I was lucky enough to grow up riding BMX in Vancouver in the mid 90’s. The sport was reinventing itself rapidly, and our corner of the PNW was home to some of the most influential and hard working characters in the industry. This video documents a scene that would spawn Macneil and Chase BMX Mag, and would be home to the likes of Dave Osato, Jason Enns, and Jay Miron, but Vancouver didn’t become an international BMX hotspot over night.
It started with a carload of dudes migrating from the prairies in the early 90’s, in search of opportunity, and the ability to ride all year without losing a limb to frost bite. Basic Bikes set up shop in Coquitlam (just outside Vancouver), and the Basic House would become home base to fellow riders passing through town, whether it be for a night, or a decade. Jason Brown, Nathan Penonzek, Andrew Faris, and Jamie Mcintosh could be found in the parking lot of Coquitlam Centre almost daily, pushing flatland to the edge. Across the border in Blaine, Washington, Jarek Naslund and Andrew Ryser took turns hosting the likes ofJay Miron, Jason Enns, Paul Buchanan, Dom Mach and Dave Osato at their respective private ramps. Every spring the Basic Bikes crew (Darcy Saccucci and Cecil Milligan) and friends would haul THE box jump down to the Plaza of Nations for the BC Outdoor Show, and do their part to help expose BMX to the masses. With ‘Highway’ Corey Bolton on the mic, Dom Mach and Jarek Naslund throwing themselves into orbit, and Jamie, Jason, Nathan, and Andrew trading links on the slippery wooden slat floor, people couldn’t help but notice.
The lower mainland wasn’t the only place that was generating legendary sessions though. 700 kms to the east, in the small town of Nelson, was an indoor skatepark. Despite it being the actual middle of nowhere, the annual fall ‘Nelson Contest’ would attract riders from Coos Bay, Oregon to Thunder Bay, Ontario. If you were lucky enough to have attended even one of these, you witnessed BMX history in the making. Toast and his endless dreads blasting the box jump? Check. Naked super heroes? Check. Miron learning 360 tailwhips? Check. Steve Roy riding flat in an mtb helmet? Check. Dave Osato perfecting Canadian nosepick to barspins? Yup. Wade Nelson doing a decade over a coping to coping spine on a PK Ripper? Check. Darcy Saccucci and Barry Triggs heckling people mercilessly on the microphone? Brutal. I think I even met Shad there for the first time!
Canadians Eh! manages to capture clips from all these places and mash them into 30 mins of vcr to vcr edited madness. Do yourself a favor and carve out some time to re-live the era of modified Suntour free coaster hubs, plastic capped knee pads, and 3/8th inch rear axles. Those were the good mid days.