Supercross, Speedline, BMX … Bill Ryan!

July 2017

Supercross, Speedline, BMX … Bill Ryan!

July 2017

OK, we admit it … we’ve got a slight obsession with Supercross BMX and Speedline Parts! They’ve assembled a pro team that would make most green with ‘envy’, they’re at the cutting edge of product design in the sport, producing some drool inducing frames and parts plus they’ve built an SX track out back … The man pulling the strings, Bill Ryan, has been navigating the sport with his small little garage company’ for almost 30 years now and has probably forgotten more about the industry that most will ever know …

The team, the products, the industry, the sport … the future … we asked Bill Ryan

Anthony Dean Supercross BMX - Anthony Dean

15: I guess the question most would ask you straight away is how did your two latest rider deals come about? Most teams would be content with Dean but then out of the blue, Strombergs turns up … was the lure of the G.O.A.T. just too tempting to pass up? How does that work, does he call you, do you call him …?

Bill: Ha, funny you ask. I think the first time we spoke to Maris about Sponsorship was 2013. And we worked out our Speedline deal with him. Maris has always been a great friend and advocate of the brand. So, last year Maris came up to the shop and we were trying to work something out for 2017 and beyond.  Again, he has always been a great friend and loves the product, so we wanted to do something but then you have the root of all evil getting involved, money! We are still a small company, our roots are BMX and we don’t have a big corporation funding things, so the talks dissolved, but Maris and I still kept in touch. Then Maris called one day and said he really wanted to get on a carbon, and well … things happened. And poof … Maris and Dean on the Supercross ENVY BLK’s. I feel real blessed to have two of the top Elite Men in the World riding our bikes because they want to.

 

15: All of the frame and sponsorship theories that were floated after Maris posted images of the raw BLK frame where pretty entertaining … where you tempted to jump on any of those social media threads and shed some light? Would we be right in assuming that the frame Maris is riding is an off-the-shelf BLK?

Bill: Yea, it was funny seeing the bits and pieces on the internet. And as much as I wanted to say something, we knew what was going on so there was not the need to. We knew it was going to be revealed soon enough and that Maris’ posts were just fuelling the tinder for the firestorm that was about to happen. I honestly am real humbled that he chose our bike and turned down $$$ from others to ride what he wanted. And yes, he is riding the same frame you buy. An ENVY BLK XXL in the Matte Gun Metal / Red finish.

 

‘I don’t think you can ever be content … the BMX racer in you is always pushing and wanting the best.’

15: With just Dean and Strombergs on Supercross you have one of the hottest pro teams out there … then you add Mydock, who has been on the podium this year and Romero who is one of the raddest ‘A’ Pro’s out there, to name just a couple … are you still looking/always looking for riders at the top level or are you content right now?

Bill: Thanks, I love our little #BMXFamily … and I agree with you, I think it is one of the best teams out there. And I would love to say that the team will always stay the same but after 28 years of running the Supercross team you learn there is a constant evolvement. That doesn’t mean I am actively looking for any riders, lord knows we have our hands full with what we have, but you never know when or how we may see that something special and add a new player to the program, or life happens and we see one of our riders move on, or an old Family Member come back as they couldn’t stay away from racing. Example, at the start of this year Corey Salas was fired up and wanted to take the Rookie Pro title and had a vision and a goal, well he did one race and hung it up. He is a Police Officer in Burbank now and is on the way to his Adult career. And we have riders like Mikey B (Mike Swearengin) who was one of our co-sponsored Supercross Pro’s 8/9 years ago when he was getting on the Podium in Elite on one of our Cro-mo BOLT Race frames, who got settled in a career and now wants to race A Pro for fun and is back racing. Sorry, I think I went a bit off topic … but back to the original question, I don’t think you can ever be content … the BMX racer in you is always pushing and wanting the best.

 

See Anthony Dean’s interview & bike check with Fifteen BMX HERE

See KJ Romero’s interview & bike check with Fifteen BMX HERE

Rachel Mydock Supercross BMX - Korban Corbett

15: You must get inundated with sponsorship requests from all levels of riders … what are you looking for at amateur level, does it differ when compared to what you look for in your Pro’s? What advice would you give to young riders who are looking for sponsorship?

