Standard Definition – the Making of Standard Domination

Over 20 years after it was made, Standard’s 1998 video Domination still stands up majestically to the often damning test of time. The riding is fast, the clothing is dope and the spots look like the sort of everyday features you’d actually find in your town. 

In this fairly long winded article, a decent chunk of the cast and crew discuss the making of this most bodacious video…

Thanks to Tedd Nelson for his amazing photos—and for all his help with sorting these interviews.

Bobby Fisher – Knoxville back-alley wallride

GLENN P.P. MILLIGAN

WHAT WAS THE MAIN THING YOU WERE TRYING TO DO WITH DOMINATION? WERE THERE ANY SPECIFIC THINGS YOU WANTED TO DO DIFFERENTLY WITH THAT VIDEO? 

Well, to be totally honest, I had just made NYHC and The Shady Bunch for BASE, and it felt like a dream came true to be making a video for an actual bike company. This is before a lot of companies in BMX made videos, so just ‘making’ it was going to be amazing. Rick definitely wanted it to have more of a skate vibe, and I fully agreed—half my friends were skaters and I watched a lot of skate videos back then.  

CAN YOU REMEMBER WHAT THE FIRST CLIP YOU FILMED FOR DOMINATION WAS? 

I don’t, but it had to be a ROB-O clip because this project that ultimately became Domination, was already planned… Robbie had already asked me to film some stuff with him, so I’m sure the first clip was with Robbie. By the way, shouts to Robbie ‘cause he did all the introductions and made all this happen for me… in a lot of ways he kicked off my career!  

BIT OF A BORING QUESTION – BUT WHAT WAS IT FILMED ON? WERE YOU PARTICULARLY BOTHERED ABOUT CAMERA EQUIPMENT? DO YOU THINK THAT KIND OF THING MATTERS? 

Cameras had just went ‘digital’ at that time, so I was shooting on a Sony PC100. Part of my deal to make Domination was Rick bought me a VX1000. He did that early on and we were able to use that for a bunch of shooting too. Rick also owned a camera, I think a TRV-900, that we sent around. Really for such an early time of making videos we had a good system.  

THERE’S A LOT OF LINES IN DOMINATION COMPARED TO WHAT ELSE WAS MAYBE GOING ON AT THE TIME – WAS THAT TAKEN FROM THE SKATE VIDEOS YOU WERE WATCHING? 

100%. I think skate evolved before BMX so the videos were way more advanced, and we all watched every skate video back then. Like I said before, Rick was clear he wanted it to have a skate feel, and I felt that too, but either way it still needed to be BMX, which I’d like to believe it was and not just straight trying to be a skate vid.  

THERE’S ALSO A LOT OF STUFF IN THERE THAT’S QUITE EVERYDAY—IT’S NOT SOME BIG CALIFORNIA VIDEO OF MASSIVE HAND-RAILS AND DREAM SKATE-PARK LOCK-INS—THERE’S SPOTS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY COULD BE IN ANY TOWN. WAS THERE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SHOW THIS MORE RELATABLE SIDE OF RIDING?

I don’t know how conscious that was, I mean yes… we wanted it to be natural and the way everyone actually rides, but at the same time, there were videos where people did a bunch of dead-man shit, but there weren’t that many videos, so I think you could get away with a lot more. 

Like when I think of Bobby Fisher, he rode street like a skater—little quick set-ups, smith grinds, and dope style. I think it was definitely more everyone’s natural riding style at the time. Even Rick didn’t have a free-coaster or a front-brake bike for a few years, and in the park he rode the street set-ups a lot.  

HAVE YOU GOT ANY STANDOUT MEMORIES FROM MAKING THE VIDEO? 

So many! Like I said before this was a big deal for me personally. I was hanging out every night in Union Square with my friends and then suddenly I’m on road trips with some of the best riders in the world. I was nervous, anxious and excited. 

