Over the past few months Hoffman Bikes have been making a few new additions to their flow squad and really getting the ball rolling with the brand again lately. Last week we caught a real dialed welcome edit for one of their new riders, Mason Ritter, who crushed it around Pittsburgh and The Wheel Mill. We have seen Mason’s name pop up a few times over the last year or so and we were curious just what he was all about, so we hit him up to find out! Let’s check out what he had to say!
Art Thomason Texas Flatlanders Interview
Here is and interview from Texas Flatlanders did with Art Thomason, enjoy!
In 1998 I went to the George R Brown convention center in Houston to see a BMX show. The first person I met was Art Thomason. He was such a cool guy that made me feel like I knew him for years. The following weekend I spent 4 days with him, Bob Kohl, Billy Gawrych and Joe Tecca and was invited to do shows with them. Since then I have been able to say that he is one of my closest friends and a real inspiration both on and off the bike. This interview reaches so much further than life behind bars. After reading this, you too will see Art as the inspiration that us, his fans see him as. Art also just made a new edit. He is allowing it to be announced here first.
TF: How long have you been riding and has it always been flatland only?
AT: I started getting into riding around 1985, so almost 30 years. I have always liked all forms or riding, but ramps came and went in my town. Once I learned a few flatland tricks and saw the endless possibilities, flatland became my main focus. From that point on, I have spent most of my free time riding flatland. There was about 4 or 5 of us that started riding together in 85. I remember one time it has been a few weeks since we rode together, but I had been riding hard every day. When we finally rode together again, I remember finishing a trick and everyone was staring at me with their mouths hanging open because of how much I had progressed. That was the first time that I realized that I could go far in flatland, or anything, if I worked hard at it. I entered my first contest in 1987 and got 2nd place in beginner flatland at the ABA grands.
TF: I have always felt that Mat Hoffman is the most loyal sponsor and doesn’t drop someone for the “next best thing” or “flavor of the month.” With that being said, how long have you ridden for Hoffman Bikes? How did that come to be that you got on their team?
AT: Hoffman Bikes is the best sponsor in BMX, hands down. They understand that each rider brings something different to the team and lets each rider follow their own path. Which to me, shows they get what BMX is all about, being yourself. They also really listen to rider input on products, which makes their bikes so good.
In 1999, I was doing demos for Bob Kohl’s team, Ride-N-Grind. They asked Hoffman to flow us some bikes and I was so stoked to get a green EP. I was big into contest too and competed in my first X-Games that year before. I asked Hoffman if they could help with contest travel before the first comp of 1999, but they were not able to help me out. I paid my way to Louisville, KY X-Trials event. I ended up doing pretty well and got 1 of the 2 X-Games invite spots. Right after the comp was over, Mike from Hoffman pulled me aside and said they wanted to pay me back for my travel and put me on the team. It was such an awesome day – I qualified for the X-Games and got picked up by the best sponsor ever.
TF: What, if any, input did you have in the design of the new Strowler? Is it what you were wanting top to bottom?
AT: Hoffman did a great job collecting inputs from Kevin Jones, Matt Wilhelm, and me. I actually sent them some drawings showing a few different options for the frame design that I liked. I also sent them what I felt were the perfect dimensions for the frame. Luckily Kevin, Matt, and I have very similar taste in what we needed for this year, so I got every dimension change that I asked for. The front end went from 18.9” to 19.0”. We also lowered the top tube, raised the bottom bracket, and increased the head tube angle to 75 degrees. We even added integral chain tensioners and got rid of the chainstay wishbone. Then Mark Owen at Hoffman worked his magic and came up with things that I didn’t even think of, like the machined out bottom bracket. So, yeah, the frame turned out perfect. Matt and I also wanted to have a straight downtube option, so they are taking care of that with the Wilhelm signature frame.
TF: As I get older and less limber, my frames have gotten longer. You have ridden the 18.9 (IE shorter version) of the Strowler since it came out, but recently went to the 19.75” version; what was the reason for this?
AT: Honestly, at 40, I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. I weigh less than I did in high school and have more physical strength and endurance than ever. The 19.0” frame fit me perfectly and I was really afraid to try the 19.75”. However, I wanted to give the 19.75” a shot because this year it has a 12.7” back end on it. In the past the back end was 13.8” and that made the bike handle too slow for my style of riding. I also wanted to try the longer frame because a lot of riders are going to longer frames these days and seem to like them. So, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on something. I like the 19.75” because it give me more stability and more room for tricks where I jump over the frame, but the 19.0 is better for cliff hangers and death trucks. Still haven’t decided which one I like best overall, but they both ride great, so it is a good problem to have.
