In any individual sport, there are athletes who define a genre, forging a new path that countless others will follow. For the BMX street riding scene, that athlete is Edwin DeLaRosa, a pioneer who ushered in a new age of technical urban riding laced with multiple grind combos, extended lines of tricks mixing rails and ledges, and the now ubiquitous four-peg, brakeless bike setup. New York City had long been known for its street-riding potential, but Edwin completely blew up the scene with his own trademark style.
Born in Panama, Edwin's family moved to Brooklyn, New York, when he was 3 years old. X Games television coverage introduced him to BMX, and his 13th birthday brought him his first BMX bike. The new wheels gave him freedom to explore the city, and he began developing his skills on the harsh elements of the urban environment. Edwin eventually ditched the complex and annoying brakes that came with his bike and steadily built a local reputation as a hot up-and-coming rider.
An invite to jump in the van on a pro road trip when he was 16 jumpstarted Edwin's career. Immediately after the trip, he continued west to RideBMX magazine headquarters in Southern California and filmed a full section for their 2001 video Turbulence in one week. More wild video parts for the immensely popular New York-based Animal crew followed, and Edwin quickly became a street-riding legend. Although he's widely imitated, he still stands out with a confident and powerful style that makes you swear he's capable of pulling any street move you could dream up.
These days, Edwin's many signature products can be found at Post, the Brooklyn bike shop he co-founded in 2008. He's become aware of the influence he has over the neighborhood kids, and has been inspired by visits from local schoolchildren - as well as the birth of his daughter in 2006 - to set a good example for them. "I hope they look at some of the things I did with riding and with opening the shop and it makes them want to be better and know that they can do their own thing." With all he's accomplished, Edwin will surely be a motivating influence to young riders in New York and across the globe for years to come.