This year officially marks the time when Scotland-based BMX brand BSD grabbed the full attention of the American BMX community. Originally founded in 1991, BSD began to break ground on the local BMX scene in the late '90s, when founder and owner Grant Smith began selling extra thick sprockets under the BSD name. Fast forward over a decade, and BSD has come a long way from being run out of a closet. In fact, BSD recently took home honors such as Ride UK's "Brand of the Year" award for 2011 and 2012.
With good reason.
BSD has made a lot of noise in 2012, starting the year off with the DVD "Any Which Way", countless web edits and new products, and now capping the year off with the "Living For The City," a three-part web edit series that was given as much thought and attention as a DVD project. A lot of hard work goes into projects like these, and a lot happens behind the scenes that we never see, so I contacted Grant Smith and team rider Reed Stark to talk about what it's like to undertake such a project in a city known for rain.
ESPN.com: Specifically leading up to "Living For The City," how much foresight and planning was involved with the way the year worked out? Was it more of just the natural direction things were going and taking shape?
Smith: Towards the end of 2011, we decided to make a DVD based around a few trips in Europe and the US which was "Any Which Way." That project took a lot of pre-planning and coordinating. After all the traveling, we thought it would be good to all be in one place for a while and felt that our home city of Glasgow was a good place for everyone to be. Also we wanted to make a web edit series that would be as good as a DVD, some riders are really caught up on the whole DVD thing being superior to web edits, and that really doesn't need to be the case. The web is way more accessible and people shouldn't treat is as a lesser medium.
How did the idea for "Living For The City" come up?
Every year team riders come over to Glasgow and see sick street spots but don't always get to ride them due to not being here long enough or more often the weather. I'd always thought it would be great to have all our riders here for an extended period of time, there are just so many un-filmed spots.
Was there a point when the whole crew was in town at the same time, or did the guys just come and go when it worked with schedules and other obligations? Any major hang ups?
There were times when a big crew was here at once and sometimes having too many riders made filming difficult. If the weather was good then things were easy but that was often not the case. Injuries are another bummer, Jeff Cadger and Tony Malouf were both hurt most of the time but that's just BMX.
Dave Sowerby filmed and edited the whole series. How much freedom did he have in putting things together?
Dave is a master at what he does so when it comes to filming and editing we leave him to it.
Can we expect the same format for the last section?
For part three I know who's in it, but that's all.
Any final thoughts on the project? Or any insight to share about the value in following through with projects like these?
It's weird now that the Glasgow project is coming to an end. The idea was there for a long time and it's taken the last six months and a lot of time and effort from the BSD team to make it all happen. I think we did what we set out to do and we are really happy.
ESPN.com: Reed, now that the project is coming out how do you feel about how it's all coming together in the final product?
Stark: I'm really stoked on how the first part turned out. Dave Sowerby's filming and editing is on another level! Although it's only available online, the idea was to film for this like it was a DVD section. Glasgow's weather is terrible, but having an apartment to stay at for such a long time made it possible to find quality spots to go to on sunny days. The city is cluttered with ridiculous setups you'd never find in America and I was quite giddy about it to say the least.
I think my favorite clip is the wall ride on the railing to 270 back into that brick bank. Is there a particular clip that you're most happy about?
Garrett Reeves is a huge inspiration of mine for obvious reasons. Grant and I were talking about how he would probably do something similar at that spot so I figured I had to try it. Besides that, I'd say I'm most happy with the nose bonk to crook. Within the first few days of arriving to Glasgow we walked around searching for spots in the rain and I came across the piece. I didn't know whether I should be more concerned about the bad run-up, pillar thread, or the absurd amount of shattered glass and bird crap covering the spot. We ended up going there with boards and a broom on one of the last days I was in town and luckily it worked out.
I've read a few different captions talking about some loud mouthed locals at the rail where you did the predator grind to 180. What was happening there?
Loud mouthed locals are expected when riding street, but they're particularly noisy in Glasgow because everyone's drunk in the middle of the day. The most hammered Glaswegian I dealt with on this trip came out while I was deciding if the steep rail at 5:22 was possible. As I'm timidly feeling out the run-up, the dude comes out of his apartment jabbering on about how if I try the rail I'll be going to the hospital. I explained to him that I'm aware getting hurt is a possibility and that his comments are making me not want to do it. All of a sudden the dude completely changes the game up and yells, "Well now if you don't try it you're a sh******!" I'm not just going to let some drunk Scottish guy call me out, so I sent it. When I pulled it the guy made me give him a hug which was followed by other apartment tenants applauding the crew as we pedaled away. It was really, really weird.
What kind of activities did you get into when not riding?
Time spent not riding consisted of chilling with the crew and watching Apple TV, looking at pictures of spots, playing monopoly, cooking, and partying. Scotland's legal drinking age is awesome for a 20-year-old American.
Without giving anything away, are there any sections you're excited to see, or for everyone else to see?
David Grant's section is seriously going to blow minds. Nothing against Fred Murray or Dave Sowerby, but the dude handled some setups in Glasgow that will never be properly represented on camera.