Bill: Wow, that is an understatement, I don’t think a day goes by any longer where we don’t get more sponsorship requests than we get regular sales calls. And that is a sad statement on the industry right now where EVERYONE thinks they have to be SPONSORED.  I don’t know what happened to our sport where everyone believes they deserve to be sponsored, it’s funny some of the calls we get, where people think that there is a RULE or a LAW that says we have to sponsor riders. They don’t realize that it is our CHOICE to decide to sponsor. This goes for all companies, not just our own. If we give you something as sponsorship, it is hard Cash $$$ out of our pocket to help you … you have to think of what you can do to help us earn that $$$ back. Because in the end, that’s what sponsorship is, advertising, and I can tell you, it is a lot less expensive to buy ads than it is to run a team. But … we do run a team as we do love trying to help others achieve their goals and their dreams. Back to topic … when we are looking at the Amateurs we are looking for someone who takes this seriously and has the potential to be one of the greats. Someone with staying power, a great rider, great attitude, potential and a great family.  As far as a bit of advice, always remain humble and remember that this is a sport you love to do, and you are doing it because of the love of the sport, not because you are hoping for free bikes, free uniforms, etc, etc. Remember when you are a sponsored rider, it becomes a job and you become a role model. So, make sure you treat it as that. Take care of your equipment, your uniform, present yourself in a professional manner at the track and in social media. And make sure you are at your local track helping the younger riders. It may seem a small thing, but goes a LONG way. We have looked at a few riders that checked off all the boxes, but they never wanted to show up for locals or help at the local tracks. Remember where you started kids.

 

15: Is there one rider that you look back on and think ‘I wish I could have put them on a Supercross’?

Bill: I feel very lucky to have had the riders we have had on the team, going all the way back to Billy Harrison, James Prichard, Todd Steen, Eric Jones all the way up to the current crop of riders including Maris, Anthony, Bubba and the crew. We have always had a great group. As far as a rider we would have liked to of gotten on the team but didn’t … I never really gave that any thought until you mentioned it, no regrets, but there are a few riders that I think had we gotten to have them in the program could have changed things, or just because we were great friends. I really wish we could have gotten Matt Hadan on the program in the mid 90’s before he got on Redline, he was always super cool and I would have loved to of done a Diesel Signature edition for him. And when he first came over from Australia, we tried talking to Sam Willoughby before he got on his tear and won everything. He used to room with Kris Fox and Mikey B when Kris was riding for us and working at the shop, so Sam was around a lot, and we thought it would have been cool. But with that said, I wouldn’t change anything about it as we may not be where we are today had we altered the past events.

 

15: We think Maris is your only rider going to the European Championships in France … will you have the full team, or most of them, in Rock Hill for the Worlds? The first Worlds in the US since 2001 must be a big deal for you guys?

Bill: Yes, Maris is the only Supercross BMX Factory Rider that will be at the Euro Champs, and we are hoping Gautier Jung from our Race Co/Supercross Team in France will be healed by then as well. We will also have quite a few of the BVC/Supercross riders there too. In the USA, the Worlds are not as big as people would think. A lot of people get excited at the idea of Worlds, but then find out the cost and back out. It is also not good for the Factory Teams as much as the riders are wearing their country’s uniforms rather than the Teams uniforms. The USA Program is so different from the rest of the world, it does separate the serious from the casual though. We will be there with a display and supporting our Factory Riders as much as we are allowed.

 

15: What do you mean by the ‘USA Program is so different to the rest of the world’? In a good, bad or just different way?

Bill: I don’t want to say good or bad … leave it as different. We don’t have a local CLUB program and very, very, very few tracks get the support of the Euro clubs, and the teams are either a Mfg sponsor, a bike shop sponsor or a local Mom or Dad putting together a team. So, the Worlds where it is a COUNTRY team and event, the USA is just thrown together from the riders that qualified to be at that event for that weekend. And you have a USA jersey you have to wear, I don’t know, it is just different. And different from what the riders are used to.

