In the late '80s, a group of Brooklyn, N.Y. area BMX riders formed a crew in opposition to some of the more violent gangs in their neighborhood at the time. Dubbed "B.A.S.E.," the crew's name stood for "Brooklyn Area Straight Edge." Their focus surrounded BMX riding in and around Brooklyn and Manhattan, along with the popular New York hardcore music of the time.
At that time, BMX was healthy and growing in New York City, thanks in part to skateparks in the South Bronx (Mulally Skatepark, which hosted contests through the New York Parks Department and 2-Hip), the Brooklyn Banks (a go-to meeting place for BMXers as far back as the '80s and host to an impromptu contest from Ron Wilkerson's 2-Hip Meet The Street series), and a growing number of riders that flocked to the city from New Jersey, Long Island and beyond when the weather was nice.
But aside from some very early t-shirt initiatives that didn't get too far, there were no BMX brands that represented the very raw approach BMX was taking in New York City. BASE Brooklyn, the crew of dirt and street riders from the Brooklyn area and beyond, changed all that. Early on, like any BMX brand making a push, it started with t-shirts, and slowly morphed into sweatshirts, stickers, shorts, and perhaps most importantly, videos. Videos that documented and defined riding in and around New York City before it had ever been done.
In the above video, esteemed New York City video producer Glenn PP Milligan and BASE Brooklyn's own Enos Colombo take a behind the scenes look at several early and very influential videos in the BASE Brooklyn legacy. BASE took a bit of a hiatus over the past decade, but the brand is now starting to re-emerge, and with good reason. BASE Brooklyn helped shape what has now become a huge scene within BMX, and it's about time they got the recognition they deserved. Much like what Zoo York did for skateboarding throughout the '90s, BASE Brooklyn did for BMX. They defined it. Video by Aaron Nardi.