We reached out to a number of riders scattered across the US, and from the around the world, to get their perspectives on how they’re dealing with the threat of the COVID-19, coping with quarantine, and how BMX fits into that equation for them.

Over the last few days we gained a new level of awareness for what some of our fellow riders have experienced during this pandemic from Alexis Desolneux’s first-hand account of battling COVID-19, to hospital ER concerns with pediatric emergency room physician Luis Pinzon, and finally, Darryl Nau’s words from the disease epicenter in New York City. Beyond those unique situations, we also reached out to a number of riders scattered across the US, and from the around the world to get their perspectives on how they’re dealing with the threat of the disease, coping with quarantine, and how BMX fits into that equation for them.

Chris Childs — Providence, Rhode Island

The after work sessions have been good for Chris Childs. (Photo: Shaun Gingras)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
Like most cities, it’s pretty barren out here. The normal businesses or spaces we took for granted—bars, restaurants, venues—are barely functioning, shutting down or just doing what they can to stay afloat. It’s pretty wild how quiet it is and when we do go out how alone we feel, especially after dark. Personally, aside from people’s livelihoods being totally dismantled I’m enjoying the slow pace the city has come to. 

I’ve seen that you’ve been riding a fair bit still, what’s a typical session been like for you?
We’ve definitely been riding, almost daily. A little breakdown would go like this. Monday is my day off so hopefully my plans include linking up with Bobby Proctor and whoever else is down for a cruise and riding anything from the skatepark for lunch or cruising the local neighborhoods around where one of us lives. The rest of the week, close the shop (Circuit BMX) at six, get home quarter past and cruise to Shaun Gingras and catch the evening cruise with him. Lately we’ve been hitting the usual spots and just doing some pedaling. We usually don’t ride downtown too much just because we’ve ridden it so much over the years, but as of late, the peace of the city has almost opened up a whole new appreciation for the things we have ridden so much or just passed by.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
Honestly, it hasn’t really weighed on me. I’m pretty stubborn and try to push off most injuries anyway so it hasn’t really affected that mind-set. Lately I’ve kind of been more into trying to refine some of the things I don’t normally do and broaden my style. People want to see and expect me to do this or that gap or drop or whatever but fuck you. This is my BMX and what makes me feel good and I wish the same for you about the sessions you have.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
For one, I’m not going to hate on anyone trying to get out there and stay active and keep up with their riding. If it’s just you and a bud or two I don’t see anything wrong with that. Naturally with how our passion goes we’re not generally falling all over people as if we’re at a show or gathering, so we’re generally pretty safe. Skateparks being closed down and monitored is probably for the best in my opinion. Places where people are generally close together, high fiving and sharing doobies are the issue, not riding around the streets with your crew.

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
I think it’s pretty rad that people can keep a light on in these dark times to keep people from going stir crazy. Anything that keeps you sane is alright in my book.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
For one, local businesses and local people that work in those industries will probably be affected for a long time, but with the clearing up of this, people will be more stoked to get back to work and grind and make cool things happen. Jams, shows, rideouts, whatever it is we’ve been missing out on. As far as BMX goes, I’m sure there’s some brands out there not doing so hot but when is anyone in BMX really thriving anyway? I’ve seen no slowing down in the amount of kids buying bikes and decking out their bikes so I’m pretty confident the industry and riders are going to go ape shit when we can all get together for a hefty sesh.


Dennis Enarson — San Diego

Dennis Enarson and homies enjoying his new ramp—pre quarantine.

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
The situation is crazy because of how different everything is. But at the same time I feel very fortunate to be in a state and a country that took action early so our lockdown procedures weren’t as drastic as the places that didn’t see this coming. People can still exercise and be outside as long as they are social distancing which is amazing.

Have you been riding lately? If so, how much?
Yeah, I have been actually riding more than ever. I have my ramp at my parent’s house so I am there every day shredding for a few hours a day with a couple friends that have been isolating as well. We stay our distance which is a little strange trying not to stand on the same decks, but I can’t even come close to complaining about that.