 

15: The tracks certainly seem different … after the Zolder Worlds we heard a lot of things like the ‘US riders had difficulty with the technical track’ …why is the approach to tracks in the US different to Europe for example?

Bill: I am not sure why the approach is different other than the way that the US parents seem to complain. We have our own USA BMX track, Apple Valley BMX , which is a public track in a city park, aside from our private test track at the shop, and every time we make a change to the track, our office is bombarded with calls about how it is so dangerous and we are trying to hurt their kids. We have even heard that other local tracks tell the parents that they can’t go to Apple Valley BMX Moto Park as it is an EXPERT track, which is so much BS. We have had a ton of fast riders come out of our track and they have done amazing on the world stage, the most recent ones are Brandon Crain and Bella Hammonds, but as you go back, Jeremy Rommel, Kris Fox, Jared Garcia, Mike Brabant, the list can go on and on. Old Schoolers will remember the name Bubba Griffiths as well. If you build a good track, and a challenging track the riders will progress and step their skill level up. It seems that the US is to worried about the “Helicopter” parents that worry their kid will get hurt. But it’s a sport, things happen. Challenge yourself, grow your skill set. The comfort zone is not your friend.

Maris Strombergs and Anthony Dean - Supercross BMX

15: The Envy BLK wasn’t Supercross’s first foray with carbon frames, you built one back in the early 90’s and briefly revisited the idea prior to the 2008 Olympics … why did you wait so long to revisit the concept?

Bill: When we first built our first Carbon frame in ’94 it worked great for racing purposes but not for dirt jumping. Carbon just wasn’t ready for the abuse that BMX was putting on it even though Road and MTB had already started to adopt. We looked at it again in 2001, but it still wasn’t ready and the few frames that were carbon from that Era were more of a novelty, they weren’t really a raceable frame, they were heavier than what was on the market in Aluminum or Cro-mo and offered no advantage. Then in 2005 we looked at it again when we first started working with Easton on the S7 frame but aluminum was still the superior material at the time, carbon hadn’t evolved enough yet. Luckily, carbon’s time has now truly come to be. We needed to make sure that it was not only light enough, stiff enough, but also strong enough and not a novelty but a true race material. Aluminum had to go thru the same process. The first aluminum race frames were jokes but once the science and metallurgy were right, BOOM it is awesome. And now the same has happened with Carbon.

 

15: We believe that due to the process of building the carbon BLK at the start that you were limited to producing only 1 or 2 a day … has the process been refined at this point? How many new BLKs emerge daily now?

Bill: It is a complicated process, that’s for sure. People think oh it’s a mold, it’s easy. But they don’t know how the layup has to go and how it is all done by hand to put the multiple layers of carbon in and on the molds and in the proper layup pattern to optimize strength and stiffness. I have seen a few injection molded carbon parts, which would be amazing the machine could spit it out like candy all day long, but that’s not what goes on with the carbon frames. And due to the amount of hand lay up work and precision of that, we are still very limited to 3-4 pcs per day.

 

15: Almost built to order then?

Bill: People think it is built to order, but we schedule production almost 6 months in advance. It is a very complicated layup and is very hands on … extremely labor intensive.

 

15: What’s in store for us when the Envy BLK V2 emerges? We assume it’s being developed …

Bill: Ha, loaded question. All our riders love the ENVY BLK and no one has asked for anything other than a few new sizes Expert XXL, Pro XXXL and Cruisers, but you know the way we do it at Supercross we are bike geeks and want to keep making things better. I can let you know that there are some real cool things working in Graphene and a few new carbon composites that are lighter, stiffer and stronger. But the problem is that comes at a cost and everyone is already terrified of the $1199 frame cost. But we have already started adding elements into the newer ENVY BLK’s by adding the Torray Titanium / Carbon in the dropout lay ups and Headtube lay ups. So, the Evolution has already started …

Supercross BMX 2017 - Supercross BMX

15: Even with all the carbon, we’re holding out for the Envy V6 … at the risk of stalling your sales on the V5 😊 can you hint at where the next alloy frame may go? On the subject of the Envy, what happened to V4?

