Ooooh the forgotten gems of motocross VHS movies and video games. If you haven’t already figured it out, I am a sucker for the 1990s and early 2000s of our sport. So much so, that I’ve decided to write bi-weekly (depending on my mood that week) articles about my love affair with that era. So, welcome to Forgotten Gems, where I tell you how cool the sport once was from the point of view of a fan that is almost certainly misremembering everything this feature entails. Enjoy, or don’t. I don’t care.
For whatever the reason, there seems to be quite a few incredible motocross films from the 1990s that we’ve forgotten about. Or, perhaps it’s because they are often overshadowed by the behemoths of that era such as Crusty Demons of Dirt, Terrafirma, and the Moto XXX films. Today, almost one million years later, I am here to provide some much-need love and attention to films that didn’t have the same admiration as those mentioned above. So, with that being said, let us reflect on a little film from Dave Castillo (I think) in the late 1990s by the name of RIDEMx. Or, as most may know it: the film with the infamous 10-pack. Ahhh, yes. The 10-pack. Perhaps almost as scary as watching very specific C practice Supercross racers attempting to blitz the whoops. Hey! Cheers to them. I ain’t gonna do it.
The 1990s of motocross films were truly defined by the minds of Dana Nicholson, Jordan Burns, and the 462 Fox brothers with their films. And, understandably so. To my memory, it was the first time we saw guys like Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Emig, Doug Henry, Steve Lamson, Mike Metzger, Kevin Windham, Damon Bradshaw, Brian Deegan and a slew of others out in the hills or sand dunes free riding, partying, and just all around being normal people. I mean, for goodness sake, in Terrafirma one, we saw Elvis (who I believe was played by Mike Metzger. Somebody fact check me here) giving Doug Henry advice on how to hit a triple. Take that, and then bring in characters like Seth, Rusty, and Bubba in the Crusty films (not James “Bubba” Stewart), and you’ve just reached a whole new level of WTF is going on?! It was truly a magical era that, no matter how hard we like to believe, does not exist in 2022. Period. End of story. Don’t even try to tell me otherwise.
While the aforementioned films dominated our VCR players, there was always other films coming out from other companies. Just, without as much attention. One of which is RIDEMx. Even to this day, I can’t quite put my finger on why, but this was a film that always stood out to me. I remember watching it religiously as a kid. The film takes you all over the country documenting time in Europe with Ryan “Ryno” Hughes and the World Supercross at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA (which I was actually at as a fan. Also known as Travis Pastrana’s first-ever professional Supercross race), to an unreal 1980s flashback at Mammoth Mountain highlighting legends like Ricky Johnson, Jimmy “Button Fly” Button, Mike “Stingray” Craig, and others. And, it has a hilarious bit with Phil “Factory Phil” Lawrence in a fast-food drive thru wearing his jersey — I wonder if that cute fast-food girl ever made it to Supercross?
If you’ve spent enough time in the industry, you’ve probably heard the stories of the infamous 10-pack at Castillo Ranch. As a kid that also grew up riding BMX and only lived 10 minutes away from iconic dirt spots like Sheep Hills, Slater (otherwise known as The Wetlands), and Hidden Valley, there was always something so fun about hitting a flowly four pack or six pack. I remember Sheep having this wild 12-pack that turned in the middle of it. It was always a dream to hit that section, but I was neither good enough nor not stupid enough to believe I was good enough to do it. When RIDEMx released, and I saw the 10-pack for dirt bikes… I was, as the young kids say: shook. It was literally BMX meets motocross. Watching Emig, Ping, Harrington, Evans, Castillo, Travis, and more flow through that 10-pack was the coolest shit I had ever seen. And, to this day, I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like this in our sport. So, while I’ve heard Dave speak about how terrifying the 10-pack was on Pingree’s The Whiskey Throttle Show, it still looked fun as all hell.
Maybe you remember RIDEMx, maybe you don’t. If you do remember the film, you’re welcome for the nostalgia and all of the feels. If you never saw this film, please sit back and enjoy one of my favorite moto movies of the 1990s. Seriously. Watching guys like Nathan Ramsay, Casey Lytle, Dayton Beavers, and Bryan McGavran hit the hills is pure bliss. Oh, and I remember this film being the first time I ever saw RonRonLand. If you’re a fan of the ‘90s, you’ll remember how iconic Stephen Roncada’s RonRonLand SX track was back then. To my knowledge, it was the first-ever privately built Supercross track in a riders backyard. And, it was a big deal. Hell, RonRon even turned it into a replica track as DLC content for the best motocross video game ever made: Motocross Madness 1 & 2.