TF: I met you in 1998. Since then you went to graduate school at A&M. What education do you have and how was it possible to manage school, riding, and starting a family?
AT: I have my Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Hendrix College. During College, school came first, but I rode almost every day and spent the summers doing shows and contests all over the country. I graduated in 1997, but had just won the amateur title in the Bicycle Stunt Series the year before. So, I wanted to live life as a pro BMXer before putting my physics degree to work. I worked full time as a pro from 1997 until 2000. I did every contest and lots of shows all over the country and some out of the country. Thanks to Pro Impact Stunt Team, Ride-N-Grind, and Hoffman Bikes, I got to do shows for Got Milk, Universal Studios, and World of Wheels while making some decent money. I even got to do some shows in other countries. I loved the pro lifestyle, but realized that I was never going to have the financial stability I was looking for. So, I signed up for Mechanical Engineering graduate school at Texas A&M. It was tough at first because they let me go from Physics to Mechanical Engineering with only taking 2 undergraduate classes. Graduate school was great because there were fewer classes than college, which meant I had more time to ride during the day and study at night. It was pretty easy to balance riding and school. During the summers I went back to riding full time. As I was finishing classes, I transitioned into research, where I worked on a method to increase the performance of fuel cells that run on natural gas. I could set my own hours while doing research, so still had time to ride, do shows, and contests. I actually competed in my 5th and final X-Games in 2002.
Once I finished my research, wrote my thesis, published a paper, got married, graduated, and I started applying for jobs. I applied for a job with a NASA contractor because they worked with fuel cells. However, I got call once day for a job that was far cooler than anything I would find in the fuel cell industry. They wanted me to train astronauts how to do space walks! After I got hired for the job, I asked why they picked me. They said that I was chosen because I do my own bike maintenance and they wanted someone that understood how to use tools first hand in addition to all the engineering requirements. NASA was my first 8 – 5 type job, so it took a little adjustment to fit in riding, but there is always a way. I found I riding spot that was on my way home. I took my bike to work every day and stopped at my spot and rode before I went home. If you go home first, the chances of going back out to ride are much less. As I walk out of the doors of work, I would start getting pumped up to ride. I would even try to change clothes while driving to maximize the time on my bike when I got to the spot. I should have said this sooner, but it was also key that my wife put up with me riding so much.
TF: So it is safe to say that BMX was a deciding factor in your employer hiring you?
AT: Yes, BMX was definitely a deciding factor. He also said my keel personality was another deciding factor because it would help with flight control and getting along in the group I work in.
AT: Recently in Lake Charles we discussed who Art Thomason is to us, your friends and fans. You are one of the most humble, real, down to earth people. Not only on a bike, but on the street. How does it feel when people that truly see you for who you are say this or show the excitement of getting something as simple as a frame that you rode?
AT: I am very humbled and excited at the same time when I get complements or see someone enjoying my riding or a bike part I once owned. I love riding and it is great when I can share that with others and see them get excited about it too. Many of my tricks are pretty technical, so it is always fun when someone notices that I did a switch without kicking the tire or did something on my opposite side.
TF: You just had one such friend make a signature T-shirt for you. How did that come up and would you be willing to expand on this sort of thing to possibly help the cause further such as BMX shows to bring awareness?
AT: My good buddy Blaine Smith totally surprised me with that shirt. He contacted Kelly Baldwin to get the hi-res version of the photo and then got the shirt made. It turned out awesome! Blaine and I went to College in the same town. We became really good friends, rode together all the time, and hit all the contests we could. After College, his diabetes got worse and it prevented him from riding. He ended up getting a pancreas/kidney transplant a few years ago which has given him a new life. It is great to see him back on his bike again, doing the things he wants to do. Diabetes research gave him a new life, so I am excited that profits from this shirt will go to diabetes research. I am always down to support a good cause like this.
TF: You currently work at NASA, compete at a pro level, and maintain a home with your awesome wife, Kerrie and 3 great kids. Did putting The Landing Pad in your back yard free up more time for everything in your life and has it helped your riding?
AT: Before I had kids and a full time job, I was never interested in having a riding spot at my house. I liked going to the lot, giving it 100% while I was there and then came home to relax and take care of the other things in my life. As my life got busier, I had to adjust. Once we had kids, I decided that I needed a spot at my house to be able to maximize my riding time spend more time with my family. Also, I got so sick of driving to a spot and finding out I couldn’t ride there that day because of basketball players or some other issue. So, when we decided we needed a bigger home, one of my criteria was that it had a 40’ x 40’ area that I could put a riding pad on. Kerrie found the perfect house for us. About a year after we moved it, with the help of my parents, I finally had my home riding spot. The landing pad has been a HUGE help to my riding. Even if I only have 45 min to ride, I can go ride. In the past I would have to drive 15 min there and back giving me no time to ride.