Bill: Well thank you, the aluminum and cro-mo still have a place with their fans. I can tell you that at worlds we will be showing off the NEW ENVY, and the new ‘RS7′ is AMAZING!! We have taken all the feedback from our riders, support team riders, customers around the world and everyone has wanted an aluminum frame that is closer to the benefit of the carbon. And it has taken a solid 18 months of testing and refining to get the perfect balance, a fast launcher without killing your second and third pedal, stiff without riding like a board, All the riders who have seen it, ridden it say it is the best ENVY yet and is the closest you can get to Carbon without being carbon.

And the V4, well just like the new 7, we are skipping a few numbers as internally we have been rolling out running changes, similar to the ENVY BLK, it is an EVOLUTIONARY process and sometimes skips a model designation. It is funny though I have had a few people call up insistent that they have an Envy V4 and want replacement decals.

 

‘Challenge yourself … the comfort zone is not your friend.’

15: Well now you’re going to have to tell us more about the RS7 … new tube shapes? New geometry? Weight? New alloy grade? Euro BB? How do you achieve ‘a fast launcher without killing your second and third pedal’? We’re bike geeks too

Bill: No, the 7005 ULR taper-wall tubing we have been using for over a decade has proven to be an amazing material for BMX racing frames. The profiles have been refined for a lighter stiffer bike with its custom triple butting … but it is all about the small details and the refinements. And yes, it is a THREADED Euro BB, still the best and most universal BB for BMX.

 

15: What does the ‘RS’ in front of the 7 imply?

Bill: Well, I am personally tired of everyone copying us on the V2, V3 type of thing, the original 7 was the S7, and RS7 sounds oh so racy … not to mention the Audi RS7 is such a bad ass car, if I am not mistaken the current fastest production sedan in the world. The S7 was actually in honor of the Saleen S7, not to mention Scandium 7000 series … I could go on and on. But RACE SERIES 7, is probably the go to answer…

 

See the Supercross RS7 Press Release and frame images HERE

Supercross Envy RS7

15: Do you think Carbon will do to alloy what alloy did to steel? Even looking past frames and forks … we see it in cranks, rims, bars, seats and even hubs … is BMX now starting to catch up to the other cycling disciplines in terms of not just materials but technology?

Bill: Carbon is a great material, but I don’t think everyone should throw away all their aluminum for carbon on everything. You have to really look at the part you are trying to build and decide what is better, Carbon, Aluminum, Titanium, Cro-moly … There are better parts for the different parts. You can’t just look at one factor, you have to fully evaluate the part. But with that said, I do think we will be seeing more and more carbon for more items, much like how aluminum offered us new design advantages, carbon is doing a similar thing. On the old steel frames and even Titanium you were limited to tube size and shape, aluminum changed that and carbon revolutionized the design process. We are just scratching the surface, I am super eager to see how it evolves. It really has changed the game for design. I have so many ideas that I have been talking to the riders about …

 

15: It’s always interesting to see the new colour schemes and finishes you release, are they developed in house? Where do you draw your influences from?

Bill: Thank you, yes, it’s all done in house. I have been the main Engineer and Designer since 1989, we do all our Art, Ads, Graphics, etc … in house. We do have some great staff now that are carrying on the tradition, Melissa and Korban do amazing work, so proud to have both of them on board. We tried reaching out to a few outside firms in the past, but it never had the flavor I wanted or could do the timelines we needed. They were great designers, but we always had to do to much to make it ours. As far as Influence, there is so much, I love all racing (Moto, auto, F1, rally) and art that is passionate about it.

 

KJ Romero - Kirby Cronk

15: At the other end of the scale to the Envy range you have the Bubba Harris signature complete bike, the ‘Sprint’. What was the thought process behind that project? Is it available yet?

