Caroline Buchanan Bike Check

Friday, March 27, 2020


Take a closer look at 8x BMX & MTB World Champion and 2x Australian Olympic Athlete, Caroline Buchanan's new setup. She niceeeeeee!

Photos by : John Prutti

Frame : Speed Co Velox Carbon Frame | Frame size: Pro
Fork : Avian Versus Tapered Carbon Forks 20mm
Stem : Box Two Front Load Stem
Bars : Box One Cromo Triple Taper Bars
Grips : ODI Sprinkles Lock-on Grips
Cranks : Box Two M30-P Crankset | Size : 175
Pedals : T Components T1-SX Pedals
Sprocket : Michram Industries Chainring | Size : 46/17
Seat and Post : Box One Saddle / Post
Seat Clamp : Box One Quick Release Seat Clamp
Brake Lever : Box One Genius Brake Leaver
Brakes : Box One Brake Arms
Brake Pads : Avian Carbon Brake Pads
Rims : Michram Industries Carbon Rims
Front Hub : Box Components 20mm Hollow Front Hub
Rear Hub : Onyx Ultra Rear Hub
Tires : Maxxis Torch Tires 1.75











Special Notes:
Graphic wrap by Magik Graphics


Support Your Park Part 4: Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex

Thursday, March 26, 2020
There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it's hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather,  it's important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we're fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.

In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don't believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they're looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.

Today I'm introducing to you Part 4: Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark

Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex
171 Tradition Trail #207, Holly Springs, NC 27540, United States
Represented by Owner Daniel Dhers
Support: Purchase Gift Cards



How did Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex come to be, its history, significance, etc?

Daniel Dhers: I opened the park in 2014. I was living in Greenville, NC riding and managing the Animal House (Mirra’s private facility), I wanted to move to a bigger city and have more options for travel and ended up finding the building I'm at, in a suburb of Raleigh called Holly Springs. I decided to make it a park open to the public because it made sense to me to try to get more people into action sports.

With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. As an owner, what's going through your mind right now and how is your team?

Daniel DhersI just keep thinking about how I'm going to pay the bills. It’s tough because skateparks aren’t the easiest business out there, you do it because you love it and not because of the profit. Having to close down it’s certainly a big hit to us - I guess my biggest worry at this point is that I don’t know how long will this last and how are we going to support ourselves.


Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn't a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You're probably looking to bank as much as possible before attendance declines in the summer. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation - or maybe you're doing ok?

Daniel Dhers: I think the whole year is crunch time for us. This time of the year we are usually pretty busy before we go into the slower spring and certainly it helps us to stay afloat. Summers do OK thanks to camps. Certainly having to close down for “who knows how long” is a bit nerve-wracking. (How much money do you expect to lose?) Certainly enough to put us behind the bills. We had a camp for next week and lessons for the remainder of March and they all got canceled, it’s definitely tough.

Currently is there any support from the government as a small business owner, maybe within your city or even your landlord?

Daniel Dhers: All the government is offering at the moment is low-interest loans. I wish small businesses could be bailed out just how airlines are asking to be. I'm in talks with my landlord about options on what to do on these unprecedented times.


How can we support you right now?

Daniel Dhers: Right now we have a link to gift cards, where they could be used for anything related to the park-like sessions, lessons, rentals, snacks, etc. I don’t have an option of privately renting out the facility, I think the tough part about offering that option is being responsible with social distancing at this point in time but let’s wait and see if we could start offering that. Skateparks are really tough businesses and if there’s any way you can help us by buying a gift card to use when we are open again I would seriously appreciate it! Thank you so much!

Please support your park by sharing this article, and buy a gift card if you can.
Shred when they open, even if it's warm out.
#SupportYourPark

Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed until 2021 - Reactions

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
On Monday, March 22, 2020, Canada became the first nation to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Later that day, the Australian Olympic Committee advised Australian athletes to prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in the northern summer of 2021.

"The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring. While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community." - The Canadian Olympic Committee



On the withdrawal and now the postponement, we asked Canadian Elite BMX Racer Drew Mechielsen on her thoughts

“Now that Tokyo has officially been postponed, all of this is a little bit easier to process. That being said, when I first read the email that I received on Sunday night that informed me, Team Canada would not compete at the Olympics this year, I was crushed. I am not even a qualified athlete (as we are still in process). But the past four years have been put towards trying to get myself there and it was a hard pill to swallow. After giving myself a few days to let it sink in, I recognize that this move by the COC was only to protect their athletes, staff and spectators. It was a big move by team Canada to put the pressure on the IOC to have the Olympics delayed and I respect them being the first ones to take that step. After an emotional 24 hours, I’m going to do my best to keep moving forward (while being isolated) until there is a distinct plan in place for what comes next! One day at a time.” - Drew Mechielsen

On March 24, 2020, a joint statement between the IOC and The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee stated: "In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."Read the full statement here.

