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Review: A Wicked Ride

a-wicked-ride-logoMemories of days gone past. Everyone has them, some are kept as videos, others journals and the old standby, photos. At some point in everyone’s life they turn around and say “I better document the past otherwise it will just be forgotten”.

No place would the past be more easily forgotten than the North East during the early days of BMX. These guys were the underdogs, the unsung heroes of the 70’s and 80’s BMX movement that helped created the entire sport. Recognition for their accomplishments though, would never come easy as during that era the only way to get known was through the west coast magazines that were over 3,000 miles away.

These riders though kept a long and detailed history of what they did for the sport of BMX, specifically freestyle and this past Fall unleashed it upon the BMX world.

Having been one of the East Coast riders who spent a lot of time in New England and the North East during those years I was really looking forward to seeing this scene showcase how they came to be one of the hot spots for freestyle in the world. Scott Moroney, Dennis Langlais and Jeff Winston set about to tell the tale of New England’s role in BMX freestyle history and the story is one that every rider old, current, retired and casual should take a look at.

I often wondered about the early days of their scene before I even went up there back in 1985 to compete in the first big AFA contest on the East Coast in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. On my way up to that contest, I had decided to turn expert and run my first ever comp at the second level down on the food chain from being pro. My mentality was, “man I’ve been riding almost a year and can do a lot of what I see in the magazines, I’ll clean up at this comp!”, I was dead wrong. My first experience at the contest was seeing Chris Lashua just bust out the most incredible combo on the ground right in front of me and then ask “Where are you from?”, my reply was of course, “NJ”, it should have been “I need to practicemoreville”.

The riders in the New England area were way ahead of the rest of us and this documentary showcases why.

By 1985, New England already had riders who had traveled to freestyle contests at the BMX World Championships, they had seen Bob Haro, RL and Buff ride right in front of them…they had already been running contests for a couple of years before anyone else.

BMX freestyle may have been birthed in Sunny So Cal but it grew up in Gnarly New England.

The people showcased in this video from early heroes like Dennis Langlais and Paul Delarrio up to recently retired Kevin Robinson pushed the limits in ways other people can’t comprehend. Living in a frigid climate half the year during that time made these guys hungrier than the average BMXer. They wanted to break out and this shows how they did it.

From their earliest contest with the now legendary USABMX executive Bill Curtin at the helm to the days of Ron Stebenne’s Mountain Dew/GT Trick Team over to the first AFA Masters Finals in New Hampshire where EVERY Old School BMX pro was up to the dark days when ‘zines, underground contests and parking garages kept the sport alive, these stories will fill you in on what you missed if you weren’t there and will bring back incredible memories if you were one of the lucky few to actually experience those days.

I’m not going to lie, one of the highlights of watching this video was seeing my personal old High Voltage Trick Team quarter pipe being used at the AFA Finals in New Hampshire by none other than Wildman Hugo Gonzales. These pieces of the history of BMX would be lost forever if not for this team of video entrepreneurs.

While scoping out all the action you’ll learn about the rivalry between East Coast pro Dennis Langlais and West Coast legend Eddie Fiola and the quest for 10’ airs. You’ll see Dennis McCoy’s story of pure skepticism when Joe Johnson is working on the tailwhip air…”Yea, kid, good luck with that”, LOL…awesome. The golden days of flatland with the Cote’s, when EVERYONE rode flat and progression was happening literally every single moment. The story of how a skinny kid from Rhode Island went on to pull a trick that no one has ever done again. Just seeing the footage of what everyone went through to get BMX freestyle off the ground in New England is worth the price of admission. This one shows it all and how big a role the New England area played in the early days of BMX freestyle to establish it as a legitimate sport and not just some passing fad.

For those of us who remember the days of Mountain Dew GT Trick Team stickers and book covers this one will make you see the past for what it is, not just some old memories you stick in the back of your mind and forget about…
they are a wicked ride that keeps you motivated your whole life, if you lived your past like everyone should…with no regrets.

Go here to buy the DVD and get a shirt while you’re at it
Oh…and keep your eye on New England…there’s a lot of noise being generated up there again…

BMX 4ever,



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