I’ve heard that you’ve been taking some precautionary methods when having guests come ride, like bleach on hands….
Yeah, it’s at my parent’s house so I have been really strict with people coming over. The bleach on the hands thing was in the beginning, but now I really only let people over that have been mostly isolating. It’s just too real right now. When it’s over, sessions will be back to normal, but right now I have to be that guy and just tell people sorry, but I’m not trying to spread this shit.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
I have the same mindset as ever since I’m always trying to stay safe when riding. I never really do anything if I can see myself getting hurt. I know that probably sounds weird to people because I send it a lot haha. But I always have to visualize landing it safely before I can send anything.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
I am taking this as seriously as possible. Having groceries delivered, sanitizing everything that comes into my house, only riding with the same couple people at my ramps and staying apart from each other while we are riding. I’m very fortunate to have a mini ramp at my house and a full setup at my parents so doing the whole stay at home thing is way easier for me then others. But I’m really trying to do everything I can and assume I have the virus so I don’t keep helping the spread. I want this to end as fast as possible and I think listening to the health professionals advise is the best thing we can do right now.

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
Yes, my mom works in health care as well as a few close family members. So seeing the real facts has been pretty crazy. They are all doing really well though and are super positive about how things are being handled and taking place. But it opened my eyes fast to how real this situation was hearing what was going on inside the hospitals.

How many stay at home challenges have you participated in?
I tried doing a hop switch whip in my house, but I felt like I was going to break my floors so I stopped [laughs].

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
I think it is really cool. I think the social media and how fast information can travel now a days is going to save millions of lives in the long run.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
Oh man…only time will tell. I look at everything with a positive mindset so here are my thoughts. The earth and nature is loving this, kinda makes you think maybe people shouldn’t be running around as crazy as they do. Maybe people will slow down and appreciate the little things more. Maybe health and wellness will be taken more seriously by the masses. Idk so many good things can come from this I could go on and on. On the other hand though things might just go right back to normal like nothing happens once this all becomes a faded memory.
As for BMX nothing will ever change. Riders always gotta ride. BMX has always gone against all the odds and always will because the people who do it genuinely love it and do it for no other reason then that.


Leandro Moreira — Carapicuíba – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Quarantine chills for Leandro.

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
Here just essential services are open—supermarkets and pharmacies. Following WHO guidelines, the advice is, stay home as much as possible, exercise is possible in outdoor places.

What’s a typical riding session been like for you?
Not as good expected because we need to keep as much distance as possible—just three or four people riding without personal contact—but I can have a fun for a moment.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
I know it’s possible for something to happen, but I prefer not to think about it. At this moment, I don’t try anything new or with a difficult hard level.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
I leave home once a day just to ride for one hour. When I finish I change my clothes and shoes, clean my hands and bike then when I get home I put my clothes to wash and I go direct to shower. I don’t visit my parents anymore. I use masks when I go to the supermarket.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Just be focused. Life is amazing and we need to keep the control, think of what you can do instead of what you can’t do—read some books, play some games, watch a movie, call to a friend who lives far away…
 
What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
It’s perfect! People need to have entertainment and this is a good way to help everyone to do different thing and stay busy, I like watch what the people are able to do, have a lot of great ideas in he IG.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
Difficult question… I think all brands and riders can be affected due the current economy. Some people are losing jobs and will give priority to essential items. I hope this time passes fast and doesn’t harm BMX—we have a lot of small brands that need to be supported to keep alive.


Jeff Dowhen — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dowhen, timber assisted wedge boost.

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
We’re fortunately like 25th on the National list of Covid cases and deaths, so we’re doing okay, taking it day by day. Still no toilet paper or tofu at the stores, but the hospitals aren’t overloaded and that’s all that really matters. 

Have you been riding lately? If so, how much?
Yeah, I’ve been getting out there a good deal. The whole purpose is to make your circle as small as possible, so do that. Going biking isn’t illegal or immoral.. feels safer than going grocery shopping. It’s hard to justify going out in a time like this for recreation, but I feel that mental clarity is needed right now and that’s what biking does for a lot of us. I’ll either go out solo looking for spots or keep it very jibby.   

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets? 
Yeah man, it’s exhilarating what’s available spot wise right now. Me and Taylor Thompson went and rode some pretty much off-limits neighborhoods the other day and only had one run-in. It’s super cool, but shit…I’d rather high-five and hug my friends.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What are your thoughts?
I mean it’s a privilege and you should check in on those frequently. Like, we can go outside solo and ride a curb and be happier than when we stepped out the door. I feel like this goes without saying, but if you do meet up with friends, don’t drive together, don’t share phones, and keep your distance, man. Do what’s best for your community as well as yourself, set a limit and trust your gut. The quicker we isolate this thing the quicker we get back to what we had before (riding-wise). 