Photo by Naoki Gaman
So what do some of the athletes in freestyle and racing think?

"I’m glad the athlete's safety is a concern and we have had incredible support to help deal with these stressful times. As for how to deal with it, I’m just going to keep training like normal and trying to keep my head clear of anything that would be distracting "  - Hannah Roberts

2 x Olympic Gold Medalist Mariana Pajon
"Una de las más grandes cualidades que tenemos los deportistas es saber adaptarnos a cualquier situación y esta no es la excepción. En mi opinión personal los Juegos Olímpicos pasan a un segundo plano cuando vemos lo que está viviendo el mundo, pienso que la salud y el bienestar de todos es hoy la prioridad y aplazar estas justas fue una sana decisión. Sé lo que implica esto y estoy muy agradecida por todo el esfuerzo realizado por @tokyo2020 y por @olympics para tener todo listo para nosotros y se que pronto disfrutaremos de estos Juegos y de todo lo que ha hecho Japón por unos Olímpicos inolvidables. Por ahora queda seguir cuidándonos y preparándonos como podamos desde casa y así saldremos de esta mucho más rápido. Esta competencia que tenemos hoy no implica enfrentarnos unos y otros, sino que esta la ganamos todos unidos. Cuando se llegue el momento indicado para salir a darlo todo en Tokio sin poner a nadie en riesgo, estaré lista y preparada para representar a mi país #Al100" - Mariana Pajon

Photo by Naoki Gaman
"With so much uncertainty in the world right now and everyone taking it day by day, I think the IOC made the right choice in postponing the games. Of course, it’s a bit disappointing knowing an event we have been working towards the last few years won’t be happening when we thought, but all I see it as is a chance to train even more and get even better before the big show!" - Nikita Ducarroz

Photo by Naoki Gaman
"I believe it is the right decision to postpone The Olympics. It’s upsetting, but at the same time, I’m happy the health of the athletes is being taken seriously. Some peoples training has been affected during this pandemic and I don’t feel it would be fair to continue as scheduled under these circumstances." -  Perris Benegas

Photo by Tomas Fuentes
"I think is the right thing to do, not just for taking care of athletes health, for consideration of those who have nothing to ride, back in Chile everything is on lock-down. California is the same thing. Not all of us are lucky to have a private park to ride at and get ready for the Olympics. Nothing changes, but the time that the Olympics are going to happen, to get this time we are losing on training and good sessions. Hopefully, everything gets back to normal soon." - Maca Perez

USA Elite Women Brooke Crain

"Although this whole pandemic is a complete nightmare, I am so thankful the IOC sees the importance of keeping us all safe and healthy. This was not the plan at all but most plans come with roadblocks. The good news is, this just means another year to prepare to be the best version of me I can be, come Olympic time in 2021." - Brooke Crain

Photo by Tim Shirvington

"I see the Olympics being postponed as a good thing for everyone’s health! I believe the games should showcase athletes physical peak and the landscape of the world and closures of training centers would not provide this. I personally also felt like coming back from injury that I came into the World Cup scene at 80% of me best. I was chasing time to get strong and fit and ready for Tokyo in 2020 for me another year gives me more time to lay a stronger foundation." - Caroline Buchanan

German Elite Women Lara Lessmann
"I think it’s a smart decision. The world is standing still and we are all affected. Some countries are affected more than others. It’s sad, but I really think it’s fair because many people are currently in quarantine and can’t train or get prepared. I’m happy that they at least postponed the event and not canceled the Olympics. Health is more important than the Olympics". - Lara Lessmann

Photo by Naoki Gaman
"This virus is very aggressive, and I think that many athletes are trapped at home without being able to go out and cannot practice our sports. In Spain we have been more than a week without being able to leave home, and the president has been stipulated to be at home until April 15, but he has not guaranteed that this is the end date, it may take longer. I hope that in other countries it isn’t as hard as it has been in Italy there are also many infected athletes, and it takes time to recover from this. I think they have done well to postpone it, but regarding freestyle BMX they should clarify how the system is going to work now to earn points, or explain how everything will be when this happens" - Teresa Fernández-Miranda

Spotlight: Jesse Gregory

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Photo by Colin Mackay

Thanks for doing this interview Jesse, for those who don't know you, how were you introduced to BMX?

I got introduced to BMX from my dad's friend's son when I was 9. He had a birthday party at Orange Y BMX track and I instantly fell in love with it, so my dad started taking me regularly and got me a proper race bike.

When I met you in California, we talked about the pressure put on you ... the gnarly amount of weight you were pushing and the intense training schedule (for your age). What was training like for you as a young teen - let's talk about the intensity and was it worth it?

Training started from when I was about 10, up until 15. At first, because I was so young it just started as doing a certain amount of full laps and each lap I had to better my last time. Then it started getting into weights my dad bought me in the garage, then he found a squat bar setup for cheap and I would do that and around 12 years old I was squatting over 300 pounds. As most people know kids listen to other people better than their parents lol. So to keep up with my training, I was involved in cross fit and boot camp. I got to the point where I was riding my bike to school and then rushing to cross-fit or boot camp and doing all that, I was kinda over all the training and weight lifting part. I just wanted to ride my bike and better myself on jumping and manualing. But as for the results I was getting, yea it was worth it at the time.

