Ride UK Classics: Tommy Dugan Interview | Ride UK BMX

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Ride UK Classics: Tommy Dugan Interview

Tom really wanted to jump this wedge to wedge gap, but he just couldn’t pedal fast enough to clear it. The solution? Get towed in by a motorcycle. According to Brian on the Kawasaki there, they topped out at around 50 MPH. That’s pretty terrifying, especially considering it was about 40 degrees out at 8:30

AM (when the traffic was light and lighting conditions were favourable). There’s really nothing quite like getting pulled by a motorcycle on a 20” bike at near-freezing temperatures shortly after daybreak. Tom is a trooper, there’s no doubt about it.

Go Fast or Go Home
A Talk With Tommy Dugan

Tom Dugan is quite possibly the most carefree individual I’ve ever encountered. He pretty much does what he wants to when he wants to, and he just about always has fun doing it. He’s loud, obnoxious, fearless, and often naked, and I’d say 99% of what comes out of his mouth is designed solely to get a rise out of whoever happens to be around him. In a lot of ways, Tom really is just a little kid trapped in a slightly larger kid’s body.

Reading over his interview, I worry that people might get the wrong impression of Tom – to be honest, I feel like he may come across as a bit of a jerk in the text. You’ll have to trust me on this one, though – he’s not. The key to understanding Tom Dugan is knowing that he is never, ever serious. While he is undoubtedly supremely confident, he’s in no way, shape, or form cocky – he just thinks it’s really funny to pretend that he is.

The other thing you need to know about Tom is that he really is a joy to watch ride a bike – his riding is fast, confident and most of all, substantially higher than everyone else. Tom goes big, all the time, and let me tell you – it’s awesome.

– Walter Pieringer

Roof drop to rail manual. It makes me very happy that four of the photos in Tom’s interview involve roofs.

Tom gapped from the top of the stairs, over the pointless metal gate, and into the hill. Don’t let the slow shutter or the light from the flashes fool you – it was just about pitch-black dark when he did this. Like I said before, Tom is fearless

Walter: Well let’s start out with some basics here. . . . gimme your name, age, hometown, and present location.
Okay. Is my hometown Austin, or is it Kansas?

Walter: Well I suppose it’d be Kansas, but Kansas isn’t a town.
Okay, fuck, Wichita, Kansas; 21; Tommy Dugan; Austin, Texas.

Walter: Out of order, but it’s okay. Why’d you move to Austin?
To ride bikes.

Walter: Think you’ll ever move back to Kansas?
Yeah I plan on moving there at the end of the month.
No, never again in my fucking life will I ever be there longer than a holiday.

Walter: Why?
Yeah. I don’t even know. I just need to be in Austin I guess, or somewhere that’s not Kansas. I’m a big city boy. I ain’t no bitch-ass Kansan. At least not any more, because I’m still Kansan, I grew up there.

Brian McAnulty: Biggest influences? Tony Hamlin, Chase Hawk, Joe Rich, and everybody I live with.
Walter: Let’s talk about who you live with for a minute. I live with Joseph, Brian, Cody, Cassie, and Raven, and they’re cool.

Walter: They’re all from Kansas, correct?
Yeah, they’re all from Kansas.

Walter: So a large portion of the Wichita BMX scene has just kind of migrated down to Austin?
Yeah, pretty much everybody that rode together in Wichita, we all moved here.

Walter: Cool, how’s that going?

This turndown gap required a pretty serious late-night spot-modification mission. The new tenants of this office building have tried to discourage bike riding on their property by re-barring cement parking blocks along the bases of their lovely asphalt banks. Undeterred, Tom, Joseph, Brian, and I crept onto the premises late one evening, armed with a big hammer and donning ski masks and scarves over our faces so as to not be identified on the new CCTV cameras now mounted all around the building. It was completely ridiculous – we looked like we were about to rob a bank or something. We couldn’t have possibly looked any shadier, and I can’t even begin to imagine what the pedestrians we passed while walking over there thought was about to happen to them. In any case, after about 15 minutes of hard labour hammering, prying, and tugging at the parking block, we finally liberated the spot and escaped before anyone had a chance to report us to the FBI. The next afternoon, Tom cranked this turndown over the barrier and into the road.

