Interview: Chad DeGroot

Let’s start with what’s been going on recently. How’s the Florida BMX scene and what is your involvement with it now?It’s a wild-ass scene right meow. Mesh Skatepark going under a few years ago screwed up the scene. Then Vans shutting down really messed things up. It was a sweet place to go and bikes really did support it. Now Casselberry trails are done so that puts a wrench into everything. So right now I am working on making my shop the go-to BMX scene shop. We do events all the time and try to make everything real cool and relaxed for riders and parents as well. Having a shop in the area with Subrosa, Shadow, Native, and Deco makes our area amazing, the way it’s growing, but we do need an indoor place, and more bike friendly places and not warranty skateparks that don’t allow bikes.

Socially, is the Orlando scene still like it was back when Ronnie started the Roots Jam and everyone rode Mission? Does everyone still hang with Eric Abbadessa at the BBQ bar?
It has changed so much that I don’t even think of Mission unless it is brought up. It’s changed in so many different ways it’s crazy. I miss those days but don’t want to be that dude who talks about them daily. They were great but now it’s gone. We’re trying to stay in reality and make our scene the best it can be, but with getting older people butt heads more and more. Once business got into the scene it changed a lot and made some things split. As for Abba, shit man, BBQ bar will always be the place to go but not ‘cause of Abba. I think he still mixes drinks with his cocks if he doesn’t like you.

Speaking of genitalia, now some BACO stuff — whose idea was it to make the first BACO video, and what year was that?
I ate Bacos and we make something called a Bad Ass Coping Obstacle and the name stuck. We make more of those obstacles and were addicted to BMX so BACO 1, 2, 3 were born, referring to obstacles we rode. We even made a 1-foot-tall spine ramp which was BACO 3. We were dorks and nerds about BMX and we had our own world we lived in. Pretty sure it was 1988 when all of that was sparking.

My personal favorite is BACO 5; which one is yours?
That was amazing, BACO 5 “Homosexuals”. We did take a turn during that period for sure, full almost-rape sequence for the cover and calling it “Homosexuals” was a gamble but who really cared? My favorite, for tons of reasons, is BACO 6, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. It was a turning point when we all were inventing new tricks and moves and it was a chain reaction along with our music choice. All good times and great feel. We didn’t know but this was going to change the sport and open minds regarding how you can live BMX and make it how you want. We lived it daily and the cameras were always on. When a camera is on you’re always in the moment to make it as loose as you can.

What’s your favorite random non-riding clip in a BACO video? For example, Chris Rye with no shirt in a shaved-underneath ponytail and blue blockers, spitting and then casually looking at the camera in BACO 5…. gold.
All those clips made the video what it is. Non-riding favorites would be some random Hilson mannerisms that are unheard of. He was so random it was always on edge. Or Rye’s style. Always blue blockers and wild hair. Biggest one would be Freimuth’s hair. Like a horses mane. So beautiful. We combined our riding with our antics we thought was funny and produced videos of our everyday life. It was more entertainment for personal benefit than the whole world seeing it.

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  • Julz

    Awesome dude and even more awesome attitude. When I first started I really looked up to Chad and his innovative out look on BMX, we need more people with Chads attitude in BMX m/

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.wagner.520 Rick Wagner

    Degroot is a legend and icon of midwest bmx at its best! One of a kind!

  • Povah

    Take it for Baco

  • jon r

    So good!

  • Clint Millar

    Loved that VW Squareback back in the day, it’s what got me into those cars then & now. Thanks Chad !!

  • Anwarasibahmed

    awsm, u cn do nythng with ur stuff