Road Fools 1 retrospective
"Welcome to Props Road Fools '98"
In early 1998, Props BMX Video Magazine's content plan for their upcoming issue (#23) was coming up empty, so the creators of Props (Marco Massei and Chris Rye) instead decided to bring several pro riders on a road trip through the midwest. The video that developed, "Props Road Fools 1," created a revolution in BMX. Next month marks the 15th anniversary of the video's release.
After a stop at Rampage Skatepark in Davenport, Iowa, the Road Fools crew descended on Denver, where Joe Rich encountered resistance from security guards. The dialogue depicted in RF1 between the security guard and the riders seen in this photo is classic BMX video dialogue.
Taj Mihelich, day 6 in Arizona
After encountering cold weather in Colorado, the crew headed south for Arizona, where they happened upon trails in Phoenix known as 19th Street and Bearsdley. "We finally made it to some warm weather after driving for way too long yesterday," said Joe Rich during his post-day interview. "Taj was going off," he added.
Marco Massei, driver/filmer
One half of the Props crew at the time, driver/filmer Marco Massei managed to spend as little time as possible in front of the camera."The first trip just went so well that we decided almost immediately to shoot #2," said Massei at the time.
Roswell, New Mexico
Following Robbie Morales' birthday celebration, the crew descended on Roswell, New Mexico to sample roof gaps and investigate the alleged alien spaceship landings that affected the area in 1947. The stop served as a small break from the riding/antics, and gave the video a distinct break before the chaos of Austin, Texas.
Roswell, New Mexico
Ron Bonner of UGP printed up Road Fools stickers, which were stuck up at each place the crew visited, including this alien mural in Roswell.
Robbie Morales in Austin, Texas
Robbie Morales' riding in Road Fools 1 expanded into new terrains on every stop of the trip. On top of gaps, Morales developed his trademark style of pegless grinds and dropout taps from Davenport through Austin.
Joe Rich, Jimmy Levan
The trajectory of the Road Fools 1trip involved extensive drives that offered the crew plenty of downtime. In later episodes of Road Fools, the trips were planned to involve more riding and less driving.
Road Fools 1, when viewed now, may mark the signifying point when the manual became a standard part of BMX street riding. Not only were some of the first manuals to 180 done in the video, but gaps to manual became prevalent after the release of the video.
Dave Freimuth came onto Road Fools 1 known for his skatepark skills, and expanded his riding to include some of the burliest handrails of the trip. "I'm pretty much just looking forward to the next one, I can't wait," said Freimuth at the conclusion of RF1.
Joe Rich, gap to rail
"It's obvious to people that don't know, that Joe Rich is one of the best all-around bicycle riders in the world," said Jimmy Levan during their time in Austin. Joe's footage from the days in Austin included this monstrous gap to rail, among other heavy moves.
The church gap
Jimmy Levan's Austin church gap was one of many highlights of the days spent in Austin. "We made it over to Jimmy's long awaited gap, that he pretty much came on this whole trip for, and first try, he did it," said Joe Rich.