Mark Gonzales

„I really don’t like the term bmx. bmx stands for bicycle motocross. what the hell does bicycle motocross have to do with some kid hopping up curbs on his way to the store – nothing.“

„I really don’t like the term bmx. bmx stands for bicycle motocross. what the hell does bicycle motocross have to do with some kid hopping up curbs on his way to the store – nothing.“

The gonz

interview by thomas fritscher and klaus dyba

Usual blah,
name, age, years riding, sponsors…

my full name is marco antonio gonzalez. i’m 25 years old . i’ve been
riding since i was three. my sponsors are standard, skunk bros, hoice, sombra,
swak, kmc, odi, xs,and sun rims, and magnetplan.

How did you get into riding and did you always ride street?
i guess i got serious about riding after i met these crazy black brothers
that would jump off of anything. that’s when i started doing drops and
bunnyhops. pretty much ive always rode street. if theres jumps around ill hit
them but i’d rather go do some wallrides or something.

Why did you leave S&M?
i think chris moeller kicked me off the team because he couldnt hang
with the level of fruitcakeness that i’ve achieved. whatever, i still consider
moeller one of my influences in riding and behavior in general.

Are you involved in Metal Bikes at all?
except for the ocassional beer that jimmy levan might buy me i’m
not really involved with metal bikes. i just happened to be wearing a metal
shirt that was a gift when mark losey shot some pictures of me. one of which
ended up being a two page spread in ride. chris moeller was super stoked . i
think he got pissed because i tried getting photo contingencie money from s$m
for that picture. i tried explaining to him that it was a publicity stunt but
he didn’t buy it. besides that i think metal is sweet.

What do you think about the BMX-Scene in general nowadays? Was it better
in the past/ if yes, when?
i really don’t like the term bmx. bmx stands for bicycle motocross.
what the hell does bicycle motocross have to do with some kid hopping up curbs on his
way to the store – nothing.
i think that the image of bikeriding is slowly getting better. now that good
street riding is showing up more in the media it’s starting to look alot
better. but i really wont be satisfied until the majority of magazine covers
consist of streetriding. i mean compared to transworld skateboarding magazine
everything else sucks pretty much. i think the scene was pretty sweet back in the day. when people like dave vanderspeck
maurice meyer, eddie roman, jason parks, craig grasso and pete augustin were
busting dope shit out. then the dirt brothers came out vic murphy, brad blanchard,
ronnie farmer,and their whole crew. it’s almost like people have forgotten
all about that shit. i mean vic did some wallride stuff that was just amazing.
there was people doing stuff back then that is so much radder than anything
being done today.

How would you describe the riding scene in Arizona?
the riding scene in arizona is good. there’s plenty of good riders
,and most of them have pretty good attitudes. ther’es good spots spread
out all over pheonix. then theres tucson which is south of pheonix. that place has some really nice terrain. theres
some awsome riders down there too . like zach warren, will bissel,tucson sean
and their whole crew. if anybody wants to come to arizona i guarantee they will
have a good time.
How many riders are there?
i dont know how many kids there are. theres alot.

Do you guys do big gaps everyday or only when ells and his camera is around?
some people do big stuff whenever. like chris toth he’ll just go
out and bust big stuff just for the hell of it. sometimes i’ll do some
big stuff . i only like doing a big gap if it looks sweet. but most of my bigger
stuff is done by my stunt double.

How do you feel about the street comeback in the public?
i think it’s about time people realize that streetriding isn’t just
some pastime for when they’re not dirt jumping or ramp course riding. it’s always been around
it just hasn’t been in the eye of the media as much as the other stuff.
but, me and the crew are taking care of that. as far as i’m concerned the
street is the true testing ground. i mean how many people try tailwhips over
jumps and how many people try tailwhips down stairs,you know.

Your riding reminds of skating sometimes, are you influenced by skateboarding?

basically i consider skateboarding to be the ultimate form of freeform
physical and mental art in the world. if it looks like im skateboarding on my
bike it’s probably because skateboarding has been my main influence for
the last 10 years or so.

Where do you see the purpose of no-brake riding in street?
it’s just fun to see what happens when you dont have brakes on your bike.
stuff like plowing into cars and innocent pedestrians. it also allows you to
do cool stuff like wearing down a new pair of shoes on one downhill run. basically
it was a marketing strategy that went haywire. now i cant put brakes on my bike
or i’ll be called a sellout. you know what iwould really like to seeis brakeless
AA pro racing. now that would be exciting.

Evel Knievel said: "You don’t risk your life, when there’s no reward…".
What’s your reward?

pretty much i was a wuss as a kid. and now i’m just trying to prove to
myself that i’m more of a badass than all the kids that bullied me around
in school.