Walter: What’s the worst part about living in this house?
It takes about two hours for the trash to get full. I don’t even use the dishes because they gross me out; I use disposable shit, but the sink fills up within about an hour or two, and tables always have a bunch of shit on them.

Walter: So would you say you’re a bit of a clean freak?
Yes, I love to clean a lot.

Walter: How do you feel when things are dirty?
It just stresses me out, like I can’t relax in a room, like this room that we’re in right now I’m just sitting here not being able to relax because there’s so much fucking shit on the table. . . . there’s eight fucking bowls, two fucking plates, fucking five cups, a jug of fucking Minute Made, a couple of allen wrenches, and a wrench.

Walter: It seems like living in a house with a bunch of people wouldn’t be the best situation for a clean freak.
Yeah, that’s what you’d think. But I mean, cleaning’s fun, and Joseph cleans a lot too, but as long I got my room, my room’s clean and my bed’s made, I’m good.

Walter: So you’re a clean freak, yet from what I understand you don’t shower very frequently. Could you talk about the contradiction there?
I like to have everything real organized and clean at my house, but me, I don’t really sweat that much, and I don’t really give a fuck if I look clean, so I just run it raw, shower once a week, and clean my house a lot.

Walter: So how often do you actually take a shower?
Depends. Right now, once a week. Fridays. Well, I didn’t shower on Friday, so I don’t remember when I showered last. In the summer it’s a bit more because it’s hot. Actually, no, a bit less because you swim. You don’t even need to shower.

Walter: Interesting. So then what’s the best part about living here?
You don’t have to go anywhere to do anything; you can just take shits in the living room with everybody, and they’re there.

Walter: Speaking of taking shits in public places, didn’t you poop in an Olive Garden restaurant one time?
Yeah, I pooped at the table that we were sitting at because they’re too expensive, and it tasted like shit, so I just took a shit right off my chair while everyone was eating.

Walter: Yikes. Um, how’d that smell?
It smelled really bad. Then I grabbed the fork and picked up a couple of turds and put them on the plate that my food was on. Then as we were leaving we saw the waiters find it, and it was really funny.

Walter: How would you describe their reaction? What’s a better word for surprised? More than surprised?
Dumbfounded and shocked and flabbergasted and appalled. All of them in one. I don’t think they’ve ever seen shit in the restaurant on the floor before.

Walter: I would hope not. Are there any other public shit stories you’d care to share with us?
I shit in the mall once.

Walter: Not in the bathroom I assume?
No, in the little lobby area, I just shit on the carpet.

Walter: Were there a bunch of people watching?
Not a bunch of people, but there was an older couple looking at me from a balcony. Other than that, I don’t know. I was shittin’.

Walter: What possessed you to do that?
Just EMF, Eat My Fuck, this little video we made whenever I was younger. Just shittin’ everywhere pretty much.

Walter: Okay, what can you tell me about Eat My Fuck?
Um, I don’t know, just being a dumbass little kid, trying to rip off CKY I guess, just shittin’ and running around I guess, that’s really all we did, was take shits. There were like eight turds in that whole movie, eight shits.

Walter: Is this online anywhere?
I think it might be on YouTube if you search around. . . .

Walter: The world needs to see this.
It’s pretty fuckin’ dumb.

Walter: How old were you when you made it?
16 or 17. No, I got my fifth ticket in it, so 16.

Walter: Well let’s talk about tickets for a minute then.
What’s there to talk about?

Walter: You tell me buddy.
Uh, I just got my 40th ticket last night.

The venerable Ryan Corrigan tailwhipped this transitioned roof many years ago, but as far as I know no one’s touched it since. So, Tom, some of his fellow Kansans, and I lugged a landing ramp up there so he could transfer from the roof, over a 10’ gap, and onto said landing ramp. From there, he only had about 50 feet worth of wet asphalt shingles to bring himself to a halt before flying off the side of the roof and onto the concrete below. I’m really not sure he would have been okay without Brian there to tackle him just before he slid off the edge and into oblivion. Then we finished off the afternoon with a 40 MPH chase in my minivan – in reverse – from a vigilant churchgoer who seemed quite determined to hunt us down and bring us to justice. . . But that’s a whole other story.