Bill: Yes, the new Sprint Series is the other end of the spectrum. The Original Supercross Sprint’s were built in 2009. And it was our entry level complete, we saw a problem back then that BMX was slowly dying as rider participation had been decreasing and part of that was due to the high cost of entry for a brand-new kid to start racing. Aside from your $65 membership, and your $250 uniform, you couldn’t take your $120 Walmart bike to the track and really experience what BMX was about, you had to have a $300-$500 bike to really be able to try the sport. And I don’t know how it is in Ireland, but most parents in the USA are not down to drop a quick grand on a sport to see if their kid likes it. You can do a season of Soccer for $60 at the park with a pair of $50 cleats and a $12 ball, same with Baseball, etc … BMX is the least expensive form of wheeled racing, but you still have to be ready to commit. And my thought was the cost of entry. Well the lovely CPSIA law crushed a lot of the project back then, but now we are going to give it another try. A full entry level race ready bike, $200 complete. Now it isn’t a Pro Level bike but has the Pro Level geometry and fitment. And Bubba is super behind it and with Bubba you really have one of the greatest, 3-time ABA #1 Pro, UCI World Champion, he knows what’s up. He is going to be riding the new Supercross Cro-mo race frame which we are basing the SPRINT off of at his Super Camp Clinics and the Rebel Run Camp where he is one of the Camp counselors. We are hoping this gets more kids the opportunity to enjoy our great sport and gets more kids racing and riding.

 

15: Can you convince Bubba to come out of retirement … do you think there is a Masters W1 plate in his future?

Bill: I wish we could get Bubba racing again but I honestly can say I don’t think I have heard him or seen him happier now with being a coach, riding for fun and just enjoying BMX. No stress on the titles, able to spend time with his wife and daughters and able to ride.  And I know he has said he won’t race Vet/Masters but I also know the competitive spirit in him, and you never know, he may show up on his cro-mo bike and flats and flip the doubles on the way to the title. Maybe that’s wishful thinking though … 

Anthony Dean Supercross BMX - Korban Corbett

15: Do you spend much time looking at your competitor’s products to see how they’re thinking? Have you ever looked and thought ‘why didn’t we think of that’?

Bill: I always take a look at what the competition is doing, but honestly my focus is so much on our products and making sure we are building the best, that I try to stay away from looking at our competitors when we are doing a design. I don’t want to be reactionary and change our design because someone else did something. I know it may sound egotistical but our focus and goal is our product and making sure we are building the best for our riders and customers. I have looked at other companies’ products and I am a fan of BMX, so there are always things that I look at and go, man, if I wasn’t doing our own brands, that is what I would ride. And there are also a tone of products that I look at and go, oh my god, I hope no one falls for that or buys that. I mean you have to be honest, there is some real garbage out there.

 

15: As well as ‘Supercross BMX’ you also have ‘Speedline Parts’ on the go … we’ve always been curious, why separate the brands out? Is it purely a business decision?

Bill: When we started doing the complete bikes, in 2007, we started the Speedline Parts line which was based upon the idea of affordable quality parts as there were some real garbage out there that was being based off as a NAME BRAND part. And we have been trying to stay true to the ethic of great quality at an affordable price, but the Bike Geek in me always takes the quality notch up a click or two … It is also a decision that, if you have a Redman bike, you don’t want to run a Supercross Fork, or if you have a HARO bike use a Supercross saddle as they are competing brands. Friendly competition, but competing brands nonetheless, so Speedline is a parts only brand, and is neutral that way. When Maris rode for Free Agent, he could run Speedline Parts, but if we had sponsored him with Supercross parts there was no way Free Agent would have let that happen. So, it is a business decision.

 

15: With the two separate companies … what defines what is a Supercross stem or a Speedline one and why are the bars Supercross and not Speedline?

Bill: Originally the Supercross line up was Frame, Fork, Bar, Crank, that was the original plan in 1989. Then it started to evolve to have a Seatpost, and then a stem, and then a Hub, then a seat. But we have started pairing it back, and the Speedline parts are anything new that is not a Frame. We are letting the Supercross parts continue along with what was existing and let them evolve, but newer parts are Speedline. And the Bars go back to the original philosophy of Frame, Fork, Bar, Crank.

