BMX is funny. On any given weekend there’s people competing for tens of thousands of dollars somewhere in the world just as there’s a guy doing the scariest thing he’s ever done in front of his buddy holding an iphone. It’s so serious at times, but laughable at others. BMX as a whole, is what get out of it. How you interpret the good and bad situations that its put you in. The limp that you have. The scar on your face. The friends you have. Hell, maybe even the possessions you own have all come from BMX. But, at least in my case, the most important thing I’ve gotten from BMX is who I am. I’ve learned so much about the world and myself from 16 years of pedaling down the street that I shutter to think who I’d be without it. It’s this idea, what we’ve learned from BMX that is the basis for this week’s Friday Interview. I simply sent out an e-mail with one question, “What is something you’ve learned from BMX?”

 

 

Simon, extended can-can. Photo: Fudger

“Riding has taught me that everything that I can do can done better. Every time I learn a trick, I realize that I never need to stop improving it. It’s never done and it’s never perfected, it can always be improved upon. I learned that progression doesn’t have to always be all new; sometimes the most gratifying progression can be taking something I can already do further than I thought possible. Or higher. Or smoother. Or more stylish. The progression only ends when I lack the humility to realize that things can be done better. It’s kind of a positive and productive approach that I try and use throughout my life.” —Simon Tabron

 

Martinez, no-foot-can in Atlanta on Red Bull Ride And Seek. Photo: Fudger

“Well as I lay here in a hot bath (that is now turning cold) due to my lower back locking up on me today doing a 180 bar on flat, I’d like to say BMX has taught me how to view pain as something that will draw you closer to yourself and that it is simple a test of growth and has allowed me to have a more open mind towards my peers. Side note: stress makes your body do things it shouldn’t.” —Corey Martinez

 

“BMX has taught me a lot about people. Seems general to say, but being on a bike gets you out there in the face of the public—in some way at some point it will bring you nearer to them. Good personalities or bad ones, crazy, or normal, it’s all what we choose to make of it. BMX will inevitably show you these people and you to them. Whether on the streets, in the park, at the track, or off in a far away land, pedaling about on a bike puts you out there. It’s taught me to have more patience within myself, and toward those I’m unsure of. Because of BMX I have traveled more, whether across town or over an ocean. And while on these travels I see and interact with people and I see this as a positive thing in the end, regardless of some negative outcomes. Learning more about people is an enrichment of your life…” —Jason Teet

 

“Something that I learned from BMX is the concept of simply just going for it. And it has been a really rad thing to learn, because it is something that I have used in all my aspects of life. It started with just going for a jump for the first time or learning a new trick, where you just had to teach your brain to not hinder you and it had to just let yourself go for it. Then I started traveling for BMX and then I had to learn how to go for it when I might not have enough money or a place to stay. It’s a hard thing to put into words, but BMX taught me how to go for it. And I thank it for that! Thank you, BMX” —Zak Earley

 

Clint Millar, no-footed-canadian.

“Through my years of BMX I have learned the true value of travel. Many of the people I went to school with back in day have never even left our state, never less the country. I have since traveled to over 45 countries all because of this little bike. I have been lucky enough to have experienced all this travel to so many different places, experienced different cultures, have made so many friends all over the planet & basically lived a pretty full life. I could not even think about what kind of person I would be if it weren’t for BMX & where it has taken me. So yeah, I’ve learnt that travel is one of the most rewarding things you can give yourself. Get out there and explore.” —Clint Millar

 

Alex Raban. Photo: Zielinski

“To have fun and be mindful. I love the unexpected situations that you can arrive in while riding BMX. They can be rewarding or at times be aggravating. I learned to take each moment in life with no expectations which makes riding and life less stressful.” —Alex Raban

 

Ben Snowden. Photo: Zielinski

“BMX has taught me one of the greatest attributes in life—to conquer challenges. This talent is sometimes difficult to acquire or even desire if you are surrounded in a nine to five office space. However, having BMX as my passion in life created many challenges long before it taught me to conquer any of them. There were challenges with school, jobs, and many financial problems along the road. Some of these challenges seemed impossible for me to conquer. I continued to follow my dreams and passion, as I would not stop riding BMX. I’d find myself spending hours contemplating and calculating various street gaps and tricks that I really thought to be impossible. Many of these goals where achieved with great help and support from my BMX family. The riders I looked up to freely gave me advice and support unlike any teacher I had in school. There were many times when I would even get encouragement from the photographers and filmers. With all this BMX family support, I began to conquer some of the scariest challenges and I started to realize that anything is possible. After having success in BMX, and scaring myself to death a few times, any challenge in life was easy to conquer.” —Ben Snowden