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding? 
My @streetmapmilwaukee Instagram has been active again, mainly used to lure friends out biking and to keep a gallery of the well-known spots. It’s been fun talking with bikers and skaters who all have a rich knowledge of their respected culture. Over at 4 Seasons Skatepark we were working on some surprises, but with our stay at home order extending until May 26th, Jeff K. had to post up a GoFundMe. The bills just keep coming and the SBA loan didn’t land. The owner pretty much used up the Summer fund for March and April and now May, June, and who knows how long are zero dollar. If you’re feeling stable and want to help hit the link (https://www.gofundme.com/f/4seasons-skatepark-fund) all this money will be going to bills and keeping the 20 year old park running. 

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
The internet is really helping us all chill out and stay productive. But it’s important to think of how we got here, though. The virus is one thing, it can happen to any administration anytime, but responding to it, listening to healthcare experts, and being honest can’t be faked. That, and how many people do you know who are flat broke right now? One month of no work and half the economy is stressing rent, mortgage, whatever. You can see the disparity real quick. Yes, these online campaigns are great to keep us laughing and helping others, but don’t forget that we’re in this position because of what led us to be in such a bad situation on top of the pandemic. We need change.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
Man…We operate in the leisure society. Does anyone need to do what we do? Like actually need? No. That’s how much of the US culture and economy are, though. But is BMX the best thing on the planet? Hell yeah! I firmly believe we live in the best time in the history of the world so far. This is obviously going to ruin a lot of great businesses and cultures, ideas, writers, bikers—an entire generation of risk taking creatives are on the line right now. I hope we can come out of this focused and ready to build something we care about. 


Alex Hiam — Brisbane, Australia

Alex, 180 table at a public park—clearly, pre-quarantine. (Photo: Cooper Brownlee)

What’s a typical session been like for you?
Nothing crazy, since they shut the skateparks I have been riding flat ground out front of my house—practicing nose manuals and hop tricks. Then I go for a pedal around my house usually looking for a new hill to bomb—it’s my favorite part of the day going fast! My bike is keeping my mind and body healthy through this pandemic and I’m thankful it’s still legal to ride around. I have also been loving the flat rail, I have a lot to learn on that thing. I always love a challenge so I am quite entertained BMX wise right now. And I have been lucky enough to ride some backyard ramps that Clint Millar has—which was awesome to ride some transition and get some air.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
I have been broken off the last month from a hip injury and just started to ride again this week so I’m hyped to be doing what I love again.

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets?
A little bit, only solo, but the vibe isn’t there without the homies. So it’s more of an advantage to find and look for spots right now, and plan some attack for when the restrictions are lifted. It has been a little bit of an advantage to work on tricks I can’t do—flat rail fourth peg tricks. Now that there’s no one to film with, or snake, I can really spend some time on learning some tricks I’d usually push under the rug.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
I think it’s a super touchy subject. I recon it’s best to make your own rules and regulations right now with the best interest of OTHERS health in mind. Because everyone’s situations are different. But I think it’s important for everyone to do their best, trust the instinct and choose for yourself what is best for first yourself and secondly for others and the world—as long as you’re not harming any one and spreading the virus more. Being mindful of others and the virus—if you want to make a change you have to change yourself first!

How many stay at home challenges have you participated in?
I participated in the Vans #offthewallchallenge where I painted a big canvas. It was loads of fun. 

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
I love it, and it has been helping me and inspiring me to use what we have, and not focus so much on what we don’t have. If you put your mind to it you can do some amazing things and it’s been rad to watch everyone’s unique approach to it all and see the resilience shine.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
More united as one than ever before. I think a lot of good inventions, creations, music and expressive art will come out of this that may of never seen light. Society will be stronger, cleaner and healthier and our minds will be more open. We will be more aware and in-tune to nature and I think the science / doctors in the health and medicine system will change dramatically for the good after this.


