I had grand plans to write about the influence of '80s flatland rider Chris Lashua on myself and his ability to eek out style in a mere steamroller upon returning from riding tonight, and then this happened.
Friday night, via photos that appeared on TheComeUp from the Agenda Tradeshow, we learned that Van Homan had parted ways with longtime shoe sponsor Orchid Footwear and signed with a renewed iPath BMX team. And tonight, Orchid owner (and more importantly longtime friend of Van) Derek Adams, released a statement on Van's decision to move on for pastures anew. According to Adams:
"For the first time in 14 years we won't be working together in some form or fashion. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks for everything, but that would hardly sum up how I feel. Van has been like a little brother to me since we first met back in 1996. We've been through a lot more than the typical sponsor/sponsoree relationship. We've been room mates, travel companions, band mates, partners in crime, trail digging buddies, best man (yikes), but most of all, good friends for 16 years. Through all of that, we built a BMX empire together complete with indoor bowls and poker lounges. We've kinda done it all, it's been a wild ride. As with any brothers we might not always agree or see eye to eye, but in the end we both know we love each other. And honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to being back where we started. No expectations, no business stuff confusing anything, kind of the way it should be. I'm just glad we made it through to the other side. One day hopefully we'll have stories to tell the grand kids."
Homan joined forces with Adams in the early days of Little Devil Clothing, and although he rode for Airwalk at the time, parted ways with the shoe brand to join Orchid at its inception. Van's contributions to Orchid (and Little Devil) include legendary video parts, hilarious print ads, several signature shoe models and a lifetime of memories. While it's unexpected to see this business relationship come to an end, it's nice to see that it reaches beyond the sponsor/paid rider relationship.
Riders remaining on Orchid include Matt Beringer, Brian Wizmerski, Brian Hunt, the Guilliams brothers, Dan Conway, Dave Krone, Brian Histand, Micky Marshall, Marky T, Brandon Reith and Niki Croft.
To date, iPath BMX has not made any official statement announcing Homan's addition to the team.