Pusher / Tension
Scroll back to those early days in freestyle with me for a moment. A time when pogos were rad and the rat tail hairstyle of Martin Aparijo and Mike Dominguez dangled out the back of your Bell Pro Plus helmet. A time when uniforms were the norm for competitions and street and dirt were not yet recognized as creative aspects of riding. And a time when going to any type of bike riding event meant returning home with a stack of `zine type material to occupy your next two weeks on the everyman throne. Step off those Skyway axle extenders and return. It's 1998 and these glory days are just memories. Or are they?
A recent visit to Chenga World for an FBM contest brought me back to these days of old in a small way. I returned home, backpack stuffed with dirty clothes, rolls of film and...an assortment of underground BMX literature. Fortunately, hairstyles were up to date and no uniforms or pogos were spotted. Two of the slicker magazines I picked up were Pusher and Tension, both full size magazine-type zines with full color covers.
Pusher (winter '98 issue) hails from Denver and includes articles on the Flatland Fugitives, Chris Young, Mike Lovegoat, and Scott Fyffe. It offers a Big Brother circa 1994 slant on its content, like reviewing porn films along with BMX videos and doing BMX Plus! type shotouts between ice beers. Pusher also features record reviews, a Gonz article on burritos, two amazing full page photos by Sean Parker and a funny S&M ad with Leo Dumlao. Pusher is definitely stepping into unchartered territories with its content, and it may not be for everyone, but it's still pleasing to see how differing the BMX lifestyle can be from one person to another, and this makes Pusher a worthy read. You can email Pusher at firstname.lastname@example.org or send $12.00 (for one year) to Pusher, 1574 Jackson St., Denver, CO 80206.
Tension (#3, spring 1998) comes from London, Ontario and features articles on the Battle of Elsinore comp, the Rampage Jam, Ironcow clothing and a beginners guide to finding BMX on the internet. Tension is stacked with decent pictures and trading cards of riders like Brandon Fenton and Jamie Delaney. If that doesn't entice you enough, the cover photo is of Nate Wessel one-handed no-footed over a set of doubles while a huge fireball courtesy of Steve Crandall hovers underneath. I'm not sure of the price of Tension. You can email Tension at email@example.com or send undisclosed amounts of canadian cash to Tension, 754 William St. London, ON. Canada N5Y-2R6. [Brian Tunney]
Uploaded June 1998