Reader Q&A with Edwin DeLaRosa

I was just wondering how you do all those death-defying stunts? Not the tricks you do, but keeping away from them damn taxis in the city.–Steve-O

I’ve been riding in the city for a couple years now, so I’m pretty used to crazy taxi cabs and traffic.–Edwin

Yo gangsta! What was your first BMX bike?–Daniel Lagerström, Sweden

The first real BMX bike I got was a GT “Dyno” from my mom on my 13th birthday.–Edwin

 credit: Jeff Zielinski

My question for you is about the Sombra Tour you went on a few years ago. How did it feel to go on a road trip with riders like Gonz and Ratboy when you had only seen them in videos and magazines? Were you intimidated at all or did you feel out of place? Did you find them to be just like ordinary people? –Chris

It was the weirdest thing ever for me. I was about 16 at the time, and those were the guys I looked up to. I must have watched their videos twice a day, so to go from a kid that watched the videos to going on a trip and riding and hanging out with them was the best thing in the world for me. I told all my friends about the trip. Four months prior to that trip, the Sombra crew came to New York to ride for a couple of days and that was the best, so to go on a trip with them after that was even better.–Edwin

You’re an amazing rider and your part in The Animal Video was incredible. How did you get into brakeless riding? I heard you got a ticket for riding brakeless; is that true?–Eric F., Palgrave, Ontario

I didn’t plan on riding without brakes, it just kinda happened. When I got my first bike, I had brakes for a while, then they just popped one day and I didn’t want to put them back on because I didn’t like working on them. To build a bike without brakes is so much easier. Cops don’t go around giving tickets just because you don’t have any brakes–the only reason he gave me one is because he was going to give me a ticket for riding on the wrong side of the street and one for riding without brakes, and he told me to choose one, so I picked the “no brakes” because I figured if the court saw that, they might throw the case out.–Edwin

What motivates you to ride the most?–Kyle, Chandler, Arizona

I’m motivated by learning new tricks and watching my friends ride.–Edwin

When you’re not riding with your mates, do you go out riding by yourself to find new street spots?–Nathan, Australia

I don’t really go out riding by myself. It’s more fun when my friends are around.–Edwin

You are by far the best street rider out there, and I just want to know if you ever plan on entering big contests like the X Games? Where do you plan on taking your company Skavenger?–Chad McClanahan, Ohio

I don’t know if I would ever ride at the X Games, because you have to enter a lot of contests to qualify. As far as Skavenger goes, we do plan on trying to get some more stuff out soon.–Edwin

What was the first trick you did and how long did it take you to get it right?–Rob

I can’t remember because that was a really long time ago, but it was probably a bunnyhop.–Edwin

How did you learn to ride fakie? Was it just practice or technique?–No name given

It was both practice and technique. Practice makes perfect, so go out and ride and have fun.–Edwin

How did you go from a nobody to the best street rider in such a short time?–Alex Kalinowski

I have to say the magazines and videos help a lot.–Edwin

I noticed that your new frame’s small dropouts do not protect the freewheel. Since you do so many icepicks and other grinds, how do you not go through chains a freewheels all the time?–Matthew Lamoureaux, Denver, Colorado

I never really break chains because when I jump on whatever I’m grinding on, I always try to land on the pegs and not on anything else. It also helps if you have a small gear in the back.–Edwin

You may not get this question every day, but maybe you do, so I’ll ask it. How does it feel to be one of the few black riders in the BMX world? I have two adopted brothers who are black, and I’m always trying to understand life for them in a white-dominated world. You rip and that’s that.–Jordan Horras, Oak Park, Illinois

It feels pretty good to be one of the few black riders in the BMX world, but there are a lot of black riders in New York where I live, so I don’t feel that out of place.–Edwin

I was watching the Etnies DVD the other day and I noticed that your extra footage at the end shits all over your actual section. Were you pissed that you didn’t get a bigger section?–Nick Hills, Hobart, Tasmania

I’m not pissed at all. I wasn’t supposed to have a part in the video in the first place. I had just gotten on the “A” team and I just happened to be in Cali at the time. I met up with {Dave} Parrick and I filmed the part that was in the VHS in like two days because the deadline for the video was already up. After the video came out, I went back to Cali for a week, and Parrick came to New York for like five days and I filmed the part for the DVD.–Edwin

You are the best. I was watching your Animal section and it made me wonder, which trick do you find harder and why: a regular feeble grind to opposite 180 out, or an opposite feeble grind to regular 180 out?–Edward Ounapuu, Melbourne, Australia

Thanks. If I would have to pick one, it would be regular feeble to 180, just because it’s an opposite 180.–Edwin

Within the last year and a half or so, it seems like everybody is copying the style of riding made popular mostly by you and Vic (mainly street riding, no trails, x-up grinds/landers, four pegs, brakeless). I’m assuming you don’t ride around x-up grinding everything and doing x-up landers out of everything the way a lot of kids I’ve seen do, but you are certainly the reason these tricks are so popular now. What do you think of all these people imitating you?–Mark, Pennsylvania

