Man. What a weekend! Rather than attempt to cram every-last detail into a megapost, I decided to do a few posts. After a major hiatus today at the airport, I came home to 500+ photos, 20+ videos and 200+ emails. Sitting down at the computer to make a post like this takes a lot of time and needless to say, it’s the last thing I feel like doing right now. In any case, here’s the Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 1.
I want to say something before we begin though. This weekend was made possible by a few major supporters. Sure, Sam, Kris, Antonio and Shea organized the event with the help of Trick Track, but in any major event in a city, there’s always a hub; a centralized location where the people hang out (I think it’s called loitering? – heh). At the CMWC, W-Base acted as the hub and at the MWM, It was Ben’s Cycles / Milwaukee Bicycle Co. The guys at Ben’s helped kids with everything. From directions, to bike building, to airport shuttling, to food. Man, It was so comforting. Sure, I’ve been sponsored by them for a few years now, but I saw Drew, Vince and the other guys help everyone out like they were one of their own team riders. So this is a HUGE thank you to Ben’s Cycles. You guys really outdid yourselves.
I flew into Milwaukee around 8am after having only slept for an hour or so the night before. Drew picked me up at the airport around 9:30 or so and drove me to the shop. After a few cups of coffee, he gave me a grand tour of the shop.
Ben’s opened in 1928 as a small-time family-owned bike shop. Since then, the family has purchased adjacent properties, expanded and in the years it’s been open, has became the premiere bike shop in the Milwaukee area.
As many people know, their online store used to be one of the only places to purchase track and fixed gear goods. In the past two-years, Drew has been spearheading their fixedgear freestyle division and he’s the guy who I worked on the Bruiser with.
The owner, Vince, has been collecting beautiful bikes throughout the years.
Here are some of the bikes that are hanging in the shop. I wish I knew them well-enough, or thought at the time to inquire about their dates.
Paramount with Nuovo Record. Since Wisconsin is also the home to Waterford, the makers of Schwinn bicycles, Paramounts litter the streets and are falling from the sky. You just have to catch them before they hit the ground.
Paramount track with very rare bits.
Like Campagnolo “con denti” Track pedals. Pista pedals “with teeth”.
Bianchi time-trial with Shimano 105
1970’s Cinelli Supercorsa with matching wool jersey and pants.
Across the street from the original brick and mortar store is the Ben’s Cycle and Fitness Center. It’s a shop that’s centered around commuters and city riders. Adjacent to that building is the warehouse; an old movie theater.
I didn’t take any overall shots, because God is in the details. These chandeliers are made from old mountain bikes and fluorescent fixtures.
Let’s just say, there’s a ton of old bikes in this building. From Klein Mountain Bikes to…
… an original Swing Bike!
Beautiful Bob Jacksons hanging around.
Back across the street, upstairs in the web-sales offices, Drew gave me a tour of the facilities. It was like being in a toy store. They have everything. Clothing, vintage parts, modern parts and everything else a cyclist would need. There’s only about 10 people working upstairs too. All keeping busy with their tasks. One of the things Drew does is come across these old vintage components to put on their eBay / online store.
151 BCD Pista cranks with a 27t inch-pitch ring and dust caps.
NOS Campy 50th Group with a NOS Schwinn Paramount gold-plated frame. Wow… By this time, others had begun to show up.
Here’s Sam, one of the organizers. Such a great guy. Follow him on Twitter!
Andrew, aka Peru, a Texan through and through. His nickname is Peru because his sister brought him that hat back from Peru and that’s all he wears. Follow him on Twitter too!
That’s Puckett. He rides for Volume, Mishka, loves to drink and hates Elliot. He also rips hard as hell.
AJ Austin, aka “Red Dick”. He’s on Milwaukee’s freestyle team and is setting a good example for all the kids by smoking on camera. He also rips, has orange body hair and because he’s a ginger kid, has no soul.
You probably know Tom. Tom rides for Profile, Charge, SAG and works full-time at the Darby $29.99 Discount Shoe House. He also rips.
That’s him hitting a wall ride from flat (video of that to come!) on the Ben’s Cycles trash fence. The thing sounded like it was going to crumble!
Here’s Tom’s Charge Scissor. A lot of character is in this one. Remember the earlier bike check?
He reps Philly.
Puckett knocked his bike over while I was shooting it.
It’s such a nice bike too! One of those new Volume Thrashers I’ve posted about before.
Since everyone was around, we decided to go riding. A huge group of riders were in town at this point. Jeff from Bike Jerks / All-City, Sean from OPEN, Carney from All-City, Rob from iMiNUSD locals, Peter from COG and others. We hit a few spots, but the first place I got my camera out was the War Memorial. You’ve already seen another shot of this and like the last one, this too is out of focus.
AJ, smoking again. Kids, smoking gives you lung cancer and red hair. Don’t do it.
Carney waiting for his run. Man, this guy fell so fucking hard so many times this weekend. I have video of him making the ground shake falling off this thing. More on that later.
After we rode that spot, we went to get some food. As per Mark’s recommendation, we hit up a cheap and fast Mexican spot. Like his choice in music, Mark’s choice in food and bikes is on fucking point. This isn’t mark though, this is Peter from COG magazine. I know I know, it’s hard to recognize him without his helmet on…
Tom, singing DOOM and Tragedy in his head as he waits for a burrito.
Peru “the tit” sucking down a Margarita. Don’t drink either kids. It gives you facial hair.
… and really, don’t drink girl drinks. It gives you wild eyes. Hey Jeff!
Sean, pissed he didn’t get a margarita. Meanwhile, while we were eating, the rest of the crew went riding with Kevin Sparrow from COG and photographer Tim Kainu.
Photo by Tim Kainu
AJ with a tuck-no hander down a 4 set.
Photo by Tim Kainu
Sean with a 180 down the 4 set.
Check out the rest of Tim’s shots from the night right cheah right cheah.
Photo by Luke Mouradian
There’s also this shot of Antonio hitting a 180 bar down the 4. Antonio’s the local ripper. Kid went OFF in the competition. More to come on him later.
At that point, we made our way back to Mark’s place. Mark played us some great metal, gave us beer, introduced us to his pets and told us to shut the fuck up because his wife was coming in from a long night of work.
We awoke the next morning to pet faces, breakfast, shitty weather and aspirations to destroy the Cream City park.
Check back tomorrow for the day 2 recap!
If you wanna see more from my Mid-West Mayhem Recap: Day 1, check out my Flickr! There’s a ton of images that I didn’t post.
Mid-West Mayhem Videos
Tom in Milwaukee
Mid-West Mayhem Here I Come
Mid-West Mayhem Final Flier