Where Have All The BMX Blogs Gone?

A few years ago I jacked out of the BMX webosphere.  I still rode about the same, but I figured I’d said all I had to say on the topic. I also figured that there were enough BMX websites to keep the world running and people watching videos.

So, yeah, when I decided to look around to see what was out there…it’s a wasteland. The Butphor guys were going to put have a scene website that died almost as quickly as it was born.

Beast Mode, a site that rose to take the place of AtlBMX and Mystic Negro, hasn’t been updated since October. Its last post being a video of Devon at a skatepark.  This is fitting, because Devon is the only rider from Atlanta folks care about, anyway.

Apparently there are no new Women of Freestyle and Sprfls has long ago stopped being “Friends” to my “Living Single.”

When Sprfls died some Aussie kid created a site called, I believe, BMX-Tech. The idea was to examine BMX idiocy from an industrial design/engineering perspective. It only lasted a few months and, even then, I mostly remember him trying to argue that Eastern’s products were worse than Fit’s based on art direction.

I kind of hoped he stopped posting out of shame.

Looking at what’s left on the internets it’s kind of just the usual suspects, your come ups, fats, rides and vitals. Basically sites that have multiple contributors. That’s important I think. It’s easy to burn out writing about a single thing for years on end, especially as that thing moves towards total homogeneousness.

If you’re an auto writer you get to play with a never ending parade of faster and crazier cars. When you write about BMX at some point you have a moment when you say, “oh look another guy riding at a rail at a medium pace. Joy.”

Still, it is sad to see that there have been no sites that have risen up to the top tier in the BMX space. Maybe one day

The Good The Bad and the Ugly

Due to some recent changes at Casa Negro I find myself on the hunt for a small vehicle which can carry my crap, three dogs or home improvement implements.  I don’t need anything particularly big, I want something small and fun to drive and also kind of practical.

2013-nissan-juke-nismo-3

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrribbit

Nissan introduced the U.S. spec NISMO Juke at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.  It’s got a modest power boost (up to near as makes no difference, 200 hp) stiffer shocks, recalibrated steering feel and some functional aero bits that add downforce, but do nothing to subtract ugly. Basically it’s a relatively quick car with good handling and limits which are approachable on the street at legal speeds.

It’s also available in all wheel drive and with a six speed manual.  Unfortunately it’s not available in all wheel drive with a six speed manual.

Which is bullshit.

There aren’t a whole lot of players in this space.  There’s the arguably better looking (but still no beauty queen) Mini JCW Countryman and in a month the Mini Paceman aka the Countryman Coupe.  While the NISMO Juke and the Paceman are still a month or more from hitting dealerships, I can get a JCW Countryman from my local Mini dealer now.

JCW_Countryman

For $45,000.

Which begs the question, if I smoke that much crack rock, how do I hold onto a job that will allow me to make $45,000 for a car?

Time Money Cars: Magnum Summer

I am a car guy from America.  Being a CGfA is a not the same as being an American car guy.  I don’t actually care where a car is from; I just like cars.  I especially like wagons.  I have what could be termed an irrational love for all things station wagon. Obviously I’ve never owned a station wagon despite having plenty of opportunities to do so.

The CGfA is above all a hypocrite. Continue reading

Music That Doesn’t Suck – Keith Merrow

A few years ago I saw Jeff Beck (with Terry Bozzio and the other guy who was on “Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop) opening for B.B. King.  He was awesome.  So it was with a bit of confusion that I watched a Beck concert on Palladia and realized that, intellectually it was awesome, but I was not enjoying myself at all.

If I don’t like Jeff Beck playing instrumental guitar music I just don’t like instrumental guitar music.

I also don’t like djent (the “d” is not silent).  To me it’s like, “our parents bought us seven strings, so Meshuggah.”

So, obviously an instrumental djent guitarist would totally be at the bottom of my listen to list.  For the most part this is correct.  However, Keith Merrow is good, really good.  You should check him out.

Time, Money, Cars

…Or How I’m talking Myself Out of Doing a Very Bad Thing

The last couple of years I read a lot of biographies, a lot of biographies.  These books primarily consisted of rock stars, comedians and adult entertainment performers, people who’s career paths, or rather people who’s personalities lead them to their career paths,  invariably led them to a single line that went something like this:

I knew that this would be my last line, just one last bump and I’d be done forever.

Just as invariably Mr. Defibrillator would show  up the next chapter.

What I’m saying is that, the idea of taking one more hit is always, always a bad idea.

Just one quick bump, though.  Just a little one..

If you are a car guy there are two things that have happened to you in your life.  With some slight variation, these two things have happened to every car guy, all of them.

  1. You woke up and walked outside and looked at your car, which was your dream car six months ago when you bought it.  Now, however, it’s just not right.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but maybe you saw another one exactly like it on the street or maybe you just think the grille would look better not chrome or something.  The thought crosses your mind, “Maybe if I just got some new wheels,” that is to say, “one small hit, just this one line.”
  2. Your father/uncle/cousin/sister’s boyfriend/next door neighbor/Starsky and or Hutch had the coolest car even when you were four and you always wanted one, and now that you’re 40 you can afford it, but it’s a pile and you’re used to driving your executive saloon so, you need to bring that drum brake, live rear axle having land yacht up to spec. Nothing crazy, just a key bump.

A while ago, Dax Shepard was on Adam Carolla’s CarCast talking about his 1967 Lincoln Continental

Those wheels, really, dude?

At the time of the interview (which I’m sure that you can still find on your podcast aggregator of choice) he claimed that his goal was to have a 1967 Lincoln Continental which rode and handled like a modern 7 Series BMW.  Unfortunately he’d already dropped roughly $140,000 into it.  If you’re keeping track that would be about twice the price of a base 7 Series.

So now, the Lincoln is finished (as much as projects are ever finished) and Dax is all over the automotive media talking about it to promote his new movie (I’ll just link here, since PHR’s stupid video embed code appears to not work at all).  Of course, if I were to interview Dax it would go something like this:

 

Me: Hey, Dax, word on the street is that you’ve finally finished your ’67 Conti.
Dax: Yeah, it’s a 5000 pound M5 killer!
Me: Right, so how much did that run you?
Not Mathew Lillard: (mumbling) $200,00
Me: Wow, really, so the price of between two and four M5s
Mr. Veronica Mars: (sheepishly) yeah.
Me: I mean with warranties and everything…
No For Real His Name is “Dax”: But that’s not the point
Me: I mean, not only with warranties, but can easily be repaired at any one of the hundreds of BMW dealerships and many of the certified BMW repair shops in the country.
Dax: But it wouldn’t be as cool.
Me: Have you seen the wheels you put on that thing?

Wheels aside, the Dax that lives in my imagination has a point.  A project car is almost always a losing proposition.  Unlike a house, spending more money on a car means that you spent more money on a car.  You will never get your money back if you decide to sell, you have to do it for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Also, you have to be a little bit stupid.

This is unfortunate, as no one can claim that I am that smart, so over the next few however long it takes, I am going to talk myself out of building a project car, publicly.  Here’s hoping that’s successful.