Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 2 & 3 Jan 27, 2010

Photo by Peter DiAntoni / COG Mag

Here’s the follow-up to the previous post on the Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 1. I realized after looking at all the photos that I could just group the last two days into one. So here it is, the Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 2 & 3.

To pick up where we left off, we had all gone out the night before and had a few drinks. The next morning, we all woke up kinda late and hung out indoors. The weather had turned from nice to messy in a matter of hours. No one was in a rush to do anything. I kept saying this whole trip that getting everyone motivated and amped to do something was like herding cats. I was staying at Mark’s, Tom was at Kevin’s and we knew that we had to go to Ben’s Cycles that morning to change out Tom’s bottom bracket; which had come down with a case of the Mid-West salty disease.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Meanwhile, somewhere in the skies, Wonka, Torey and Andy T. were in a plane en route to Miilwaukee.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

They arrived at MKE and Drew picked them up. Luckily, Wonka had a sign with him so Drew knew who he was. Eventually everyone else trickled over to Ben’s Cycles and hung out. Tom, Jeff and I rolled up to a parking lot filled with familiar faces. Most of which we only knew online through videos and photos. Everyone was packing up to head to the Hi Hat, but we had work to do.


Tom’s bike was a mess. The bearings in his bottom bracket were shot, his chain was rusty and his bike needed an overhaul.


Drew was kind enough to open the shop up for us. To give you an idea on the time frame, Ben’s closes at 4pm, the Revival Premiere at the Hi Hat was at 5pm, so we had about an hour to overhaul our bikes since we showed up late to the shop.


We had plenty of time; enough for Tom to meditate and pray to the gods of NYHC for power.

Hi Hat

We loaded up the Sun Ringle van and headed to the Hi Hat. By some stroke of luck, Ben’s Cycle bought a truck from Sun Ringle the week before. This was the night’s saving grace; which you’ll see later.


Shea, Antonio, Sam and Kris were holding it down. There were tons of people there. I was really stoked to see messengers, shop mechanics, commuters, trick kids, fast kids, polo players and even older cyclists there.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Everyone was talking, drinking and eating. I stuffed my face with a Cowboy Burger.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

While The Revival was playing, everyone was getting pumped on the riding and hanging out with new friends.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

I met Vinnie from Minneapolis.


Who ended up winning the Leader frame raffle!

Bikes Loaded

After the premiere, a few people went riding. It was raining at that point and I had no desire to go out into the rainy, nasty shit; especially since there was an indoor park waiting for us!

The Truck

Come 9pm, Drew and I, with the help of others, loaded up the truck with everyone’s bikes. The skatepark was across town and the ride there would have taken over an hour. We felt like it made sense to carpool the park and load the bikes in the truck.

Unloading the Truck

It was packed. We arrived at Cream City Skatepark and began to unload.


Everyone was pumped. AJ broke out the Texas pride.


First order of business was wiping our bikes down. We didn’t want to ruin the ramps at the park.

Rob from Hold Fast

Shortly afterwards, we all crammed into the park and had a nice hour-long warm up. Meanwhile, the judges were bracketing off the riders into groups. Here’s Rob from Hold Fast looking over everything.

IAndy T

Andy T was there taking photos. Below are some of his photos. They’re the ones that didn’t make the cut. He took so many shots that night and got 2 or 3 bangers. You’ll be seeing those in magazines and on the web shortly; but for now, these will have to do!

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Taylor Dwight was in the house. This dude kills it. Such a nice guy too. 17 years old and easily one of the best riders in the country.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Here’s his bike and his pedal stroke.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

AJ the Red riding his Bruiser.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Tom floating on a nose-mannie. After a warm-up, it was time for the B-Class to go. A lot of great riding from these guys. Unfortunately, I can’t find any photos of the B-Class riders at the park, so we’ll skip forward to the A-Class riders. Don’t worry, there are videos below of some of the B-Class guys.

Photo by Tim Kainu

Tim Kainu was there once again and didn’t take a bad shot all night. Check all his photos out here!

Photo by Tim Kainu

Now, I’m not posting this photo because the trick is anything special; I wanted you to note the helmet. Cream City doesn’t require a helmet if you’re over 18. I mentioned a little while ago that I wanted to get a freestyle helmet for riding bigger stuff because let’s face it, doing tricks in a $250 road helmet doesn’t make sense.

Earlier in the day I picked up a Bern helmet from Ben’s. I was really impressed with the fit of the Baker model and the foam they use on the inside of the helmets keeps you cool. One thing to note is that these helmets are not rated for vehicular crashes, so it still makes sense to commute and ride around with a road helmet.

Photos by Tim Kainu

Tom was blasting wall rides on this steep bank in the corner. Here’s Taylor, helmet on head, turning up the bank to get some speed. The heats were going well. The format was 3 riders would get 10-minutes to pull lines. The judges (Rob and Jeremiah from Hold Fast, Eric from Ben’s Cycles and Mosher from Canada / Volume) would then judge each rider and give them a score. At the end of the night, winners would be chosen.