I don’t really know what to think about it. I’m only 19; I’m still young, so to see people do some of the stuff that we do is pretty cool. As for x-up rides, I hate that trick. I only did it like twice in my life. I don’t know why I did it; I was scraping back then.–Edwin

Smith Grind at Police Plaza in New York City.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Why do you prefer riding with four pegs instead of two?–No name given

Because you can do double the tricks.–Edwin

What’s your favorite thing about New York that keeps you from moving to pro towns like Austin and Greenville?–Jim Elliott, Wantagh, New York

Everything. I’ve been to a lot of cities and nothing can even come close. It’s just a fun, lively city. It could be five in the morning and something will be going down, people are still hanging out. I just love it.–Edwin

What is your favorite place to ride street and what is your favorite obstacle to ride there?–No name given

My favorite is New York City, but besides New York, I love to ride Philly. My favorite thing to ride in Philly is a slice of heaven called City Hall. It just has everything you need to have a good session.–Edwin

I met you in Washington DC this summer when you and other top pros were staying at my hotel for the Butterfinger tour. That made my three-week-long vacation from hell one of the best times I’ve ever had, so thanks for that. I was wondering if you had any advice for my friend that I ride with. He is probably the best brakeless rider I have ever seen besides you. He just turned 17 and he can kill anything he rides. It’s not easy for brakeless riders to get the hook-ups or sponsorships so I was wondering if you have any advice.–No name given

No problem; anytime. My advice to your friend is to just keep riding and having fun, and if he wants it bad enough, it will happen; it doesn’t matter if he is brakeless or not.–Edwin

Why don’t you attend more contests? I bet you could do really well, because you’re one of the best street riders.–No name given

I still enter contests, but just fun ones like the Backyard Jams; those are always good.–Edwin

When you were growing up, who were some of your favorite riders?–Tom Sturla, Costa Mesa, California

When I was growing up, my favorite riders were the “Gonz” {Mark Gonzales} and Joe Rich. There were more, but those are the main ones.–Edwin

What happened after you double-pegged the huge ledge while the security guy was there in Etnies Forward? Did you know security was there before you grinded it?–Trapper Schoepp

I tried it once and I messed up. As I was going up the steps, she pulled up and started yelling at me to get down, but I didn’t listen. I just kept going and I pulled it next try. We drove a long way to get there, so I didn’t want to go there for nothing.–Edwin

I love your style of riding, being smooth and flowy on street. Will there be a Skavenger video somewhere in the future?–No name given

Thanks, and yes, there will be a Skavenger video in the future, coming soon.–Edwin

What difference has the 25/9 set-up made for you?–No name given

When I do a double peg grinds now, my chain doesn’t hit or rub what I’m grinding.–Edwin

So, what did you think of the second NSF video Erm; you have seen it right? Being as you’re mainly a brakeless street rider like the majority of the NSF. Cheers.–Paul

Sorry man, I haven’t seen the video. I want to see it; I met some of the NSF guys at one of the of the Backyard Jams. They were real cool; I like them.–Edwin

How long did it take you to learn brakeless manuals? What is your favorite grind?–Garrett

It took me like one month to learn brakeless manuals. My favorite grind right now is the icepick.–EdwinI’ve ever had, so thanks for that. I was wondering if you had any advice for my friend that I ride with. He is probably the best brakeless rider I have ever seen besides you. He just turned 17 and he can kill anything he rides. It’s not easy for brakeless riders to get the hook-ups or sponsorships so I was wondering if you have any advice.–No name given

No problem; anytime. My advice to your friend is to just keep riding and having fun, and if he wants it bad enough, it will happen; it doesn’t matter if he is brakeless or not.–Edwin

Why don’t you attend more contests? I bet you could do really well, because you’re one of the best street riders.–No name given

I still enter contests, but just fun ones like the Backyard Jams; those are always good.–Edwin

When you were growing up, who were some of your favorite riders?–Tom Sturla, Costa Mesa, California

When I was growing up, my favorite riders were the “Gonz” {Mark Gonzales} and Joe Rich. There were more, but those are the main ones.–Edwin

What happened after you double-pegged the huge ledge while the security guy was there in Etnies Forward? Did you know security was there before you grinded it?–Trapper Schoepp

I tried it once and I messed up. As I was going up the steps, she pulled up and started yelling at me to get down, but I didn’t listen. I just kept going and I pulled it next try. We drove a long way to get there, so I didn’t want to go there for nothing.–Edwin

I love your style of riding, being smooth and flowy on street. Will there be a Skavenger video somewhere in the future?–No name given

Thanks, and yes, there will be a Skavenger video in the future, coming soon.–Edwin

What difference has the 25/9 set-up made for you?–No name given

When I do a double peg grinds now, my chain doesn’t hit or rub what I’m grinding.–Edwin

So, what did you think of the second NSF video Erm; you have seen it right? Being as you’re mainly a brakeless street rider like the majority of the NSF. Cheers.–Paul

Sorry man, I haven’t seen the video. I want to see it; I met some of the NSF guys at one of the of the Backyard Jams. They were real cool; I like them.–Edwin

How long did it take you to learn brakeless manuals? What is your favorite grind?–Garrett

It took me like one month to learn brakeless manuals. My favorite grind right now is the icepick.–Edwin