of moving the chess pieces around on his BMX Ouija board just-so, ultimately leading to back-to-back USA BMX Factory Team cups in 2016 and 2017. The squad comes into Tulsa third place in the 2018 points.

George announced recently (in a blurb carried in Pull Magazine) that he would be stepping away from the team scene in 2019, leaving many to wonder what would become of his constellation of BMX stars. Would they be the hot properties to seek out for other teams looking to move up in the pecking order? Would they go “plain-wrap” for a season, or would it be something else.

Well, turns out, it’s something else alright. Long-time team title sponsor, John Sawyer of Advantage Bicycle Corp (parent company of Answer BMX) has stepped up to announce that the Answer/Rennen team would be absorbed into the Factory Answer BMX team, as would the Factory Squared team, creating a 28-member mega-squad for next season.

Here’s a press release John sent over to BMX News about the plans:

Advantage Bike Corp is pleased to announce the following team changes for the 2019 season. The Factory Answer BMX team will be absorbing the Factory Ssquared team as well as welcoming riders from the Answer/Rennen team.

We would like to thank George Costa at Rennen for everything he has done involving the Answer/Rennen team over the years. George will be stepping away from the team aspect of BMX for the time being and we wish him the best with his new warehouse endeavors.

Glen Knapper will be active Factory Answer BMX Team Manager moving forward. The Knapper family has been a staple not only in the race programs, but also from the grassroots level as a Track Operator for countless years.

2019 Team Sponsors:
Answer BMX
Ssquared Bicycles
MJT Designs
Custom Racing
Carve Tires

2019 Team Roster
Tory Nyhaug, Elite Men
Justin Posey, Elite Men
Lauren Reynolds, Elite Women
Saskja Lack, Elite Women
Larry Dardini, Vet Pro
Justin Knapper, A-Pro
Andre LaCroix, A-Pro
Ronan Weber, A-Pro
Markwane Billingsley
Bailey Brannen
Sebastian Chavez
Brandon Crain
Marshall Gehrke
Dustin Hammond
Tyler Holland
Jeremy Knapper
Tyler McGuire
Matthew Meekins
Kater Montellano
Aubrey Palmer
Al Roybal
Ronalds Ritins
Tyler Rooney
Michelle Senger
Robert Slatter
Jeremy Thompson
Jacob Trujillo
Sumi Yuki

Lots of familiar names on there, from the Answer Rennen days, also some high-wattage Elite presence in the bring-together of Tory, Posey and Lauren Reynolds, plus some names we are not familiar with. Looks like 2019 will be a very interesting year in the team scene. It always is, of course.

And a big Congratulations to our friend, George Costa on an incredible Team Manager run (since 2012 for Answer/Rennen, and with Rennen/Intense before that).

Naturally, George isn’t “retiring” to his rocking chair on the front porch of Rennen HQ. He just built a brand new manufacturing facility (a large part of which was with his own two hands), and we’re quite sure he will be cranking out chainrings and other moto-morsels very soon.

News will bring you updates on all of the above, as they happen.

—MIke Carruth


Answer BMX Website/strong>

2018 Factory Answer-Rennen News

January 10, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Answer Rennen Factory Team 2018
OK Riders, set ‘em up! The gate is about to drop on the 2018 season. And as we get every-lastbit of photo gear we have packed up and on its way to Vegas, we get an early peek at the freshened-up, and oh-so-fresh Factory Answer Rennen rider kit for the new season. Read more

Team News: Kody Kolshinski to Answer-Rennen

December 6, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Kody Kolshinski Joins Answer/Rennen

The high-fives are still flyin at Factory Answer-Rennen HQ, following their storybook finish to the 2016 season. The stars aligned perfectly, with some pretty incredible Grands performances, to boot, and George Costa, John Sawyer and the whole A/R crew hoisted the top-team cup on Sunday night.

George’s high-five hand may still be a bit numb, but it always has enough grip to sign on more team talent. Today, News got the scoop that 11x Kody Kolshinski from Redding, CA will be joining the team for 2017, adding some perfect pre-teen horsepower to their-already packed roster.

Redding is a hotspot for BMX hotshoes and, you may not know, has a long history in BMX with one of our sport’s longest-standing brands calling Redding home (can you name the brand?).

