Ride BMX’s 2009 Covers & The Stories Behind Them

January/February 2009
Issue #152

Sean Burns, photo by Sandy Carson.

Sandy Carson occasionally sends us photos, and like most contributions, this shot of Sean Burns probably sat for a while before we found a good spot for it. No doubt we chose this photo for the cover because we had our 2008 NORA Cup Awards interviews in the issue. Sean won the Cup for Best Video Part from Metal's Dead Bang, so even though this move wasn't in that video part, it went well with the feature article. The roof drop is huge, the landing is sketchy, the black and white flashed photo is raw as hell, and the style is pure Burns. So good. —Keith

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 152 - Sean Burns

March 2009
Issue #153

Rich Hirsch, photo by Keith Mulligan in Bogota, Colombia.

This one took a while. The actual photo shoot took only a couple of minutes start-to-finish, but the final image took much longer. If you didn’t read this issue, then you might not know that this is actually a black and white photo and I hand-colored the print with colored pencils. The story behind the photo is that I was on a weeklong road trip with the Subrosa team in Bogota, Colombia, and we stayed in a hostel the entire time. Right outside our door was an area packed with good stuff for street riding. Our first morning we didn’t go more than a couple hundred yards, and shot a number of things. Rich found this wallride setup and wasn’t sure if it was worthy of shooting. Early on during trips it’s always wise to shoot anything someone wants to do because you never know how things will go. It could rain every day, someone can get hurt, etc., so of course I wanted to shoot it just to get a few shots going, but I also really liked the graffiti wall background, the reflection in the puddle, the trash, and just the overall raw setting combined with the soulful trick. To me, this is street riding in the purest form and perfect for a photo. As for the black/white hand-colored thing, I went into the trip planning on doing the article that way. Each time I shot something with one of the guys I also took a digi snapshot of the scene, so I could have something to go off of to accurately color the scene and make it look as realistic as possible. After returning from the trip and getting prints made, I then began the painstaking process of coloring them. Each photo for the article took around six to eight hours to do. This one was especially difficult because of all the graffiti and bricks as well as the reflection in the water. It was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it as the article and cover really stood out for the Photo Issue and was unlike any other article we had done in the past. Oh yeah, I also did the Ride BMX logo and the word “color” by hand for the cover layout. The treatment is subtle, but ties the article and cover together. -Keith

I also did an interview about this cover on degrip. Check it at defgrip.net.

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 153 - Rich Hirsch

April 2009
Issue #154

Mike “Hucker” Clark, photo by Ryan Fudger in Bellflower, California.

I found myself on a pseudo-Albe’s trip with the likes of Mark Flipowicz, Brandon Dosch, Vinnie Vasquez, Cody Bowers, and Hucker. Not sure how I got there, nor did I understand why Hucker was with the crew, but no complaints about either fact. Please realize that I have a poor memory all around. So this was early on, day two, day three, but maybe day one. I gave the dudes the token Southern California 605 ditch tour. We went to the spot that’s recently been put in plastic for a finger bike spot. Then we headed down the way a few miles to this wonderful dynamic of bike riding: a skatepark, dirt jumps, and this ditch wallride all within a stone’s throw from one another. I went straight to the ditch wallride and shot a couple photos of Dosch that ended up in a later issue, then around dusk, Hucker made his way to the wall. Almost immediately, Hucker asked Vinnie and I, “Does titanium spark?” I can’t remember what we answered, but the idea Hucker had was to scrape his pegs on the upper slant and attempt to “spark it up,” surely his favorite thing to do behind surfing, riding, and milfs. Unfortunately the pegs never touched (although they were so close one go), but he did bonk his front wheel off the top, scrape his pedal, and somehow manage to ride away. Even without the actual “goal” reached, the wallride was so nuts that we decided it’d be a good choice for a cover. -Ryan

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 154 - Mike "Hucker" Clark

May 2009
Issue #155

Chris Doyle, photo by Jeff Zielinski in Long Beach, California.

We started out with a lot of ambition on this day. Chris Doyle had big plans for a spot in L.A., where on a previous trip to the City of Angels he came close to pulling something pretty crazy (which I’m not at liberty to reveal right now). So with Chris’ unfinished business looming about 45 minutes north of us, the plan was to meet up with Doyle, Biz, and Jason Enns, and hit a few warm up spots, so Chris could get psyched for round two in L.A. This riverbed tabletop was the first spot of the day and while they were getting used to it Biz came up short on a feeler 360, got tossed sideways off his bike, and landed almost at the flat bottom straight to his side. Once he got up we could all tell he was in pain. With Biz down and Enns and I behind cameras, it was all up to Doyle. After he ruled out a few tricks that had already been done over it, he opted for a superman (which turned out to be the same trick Biz was thinking about doing before he got hurt). A few perfectly stretched supermans later (I have another photo that almost looks identical to the one on the cover), Doyle was done and as we made our way back out to the cars we realized that Biz was in worse shape than we thought. So Chris decided to call it quits for the day because it was Biz’s birthday and who wants to spend their birthday hurt while watching their friend shred on his bike. One cover photo and broken femur, our ambitious day was done in an hour. -Z

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 155 - Chris Doyle

June 2009
Issue #156

Eman, photo by Jeff Zielinski in Los Angeles, California.