TF: I recently got burned out on riding and got more into filming. At your level of skill, do you get burned out and if so how do you handle it?
AT: I really don’t get burned out. I think some of it is just my personality. There are some times I am more excited to ride than others, but I always look forward to riding. When I do start feeling a little excited about riding, I try to change something up or learn a new trick. Sometimes I feel like I could progress more if I got burned out because it would force me to learn all new stuff. I really like pulling the tricks I have now, so I spend a lot of my session pulling my latest links rather than always trying to learn new stuff. The feel of flowing through a link perfectly and holding momentum with every switch is the best feeling in the world.
TF: With your experience of education, riding, and family; all of which you have excelled at, what advice would you have for a younger rider just starting out or even for a younger person looking for their path in life? I ask this because we have spoke in the past about school shows and what subject would be the underlying message we push.
AT: My advice is to follow your passion and give it everything you got. However, you also need to do what you can to keep your options open. Try to avoid closing any doors on yourself. There is plenty of time in the day to take care of your business and ride if you really want it. When I was in High School, I did my homework from other subjects while listening to lectures, so that I didn’t have to waste riding time with homework. Through riding, I started to realize that I could accomplish anything I worked at. I mean once you learn how to do cross-footed hitch hiker, it makes calculus look easy. When I started College, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, so I took lots of math because it kept all of my options open and allowed me to select Physics as a major after taking a Calculus based physics class and really liking it. Don’t ever decide not to do something because it is too hard or takes too long. When you look back at your life, the accomplishments that you will cherish the most are the ones that you had to work the hardest for and time will pass the same whether you are working towards your goal or sitting on the couch making excuses.
TF: Art thank you for your time, you truly are a professional in all things. Any last words for Texas Flatlanders?
AT: Andy, thanks for the great questions and for all that you do for Texas Flatland. Now, everybody go ride!
Mason Ritter | Welcome To The Team Edit
Mason Ritter has been busy creating one seriously fun “Welcome to the Team” edit You name it — bar hops, flair whips, whip transfers and more. — Mason has it dialed!
“holy moly Mason is RAD! some flippity whippity bar hopity saran wrapity goodness.” - Mat Hoffman
Shot out to Geo Jenkins for putting this edit together.
Filmer/Edit: Geo Jenkins
Band: Harlem – “South Of France”
Opening Ceremony + Spike Jonze + Mat Hoffman = Fashion
Fashion is already crazy, but when you throw Spike Jonze into the mix you know you will get something wild and different. This was the case with the Opening Ceremony FW15 line. The FW15 line was inspired by: Spike Jonze’s archive of early BMX, skateboard, and behind-the-scenes photography. Photos appearing in the exhibition, primarily 35-milimeter film shots, spanned two decades, ranging from 1985-2005 which was turned into wearable clothing.
The Opening Ceremony featured, not just a room dedicated to photo’s that Spike Jonze, but they also printed these images on fabric and made a pants and coat wardrobe.
We took some photo’s and videos from the opening night and put them into this great video. Enjoy!
“There are so many moments with Spike that stick out and so many that were never documented—just Spike being Spike, getting into the deepest trouble that nobody but himself could get out of. There’s a lot of stuff not on the walls. I remember a moment when I was riding a vert ramp and he was like, “‘Let’s see what it’s like if we put all of these balloons on you.'” That’s a memory where feel like I barely escaped sheer disaster. But yeah, it’s definitely a flashback.” —Mat Hoffman
#2 Hoffman Bikes Instagram Team Slide Show
This last week we pulled some photo’s from the Hoffman team’s Instagram accounts and put them into this video slideshow. Great photos from Seth Kimbrough, Kevin Robinson, Ben Hennon, Trent McDaniel and more. Enjoy this Hoffman Bikes Instagram Team Slide Show.
#2 Hoffman Bikes Instagram Team Slide Show features the follow riders: @danielshepherd94, @krobbmx, @mason_ritter, @mattwilhelmbmx, @mikeybabbel, @ben_hennon, @texaswade, @trentmcd, @seth_Kimbrough, @condorbmx #hoffmanteam
Music: Lagwagon, “Owen Meaney”
Steve Jones Retro Build
Last we receive an email from a rider in Australia looking for a Condor Frame. In that same email he posted a picture of his 1996 Condor he recently built and mentioned he also had a 1994 Big Daddy that he built up. We needed more so we asked if we could get more details and photos so we can show off his rebuilds to the world.