 

Now, I've seen some pretty  b r u t a l  shit from parents at the race track, and I'm sure you've seen shit too. I'm not sure if you have any stories or examples of what you've seen but like, do you have any advice for parents who want their kids to succeed?

If you have been to a BMX national, you've definitely seen some crazy parents. I can see where they're coming from such as wanting their kids to win and be the best they can, but sometimes its too much. As for me, my dad pushed me in training and my mom pushed me at the track more. But as for crazy stories, it's just about all the same, parents screaming at the top of there lungs telling their kids to dig or pedal. But it's also a mental game for the children too. I knew how well my parents wanted me to do and I felt like I had to do the best I could. When I didn't win, I would punish myself mentally more than celebrating the 2nd or 3rd place, which is still good.

Also, any advice for kids with pushy parents?

Any advice I have for kids with pushy parents is, just do whatever makes you happy and try as hard as you can, but just do it for you. Nobody else.

Your racer highlights on USABMX is just filled with podium finishes, a lot of successes. Were there any races you wish you did, or do you feel like you did it all and it was time to move on?

When I first started racing I always wanted to be one of the best and the most stylish racers. Soon I heard about racing getting into the Olympics and that's what I wanted to do. But at the same time, I would do a one-hander or a T-bog when I won or in practice which lead me to wanna do more tricks and not do training. So that is what lead me out of racing and into freestyle.

Photo by Naoki Gaman

Was the transition from racing to freestyle gradual or overnight? Was there any particular reason or moment that made you put the race bike away?

The transition was kinda a gradual thing. I realized it when I didn't wanna train or do local races. I kinda just wanted to do practice and only hit the jumps or see how far I can manual in the rhythm section. But if we had some spare time before the track, my dad would take me to Vans indoor with my dirt jumping bike and race bike in the car, and I would have fun in the halfpipe. But once I hit the 15-16 girls class it got really intense. Everyone would just try to take the other girls out so they could win. So that kinda got me over it too.

@beccakopchak1 wants to know: Do you miss the BMX racing scene sometimes?

Ah what's up Becca. I do miss racing sometimes and I feel like I always will but freestyle I feel like is way better for me. I've been to Bellflower Race Track a few times since I've quit and its always a fun time.



@Paytonridenour wants to know: What are some things about freestyle that you like that you didn't get from racing?

Payton I miss you dude, but the main thing I get from freestyle than I do racing is the freedom of it. Racing, you basically just have the track or the street for sprints, but for freestyle, I could just go to a school nearby and have a ton of fun. But the main thing I love is bowls, the tiny tires could never.

I think coming from a racing background, entering a BMX freestyle comp was probably pretty easy on the nerves - assuming. But like ... I don't think there's anything in racing that could prepare you for the Toyota Triples ... I mean was it like, "Yeah I can totally do this" or "I'm going to give it a try and hope for the best"? lol and @steezyrach wants to know, what it was like hitting the jumps?

Entering a contest was never easy for me. With racing and freestyle, I go into competitions saying I know I can do this and I know I have the ability to, but my mind was and is always in full panic mode.

The triples oof haha. I've been dirt jumping at Sheep Hills since I was 10, so I knew I had the ability to do them but any normal person would see the triples and be like damn those things are huge. Which is what I did. but I had faith in the builders that they set up the roll in and the jumps to blend perfectly together and give you the perfect speed to get over. As for hitting the jumps, it was pretty scary but my dad always says you have to at least try something one time and if you like it you'll do it again, and if you don't then don't. So I sat up on the roll in terrified but I did them and he was right...

Photo by Colin MacKay

There's a clip of you crashing on the Toyota Triples in 2018, I think your words were, "This was a big OOOFF!" lol. Was this the worst crash you've had? Because a lot of people want to know about your worst injury. Could you pick one, tell us what it was, and how shitty it was?

The crash clip was from the last triples stop in Texas, I overshot the whole jump and face planted, which sucked and probably had me the sorest from a crash for sure. Injury-wise I've fractured my ankle 3 different times and the latest time (last year) I had 3 fractures. That was for sure the worst pain for me. I was crawling around on the floor in pain at Woodward Tahoe, thankfully my good friend cade took me to the hospital and wheeled me around everywhere till I went home. But a week after that I had to compete in China for 2 weeks which I think ruined my ankle forever, so make sure to let your injuries heal and don't rush it.

You've competed in various freestyle comps, and @maxvutang wants to know: What's your favorite BMX event?

Sup Max. I think my favorite contest would hand down be Vans Pro Cup. The energy at those contests is always hyping up the riders to go bigger and faster. Just an all-around good time to have.



