Vurb Origins: How vurbmoto Began

A story told by In A World of Echo.

Cradled in the nook of northeastern Georgia lay the town of Aonia, cut between Thomson Road and Upton Creek. The creek, itself rather meager at the point it passes town, seems to parallel the quaint community. Aonia’s history reads as quickly as one’s glance at the creek, founded from the establishment of a post office in 1843, then subsequently shuttered in 1918 75 years later. As it looks, the post office was the only feature of note. Much like that thin body of water that skirts north of town, there didn’t seem to be much to digest.

Vurb before Vurb. The Goat Kreations Turned AllegianceMX Boxvan at Oak Hill in 2007.

Upton Creek however, as insignificant as it may seem, feeds into the expanding waterways of Bussey’s Bend, which connects to Clark’s Hill Lake, bleeding into the Savannah River and beyond towards the Atlantic Ocean. Its beginnings lead outward at its own unique pace, onto something far greater than a passer-by might suspect. It’s a story the creek shares with the town of Aonia. Though its legacy-defining post office had long been laid to rest, a motocross track later appeared in its place.

In 2007, at the Aonia Pass Loretta Lynn’s Area Qualifier, two kids [Ed. Note – Brent definitely wasn’t a kid. He was probably pushing 30] sat hunched on a throng of empty bleachers overlooking the circuit. In the distance, the rumble of lawnmowers oscillating around a faintly marked course echoed in the hills as fans jeered and cheered, a markedly Georgia-themed half-time romp. The boys, Wes Williams and Brent Stallo, were too deflated from the events over the last three months to join the hysterics. Their money, a small sum of 6,000$ borrowed from Wes’ grandmother, had run dry. On top of that, after spending months launching the now forgotten and shuttered Allegiance MX website, they felt like they had nothing left. The two sat for hours wondering what path they would take next.

One of the First vurbmoto Videos Ever Released, Which Happened to be Shot at Aonia. This lived on Myspace for Many, Many Years Before it Made its Transition to the Tube.

Much like the creek that ran past Aonia, this minuscule moment was but a mark on the path towards something greater. Something bigger, better, and downright revolutionary to an industry they had yet to redefine. It was a vision the two shared, something they hoped for in their wildest fantasy, but the optics required to see it were now becoming blurred. For Wes, only one thing could be said,

“What the hell are we going to do now?”

……….

@vurbwes shooting with Tyler Bowers in 2004 for In the Ranks 2

That same Georgia clay lay foundation for Williams, a lively youngster who grew up in Lawrenceville, just beyond the outer limits of Atlanta’s urban sprawl. His mother, Leslie, raised her only child with fervor, passing along a strong will of desire and passion within him. While certainly present in Wes’ life, Leslie was also responsible for putting bread on the table. In her hours away from Wes, he would spend his formative years ogling the family’s video camera, the origins of which are still unknown to this day. “I don’t know how I ended up with a camera in my hands,” says Wes, “it must’ve been laying around the house somewhere. From the time I was ten years old, I would film just about anything.”

If he wasn’t in the house filming his cats play around the living room, Wes was strapped with his piece, cutting teeth with the neighborhood posse. Whichever activity was in-vogue that week dictated the next film’s premise. Whether it was in-line rollerblading down the nearest hill or capturing kickflip attempts from the newly formed skateboarding crew, Wes kept his viewfinder suctioned to his eye. One eventful week, motocross became the neighborhood’s fixation, and a new creed was born in Williams.

Wes (left) Filming Alongside Richard Crosby (Right). Crosby Gave Wes his First Big Push into Amateur Moto, and a Sony VX2000 to up the Skill Level.

“A few kids in the neighborhood scored XR100’s, and I just fell in love the second I saw a dirtbike,” he says. “It took months of persuading my Mom to buy me one so I could go ride with my friends. We had a band of riders in my neighborhood probably seven or eight kids deep, kind of like The Sandlot of dirtbikes. We had an expansive trail system about ten miles long behind our neighborhood, which we built entirely by hand. I was a straight-A student too, archetype for the nerds, and before long all I could think about at school was coming home and riding my dirtbike. My focus completely shifted, and it became an obsession instantly.”

