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Monday, August 10, 2009
Review: Up Up And Away


Sunday Bikes Trailer-Up, Up and Away from Jim Cielencki on Vimeo.

Sometimes in BMX, a trend comes along that, no matter how hard I strive to understand it, I just don't get.

Such is the case with hot air balloons and BMX.

I guess TheComeUp started it with their logo, and it's since moved on to adorn the cover of the first DVD from Sunday Bikes, Up Up And Away. According to Wikipedia, a hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. But how this might come to relate to a BMX blog or a BMX company with some of the strongest frames on the market today, I haven't a clue.

Of course, TheComeUp simply limits the use of the hot air balloon icon to their logo, but Sunday's taken it a few steps further. Not only is there a hot air balloon on the cover, but the interior of the package is covered in a wicker basket print, much like the wicker basket which holds human passengers during hot air balloon flight. All I can say is that someone at Sunday Bikes really wants hot air balloons to make an impression on us. Or so it seems. But hey, it could've been worse. That someone could've chosen Segways, or razor scooters, or flying squirrels. At least the hot air balloon is dignified, and kinda cool.

Don't let me forget about this video though.

Up Up And Away is Sunday's first full-length DVD. And the riding in it is really, really, really good. But it's not captured or presented as well as it deserved to be. Don't get me wrong; there is good filming and nifty editing within the video, but there's also some clips that I straight up couldn't understand because of the quality of the filming. There's been a handful of behind the scenes gossip about the production of the video, and how it might have affected the outcome, but I'll leave that to the message boards and move on to what I liked about the video, which includes:

• The overall tendency of the video to not fall into the tailwhip/barspin trend.
• The unofficial history of the Luc-e grind in the bonus section.
• Eric Lichtenberger's rail rides.
• Aaron Ross riding to Dolly Parton.

• And some of the most creative and progressive riding to date from Eric Lichtenberger, Jim Cielencki, Ian Schwartz, Jake Seeley, Aaron Ross, Alex Magallan and Kurt Rasmusson. Obviously, that's the most important part of the video. And in true Jim C. style, Sunday's team isn't the kind of team that falls in line and learns whatever everyone else is doing. They're freethinkers, and that's the part of Up Up And Away that I can wholeheartedly appreciate.

Plus, it might just explain the hot air balloon theme. While every other bike company is doing rasta, skull and crossbone and animal prints, or forcing their team riders to look cool wearing sun glasses in the airport, Sunday is saying, "Screw that. We're Sunday Bikes, and we're using hot air balloons."

Up Up And Away is available now. If you can appreciate technical, creative street riding that's sometimes done on a cruiser, you will like it. And if you like hot air balloons on top of that, you are golden.