I also want to know what's your least favorite, spill some dirt and tell us why?!

I don't really have a least favorite contest. Fise maybe just because all the best riders are there which messes with my mind when it comes down to my runs. I feel it's more strict and professional, and I am neither of those.

We talked about training when it came to racing, but during a normal week, are you consider yourself "training" now? Like are you in the gym, and if you are, what are you doing?

Training wise for me now is I have a pull-up bar and I used to have a gym membership but I just try to keep myself active with riding. I think I trained myself to hate training from racing.

Photo by Naoki Gaman
On a normal week when you're home, what parks would we find you at?

On a normal week, you could catch me at Volcom, I'm always there or down riding Clairmont in San Diego or up in Chino as for dirt, I've been riding Regency more often then Sheep tho.

@lloydesherrod wants to know: How is it juggling BMX, moto and all your other hobbies? How do you find a balance?

Juggling everything isn't too hard. Usually, I ride on weekdays and moto usually Sunday. The hard part is finding time to hang out with friends or do tattoos, I set plans but then someone asks me to go ride and who can pass up a fun sesh with your riding buds.


So how did you get hooked up by Rockstar? Any advice for someone who's looking to get sponsors?

I got noticed by Rockstar for racing and I met Steve who worked for them and would hook me up with hats and stuff. I got a call from him after the Triples about a contract. I'm so grateful for everything they do, I wouldn't be able to go to all the contests I do without them. And the advice I have for someone who is looking for sponsorship is to do things nobody else would and to stand out.

@tylagraham wants to know: How many rockstars do you drink a day and which one is your favorite flavor?

Tyla knows I drink way more Rockstar then I should. It depends on what I'm doing, like, I drink one every morning and if I ride after I'll have another. But my favorite flavor is the OG sugar-free or sugar-free strawberry kiwi. I live for caffeine.

Also, I guess you're also hooked up with S&M, how did that relationship come about?

I got with S&M when I was racing and there were a lot of the riders who raced that were part of S&M. They would always talk to me and encourage me. Eventually, Moeller and Dougie talked to me about sponsorship and next thing I knew, I was riding for the best bike company out there.

Photo by Colin MacKay

Your mom asked, why your mom was so cool. lol But for real, I met her, I was really impressed by how supportive and down to earth she is. Could you tell us something about her, we might not know? Like, how much does mom support you every day?

Haha she's pretty cool. But I'm really thankful for how supportive she and my dad both are. A fun known fact is that she can do the worm and is NOT afraid to karaoke to anything.

Any interest in the 2024 Olympics at this stage?

I do have an interest in the 2024 Olympics. This was my first year of actual contests and I wasn't even expecting to get onto team USA. But that just gives me more hope and encouragement for the 2024 Olympics.

What’s next in the near future for Jesse Gregory?

Next in my future is learning new tricks, getting the tricks I have dialed, and getting more height. Hopefully also hitting all the Vans stops this year if the Coronavirus doesn't ruin it for us.

Photo by Colin MacKay


Quick Shot Questions (Don't think too hard)

@nina.barratt wants to know: What's your favorite tattoo you have?  My favorite tattoo is the dagger on my chest. But favorite one is the one I did on myself is the little demon kitty.

Who's a female racer that you think should switch over to freestyle? I wish Dani George would get into freestyle. I looked up to her when I raced and last year I saw her riding downhill at Snow Summit, just gotta scoot over to BMX freestyle now haha

The person you look forward to seeing the most at comps? I always look forward to Naoki. She always knows how to make everybody laugh and knows how to take badass pictures. I also love seeing all the girls from other countries because contests are the only place where we're all together.

Your most influential rider? The rider that influences me the most would either be Kris Fox or Larry Edgar.

Photo by Naoki Gaman


Best and worst skatepark? The best skate park would gotta be Goodyear in Arizona and worst (unpopular opinion) Vans outdoor

Worst hair color choice you've made? My least favorite hair color was when I dyed it dark brown, I need the colors

List all your sponsors: Rockstar, S&M bikes, Brags Design, S1 Helmets, and Lineinsight

You're trap on an island and you can have only one option: ride on an OK race track or have a poorly built cement skatepark?: I'd probably choose the race track because I can use the side of the jump as a hip thing and I can trick the jumps

What's your natural hair color? My natural hair color is light brown and it gets dirty blonde in the summer but it been so long since then.

Support Your Park Part 3: Breaking Free Skatepark

Monday, March 23, 2020
There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it's hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather,  it's important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we're fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.

In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don't believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they're looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.

Today I'm introducing to you Part 3: Breaking Free, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark

1044 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, United States
Represented by Owner Dave Raffa
Support: Memberships, Private Rental @ $100 per hour. Riders 9 or less - Email BREAKINGFREESKATEPARK@GMAIL.COM to book.

UK Rider Emma Finnegan Riding at Breaking Free

How did Breaking Free come to be, its history, significance, etc?

