We're going old school with John Swanguen here for a minute. John grew up riding with Bob Haro down in San Diego in the '70-s and helped out making the first HARO number plates. He is also the inventor of the Rock Walk. We tracked John down in Fontana, Ca.
Where did you ride with Bob Haro in San Diego?
John: Well, we rode Oasis skatepark of course but our biggest hang out was Skate Heaven in Spring Valley because we both grew up in Spring Valley and we lived like 4 blocks apart. Bob is two years older than me. I'm like 15 and he's like 17 and at the time I'm dating his sister. We got to be really good riding partners and rode a lot together.
Were people looking weird that you did tricks on bikes and not on skateboards at the time?
John: Yeah it was weird, it was kinda one of those things where we did not know where to take it, on account of nobody had done it yet. It was a whole new thing. We actually got the skateparks to commit to letting bikes in two days out of the week. They gave us 2 - 3 hours on bikes and we did not have to deal with skateboarders. Which at the time was quite a bit.
Doncaster is probably best know for its race course but also happens to be home to some real Riding talent...How many 16 year old riders do you know that can blast 10ft inverts, Double whips,720's and back to back Flairs? Straight out of Donnny, Liam is on the come up! So look out for this young man shredding at a park near you! Until then, check out the downloads section on valleysidedistro.com for Liam's latest rider section. Also read this interview so you can get a better picture of someone I think you will be hearing a lot more about in the future... May I introduce to you Mr Liam Hutchinson.
So, Liam, How Long have you been riding BMX for? About 4 to 5 years now.
What is the main discipline you ride? Probably park, but trails and street in summer.
BMX has become an Olympic sport. 2008 will be the first time that we see BMX racers battling for the gold. It might be a bit late but the USA Cycling has hired Doug Martin to organize the American troops. We caught up with Doug to see what he's got planned for those American racers who want to be part of the team.
-With so many international BMX squads already making appearances in the USA for some extra training and some extra racing, where does team USA stand in that respect?
Name: Hoang Tran Age: 18 Hometown: Raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa but now I live in San Diego, CA What's it like riding where you live? Hoang: It's amazing... everyone here rides together all the time but somehow we all have really different riding styles so it's not only fun to ride with all my friends but to watch them. Who are some of the people who help you out? Hoang: I ride for Kink, Kronik energy, Vult helps me out, and munklebud! They all help me out a bunch and are awesome!.. I've also gotten help from Jim Bauer at Odyssey.
So Hoang, I hear the only reason you learned to do nose manuels for so long was because you rode bent forks is that true?
Name: Aaron Ross Age: 19 Hometown:Corpus Christi,TX., USA.
When you ride, you seem to prefer having fun over being super competitive, is that right? Aaron: HELL YEAH HAHA Bike riding is only about having fun and hanging out with your buddy and seeing things, I love just hanging out and doing nothing all day and riding a spot.
Name: Diogo Canina Age: 22 Hometown: Amparo, Brazil
What was it like growing up where you're from? Diogo: That was awesome I wouldn`t trade it for anywhere else even knowing it wasn’t the best place to be riding, and the bike scene in Brazil is getting better but not even close to the scene in other countries, but I wouldn’t ever trade my friends or how I grew up for anything, it’s made me who I am.
What got you into BMX? Diogo: The first gift that I really remember was a bike!! I was 6 years old. I didn’t know what bmx was, but I already really enjoyed riding and jumping little curbs, but I didn’t find out about bmx until I was about 15.
The HARO BMX teams are facing some injuries these days. It sucks to be injured but every rider has to deal with it at some point. It hurts when 5 members of the HARO team are injured at the same time. Jason Richardson is out with a broken femur, Ben Hennon broke his shoulder blade and dislocated his right shoulder, Ryan Nyquist folded his hand underneath his body on a crash and broke it and Ben Shenker and Colin MacKay broke bones while they were in a foreign country. How do they deal with the injury? what do they do to kill time? Are they getting back on the bike before the doctor tells them? Those are a few questions we asked. You're probably curious now aren't you. Before we start we'd like to wish every injured rider on the team a speedy recovery. To everyone else on the HARO team (Rob Darden, Senad Grosic, Derek Betcher, Greg Romero, Daniel Dhers, Chad Roberts) be safe.
Name: Steven Paul Woodward Age: 24 Hometown: San Diego, USA
You ride for wethepeople, a German company. Have you ever met the guys? Steve: Well I haven't met all them. I got the chance to meet Klaus and he was a super cool guy, and I have heard Rob is quite a personality.
Does your deal go through Tip and who do you deal with there? Double D? Steve: I think they send a lot of the stuff through Tip, sometimes straight from Germany, I have no idea who to talk to at Tip.
You're from the San Diego area, are you a Dirtbro? Steve: Yes indeed, part of the new chapter that faded out for some reason. I guess there are new sprockets and stems in the works from what I hear.
Name: Corey Bohan Age: 24 Hometown Northern Hemisphere summer: Corona, CA Hometown Southern Hemisphere winter: Brisbane, Australia
How do you enjoy your BMX Pro lifestyle? Corey: It’s just been like a wet dream, I'm still waiting for my alarm to wake me up and me be pissed off. haha.
Do you believe it's weird making a living riding a BMX bike? Corey: Not so much weird but lucky I think. It’s pretty cool to look at your bike and see what it has done for me and the places I have taking it. Its small and the general public don’t understand how much fun it can be. I love the death stairs from business men while riding street or something, if only they new how much fun us bmxers are having haha. As Mr. T would say “I pity the fool"