Walter: Oh, nice! Did you celebrate?

Yeah, celebrated, the big 4-0. Lordy lordy look who got 40! We did the math, since I was able to drive when I turned 16, I’ve spent over $6000 on tickets in the last five years.

Walter: That sounds pretty reasonable.
Last time we talked it was 28, wasn’t it?

Walter: I don’t know, it was a lot. Do you have any explanation for how you’ve managed to keep your driver’s licence with 40 tickets?
Just pay them. Fuck defensive driving, you just gotta pay them on time.

Joseph Franz: Tell them about the first ticket you ever got.
I got a ticket within four hours of having my licence. Reckless driving.

Walter: Imagine that. I remember driving with you one time, from Austin to Wichita, and before we were even out of Austin city limits you’d gotten pulled over twice.
Yeah. I just go fast, I don’t know.

Walter: Later that evening, I remember sitting in the back of your car, you’re driving about 85 MPH, and you have this CD holder thing in your visor, and you’re looking for a CD, and all of a sudden we’re just in the grass, doing 85 MPH. From your reaction, I got the impression that things like that happen on a regular basis.
I mean, it’s just fun to off road every once in a while, and if it happens on accident it’s just that much more fun, because you have to get out of it without eating shit.

Walter: Do you have insurance?
Yeah! Surprisingly. I’m still on my parents’ insurance, so it’s pretty cheap, I’m lucky enough for them to pay it right now.

Walter: That’s awesome. What’s your family like?
Ummm. . . . . good? I don’t know, I don’t really fit in with them.

Walter: Why whatever do you mean?
I don’t know, I can’t explain it.

Walter: Who do you fit in with, Tom?
Ummm, my roommates I guess. And people who. . . . I don’t know!

Walter: Tom Dugan, lost for words for the first time in his life.
It’s been a hectic day.

Joseph: What other activities do you enjoy besides riding your bike?
Riding motorcycles, playing the piano, pogo-sticking, and scootering around the house. And I like to film and make stupid-ass Internet videos.

Walter: What’s the link to your Vimeo page?
I don’t know, I think it’s just vimeo.com and then Tom Dugan or something.

Walter: Well we’ll figure it out and just pretend like you knew it or something.
Okay. [Editor’s note: It’s vimeo.com/user2143369]

Walter: How did your nickname come about?
Just because I’ll pull my dick out, and I’m not scared of it. Sometimes people just need to see it.

Walter: Why do they need to see it?
I don’t know, like, if a car almost hits you, and they flip you off, like it was your fault, you just gotta pull your dick out, and then it’s their fault.

Walter: I’m not sure I grasp your logic, but it’s okay.
Yeah, it’s kind of if you’re in the moment, it just works out perfect.

Walter: For those who don’t know, what exactly does it mean to “swoop the dang dang”?
Well it means that at the fucking drop of a hat you can have your dick and balls out for anybody to see swinging around in a helicopter motion. It’s like, it doesn’t even matter if you have a big dick or a little dick if you’re swooping it because you’re swinging it around so fast that nobody can even see what’s going on, they just know your dick and balls are out and they’re like “ahhhhhh!”

Walter: How do you feel about the nickname?
It’s good. It’s easier to remember than Tom I guess. Apparently.

Walter: There are a lot of Toms. Not as many Dang Dangs.

Cody Nutter: What’s your most memorable swoop?
I was in Austin for the first time, and there was this crack lady trying to sell us crack. I was in the passenger seat of a car with the window down; she said something dumb, and I just showed her my dick. She just started swinging in at me; she got probably four or five good solid hits in on my face and head before my friend stopped laughing and drove off. Nick Stout. Thanks Nick. That’s actually the trip where the nickname came from.

Marcus Walker: How big are you?
Three and a half.