 

15: Is there one product you look back on and just think ‘we nailed that … 100%’?

Bill: Every single part before we release it to the public. No half assing things around here. Most the time we go back though and go, crap, we could have done this better. Or done that better, and that’s how things evolve. But we have NEVER introduced a product and gone, well it’s 80% there, lets ship it. It is always 100% what we think is the best.

Sammy Cools Supercross BMX - Provided by Supercross BMX

15: Supercross is rapidly approaching its 30th anniversary, 2019, right? Do you have any big plans to mark it … are there projects in the works that will surprise everyone, will Dean be riding something special in Tokyo? You may have two there, Maris says it’s still a possibility!

Bill: I know, you are making me feel old. 30 years of this. Scary thing is it feels like yesterday. I still love building the best BMX bikes and parts we can, going to the races and helping the riders. I have caught myself a few times in the past year or so though sounding like the old man, going man remember in 91 when we …. And then have to look at the rider like Anthony and go, man, you weren’t even born yet. HA, it’s funny to think that we have been doing this as longer than most of the Elites are old.  Even scarier when I try to reference what I think is fairly modern times of 2003 or so to someone like Justin Seitz or Bella Hammonds talking about the riders we had then, and thinking well that was just a few years ago, but having to realize it was 15 years ago. Strange.  And you know Dean and Maris will be on something special for Tokyo … they will be on their Supercross, how much more special can you get. 

 

‘We have never introduced a product and gone, well it’s 80% there, lets ship it. It is always 100%’

15: We hear lots of talk about ‘the industry is in a downturn’ and ‘there are too many frame manufactures in the sport’ … from your unique perspective, what are your thoughts?

Bill: As you can see already I am pretty long winded and opinionated, do you really want to get me started on this? The Industry really is in a downturn, it is not just BMX it is all forms of cycling, I called it out 20 years ago when the Industry mags and the bike shops started giving up on BMX, and the companies like Trek, Giant, Specialized all walked away from BMX.  I told them then that they need to keep kids on Bikes. And that the Adult market would suffer if you don’t support and keep kids on BMX bikes. I always echoed what Rich Long from GT taught me, cradle to grave.

And I truly believe that the industry in a cash grab, gave up on the youth market which killed BMX and is now causing the adult market to suffer. Rich long would have never let that happen, he was the largest BMX and Kids on Bikes Advocate. I wish I had deep enough pockets to do what he had done for some of that. And I wish that those that do have deep enough pockets realized this and understood it before it was too late.

Then add in that there is way, way too many brands in BMX for the number of riders that no one is able to generate enough income to help the industry sustain and grow. But I am not going to be a hypocrite, we started as a small garage company, and still are a small little garage company, our garage has just grown and we added a UCI replica track in the backyard. Everyone is entitled to their dream of having their own company.  I wish them all luck, just hope that they all realize you can’t just take, you have to give back to the well or it will run dry.

Jared Garcia Supercross BMX - Provided by Supercross BMX

15: You’ve obviously been involved in the sport for a long time, what are your thoughts on the evolution of BMX, clips, the 8m hill, the Olympics … and now the Olympic gender balance for 2020 … where would you like to see the sport to go?

