“So the BMX world has gotten pretty damn stale over time – dressing the same while riding the same bike while doing the same tricks”
– Ron Wilkerson via Dig Bmx Mag
China 2008. Photo by Ricky Adam.
Ron Wilkerson has been instrumental in developing this wonderful world we call BMX. Inspiring, creating and being a huge character to look up to since the 1980’s, and continues to do so today.
He’s not afraid to speak his mind about BMX, and on the whole I happen to agree with most of what he says, Ron knows what he’s talking about, this is his life.
He sent the above quote in an email to Dig Mag recently after their awesome “Creative Control” issue. However, I disagree with him when he says BMX is stale. I’ve listened to this opinion in it’s many guises since I started riding in the mid 90’s. Particularly when I was a Joe Rich clone. The generation of BMXers before me were never shy to express their dismay at my lack of individuality, as I sat there twisting my dreads while readjusting the Hot Water Music sticker on a set of jumping bars. Quite frankly the conversation was boring then, and I’m bored of it now, something which I find so much fun, getting ripped for not being “as it once was”. How BMX can be stale is baffling, if it was stale, we wouldn’t ride. Right?
We wanted to see what you guys think, as, it appears you’re the ones who often get berated when the conversation crops up. In 2013 your voice is as loud as anyones thanks to social networks, and you’re not afraid to shout..
Kieran Kurt Barnbrook “Agree with Ron 100%. BMX before my time looked so much more fun and a lot less competitive.” Rick Lowe “Respect to the Ron! He’s pretty dead on. Creativity is still there, but nowhere near the same way as in Ron’s time.”
BMX must have been incredible back in the early eighties. So many people involved in a new sport, pushing it from every angle. I’m guessing it moved fast, because it was so fresh! Pat Morse “People dressed the same back then, and rode the same bikes!” As time passes do we start to look at things through rose tinted specs? I do for sure, when I was twenty BMX was insane, some of my friends who were in their thirties thought it was stale, and I look back to 2003 as being the most fun I had while riding!
It’s still everything it always was, just different
John Waters “I think that Ron is referring to the rate of progression today vs, say, the late 80s when we were all transitioning from hopping tricks and relatively unsophisticated park/vert stuff into where we are today. We are progressing, yes, but we haven’t seen a real paradigm shift in a while, at least not outside of flat.” @adambanton “It’s still everything it always was, just different. Find where you fit in. Hopefully you’ll find your spot being yourself.”
“It’s still everything it always was, just different.” – Adam Banton
When you’re young and just coming into BMX it’s so good, there’s not much that anyone can say to stop you riding everyday, just for the sheer enjoyment of it. Toby Garratt-Skinward “It’s the rider that becomes stale because the rider is the one perceiving it all. Meanwhile BMX lives on, moves on and leaves you behind, which hurts. A beat up and bitter ex-trail builders smile is enough proof, surely? It will never become stale”
It’s the rider that becomes stale because the rider is the one perceiving it all.
Does the way we portray BMX have a direct influence in this debate? @rogervendetta “I wouldn’t call it stale. I would say it’s really repetitive.. With new web videos coming out everyday and people doing the same tricks”
Brands collectively produce so many web edits on a monthly basis it’s actually crazy. The impact of these are slowing down as youth culture changes, your average web edit could quite easily be perceived as boring!
Perhaps company owners/media need to embrace what a new generation of BMXers are doing, rather than calling it stale.
We’re all riding for pretty much the same reason, because it’s fun. How we perceive it is down to each individual. Many agree with Ron on this one, some disagree and others will form a whole new opinion. What matters is we’re all on the same page when it comes to moving BMX forward, so generations of kids can enjoy it, as we have done.