Murray Loubser — Gansbaai, South Africa

Murray, At Ease in a SoCal pool. (Photo: Zielinski)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
I am currently in Gansbaai, South Africa. A small sea-side town where my parents reside, about a two hour drive up the East coast from Cape Town. I came up here to be with the family before the lockdown started. A full lock down is in effect, we are only allowed out the house to do essential shopping and in an emergency situation. No skate parks are open, you aren’t allowed to run or walk your dog—full lock down.

Have you been riding lately?
Yep I have been riding almost every day for an hour or two right in front of the house with a few flat rails, this honestly isn’t strictly legal as of right now—just riding the street directly in front of our house is a risk for a hefty fine and warning, next prison! But this is a holiday town I am staying in and we don’t have any neighbours, pretty mellows I rate. Missing rolling the streets with the homies. We are three weeks into the lockdown right now.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
I hate to say it but riding with the homies right now is a no go. A solo session where you have no social interaction is our only good chance of not making matters worse. This virus spreads like wild fire.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
Man, it is hard, but I am staying at home all day every day, never venturing further than the street out in front of the house. Not seeing any of my mates, and going grocery shopping once a week. I don’t want to be that person passing it on to others and, potentially being indirectly responsible for the deaths of others.                                                             

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
Besides keeping me at home, no it hasn’t, though none of us have been able to work. My dad being a dentist does have to go into work occasionally to see emergencies patients.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding?
I have so much time on my hands right now, been doing a bunch of painting, and being creative in general, cooking, slack lining in the backyard. I haven’t hung out with the family this much in ages, it’s been great.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Ah man we all are going dotty I rate, just find something new to do, that keeps your mind stimulated, whether it be reading a book, art, craft, stretching, or anything under the sun really. Also, exercise is mandatory, even if it’s running on the spot. 

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
Well, it already has had a huge effect on BMX as a whole, many events have been cancelled, filming projects cut short, travel plans ended for the next who knows how long, and the list goes on. I was planning on heading to California for a few months around June, July to film and I doubt that will be happening this year any more. All this effects the progression of BMX.

Brandon Loupos – Holly Springs, North Carolina

It’s crazy to think that 2020 will be the first year without a Summer X Games since the inception of the event in 1995. Loupos, whipping his way into the corner pocket in 2019. (Photo: Zielinski)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
The situation here hasn’t really changed much since when the country first locked down, obviously all the stores are closed and people are strongly encouraged to stay home, but people are still going outside, walking around and getting their daily exercise here. But cases are still rising here and we’re doing our best to limit outside contact.

Have you been riding lately?
I’ve been riding every day at DDSAC. We closed the park to the public and it’s just a crew of us that quarantine and only go to the park and home—nowhere else. It’s been good and I’m super thankful for it since most riders have no place to ride all around the world with what’s going on. It’s normally a crazy session. Well, our normal is at a super high level now that a lot of us live here and progress with each other every day. A lot of shit talking and good times.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
To be honest, I don’t think about it because it scares the heck out of me having to know if I had to go to a hospital with potentially sick people horrifies me. But I’m not thinking about that I’m just having fun, riding my bike.

Everything from small local jams, all the way up through the Olympics have been canceled or postponed. Being someone who rides in so many events, and on Olympic hopeful, what are your thoughts on this?
It’s an absolute bummer, man. Obviously, for me, events are what I do, but most of all I’ve been working so hard to get ready for the Olympics this year, and when they got postponed I was heartbroken. I’m thankful that they’re only postponed, but it was still a very hard pill to swallow. I’m still bummed about it, but just another year to get ready I suppose.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
I agree to a certain extent. I don’t think people should be riding outside at local parks or anything like that where you’re at a public place. For us, we’re extremely lucky to have a warehouse to ride, but we do our part as well. We only go there and nowhere else. All of our groceries are delivered so no need to even leave the house. But if people have worked hard to have private parks or facilities I think it’s okay to ride as long as they’re not risking themselves or people to come ride. Have a small group who you trust and know they aren’t sick or at risk of getting sick and just have those regular sessions to stay sane during these crazy times.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
I’m doing every precaution, my girlfriend has an autoimmune disease which puts her at extremely high risk to die from this virus if she gets it. So I’m doing a lot of cleaning, showers and constant hand washing so I’m minimizing that risk for her.

