From his days winning every moto in sight, to his role managing world-class BMX teams, to his current work mentoring new generations of BMX racers, Dwayne Taylor has always been a positive force in BMX.
Since Mongoose re-entered the race scene, Dwayne's BMX pedigree and spirit have been instrumental in our resurgence — focusing on growing ridership and family interest in the brand from a grassroots level.
Dwayne's passion for cycling stretches far beyond BMX into MTB, MX, and even fashion (formerly at DC Shoes), and Mongoose has leaned on him for his insight to stay on top of new trends.
Mongoose Team Manager Leigh Ramsdell (LR) sat down with Dwayne (DT) to chat all things BMX, from how it all began to what's in store for the future:
LR: Can you tell us a little about what got you into BMX?
DT: I've always had a fascination with bikes from hearing stories from my aunt and uncle. I couldn't really afford one, so I went to traditional sports in school with football and track & field. When I moved to Gilroy, CA in Jr. High, one of the first people I met was Jimmy Garcia (Joey Garcia's older brother). I had moved in with my grandparents and had a lot of freedom, so I started hanging with him and his family. They took me to races to watch because I didn’t have a bike, but still stayed involved in the other sports. My grandparents surprised me with a 24” BMX from the local hardware store. I started riding and jumping with the local BMX crew (Jimmy & Joey Garcia, Chad & Scott Kagy, Mark and Cindy Wells, and a bunch of others).
I really wanted to try racing, but my bike was a roach! Luckily (for me), Cindy Wells stopped racing and her dad said I could use her bike to race at the track. I raced about four or five weekends and then the track got shut down! So back to traditional sports I went. I still hung out with the crew, but everyone started traveling a lot more to races and contests. At the time my path of track and football were taking me in a different direction (college football future). Unfortunately, I blew my knee out my sophomore year and could not run anymore. I still wanted to go fast and do awesome things, so I saved up and bought myself a real BMX bike and the rest is history. That really made me believe that everything happens for a reason.
LR: How did you get into the BMX Industry?
DT: Another injury, hahaha. I always had a strong tie with my team managers, and I used my strong work ethic to help make things better on the teams I was ridding for. Former FOX Racing TM, Todd Hicks, really leaned on me to fill the gaps in the team, and I helped him with what products would cross over to BMX from Moto, which allowed our relationship to grow. Then I had a serious injury they said would be career ending. That forced me to quit both riding and my job. Fortunately Todd asked me if I would like to work for FOX to help build the bike program and help the marketing department. I jumped at the opportunity to work with the iconic brand, and the rest is BMX history! That in itself would be another article. That was my first major step into the industry.
LR: We’ve worked together in the past with you being the team manager for Fox and DC when I rode for them. Was I a pain in the ass rider? Ha ha.
DT: Pretty much, ha ha! Na, you have always been an outside-the-box thinker, had a rad personality and could ride a bike! If you were prettier, you’d be the total package! j/k
Those years working with you and the teams were monumental steps in the evolution of BMX. From events to videos, magazines to commercials and video games, it was a flurry of activity and so awesome to work with you and others icons in the sport. You're on that list too in my book!! So stoked to have a hand in that time in BMX. I am so grateful.
LR: What’s the biggest difference from being TM for a bigger company to something a little more intimate like LRC?
DT: Both are amazing, but It's for sure harder running the LRC Team because the execution is all on me, not to mention the financial aspects. But I feel it's more rewarding in a way. Helping guide young riders and being a support system and mentor is amazing! It's more about giving back and trying to get theses riders a little glimpse of what I got from BMX. The team now is way further than I would have expected it to be, with great riders, parents and partners the team has for support. And it's only getting better every season.
LR: Speaking of LRC, how did that come about?
DT: The LRC brand started from an idea to cross the lines of all the things RAD. From BMX, MTB, MX, drift, off-road, tech, surf, photography, and so much more. But to start with what I know, which is BMX and MTB, so the website was born. I built it from the ground up and its constantly evolving, with news, events and products to sell. I really wanted to make it a place online to hang out and see new videos and product, kind of like the shops back in the day. It's slowly catching steam, but that's how we want it to go. Not forcing the issue but letting it grow organically.
LR: What’s the most satisfying thing about having a team like LRC?
DT: I would have to say the best thing about the LRC Team is the community and every day growth we all have seen. From a grassroots team (which is still the foundation of the team), to being a force to be dealt with at every event we go to is amazing. But I think even more than that, is seeing the other large teams adopting some of how we run our programs to theirs. This solidifies that we are doing the right thing.
LR: What attracted you to Mongoose?
DT: It would have to be opportunity. Mongoose has such a rich history in shaping BMX and cycling in general. To be part of the future of this brand is an amazing opportunity for me. I've had my foot in the door for a while now with the LRC/Mongoose team, but I'm so happy to now have to have a seat at the table. Bringing my industry and riding experience will only add to the amazing work you and the in-house team, have already started.
LR: At what age do you think Mylo will start beating you in races?
DT: This kid is off the charts!! LOL. Mylo-Jones is a very natural rider and I really haven’t even broken down racing to him yet. He’s just having fun and that's our goal right now. If he sticks with it, I'd say he'll be able to hang with his dad say... 13-14. But who knows, he might switch over to freestyle like you!
LR: What do you have planned for 2021?
DT: 2021….. well it has to be better than this year! But still pushing the Factory LRC/Mongoose and Squad hard, race a bit more (sorry guys I race), help Mongoose have a bigger presence in more venues and areas, and really help bring Mongoose products to a larger audience. Lastly, continue to grow the Mongoose race program to ensure brand messaging is dialed for our global audience. I'm really excited for this adventure with Mongoose, and can't wait for what's in store!