Marcus: Is that hard or soft?
Hard and soft. It doesn’t change.

Walter: Where do you work?
I work at Peter Pan Miniature Golf. 36-hole put-put course.

Tom loves riding the T1 ramp. I suppose if I rode that thing like he does, I’d love it too. Big nac nac.

Walter: The other day, I called you and asked what you were doing. You told me, “Just hanging out at work watching Saw III.” How hard are you actually working up there?
In the winter, it gets super fucking slow. And scary movies usually scare me really bad, so if I watch them at work in the middle of the day, then they’re not as scary. During the winter, I usually chill pretty hard. Except for today, somebody shit on the toilet, not in it, on it, and I had to clean it up.

Walter: Karma’s a bitch, huh?
Yeah, I didn’t even think about that. But this was like a gross, soft turd.

Walter: Yeah, your turds aren’t gross at all.
Well I only poop like once a week so they’re like solid black death balls.

Walter: Yuck. Why do you only poop once a week?
Well I can only poop if I’m at home. . . .

Walter: Or in a really public place?
Well yeah, that didn’t make sense. . . . I meant that public restrooms gross me out really bad, so if I’m not pooping on something, I can usually only poop at home. I don’t know, all I eat really is cereal, and it just doesn’t make shit.

Walter: Name six foods that you eat on a regular basis.
Marshmallow Mateys, Colossal Crunch, Slices and Ices, Uncrustables, Dr. Pepper, Chick Fillet.

Walter: I don’t know what two-thirds of that stuff is.
The first two were cereals, like off-brand huge-ass bags of cereal. Uncrustables are pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that come in a box.

Walter: Nice. Do you feel like you’re generally a healthy person?
A healthy person? I mean, I ain’t no bitch. I’m not gonna sit around and say I feel like shit; I feel healthy. And I’m skinny as a toothpick, so I’m sure it’s good.

Tom and five of his best friends from Kansas live in this house in suburban Austin. Apparently their neighbors aren’t too fond of them – imagine that! Transfer off the quarter onto the roof.

For whatever reason, Tom just loves gapping to flat. This particular gap to flat, which required first hopping over a foot-tall ledge, he did three times first thing of the day and about two minutes after getting out of the car. He made it all the way into the grass, so at least he had a bit of cushion when he landed. . . .

Walter: You got a new kitty the other day, how’s that going?
It’s good; his name’s Felix. The only bad part is I pissed all over him. I was pissing in the toilet, and he ran and jumped on it, and spread out across it. . . . it was gross morning piss, and I don’t drink any water, so my piss is already pretty gnarly, and it was morning piss, and I had a boner because it was the morning, so I couldn’t stop the pee, not that the boner had anything to do with it, but I was just pissing all over him, for like 15-20 seconds, it was a while.

Walter: He didn’t move?

Cody: But you gave him a bath, right?
Yeah, with hand soap, in the sink.

Walter: Why don’t you drink any water?
Because it tastes like shit.

Walter: It doesn’t taste like anything.
Which is shit, because nothing is shit. And you can get all the good that comes from water out of Dr. Pepper, and it tastes good, instead of nothing.

Marcus: As you’re scared of water, what’s the colour of your piss?
It looks a little bit like Hi-C, yellow/orange, smells like a dead goat, something bad. I piss toxic waste.

Cody: How come your phone number’s on the back of your car?
Because I know how to drive like a fucking man and it stresses some people out, and they need to call me and try to bitch me out, and they always threaten me and shit. Like they could catch me.

Walter: Any good stories about people calling you over road rage?
Someone called me after I cut them off and asked me if I was driving a green car, and I was like “No I let my roommate borrow it.” And then he added onto the story so much, like thinking I was going to get all pissed at my supposed-roommate; he was like “he just cut me off and almost ran me into the barrier and I’m calling the cops on him right now.” I just cut his ass off and fucking took out of there.

Marcus: Would you say you’re a good driver?
I’d say that I’m the best driver I’ve ever met or seen.