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
It’s definitely affected my mental health. I’m still working out of the Olympic rut and trying to get back on track, but struggling with that a little, but I have good and bad days with it. Also not being around family, nowhere to go, no events and most of all I can’t go see my family back in Australia and they can’t come here to see me. It sucks when you miss them and just want to see them, but it’s safer to just tough this one out and wait for when it’s safe to start traveling again.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Remember that this is not forever, you’ll be back riding soon but now is the time to protect those around you during these crazy times. Do all you can to minimize the risk of not only you getting sick, but your loved ones too.

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
It’s great and we need more of it. There isn’t too much good news/content happening around the world these days so anything that’s positive to get people stoked, I’m all for getting behind.


Rim Nakamura — Kyoto, Japan

We reached out to a number of riders scattered across the US, and from the around the world, to get their perspectives on how they’re dealing with the threat of the COVID-19, coping with quarantine, and how BMX fits into that equation for them.
Rim, to the moon at X Games 2019. (Photo: Zielinski)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
As a measure against the spread of coronavirus, Japan had a declaration of a state of emergency. The government is requesting that people refrain from going outside unless they urgently need to. But a lockdown can’t be enforced under Japanese law.

Have you been riding lately?
Yes, the public skateparks in Japan are closed but I got my private skatepark few mouth ago. I’ve been riding there every day for 4-5 hours a day. Other than that, I’m usually watching videos of riding at home.

What’s a typical session been like for you?
I always ride by myself, so it’s the same as usual. Now I’m looking forward to the day we ride together at a contest.

Everything from small local jams, all the way up through the Olympics have been canceled or postponed. Being someone who rides in so many events, and on Olympic hopeful, what are your thoughts on this?
BMX is my life style, so I’m riding every day. But I want to hang out with all my friends. I wish everyone around the world stay safe now. Next year in Tokyo, I’ll show my ride to everyone and I hope everyone will feel happy.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
We will win COVID-19. We, all the people, should be positive even against this virus. In the future there will be many contests and jams coming up and BMX will be more exciting than before. I’m looking forward to the day.


Tom Dugan — Manor, Texas

Tom Dugan, Tom, Dugan, Tom Dugan…

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
I’m currently in Manor, Texas—just outside of Austin where they will film movies and shit. The first time I saw my breaky barista wearing a legit mask and gloves at the beginning of the severe stages I had to hold back a laugh—I didn’t know how intense this was about to be for everyone.

Have you been riding lately?
I stay on eight or so acres with some friends so you can kind of always mess around on your bike out here. As for actually shred time, if it’s ideal weather I’m tempted, but I will try not to go out every day like if yesterday was dope I’ll try to chill the next day and not push my luck , but at the same time I got shit I gotta film for so I’m still getting kicked off roofs.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
I was talkin’ with [Brad] Simms about this the other day when we were out filming and we were laughing because riding feels exactly the same. Just as dangerous as ever, in my eyes. I was more scared riding SMP [massive concrete park in China].

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets?
Taking full advantage on the weekends and the right spots. But security is still out and about—heavy and mad at you and not afraid to scream 911 down your throat.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
Oh for sure! I wish I had it in me to stay at home and not make people mad or risk it, but BMX is my medicine and people been mad at me for doing it since the beginning. I’ll do anything for it , as for setting a good example, I wish I had the ability to set a good example for these young bucks. I’ll let people decide from my mistakes and makes on what they should be doing—if they are looking to me for an example.

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
My mom is a nurse out in Cali so I’m sure that is intense. As for me down here in Manor, nah I’m good—besides people being mad at me for riding.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding?
All I got is the bike, so if I feel like doing anything it’s gonna be involving my bike. That being said, I got a crazy massage gun and I stretch and do small workouts all throughout the day.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Get the core strong. Shit has made my life tremendously better. Don’t be lazy—mentally or physically


Courage Adams — Madrid, Spain

Courage, returning to Nigeria. Different times, to say the least…

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
Here the situation is really serious and there many people affected.

Have you been riding lately?
March 13th was the last day I rode my bike. And I think that until the middle of May, I won’t be able to ride it again. But I take it easy because health is the most important thing.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
My opinion is that each person is responsible for their decisions and actions. So each one decides if it is worth taking the risk and endangering the lives of others or abide by the rules and stay home. For me, of course, taking the risk is not worth it.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
I am taking it seriously since many people are dying. The first precaution is to stay at home, when I go to the supermarket I put on a mask and try not to touch almost anything and then at home, I wash my hands very well and disinfect everything.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding?
I’m watching tons of movies, planning future projects, reading, doing housework and for sure, doing some exercise to come back stronger than ever.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Try to think that such a pause in this crazy world we live, it is very difficult to get… So make sure you make the most of the time and when it is all over, do a test about yourself of everything you have learned and in what you improved.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
I think It will be very hard to return to normality in society and BMX. It will be a very hard knock for some families, companies and communities, but it’s always worth getting up again while you’re alive.