 

Rich Hirsch. Photo: Zielinski

“As an only child BMX taught me what it was like to have a family. I can remember growing up in the Portland and Seattle, that if you saw another rider you, in most occasions, linked up and shared all your resources right off the bat. Whether it was tools, spare parts, or a sweatshirt, just because you were so happy to be around someone that shared a love for BMX similar to your own. BMX allows you to put all other differences aside because of the shared love for riding was always more important.” —Rich Hirsch

 

“Drive and patience. The amount of time many BMXers and myself have put into learning and mastering a trick is insane. So, I use that same process in other aspects in life. For example, whatever or whenever I learn something new, I remind myself the process of BMX, which makes the new goal less of a challenge. And in no way do I think I have mastered any part of BMX. I don’t think it’s possible. I’m sure that’s why I’ve enjoyed BMX for many years.” —Adam Baker

 

Coco Zurita. Photo: Fudger

“One of the things I’ve learned is that no matter what level you ride on, we are all the same. I really like to see diversity of BMX and realize that not every rider was born to be pro. Humble riders are such an inspiration. I hate to see lack humility of some people. Big heads and all that.” —Coco Zurita

 

Very serious X-factor. Zack Gerber. Photo: Zielinski

“Something I’ve personally learned is the ability to see, perceive, and imagine the possibilities on objects that everyday citizens walk past without a second thought. Maybe the proper term isn’t learned, but rather appreciate. At any rate, from handrails, stairs, to curb cuts and storm doors. BMX has forever changed my perceived reality. You know you’ve got it bad, too, when you’re watching cartoons, a movie or even a video game, and you’re looking for spots. It’s weird but that’s what makes us all artists. We can see something the rest of the world can’t.” —Zack Gerber

 

“The importance of long term friendships. Nothing beats old friends for camaraderie, moral support, and a guaranteed good time when sessions commence. When I started pedaling through the neighborhood as a wee lad, two of the first riders I met are still two of the core riders within our scene. I can’t thank those dudes enough. We experienced a lot together within and without BMX.  Looking forward to cruising some curbs and shooting the shit with them 10-20 years down the road. ‘Hold onto your friends.’ —Morrissey” —Matt Coplon

 

“One of the most important things BMX has taught me is to never forget who you grew up riding with. The people that I started with are the people who helped me find the fun in riding in the first place. I don’t see them as much as I’d like to, but every time we just cruise the streets or a park it reminds me why I started in the first place. It’s amazing to get flown around the world and film for myself and companies that really support me, it’s a dream come true to be honest, just don’t forget where ya came from and who’s been there since day one, ya heard!” —Dan Paley

 

Chris Childs. Photo: Zielinski

“BMX has made me learn to appreciate everything that is put before me, whether it’s the different cities, towns, parks, trails, parties, events and most of all the riders that come along with all those spots. Everyone has a certain way they function when not on their bike or when they’re home on that daily grind, so when you get out and ride, everything is behind you and what’s important is just kicking back with the homies, new or old regardless of their style just for the sake of riding a damn BMX bike. If you like to cruise, then I’m right behind you.” —Chris Childs

 

“BMX taught me that sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days. Just because. There would be days that I would nail everything I tried, and then other days when I would struggle to make it through a set of jumps. It took me a while to just learn to accept a bad day for what it was and not get upset or concerned that my abilities were falling off. This is a principle that I apply to this day. Whether it is a bad day or a bad hour. I’ve learned to accept it and move on. Now I’ll either make necessary changes or simply step away for a bit. The good always comes back around.” —Kris Bennett

 

“I have been riding for so much of my life that it is difficult to pinpoint one single thing that I have learned from BMX but the first thing that comes to my mind is motivation. People talk about how they know motivated people in all walks of life, but I have never met a more motivated person than a die hard BMXer. Recovering from injuries, trying something a million times, learning a new trick, getting kicked out from spots and having to come back, driving/flying all the way across the country to do something at a particular spot. It is difficult to imagine anyone understanding why we do what we do. I am not even sure what keeps me motivated after all of this time, but I know that my friends and myself are all some of the most motivated people I know. I can only wonder what the world would be like if people in all walks of life were as motivated as most BMXers are. Because of BMX I know what it feels like to go through ridiculous measures to do something that you want to do. It’s a life lesson that I couldn’t imagine being taught better any other way.” —Grant Castelluzzo