The first trip I went on, I spoke to Rick maybe two weeks before. I called Robbie right after. “Yo, he said he’s gonna get me a ticket to Tennessee to go with you guys to some race, then we’ll road trip back to Iowa. What do I do?” Robbie is like, “Well you’ll go.” Even the day before I didn’t want to take my bike apart, I felt like, “No way is this guy flying me to another state.” I grew up with a lot of shady people who mean well but never do what they say, so the idea that a company would pay for me to fly somewhere to ride bikes and film seemed so crazy to me. At that time very few people did that—Props and I don’t know who else.  

Brandon “Punjab” Pundai

HOW INVOLVED WERE THE RIDERS WITH THE MAKING OF THE VIDEO? 

Most of the riders didn’t have much say. Sandy really wanted that vegan message in the bottle, Rick wasn’t 100% on board for that, but he let it go. 

ON THE SUBJECT OF RICK, HIS SECTION IS UNREAL. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT FILMING HIM IN NEW YORK? HOW MUCH OF THAT STUFF WAS JUST OFF THE CUFF?

Rick was very involved in his part and the video. He planned a couple things, but a good chunk of his section was just stuff we found out there on trips. Rick was a beast, he could do anything he wanted, and really his section was probably only half the clips we had of him. 

Funny story—I was editing in Brooklyn and Rick was in Iowa, so I was Fed-Exing parts of the video every few days. I ran out of blank tapes so I started copying over old porn tapes I had. I ended up getting a notice in the mail saying that I was under investigation from the Postal Inspection service. I explained it to them and I never heard from them again. 

HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT EDITING THE VIDEO? WHAT WAS THE PROCESS FOR MAKING A VIDEO BACK IN 1998? 

Fuck… so before Instagram, before Youtube, before DVDs, this video was released on VHS, which makes the idea of shooting on digital DV tapes even funnier. So, all the tapes had to be transferred onto VHS to edit. The college I worked at had a digital editing system, which for some reason belonged to the music department, so I talked to the guys in charge to give me time on it. My buddy Matt knew how to use the machine so he sat with me and physically edited while I wrote out all the order and said where we wanted clips to hit on music and what not. 

SOUNDS TOUGH. HOW IMPORTANT WAS BACKDROP OR LOCATION IN THE VIDEO? IT’S GOT A MUCH MORE AESTHETICALLY PLEASING, ‘BIG CITY’ LOOK TO IT THAN A LOT OF THE INDOOR-PARK-HEAVY VIDEOS OF THE ERA.

All the best street setups will alway be in cities, and back then it wasn’t like now where every spot has been ridden to death. For a lot of setups it was the first time. That’s one of the things I was really proud of with Domination—the fact that spots got named after riders. I didn’t have much to do with it, but I was proud that the video had that much impact. 

MAYBE A TOUGH QUESTION – BUT SEEING AS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A VIDEO MADE OVER 20 YEARS AGO – WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A GOOD RIDING VIDEO? WHY DO SOME STAND THE TEST OF TIME WHILST OTHERS ARE INSTANTLY FORGOTTEN? 

Well, I love Instagram, but it fucked up BMX. For some it may have made it better, but for most it took something special away. I think a good riding video has something special, what that ‘special’ is could be anything—but something that separates it from others at the time. 

I’m not knocking anyone in particular but wow, I can’t believe the way some pros water themselves down. It’s like they put every little thing they can think of out at any moment they can. There will always be something special about a curation—whether that’s a whole part, or a whole video. I think someone waiting ‘til it’s ready, makes it more special. I know that isn’t easy to do, but they will truly love it more later on!  

GREAT ANSWER. FINAL QUESTION… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DOMINATION NOW? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WATCHED IT? 

It’s been a while since I watched Domination, but I do come across people sections online and I watch those. It’s so fun, cause you remember the day, or the funny shit someone said. It’s weird all these years later—I never thought I’d look at it with so much love, but I do. 

In my head back then I was going to quit after Domination. I’ve never told anyone this—my actual goal was to make one well-known BMX video and be out, but I got addicted, I wanted more and Rick gave me an opportunity I couldn’t pass up—and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m not in touch with these guys that much, but I think it was a special project and a special time, I’m honored to have been a part of it. I love all the people involved! 

KEITH TERRA

MAYBE A STRANGE QUESTION HERE… BUT WHO’S THAT YOU’RE SAT WITH AT THE START OF YOUR PART? 