Breaking Free: Breaking Free Skatepark is the largest, all-wheel friendly skatepark in New York. I (Dave Raffa) moved to Rochester in May of 2013 to manage and help save R.A.S.P. (Rochester Action Sports Park). I was with them for just about two years before we parted ways. The owners had trouble relinquishing control. This led to tension, poor communication, and not many changes in how the skatepark ran. After my departure, R.A.S.P.’s financial hole continued to grow. Eventually, the property company came and gave them the boot. If The COVID-19 pandemic had hit while they were open, it almost certainly would have been the last nail in their coffin.

The warm fuzzy story is that R.A.S.P., the property company and I came to a mutually beneficial three-way agreement. It played out like this: R.A.S.P.’s debt was significantly reduced, the property company recovered some of what they were owed (and a new tenant), and I acquired a skatepark at wholesale. Before we got there R.A.S.P. had a sizable debt that needed to be mitigated. A team of volunteers and I organized a fundraising weekend for the closure of R.A.S.P. We liquidated stock, sold food, did a raffle, had a silent auction, the whole nine yards! We raised $10,000 over a weekend. R.A.S.P. closed on August 14th, 2016. By the end of September, I had created a legal entity for Breaking Free Skatepark, signed a lease, and began tearing the place apart (I had been using the name “Breaking Free” as a BMX brand and production company since 2007.)  With all volunteer labor, nearly the entire facility was rebuilt by the time of our opening on December 17, 2016.  BFS (Breaking Free Skatepark) was born.

By 2015, I had spent nearly a decade in the bike industry. It is worth noting that the bike industry is typically a seasonal biz, and I watched shop after shop (including R.A.S.P.) struggle with that. In order to structure and operate BFS in a way that was seasonable, scaleable and insulated from the ebb and flow of the skate/BMX industry, I worked closely with a friend who was a business consultant. Did I plan for a global pandemic? No.


With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. As an owner, what's going through your mind right now and how is your team?

Breaking Free: As we know, the corona craze quickly went from limiting groups to 250, then 50, then 25, and now 10. All schools, bars, restaurants, and gyms are expected to be closed as well.  So what the hell do I do?! I know how stressful this is, and I know how I feel when I am stuck inside. All these kids are home from school too?!  I want to be open and offer solace from this mess. I want to offer that safe place for people to ride out their stress. Now just when we need it the most, but I am forced to be closed. Actually, I wish it was as simple as being forced to close. I have the “option” of being open, which makes it so much worse. I have to make a decision of whether I want to be open and offer that relief for people, but at what expense?  Can I bear the burden of fault for COVID-19 spreading? That is the polar opposite of BFS’ mission... I have been brainstorming what I can do for riders. I am hoping to do “pop up” skateparks when I can so that people can get their shred on. Basically bringing a flat rail to a parking lot or something of that sort. I will also be doing a live stream Q&A/AMA this week in order to answer questions and hopefully offer some distraction from the hysteria.

Going forward, I have no idea what this means for the skatepark in the short term. My rec programs are canceled, and this seriously questions my summer camps, as well (July and August).  Traffic is already slow in the summer, and without camps, there is no way I can cover rent. Generally, indoor skateparks are a luxury. If the economy takes a hit, then luxury expenses are the first to be cut from a family’s budget. With that in mind, even if we make it to autumn, we might not have the sales we need to recover the lost ground. My hope is that this blows over sooner than later and that everyone remains healthy...

As far as my staff goes, I have few employees. BFS is a small operation. I am so thankful for that right now. If we had a sizable staff, I would have much trouble dealing with the stress of ensuring they are covered during this time. I have a seasonal employee, currently, Josh Babu, who does a little of everything and does all of our Youtube & Instagram video work. He is only under contract for another month, and I’ll do what I can to keep paying him for the next few weeks. My other paid staff works one day a week. His name is Clark, and he is a great kid-- a teenager, who should be fine for the time being. I am the only full-time paid person. I will be suspending my pay until the cash is flowing again. I cannot imagine how much I might be freaking out if I had full-time staff with families to feed and could not keep supporting them. My heart goes out to the small businesses that are dealing with those difficult choices.


Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn't a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You're probably looking to bank as much as possible before attendance declines in the summer. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation - or maybe you're doing ok?

Breaking Free: As I mentioned before, skateparks are typically a seasonal business, and I plan seasonally. I’ll try to paint you a picture of BFS’ cash flow. April through September are dead. In those months, we float between not covering the bills and being slightly profitable. We do a quarter or third of the traffic in the summer compared to the winter. October and March are very much weather-dependent. November through February is when the cash flow is strong. All of our six insurances renew in November and December. We pay them all upfront. So basically most November and December profits go bye-bye immediately.  However, we have no insurance payments all year and save on the financing of the billing plans, Everything we profit in January through March goes to our summer safety net (The last bit of that coming from summer camp deposits in March, which is not happening right now). Those summer camp deposits are usually about a quarter of the total of the safety net. We usually go into summer with about 2 months of rent in the bank. Rent is about $8,500 for us.

