In June of 2012, Garrett Reynolds ventured to X Games Los Angeles, fell behind in points early on, and then emerged in his final run to blow everyone away (judges included) in BMX Street. When the scores were announced, Garrett Reynolds walked away from X Games with his fifth consecutive gold medal in BMX Street.
No one else has ever won a gold medal in BMX Street at a summer X Games. Garrett Reynolds owns it.
Earlier this week, amid a packed crowd of riders, industry types and BMX fans, Garrett Reynolds was awarded his fifth consecutive Ride BMX Magazine NORA Cup Street Rider of the Year award. Others have won it before Garrett, but no one in the 16-year history of the awards has earned the title five times in a row. Again, Garrett Reynolds owns it.
About the only thing Garrett Reynolds might not be good at BMX-related, is public speaking. Garrett accepted the 2012 NORA Cup at the Venetian in Las Vegas, quickly exited the stage and tweeted that he can't talk in front of a lot of people, but thanked everyone for their votes.
The path of pure domination Garrett Reynolds has been on for the past five years is unprecedented in BMX unless we start talking in terms of Dave Mirras and Mat Hoffmans. But Garrett Reynolds isn't riding his bike just to win X Games medals or NORA Cup awards. much like Mirra and Hoffman before him.
He rides BMX bikes because it's what he thinks about on a daily basis and what he cares about. He rides because it's what he wants to do.
The titles, the accolades, they're an afterthought to what Garrett Reynolds wants to do with BMX, which isn't exactly simple. Garrett wants to push BMX riding in the right direction, and his plans to do so are slowly evolving alongside his ever-evolving riding on street and parks.
Last year, Garrett left his longtime sponsor Premium to form his own brand, dubbed Fiend. He was breaking his own signature parts with Premium, and disenchanted by their direction, decided to do his own thing. He employed the help of his friends for the team (Ty Morrow, JJ Palmere, Colin Varanyak, Kevin Vannauker) and took his X Games winnings to fund the brand.
Most notable, Fiend didn't skimp on frame production. Garrett wanted frames that were more dependable than what he was accustomed to, one that wouldn't break while riding. While every other brand was looking slim down the weight on their frames, Garrett simply wanted a bike that was safer for kids to ride. Weighing in around the 5 lb. mark, Fiend's first run of frames sold out quickly.
And now, over a year later, Fiend has added a signature frame for Ty Morrow, signature seat for JJ Palmere, handlebars, stems and grips. They've grown organically, and with Garrett's direction, have helped push the idea that frame strength was more important than frame weight.
But Garrett's influence doesn't end there. Last week, a promo debuted for a project that Garrett embarked upon sometime in 2006 -- a video from a crew of friends known as Deadline. It's no secret that the video has been in production for more than a few years, and it's no secret that Garrett's section, once released later this fall, will undoubtedly redefine the shape of street riding.
But it is telling that, in an age when Garrett could be producing progressive web videos every other week, he's chosen to stick with the project -- a tangible DVD that showcases his crew of friends riding.
Considering the year that Garrett Reynolds has already had, one might expect him to return to his adopted home of San Diego, Calif. (he's originally from Toms River, N.J.) and maybe take a break. But at age 22, with the desire to shape the direction of where he wants to take BMX, Garrett Reynolds probably grabbed the bike and headed out riding.
Even with five X Games gold medals and five NORA Cup awards, he's still got work to do.