Once upon a time at the Balélec festival, this random guy Steven Blatter talked to me because I was wearing a BMX brand t-shirt. It must have been in 2003, because I don’t think I had any BMX t-shirt prior to my stay in the USA in 2001–2002. Anyway. He mentioned that he created this association called Swiss BMX Freestyle (short: SBF) to try to promote the sport a bit with small events, demos, etc. At some point I joined them, but wasn’t an active member. After moving to Genève and getting to know the riders of the scene there, I started going to some of the SBF meetings. It annoyed me pretty quickly because my view of what BMX is—just pure fun—clearly clashed with the views of many others who saw in SBF an opportunity to make (very little) money, promote themselves, etc. Some guys clearly had personal agendas.
Despite all that, I proposed in 2008 to take over the role of webmaster of www.swissbmx.ch. My vision was to turn the site from an old-school static site that you had to manually update, into a full featured Wordpress-based blog which every SBF member could contribute to. I also wanted and tried to be true to the “Swiss” in the SBF name and make it nation wide news and not just Genève centric. But neither worked. Almost nobody else posted updates, and the communication with the other side of the Röstigraben was very one-directional. I still posted regularly in 2009 and 2010, but then that was it.
2010 marked the end of my involvement in SBF, but also the end of SBF altogether. There were too many internal disagreements. The association died together with the skatepark, soon to be replaced by a bowl. It didn’t go long until the guy who was hosting www.swissbmx.ch unilaterally decided to stop paying for hosting and the domain name, and 10 years of (a part of) Swiss BMX history vanished from the web. But I saw it coming, and made a backup. 12 more years later, and I’ve finally invested several full days, converting the blog back into plain text files, and put it back online:
Having skimmed through all the articles while creating the archive, I noticed that:
- the tone and content changed quite a bit over the years. From the long-form trip and event reports at the beginning of SBF, to (mostly mine) frequent and short updates.
- in hindsight, some of the self-promotion becomes very obvious. For example, the Trust’n’Ride brand is cited many times as sponsor of events, but I doubt they ever paid a dime. It was just for visibility. Also, all the “BMX Summer camp” articles were just promotion for a way for the organizer to make easy money, not about promoting the sport.
- image and video quality was so bad!
I never got over the fact that it should say “Swiss Freestyle BMX” in proper English. The word order “BMX Freestyle” is how the French say it, for some reason… ↩︎
it uses GitHub Pages, which allows to write web pages in markdown. Updates get automatically published, and you get 1 Go of free storage. Perfect for the archive of an old website. ↩︎