In the early nineties, during the less than immaculate conception of FBM, we behaved like children on Christmas eve, excited, restless, and ready to open up our presents, tearing away gift wrapping with messy hair, in hopes of unearthing our very own Red Ryder’s so we could shoot our own eye’s out.
We loved riding bikes, we loved exploring, and learning, and laughing and smiling, the world was as big as our imaginations, and FBM was our vehicle for this adventure. In those moment’s, i realized that “I love my Bicycle“, and that Mantra set a course to shape our lives.
I loved my bike, it was so much more than two wheels and some parts swapped amongst friends, to build our own adventure mobiles. Through this vessel, I had discovered my best friends, new artists, my favorite music, the road, the thrills and excitement in a crash course of discovery and enlightenment. I had learned about a new culture, a new way of thinking, and a way of life filled with bloody shins, hill bombs, shovels and pick-axes building our own reality, blown out knees and inner tubes, and the excitement of what was next. The earth was no longer flat. We spent afternoons, listening to punk rock music, feet dangling out the side door of a spray painted van, looking at road maps, navigating blue highways to places we had heard about, read about, and brainstormed ideas on how to visit these enchanted lands.
At some point, as if we had a choice, we decided, everything we were going to do was so that we could ride our bikes. Work shitty jobs, live in warehouses, sell plasma, hitch hike, steal food, print t-shirts to sell, steal plywood, build jumps, breathe in exhaust for hours on end, with bikes hanging out of a hatch back, just so we could see a new world, meet new people, ride new spots.
With each new adventure, each disaster, and each new experience, seemed to expose new ideas, new opportunities, new friendships, and a stronger connection with existing friends. A foundation was being poured, for more fun, to expand our search for who we would become, riding bikes wasn’t just something you did, it had become a lifestyle, and we worked hard to preserve this existence, to protect it from an adult world that wanted nothing more for it’s subjects to get in to line…
In the midst of all this, my friends, and I traveled the globe, and invited the world at large to visit the reality we had created, though our efforts we created a line of FBM products, a series of events, built jumps, ramps, built a factory, to build bikes, built a community of our own to share with like minded spirits, and we did all of this for our love of the two wheeled lifestyle. This was something we grew into as a group of BMXer’s using new opportunities, to add fuel to the smile machine. I don’t think we ever sat there and decided to build our own skateparks, or a bicycle factory, but when we saw we could we surely said “why not?”, and we were able to invite more people to participate in the great FBM mis-Adventure.
Much like handing out stickers and hustling T-shirts, we were now doing the same thing on a larger scale, with a greater reach, and for the same reasons, for the love of it. From Living in a warehouse, to building our own, from trading bike parts to building them, from great pilgrimages to contests, to hosting them, hours spent watching videos, to producing our own, and so on. The love had grown.
Each new opportunity was a new adventure, is a new adventure, and we still behave like kids unwrapping christmas presents way too early in the morning, excited and in love with the ideas of a world in motion, in love with every gift our bicycles give us, in friendship, in learning, in sharing, in empowerment, in the thrill of the unknown, and the uncertainty, and momentum it all creates.
FBM is a labor of Love, it’s hard work, it’s often a struggle, and its clearly a path of resistance, rather than coasting down easy street. Everyone involved has made personal sacrifice for what it means to them, whether it be pumping out a flooded street course, pedaling to work in the rain, crashing on a handrail, building a dirt jump behind a dive bar, fixing an air compressor, or wiring up glow plugs in school bus, working long hours, driving through the night, scraping by to pay rent, and beyond. It takes a lot of heart to do things the hard way.
We’ve built our own lives, based around our love for a bicycle. After 21 years, we’ve seen fire’s, floods, robberies, , injuries, poverty, and even the passing of one of our own. In those years we have produced countless positive reactions, overcome adversity, survived economic strife, passing fads, bad judgement, and even created life, through relationships, good times, and two wheels.
In all this time we have learned the hard way- Love is a behavior, the way we act, how we’ve become, the efforts we make, the sacrifices we endure, the way we conduct ourselves, it’s from the heart.
We hope you’ll join us on September 6th to celebrate the 21st Birthday of FBM, and share a good time with all of us. It’s gonna be awesome!
I Love My Bicycle: The Story of FBM (Full Movie) from Joe Stakun on Vimeo.