What do you think of the current state of vert riding?
Ron W.: ALL riding is outta control. Airing both ways at height, crazy flip-whip-twist-things, sick. The new style 13.5' tall ramps are so fucking rad, a whole different type of riding that gets me all motivated to ride and get it down! - Making me psyched to see what I can do to make one here in Santa Cruz!
You had a gnarly crash and was out for a while. Can you explain how hard it was to get back on the ramp?
Ron W.: Compound fractures are g-n-a-r-l-y. Yea, I broke many things b4, but COMPOUND fractures, a whole 'nother ball game. It's been a journey getting my leg back (just finished 30 days in a row of bikram yoga!), and I still got aways to go, but it's STILL feeling better all the time. But getting back on vert after 14 months was the BEST- just rolling in made me psyched, and then I'z only getting a couple feet at first, but was soooo amped to be riding again. Then last week, my 2nd time riding vert, I'z starting to feel MUCH more comfortable, and planning to go back NEXT week!
2-HIp were one of the first, if not THE first to organize halfpipe and street contests. Do you feel a little proud of that?
Ron W.: Yes, correct, THE first! and sure, I feel a LOT proud of my contributions to bmx. You woulda have had to be there to know the true impact, but, wow, what great times we had - The Energy from the riders AND the spectators (riders) at the King of Vert and Meet the Street jams, and also in BMX in general will not be matched again - the reason why there's such an 'old school' contingent still to this day?!
From organizing contests, 2 HIp went into building bikes. How did that go?
Ron W.: Well, I'z riding for Haro for 6 years, and then they sent the riders a letter saying that they weren't sending us to contests anymore, and then as the money was dropping they just weren't into it as they had been, so I quit and started my own thing, like always, following my dreams.
How does your product range look these days?
Ron W.: PSYCHED on our new products and plans... workin' on our 2007 bikes right now, as well as starting to do some 2-HIp parts and things, including a PETE BRANDT signature flatland frame, and the JARROD ALLEN signature multi-purpose frame l8r this year! We got a worldwide video release date of JUNE 11 for our next video; 2-HIp 'Under the Radar', with parties happening all over the world on the same day! Wow, this video will roll some heads. Jarrod Allen and I have been having so much fun making this together, and really putting our creative minds to work. Look out bmx!
To promote 2 HIp bikes, you're doing another bike shop summer tour in 2007. How many years have you organized those?
Ron W.: This 'll be year 17 for our summer tours. Touring is the absolute MOST FUN you can have riding, and I had sooo many amazing times touring that I want to keep it up and make it happen for others. We got a siiick new quarter-trailer with a 12' wide box inside it, and it's looking like the line-up this year will be 3 of the riders: JARROD ALLEN, MAURICIO OSPINA, BENNO HANKOWETZ, and PETE BRANDT!
If you could pick one good story from being on the road, which one would it be?
Ron W.: Haha. After 6 years being on the road with Brian (Blyther) and Dave (Nourie), there's just waaaaay too many stories...but...I'm on the 24th edit of a book I've been working on for about 6 years now, called 'Progress. Progress?' Read that. But be warned, this BOOK will roll some heads. It's a collection of stories not all about bmx - bmx is just laced thru it (not for kids)
How does it feel to ride with all these young rippers around you?
Ron W.: It's all bmx.
Do you feel you have to live up to your reputation or are you just out there doing your thing having fun?
Ron W.: Yea, for a long time it would suck because I was just riding for fun, not competitively anymore, but everyone would be lookin' at me like I needed to impress them or something --- but I'm over that and simply only ride for fun, if I WANT TO. Vert is the only thing that I ALWAYS want to ride. I love it, even just doing straight airs and feeling the ramp, there's NOTHING like riding vert.
Where will Ron Wilkerson be in 10 years from now?
Ron W.: Haha, good question. The very BEST part of the question is that I don't even know. I like that, but I DO know that amongst other things it will involve my property in Costa Rica (going there next week!), traveling, riding (bmx-road-mtn), my beautiful Brasilian girl, writing, playing music, being active in effecting the world, and, ya know, living the life, loving it, appreciating every step. amen.