BMX Battles: SJBMX’s Chris McMahon pumps, swaps, and copes

Pub date June 4, 2008
WriterMarke B.
SectionSF Blog

By Duncan Scott Davidson. Read Duncan’s BMX Battles article here. Read his interview with pro biker Ian Schwartz here.

Chris McMahon, occasionally referred to in the bike scene as “Beerman,” due to an unfortunate high school football coach, runs His take on bikes being a “menace” in skateparks is that it’s not bikes, per se, it’s little kids who don’t know what they’re doing, don’t have park etiquette, and are essentially abandoned at the skatepark by parents who don’t want to pay for babysitters.

McMahon, wiped out from Dawg Aid. Photo by Daniel Porter

SFBG: What are you doing?

CHRIS McMAHON: Ah, not much. Out riding right now.

SFBG: Right on. Sorry to interrupt the session.

CHRIS: It’s cool. I actually have to help my buddy with a flat tire.

SFBG: Bike or car?

CHRIS: Bike.

SFBG: Bike? And he needs help?

CHRIS: He just needs a pump.

Footy from This includes clips from Cityview skatepark in Alameda, which BMXers helped design and pay for, but were later shut out of.

SFBG: I went to the Dawg Aid thing at Stonegate that you guys put on. There was, of course, a ton of bikes there. Was that originally a “no bike” park?

CHRIS: It definitely was and still is a “no bike” park, but we’ve never had it enforced. Never, ever gotten kicked out of there, to the best of my knowledge.

SFBG: What about Plato Arroyo?

CHRIS: We used to get kicked out of there. I know there’s still a rule, but I haven’t seen anyone get kicked out of there in awhile. There’s kids that ride there every day. But, that Evelyn lady that’s in my email, she was out there the other day. I don’t know what she was doing, exactly, but I have a feeling they’re going to be putting a fence up to keep bikes out. I talked to her about that a couple of years ago, and she never got around to getting back to me.

SFBG: In terms of Lake Cunningham, when did meetings start going down about that?

CHRIS: About the design?

SFBG: Sort of. When did they start designing it, and when did bikers get involved?

CHRIS: I think they started designing it about two years ago, maybe it was two and a half. They had an initial meeting, which no riders went to, because we weren’t informed. Two months after that, they had the initial design meeting, which I found out about just because I was looking around for information on skateboard message boards online. I got the date and time and location, and got a few guys to go to that.

SFBG: When was that?

CHRIS: I don’t remember exactly when it was, but I’m positive it was early 2006, maybe. Or maybe middle 2006. It was awhile ago. They were talking about how they didn’t really want to get bikes in there. Whoever the guy is who is in charge of the district for Stonegate was complaining about bikes in the park being a major problem, which is funny, because that’s the only people who ever rode there up, up until recently. Now there’s a lot of skaters there because they want to get used to bigger trannies for the Cunningham park.

SFBG: So who was giving the most anti-bike statements at these meetings, and where did they get their information from?