The Friday Interview – Then & Now With Russ Barone (2001-2011)

Name: Russell Barone
Age: 23
Location: Long Island, New York
Sponsors: Cult, Fox Clothing, Demolition (flow), Long Island Bike Shop

Photo by Jeff Zielinski.

Where You Live
2001: Long Island, New York
2011: Right now Long Island, but I was living in Cali for a bit.

Your Bike Setup
I had a sick race bike. A Kasten expert painted it black with a bunch of yellow parts. I was lucky enough to have a trail bike, too, which I think was a Bontrager or a TNT.
2011: I ride a Cult OS frame with Cult bars and forks, and all Demolition parts.

Trick You Learned
Maybe a stonco, which is like an unturndown.
2011: Triple whips, haha, just kidding. Nah, just trying to blend more tricks together, like in and out of grinds.

Who You Ride With
I would ride with my best friend Kenny Hirsch everyday, who now works at Demolition. We would travel everywhere to race. He was so good. And all the Long Island trail riders—Robo, Keith Terra, Superfly, Darren Meenen, Brian Shoemaker, Brian Iarrocci—they use to come to the race track and kill it.
2011: The Cult team, Demolition team, and all the NYC and Long Island locals.

Your Hair Style
I think I had short, spiked hair with bleached tips because that’s what all the riders I looked up to had.
2011: I’ve had locks now for about six years, and it’s been a great journey. I have no plans of cutting them either.

Photo by Fudger.

Who You Look Up To
I really looked up to the Standard team, all the trail dudes on Long Island, all the locals at the race track, Joe Rich, Robo, Taj…
2011: As far as riding, I would say everyone on the Cult team and everyone that has original, smooth style. As far as life, anyone that’s trying to make the world a better place for the next generation and people who are doing positive things.

Your Chick Situation
Maybe I was trying to get my first kiss or something. I was too psyched on riding to worry about girls.
2011: I have an awesome girlfriend that I’ve been with for six years now. (Damn, haha.) She has helped me out a lot though these past few years. Like dealing with me going away for the winters and stuff like that. She’s an awesome cook too. Thanks, Lauren.

Where You Ride
I use to be at the racetrack like every day because my dad was running it at the time. And we had jumps in my backyard that we always rode.
2011: I ride NYC, Philly, Long Island skateparks and trails…and all the new plazas in NY are real good, too.

Bad Trends In BMX
Haha, I don’t know. I was pretty young to worry about that shit.
2011: I think all the online shit talking isn’t good. Kids just need to worry about riding more and having fun rather than about how to get sponsored and talking bad about a Web vid they saw. Go pedal!

Music You Listen To
Haha, Blink 182 and any music from BMX videos. We use to make CDs of the music from videos and ride to it. I bet kids don’t do that shit anymore, right?
2011: I listen to a lot of reggae, rock, hip-hop, a little jazz sometimes…anything positive I’m down with it.

Your Daily Routine
School, ride with friends, what’s for dinner, mom?
2011: Work in my garden, go riding, eat something delicious, hang out with my girl, work construction with my Dad when he needs help, enjoy life.

Photo by Jeff Zielinski.