Got to love our loyal followers.
Rider: Steve Jones
Location: Sydney, Australia
1996 Condor Complete Bike
FRAME/FORKS: 1996 Hoffman Condor
BARS: Hoffman Love Handles Gen 6 – re–powdered in Chrome-like powder
BRAKE: Odyssey Evo II – Polished/Chrome
LEVERS: Dirty Harry 1”-bar-friendly
STEM: DK Mini Stem – Polished, drilled to accept a Potts-Mod bolt.
HEADSET: Tange MX2 1″
GRIPS: AME Round
CRANK: Primo Hollowbites – Polished
SPIDER/SPROCKET: Hoffman 33t ‘Rise Above’ Sprocket – stripped, polished and cleared
SEATPOST: OG HB Chromoly Seatpost
SEAT: Primo Haemorrhoid
WHEELS: Primo Hula-Hoops laced to GT Mohawk Unsealed Hubs
TYRES: Odyssey Frequency-G
PEDALS: Primo Tenderisers – Polished
1994 Big Daddy Complete Bike
FRAME/FORKS: 1994 Ramp Room Big Daddy – re–powdered Gloss Black
BARS: Hoffman Low Drag 1’s – re–powdered Gloss Black
FRONT BRAKE: 1989 Dia-Compe Nippon – Silver/Polished
REAR BRAKE: OG AD990 – Polished
LEVERS: Dia-Compe Tech 77s – Polished
STEM: TNT Freestyle Stem – Polished
HEADSET: Tange MX2
GRIPS: ODI Mushroom
CRANK: Profile 175s – Chrome
SPIDER/SPROCKET: Graveyard 36t – Mirror Polished
SEATPOST: HB 22.2 Chromoly Seatpost
SEAT: Odyssey S777
WHEELS: Primo Hula Hoops laced to NOS GT Mohawk Hubs
TYRES: Odyssey Frequency-G
PEDALS: Primo Tenderisers – Black
PEGS: NOS Hoffman Day Smith
Hoffman Bikes rider, Cody Anderson has spent the last 3 months packed in a van with fellow Denton crew Alex Hammett Cameron Muilenburg filming for his “I’m 21 and you can suck it” edit.
This is one Cody Anderson edit you don’t want to skip. Enjoy.
Shout out to Alex Hammett Cameron Muilenburg for putting in the time to make this edit possible.
Filmer/Edit: Alex Hammet: https://vimeo.com/user565686 @lexbmx
Filmer: Cameron Muilenburg: @cameronasa
Music: Haunted House “Dead Ghost”
Mat Hoffman: “Cody Anderson is a loose cannon! Happy Birthday to him!”
Cody Anderson checking in.
Cameron Muilenburgs van called the thorondor is the ultimate experience! We have been to so many spots and a bunch of skateparks in the Dallas, Houston area and I couldn’t be anymore thankful.
Recently we took a trip down to Houston for the hilltop jam and it was one of the best experience’s with my friends ever.
Myself Alex Hammett and Cameron Muilenburgs stayed out at the trails, camped out, cooked the best looking morning tacos and rode some off the best dirt jumps ever. The van was a little packed so I ended up sleeping outside in the rain one night with my sleeping bag, but it didn’t bother me for some reason so I just went with it. haha
To rap it up its been such a rad time filming for my new Eddie and I can’t wait for it to drop
Cheers Cody Anderson
Facebook Q&A with Mat Hoffman
Last week we posted a question on the Hoffman Bikes Facebook Page, “If you could ask Mat Hoffman one question what would it be?”. Had a great response to this question, so we sent these questions over to the man himself to answer some of the questions our fans posted.
Gypsy King Pfeifer: What current rider is most like you?
Mat Hoffman: THAT’S A HARD ONE, BECAUSE NOT MANY PEOPLE RIDE VERT ANYMORE. I THINK I SHARE THE SAME HAUNTING “GOTTA G O BIG” SPIRIT AS MORGAN WADE, BUT I WISH I COULD CROSS THAT WITH ZACK WARDENS TECH CONTROL. BUT IT IS FREESTYLE, SO WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN.
Daniel TheBody Cooper: Which of his signature frames is your favorite?
Mat Hoffman: EACH YEAR THE CONDOR GETS BETTER. SO IT’S THIS YEARS.
Colton Calhoun: How many times have you broken a bone? too many.
Mat Hoffman: I STOPPED COUNTING AFTER 43. HAHA.
David Corchado: How in the hell did he go through your knee surgery??
Mat Hoffman: GRIT MY TEETH
Bill Neal: What keep him motivated ?