Timing is a huge factor for us. If COVID-19 happened a month ago or earlier, it would be catastrophic and possibly the end of the park (assuming there wasn't any relief coming). If this happened a month from now or in the summer, it wouldn't be as bad (assuming that it blew over before the autumn). It is really difficult to play the guessing game; we don’t know how long this will last and what the economic fallout will be. As for March, we already know it is weather-dependent, and now we have this mess. Assuming that I lose the rest of March, it would cost BFS about $15,000 to $20,000 in sales this month alone.

Currently is there any support from the government as a small business owner, maybe within your city or even your landlord?

Breaking Free: At the moment, I don’t know of any aid or relief for small businesses (aside from offering streamlined unemployment, which doesn’t really affect me). I presume something will be on the table eventually, but I am not depending on it. Expecting it is unwise. If something comes my way, hell yeah I’ll take it, but otherwise, I will weather this storm the best I can-- solo.

Personally, I do not like seeing businesses already asking for extra support. This is basically day one, and they’re already asking for help? What if this becomes worse? The bottom line is that your health and your family precede the existence of my business. Take care of yourselves, and take all the necessary steps to make it through this. I will do the same. If I get desperate, I will reach out.  Please do the same if you get desperate.


How can we support you right now? 

Breaking Free: At the moment, the park is closed but available for private rental for groups of 9 or less, as per the NY State recommendation. Private rental pricing is $100 an hour but negotiable. Otherwise, come have a session when normal life returns. I'll try my best to be here. We are stronger together, and it sucks we can’t do that right now.

From 2017 to 2018, the skatepark was down $50,000 in sales.  We weathered that without a problem. I pay close attention to my business, and I am positive BFS can make it through this. If I had to guess the cost of this pandemic on BFS? My guess would be somewhere between $20,000 and $70,000, but this early, it is really difficult to say because we don’t know how long this will last. We have some summer savings now. Additionally, the skatepark was profitable in 2019, and that capital is still in the account. Our 2019 taxes are filed and the post-tax profit might be the thing that saves us. If the cost of this pandemic is only money, the sacrifice of my 2019 salary might be what keeps the skatepark open, I can live with that. In fact, I am happy to do what I did in 2016 all over again-- put my butt on the line in order to keep an indoor skatepark open.  You gotta respect the shred. Breaking Free Skatepark isn’t going anywhere.


Please support your park by sharing this article, and book a private session.
Shred when they open, even if it's warm out.
#SupportYourPark

Fly Bikes Quarantine Challenge

Saturday, March 21, 2020
Stay at home, ride inside and win a frame!!
Fly Bikes is holding a quarantine challenge via Instagram!.

Rules:
-Follow @flybikesbmx
-Film a BMX clip inside your home
-Upload the clip to Instagram
-Tag: @flybikesbmx & #flybikesquarantinechallenge

3 Awards win a 2020 frame:
-Best Trick / Best Line / Funny & Creative
-Winners choose which frame and size from inventory
-Only indoor flips from home

Winners announced April 15th

Support Your Park Part 2: The Yard

Friday, March 20, 2020
There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it's hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather,  it's important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we're fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.

In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don't believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they're looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.

Today I'm introducing to you Part 2: The Yard, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark

265 City Centre Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P1, Canada
Represented by Owner Anthony Bereznai

How did The Yard come to be, its history, significance, etc?

The Yard: We opened to the public mid-February 2019 after completing a successful Kickstarter campaign in the Spring of 2018. There had been a number of attempts at indoor parks in Ottawa in the past that focussed on skaters or bikers only. Our park was always meant to be for everyone and we've worked really hard to make it a welcoming environment for all. We have little kids on pushbikes, dudes in their sixties learning to drop in for the first time, roller skaters learning how to shred a bowl, scooter kids and really skilled riders. As a northern city that has pretty harsh winters (except this past one!), it was high time for an indoor park in Ottawa.

With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. As an owner, what's going through your mind right now and how is your team?

The Yard:  The only thing going through my mind is survival. We are a new business who just celebrated their 1 year anniversary and just as we were hitting our stride and maybe able to start sleeping at night, COVID-19 hits and our sales go to zero overnight. As for my team, they are now applying for Employment Insurance (EI is an unemployment insurance program in Canada that allows individuals who have recently lost a job to receive temporary financial assistance.). I wish I could say we made so much in the first year that we had extra money to pay them with no sales but that just isn't the case. We are all pretty shell shocked, worried about our personal well being and worried about the future of the park.


Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn't a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You're probably looking to bank as much as possible before attendance declines in the summer. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation - or maybe you're doing ok?