Bill: Well I will try to keep the opinion to a minimum, I know so many people love to bicker, but the sport evolves, everything evolves, I am sure in other sports there are the hold outs as well, but I think in BMX as it has splintered and grown, it is a louder voice. On Clips, you know what, I am not a fan, BUT, it is part of the progression. I truly believe that learning to ride on Flat Pedals is an advantage even when running clips. If you can learn to use your muscles to pull the pedal without clips, you will be even more efficient with clips. On the 8m hill, when it first got brought in we were like WHOA! but those who remember the old Corona Track, the Norco track (both So Cal Legendary tracks) all had Gnarly downhill starts, the Vans Triple Crown that Magoo put on had a crazy start, the first Dew Tour with the Ski Jump start hill, as much as people think it is a circus sideshow now if it is safe and gets eyes on the racing, then it’s great. We built an 8m hill here at the shop, and people say it’s too big, but we have had 8-year-old kids bomb down it with no issues, they actually have less fear of it than some of the A pros that show up. Should it be a mandatory thing, no, but I don’t think it should be banned either. I would like the tracks to be a bit different and give a variety for the rider. Keep everyone challenged, and make sure they enjoy riding. After all, that’s the main thing. Keep BMX fun. And as far as the Olympics….well I have quite the opinion on that, I think it opened up the world to look at BMX as it was now an Olympic Sport,  everyone hoped it would get great television exposure and that the sport would grow, but we didn’t, and we haven’t gotten the exposure, and the mentality of riding because it is fun and what you want to do, to having the parents of the 8 year old kids tell us how Lil’ Johnny is going to the OLYMPICS and having the kids on Ritilin and Redbull at 10 or on Creatin at 8 because they have to win, they have to make the Olympic team, has really ruined that side of it for me. The National teams, and how the riders are racing less because they have to recover and peak at the right times, how they can’t do this or do that, the Elitestness, that’s not what BMX was about, and I think the kids that are having the most fun right now are the kids that are racing and riding because they enjoy it, not because their Mom or Dad want them on the Olympic team. Olympics only come around once every 4 years, BMX is a daily sport. So yea, it’s cool. Our sport is in the Olympics. And I will be watching and cheering as it is a BMX race. But the other 1460 days in between, guess what we will be at a track riding, cheering and having fun too. And the Gender balance, I get it, we are in a PC world now days. And the girls are rad, and I want them to have their shot at it, but when you have 176 elite Men and only 45 Elite Women signing up for Zolder, you can see there is not an equality there, but the Olympics force it now with equal rider counts for men and women. I don’t know what the FAIR way is, but I don’t think it is fair this way. And again, I am all for the Women’s Racing, we have been a huge supporter and have supported Women in BMX for years, our Team Manager is one of the greatest Women Racers Kim Hayashi, … but when you say 24 Men / 24 Women well … you are taking 50% the women that sign up and 12% of the men.  I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like we are going to get the best of all the BMX racers in the world showing up for the Olympics now. Especially when you divide it up by country and limit how many go per country as well. I always thought the Olympics were the best of the best, and now it dilutes that even more. I mean how about this, you have the UCI World Cup Series, do 8 races, and the top 24 Men and the top 24 Women at the end of the series go regardless of country, and that might get me a bit more onboard, but when you tell me that it is going to be 24 men and 24 women and each country has a Maximum of 2 spots and certain countries get riders due to the “Rules” when they might not even be in the top 60 in the rankings, I don’t know, seems like too many “Rules” any more. Lets just get on the tracks and ride. I don’t care what country you are from, or if you are male or female, the Olympics is supposed to be the BEST of the BEST.

Now where do I want to see the sport go?? My dream would be for their to be a track in every public park so every kid who wants to can ride. I want to see BMX become more of a lifestyle where it isn’t based around the Training so much as the riding and the fun and comradery of it all. Programs like Rebel Run where Bubba is coaching is rad, the way that Apple Valley BMX does movie night for the kids, the Donny Robinson Beginner League, these are all huge things for the sport and we need more of these. And we need to get kids on bikes. Let them enjoy what we know is so great.

 

15: On another note … we believe you use to or maybe still do, hang out with the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janes Addiction and Fugazi to drop a few names … art director huh? Tell us that cool story! Flea doesn’t have an Envy in his garage, does he?

Bill: Ha, those are and were fun days. It was strange being a part of the team that won the MTV music award for Website design, and going on tour with some of these guys. I still have a lot of close friends in the Music side and it is still a deep passion for me. It is so funny as they all love to ride and acknowledge BMX, but they don’t understand this world.  But the Music side is a whole ‘nother interview …

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Supercross BMX Envy BLK and Envy 5