Dean Bradley – The Why of Why We Do It

Scanning more old images…
Always a fun trip down memory lane…
Always makes me think…
Just where we’ve been…
And maybe… Even question, where we’re headed.

History has proven, time and time again, humans have a way of taking simple things and making them over-complicated. Taking something that is pure and simple and corrupting it into something it was never intended to be. Adding twists and turns to something that started out fairly simple and straightforward. Take BMX. A simple activity wherein kids, as kids do, got creative, used their imagination and rode their bikes in the dirty vacant lots of So Cal in The 70’s… And imitated the motorized “adult” sport of motocross. Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward. Unknowingly, this child-like activity would lead to some amazing things. BMX would go onto become an unlikely Olympic sport. Mountain Bikes would be created. Mountain Biking would also go onto become an Olympic sport. But along The Way… Things got complicated. Things strayed from The Simplicity and Purity of Motive that was the simple act of riding a bike in the dirt… And the freedom that represented. We got caught up in a lot of peripheral bullshit that distracted us from what was at The Core…The Reason we loved to ride our bikes in the first place. Humans have a way of doing that. Taking something simple and pure… And screwing it up. That’s where this photo comes in… And what it represents. And how it brings me back to center. Just a kid riding his bike. In a dirty vacant lot in Southern California. No shirt. No gloves. No helmet. Just some jumps and the freedom of flying through the air. That, to me, is what this was always about anyway. Childlike. Simple. Soulful. Joyful. Uncomplicated. It has little to do with equipment. Or technology. Or Brand Names. Or anything else we adults have added into the equation. It’s The Simple Joy of Riding A Bike. I don’t care what size wheel you have on your bike. Or how many gears yo have. Or how many millimeters your suspension does, or doesn’t travel. I don’t care if you ride clipped in or ride flat pedals. Or what material your frame is made of. I am disinterested in what data your Strava spews out. Or how many watts your power meter claims you produce. If you ride a bike…You are my brother. Or Sister. A Friend. So…In The End…I don’t really care HOW we do it. I’m way more interested in The Why of why we do it. Soul Rider, Mickey Lundy stripping it down and throwing it down. Parks BMX, So Cal., 1983.

Words/photo: DRB PhotoSports

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