The Yard:  To build on the previous answer, this is definitely a huge hit for us. March is our black Friday and X-mas rolled into one. It's the only month of the year where all our sales are doing well. We have good park attendance as it's still winter. We have March break, which means even higher attendance plus camps. It's also the time that summer camps start booking up. Our shop also starts selling again as the weather picks up. March is a critical month for us and now it's a complete write-off. We made a 1/4 of what we should have and even if we get the green light to open up the beginning of April, we've missed our window to make the money we need for the warmer months.

Currently is there any support from the government as a small business owner, maybe within your city or even your landlord?

The Yard:  The federal government has committed to providing support for small businesses but at the moment there are no details on what help that might be. As soon as our sales started dropping we reached out to our landlord to see if any accommodations could be made but at the time they were non-committal. I'm optimistic that in such an unprecedented global crisis, we will be able to work something out that will allow us to get back on our feet.


How can we support you?

The Yard: We have a shop with products ready to ship, and online sales would be very helpful.

Can we pre-purchase sessions or memberships?

The Yard: Supporters could buy passes off our website, theyardottawa.com/passes. Our best bet for viability will be memberships. Once we are able to open again, we will be introducing a number of new annual membership options that are billed on a monthly basis. If enough of our customers are willing to support us through the summer by committing to coming at least once a month, we should be able to get through this.

Is there anything else we can do?

The Yard: Not really. This crisis is hard on everyone so we hope people are taking care of their family and friends, being safe and doing what they can for the greater good. When things start to calm down, the best we can hope for is that summer camp registrations pick-up again and customers choose one of our membership options to stabilize our revenues during the summer months and keep the park busy!



Please support your park by sharing this article, and buy a gift card if you can.
Shred when they open, even if it's warm out.
#SupportYourPark

Support Your Park Part 1: The Wheel Mill

Thursday, March 19, 2020
There have been so many changes to our day to day lives since Covid-19 hit North America. From the changing group numbers, countless recreational facilities being closed and even our borders between Canada and the USA being shut down, it's hard to keep up. All of our businesses are hurting and as we attempt to flatten the curve while moving into more mild weather,  it's important to remember that in our community, our indoor bike parks are taking a huge beating right now. Even once we're fine to come out from hiding, the parks that we turn to during the winter months, typically struggle into the summer even without an outbreak.

In support of the parks that give us sanity during the cold winter months, I reached out to several park owners and asked how they were doing during these unexpected closures. I don't believe people realize how much this is hurting our indoor parks, considering this is the time they're looking to bank as much as possible before numbers dip in the summer. I also wanted to outline ways you can help your local park, may that be buying a pass online to use in the future, or maybe buying products that they have in stock.

Today I'm introducing to you Part 1: The Wheel Mill, but follow this link for when all the interviews come out. #SupportYourPark

6815 Hamilton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, United States
Represented by Owner Harry Geyer & General Manager Michael Potocnzy


How did The Wheel Mill come to be, its history, significance, etc?

The Wheel Mill: The idea for the park came about 13 years ago on the ride home from my first trip to Ray's. After 5 years of trying to get a lease on a space, my then-current business landlord told me about this location. Not long after, Mike Halahan (Next Generation Jam) introduced me to the Potoczny brothers, and the rest is history!

With the changing landscape, you eventually had to shut down the park due to the new guidelines. As an owner, what's going through your mind right now and how is your team?

The Wheel Mill:  The team is good. Everyone has different concerns, whether that's at-risk family, or financial. I wish we knew how long we were really going to be shut down so that we could make a better plan. The two-week plan is radically different than the six-month plan, and I can't help our staff plan if I can't plan. I have a feeling that it's going to be much longer than they are saying, so I'm erring on that side. Luckily, PA office of unemployment compensation is allowing workers to file for Corona related unemployment, and I've passed that along to the staff.



Financially, this must be a huge hit for you. In a normal year when there isn't a pandemic, I assume this is like, crunch time right? You're probably looking to bank as much as possible before attendance declines in the summer. If you can share any facts or figures, please paint us a picture to illustrate the severity of the situation - or maybe you're doing ok?

The Wheel Mill:  The picture is bad. If bike parks made decent money there would be more of them, so we never have much in the bank. I'm probably digging a $70,000 hole every month that we are closed. The other part of the financial problem is, the only money available from anywhere is a loan, which needs to be paid back. It would be like getting paid unemployment and then having to magically make enough money to pay it all back at the same job you just had to leave. After 7 years, I almost got us out of the financial hole that I dug to get this thing off the ground, so I'm not in a big hurry to dig another big hole and climb in.

Currently is there any support from the government as a small business owner, maybe within your city or even your landlord?

The Wheel Mill:  The Small Business Administration local chapter is allowing us to apply for up to $15k, 0%interest, with a 3.5 yr repayment schedule. Any little bit helps (or hurts?). Our landlord has a big company with lots of employees and their families that need to get paid as well, so there is only so much that I can ask of them.

Photo By Murphy Moschetta

How can we support you right now? 

The Wheel Mill:  Right now you can buy gift cards on thewheelmill.com/support-the-park.

