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Thursday, January 31, 2008
The Brap Haps

By The Brap Haps—Ryan Leyba

Loza's Learning

1/17/08, 8:04AM
Deep concentration performed by Kyle Loza.

Even though Kyle Loza likes to completely disconnect from his bike and pull body varials, he is not content. Unfortunately for today's riders, freestyle motocross has reached levels that were previously thought impossible. Proof of this is the backflip being a staple trick that is a must have for riders if they want to consider themselves to be professional. Although I don't quite agree with it, the judges, sponsors and fans do. So with that being said, if you plan on stepping to the plate ready to do battle, make sure your bag of tricks is loaded with backflips and backflip variations or else you'll be writing blogs like yours truly.

Just yesterday, I caught wind that Loza was on a mission to stomp the flip so I went out to Nate Adams compound with my camera battery charged and my trigger finger well rested. While he only took three or so foam pit attempts at killing mr. backy, Kyle looked smooth on all three and practically ready to take it to dirt. Although he didn't really look like he enjoyed hucking himself into the dust-encrusted foam chunks, he knew that it was something he had to do. "I'm really not too psyched on learning the backflip and to tell you the truth, it's kind of creepy, but backflips are now a staple trick for freestyle motocross and if I'm going to compete professionally, I need to get this monkey off my back", said Loza. "I've probably done it about 6 times total now and I keep getting it better and smoother each time. I have a pit of my own, but I really like coming to Nate's because not only is the pit a lot better, but Nate is super helpful and is cool about giving me pointers", Loza said.

Once Kyle nails the holy-grail, watch out, as I feel he will find a way to do something new and innovative with the now "old" trick.

Though this is only Loza's sixth attempt at the flip, he looks as if he's ready to take it to dirt.

Nate Adam's shares his wealth of rotation knowledge with Loza.

Frezno Smooth Finally On DVD

1/16/08, 7:49PM

Frezno Smooth is quite possibly the most outrageous scripted film to ever hit the motocross market. Back in 1999 when it was released, motocross was just starting to adjust to the new rebellious freestyle characters that quickly dominated the scene. Led by the Godfather Mike Metzger, Carey Hart and Seth Enslow, the freestyle movement needed a film to represent its wild lifestyle, debauchery and disregard for authority — Frezno Smooth was it. Starring the sports' most colorful characters as well as legends like Tony Hawk, Harold Hunter, Rob Machado, Wee Man, Ice T and Ron Jeremy. Frezno Smooth is a laugh out loud cult film that refused to be shunned by a corporate market. After dealing with distribution difficulties and censorship, the film remained a crowd favorite and withstood the test of time.

Just recently, the film's creators Adam Barker and Troy Adamitis decided to produce a director's cut of the film packed with extras and outtakes and re-release it to DVD. Since Frezno Smooth had such a bad history with distribution and unsettled legal woes, Barker and Adamitis opted to donate 100 percent of the DVD sales to freestyle motocross related charities. The recipients of the films profits are Chris Ackerman, the family of the late Jeremy Carter and other motocross/freestyle related charities. Chris was paralyzed while riding his bike with his buddies at Dumont Dunes and Jeremy passed while at the lake with his family and friends. Both Chris and Jeremy were a huge part of the motocross community and close friends of Adam and Troy so it only seemed fitting to help them out as much as possible.

Whether you are a huge fan of Frezno Smooth or haven't even had a chance to see it, be sure to pick up a copy through Impact Video — it will be the best twenty something dollars you have ever spent.

Moto Art: The Drake Mcelroy Exhibition

1/15/08, 1:43PM

Most artist are either crazy or genius — Drake Mcelroy is both.

Many would consider freestyle motocross to be an art form, so if that were true, all FMX riders would be little Salvador Dali's and Warhol's. Obviously, freestyle requires more dangerous tools than just a pen or paintbrush, but believe it or not, there are a few guys that actually use the both to express themselves. Mike Metzger is one of the original moto artists, but there are a few others that have followed in his footsteps — Drake Mcelroy is one of them.