Hallmark media of the day (read: VHS tapes), quickly consumed Wes’ attention on the silver screen. Any time that couldn’t be spent on a bike was forfeited to mandatory schooling, or spent in front of the TV. “This was in the days where you couldn’t watch a race until two or three weeks after it happened,” says Williams. “Everything was tape delayed. I remember putting a tape in the VCR and setting it to record at a certain time, so when I came home from school that day I could watch the race. I would also watch Steel Roots and Mini Warriors 2 literally everyday, if not multiple times per day.”

His interest would soon branch out into the realms of other action sports, such as the snowboard films of the mid-2000s, but his motocross fixation remained constant.

Wes and JLaw. Lake Whitney 2005.

“If my Mom wouldn’t let me go riding after school, Steel Roots immediately went in the VCR.”

Wes was enamored with the riders, the music, and the attitude of those genre-defining films, so much so that he believes it affected him psychologically. “When it came time for me to start making my own videos, I had built up this knowledge from watching those films day after day. I felt like I knew what I needed to do.”

From the jump, it appeared as if Wes was destined to capture his sport in the ways that Robert Wickens, Dana Nicholson, and Jon Freeman had done before him. Toting his camera to the local tracks around Georgia under the name Goat Kreations, Wes caught the attention of longtime DMXS radio host Kevin Kelly, then an announcer for his family’s racetrack and many others in the Georgia series at the time.

“Wes comes up to me one day with his camera and says, “I want to make a video for you guys in exchange for my gate fee.” I say, ‘Great, but who’s going to watch it?’ This was such a new concept at the time as the internet was still pretty slow, but Wes kept pushing the idea,” says Kelly. “Donny Banks, one of the hard-nosed promoters from back in the day, didn’t want a video. He came from the old school, didn’t have a cell phone or own a computer at all. Donny would rather have Wes’ $20 entry fee than a video. Eventually, after some convincing, we relented. Wes’ videos were so cool. Those early GK pieces were good, especially for that time.”

2004 Filming In the Ranks 2 with Levi Kilbarger and Tyler Bowers
The Goat Kreations Style Still Resonates to this Day.

………

After his inundation to the sport through home video, Wes would seal his fate on a trip to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in 2002, scoring a ticket to Tennessee in the 125 C Stock division. Though his 125SX didn’t snag him a deal with any support teams, he nabbed something more important, an issue of Motoplayground magazine.

Motoplayground, an institution in amateur motocross before the dawn of the internet age, was the brainchild of Harold Martin. Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the publication continues to pump out content from the amateur scene to this day, but in the early 2000s it held even higher regard as the premier destination for amateur coverage. Glossy, full color print pages packed with results, articles, and photographs. Williams recalls being “blown away” at his first glimpse of the mag.

MotoPlayground Setup, Circa 2004.

“I thought it was badass,” he says. “I was so obsessed with amateur motocross at the time. I had little desire to watch the pros in comparison to amateurs. I mean, everybody would watch Jeremy McGrath, but who I really wanted to see was Mike Alessi and Davi Millsaps. After seeing those guys in Mini Warriors, I wanted to know everything about them. I was 15 years old, watching kids my age racing at the dopest tracks, on the sickest big-wheel superminis with factory support.”

The magazine had hooked Wes, much like it did his partner Brent Stallo, who was even further up the way in South Carolina.

Stallo, the elder of the two, grew up in an environment familiar to Wes’. A noble kid surrounded by two-wheeled mayhem who knew where his priorities lied. He held an interest in snowboarding, similar to Wes, but his first passion was racing. After convincing his father he would move to California and become a local pro, he promptly broke his wrist the very next weekend at a race nearby. The dream was over before it even began, not to the chagrin of Brent’s parents, both of whom were educators with hopes their son would attend college. They did, however, encourage Brent to pursue what he loved once he finished school. After various, void-of-adrenaline desk jobs sauntered by his view, Brent had gotten his first look at The Pickle, a regional subsidiary of Motoplayground.

Brent Stallo. Oak Hill 2007 Setting up the AllegianceMX Vending Spot.

“When I was in college, I thought I might own a race team. I thought of doing a number of different things actually, because I just didn’t have a clear direction at that point in my life. I loved motocross, though.”

