Baco "Push It To 11" premiere
Baco "Push It To 11" premiere
Throughout the '90s, a band of area riders from the Appleton/Milwaukee area of Wisconsin sought out each other and formed a legendary crew known as Baco. The Baco crew crossed all disciplines of BMX riding, from flatland to street to ramp riding, and released ten full-length videos in the process. After close to a decade of laying low, the Baco crew recently reassembled to release a a box set of all of their videos, plus a new documentary, "Push It To 11: the bits of Baco." To celebrate, Baco invited friends both old and new to a premiere appropriately located at Tanner's in Appleton, Wisconsin. Tanner's has it all: a full indoor bar, outdoor bar and patio, indoor basketball courts/wedding chapel, a pool, and on this day, a skatepark. What follows is a document of the day's activities.
If YouTube sensation Tim Knoll was around during the heyday of the Baco years, he most certainly would have found his way into several of the Baco videos. Knoll arrived at the premiere to perform in the BMX demos, but his brand of BMX freestyle quickly found his way to the pool, where he front flipped over his handlebars and dove into the pool.
The Baco crew
This is the main Baco Crew all back together in one place. The amount of influence these guys have had on BMX in general really can't be measured. From left to right Dave Freimuth, Mark Fluette, Chris Rye, Mark Hilson and Chad DeGroot.
Division BMX team rider JJ Flairty warming up with a 8-foot invert out of a 8-foot quarterpipe.
Although Chad Degroot went on to claim fame in the BMX flatland scene, Mark Hilson and his brand of flatland riding was hugely influential in the mid to late '90s. Hilson was also perhaps the first BMX rider to become the "antics" person in BMX videos, as demonstrated in the new Baco "Push It To 11: the bits of Baco" documentary. Hilson has remained in the Appleton, Wisconsin area since the Baco days, and can still bust classic flatland moves such as this gut lever on command.
Baco member Dave Freimuth was known as the technical mini ramp innovator of the crew, but he was just at home riding street and could even bust out some fairly difficult flatland moves. As Mike Escamilla stated in the Baco documentary, "Some of the riding Freimuth performed in the Baco videos has still not been replicated to this day." He is a true BMX innovator.
Dave Freimuth and what is probably his favorite rider to watch these days, Glenn Salyers.
Daniel Setmeyer has no fear of going upside-down with his face only inches from the coping while Tim Knoll plays his upside-down game a little safer. If you're thinking that the Tim Knoll trick being done was influenced by Chad Degroot, you'd be correct.
Koji Kraft flipped everyone during the shows, including a guy still wet out of the pool, a girl throwing up the Slayer sign, and newlyweds from a neighboring wedding that wanted in on the action.
If an area riders shows up on a classic Kuwahara, you know someone is going to ride it. Here, Mark Hilson does a cherrypicker on a pristine bike released in 1987. Randy "The Magician" Tischmann would be proud.
Former Standard rider Jeremy Verhulst, who had a hand in creating the STA frame for Standard, was featured in the documentary and also made the trip to Appleton to watch the video in person. Although he didn't make it, Standard owner Rick Moliterno was feeling nostalgic, found a copy of JV's Dig cover from the early '00s and sent it over.
Baco crew member Chris Rye took the past year of his life to create the Baco documentary and the Baco box set. Chances are, if you've ever watched a BMX video since 1993, you've been indirectly influenced by Rye's work. His vision paved the way for the pacing of edits, camera angles, music selection and every other aspect of video production still being utilized today in BMX.
Mark Hilson and Chad DeGroot pose with their friend from 'The Jerry Springer Show.' Yes, at the height of one of the biggest shows on television Hilson and Degroot were brought on to a hilarious reception. "Push It To 11: the bits of Baco" features an explanation of this series of events.
Backflip over newlyweds
Somehow this seems like an appropriate ending to the Baco premiere: Koji Kraft backflipping over a newly married couple during the BMX demo. Baco's "Take It To 11" is currently available in the iTunes store, and the box set is available through the Baco Designs website.