Hobie Doan — Portland, Oregon

The Hobie hops in full effect. (Photo: Zielinski)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
The city is basically shut down, but the homeless are ripping the streets. I back it, but although they do try to get too close to me when I ride spots, I usually throw them the spliff roach and bail.

I know you’ve been riding. What’s a typical session been like for you?
Yes I’ve been biking, mostly with my good friend Jasper. Recently my homie @_unemployed moved into my studio and we’ve been taking advantage of all the empty schools. I usually warm up with some wall rides and curb cuts and hit the streets with the boys hunting for spots trying to progress for this new video.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
Honestly, every day I smack Plants Basically shots and take some Rawr Superfoods mix. I stay hydrated to keep this body in ass-kickn’ shape. Also got this “fuck Covid19” tattoo on my thigh to let COVID fool know he ain’t welcome.

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets?
Everything on green light, boss.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
Although I am biking and filming every day, when I do everyday stuff I wear a mask and gloves to prevent the spread.

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
No one in my family has been affected by the virus. It’s just sad I can’t see my grandparents. I want them to be as safe as possible. I plan on getting my grandpa tattooed on my chest if anyone knows a dope-ass tattoo artist let me know.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
No disrespect, my condolences to any and all affected. But I am a stupid American and I need to bike. I stayed home two days and it was crazy. I will die not biking faster than the toilet paper sold out in California.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding?
Asking for insight from NW OGs, Google mapping schools, and driving countless miles searching for spots with the homies.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
I want everyone to stay positive. I miss the fuck outta all of you. Never Facetimed more in my life.  Although I might not be setting the best example, listen to your gut and go where you feel is appropriate. Stay fed and washed.

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
I back anything that keeps fools smiling. I also think it’s a good time to get to know yourself through exploring new or old creative outlets at home.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
I personally am optimistic and try to stay positive minded. I am generally oblivious to most news, but I try to manifest prosperity for everyone.


Dan Conway — Philadelphia Area

Who needs a fourth peg when you’ve got a back foot—or a size 14 shoe. Conway hits a storm door to rail back when high-fives accompanied pulled tricks. (Photo: Brendan Mulrooney)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
I’m outside Philly and it’s chill. Some stores now require masks, but other than that I haven’t seen much craziness.

Have you been riding lately? If so, how much?
Yeah, I’ve been riding, and still linking up with some of the Stink Pit dudes for the street missions—safely, of course. It’s a little easier to ride out there with this going on. Security is lighter and people are not around and businesses are closed—kind of the perfect storm for street riding. But we have been keeping it chill, not really sending it or going for crazy moves. I also have a good ramp set up at the crib that I ride almost every day.

What’s a typical session been like for you?
On weekdays I go to work until 3 then I come and ride the house for a good while. My future landlord is a good friend of mine and he rides too, so we usually are getting it until sun down. Usually one day of the weekend we link up to hit the streets to see what we can get. Since most parks are closed we don’t really have a warm up sesh like normal, so we just go out and dick around until someone wants to get a move.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
We definitely have that in the back of our minds, so when we’re filming we just tread lightly. But you know how it goes, you can get just as broke riding a Subrosa flat rail as you can out in the streets—it comes with the game.