While continuing to secure his business degree at the University of Georgia, Stallo lamented the loss of a close friend. Noticing Brent was coping, a professor at the university sunk the class into rigorous writing exercises, of which Brent responded positively.

“I enjoyed it a lot. Writing really helped me at that time and, while I never wanted to be an author per se, I always liked writing after that.”

An idea to bring those talents to the editorial position at Motoplayground eventually blossomed. Around the same time, somewhere 3,000 feet in the air flying west from Indianapolis toward New Mexico, Andrew Campo was making himself familiar with the fabled magazine. The nomadic creative had just settled down in the Southwest with his wife and first-born, having had his experience as a writer, editor, and marketer for the action sports magazine Snowboarder. His roots were engrained at the track, though. After witnessing his first outdoor national at Road Atlanta in the late ‘70s, a love for motorcycles was born, and the time he once spent on the board-sport circuit was now available to pursue his interest in motocross.

“I was at the annual AIMExpo trade show to network and become familiar with the motorcycle industry.” Campo begins. “I was coming in as a total outsider, but after seeing the lack of brand outreach at local nationals I’d attended, I thought I really had something to bring to the table with my background in marketing from my years at Snowboarder. I showed up with packages that illustrated the business model I ran at the magazine, which utilized grassroots outreach to attract customers at big events outside the area. At the time, brands in motocross really lacked that, and my business was to bring that outreach to those brands.

“I left Indianapolis with a couple of phone numbers and a deal or two,” he continues, “and on my way out of the show I grabbed a copy of Motoplayground to read on the plane. I thought it was rad. Harold really had something going with that.” As his business (now called Thrust) grew, the magazine would prove to be a fallback in the future.

MotoPlayground Cover ft. Ryan Dungey in 2006

……

With the mag’s seed planted, the trio’s sights were fixed on the same location. Campo was the first to arrive at the Motoplayground offices in 2005, working underneath Harold and alongside future Vurbmoto designer Clint Wilkinson, an artist from Texas whom he had met earlier that year.

In the Ranks made it in the pages of MotoPlayground

“[Before joining Motoplayground,] my wife was pregnant with our second child, and I needed to change my career path,” says Campo. “I couldn’t be on the road racing and providing brand outreach when I needed to be with my wife and kids. Just before I decided to end Thrust, I went to the GNC National at Oak Hill. Clint had a booth a few spaces down from me representing a company called Broken Clothing, where was doing some design work on the apparel. We struck a rapport almost instantly.”

“Wes was at that race as well,” he continues, “who approached me and said, “Hey, do you want to buy a DVD?” I think it was a copy of In The Ranks, and I offered to sell some for him instead because I thought what he was doing was special. We all really gelled that day, just three like-minded people with a passion to create within the amateur community.”

Though the mag wasn’t an ideal candidate in his search for work near home, Campo felt like giving life away from New Mexico one last shot. Once settled in at Motoplayground, Campo as editor and Wilkinson as art director, the two embarked on a cross-country blitz to cover the amateur scene for Harold, who was back at the offices in Kansas when not on assignment. Innocently enough, before the crew packed up at Ponca City bound for Loretta Lynn’s, Wes asked for a spot in the motorhome to alleviate travel costs. Still running the Goat Kreations tag as an independent filmmaker, Wes found a lifeline in Andrew and Clint. The three spent the next nine-and-a-half hours together, dreaming of bringing their ideas to an online audience.

MotoPlayground Making Wes Feel like the King of the World in 2005

“We wanted to create a new experience,” says Campo. “There was nothing online like that at the time, not even in pro motocross. If you went to Racer X or Transworld MX, you were getting a subscription to the mag or sifting through press releases. We wanted everything the magazines had to be on our fictional website.”

The primordial form for Vurb began to take shape.

……

That week in Tennessee proved to be a fruitful one, as it was the first time Campo would meet Brent Stallo. Stallo, who was finishing up his college education, had gotten his own foot in the door at Motoplayground, and traveled to Hurricane Mills to help with the magazine. After their initial meeting, Stallo stayed with Campo and Wilkinson in their motorhome.