 

Allan Cooke. Photo: Fudger

“I’ve learned that no matter how much money is on the line, what little fame there is to gain or people there are to impress that it’s the riding that is the most important. Might seem simple, but all that can creep into life and fog what really matters, it’s not till all that shit is taken away you remember why riding is everything.” —Allan Cooke

 

George Boyd. Photo: Zielinski

“BMX taught me a unique way to interpret my surroundings. Whether it is how I see the architecture of the city or my perspective of the city itself seen from a bike opposed to a car. After spending hours in an abandoned parking lot or cruising through an unfamiliar crowded campus, BMX has showed me and nearly forced me to take a step back and see people, places, and things for what they are, or what they really could become.” —George Boyd

 

Dennis Enarson. Photo: Zielinski

“One thing that stands out to me that I have learned from BMX is how strong friendships can be. I’ve met so many friends around the world from ridding my bike and sharing the same common interest that it is pretty unreal. The friendships I’ve held from some of my first times on the road are still as strong as they always were. I can go years without seeing someone from a different country and when we get together it’s like I saw that person the day before. Friendship is a strong thing and without BMX and all the traveling I don’t think I could see that as easily.” —Dennis Enarson

 

Brian Tunney. Photo: Matt St. Gelais

“I think I’ve learned how to live, all from BMX. I know that’s a cornball way to look at it, but it’s kinda shaped everything about me to this weird point I’m at in life.” —Brian Tunney

 

Lino Gonzales. Rail-to-180. Photo: Zielinski

“One thing I’ve learned over time is how to talk yourself out of potentially bad situations. Whether it’s being run up on in the hood or having the police come and try to arrest you at a spot. Learning to observe people’s behavior and predict their next move is valuable not only in those situations, but in life in general. There have a been a few times where were basically in handcuffs and ready to be arrested for riding, but managed to play the officers mind games and talk my way out if it with little more than a warning.” —Lino Gonzales

 

John Povah. Photo: Fudger

“The think the one thing that BMX has taught me over anything else is ‘patience.’ Patience to learn tricks, patience with injuries from learning tricks, patience for work projects such as videos etc., patience for traveling, sitting in cars and on planes for extended periods of time, but most of all, I think patience with people. Dealing with different personalities and levels of their priorities, other people’s timelines, having the understanding that everyone’s different and are not necessarily on my schedule or on the same page all the time. So, having patience for people is the most valuable thing I feel I’ve learned from BMX” —John Povah

 

Jim Bauer. Death Gap. Photo: Zlelinski

“I feel like I learned to do a lot with what you have. I have always been a hands-on kind of guy, but in BMX if you can’t do it, it won’t get done. We don’t have big budgets so we are sleeping on floors, getting friends to help, and coming together to get things done. It shouldn’t sound like a bad thing, I think it’s more like put your money where you mouth is. Less talking about it and do it. I also learned to push the envelope. If you are doing what comes easy, it’s boring an you are not progressing. You have to step over the limit every once in a while to make sure you are doing the best you can.” —Jim Bauer

 

Charlie Crumlish, half-cab. Photo: Zielinski

“How to obsessively try something hundreds of times in different ways until it works. Which I guess is basically how to find a solution to a problem.” —Charlie Crumlish

 

Brian Kachinsky, nollie. Photo: Fudger

“From BMX I’ve learned how to manage fear. I’ve learned how to deal with fear and use it to my advantage rather than holding me back from what I dream to accomplish. As a kid I was scared of many things (most of them things I shouldn’t have been scared of), but BMX made me realize I could overcome those fears and accomplish/experience things beyond my wildest dreams. I wasn’t ‘naturally’ good at riding so everything I learn I feel like I have to work for. That being said, I appreciate every little thing even more.” —Brian Kachinsky

 

Mike Aitken. Photo: Fudger

“I’ve learned how to handle all aspects of my life ;). Along with some kick ass moves along the way…” —Mike Aitken

 

Mike Clark. Photo: Keith Mulligan

“Through BMX I have learned to take everything I’m faced with in life as a blessing. Good or bad, I have learned to make the best out of any situation. I broke my neck and my back a few years ago and it was the best worst experience of my life—for many reasons haha. Good and bad things happen to everyone and life is to damn short to be bummed out or negative about anything. No matter how bad it gets, it could always be a million times worse. With that said, go big or go home. Grab the bull by the horns and ride that bitch!” —Mike Clark