But, we digress. Kody was suited up for the 2016 Bike Shop team champs, Full Tilt BMX, in 2016, and starts his time on Answer/Rennen with NAG 2 on the bike.

The 2017 season opener is rapidly approaching, and you can be sure that Kody and the rest of his West Coast teammates will be tearing it up at the South Point. A big congrats to Kody and his family and, of course the whole Answer-Rennen family.

Answer-Rennen Co-Sponsors: Answer BMX, Rennen Design Group, Ssquared Bicycles, G-Cog, Answer Racing (ANSR Gear), ODI Grips, Dan’s Comp, Base Brooklyn, and Pedro’s


Answer BMX Website

Rennen Design Group Website

Answer-Rennen Adds Aussie Elite Rachel Jones

February 16, 2016 by · Comments Off 

George Costa and Rachel Jones
Answer-Rennen had a big announcement at last weekend’s 2016 USA BMX Winter Nationals–the addition of Australian Elite Woman, Rachel Jones to the team. Rachel has been spending time here in the states, riding with Brooke Crain and the rest of the Olympic-path gang out West.

On adding Rachel to the team, Answer-Rennen Team owner, George Costa told News:

We are pleased to announce the signing of Rachel Jones to the team as our first Elite woman rider.

New for 2016, USA BMX has added a new provision to the factory team rules which makes Elite Men and Women extremely valuable for teams contending for points.

Historically, team sheet teams haven’t carried Elite men and women on the roster. as there is a high cost to properly supporting one of these riders– but with the new points by USA BMX, it is now something that all the top teams are looking at and considering.

Rachel is a 20-year-old Australian who has made the decision to come live in the United States full-time and pursue her dreams, racing Elite Women. In the short few weeks since she has accepted the offer to join the team she’s already demonstrated that she is a huge team player and is going to help us pursue our goals of attaining the factory team title.

Without the support of our great sponsors we wouldn’t be able to pursue a rider of Rachel’s caliber, so once again we thank those who support us.

It’s always great to see rule changes that *enhance* competition, and encourage new paths for teams and riders to pursue. After the race on Saturday, Rachel told News:

It was such an unexpected opportunity, so close to the USA BMX series starting. But at the same time, it is exactly what I had been looking for.

After spending time here training, I was able to do a few races in the series last year. I made a decision to race as many USA BMX races this season and “base” out of the US. Having a team like Answer-Rennen support me at these races is like having a family away from family.

I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be part of such a strong team.

Watch for Rachel, and the full Answer-Rennen squad at races throughout 2016.

—Mike Carruth

Answer-Rennen Co-Sponsors: Answer BMX, Rennen Design Group, Ssquared Bicycles, Tioga BMX, G-Cog, Answer Racing (ANSR Gear), ODI Grips, Dan’s Comp, Base Brooklyn and Pedro’s


Answer BMX Website

Rennen Design Group Website

Coming Soon: Intel Inside BMX Training?

August 20, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Intel Curie wearable computing sensor

At the annual Intel Developer Forum this week, the chipmaker demonstrated their recently-released “Curie” wearable computing module. Wearables are widley considered the next big thing in technology progression, expected to prompt “how did we live without them” responses in 10 years–like the smartphone Read more

Answer-Rennen Race Report: Carolina Nats

April 7, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Answer Rennen 2015 Carolina Nationals

By Glen Knapper
The next stop on the Answer/Rennen spring tour was the beautiful facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina for the USA BMX Carolina Nationals. Home to one of the newest BMX SX tracks in the United States, the track crew had the facility in top shape, from the perfectly groomed track Read more

Race Report: Answer-Rennen 2015 Winter Nationals

March 4, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Derik Bergh at the 2015 USA BMX Winter Nationals

By: Glenn Knapper
The fifth stop on the USA BMX National schedule was the Winter Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona, at the beautiful Black Mountain BMX track. The track is fresh-off a complete rebuild for the 2015 season and sported a first jump that was seen giving riders troubles Read more

Answer-Rennen Silver Dollar Nats Report

January 23, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Answer Rennen 2015 Silver Dollar Nats
By Glen Knapper

Following a short break after the Grands, the South Point Hotel Casino played host to the first USA BMX National of 2015 at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The team was ready to get the season underway, and had a big turnout of riders, along with some new faces Read more

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