Loretta Lynn’s circa 2005. Where It All Began as a Crew.

Williams, meanwhile, was off making his own mark with fellow Georgian Kevin Kelly and Racer X journalist Jason Weigandt. Using the tenacity and will taught from his mother Leslie, Wes was pulling 22-hour workdays filming, editing, and uploading daily episodes of the inaugural MX Sports Center show, a same-day recap of the events going on that week at Loretta Lynn’s. It was something the sport had never seen.

Wes Filming Some Guy in 2005 for MXSportsCenter

“I don’t know how we managed to do that,” Williams explains. “To this day, I can’t believe we actually did it. The amount of time it took to shoot the races, capture the footage off the tapes, edit, record Kevin and Jason’s analysis, edit again, and then upload it to the Racer X site, was exhausting. I slept two hours a day for seven days straight.”

Kelly echoes Wes’ sentiment, offering a blunt perspective on the show he helped pitch to Tim Cotter and the MX Sports team. “It was f***** brutal doing that show, but it was absolutely worth it. Back then, there was so little information about Loretta’s, it was entirely possible these videos were the first time someone saw footage from the Ranch. Most people didn’t even know what Loretta’s looked like. There was such a clamoring for information at that time, that when he’d upload the videos to Racer X, he’d crash the site. It was groundbreaking stuff. The perfect meeting of technology and will… mostly will.”

Campo had explained that on the drive out to Loretta’s that year, Wes was already talking about the concept of producing same-day videos, an idea that piqued his interest. Just years earlier, the only way to watch your favorite riders was to buy one in a handful of VHS tapes, produced yearly. Before that, you were maybe lucky enough to catch an elusive running of an outdoor national on Motoworld before bed. In an era where YouTube was being introduced on tech talk-shows and local news stations across the country, Wes’ advancements were lightyears ahead of anyone competing in the motocross or action sports industries, a note Campo took with him as he planned his exit from Motoplayground.

……

As the future Vurb crew gained inspiration to carve their own path, their relationship with amateur motocross’ leading magazine was starting to wane. Though they all had convened under the awning of Motoplayground, almost as if fate itself had brought them there, the boys began departure in an effort to keep pace with the new online world. A world, understandably, that print magazines were difficult to come to terms with.

The Internet in 2007.

Campo articulated his leaving in few words. “Harold and I, we just didn’t see eye-to-eye.” Soon after Campo left Wilkinson followed suit, but Harold quickly found work in two ambitious kids stoked on amateur motocross, Wes and Brent.

“It was the dream to work for Motoplayground,” Brent begins, “and for a while, it really was the dream. They had laid the groundwork for what would eventually become Vurb, and a lot of that was due to Harold’s drive and creativity. Without that space for all of us to gravitate towards, I don’t think Vurb would exist. I was so stoked to be working on the mag and going to the races for them. Ultimately, it didn’t work out for us at Motoplayground. The timing just wasn’t right.”

The Prospects in Actually Available in the Vurb Shop!

For Williams, though Harold had sponsored some of his independent films and showed interest in his work, he found himself too often behind the pages of the mag. “I moved to Kansas in hopes of making a Motoplayground Movie, but we ended up being consumed with the magazine around the clock, and I didn’t seem to be picking up the camera all that often. It was incredibly badass to learn the editorial side of things and have my hand in such a notable magazine, but eventually I realized my role at the magazine wasn’t lining up with my dreams.”

Wes’ 2005 Film Release The Prospects Presented by MotoPlayground

Motoplayground had a website at the time, but it was super basic and underutilized. Ben [Bixby, web designer for Motoplayground] and I were trying to convince Harold that we needed to go all out with the videos and post-race reports online.”

Though Stallo was on board with Wes and Ben, he was quick to downplay their foresight, offering, “We weren’t geniuses who saw into the future, and we had no clue that our idea would become as popular as it did, we just wanted to do things a different way. Harold had to worry about himself and the reputation of the magazine. He didn’t have time to fiddle around with videos and web content. We, on the other hand, we had nothing to lose.”

