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  • Writer's pictureMark Derryberry

The Backstory

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

I think I'll start with the basics... My name is Mark Derryberry Jr, I'm currently 38 and I started this site as a location to share my BMX experience.

I originally started riding BMX back in the 80's as a kid. I think it had to be the movie "RAD" that inspires us most. We probably watched that movie 500 times. During my youth, I would often take bikes apart, repaint them and swap the parts out from other bikes just to make something different. I think we did it to be cool and ride around the neighborhood with our latest creations, showing them off to our friends. By the time I was in junior high, I was really into BMX and other things like roller blading, which happed to be new and popular at the time. I remember one of my friends had a GT and I had still been riding one of the bikes I had put together. I'm not even sure what brand the frame was but it was heavy as hell compared to everyone else's bikes. One afternoon I left the bike out and it got stolen. I was heart broken and angry. It was the summer of 93 and I was bikeless and my parents weren't going to replace it any time soon. I decided to start making as much money as I could doing miscellaneous chores and cutting yards in the neighborhood. I think it took me 4 or 5 weeks but I eventually gathered up enough cash and bought a brand new GT Mach 1. I'm pretty sure that I spent the rest of the summer jumping every curb I could find. At that time I didn't know much about racing, street or ramp riding other than what I had seen in movies and a few magazines that were out at the time. I didn't really have any plans to go racing or visit skateparks at the time. Mostly because I couldn't get to any of the tracks. Most of which were at least a 20 or 30 minute drive and we didn't have any skate parks even close to us back then. We did what most kids would do. We built little ramps or made jumps with odd objects. I did this for a year or two but as soon as I was old enough to drive in 96, I got into cars and for a couple of years didn't really ride much. I think it was the summer of 98 after I graduated that things actually got serious. By that time, my brother and a few other guys from the neighborhood had began showing interest in BMX as well. Now that I had a license, I could drive us to nearby tracks and other spots to ride. I remember reading and researching as much as I could about racing, we all did. We started going to the local track with our bikes at least 2 or 3 times a week. We bought every BMX mag and dvd or VHS we could get our hands on. We became obsessed with BMX and just fell in love with being on our bikes. I remember reading all about how some riders like Rick Moliterno and others had begun breaking away from the typical BMX companies and started forming their own. Which is why we also gravitated in the same direction. In August of 98 we went to the Van's Warped Tour at the Astro Arena in Houston and got a front row seat to watch Joe Rich literally destroy the vert ramp. After chatting with Joe, I think we all knew that this thing called BMX was something that was going to be a part of our lives for a long time.  There was a brief period somewhere around 2000 when I was given the opportunity to work at a local bike shop, "Delgado's Bikes". I'm not really sure exactly how long I worked for Mr. Delgado, but I do know that I learned a lot about bikes from him. He had been in business for many years and had seen several generations of cyclists pass through the doors. I'm grateful for the time I spent there. I'd probably spend more time there if I could go back. As things continued, we kept racing, started dirt jumping and even started building trails in the neighborhood. Coincidentally, we called our trails "Anthills" much like the famed set of trails on the West side of Houston, only ours were much much smaller and rightfully named due to all of the ants. It was at these trails that I tore my ACL. I think it was 02 or 03. There was even a time when our nearby baseball park would often have a load of select fill out on the edge of the parking lot, which was used to grade the fields. There was always extra, so of course we brought our shovels and turned it into a double. We began exploring street riding and met other guys around town who also rode. There were many times we would go out for hours at night and more or less wreck havoc on any ledge, rail or embankment that we could find. I think things really started to slow down for me after I broke my collar in 05 jumping a gap. Over the next couple of years I continued riding off and on. I let other things get in the way, lost sight of riding for a while and went down a path that wasn't for me. After a few years of not making good decisions, I decided to make a change. In 2009 began moving into a positive and more goal oriented direction. There were a few ups and downs along the way but I eventually created some traction and found some progress in life. It was somewhere around 2011 that I started pursuing a deep interest into health and fitness. It too was something that I also had a passion for earlier in life. Since then, I have maintained a mostly healthy lifestyle, but still have the occasional cheat meal or beer on the weekend. Focusing on health and fitness had also taken me on a lot of cool adventures. In 2014 I was given the opportunity to become affiliated with 1st Phorm, which I still am. It's a great company that offers a lot of guidance and support to anyone and everyone who would like to better their position in life through an active and healthy lifestyle. Having the experience of personally using health and fitness as a medium to guide myself to a better future, inspired me to also want to help other do the same. It was also health and fitness that led me to meet my wife, Marti, in the Spring of 2015. Her and I both share a deep interest and passion for health and fitness. We even opened a strength & conditioning facility shortly after finding each other, which we closed in 2017 after moving away from Baytown and up to the Spring/ Woodlands area. We moved after I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as an engineer with a large HVAC manufacturer that had just open a new facility over an hour away. Before accepting the offer, things were tough, and even though we "managed", we always seemed to be on a strict budget. At the time, the gym just never seemed to make the ends meet. Marti and I got married in the Fall of 2017 and we now have a little girl named Gaia Aurora, who just turned one a couple months ago. I think a big reason I'm getting back into BMX is because of her. Part of me wants to leave something for her to read and hopefully find some value in. It's also a good way to stay in shape, so I may continue to keep up with her for the next 15 or 20 years. Another part of me wants to use BMX as a medium to find some solitude and explore my creativity.

I's a good thing I kept my bike over all these years always thinking that "someday" I might ride it again.

Well, that day has come, and the rest of the story is still being written....

Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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