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets?
Yeah, we are out there. There are just as many people out walking or running more than ever so it is what it is—just gotta watch out for the local heroes. I usually have a mask on me or in the bag in case someone wants to pull the unsafe card. But the cops are not as strict here as I hear some places are so that’s a good thing.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
I have hand sanitizer on deck, I’m keeping the celebratory high fives to celebratory elbow bumps, and I’m wearing a mask anywhere it’s required.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
I think you can do both, and I feel if you’re super Instagram famous you kind of back yourself into a wall and have to set the right example for your followers. If you’re out there acting like nothing’s wrong and the world’s not crazy, you’re nuts. These are definitely strange times. Just be cool, keep to yourself, and keep moving. You don’t always have to put everything you do on social media. Maybe now is just the time to be you and do you. If you feel the need to self-promote, promote good shit/vibes.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding?
I’ve been playing the bass a lot, just vibing to some heavy riffs. I’ve been having some heavy hangs with the old lady and the dog, going on walks and shit and hanging in the woods. I’ve been out on the motorcycle, too, a bit. You’d be surprised how many people are still driving like assholes. It almost seems like no one cares about traffic laws since they think the cops are not trying to talk to you. The old lady and I both are still working so our time is still occupied with that.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
Music is the best for you if you’re starting to lose it. Even better, go on YouTube and look up live performances of your favorite bands and play them through! Enjoy your drink of choice and let loose, free concerts! Me and Kim love it!

How many stay at home challenges have you participated in? And do you have a favorite?
I haven’t done many challenges but we did just play a game that was a combo of beer pong, flip cup, and tic tac toe all in one [laughs]. That was a good time!

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
It’s cool, we gotta keep on keepin’ on. More positive shit is a plus. If you’re a negative Nancy, don’t follow. Stay home and be mad.

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
I think people are gonna go extra hard once the restaurants and bars open [laughs]. Other than that I think it will just get forgotten about eventually and it will be just like how people look at getting sick from the flu or any other kind of sickness.


Greg Illingworth — Hastings, England

Greg, Battle Of Hastings throwback… can’t wait for days like these to roll around again! (Photo: Zielinski)

What is the situation with COVID-19 where you are?
The situation is certainly strange, although we don’t have the most strict lock down rules over here. We are still allowed to go outdoors once a day for exercise, provided we keep our distance from other people and stay close to home. We are also allowed to go to work if we absolutely cannot work from home. Our supermarkets are open and pretty well stocked. The weather has been good which has probably helped people’s mood. I’m super grateful that I have a small outdoor space to hang out and get some sun.

Have you been riding lately?
After the South Africa trip I needed to take a few weeks off to rest a tweaked ankle but I’ve recently started heading out on my BMX every 2nd or 3rd day just to get the blood flowing and keep some kind of skill level up. It is my job after all and I’m hoping to stay a float through this without needing government support.

What’s a typical session been like?
Skateparks are off limits at the moment so I’m just riding some mellow street stuff. I head out the house around 6:45/7am. I spend about 30 or 40 minutes riding something really chilled, like a simple curb or something. Then I’ll usually head to a few better street spots. I get my heart pumping for an hour or so and then head home before the streets get busier with runners and dog walkers. It’s pretty strange riding street alone so much but it’s nice to get out at that time of day. It’s really peaceful and the good weather helps a lot.

Not that it’s ever a good time to get a hurt, but it’s pretty much the worst time right now. How have you been approaching riding with that in mind?
Yes, 100%. I’m keeping it extra chilled. I fully understand the situation so I’m taking precautions and I think I’ve found a balance of staying healthy, sane and safe.

With schools and most businesses closed, it’s open season on the streets, but with stay at home advisories in place pretty much everywhere, have been able to take advantage of any sessions in the empty streets?
It’s difficult to say because I’ve been heading out super early anyway, so most businesses would be shut around that time. The streets are quieter for sure so that has helped. I’ve definitely been well tempted to hit up some schools etc. but I’m also a little nervous of finding something gnarly that I wanna do… and then be second guessing it or something. It’s probably worth scoping for future spots, though.

Opinions vary on whether or not people should be riding at all right now—and especially pros posting new riding content—as opposed to setting a good example to stay safe at home. What is your opinion?
That is a tricky one for sure. I think it largely depends on these key factors: how the virus is impacting the area you live, what restrictions have been set by your government, how close you’re staying to home and what kind of riding you’re doing—chill bro!. The exact wording from the UK government relating to this is: “Some non-key workers or non-essential key-workers can travel to work where it is not reasonably possible to work from home” and with regards to exercising “Going for a run or cycle, practising yoga, walking in the countryside or in cities or attending an allotment” and “In some circumstances, exercising more than once per day”. My interpretation is that I am a non-essential worker that is not reasonably able to work from home, however under the circumstances I have cut my riding down to around 4-6 hours per week, I ride well within my comfort zone. I could also take the stance that it’s merely exercise and go ride once a day, but again I’m leaning towards the more cautious side and only venturing out to ride a couple times a week. I honestly feel safer riding a parking lot by myself than cycling along the promenade or streets around here with other people and cars.

