The first thing you probably notice about Logan Penberg is that he is incredibly tall. The second is that he can tire ride better than anyone I’ve ever met. I’m not sure if the two are connected or not, but it definitely can’t hurt. Of course, his riding is more than just tire rides—even though he could get by on just that trick alone. Logan is comfortable and confident when riding big setups and has plenty of tricks in his bag for whatever is in front of him. He got on my radar when I was asked to film him tire ride the infamous El Toro rail. I didn’t know him at all and hardly talked to him, but after he got that trick done it definitely left an impression on me. I knew that if he kept focused on riding he would make waves. Over the next year or so, I watched his progression and drive for BMX continue to grow. And when it came time to bring someone else onto the WeThePeople team, it seemed like a no brainer. I am more than hyped to have him aboard and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us. —Grant Castelluzzo – WTP US Team Manager / filmer
Commitment, courage, luck, or just some sort of inhuman balance… What’s your secret to being so dialed at tire rides?
It’s all just confidence! I guide into them front tire first and after that it’s just balance. Having four pegs definitely makes it less intimidating to try them. Anyone could do them after some practice!
What’s the story behind the El Toro rail ride? And why isn’t the clip online anymore?
I’ve always wanted to tire ride El Toro since I got more into the trick. Once I finally made it out to California to stay with the homie Ryder Poye—shoutout Ryder, always holdin’ it down when I pull up—we made the trip out to the school the morning before a Cult jam in Palm Springs. First spot of the day and there was some event at the school so I didn’t know if I could even try. Once Grant C. pulled up to capture it all for me, we just went straight to the set and scoped it out. It took me about 3-4 tries, I think. I originally wanted the tires 180, but due to a bent rail and getting kicked out we just took the straight tires. After I decided to leave Mutiny they removed the video from YouTube, unfortunately.
Speaking of tire rides, while on the Perfect Strangers trip to LA, you had originally planned to tire ride the infamous San Pedro kinker to opposite 180. While the straight tire ride was still an NBD, why did you feel compelled to not only 180 out of it—but try it opposite? And how did that end up for you?
[Laughs] I figured if I make it down might as well spin out of it. I do the tires switch 180s just as much as regular, so I figured might as well go for that since I probably won’t see that spot for a couple years. The time I tried to switch 180 I turned my front wheel before I hopped so it didn’t go too well. Next time I made it all the way down I was leaned the way for the normal 180 so I went with that. More left for next time—I can’t wait to ride it again.
Not to keep on about the rail rides, but that famous Austin kinker you rode down and posted to the gram, why wasn’t that saved as a “real” clip?
That was an unfortunate day. I was filming for my banger for the Mixtape the homies and I put out a while back. I did straight tires and then did tires 180 and stomped it. Turned around and saw the homie filming was not stoked so I knew he missed it. I went straight back up to the top and tried it again. I dropped into pegs right at the first kink and the grind stopper flipped me over and I slid on my thigh over a grind stopper. I ended up tearing my thigh muscle a bit and couldn’t ride for a month or so.
What’s your approach to doing scary/gnarly things? When we were at Moorpark you were eying up that massive whip down the steps into the street… your chain broke, but then you proceeded to try to get the speed without a chain. If you somehow got the speed, would you have tried that whip without a chain?
[Laughs] Man, that day was a mess for me. Yeah, I was really hyped up for it already since I promised myself I would send it the time my chain snapped on me. Just didn’t feel like I had the speed scooting [laughs].
Do you really have a separate Instagram for your car?
Yes, it’s nothing serious, but go check it out @blackGslab.
How old are and what are you currently doing to make ends meet?
I’m 21 years old, 22 on the 24th of this month. I’m in school and working as an electrician. Working full-time and biking whenever I’m not at work—the grind never stops.