Marcus: Every time we’re out on the street or in your car, we always get in some road rage, or you’re walking down the street, some car will beep at you and you’ll stop, punch the car, hit the car, and the other day you got your wonger out. . . . what makes Tom Dugan tick?
Um,I don’t know….

Cody: How’s it make you feel when the average frat dude comments about your pants?
I love the compliments.

Walter: In general you seem to have a pretty short temper with the general public. What do you think the reason is behind that?
Um, I don’t know, I’ll give them a fair chance, but when somebody pisses me off, if I look at them and they look like a complete fucking idiot, then I gotta hit their car or yell at them or swoop them or something. I just can’t handle it; there’s too many idiots out there.

Walter: You ever been beat up?

Walter: I actually find it a little shocking you’ve never been beat up; would you agree?
Yeah, I get asked that quite a bit actually. People usually know not to fuck with me.


Walter: How much do you weigh, Tom? 123 pounds.

Walter: I wouldn’t fuck with you.
I mean, I’m six-foot, so….

Fabian Venegas: How many times have you been to jail?
I’ve been to jail three times for doing one thing wrong. I got arrested for riding down the sidewalk on UT campus. Out of six people I was the only one who got arrested, and everyone else got Taco Bell coupons. I got taken to jail. I didn’t have a cent on me or my phone, so not only did I have to spend the night in jail, I also had to walk home six or seven miles. And then I went back twice because my lawyer flaked out on going to court for me.

Walter: That sucks.
Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t that big of a deal. For him. [Laughter]

Walter: How did jail treat you?
It was really cold, and people called me Goldilocks.

Walter: Wow. How did you feel about getting called Goldilocks while incarcerated?
I was glad I wasn’t going to be in there for long! Sharing those showers and shit. . . .

Walter: Gnarly.

Will Blount : Future goals outside of BMX?
Whoa. [Laugher] You know, get into a good school, get a good full-time job with health benefits, get a nice car, two cars and house with a wife and some kids. [Everyone laughs]

Cody: What are your actual goals?
To never have a kid. That’s a big goal of mine.

Pocket toboggan transfer from the 8’ quarter at right all the way into the vert wall on the left.

Tom jumped off this bus at an old folk’s home right by his house, but he wasn’t satisfied with it. He told me he thought he could 180 it. . . . Rolling backwards down that hill seemed like a horrible idea to me, but if Tom thought he could do it, I wasn’t going to argue with him. Nonetheless, I wasn’t entirely surprised when his first attempt sent him flipping over backwards onto his head. Now slightly less confident in his ability to successfully 180 it, he turned me to me for advice. I suggested he 360 it – that way he wouldn’t have to deal with all that high-speed backwards nonsense. He pulled it first try, and then he told me it was the biggest thing he’d ever three’d off. Way to go Tom!

Walter: Why?
Because your life’s over as soon as you have a kid.

Walter: Hopefully one day your kid reads this. “Dad?”
He won’t have a dad. He’ll be a bastard.

Walter: Do your parents know you have a motorcycle?
Shit. Nah. It’s Brian’s as far as they know. My dad would be stoked, but I don’t want my mom stressing.

Walter: They didn’t know about the scooter either, did they?
No, they don’t know about shit!

Walter: Did they ever see your Props bio?
Nah, I wanted to show them because I was excited, but I couldn’t because I talked about all my tickets and shit, and I don’t want my mom to hear me talking about my dick.

Walter: Are they going to read this interview?

Walter: Maybe I’ll send them a copy.
Fuck that.

Walter: They might be psyched to see their son in print, with his words of wisdom and whatnot. With my terrible fucking English and talking about my dick.

Walter: Tommy Dugan, the future of America. Well alright then. You want to thank anybody?
Nah, fuck that. [Laughter] Nobody cares about that shit. Joe Rich I guess, he’s hooking it up. Other than that eat shit. I guess I should thank you, you hooked this up, so thank you Walter.

Walter: You’re welcome Tom.
Alright, then everybody after that can eat shit.

Joseph: Thanks.
Nobody wants to read that shit. “Oh who the fuck did this idiot thank?”

The end…


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