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That “Boomer” at Your Local

Every park has at least one. You know him, that older guy with the uncomfortably high looking seatpost. Maybe he’s on an old midschool frame, or maybe he’s riding something newer, but with super expensive parts purchased with real grownup money. Its legit, but with barely a scratch on it because it’s clear he hasn’t thrown down on a real stair set since at least Obama’s first term. He’s the guy with the little bit of gray in his beard, a belly that indicates that he’s been comfortably married for a few years, and that look in his eyes.

Yeah, that look. You know the one. The look that says he’s got something on his mind. The look you recognize now as the one they all get, and that if you get too close to him on the deck between runs, he’s probably gonna launch into that story that always starts, “When we rode when I was younger, we used to…” I used to hate that guy. I came to ride, not get my ear talked off about shit nobody does anymore. Why can’t he take his GT Performer, his oblivious snaking kids, and their scooters to some other park, and go talk about his Endos and his Miami Hoppers and his million mile Surfers somewhere else?

And then one day, it happened. I was on the deck with some friends and a conversation started up about "the good ol’ days"…

Oh no.

But it really did hit me how much has changed since I first got into BMX. Whether that’s good or bad is legitimately debatable, but it’s definitely different. I genuinely found myself nostalgic for the time when riders ran into other riders and became instant friends; when setups didn't matter, and everybody rode everything; when shit talk and fistfights were just a regular part of a session at a new spot, but there was no such thing as a Keyboard Warrior; when you only got a new frame when you broke your old one; when everybody had a box of used parts, but instead of trying to scalp them on Marketplace for full retail, they hooked up other riders who'd broken shit and couldn't ride; when trips were more about getting there than getting clips; when Pros seemed godly and inaccessible, and you went full fanboy if your favorites came to your town on a shop tour; when PROPS and Road Fools were EVERYTHING; when bike trips to Barcelona or Australia seemed like pilgrimages to Mecca itself; when you'd hear about a trick that sounded nigh impossible, but then a month later would see a still shot taken by Mark Losey or Jeff Z in your favorite bike magazine, and then you'd only get to see in an actual video clip months later when the VHS or, later, DVD came out...and you'd rewind and watch it over, and over, and over, and over.....

And just like that, I get it.

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