Chances are if you’ve been riding fixed freestyle for a bit you know who Rick is. One of the original dudes from MKE, ripper for sure and one hell of a photographer. Lately Rick’s place in FGFS has shifted to being behind the lens more. He’s taken an interest in showing everyone what some of the top dudes right now can get out of their bikes and does it well. Chances are you’ve seen some of his images, a few of which are below, littered about the net. Lately I noticed that Rick has some opinions on the state of fixed freestyle right now that may or may not be pretty accurate depending on your point of view. I think they’re pretty on point. He’s been around for some time and he’s still out there putting in work. This is 11 Questions with Rick Anderson:
1) Where you from? What do you do? How long you been riding…you know…the usual?
RICK: I grew up in the suburbs of Illinois, no job as of right now but i’m in school for photography with a commercial focus at Columbia College in Chicago. i’ve been riding for like 3 years i think.
2) You’ve been around since the early days of this fixed freestyle business. Best memory of the past few years?
RICK: The first Midwest Mayhem definitely holds a spot, but overall i think the road trips i went on with Kris and Antonyo when they still lived in milwaukee were the best. I say that probably because i don’t see them anymore really, but the all city champs road trip was probably the best out of all of them.
3) I’ve noticed a lot of solid photos coming from your brain. How’s that going?
RICK: Lately i’ve been putting in a lot more time, studying a lot of work, and practicing to further pin down a specific style. I think really enjoying the images i create is a new experience for me, and enjoying them because of the positive feedback i get from other people. I think its taken me a while to get a name out there, and shooting with bigger names helps to say the least. i don’t think i’m all the way there in terms of technical understanding, especially when it comes to off camera lighting, but i’m certainly starting to produce work i’m personally stoked on.
4) A lot of your shots circle the blogs on the regs. Have a favorite shot or favorite rider to shoot?
RICK: I don’t like to play favorites, but Tom LaMarche is probably the easiest to shoot with. If you’ve seen the photo i shot of him doing that 3 off the roof, what you probably don’t know is that he did that, and landed it at least 3 separate times, purely for the sake of getting the right angle.
(here’s that huge one of Tom from a bit ago that is too sick. )
5) There seems to be a lot of stuff going on in the game these days. Thoughts on the changing scene and where its going?
RICK: I think fixed gear is in a weird place personally. Some people think its going to just die out, but i think its proven ground in terms of it being legitimate time and time again. On the other hand, theres still little to no money in a lot of companies. People have to put out edits for scraps if anything, which puts a damper on content flow and overall motivation. Also, i’d quote Tom on this, but essentially the entire scene is on the west coast, primarily california. So i think its hard to maintain that validity as a sport when it only exists on one side of the country, its pretty crazy to me that theres only a few kids riding in places like New York City, or even here in Chicago. On top of that, there also seems to be very little coverage of the sport as of late, i think in its early days it was supported solely by the blogs, and John Watson seemed to have a heavy hand in the growth of the sport in that. But now theres only a handful of good photographers and videographers that have an interest in documenting the riding. in addition to “Coverage”, Print publications, and Movies… In the day and age of the internet where hundreds of edits and internet zines are released a year, stuff like Death Pedal 2, and Cog Magazine stick out over all. In my opinion, That’s the stuff that sticks in your head, tangible media definitely needs a bigger place in fixed gear. That all being said, i think it’s still in its early stages and people are getting a lot better with each year, so right now i think theres some work to be done.
6) Now forget about everyone else…what do YOU see on the horizon?
RICK: Right now, just getting through school and travelling as much as i can. Eventually putting out a real edit is up there on the list.
(in case you were curious Rick can definitely put out a real edit. this one is fire and about a year old)
7) Any major shifts you think necessary to keep this thing we all love moving along?
RICK: Getting rid of stuff like Ride N Style. That stuff has it’s place and it’s called the X-games, fixed gear is not a spectacle sport, and the sooner we come to terms with that, the closer we are to legitimacy.
8) How about a top 5 riders killing it right now?
RICK: Everyone knows about dudes like Torey, Tom, Joe, Antonyo, etc. but i think the dudes that are definitely moving up are (in no specific order) Jackson Bradshaw, Murder B, Finn Zygowski, Sam Hanson, and that Jaoa dude. keep an eye out.
(one of my favorite shots of Antonyo blasting a quarter for Wrahw)
9) Now I know you prefer to be out shooting people out hitting spots…but you definitely still roll around. Drop a few tracks that you listen to to get stoked to ride?
RICK: Honestly i dont ride to music, i just enjoy the company of cruising with friends, thats kind of the idea of it right?
10) Everyone has a favorite edit. Hell there’s usually a few. Anything that stands out in your mind as more solid than the rest?
RICK: For fixed gear as a whole, Shred Well, easily. But As of late, even though its slightly biased, i seriously think that edit with Antonyo and Elliot in Seoul was one of the best fixed freestyle edits ever. that being said, theres tons and i’m being forced to pick one, but in terms of style and innovation that edit sticks out, for this year at least.
(here’s that bit from Unknown)
11) Favorite critter roaming this earth and why?
RICK: Blue Whale, no contest. they’re the largest and the loudest animals on the planet and they’re sweeter than puppy dogs.