BMX Battles: Ian Schwartz — rough trannies, vibed out, lines backwards

Pub date June 4, 2008
WriterMarke B.
SectionSF Blog

By Duncan Scott Davidson. Read the BMX Battles article here.

Ian Schwartz is a 27 year-old-pro bike rider from Ohio. He’s sponsored by Sunday bikes and Lotek shoes, and was recently in San Francisco filming for the upcoming Lotek video. He’s a “still waters run deep” type of guy–quiet, unassuming, and never one to pop off random bullshit–he thinks about things before he opens his mouth and his outlook on the age-old skate vs. bikes battle seems right on target. On his bike, he’s one of the most creative guys out there, he rides what’s called a freecoaster rear hub, which means, in the final analysis, does better lines backwards than most people do forwards.

Work of art: Schwartz 180 lauches the stage at the De Young Museum. Photo by Brad Lovell

SFBG: Did you guys start filming yet?

Ian Schwartz: Not today, no.

SFBG: But you started already–for the Lotek video–right.

IAN: Yeah. We actually got a lot of stuff. Do you know Jesse Whaley? He was in town for a couple days. So we filmed some stuff yesterday–it was a lot of fun. Did a bunch of bombing hills and stuff like that. It was a real fun day.

SFBG: Did you hit any specific spots, or were you just cruising around looking for shit?

IAN: We did. I can’t even think of the any of the spots of we actually hit. We hit a couple. We rode the Federal Building. Around the library area.

SFBG: Did you get hassled?

IAN: No, not over there.

SFBG: I’ve heard of people getting tackled and their bikes confiscated there. Never seen it, though. I hit it myself sometimes.

IAN: Yeah. We didn’t stay there for very long, because we definitely felt like we were pusing it. It sucks, too, because that places is so cool.

SFBG: I figured you’d be into it, because it has those rough trannies, you know?

IAN: Yeah, that shit is so fun. It’s a bummer you can’t ride there. It was fun though.

SFBG: I think that since they started remodeling it, they don’t pay as much attention.

IAN: Really? I know that a couple weeks ago, Jackson and Marco and I and a few people rode the top area, which I’d never rode before. Have you ever ridden that?

SFBG: You mean the other side?

IAN: You know the biggest wall? On the top side of that wall. Like if you climbed up the wall there’s a little area up there. It’s like these weird little sheet metal pyramids. Super mellow, but little pyramid things, and banks with benches sticking out of them. Yeah, I didn’t even know that was up there. I think we actually did get kicked out, but it was a very friendly kick out. We got asked to leave, but that was after being there for a half an hour, 45 minutes.

Lotek Web video: “A Day with Ian Schwartz”

SFBG: Cool. Well, hopefully it’s a little more mellow than it used to be. I read on the Sunday site–I think this is before you went to Barcelona–you said that San Francisco is your favorite city to ride in. Why is that?