Drake has been laying down various forms of media since roaming the crib in his droopy diapers. Starting off with random scribbles on his parents walls, Drake quickly realized his artistic abilities and has been perfecting his craft ever since. "I have never taken art too seriously. Drawing and painting are just something I've always admired and enjoyed doing in my free time - I just dabble really", says Drake. Being serious about it or not, Drake has produced some amazing pieces along his artistic journey including many riders helmets. "It's been an eternity since I've painted a helmet. Some memorable lid adorning lads, other than myself, would include Dustin Miller and the late great Jeremy Carter", states Drake.

Besides drawing and painting, Drake is a huge tattoo fan as well. Though he's not a huge tattoo artist himself, he sports some of the most original skin works I have ever laid eyes on. "I actually did a tattoo on my toe as well as a terrible tattoo on Kyle Loza's leg. Tattooing is an art I would properly like to learn before the end of my time", says Drake. Judging by his recent art, I'm sure trading a pen for a tattoo gun would be no problem for the man they call DMC.

I had Drake briefly tell us about some of his work — very briefly.

This was sort of a trial run of acrylic inks that was commissioned by Alpinestars for their girls line.
Yet again, another Alpinestars commissioned piece.
This was an Alpinestars piece as well.
This was a Red Bull compilation.
This one was personal for sh*ts and giggles.
This is a piece for some future projects I have in the works.

Maddo's Aftermath

1/13/08, 3:02PM
Maddo looks over his shoulder only to see his new neighbor Nate Adams picking up the morning paper in his house coat.
It has been exactly 13 days since Robbie "Maddo" Maddison set the new distance world record in Las Vegas, Nevada and to tell you the truth, I haven't encountered any follow up media involving him. Really, it's just like the drive by news journalism that we watch on TV. There seems to be the hot news of the minute, but no follow up. "Did they ever find her killer"? "How is Owen Wilson doing now after his suicide attempt"? "How are the families dealing with their loss from the raging wild fires"?

I know that Maddo is definitely not yesterday's news and I wanted to keep him in the spotlight, because I know he has a lot more in him than a made for TV distance jump. I recently caught up with Maddo to see what's next and how life's treating him post 322' — here's what he had to say. So Maddo, has your life changed at all since breaking the world distance record in Las Vegas? Is it more hectic or are things business as usual?

Robbie Maddison: Life has been busy for sure. I have been doing a lot of press interviews and juggling that with the run around of buying a new house — I have barely stopped. Your fiancÚ Amy mentioned that you guys bought a house next to Nate Adams. Was that just a coincidence or did you plan it that way? Do you plan on building a course as well?

RM: We didn't really plan it too much. I ride a lot with Nate at his course and while going there throughout the year, Amy noticed the house a few doors up was being built. She would always say, "I love that place". We would talk about how cool it would be to live there as we love that area and Nate is one of our best friends, but we never thought we could afford it. Then right before I did the jump in Vegas, the house went on the market and Amy noticed it one night while searching the net for a new place. We were getting tired of living in a townhouse and having rules about where we can and can't park our cars and upsetting neighbors when I blast my muddy bikes clean. We called the real estate agent after the Vegas jump because I could afford to buy it. Everything went through so we're moving in a couple weeks. We're very excited! I don't think I will build a course as sick as Nate's because he said I could ride with him whenever I want, but I think I'll definitely have a pit bike course. How else can I settle arguments without racing around a track? How often do you get to travel back home to Australia and visit your family? What do you miss most about being in Australia?

RM: We travel home to Australia for a few months every year to do shows for the Crusty Tour, but I don't go home much because I absolutely love it here in the USA. This is the best place in the world to ride a motocross — that's why so many of us Aussies live here. The thing we miss most about Australia, other than our families, is the un-spoiled beaches and the lack of air pollution. I grew up surfing and some of our beaches are totally deserted. They lie within national parks and while you're way out in the pristine crystal clear water tucking into perfect barrels you can't see any developments. Yeah, there might be a few sharks around there, but that comes with the territory. I also miss our bakeries with their meat pies and sausage rolls. I miss the Aussie Bush and the prominent smell of eucalyptus trees. I miss the snakes and spiders and I miss my mum!
Maddo showing that he has MUCH more than sheer distance running through his veins. Now that the Vegas dust has settled, what's next for you? Do you plan on setting more distance records or are you looking for that gold medal at X?