Ever had any really bad chrashes you want to talk about?
a crash story. once when i was in high school i was showing off in
front of a rival school’s girl volleyball team that was at our school for
a game. i ended up eating serious crap in front of them instead. it was totally
humiliating. but, then one of the girls from the other school asked me if i
was alright. i said,” not really”. then i jokeingly asked her if she
could make me feel better.she said, “ maybe”, then gave me a little
kiss and her phone number. i called her later that night . she showed up with
two other girls from her volleyball team totally drunk, and i ended up feeling
pretty good. it was cool.

Do you get burned out on riding at all? Do you ride constantly?
sometimes i get kind of burnt out. like i wont really feel like trying stuff
and i’ll just roll around town cutting through traffic and stuff.

Which riders do you rate (who do you think is the most underrated rider…)?
who do i think are some underrated riders i guess like scott fyfe from denver,
mike griffin, uhm i dont know thats just like two people i can think of right
now. who knows how many rad riders are out there you know. nobody knows.

How far are you involved in Ells‘ Videos, other than acting in them?
i’m pretty deeply involved in the videos. i don’t actually
put the videos together,but i do other stuff. like contribute ideas and find
crazy, talented riders who are unknown and deserve coverage . ultimately my
main goal is to travel around the world hooking up with dope riders and if they
want to film some stuff for a video thats a plus. but basically its a combination
of mine and ells’ continued effort towards progression.

It seems like you are working on some kind of image in the magazines (puking
fruitcage, getting laid by old ladies…), is that a planned strategy or does
it fully reflect the way you are?
i guess i you could say i’ve had some participation in some questionable
situations. i think it reflects the side of me that craves chaos and complete
madness. but on the other hand i can be the most chillin, laidback and respectable
person. i also think some of my craziness stems from my indian background, but
i dont really know. i’m trying to chill out on that sort of behavior cause
i’m getting tired of spending nights in crappy jails.

What do you do on an average day? (work, your kid…)
on an average day i’ll get up around 10 am and roll over to ells’
house in my 98 lex. i’ll make some phone calls take care of any business that needs to be taken
care of you know. usually i’ll jam out on the guitar for awhile then i’ll
go riding by myself or with one of the crew. then i’ll go pick up my son
from school and we’ll go riding for awhile then go home. then i usually
cook up some dinner for the family, chill for awhile then hit the sack.

Was that your kid in "on the down low" (the other one…). Does
your kid ride? Do you have a kid or did I get that wrong? Do you want your kid
to ride bikes? Would you put brakes on his bike?
the little kid with the training wheels rolling down the stairs is my
son ethan. he’s 4 years old and he’s supercool.he loves riding his
bike. right now he’s got a coaster brake on his little 10” bike.
hopefully he’ll ride a coaster forever. you can bust rad stuff with a coaster.

What other interests do you have (music…)?
besides riding i like to indulge myself in performance art, stand-up
or sit-down comedy, makeing weird noises with a guitar or bass, playing drums,
acting, eating tasty burritos, eating something else that i really can’t
talk about, communicating with my fans through the internet, sending whacked
out fax’ to people for no reason whatsoever, getting kicked out of mtv
sports and music festivals, chillin with the skunk bros, seeing neurosis live,
taking pictures , videotaping worthless footage, shopping at thrift stores and
whatever else happens to come my way.

Tell us some gonz storys…
okay this is the story about what happened in memphis,tennesee at the
sports and music festival.first of all i wasn’t feeling the greatest after
a three day trip on the bus to get there from arizona. Then when i got off the
bus some bum scammed me for 20 bucks. then i went too see the street course
and wanted to burn it down it sucked so bad. then i said screw it and started
drinking at 8 am. then i put on the chicken costume and pissed off some people.
then i rode my bike up one of the motorcycle jumps
and pissed off one of the motocross dudes. he tried starting some shit with
me. then i retaliated by getting naked and climbing on a tractor. that really
made him mad, so he decided to beat the crap out of me. luckily barspinner ryan
was there to help me or else i probably would have been dead. unfortunately
for me all this occured while one of the top mtv producers was watching. needless
to say she wasn’t too impressed with my actions and promptly proceeded
to have me removed from the whole festival. it sucked i didn’t get my money
and i could’nt even go on the premises to watch any events. that made me
really mad so i decided that an all out alcoholic binge would really help things
out. wrong. i ended up getting severely wasted, blacked out and doing some of
the dumbest things of my life. i don’t really remember anything that happened
. i got most of the information from witnesses. i was wearing some crazy elvis
meets scream outfit and decided to give alcohol induced traffic directing a
try. the memphis police were’nt to happy and so they took me away to spend
the night at their delightful county jail. that was after i had punched danny
way for no reason, and then almost got beat up by everybody. i think i’ve
learned my lesson.
Thanks Mark.




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