Mat Hoffman: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND ALL THE BEST IN LIFE IN NOT EASY. YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR THE BEST FUN.
Skyler Strunk: Could i meet and ride with you?
Mat Hoffman: MAYBE
Marko Nieminen: Could I get a signed poster? I have been a fan for 30 years.
Mat Hoffman: SEND A SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE TO THE PO BOX ON MY WEBSITE. www.mathoffman.com
Andrew Fowler: does he ever get tired of bikes?
Mat Hoffman: SOME DAYS IT’S HARD TO GET BACK ON THE HORSE, BUT TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN AT SOMETHING, YOU’RE GOING TO GET TIRED OF IT SOMETIMES.
Paris Rios Peña: What yours favorite ice cream flavor???
Mat Hoffman: THE COLD FLAVOR.
Maulana Setiawan: Your latest trick in this month?
Mat Hoffman: STAYING OUT OF THE ER.
Matt Mauer: What sort of music do you like ?
Mat Hoffman: PUNK, FOLK, BLUES, RAP, REGGAE.
Jon Davids: How does he ride his bike, with such big balls!
Mat Hoffman: I USE MY HANDS AND FEET MOSTLY, MY BALLS AND I ARGUE A LOT.
Zach Ybarra: What kind of toothpaste do you use
Mat Hoffman: THE MINTY KIND.
Tommy Gunns: How many stitches in total ?
Mat Hoffman: 443.
Linda Lee: you seem to heel so fast- are you human for real?
Mat Hoffman: I’M NEVER REALLY HEALED.
Danny Jones: One trick he wishes he could do?
Mat Hoffman: WHEELIE
Travis Gonzales: Why did the bicycle fall over Mat??? Because it was two tired.!
Mat Hoffman: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Live Andletride: If i could ask Mat Hoffman one question it would have to be ;
Dear Mat ,
As a child there were only maybe 10 bicycle companies to my knowledge and 100s of riders ! Everyone rode wheelies in the 70s, now a days there are thousands of bike companies and it seems I’m the only rider left ? Would it be possible for you to endorse a National Campaign to get bicycles into skateparks??? I don’t want to waste anytime or anyone time. It lucky to be able to ask this question. We have extreme dog parks in my city and football fields ubiquitous! Yet the only place for a kid to ride a bike is in competition with a car. Usually a cop car ! We need a spokesperson and i’m not good enough.Could Mat Hoffman make skateparks bike friendly?
Mat Hoffman: I’M TRYING. IT WILL HAPPEN EVENTUALLY. IT’S GETTING BETTER IN SOME PLACES. WE WILL ALL KEEP ON KEEPING ON TOGETHER.
John Farrow: Who inspires him in and out of BMX?
Mat Hoffman: MY FAMILY, MY TEAM AND MY FRIENDS.
Matthew Gruenwald: Wanna come check out my home town park?
Mat Hoffman: MAYBE
Mark Lukens; What time are we riding?
Mat Hoffman: ALL THE TIME.
A-l Sayten: Why don’t bank robbers use knives?
Mat Hoffman: THEY GET THE POINT!
Steve Grace: I wouldn’t ask a question. I’d say thanks for entertaining a few 14 yr olds when he came to Shimersville, PA in the early 90’s. We cornered our hero in a snack bar and he was great answering our questions and treating us like peers. He was our hero back then and I think it’s great he didn’t disappoint. Good dude.
Mat Hoffman: THANKS MAN!
Live Andletride: ((( I’m lucky to ask this question)))
Mat Hoffman: BUT YOU DIDN’T ASK ONE?
Andy McCheyne: What is he drinking so I can buy him a pint and could he go back in time and do it all again. Such an inspiration for me at a young age. I want my boys, both of whom are getting into bmx, to have the same feeling watching the young master Hoffman do radical big airs and insane tricks. Cheers
Mat Hoffman: THANKS MAN. WE’RE WORKING ON A TIME TRAVELING BIKE. IF THAT DOESN’T WORK THEN I THINK THEY SHOULD FIGURE THIS STEM CELL STUFF OUT AND I’LL GET A NEW BODY ON ORDER.
Cinco Cero: No asking! Just thanking
Mat Hoffman: THANKS
Darren Harvey: Is there going to be a remake of the Evel Knievel BMX / Wembley BMX, What was made in the 1990s? That would be cool .
Mat Hoffman: NO PLANS NOW, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.
Hoffman Bikes Team Instagram Video Mix #2
features Ben Hennon and crew killing it with Fastplants, tables, flipwhips, double tailwhips and huge transfers.
Keep up with the guys with #hoffmanteam
Band: Bad Wizard