Haha… to be honest I have no idea. I believe we were in Nashville, TN at the time filming with Brennan Brown or Bobby Fisher, and we’re out street riding and there is this ‘little person’ hanging around us. And I think it was Glenn Milligan that thought it would be funny to film me talking with him. 

FAIR ENOUGH. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE VIDEO? ARE THERE ANY MOMENTS OR MEMORIES THAT STAND OUT? 

It’s hard to pick out specific memories about that time, but I do remember that It was a fun time in my life—just being that young and being somewhat new to the team, it was awesome being around all those dudes going on little trips here and there. One thing actually that does stand out is the clip of Rick in the intro doing that feeble on that out-ledge and landing fire-cracker into the second-stage stairs. I’m the one holding the light following him. At that time it was one of the coolest street things I’ve ever seen.  

I MIGHT BE WRONG AS I’M NO EXPERT ON EAST COAST TRAILS, BUT IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE A LOT OF YOUR FOOTAGE IS AT 7-11. WHAT WAS AN AVERAGE AFTERNOON LIKE THERE BACK IN THE LATE 90S?

Yeah, a lot of it was from 7-11, and some was from Hooligan trails and Drexelbrook. Most of us were still young and didn’t really have jobs at the time, so it was just ride all day long—start the day up at 7-11 trails, ride there with the bros for a few hours, then we would usually take a lunch break at the local Taco Bell across the street. Then it would be off to Oak Park trails to top off the day’s session. 

SOUNDS ALRIGHT. CAN YOU GIVE US A ROUGH HISTORY OF 7-11 TRAILS? I KNOW YOU PLAYED A BIG PART IN THEM OVER THE YEARS.

As long as I could remember there were always some sort of jumps back in that field—the first time I went there was 1986 or 87 at the age of 7.  We didn’t start building there till we were like 11 or 12. Then the trails actually got plowed in 1993.  We then moved to another set of trails not far and worked there for a season. The next spring we decided to go back to 7-11 and rebuild it.  At this time we were riding a bit more with the older riders that we looked up to like Keith Mulligan, Rob Morales, Tim Strelecki, Ron Gaska and the list goes on. Because of riding with these guys we naturally became better on the bike and wanted to build something that would match and push our riding levels. And very early in 1994 is when the 7-11 trails that everyone knows was started.   

Keith Terra – Oak Park turndown

7-11 ARE DEFINITELY TRAILS AND NOT ‘DIRT JUMPS’. WHEN DID ‘TRAILS’ COME ABOUT AS OPPOSED TO JUST SKETCHY DOUBLES IN A ROUGH LINE? 

It’s hard to place where trails with rhythm was created—either PA or LI or maybe Jersey? But it all happened just about the same time I believe.  I remember trying to jump something I’d never seen before, three jumps in a row with really no space to pedal between them at Clinton trails. And I believe this was maybe 1990. As I got older I heard stories of things of the same happening in PA. 

BIT OF A SIDE QUESTION TO ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE VIDEO, BUT ONE THING WITH TRAILS IS THAT THEY ALWAYS GET A LOT OF INTERESTED ONLOOKERS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEY OFTEN RUN NEAR DOG-WALKERS PATHS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. WHO WERE THE REGULAR NON-RIDING LURKERS DOWN AT 7-11? ANY LOCAL CHARACTERS WORTH MENTIONING?

Haha… oh man we had a lot of those. Definitely plenty of ‘kooks’ down at the trails back then.  One character that sticks out is this kid we use to call ‘Cobra Chris’. His name wasn’t even Chris, but when he first came down he had a bike called the Cobra, so naturally we just started calling him ‘Cobra Chris’ haha.  I do believe Tom Bivona gave him that nickname—he was always good at that.  

THE STREET LINE HIDDEN IN YOUR SECTION IS PARTICULARLY COOL. MANUAL A LEDGE… HOP UP SOME STAIRS… CARVE A VERT WALL… DROP OFF A LEDGE… SIT DOWN… WHERE WAS THAT DREAM-SPOT AT? DID YOU RIDE MUCH STREET BACK THEN?

