I was born in New York, grew up in Minnesota, and I’ve been here ever since. I graduated high school here, graduated college here, worked for 5 years in the bike industry here, instructed a college course for 2 years here, started a few businesses here, and throughout all this time I’ve been riding BMX bikes. I’ve traveled a lot, inside & outside the country, however one thing I’ve never experienced is what it is like living somewhere new.
You will meet many friends from all over the world through BMX. Huge riding scenes in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Utah, Arizona, California, UK, Australia, etc. It really never ends. You have opportunities to ride with other riders all over the world.
This was not an impulse decision, I’ve thought about doing this for a handful of years, and I’ve thought about going to a handful of different places. The first step was paying off all school loans, new car, and any other debt that I may have had after college. The second step was moving away from my full time job at QBP and supporting myself 100% by self employment. I had also been instructing a web course at Hennepin Technical college while I was self employed, however I eventually had to hold back on that as well, as it was my only commitment to being in town every week.
For the past year I’ve been ready to do this when the opportunity was right. My long term roommate Evan had been looking at buying homes this fall which made me start thinking that this may be the winter to pull the trigger & try something new.
Where do I want to go? It must be warm, with lots of bike riders and places to ride, including dirt jumps (my favorite thing to ride & something we don’t have much of back home). Is there anywhere like this where I have other family in the area as well? I do have family in Southern California, visited a ton of friends out there, Woodward Action Sports Camp is there, Stolen/Fiction the bike company I ride for is there, my Grandparents from South Dakota drive down there for every winter, maybe that would be a good place. There is an area just outside of LA called “Riverside” which is a part of an area they call the Inland Empire, that all of the dirt jumpers talk about, tons of trails, riders, etc. I’ve even heard about rumors of a neighborhood block where 3 pros have homes all with their own backyard dirt jumps. Maybe this is where I want to spend some time…
On January 1st, 2012, Evan & I moved out of Minneapolis. Congrats to him on buying his first home, I packed my life in the jeep and decided to drive 30 hours to Riverside, California. Special thanks to my parents & Caleb Gilbertson for letting me store a few things at their place. The wildest part was moving out of my old place without knowing where I would sleep next, not to mention moving to a place I’ve never actually been to (I’ve spent a lot of time in CA but never actually been to Riverside, only heard good things through BMX).
It was quite an adventure. Special thanks to Walmart in Lincoln Nebraska for their parking lot the first night of traveling, Everly Gohman in Breckenridge, CO the second night, my Aunt Sherri in Vegas the third night, and Jason Brandt the fourth night who happened to be a spontaneous last minute contact that let me crash at his place who was ironically right in Riverside. Within 24 hours, and viewing a dozen different living options, I found and signed an incredible winter apartment lease in Riverside, CA.
My new place is beautiful. Family is here. Weather is here. Riding is here. Come ride trails you now have a place to stay..