What’s your background in BMX? Your roots… where you grew up, how you got into it, etc…
I first started riding when I lived in San Antonio right before I moved to Austin. If you’ve been to SA you know there’s not much to ride but street. Parks were far from me so I was riding ditches and the local walking trail had a big double we would always ride growing up. More of a mountain bike jump, but we made due with what we had. I got into BMX because my brother met two of my long time best friends McKenzie and Kamron. They had BMX bikes and after watching them do some 180s and feebles, I had to get one. I don’t remember the model, but my first bike I bought was a WTP complete off Craigslist. Almost like it was meant to be [laughs].
Who were some riders you looked up while growing up? And what about nowadays, who are some riders who influence or motivate you?
Chad Kerley was my idol—still is—and I met him at the last Texas Toast. I was so stoked. I thought it was funny because I was already taller than him at like 16 [laughs]. Now I have so many that I love to watch, Garrett, Lewis Mills, Felix, Jordan, and the steeze god, Simone Barraco, is my all-time favorite. So damn good.
The BMX scene in Austin is like no other—what’s it like growing up there? And who do you typically ride with?
Austin is honestly my favorite place, ever. Weather can be brutal sometimes, but it’s beautiful here. The vibes between all the riders is unmatched, nothing but good times with these dudes. The usual crew would be Brett Wickersham, Nathan Elliot, Brad Simms, Nordstrom, Brett Silva, Casey Starling, and the list goes on and on.
Do you feel like you’ve progressed faster / pushed yourself harder having so many pro riders around you for motivation?
Since I basically started riding for real once I moved to Austin, all my friends I made were already way better than me. I was learning to 180 and grind while they were doing whips and barspins already. So not so much the pro riders at first, but I learned so much so fast riding with better riders. All my friends are more than happy giving me tips and trick ideas to this day. But now definitely all my homies who are pro keep me pushing. They’re all so casually killing it so I just try to keep up as best as I can [laughs].
With decades of the who’s who of riders from around the world passing through Austin, how hard is it for you to find new stuff that hasn’t already been done?
That’s my favorite part about it. It constantly makes you want to try harder and new tricks. Also, new spots are popping up every month it seems like, so there’s always more to ride!
Tell us a little about Burn Slow, and your thoughts on the Monarch butterfly…
Shoutout Burn Slow! Comfy material and the designs are always sick. Adam, Aaron and Chase hold it down. More with Burn Slow coming soon. I love the white pants with the monarch logo, and I’m honestly wearing them right now. Also, they’re painter pants so that made me dig it even more.
How did you first get affiliated with WeThePeople?
Grant Castelluzzo and I were chatting a bit and he told me he was gonna see if he could get me a frame just to help me have a more solid bike—such a homie. He ended up putting a good word in for me and after a while he got back to me and told me the boys at WTP said they wanted me to be on the team and I was in disbelief. Shout out Grant and WTP.
And what does it mean to you to be a part of such a legendary brand?
It’s still crazy to me that I’m a part of the brand, seriously honored to have the opportunity and support from them. They have the craziest guys on the team so watching them shred is nothing but more motivation! Love this shit.
WTP’s Perfect Strangers videos were a cool concept. Prior to that trip, did you know Riley Smith, Justin Koebele, or even Grant Castelluzzo, really?
I knew Grant from the El Toro clip that he came out to film, but that was the first and only time I had met him. Other than that it was just talking on Instagram. As for Riley and Justin, I had never met them or talked to them before. They ended up to be some super cool guys and we all had a super fun trip. So many good memories on that trip with all the boys.
What are you looking forward to in 2021? Any trips, projects, goals?
For 2021 I want to put out a video project that is the best I think it can be. I haven’t had a video I took time on and was completely stoked with every clip. As for trips, there have been a few ideas thrown out, but nothing set in stone yet. Another goal I have is to travel more this year. It’s time to get out there and visit the homies around the country more—and out of the country, as well—if COVID ever lets up! 2021, we’re making moves!
Catch Logan, Riley Smith, and Justin Koebele in WeThePeople’s Perfect Strangers II…