That spot is at Stoney Brook University here on Long Island. There is still stuff to ride there but that particular spot is now all gone. Back then we rode street a bit, a little before this time is when we started learning how to do some grinds on ledges, but our street riding back then was just pretty much at night cause we wanted to keep riding after the trail session. And our riding back then on street was pretty much ledge manuals, jumping off stairs, some wall rides, maybe grinds here and there… very basic.   

IN THE MAJORITY OF YOUR FOOTAGE YOU’RE WEARING A LONG SLEEVE T-SHIRT, A BASEBALL CAP AND SOME FAIRLY SIMPLE, STRIPPED-BACK TRAINERS. IT’S A CLASSIC ENSEMBLE AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE WERE STILL DECKED OUT IN FULL BODY ARMOUR. I’M NOT TOO SURE WHAT MY QUESTION IS HERE, BUT WAS THE ‘FULL PACKAGE’ IMPORTANT TO YOU? SOMEONE COULD FLOW THROUGH TRAILS WITH EASE, BUT IF THEY’RE WEARING A CHEST PROTECTOR IT PROBABLY WOULDN’T LOOK QUITE AS CHILLED.  

If some people need to do that to ride, I’m not going to stop them, but i’m sure we did back then if someone showed up like that… haha. I just feel if you’re comfortable in your clothes the more comfy you’ll be riding. It’s hard to be nice and loose and flowing when you’re padded up from head to toe. 

FINAL QUESTION… WHAT’S THE SECRET TO TRAILS RIDING? HOW DOES ONE FLOW? I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER FELT RELAXED JUMPING A DOUBLE IN MY LIFE. 

I don’t think there is one definitive answer to this, each person is different. But for me, as simple as it may sound, the less tense you are on your bike the easier the flow will come. Holding on tight to your grips and being stiff armed can only come to no good. Less is more!

Robo at Sevs

Robbie Morales

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WATCHED DOMINATION?  

Watched it a few months ago, still love it haha…For me it felt like one of the early videos that had production, trips and a designated filmer/editor with a group of dudes trying to make something cool for a brand. The 90s were a pretty toxic time but at the end of the day we wanted to make a dope video riders could vibe off. 

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT TIME PERIOD?  

Definitely the passion—riding everyday—trails, street, ramps whatever… We rode, traveled and lived BMX 24-7, sponsors were sparse so we definitely did it for the love… I was in Long Island, enjoying the trails, scene and homies… I loved this time—I didn’t have many worries and life was simple… 

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SECTION? WHO ELSE WERE YOU RIDING WITH A LOT BACK THEN? 

I was riding with the Long Island locals; Superfly, Dannyboy, Terra, Iarocci, John Lee, Tom Bivona, Gaska, Strelecki, and many more. As far as sections, Groundchuck and Punjab were pure style and their songs were epic, and how far ahead were Luc-e and Bobby Fisher? I definitely sided with the trail guys back then, we were done with racing and the focus was on riding trails and street and making things look good… Terra, Brennan Brown, Bagley, Groundchuck, Punjab… we even got Rick back to his style roots haha. 

WHAT WAS GOING ON ‘BEHIND THE MAGIC’ OF THAT VIDEO? HAVE YOU GOT ANY FUNNY STORIES?  

When Rick was coming to New York I had mentioned how gnarly riding street was with him to Glenn. You were never really ready for a dude as big with such a high bunny hop and precision skills. Combine that with some type of super mind bending power and we were helpless haha. The First session at the Brooklyn Banks was electric, it was on from there… 

YOU LEFT STANDARD PRETTY SHORTLY AFTER DOMINATION. WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE?  

Rick was an interesting guy, he struggled handling the team stuff. So many bad asses rode for Standard it must have been hard but when we came to Iowa on Road Fools and he didn’t even show up at his own skatepark to meet up, I was done… 

Robo – Oak Park toboggan

FAIR ENOUGH. BIT OF A SIDE-STEP, BUT WHILST I’M ASKING YOU QUESTIONS, HOW COME YOU HAD SOME CLIPS IN ZOO YORK MIXTAPE? WHAT WAS THE CONNECTION THERE?  