How serious are you taking the current situation. What kind of precautions are you taking, etc.
Very seriously. My partner has some underlying health conditions which could make dealing with the virus very difficult. She’s only been leaving the house once or twice a week for a walk in the forest. Other than that I do the shopping once a week, and ride a couple times. We don’t go out for anything else really. When I come home, I strip my clothes off and bag them for the was a few days later. I disinfect any shopping we bring inside or any deliveries we get. It take around half an hour to clean all the groceries before I pack them away.

Has the virus had any serious effects on you personally/monetarily…or your family members?
I’ve lost some income from coaching, helping with contest and things like that. I’m also spending less money and able to get a mortgage holiday for a few months. So hopefully that all balances out. My brother, Brad, has been furloughed for two months, so he’s not working but will receive 80% of his salary, then go back to his job hopefully when this is all over. He was also one of the first people in the UK to be told to isolate as he travelled to northern Italy around the time of their outbreak. He got sick, but didn’t get all the symptoms that we were being told you would have with COVID-19. As the weeks went on and more info came out, he started to realize that he almost certainly had it. Most of my family is in South Africa. They have all been impacted pretty heavily by very strong restrictions, some of the most strict in the world. They are struggling with that, but fortunately they are all relatively healthy.

What are some things you’ve been doing to pass the time while not riding? And do you have any tips or suggestions for anyone who is going stir crazy?
I’ve been spending time planning future projects, helping my girlfriend with her university work, cleaning the house a lot, playing with my cats, sleeping, stretching, spring cleaning. Of course staying active, but speaking to people over the phone or video and having some kind of routine has helped me a lot. I shower and get dressed every morning, I drink a coffee and think about what things I can or need to do that day. It’s easy to fall into too much chill and laziness right now, so we need to kick our own asses a little bit sometimes. The extra time we have right now is a great chance to speak to people over the phone. I try to have at least one phone call every day that lasts more than 30 minutes with a family member or friend. That has quite possibly been my favourite thing about this all—the calls are barely ever cut short and we speak about things we actually want to speak about, not only the things we have to speak about. As for exercise, if you are allowed to then take the opportunities and make it happen, be smart about it, don’t get close to people or put yourself at any unnecessary risk of injury. If you can’t go out at all then do your best to find ways of exercising indoors.

How many stay at home challenges have you participated in?
Not many at all… I posted a couple throwback clips on Instagram for some social media challenges but that’s about it. I don’t have any issue with those challenges and I think they’re good for getting people active. I just don’t struggle personally with finding things to do or staying active.

What do you think about the influx of people/brands using social media to help promote a positive mindset and encourage fun and unique ideas to stay busy while remaining socially distant?
I think it’s brilliant, but obviously some stuff seems lame to me. Whatever we can do to stay positive through this we should. Creativity is rewarding on so many levels and for so many people, why wouldn’t we want more of that kind of thing? What I find lame might make someone else eternally happy and who am I to say they shouldn’t have that?

What, if any, lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on society (or BMX) once this dark time passes?
I’m hopeful that society will take many good lessons from this horrible situation and act upon them. The environmental impact of this pandemic has been remarkable in some places, I hope we can find ways to make the most of those gains. One, potentially unexpected lesson, that I hope people learn is how difficult it is to remain isolated, how hard it is to get by without being able to work or earn money and how horrible it is to have to rely on the government to support you. I hope this will impact how the majority of fit, healthy or wealthy people will view chronically ill, mentally ill and vulnerable people. I hope all of these things but I honestly think if we come out of this any time soon then it won’t take long to go back to the way things were before. 

As for BMX, I think the lasting impact will really depend on how long the pandemic and restrictions last. I think as soon as things are able to start going back to normal, people will be buzzing! Whether it be contests, premieres, trips, whatever it is, the people are going to be extra hyped and appreciative. BMX is creativity driven in almost all aspects and we know that when people have more time to do things they want to do, they produce more creativity and higher quality art or expression. It will be interesting to see what people have been cooking up in their brains during this time. The future is weird.

Catch all of our COVID-19 interviews here…

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