Over the weekend, BMX legend Ron Wilkerson and his long-running brand 2hip Bicycles welcomed an enigmatic street riding name to their team: Bruce Crisman. Formerly an X Games gold medalist in BMX Park (in 2001, he was the first rider to beat five-time X Games park gold medalist Dave Mirra), Crisman shied away from major media coverage and eventually pioneered a freecoaster-influenced brand of street riding while riding for brands such as Federal and KHE.
As the years progressed, Crisman produced a string of Northwest-based street videos ("Shola," "Facad") that helped to launch the careers of riders such as Davey Watson and Mike Hoder. He also continued to ride, but back injuries kept him under the radar.
Now, several years after his last deal with KHE ended, Crisman is riding again, and has joined forces with Ron Wilkerson and 2hip. According to 2hip, "Bruce is shredding daily and riding a Jake The Snake prototype frame with Groovetech steering system." Crisman calls the setup the best he's ever had and is currently working on a welcome to the team video.
But there's more in store from 2hip. For the past few months, Ron Wilkerson and 2hip have been quietly working on a "2 hipstory" section of their website, documenting the formation of the brand (first started as a trick team in 1983), early products under the Wilkerson Airlines name, a full ad and video archive, plus photos from past team members and events that 2hip has been organizing since 1986.
Under the 2hip name, Ron Wilkerson was the first BMXer to organize the modern halfpipe contest, as well as the first to throw street riding contests. Under the Wilkerson Airlines name, Wilkerson was one of the first BMXers to produce modern-day street frames that could physically withstand the demands of the riding. And still to this day, Ron Wilkerson is one of the first BMXers to push an aspect of individuality in and out of BMX.
Say what you will about the Leigh Ramsdell influenced ads of the early '90s, but you can't ever say that Ron Wilkerson has always done whatever he damn well pleased to do, including dressing like a pimp for video covers or narrating the oral history of 2hip while riding a fullpipe.