RM: To be honest, I left the long distance thing alone for over 2 years. I set the record for the longest jump on a 125cc and the longest trick on a 250cc back in May of 2005. I gave guys like Trigger Gumm, Seth Enslow and Ryan Capes time to sort out whom they thought was the best and Ryan Capes came out as the guy to beat. I'm sick of hearing them talk about who is best. Those guys know I can do it better and I gave them time to have their go at it and be the face of distance jumping. Now it's my time and it's not only going to be this one jump — that was just the start! I'm going to jump further, higher and faster and it's just a matter of time until it happens. As for the medals at X Games, I want the gold just as much, if not more than anyone else does. I'm just going to have to work two jobs now. Thanks for your time! Do you have any one you would like to thank?

RM: Well since you asked, here it goes! Huge thank you to my fiancÚ Amy — her work never stops and she is on the other side of the world away from her friends and family just to help me, so she puts up with a lot. Thanks to Joan and the awesome crew at ESPN as they were a pleasure to work with. AJ, Chris, Dane and Jordan from Red Bull. You guys will be rockin' with me for a while! Cernics, Donny from FMF, Brock at Dunlop, Steve from Moose Racing, Kenny from Dragon, Paul, Ronnie and AJ from Race Tech, Ron from Maxima Oils, Leatt Brace, Pro Taper, DC Shoes, Metal Mulisha, Works Connection and Acerbis plastics. I also want to thank my mechanic Craig Koback — his work is meticulous and impeccable. My strength and conditioning Coach Ray Molina, my sports therapist Sherri Cabral, and my agency The Sports Syndicate who have done so much...

Miller Time

1/11/08, 3:09PM

NVHC's Dustin Miller is by far one of my favorite riders and has been for a very long time. His short stature allows him to pull unimaginable combinations and poke out huge extensions while air born. Since the introduction of the flip, Dustin has slowly disappeared from the bigger contests such as X Games and Red Bull X Fighters, however, it is not because of lack of talent or skill. If you are a fan of motocross cinema and have seen videos such as the On The Pipe series, you know just how big Dustin throws down.

So, after watching the latest On The Pipe 4 trailer and seeing Dustin's name featured, I decided to hit up my filmmaker buddy and Dustin's close friend, Jorge Alvarez to see if he could link up with Mr. Miller to give us an update of what he's been up to. Watch this vid to see what Miller and the entire NVHC have been doing and what they have up their sleeve for 2008. Looks like Dustin Miller is ready, but the real question is - are you ready for Dustin Miller?

Hood Rich Flicks

1/10/08, 12:10PM

Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg is one badass dude and I have the photos to prove it. A little while back I was invited to snap photos for the filming of Twitch's new video Hood Rich at a super secret riding spot located in the lush hills of Northern California. I can't give away too much about the spot, but I will tell you this — it was pretty damn epic. The weather conditions were a bit spotty, but Twitch and his boys ripped the place to shreds.
Filmer Dave Dawes and photographer Chris Tedesco get the VIP angles of Twitch's no handed flip off the ramp.
Currently, Hood Rich continues to lack a release date due to the film still being in production. Twitch's original intentions were to release the film in October of 2007, but he was determined to make it the best it could possibly be, so he opted to wait it out for the infamous California winter rains. With moisture, comes insane freeriding and yet again, I have the photos to prove it. OK, so I don't have the photos personally, but I DO know where you can find them. Check out Metal Mulisha's Ryan Cropley and Chris Tedesco's photos from a very recent Ocotillo Wells shoot. Looks like it's going to be an amazing flick.

Stay tuned to The Brap Haps for the official Hood Rich release date.

Skoolz in Session

1/9/08, 11:03AM

With a coffee in hand and one eye open, I found myself in my usual morning position — surfing the web, wasting valuable time looking for some crazy huge news to jump out of my screen and punch me in the face. But not today, nothing too interesting in cyber space on this particular day. That was until I came across a posting on, the most popular online hang out for freestyle fanatics and freaks. A man that went by the alias gymbriggs889 had created a post regarding an FMX school that he runs down in Georgia. This really grabbed my attention, because this had been the first time I've ever heard of such a thing and it got me very curious — kind of like a monkey. So being the inquisitive blogger that I am, I decided to hit gymbriggs889 up via phone, just to see how his FMX school really operated.
The Durhamtown FMX course is one of the best on the east coast and the best part about is that YOU can ride it! So, give us a brief description of the school and what you're trying to accomplish with it?