Even though you’ve probably seen most of these videos before, I still wanted to post them.


Tom & John from Danny Mancuso on Vimeo.

Danny Mancuso has a few edits…

Sparks from Danny Mancuso on Vimeo.

Kris from Locked Cog sparkin’ it up.

Nick from Fyxation caught a few good clips. Here’s Mike from RVA Fixed doing an acid drop into a bank off the deck.

My full-cab into the bank from Ronsta. I was pretty stoked on this one. This video is a good example of two people’s tricks happening at the same time. Tom’s 360 off the ledge and the resulting blow-out happened seconds after I landed my cab. Good stuff.

MIDWEST MAYHEM!!! from Seth Root on Vimeo.

Seth’s video rules. It’s a great snapshot of the riding.

mayhem abound. from Kris *lockedcog* on Vimeo.

Kris from Locked Cog threw a nice edit together too!

Wonka Wall from John Prolly on Vimeo.

Let’s see that again! BOOOOOM

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Andy’s photo captures the scale of the gap and wall ride really well and even though it’s not in focus (sorry Tracko), the photo’s legit!


A Class

Tom LaMarche
Taylor & Mike Schmitt Tied for third
Eric Pucket
Torey Thornton
Robert & Kris tied
A.J. Austin
Sean Milnes
Mike T

B Class

Murder B
Cody & Bob tie



Thanks to Jeff from All-City and Bike Jerks for the results.


After the event was over, everyone sat around and shot the shit.


My bike was vandalized.


I wonder who did that?

Broken Scrambler

Will broke his Scrambler during the competition and actually won a new one for finishing 1st in the B-Class.


Here’s Taylor looking confused.


… and Mosher running the show!


Wonka picking out his prizes for 2nd place.

Young Guns

The East Coast crew was in full effect. Now, this is where I’m kicking myself really hard. This was the most significant event to date for fixedgear freestyle. No other event will come close to matching this based on the number of attendees who came from all-over the country. Having all these people there would make you think that we would have had the brains to shoot a group shot right? WRONG. We dropped the fucking ball on that one. Man. I didn’t even think about it until I was back in NYC. Such a bummer.

Back to the contest’s aftermath. Everyone was starving and slightly drunk. Well, not everyone, but most of us. Drew packed the truck back up and dropped everyone’s bikes closer to where people were staying. A group of us went to eat some food and the others went to party some more.

Late-Night Food

We found a 24-hour diner.

Late-Night Food

… ordered some 24-hour diner food.

Late-Night Food

and hung out. It was 4:30am and we were all beat.

The Next Morning: Day 3

Comotion Tandem

I went poking around Mark’s house after he cooked us breakfast (again), snapping a few photos of his noble bike collection.

Chris Kvale Road

Like this Chris Kvale custom roadie.

Chris Kvale Road

So nice!

Jeff and Mark

Jeff and Mark were flipping through old catalogs as we were walking out the door. I went back to Ben’s to get my bike box and take it to Kevin Sparrow’s place.

The Truck That Saved Us All

Where I snapped a photo of our transportation the night before. Drew and I hung out at Ben’s for a little bit, talking about future projects, the progression of the sport and various products they were selling. I picked up a few vintage parts, some tech clothing and a new saddle. I had finally cracked the rails on my Turbo. After over 6 months of daily use, it gave way. Not bad right?

Kevin and his Daughter

Later, Drew dropped me off at Kevin’s house, where I met his wife and his beautiful daughter.

Bacon Basket

Tom and I were starving, so we met up with a few of the locals and went to the Comet Cafe; where they serve all-you-can-eat bacon baskets on Sunday.

The Comet

I think we went through 2 baskets.


Gabby got a cupcake for dinner. All that riding the night before had her craving some sugar. One side note; Gabby said to me at dinner “I wanted to jump those stairs last night”. I noticed her riding in the park and was really impressed. She’s been meeting up at the local trick night, TNT, in Milwaukee and has picked up a few moves. Real motivation. Tom and I were talking about her a lot that night and today, Charge Bikes picked her up as the first female rider in the States!

Meatloaf Open Face

Back to food. My meatloaf sandwich was overwhelming!

Kevin Stole my Bike

Eventually, Kevin stole my bike and came to meet us.

The Comet

I was super impressed with the Comet Cafe.

Mike's Hand

Tom and I were stuffed but we didn’t wanna dip out of MKE without seeing the Texas guys again, so we went over to Sam’s place. Mike showed me his hand. Previously, he broke it and had it in a cast. While he was doing his acid-drop, he popped his stitches… gross!

