The unjust thing about people with the most passion in life is that these people never seek the attention of spot light, often going unannounced to the masses. Their name is only ever whispered among people in the know, carried along in conversation of legend and fable. Brodie Gwilliam is the most passionate BMX’er I have ever met and can confidently say he is the most passionate BMX’er I will ever meet. It is almost impossible to communicate his dedication but I can try.
When I first met Brodie I didn’t like him very much. With our first meeting at the skatepark, Brodie made fun of the “Fly” brand pedals I had, saying something along the lines of “Those are the worst pedals ever, you would have to be a pedophile to ride those on your bike” I was a much more vain person in adolescence and was offended he would say that to me. My fly pedals where very expensive and I loved them, I was offended and rode off…failing to notice he had the same pedals on his bike. Meta humor and sarcasm was not my strong point but it grew and so did our friendship. I think Brodie just couldn’t be bothered to try to be friends with stuck up people, he probably wont explain his joke that referenced a obscure movie made 2 decades ago and only included one line and then a pun on the next line. If you missed the joke too bad, it probably makes in funnier to him as well. But once you get to know him, deep down beneath all those jokes, remarks, and references you will find your self…even more jokes. No hidden motives, Brodie is a great guy who wears it on his sleeve. Its hard to even comprehend sometimes, we’re so used to acting and preforming a certain way for society that we cant even recognize someone without those social restraints as being truthful, which may put us off and question why this mid 20 year old is asking for meth and directions to the nearest dead body, but in the end its me being the prude who has forgotten how to play.
Brodies humor and dedication is reflected in his own start up “Bad4Life” even the name is a stab at people trying to act “hard” and “extreme”. The guy with flame tattoos and neon hair who proclaims aloud he is in fact a bad guy who is totally extreme, is posturing and no where near what he pretends to be. Real doesn’t often talk big or brag, modesty comes from wisdom. So meta humor and BMX is what Bad4life is all about. Hurting someone is NOT Bad4Life…Double parking in a empty parking lot is totally Bad4Life, Destroying property in NOT Bad4Life…one foot passed the “keep out” sign is. There is your crash course in B4L, now memorize every Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, and Seinfeld reference imaginable and you’re scratching the surface.
Here comes the serious part. Saskatchewan has a small population and BMX is a niche scene within that population, somehow our province has more BMX publicity and recognition than every other province, no one is sponsored here, no one is putting money here, we spend the money and make the publicity ourselves. There is no company driving and motivating us, we do it because we love the sport and love BMX and a disproportional amount of this is due to Brodies dedication to the sport, he has always made the best biking edits, organized the best trips and filmed the most. Hell he purchased a $30,000 camera just because he likes the way it makes BMX look when it captures every minute detail. The camera is just a easy thing to reference because of its oddity in any extreme sport around the world but it fails to mention the 75+ videos made before his newest camera, the dollies and cranes used to get the perfect shots, the mass amounts of lenses to film through, the trips across Canada funded by himself to make full length blu-ray videos. The ramps build in tractor barns and half pipes created in fields or the ramps towed in his truck to make sure no matter what, there will be something to ride in this flat province. All because he wants to, who can you say does that? Not for a year or 2 or 5 but for decades. He not only created the game here, he is years ahead of the entire industry when it comes the cinematography and has done it without making a dime. That is the truly fucked up part about passion, un-seeking of publicity and what is truly special and rare about Brodie.
On top of all this his passion is still riding his bike and its safe to say he is VERY good, but just as he is himself, his riding is also just as unique. To appreciate his style you have to have a very good understanding, yourself, of BMX and probably at least 10 to 15 years previous BMX history on top of what is current. The guy rides SARCASTICALLY, every move is a joke about something or a statement on current trends it is impossibly entertaining to watch, but as you laugh go ahead try one of his tricks. The tricks look funny but will have your ass on the ground moaning in pain because of the difficulty involved instantly. If a trick has to be called out he can do it, but that’s just not him. Indian fuf’s and roman candles replace the smith 180’s and barspins of modern BMX but do not underestimate him or his passion. Brodie gwilliam is the driving force behind Saskatchewan BMX cinematography and the scene itself. He is generous and eccentric in many ways and somehow still has the drive to do so without recognition, but most importantly Brodie Gwilliam is Bad4Life.