Jeff Briggs: Well the schools are in Union Point, Georgia at a sports facility called Durhamtown Plantation. It is an 8000-acre facility that you can ride dirtbikes, ATV's, hunt and fish on. You can pretty much do whatever you would like to do outdoors. We have 6 motocross tracks, 150+ miles of trails, dirt drag strip and now one of the best freestyle motocross courses on the east coast. The schools have been going on around 6 months or so. We are trying to give anyone and everyone that has a desire or dream to ride FMX the chance to. Whether it be a career path or just a little or a hobby you want to take up, we want you to come to Durhamtown to do it. We want to give you the opportunity in the safest environment possible. We don't want anyone to go out and do it without proper knowledge and training. You can watch riders like Jack Rowe (ranked 15th in the US) and Brody Wilson (ranked 20th in the US) perform a bunch of amazing tricks and then go out there and learn with them. You don't get that on any other playing field. You can be on same course as a professional athlete who totally amazes you with their skill. We like to think of it as a total experience. What is your background in FMX?

JB: Well, I have been around motocross my whole life. My father and uncle Brian and Paul Austin were pro motocross riders from Rochester, NY. One of the up and coming riders in my area, Casey Higgins, came to train with us then he made the jump to FMX. Once he was riding FMX, he was able to go to all of these cool cities. He had to pay for everything along with all of his other friends. I was able to get him and Gary Robertson free hotels, VIP nights at bars, restaurants and sponsors and after getting them hooked up, people started to take notice. They would contact me if they needed anything. I guess you could kind of say that I'm like a manager, but I like to do it all. I have also announced over 50 FMX shows. I've been working with Clint Esposito of FMX East trying to put together events to help promote unknown talent. Which riders have helped teach classes and which riders would you like to have in the future?

JB: Well, the classes were taught by Paul Smith of Nova Scotia, but he has since stepped down. Lately we have had some East Coast riders like Adam Cuizno, Austin Drummand and Dan Newth work with riders and sometimes you can catch me out there giving pointers to our students. I am working on getting Gary Robertson, Casey Higgins and Clint Esposito to come out and work with riders, but they are very busy guys. I would love to get a lot more elite riders out here to work with the up and comers and also to ride our course.
Paul Smith is a regular at the Durhamtown facility. What qualifications do you require from your students?

JB: We have a supercross track that is pretty mellow. It has some big jumps, but it's enough to fix the student's major jumping technique faults. We make them ride that track and once they're safely jumping everything, we move over to the FMX course. We start with the ramps really close to the landing then move them out in 5' increments once they are comfortable. They have to do a two-hour session and if the teacher they are working with feels they need more instruction then we give it to them. Once they have gone through that process, they are approved to ride under supervision of a pro rider. Explain the layout of the course. Is there something for everyone?

JB: Well, we have three big landings. One of the landings has a dirt take off set at 95' and a steel take off set at 70' that can be moved. There is also a dirt hip set at 65' and a steel hip set at 50'. After that you make a left hand turn. In the turn you have an option. In the next section we have a 6' wide Innovate Concepts ramp. That is set at 70' with a dirt hit set at 70' next to it. There is a steel hip ramp set at 40' that goes to that same landing as well. After that dirt landing, there is another dirt landing with 3 hits to that. Once you do that section there is a wall ride positioned after it. You can either jump onto it or roll right up onto it. After that you have a couple more options before getting back to the first dirt landing. There is a 55' dirt double that is angled and just a cool little floater jump. The landing for that is also the landing our 6' tall mini ramp, which is set at 25' for minibikes or beginners who aren't ready for the big hits. If you decide not to use that there is a fun box next to it that you have to step up 2' or 3' to.

Wallrides are becoming more and more popular on the FMX scene and Durhamtown has a forgiving one to test your abilities. Awesome! That's one heck of a course! How can interested people contact you?

JB: You can check out Durhamtown's website or call them at is 706.486.4603 for any kind of information regarding the facility. You can also e-mail me at You can also contact me personally about anything freestyle related at 585.770.0769. I work with most of FMX's elite east coast and central U.S. riders.