I found this setup with Jim Bauer while we were looking for a ledge I saw in a skate mag. While that ledge turned out to be not so great for bikes, this gap out to L-grind set-up was totally worth the trip. Believe me, it’s hard to find a spot in L.A. with that picturesque aged look like this one. Even still, I think it took me close to three years before I finally went back there when I showed it to Eman. And after that it took us a few more months to go back and shoot it- you’d think with all that procrastinating someone else would’ve swooped in and did it. Luckily L.A. is so spread out that the setup remained over-looked. -Z

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 156 - Eman

July 2009
Issue #157

Garrett Byrnes, photo by Keith Mulligan in Ashbury Park, New Jersey.

This cover photo came from “The Ramp” article. Garrett was the third person to get the ramp (after Jimmy Levan and Dave Osato) and he came up with a few things he wanted to shoot with it. On this day we got up early-between 5am and 6am-and drove to the Jersey Shore, which is close to Garrett’s house. He had found this roof setup behind the old casino and thought it would be perfect to set the ramp up on and blast some airs out of for a sunrise shot. We were hoping for good colors and we lucked out with a nice peachy/orange/yellow sky with not many clouds. We shot a few fisheye shots first that looked really cool with some blur in the colors, but as the sun started to rise and Garrett started going higher I knew a long lens shot with the sun and ocean in the background-and no distortion to his height-would be the proper shot for the setup. We tried to time a few hits with fishing boats passing by in the distance, but the photo we picked didn’t end up having any in it. A couple of simple little elements I like in the photo include Garrett’s hand-done yellow paint-drip frame finish, the sun peeking out from behind the clouds, and Garrett’s clothing choice. The red shirt sliver matches the red tape on the ramp and along with his black and white shoes everything works well with the coverline red/white/black treatment. -Keith

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 157 - Garrett Byrnes

August 2009
Issue #158

Allan Cooke, photo by Ryan Fudger.

I found this spot while getting some work done on my car. I kept showing it to people to no avail, and even attempted to take Morgan Wade there, but everything fell through until I showed the spot to Allan Cooke. He was immediately down and even did all the work for me; brought the pallets and even his brother set up up trash cans in the water to hold ’em up. The bridge itself couldn’t have looked more professional in the photo, but it was actually held up by three trash cans that were already at the building and dangerously wobbly. After a few testers, I shot the photo with the camera in my right hand and my left hand crossed over top to grip in between the stone tiles to hold me onto the sculpture like Sly Stallone in Cliff Hanger. We shot the bars a couple times over to get everything just right, and Allan rushed off to make his dinner plans. Can’t complain when everything lines up. -Ryan

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 158 - Allan Cooke

September/October 2009
Issue #159

Kurtis Elwell, photo by Jeff Zielinski in Petaluma, California.

I always wanted to ride this park since I saw it in Road Fools 2. Hips, banks, and just kinda low-impact overall-definitely my type of park. Anyhow, I finally got my chance when a bunch of us drove up to Petaluma from San Francisco. We rushed up there trying to beat the rain, only to arrive to a park full of skaters flying all over the joint. Eventually, in-between shifts of skaters, the sun peaked out and boosted the contrast for my photo, and Kurtis did his thing. -Z

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 159 - Kurtis Elwell

November/December 2009
Issue #160

Simon Tabron, photo by Keith Mulligan in Battle Ground, Washington.

This photo was taken during our first Range of Motion video road trip. Lots of great photos were taken on the trip of everyone. With Jeff, Ryan, and me shooting there was no shortage of photos. We picked all of the article photos first and weren’t sure what we were going to use for the cover until the last minute. We definitely wanted to try to use something from the trip to help tie-in the main article in the issue, as well as help promote the video. It came down to a few different photos, but ultimately this one was chosen. I remember we had a bit of a dilemma on how to label the trick in the caption because Simon’s bars aren’t at full-x position. The way he does this trick it’s more of a boned-out one-footed toboggan, and I think as he kept doing them the bars just started turning more and more. That-combined with the fisheye distortion-give it that x-up characteristic. I was lying down with my head and camera against the coping, and there were a couple of extremely close calls (within inches)! Simon and I definitely put trust in one another for this angle… The layout was difficult because the photo didn’t have any excess dead space top or bottom to crop, so we couldn’t go full bleed with it. Plus, Simon’s all-black attire and the gloomy gray clouds weren’t the best of combos, but everything came together with a red, yellow, and white coverline treatment. We were stoked to have Simon on this cover-it’s been a long time since we had a vert photo on the front of the mag and Simon killed it on the trip. -Keith

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 160 - Simon Tabron

January/February 2010
Issue #161

Sergio Layos, photo by Ryan Fudger.

This pocket at Catty is one of the best things I’ve ever seen at a set of trails, and pretty much everyone else on the Range of Motion dirt trip thought the same thing. Thanks again to the Catty locals for letting us come out. Sergio was roasting one-footed Euros across the pocket, but needed a little convincing to push through to the downside whip. I was already setup to shoot fisheye, and really, at the time, I actually preferred that angle to anything else. But, having two other photographers there (Mulligan and Zielinski) scrutinizing and analyzing, they both thought that I should give a long lens version a shot. Sergio was down with it, since he laced the first downside whip, so I moved all my crap and whambam, Z and Keith proved their superior angle-finding ability and we have a cover for my favorite Spaniard. I miss Sergio! -Ryan

Ride BMX Magazine Issue 161 - Sergio Layos