Our old friends, Ricky Krishart (left) and Ben Bixby (right)

……

With Wes, Clint, and Andrew vacant from the Motoplayground headquarters in Kansas, Stallo was left alone to his devices. Having just left the mag himself, Brent sulked at his computer desk in nothing more than a t-shirt and underwear, wondering what would happen next. He was in his mid-twenties, his friends had moved on from the job he once considered his dream, and now even that was gone too. At that moment, Brent heard the front door open. It was Wes.

Making light of the sober situation Brent had painted, the two hatched a scheme to alleviate their worries. Reviving their shared love of snowboarding, the two scraped together the last of their cash—$300 allegedly— and pinned it from Kansas to Colorado to catch an early season snowstorm in Brent’s Toyota Tacoma. It was on this trip the two became inspired to create something of their own, and after eliminating the short but brilliant flame of starting an amateur snowboard magazine, the two came to the conclusion that their business in the motocross industry wasn’t finished.

“In all reality,” say Williams, “we wanted to prove to everyone and to ourselves that we could pull this idea off. If it wasn’t going to happen at Motoplayground, we were going to have to do it ourselves.”

Insert Brent Stallo Modeling Photo Here

…..

Allegiance MX became the vehicle they used to begin their assault on amateur motocross. The fuel was provided by Brent, Wes, and newly minted Motoplayground alum Ben Bixby, a graphic designer and budding web developer. Bixby’s father would also hover around the edges, helping his son on his newest motorcycle endeavor. The crew needed capital to get through the 2007 Spring Nationals though, and Wes cautiously thought of a place they might be able to get it.

“Brent and I visited my grandma’s house before we drove to Texas that year for Lake Whitney and Oak Hill. I never asked for money in my life, but Brent and I approached my grandmother asking for financial help. We asked if she’d be able to contribute in any way and she said, “Well, how much money do you need?” I remember Brent and I looked at each other, and I thought this number was totally insane and completely out of the question, but I asked her for $6,000. I stammered even trying to say it.”

“In her trademark southern charm, she just said, “OK!” and wrote me a check right there. That ultimately funded us through Oak Hill, Lake Whitney, and the World Mini Grand Prix… about two months. That was gas, hotel, and food for three or four people.”

Oak Hill 2007 and the Unveiling of AllegianceMX

As Allegiance started finding its legs in the amateur scene, armed with the necessary funds and its contributors freed from the confines of Motoplayground, a new problem quickly emerged. A disagreement over equity had spawned as the site grew, creating a riff between the all the parties involved. It was Williams who would ultimately have to decide whether he would continue on this path with Stallo, or Bixby.

“I’ve always had faith in myself to make my own decisions,” Wes recalls. “I talked it over with Brent, and we ultimately chose to leave Ben and continue Allegiance without him.”

As Brent and Wes attempted to continue with their project, uploading videos, writing articles, and building brand recognition, a cease and desist letter showed up at their door. There was a claim that the two couldn’t operate under Allegiance, a name they fought so hard to build and borrowed money to fund. After seeking legal counseling, it was determined that it wouldn’t be worth fighting. It was that day in the bleachers at Aonia Pass that Allegiance officially died, and shortly after the boys went their separate ways. Wes back to his Mom’s house, and Brent to New Mexico to work with Andrew Campo at an art exposé. They were completely and totally defeated… again.

Memory Lane. The First AllegianceMX Video.

Or so they thought. It was all but over for their dream, until the boys began bouncing ideas off of each other, as they tended to do naturally. They had come so far in building a following in the amateur scene and believed in their idea more than anyone else could know, so they simply couldn’t be crushed by threat of legal action or lack of funds. The people were in place, the passion was there, and all that was needed was a new name. After workshopping a few different ideas, a list was sent to a designer friend, Justin Odom, who would throw together a handful of logo designs. Ultimately, the name would be chosen solely based on the coolness factor of the logo design.  Of the options involved (Press MX being the only other name recalled, mainly because the others are too embarrassing to admit), vurbmoto was the obvious winner. With the crew on board, it was time to get to work.

…..