(On Renting the Park) It's a tough balance to follow the guidelines of social distancing and max 10 people gathering, and have any part of the park open to the public. Also, we need to generate enough revenue from whatever we do, to justify the staffing. You can email info@thewheelmill.com if you are interested in renting out the park privately with a party of 10 or fewer.

We are constantly brainstorming ideas and will put them up against the health regulations and public sentiment and see what we can come up with. What you are doing is helping! And yes, please come ride the park when it is safe to do so.



Please support your park by sharing this article, and buy a gift card if you can.
Shred when they open, even if it's warm out.
#SupportYourPark

Bikechella April 18 2020

Monday, March 16, 2020


THE REINVIGORATION OF THE SOUTHWEST BMX CONTEST CIRCUIT. THE SWBMX SERIES KICKS OFF IN COACHELLA VALLEY AT THE PALM SPRINGS SKATEPARK. PRO AND AM RIDERS ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN ON BUILDING UP THEIR LOCAL SCENES BY SPENDING THE DAY RIDING.

DIVISIONS RANGING FROM 11 & UNDER TO 35+ ENCOURAGE RIDERS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE OUT FOR A DAY OF GOOD TIMES.

We are making an event to not only have a ton of fun during Coachella fest, and get everyone to bring their bike to the desert, but also to build up the amateur BMX scene and the women's BMX scene. @bikechella

Date: April 18th 2020
Where: Palm Springs Skate Park (Palm Springs, CA)
Registration & Practice: 9AM - Noon
Women's Open Division Available
Link to register: https://actionparkalliance.com/southwest-bmx-series/

Schedule
Noon - Park Jam
5PM - Bowl Jam

Can't make stop 1? Check out the other event stops

  • Stop 2: South Fontana Skatepark in California June 13th 2020
  • Stop 3: Alliance Skatepark in Grand Prairie, Texas July 18th 2020
  • Stop 4: North Fontana Skatepark in California September 12th 2020

For more information, connect with @nuttymaggs or @bikechella


FISE Hiroshima POSTPONED

Friday, March 13, 2020
Yesterday was a crazy day, especially in the sports world! With large events getting cancelled left and right, it was no surprise that FISE has officially postponed the upcoming World Cup in Hiroshima. FISE Hiroshima has been postponed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation. It will be interesting to see how all of this will pan out with the points deadline only two months away and the Olympic Games only four months away. Below is the announcement from FISE, the official press release from the UCI and some statements from riders that planned to attend the event in Hiroshima. 



After careful consideration and a thorough review of the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation, we have decided to reschedule FISE Hiroshima. 😔

Our primary concern is always the safety and well-being of the athletes, fans and partners who are involved in our events and given the situation as it is today, we feel postponement of the event is the best option.

We will be releasing more information in the coming days - thank you for your understanding FISE Family! 🙌 -FISE

For updates: www.fise.fr

Following the decision of the Hiroshima Prefecture in relation to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) must announce that the opening round of the UCI BMX Freestyle and Flatland World Cup, part of the 2020 FISE World Series, in Hiroshima, Japan – initially scheduled from 3 to 5 April – has to be postponed.

The UCI fully supports the decision taken by the Japanese authorities and reiterates that its primary concern across all its disciplines and events remains the safety of athletes, teams and all parties involved. The new date of the competitions will be announced later in consultation with the Japanese authorities and the series organizer Hurricane. -UCI
Official UCI Press Release : https://www.uci.org/inside-uci/press-releases/2020-uci-bmx-freestyle-park-and-flatland-world-cup-postponement-of-stop-one-in-hiroshima-japan



"I can't say that I was surprised, since mass events are canceled all over the world in Russia. I am a little upset because the trip to Hiroshima is one of the most exciting in a year, but I will be able to train a little longer and spend more time with my family." -Elizaveta Posadskikh

"I expected it, due to the problem of traveling to a country so close to where the problem was generated. In Spain they have canceled all events, in Europe they are starting to cancel many too." -Teresa Fernandez-Miranda

"I am relieved that it would not really be good to travel with the virus, it is better that we all do not take care." -Queensaray

"Hi ok... I was starting to get really anxious about if the event was going to happen or not. I saw other events being canceled and just wanted an answer. Either way, I was ready to go... it’s nice that it’s postponed now because even though I’m healthy and not scared to get sick, it’s all the other people that I could potentially infect so it’s good." -Cory Coffey

"I'm not shocked about the situation since Germany already closed schools, university’s and more, so I was hoping that we don’t have to travel to Japan. I’m really sad about all the changes because of the corona virus, but I guess it’s the best decision Fise / UCI could make." -Lara Lessmann

"I think it’s a smart move, I don’t think riders should sacrifice their health or getting quarantined any more than they already have with some of the current restrictions implemented by their nations at this time." -Nina Buitrago

"Pretty bummed to see it’s cancelled, though not surprised. It makes sense of course, but this whole Corona thing is really taking the fun away this year! Hope it’s resolved soon." -Nikita Ducarroz