Not so Mean Jean

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North Philly

Episode two of the Cat 6 Chisme podcast is up for those of you who haven’t already heard. It’s an interview with young Jean aka Mean Jean aka Young Milton. I met Jean when I first started managing the bike shop out here in Astoria and we’ve been friends ever since. I’m 10 years older than he so I feel like he’s my little brother in a sense. Jean’s the kind of kid you want to see do well because of his good intentions. He’s an Astoria native currently residing in San Francisco and working as a courier. Growing up in the P’s is something I know nothing about and I’m not going to sit here and speak on his upbringing, but his parents got it right. His group of friends aren’t the most clean cut group of kids but I could always tell he was destined for more than hanging on the block all day. I think living in NYC cramped his free spirit, and moving to SF was probably the best thing he could have done at that point in his life.

Now he’s pretty much let his wanderlust take over. It seems like every time I talk to him he’s out on the road headed to the next adventure. Just yesterday he told me he was headed to Big Sur, yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m pretty much living vicariously through Jean. I can’t say enough about what a solid dude he is, which I feel is becoming more rare with people under twenty five. If you run into the young homie, tell him I said, “Whaddup Milton!?”

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Jean and I at chuych.

Radial Head

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Fracture. Yeah, 8 weeks in a half cast. All because I can’t leave the BMX alone! So there I was, debilitated by my own passion. I received the same question from multiple people throughout my recovery, “were you riding a bike?” Given the fact that I manage a bicycle shop, it was almost as though I was a poster child for why you SHOULDN’T ride a bicycle! Then I’d have to explain how if you’re not jumping down small flights of stairs, you probably won’t have the same thing happen to you.

Kinda looks like I’m throwing up the rock. For the past eight weeks I’ve been riding around like with bmx bars on my beater in order to have the most upright posture possible. I had to ride with one arm the whole time I was in the cast because there was no way I could allow myself to take public transportation to work, especially in the spring time.

In the immortal words of Gilbert Angel Rosales, “ride bikes, get hurt guy.” So I did it. I allowed myself to fall victim to my own love for bmx. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d much rather crash on my bmx than get doored by an oblivious motorist.

With all that being said, the day I got my cast off I put drop bars back on my Cinelli Work frame and kept the brakes this time. I opted for the single speed arrangement vs the track configuration. I’m planning on doing a full review of this bike in the coming week. Hopefully I can find the time to sit down and write out my thoughts on this patina princess I call Lupita.

Verse is Coming

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Sal Flores aka UniverSal is a cornerstone of the Gilroy Hip Hop scene. I remember riding my bmx out to his block on Chesbro and break dancing with him and his crew. Sal was always really good at any element of hip hop. If there was a hip hop pentathlon, Sal would probably win. Homie was also a skateboarder so we’d cross paths at the Gilroy skate park all the time growing up. Our parents raised us with very similar soundtracks consisting of mainly oldies and funk, so we really clicked musically. Some of the earliest recordings I did were with Sal, and the first time I was featured as a guest on someone’s project was with Sal. As a teammate, this dude will bring the best out of you. Here’s a pic I snapped of him and his daughter Maya at El Roble park in Gilroy. Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 12.29.35 AM

Sal’s now in his early thirties like myself and even though he works a full time gig to make ends, he still makes it a point to retain his passion for musical creation. He’s still making beats as well as getting in the studio and sharing his stories.

He’ll be visiting Nyc this coming weekend for the Mission Underground Music Conference. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull of some kind of “I’m press” move and bring my camera in. We’ll see. Either way I’m way excited to have one of my FOCHO¬† brothers come out and stay for a weekend. It’ll be nice to work on music and jam with the homie.

 

Safe travels pa

No more #UncleRico

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I got a text from my good friend Andy Maguire on Thursday letting me know he’ll be road tripping across the country with his bmx in tow next month, and ending his journey in Nyc. Given the fact that I’m receiving this text with my arm in a cast is kind of crazy. It’s basically putting a giant light at the end of this broken arm tunnel!

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I got to catch up with Andy while at a homies wedding this past month but nothing¬† beats the chance to catch up with someone over a solid riding session. One of the things we spoke about was the will to still get it poppin’ on the bmx despite our age. It’s something a lot of people don’t have. As most of us get older we often let go of the tings that have brought us true happiness. Don’t do that. Be like Andy.

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I’m stoked that Andy still rides bmx and thankful that I’ll be able to ride with him in Nyc next month. #nomoreunclerico