Lots of smart words floating around about street riding from the likes of Lino G and Ian Morris. There is definitely a lot to say on the subject and luckily Jim Newrick is here to lay it down to all the knuckleheads out there:
All this chat at the moment from people preaching that spreading BMX out to the mainstream is “helping our sport to grow”? What made riding so attractive to me from the beginning was that it’s a culture/ activity that is almost completely separate from mainstream sport, which as a youth i quickly found to be mostly substance-less and jock dominated. Such a degree of separation that it’s strange to think of riding as a sport. By opening the floodgates and pushing BMX out to the mainstream for it to become more popular can only lead to it losing the qualities that make it so great. Qualities that seem to have been fairly well protected up until recent years. If you think that riding needs to follow in the footsteps of football, basketball or the corporate side of skateboarding (god help us) to grow, then your missing the point. Recognition within popular culture is not needed. We are all part of a very rare, humble and amazing thing, crammed with interesting characters and decent people. Being lucky enough to discover and be part of a culture with such good qualities is payment enough. So many precious things are destroyed when introduced to popular culture and large amounts of money . It’s actually amazing that riding has lasted this long without being completely ratted out to the mainstream.
What’s baffling is when people talk about riders being out there risking their lives everyday for little recognition and they should be getting paid for what they do? Regardless of danger or being paid or not you are still going to ride because it’s enjoyable. No one owes you a living for your own personal battle with an inanimate piece of architecture? Payment comes in the form of respect from your peers, the unmatched rewarding feeling that you get. A collective buzz that is so unique. 18 years riding and i’m still yet to find anything that comes close to competing with it. Surely that is payment enough? If it isn’t enough and they still feel like they’re owed a living for all the precarious work they are putting in on the streets everyday, then look elsewhere instead of having the desperate need to share our unique and beautiful culture with multi million dollar corporate companies. Which will only lead to more separation and in the end, it’s quick demise within popular culture when the novelty wears off. Celebrity culture seems to be slowly oozing it’s way into riding. Lets try and stop it before the next up and coming generation of street riders end up having their weddings, houses, fitness regimes and diets documented in the pages of ghastly gossip rags like Heat or FHM. Sadly this might have already happened.