I was the first BMX rider on Zoo York, at the time Zoo was wildly popular and B-Dave Ortiz put me on. I learned so much from B-Dave and the owners Rodney, Eli and Adam, I will forever be thankful—I use some of their ethos from then when I’m running Cult to this day. 

They flew me to the ASR trade-show for the premier of Mixtape, it was unreal—the team spent like 30 grand in a weekend living the good life—Vinny Ponte taught me how to properly order a steak and eat good. Been eating good since haha. 

ANOTHER UNRELATED QUESTION… WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THAT EVEL KNEIVEL STYLE DITCH-LEAP YOU ATTEMPTED YEARS AGO? CAN YOU GIVE US A FULL DETAILED SEQUENCE OF EVENTS OF THAT DAY?  

That was in my crazier days, no filmers just photographers. Basically it went down like, “pull over I’m gonna jump that gap.” Joe Rich always told me, “if ya invoice it ya gotta do it”—the rest is history haha.

YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN LOADS OF VIDEOS SINCE DOMINATION. WHAT DO THINK MAKES A GOOD ONE THAT WILL STICK IN PEOPLE’S HEADS? AND WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE VIDEOS SO MUCH?  

Videos done right are the benchmark of BMX now, contests are wack. It takes commitment and dedication, sometimes filming can be brutal with all the problems that can pop up, but if you can survive those and keep the crew motivated that’s when the magic happens. 

The level of riding has gone through the roof, so that always stands out, but I’m more interested in vibes and the feeling you get. I think people like watching riders that make it look good and it motivates you to get out there and get some. To this day as long as I know riders are out there pushing it, I will keep pushing to be a part of videos that showcase that.

Bobby Fisher

GOING BACK A FAIR WHILE, WHAT DO REMEMBER ABOUT FILMING DOMINATION? 

Good memories traveling with my friends to film for Domination in the summer of 1997. When Rick Moliterno told us he wanted to do a Standard video with only street and trail riding in it I was pretty stoked on the idea. Up until that point I mostly had filmed flatland stuff so I knew that I was going to get a chance to focus on street riding. We were on a road trip most of that summer and we filmed in Colorado, New York, Philly, DC and a few other spots.  

WHAT WERE YOUR INSPIRATIONS FOR RIDING AND STUFF? YOU WERE DOING CLEAN, FAST LINES THROUGH THE STREETS FAIRLY EARLY ON. 

I guess one main inspiration for riding back then and still is today for me would be the freedom a bicycle allows. Just being able to roll around and explore. I’ve always liked hauling ass through cities and finding new spots. In the mid-90s we would go to contests up in PA or Chicago or wherever and half the time I would try to skip the contest to go ride street somewhere. Me and my buddies would get a posse together and go explore a city—just cruising around has always been the funnest part of riding I think. Back in the mid-90s a lot of the street riding was obviously still untapped. Handrails were getting a lot of coverage so I was looking for different stuff. People used to ask me if I considered myself a flatlander or street rider. I would just laugh and say both.  

HOW MUCH OF YOUR PART WAS YOU JUST DOING YOUR NORMAL STUFF? I MIGHT BE WRONG BUT EVERYTHING LOOKS QUITE RELAXED AND STRESS-FREE. 

Basically I rode whatever happened to be outside the door. If there was a flat parking lot nearby I rode flatland, but if there was a ledge or a hip or something I would hit that.  

YOU WERE LEAPING OVER BAR-HEIGHT RAILINGS AND YELLOW SUPERBIKES ON WHAT I CAN’T IMAGINE WAS A PARTICULARLY LIGHTWEIGHT STANDARD BACK IN THE MID-90S. WHAT’S THE SECRET OF A HIGH HOP?  

The bikes were definitely heavy back then but they were a hell of a lot stronger compared to the previous generation of bikes we grew up riding and breaking all the time. I think most riders at that time didn’t really care how much the bikes weighed as long as they held up for the type of riding that was starting to happen, especially in street riding. I’m not sure if I know the secret to a high bunnyhop but I always think that if the rear tire touches my ass in the hop I should be able to get up and over most obstacles that are in my way.  

DID YOU THINK MUCH ABOUT FILMING AND STUFF BACK THEN? DID YOU IMAGINE SOME NERD FROM ENGLAND WOULD BE ASKING YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RIDING OVER TWENTY YEARS LATER?