Free Fuel

1/8/08, 11:56AM

No, I'm not talking about that overly priced earth juice that you fill your super sick lifted truck with every damn day. I'm talking about the channel that your rich buddy with a satellite the size of your house has. Everybody loves a little free entertainment right? How about snagging segments from Fuel TV's best FMX shows all for the price of nada? Sounds ite to me if ya know what I'm sayin! Shows like M80, Firsthand and the Great Ride Open can be downloaded via the iTunes store. Just type Fuel TV, FMX in your iTunes search bar and shabam, you will be downloading free super-rad cinema straight to your computer's hard drive — and the best part about it is it's all legal! No federales knocking on your door, mi amigo. My favorites have to be the Glamis Great Ride Open segment and of course, the Brian Deegan episode of M80. Be sure to pay close attention to the soundtrack, as it was made by yours truly.
Fuel TV's Great Ride Open is a very well put together show featuring America's best freeride locations.
If you're one of the very few left in the world that does not have iTunes, you can download it here for free.


A1 with Nate Adams

1/6/08, 4:47PM

Well, it happened - the first supercross of the year was a mudder. Though the track was overly saturated with H20, it luckily wasn't as bad as the weatherman had predicted. Joining me for the evening was the super talented and super cool, Nate Adams. Knowing that Nate is a huge SX fan, I though it would be cool to follow him around for the night as he watched his roommates and heroes battle it out on the gruesome rut-infested track.
Nate and Maddo politic and check out the race action from the DC Shoes press box. "Aye, I suppose I could jump this staium mate".
The night started off a bit slow as I crept up to the pits without a ticket in hand. I hit Nate up on his celly and he quickly limped up to the gate with bruised heels to meet me. From there he proceeded to give me his ticket and I barely slid in through the very unthorough security guard. It was pretty classic how unsecured the pits were. I probably could've wheeled James Stewart's bike out if I really wanted to, but I had other things on my mind like drinking free beer in the DC press box.

Once in, we made our way to Andy Bakken's rig (Nate's roommate), which was being lent to him by the infamous Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg. While inside his rig we caught up and talked about the muddy track and qualifying. Unfortunately, Bakken didn't make the night show, which was bad for him, but good for us because that meant we would be hanging out with his funny ass for the night.

After leaving Andy's rig, we made our way inside Angel stadium, but not as easily as intended. Being with Nate at any motocross event is pretty cool — it's kind of like hanging out with Tommy Lee at a Motley Crue concert because everyone is constantly stopping him asking for autographs and photos. It was super cool to see just how big of a star Nate really is and it definitely made me feel way cooler than I really was. It was like, "Ya, I'm with the band".

Wandering through the stadium, we finally made it to our final destination — the DC Shoes press box. I was pumped to be towering above the peasants, sipping brew and rubbing shoulders with action sports heroes and pop culture superstars like Rob Dyrdek, Ken Block, Robbie "Maddo" Madison and Factory Honda's Ben Townley. I closely followed Nate as we found our seats and proceeded to watch the race. The racing was intense and gruesome as the world's best racers were having a hard time navigating through the deeply formed ruts.

All in all, I had a great time chilling with Nate and his crew and it was interesting to see how an FMX superstar like Nate enjoys his weekends away from the metal ramps. For a full race report and results, check out the official supercross website.

Special thanks to Nate for making Anaheim 1 a memorable experience that I will remember for years to come!

Andy Bakken and Nate share speed secrets while grubbing broccoli and rice crispy treats. Maybe Bakken will qualify in Phoenix if he finishes his greens.

Nate's roommate Logan Darien getting limber before his qualifier. Unfortunately Logan didn't make the main, but be sure to look out for him in Phoenix — he has been known to do very well in the hot desert sun.

Whether it be at a supercross race or your local Target, Nate Adams is constantly getting love from his fans. A1 was no different.

Factory Honda's Ben Townley and Nate talk heels. Just recently, Ben broke his heel while testing for the 2008 supercross season. Nate is currently also dealing with bruised heels, but nothing as major as Townley's injury.

Nate and Bakken take advantage of the free peanuts in the DC Shoes press box.

Maddo's fiance Amy was in attendance as well. She had a great time, but needed a little help identifying the "small" bikes from the "big" ones. Ha.