The final hurdle to clear was that they needed to build a new website. While Bixby had provided motion graphic work for Wes’ productions, he also helped on the back end of web development for Allegiance. There were talents aplenty in the crew involved at the time—Andrew Campo, Clint Wilkinson, Brent Stallo, and Wes Williams—but of those four, nobody possessed the knowledge to build a website completely from scratch, one that needed to handle the load of multiple authors and intense media capabilities, no less. Enter Brien McDowell, a kindhearted designer and web developer from the Midwest. Though never a rider himself, Brien found that the bond between racers and families really resonated with him. “In so many sports, the parents just drop their kids off after school and pick them up later, with little to no involvement in their kid’s lives. Motocross is not that way, not at all. It takes a family to raise a motocross racer, and I find that to be a really noble pursuit,” says McDowell.

In talking about the Vurb crew, McDowell says: “The cool thing about Vurb was that it was grass roots. All of the guys that worked there, they were either still racing or they were racers in the past, so they knew everybody in the scene. They knew the parents, they knew the up and coming riders, and they knew who was running at the top of the field. They could look at those kids and see who was about to become the next star. For the big publications to try to do that, it was hard.

“Vurb was a younger generation trying to do something,” he continues, “and they were so well connected that they could communicate with each other to determine what the next big thing was, both in rider talent and media coverage. The larger publications of the day didn’t have the time or resources to think like that, but Vurb could catch the trends before anyone else.”

A former Motoplayground member himself, McDowell went to work with the Vurb crew after his departure. He’d forfeit his nights and weekends to help facilitate the launch of the new site while the rest of the crew hit the road to cover the remaining rounds of the amateur series, the first of which being Ponca City. Admittedly, the return was premature.

The First Ever vurbmoto Video. Ponca City 2007.

“We really wanted to have a good showing at Ponca,” says Williams. “We knew everybody was going to be there, so we wanted to come back in full force. Unfortunately, we were still incredibly low on funds and it showed in our presentation. Our EZ-UP tent, for one, was stitched together by this woman from scratch. We couldn’t afford $1,000 for a new tent, so we spent $150 on the materials and made one ourselves. My neighbor did vinyl-lettering and offered to customize our tent for free. It was terrible, though. It looked like it could fall apart at any second. We had a couple t-shirts as well.”

The shirts, however, featured a “paint-splatter” tweak that rendered them nearly illegible. “All of the shirts looked like they said, ‘NURBmoto,’” Stallo adds. “Fucking ‘Nurbmoto!’ I’ll never forget that. It was so embarrassing.” Even as their physical presentation took a hit, the video and online content was slowly gaining enough steam to mount one final charge.

PJ Larsen Showing Off the Nurb.

While the crew regrouped from their infamous showing at Ponca City, McDowell continued to tweak the site with the help of his new teammates. Working in Joomla, a popular content management system at the time, Brien found joy in helping his friends launch their new site. “I was able to build a platform that was simple enough for multiple authors to login and modify the site,” he says, “while simultaneously make it complex enough to handle all of the different things they wanted to do: write articles, publish photos, and post videos. It was a lot of fun working with so many creatively driven people, Wes with his videos, Brent with his writing, Andrew with his marketing skills, and Clint with his art.”

“Without Brien’s help, Vurb would’ve never become what it was,” says Williams. “He was instrumental in getting our site up and running, and we asked a lot of him. We were a bunch of kids who didn’t have enough money to pay someone six figures to build a state-of-the-art website, we pretty much had Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. Props to Brien though, he made it happen.” In a statement that Brent and Andrew share, they remember Brien as, “One of the nicest people you could ever meet. Just a really nice guy from top to bottom.”

With their affairs in order, recouped and recovered from the proverbial loss at Ponca, vurbmoto officially debuted their physical and online presence at the Mini Olympics in Gainesville, Florida on November 19, 2007. They had a new tent, a feisty crew, and shirts that clearly and plainly shouted, “Vurbmoto!” The site was rewarded with a large influx of hits from around the country. Everyone was clamoring for the first day’s video recap, filmed and edited in the same day by Wes, mimicking his now-perfected model of filmmaking he pioneered at Loretta Lynn’s in 2005. On top of that, Brent’s articles were as articulate as ever, Andrew’s marketing had garnered video sponsorship for Wes as well as banner ads on the site, and Clint and Brien held it down on the virtual side of things with their coding and design of the page. The boys were now fully reaping the benefits of their hard work.

