By Sydney Goldberg
An endless supply of beef jerky and power bars end in a woozy stomach.
Now, an endless supply of Jamie Bestwick, Mike Spinner, and Brett “Maddog” Banasiewicz, end in explaining to my mother why the risk of a massive farmer’s tan, from standing outside for eight hours, is totally worth it.
The 2010 Nike 6.0 BMX Open in Chicago, Ill. was overwhelming in a good way. There were cute girls in short shorts, telling you to drink blue and purple Mountain Dew, bull riding, two micro skateparks, V.I.P. sections, media sections, and muddy sections (Thank you, Chicago rain).
A week prior to day two of this event, I knew absolutely zilch about biking. Three days pre-Dew I had the local biker groms testing me on the ins and outs of BMX politics.
Random BMX tidbits I now know.
- When you cannot pronounce Brett’s last name, just go with Brett “Banana Sandwich” Banasiewicz.
- Jamie Bestwick is unstoppable with five Dew Tour cups under his belt, and well on his way to another one.
- The “Cashroll” trick was originally invented by Daniel Dhers but Mr. Sandwich landed one as well, boom roasted.
What I was most interested in? Meeting Nike 6.0 riders Garrett Reynolds and Dennis Enarson. Reynolds was last year’s BMX Park Dew Cup Champion. Not only are they total babes but come on they are so sick! Reynolds is the Corey Duffel of BMX and Enarson is the cherub.
The documentary that fueled my obsession.
“Dennis is one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. And he’s probably good marriage material” Reynolds said. Hey Dennis, call me!
As I flashed my media pass at the security guards blocking the dirt course, lo and behold Reynolds was standing right behind me. I knew that if I asked him “Hey can I have your autograph?” I would feel like a kook, especially next to all of the apathetic professional photographers and filmers that surrounded me.
I just stood there all nervous, like a little girl, texting my mom “Garrett Reynolds is right next to me!”
Yes, I know I am quite ashamed but everyone is allowed to get a little star-struck at times.
Reynolds was wearing his black knitted beanie and sporting his signature nose ring. He watched the dirt practice quietly, avoiding any unnecessary attention heading his way. Modesty is Reynolds’ strong suit.
According to Alli Alliance of Action Sports’ 2009 article “Garrett Reynolds, Unlikely Dew Cup Champion,” Reynolds said “You just can’t ever consider yourself above the people you looked up to when you’re little, no matter if you had your best day.” Throughout the article, he insisted that his win was a fluke.
I headed over to the BMX park setup, after the awkward Reynolds gawking fiasco and waiting two hours for the dirt competition to start.
Although, it felt like 90 degrees, the sun took forever to dry the dirt course up. Unfortunately, I could not stay to catch that competition. That my friends, I deeply regret.
History making, is an understatement. 15-year-old Maddog beat all of the people he looked up to when he was little and snagged first place with his final line: barspin drop-in, no-handed frontflip, truck to 360 barspin, and a triple tailwhip.
Banasiewicz deserved it. Currently the youngest Dew Tour winner, it was inspiring to see someone of that age fulfill his dream, similarly to Reynolds. What caught my attention even more, was when I watched the NBC broadcast. Banasiewicz’ father rushed into the course after he won, and gave him a huge hug with tears in his eyes.
Quite possibly the cutest reaction ever.
There were a few vivid Dew Tour memories I would like to share with you. Photographing Jamie Bestwick with his son on the podium, was by far the most surreal experience. A lady from Alli Alliance of Action Sports motioned for the photographers to come over to the bottom of the vert ramp. She told us that we could take pictures as long as we stayed out of NBC and Alli’s way. I was literally three feet away from Bestwick, Chad Kagy, and Steven McCann, wondering how I got myself into this situation. At that moment, I knew I belonged there. Nothing in the world could be better than attending every Dew Tour stop, interviewing athletes, fans, and immersing yourself in the aura that is action sports.
Photo by Sydney Goldberg
Scrap Skatepark in Hoffman Estates, Ill. was owned by Dew Tour BMX Vert Competitor Jimmy Walker, until it closed down a few years ago. To see Walker on the tour brought back some fond memories of him yelling at me for skateboarding outside of the park but also the influence he had on the windy city bike community with his famous establishment. The day that his park had shutdown I felt terrible for Chicagoan bikers. Skateparks that bmxers can enjoy in Chicago are practically non-existent with all of the legal restrictions on biking. To see BMX supporters of all ages, affiliations, and creeds, at the Soldier Field parking lot that day, boosted my faith in the local scene.
What also boosted my faith? When I was on the train with my mom traveling back home, there were three Dew Tour spectators sitting together. They were decked out in Little Devil and Dan’s Comp neon yellow gear. One of the kids did not realize that you could not use a credit card to buy a ticket on the train, so he was stuck with no ticket. He asked around for money, and promptly a man about 60-years-old gave him the $7. Afterward, the kid thanked the man profusely, offering the adult his bike poster. The guy told him to not even worry about it. Almost as if that same man remembered what it felt like to be young and reckless. It was great to see that nice people still exist in the world, and that childhood memories, such as those, bond us together.
In case you were wondering, my mother’s sunburn was so bad that a guy on the Metra train stopped her and asked “Didn’t your mother ever tell you to wear sunscreen?”
I want to thank Roger Harrell and Shawn Smith for making my wonderful day possible.