I kind of always dreaded filming. I guess because of the pressure that came along with it. Once we were out riding though it was fun to pull out the camera and try to get it done. And no, I never thought I would be talking about Domination over 20 years later. Pretty crazy.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO THESE DAYS? AM I RIGHT IN SAYING YOU WORK AT A TYRE SHOP? 

These days I still ride pretty much everyday. I commute mostly by bicycle so I’m always riding, whether it’s on a BMX, a single speed road bike or my old 10 speed—I pedal all the time. In my spare time I like to camp and hike—there are plenty of mountains around my hometown so I try to get out in the woods as much as possible. And yes, I still work at my family’s tire shop—my grandfather started the business in 1948 so we have to keep it going.

Brennan Brown – Nashville roof tuck

Brennan Brown

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THESE DAYS? DO YOU STILL RIDE AT ALL? 

These days I’m up in Milwaukee working as an operations manager at a speciality food store. I have a missus and no pets. I have an all city-single speed roadie that I use most always weather permitting and I have a BMX that my tattoo artist is currently borrowing. I walk a lot—I live an urban commuter lifestyle. 

AM I RIGHT IN SAYING YOU’RE FROM NASHVILLE? WHAT WAS IT LIKE DOWN THERE GROWING UP? WERE THERE MANY OTHER RIDERS AROUND?

I was born in Nashville, but I grew up mostly in Colorado—most of my early riding was in Boulder and then in Denver. I grew up in the mountains and kind of did street-style on mountain roads, riding dirt ditches and using rocks and stuff as kickers. When I got into middle school, I would ride 15 miles down the mountain to Boulder. I rode a lot of alleyways and curb cuts. If we found a bank—dirt or concrete—we used it like what saw in the mags.  

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH STANDARD?

I saw Roger’s Garage back in Colorado and was amazed. Four of the best riders in the world at the time totally started a movement. At that time, it was either S&M or Standard—I identified with Standard. I bought a BMX from the first run in 94’. 

Steve Buddendeck was in Florida at the park one day and asked me to take him to my local trails. I don’t remember much because I got concussed that day. Imagine my surprise when the new Ride showed up one day with me on the contents page in full color. I rang Standard and asked them if they would help out if I ever needed it—I told them I didn’t want anything because I had already bought my own frame and bars. Krt liked the pic and ran it up the flagpole to Ricker. They hesitantly took me on. That’s where it started. 

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT FILMING FOR DOMINATION? DO YOU HAVE ANY STANDOUT MEMORIES? WHAT WAS GOING ON ‘BEHIND THE MAGIC’ SO TO SPEAK?

Filming for Domination was interesting. Me and Bobby went on a month long tour out west and stacked footage. Most of mine hit the cutting room floor. Most of my footage is from Denver in the alleys I used to ride when I was younger. I loved that part because it was heaps of my local spots—most of what it showed was what I rode on the daily. 

WALLRIDES… RAIL-HOPS… QUICK MANUALS… YOUR PART IS MAYBE THE MOST STRAIGHT UP REPRESENTATION OF BICYCLE RIDING EVER RECORDED. WAS THAT AN INTENTIONAL THING, OR JUST HOW IT PANNED OUT? 

If my part represented typical riding, then that’s awesome. Going fast and being smooth with style was everything. I just took the guys to places I grew up riding. They were the daily rides and usual lines I took when I left the house. I was just older and better than I was as a kid. I knew what I wanted to get and I hate that so much got left out. I hated the song choice and I hated that I had no input into the product. I still think I put in my bit.   

ACCORDING TO AN OLD TREAD INTERVIEW YOU’RE A PRETTY OUTSPOKEN, OPINIONATED GUY. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON RIDING TODAY? AND WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON THE WORLD TODAY? 

As far as being opinionated, I still am. I have a hard time with BMX currently. I have a lot of friends that can barely get by doing what they love. I always had a job and taking off meant no income unless I could win $. 