We Came Prepared, Banners and All, for Mini O’s 2007

“It was incredible watching the numbers go up on the site,” Williams recalls, “We were sitting in Andrew’s motorhome that first night at Mini O’s and the stats just continued to climb on the Joomla counter.  If I remember correctly, there were more than 10k concurrent users on the site that first day… a stat that would still be insanely impressive.”

With that, Vurb was off and running. While the days, months, and years that followed provided many additional ups and downs, the trajectory of the site continued upward. Each year garnered more viewers, countless contributors, and endless travel stories, not to mention more ad revenue and industry notoriety. For all intents and purposes, Vurb became an institution in amateur motocross, and if their motivation lied in proving the doubters wrong, they had succeeded ten times over.

Mini O’s 2007 Video and Some Epic Stop Motion

On the site’s legacy, Williams concludes: “We were motocross, and that’s how we built our network. We were a group of young kids living the dream, and for those that saw that, they just wanted to be a part of it. They didn’t look to us for money, everyone at the core just wanted to join the fun. At one time there were seven of us living out of a box van at Loretta’s for a week. I think it’s safe to say we lived it.”

“I remember that van!” Kevin Kelly exclaims. “They’d all pile out of it like a damn Shriner’s truck! Those guys were burly, man. I think they’re as gnarly as any racer, just because of the sheer amount of time and effort they put into their work. I think anyone in the sport could respect that.”

“We were living a lifestyle that no other publication was willing to,” says Stallo. “That’s what set us apart in the long run.”

The Boxvan that Made Many Dreams Possible

McDowell, though separated from the Vurb team only a year after launch, says, “I was just happy to be a part of it. Those guys were so creative and passionate. It was special to be included in an idea as great as Vurb.”

As he reminisced, Campo added, “I felt like we were instrumental in influencing other action sports as well, not just motocross. While we saw other publishers in our industry change (changes that can be seen to this day), I think we really led the charge in bringing content online to the world at large, and we believed in that vision from day one. We did everything humanly possible to take Vurb to the next level, and because of that it took us all around the world, and I’m forever grateful for that.”

As most of you that make it to this point know, vurbmoto was shut down in 2016 and the band of brothers disbanded indefinitely.  While that’s a story for another day, the original duo of Williams and Stallo approached their old friends at the end of 2019 with the proposition of purchasing the name and restarting the dream they’d all worked so hard to achieve.

An Early Thumbnail from the 2007 vurbmoto Archives

Now fighting to secure a place in the pandemic challenged world of 2020, from having originally launched on the brink of the Great Recession 12 years earlier, it’s hard to think of a crew better equipped to deal with this challenge than Vurb. Though reimagined from its original foundation, its core members have collaborated to bring their vision to a world that finally caught up with their online ambitions.

While so many more stories and great memories lie between 2007 & 2016, we’ll save all that for Part 2. Viva la Vurb, and thanks for tuning in!

Other Epic Photos We Can’t Resist Not Including:

Bobby Hewitt’s House for the Ultimate November Video in 2007
National Security’s Travis Steward was Always Winning
Max Anstie vs. Justin Bogle
Mini 0’s Tuesday Race Report Coming Soon!
Brandon Mays Throwing Down for The Ultimate November in 2007
Bring Me Back that Filet O’ Fish…
Scuba and Futrell Always with the Block Passes on Eachother
Old School Wallpapers!
Nurb Moto Accidentally Showed up the Suzuki Launch in 2007
MTF Crew Looking Hard for Us Back in the Day
Bam Bam Doing a Little Slam Slam on an MTF Rut
Brent Stallo Hanging with our Old Friend, Walker Brightwell. RIP#716.
Fire
Old School Crew in 2004, filming In the Ranks 2
The Height Disparity Between These Two Remains the Same in 2020
A Rendering of a Never Used Allegiance MX Site
Robo Robb Swiatek Over It at the 2007 Ponca vurbmoto Launch
MXSportsCenter Loretta Lynn’s Studio in 2009
“Huh? I Got My SkullCandy’s On!”

Comments

  1. Very rarely do I take my time and read through an article. Most of the time I skim them. Absolutely loved this! I’m stoked you guys are back!!!

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