Interview: Chad DeGroot

Photo by James Covington.

Got any photos of the old racing-striped lift-kitted Astro van to share?
Holy shit, that would take some work to find anything. I do know that that van was the best, make fun of it all you like. We were in Key West then in Anchorage Alaska a month later in that fucker. It made it all over and I put it to rest. Lift kit and all.

Tell us a good Paul Osicka story.
Nothing PG rated, sorry.

Tell us a good Mark Hilson story.
Too many. He used to muck in a shower cap and wear it to bed thinking he wasn’t going to lose hair. Thought it would help him keep hair or slow down the receding hair line.

Tell us a good Mike Andrews story.
This one time in Gainesville. This one time in Tallahassee. All his stories start like that. Mike is amazing, he doesn’t know how funny he really is. He tells me a trick: Take a chocolate bar and have it in your pocket so it’s warm and moist. Go to the bathroom and sit in the stall next to someone who is there already. Tap on the wall and put your hand under the divider and say “hey man, can I get some toilet paper”. Have that chocolate bar our and ready and when he hands you some TP under the divider swipe the chocolate bar on his hand. Mike said “gets them every time”. I am laughing right now thinking about that.

Is there a better Gonz story than the one where he walked into Miami Subs naked and started eating subs out of the trash? If so, we want to hear it.
Nope, that one is the best I can do. Late night going to eat, Gonz disappears then reappears naked, walks in and sticks his whole body inside the trash can and pulls out a plate of fries. Looks at everyone standing in line and slowly eats them, buck naked. Incredible.

Back in the late 90s, early 2000s you rode for Haro and then Schwinn. Back then it was rare to be a “rider’s favorite” rider like you were, while riding for big corporate companies. Did you ever butt heads with people at Haro or Schwinn?
With Haro I did butt heads with one person — Tony D. He is a shit bag and had it out for me for some reason. I only did good for that company and he went out of his way to make it hard for me while paying me a huge check. I had to call and pretend I was Dave Mirra or Ryan Nyquist. Sometimes I had those dudes order shit for me cause Tony wouldn’t send shit to me. I slowly became friends with the warranty department and the sales dudes who always helped me out and sent me stuff that a normal team manager would send out. He made my life hell and I have no idea why. For instance, the first year 2002 winning the NORA cup, he is the first dude I see at the bottom of the steps, “I suppose you want more money” is all he said. Fucker. I told him, “tonight I party, Monday we talk”. So I had my good friend Kip do my negotiating so I didn’t have to deal with that fucktard. It was lame man. Ryan, Dave, and I were winning everything and winning Nora cups and you’re singling me out trying to make me fold. I saw through him and still love every minute of Haro.

As for Schwinn, that was an amazing experience and I made a mistake. I left to go back to empty Standard bikes with empty promises and Standard Issues. I did have a big head at that time and was trying to get $100 more a month and Schwinn didn’t budge and Rick offered it. So butting heads really came from a shitty employee at Haro and Standard, nothing with Schwinn. But it’s all learning and understanding the industry and getting your start somewhere. You don’t get anywhere by not taking a step back.

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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/

  • 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


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