I love seeing my friends still able to do it. Troy McMurray is from Denver and we talk—he is a true pirate and a legend—he still does it for all the right reasons. He was my main competition and he reminds me about how if it wasn’t for him constantly beating me (which he did), then he wouldn’t be the rider he is today. I love that—I never wanted to beat my boys—I loved riding in a session or a comp and to me it was always the same.  

Kids ride too slow these days—maybe they shouldn’t ride brakeless if they are scared to go fast? All this tech jibby shit is boring. I love watching Moeller and Ricker riding any day—it reminds me of why I ever did it and brings back amazing memories, and for the record… Mark Fucking Murphy rules!

Groundchuck at Death Valley

Isaac ‘Groundchuck’ Mccrea

HAVE YOU WATCHED DOMINATION LATELY?  

I just watched it today so I could answer these questions. I think it’s a decent video. My favorite part is a clip of me during the intro where I do a one-handed table and point to the camera—it’s only my favorite because I probably laughed the most after doing it—those are the best tricks. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD STORIES FROM BACK THEN? WHAT WAS A NORMAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU DURING THE FILMING OF THAT VIDEO? 

Everyday was the next good story. Just another day with my closest friends having the time of my life with no responsibilities. My biggest regret from that time was not taking the video parts seriously. I should’ve put out a few incredible parts, but I didn’t give two shits about it at the time. The people that mattered rode with me daily. We didn’t have anything to prove to those outside of our scene. We proved it to each other on a daily basis with no cameras. I just rode how I would’ve ridden on that given day—I probably even rode way less aggressive because I didn’t want to seem like I was only riding for the cameras. Some days we went all-in on tricks and different things, and some days we just cruised through the woods. I never really had anything planned for a video part. Basically, I put zero effort into video parts.

WHERE WAS MOST OF THAT STUFF FILMED AT? IS THAT PUSH?  

My section was all Push trails. Punjab’s section was 90% Push, 5% 819 trails and 5% miscellaneous spots. 

WHAT’S THE HISTORY OF THOSE TRAILS?  

1992-1998 seems about right. Jason Stieg and Justin Short started them in the woods next to Jason’s house. South Park BMX track is only two miles away and the two spots just sorta merged into what it was. We had an incredible scene at the time. Sometimes you’d have 10-15 people digging at the same time. Riders from all different areas, all different ages with different backgrounds and skill sets. BMX brought us all together. 

Groundchuck – Death Valley

WITH TRAILS THERE’S OFTEN MORE BEING BUILT THAN JUST STUFF TO RIDE… THINGS LIKE PLACES TO SIT OR BBQS TO COOK FOOD ON OFTEN CROP UP TOO. WHAT WERE THE MAIN NON-RIDING MODS DOWN AT PUSH? 

We had a three-level tree house that we called ‘The Shack’ and a long bench made from a guard rail. That’s about it. Push trails were directly across from Jason Stieg’s house and behind the parking lot of a grocery store and a department store. We would sit in the seating area of the grocery store and eat. If we needed a tube, you could get on at the department store. The location was perfect. 

WHY DO YOU THINK PENNSYLVANIA HAS ALWAYS HAD SUCH A STRONG TRAILS SCENE? IS IT THE SOIL? 

In my opinion the PA trail scene originated from its strong racing background. Trails were where the racers would ride when they weren’t at the track. The soil and the terrain in PA is perfect for trails. It just seems natural. It doesn’t hurt to have a ton of talented, hard working riders either. 

YOU REALLY SNAP YOUR TABLES IN DOMINATION. WAS THAT A CONSCIOUS THING YOU WERE DOING… TRYING TO HOLD THEM AS LONG AS POSSIBLE? 

I never looked at why I did a certain trick any particular way. I was just having fun and expressing my personality with my riding. Nothing on purpose, but just trying to do what I felt was giving me the most enjoyable experience on my bike. 

LAST QUESTION… WHERE DOES THE NAME ‘GROUND CHUCK’ COME FROM?  

A high school friend’s older brother. He mistakenly called me a Groundchuck instead of a groundhog. He said that I was always popping up everywhere, like a ‘Groundchuck’. Not the most interesting story, but a true story.

Rick Moliterno – Quad Cities tuck

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN RED STEPS ISSUE 5

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