Sam's MWM Book

Sam had a book that he got people to autograph during the MWM. After we hung out for a little while, I was beat. We still had to pack too. So we headed back to Kevin’s house.


Where he showed me his Vanilla Speedvagen.





Kevin Sparrow

He also showed me the new COG feature on Empire.


The next morning, Kevin took Tom and I to the airport. The weather in NYC was shit, so my flight was canceled. Tired and without a computer, I passed out in those god-awful chairs. 4 hours passed and the next flight was canceled. Finally, around 4pm or so, after being there since 6:30 am, I saw someone. Mosher was at the airport. We sat down and talked. Sponsorships, the sports, people; everything.

We reflected on the night before and how amazing it was. I keep on saying this and it’s true; if you weren’t there, you cannot fathom how significant this event was. Seriously, it was a milestone in the sport and even a milestone in what this sport evolved from; people riding their track bikes in the streets.

The Mid-West Mayhem brought riders from all over the country and thanks to Cream City Skatepark (YOU GUYS RULE), allowed these riders to showcase their skills. Through the support of sponsors and people, the event was a huge success.

Here’s my thank-you list:
-The City of Milwaukee
-Sam, Kris, Antonio and Shea
-Trick Track
-Ben’s Cycles
-Cream City Skatepark
-All the sponsors who kicked down gear and prizes!
-All the locals who helped us out!
-Mark for my killer cds and vinyl
-Kevin, Peter and the rest of the COG mag crew.
-Photographers, videographers and the crowd during the event. Without you guys, this event would have gone un-documented.
-All of the supporters who flew their riders to this event. I think I can speak collectively and say, THANKS!

Seriously. I cannot get over this event. There’s a special place in my heart for everyone who I met and I can’t wait to see you all again!

Third Coast, East Coast, West Coast and the Mid-West came together to create Mayhem!

The rest of my photos are here and the full MWM set is here.

Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 1

  • http://www.bikesandshit.com RJCrouch

    I’m glad there is someone out there who documented it so well! Can’t wait for next year, is there already talk of plans for a yearly event?

  • http://itswrahw.blogspot.com Torey Thornton

    So good John. For sure.

  • t-bone

    Looks like Tom is giving me back a newer bottom bracket.

  • Chris Smith DPH

    Awesome Write up ! This event was incredible !

  • http://radskids.blogspot.com zach renner

    saturday night was the most fun i have had on a bike!

  • http://agranolalife.blogspot.com/ Joshua

    Looks like you guys had a blast! Glad Texas had a few reps there.

    Quick Question: Why are some of your photos hosted through flickr while others are through your actual site?

  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    The ones I took were from Flickr. Downloading and re-upping them here takes so much time and since there were so many, it was easier to hyperlink them to Flickr.

    If they’re Tim’s or Andy’s photos, I downloaded them and credited the authors. That way, if they remove them from Flickr, for whatever reason, the links won’t die.

  • aj

    for real, thanks for doing all the reporting john. I know third coast loved everyone we met. anyone wanna do a road trip down the east hit me up? lets camp and ride bikes!

  • Urkness

    Before I make my points I just want to say that I do ride fixed gear and have nothing but respects for all the top dogs in this competition. Most of those tricks I probably won’t be able to pull off even with another year of practice. Now that that’s cleared up I have to say I was disappointed after seeing all the clips. If you guys want to distinguish yourselves from bmxers you’ve failed miserably. Most tricks looked awkward and clumsy on these bikes and they’ve lost the style and grace of what fixed gear bikes should look. I would much rather watch bmx cause those tricks would’ve looked more stylish and fluid. Sorry for the harshness, but that’s just how I see it

  • http://theradavist.com prolly


    We’ve all heard that 1000 times. I don’t think anyone is saying these tricks are better than BMX tricks. That’s not the point though…

  • http://vimeo.com/kreeestowfur KrEEEstowfUr

    Nice recap prolly. Wish I could have gone…
    It was good seeing you and Tay rocking helmets btw.

  • http:[email protected] Richard Ashe

    Great post homes! Seriously pushing the whole game forward.


  • SandCrab

    Awesome right up man! What size helmet are you rockin? I’ve wanted to get the baker, but was worried about it not having EPS foam in the larger sizes. Your point about just using it for tricks and not commuting made me reconsider though. Again, thanks for the great coverage; makin a boring work day a little more bearable!

  • vin-E

    oh also, I hope you’re lovin that frame Rob!!

  • http://twitter.com/antonyoxxx antonyo

    HAHAHA @ “We had plenty of time; enough for Tom to meditate and pray to the gods of NYHC for power.”

  • drew leshko

    whos slamming hard trying those ramp->wall->ramp transfers….. flannel shirt.

  • dontcoast

    looks like evryone had a major blast! props to the organizers thats some serious work you must have put in

    what happened to spintricks and other tricks making use of a fixed gear’s special drivetrain though?

  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    just ran outta time…