Deep concentration. Don't be surprised if you see Nate lined up on the gate of a supercross race within the next couple years. When Chad Reed isn't testing at the Yamaha track, Nate can be found spinning laps on his race-ready YZ250f.

Cyber Sequence

1/5/08, 4:25PM
Yo, cover me brother! Issue 3 of Smoothness magazine is full of dopeness.
You may not have heard of Tobias Hannig before, but he is one of the most dedicated freestyle motocross journalists on the planet — the far side of the planet to be exact. You see, Tobias resides in Germany and started shooting photos of motocross events in 1987. Working as a freelance photographer for different moto mags, Tobias had a hard time getting his freestyle moto stories published so he founded and launched and more recently introduced Smoothness Magazine, which is a sequence only web publication. Both ventures have been very successful, but Smoothness Magazine really caught my attention and got me more interested in how the idea even came about.

"The sport of freestyle motocross has had a really big trick progression recent years, especially with the combination tricks - they are getting much more popular these days. If you've visited a show or contest, you know that some of the combination tricks are pretty quick and the rider has already landed before you have a chance to recognize what kind of trick he did. If you only shoot one picture of a trick, you can't see if the rider made a combination or not. My idea was to create a magazine, where people can see the whole sequence of a trick and not only one picture", explains Tobias.
Remi Bizouard get his smoothness on in Dubai with this fresh ruler flip.
Another cool thing about Smoothness mag is how Tobias intends on spreading the love and hooking up like-minded talented photographers with a medium to showcase their work. "With Smoothness magazine I want to create a new and innovative energy into the scene. That's why I have created a new online segment in the action sport media market. My plan is to integrate other photographer's work in this project as much as possible. They can upload their sequences using the upload tool that's integrated within the website. I pick out the best sequences and maybe your sequence will be in the next issue of Smoothness!"

Be sure to stay tuned to The Brap Haps to view Tobias's awesome photography from select overseas events.

Nate Adams A1 Pre-Party

1/4/08, 11:32AM
Come January 5th, Nate Adams will transform from FMX superstar to SX superfan.
Not only is Nate Adams the worlds' best FMX rider, but he is a huge supercross fan and not too shabby of a racer himself. Being the huge fanatic that he is, I thought it would be cool to conduct sort of a Anaheim 1 pre-party interview to get Nate's predictions and thoughts on the very possibly muddy first race of the season. For those who that don't know, you live with some badass racers. Who are they and what class are they racing at Anaheim 1?

Nate Adams: Ha ha, yea they are some pretty badass dudes. I live with Jiri Dostal, Logan Darien and Andy Bakken. Jiri is riding a 450 in the Supercross class and Logan and Bakken are riding 250's in the Lites class. To stir up a little controversy, who's looking the fastest out of them?

NA: Ha ha you would! Ummm we'll lets see, I've only seen Logan and Jiri ride one day each and the only supercross action I've seen from Bakken is a video on You Tube of him head-butting a light generator at the Perris Invitational supercross. Sooooooo, I'm gonna go with Bakken cause he's going for broke!
Nate's roommate Logan Darien of Colorado has been hitting the laps hard and is ready for A1. Are they good mud riders? The weatherman says that it's going to be a mudder.

NA: I know! That's such a bummer because I wanted to see a sweet race and everybody in their new gear sponsors and teams in stuff. But, no I don't think they're particularly good mud riders. Jiri and Bakken are Southern California boys and Logan's from the Rockies. Who's your money on for the win in the Lites and Supercross class?

NA: Man that's a really tough one! I'm gonna have to stick with Lil Stewey in the supercross class because he's always a safe bet. That guy is innnnnnsaaaannnee on a dirt bike! I think there are a TON of guys in the Lites class that can potentially win. Jake Weimer looked really quick at the US Open in Vegas and Jason Lawrence looks really, really fast from what I've seen. Is Villipoto riding the west coast? Obviously he'll be a threat if he is. So, I don't really know, I'm sure it'll be great racing though!

Stay tuned to The Brap Haps to see how it all goes down on January 5th at Angel Stadium as I follow Nate around and document him cheering on his homies and heroes. For more info on the race, be sure to check out the official supercross site and to learn more about Nate Adams and keep up with his latest endeavors check out his newly revamped site.