../people/Garret Byrnes

Sources: Freedom, Dig, www.databmx.com, Soul, digbmx.com, ...
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1980 DOB: february 20, 1980.
early years Garret Byrnes, Dig, july 2002: I started out riding when I was really young. I was always into BMX bikes and rode dirt a little when I was younger, just jumping off things. I just had a lot of fun, and got into racing when I was 13. I didnít really take that too seriously. My parents always got real mad at me cause Iíd go to races and just jump the jumps and try tricks instead of actually trying to win. Then I started riding dirt a lot with John Jennings, John Britton and a bunch of people. From there it went to the skatepark in Toms River that George Hoernig and Scott DeMarco opened up. I worked for them for a while. Right after the new owner took over, I worked there and realized that I wasnít really into working around bikes all the time. You just get burned out on it. But I met a lot of really good people through the skatepark. Itís great, cause now I go places and realize how many friends I have in different places from working there. It might have something to do with me not charging people to get in and giving out free food, but no one needs to know about that.

Garret: I got into racing when I was 13. My first sponsor was Little Devil--I rode for them for about five years, I think.

Van Homan: This photo is from a demo Garrett Byrnes and I did in 96. Vet Stadium is now gone, so this photo of Garrett doing X-Ups during the 7th inning stretch is pretty priceless
garrett byrnes
1999 COVER.
Garrett Byrnes en tailwhip ŗ Glissexpo Anglet en couverture du Soul numťro 6 de novembre 1999.
garrett byrnes soul bmx 11 99
Nice Profile on East Coast shredder Garret Byrnes in Props #35 january 2000.
Jason D., www.notfreestylin.com: This issue will be remembered as the Garret Byrnes issue. The riding for his interview was great, but then to notice he is pulling off all those grinds pegless, it becomes amazing.


Freedom #33 june 2000.

On the cover of Props #35 winter 2000.
garret byrnes freedom bmx 06 2000

props bmx video magazine 35
2001 ETNIES.
Garrett is now riding for Etnies.

Dig #18 september october 2001
garrett byrnes dig bmx 18
2002 Interview in Ride BMX US march 2002.

Interview by Brian Tunney in Dig #23 july 2002.
Though heíd have you believe otherwise, it seems like Garrett Byrnes has that little thing called life just about figured out. Live everyday to the fullest and have fun along the way. It might seem a bit simple as a creed to live by, but Garrettís never been one to make anything too complicated. No, he seems too happy enjoying life to even worry about complications of any kind. This is the Garrett Byrnes interview. Garrettís a wise person. Read it with an open mind.
What age are youÖ and all that stuff?
Garret Byrnes: Iím 22 and Iím from Beechwood, NJ but I say Iím from Toms River cause no one knows where in the world Beechwood is.
Youíve been all over the world, but you always come back to New Jersey. Why is that?
Garret Byrnes: My parents live here. Free rent, so I hang out with them. Iím really, really big on friends and family. Itís the most important thing in my life. Iíd have to say that friends and family really keep me here.
You donít ever see yourself leaving NJ then?
Garret Byrnes: Umm, I donít know. It depends. Iíve seen so many cool places that Iíd like to go. Iím sure Iíll leave someday, but for right now, it seems to be a really good spot for me to stay in. It has everything I need.
Howíd you end up meeting Van Homan?
Garret Byrnes: I met Van through racing. Me, Van and Gary Thorpe used to all race together. I started hanging out with Van when I was about 16, and Iíd always go to his house or heíd come to mine. Weíd always just ride together and things just progressed. We were really into riding together and having fun.
Is the shaved head your new permanent hairstyle?
Garret Byrnes: I donít know. Itís hard, once you shave your head; you just donít want it to grow anymore. You feel like a superhero when you shave your head. You can tell differences in heat. You can tell when someone is behind you.
Where do you buy your shirts?
Garret Byrnes: Anywhere from the hospital shop in Toms River to vintage shops in Liverpool.
You ride BMX, but at the same time, you donít seem to limit yourself to just riding bikes. How did that come about?
Garret Byrnes: I started skating pretty much before I got into riding. Iíve always skated and always had fun. Now, I ride all the time. But itís good to have a different outlet to have fun with. It gives me the best feeling cause itís like learning how to ride all over again when you pull a new trick. Just even cruising around is the best thing in the world.
Do you take any influence from skateboarding and put it into riding your bike?
Garret Byrnes: Definitely. I watch skate videos more than I watch BMX videos. I just like the style and speed mostly. Iím very influenced by the speed and skateboarding. Speed is good. The faster, the better.
Howíd you get into riding so fast?
Garret Byrnes: Watching old skate videos, watching Chris Senn is good all the time. Things look so much cooler when youíre going fast. I just try to hit stuff as fast as I can and see where it takes me.
Your bike setup, with the low drop nose seat and no pegs, has been copied by a lot of people lately. How did that setup evolve for you and how do you feel about it being copied by other riders?
Garret Byrnes: At first, I wasnít really into pegs just because I wasnít into grinding stuff. I just had fun cruising around and manualing stuff. I wasnít into doing rails or anything like that. But then it came to the point, lately, where I can go to pools, I can go anywhere I want and nobody bothers me. They see I donít have pegs on my bike and know that Iím not wrecking things. Thatís a huge part of it now, just knowing that you can have fun and not be bothered by people complaining about me wrecking the pool coping. People having the same setup, I mean, Iím guilty of the same thing when I was younger. Iíd see people with bikes that I like and do it myself. It just happens. Itís the way things evolve.
You always seemed to be into having a light bike setup too. How did that come about?
Garret Byrnes: I was never really into it. It was just from trying different things. Now, I have a bike with a seatpost built in, just to try something different. It was an idea from an old bike company in Europe that did it in the 80ís. I remembered seeing that and thought it was really neat, so I thought weíd give it a try. It seems to be working good. I donít think you could ever reproduce it in large amounts because no one wants to run their seat at the same height.
Because you never ride pegs, you figured out other ways to grind though. Where did that come from?
Garret Byrnes: That was pretty much from seeing old photos and just watching old videos of people doing gear grinds and pedal grinds and all kinds of weird stuff. So I messed around with that. But lately, I havenít even done any grinds. Iíve just been having way too much fun just doing the carve. Iíd have to say, ask anybody who rides a lot, thatís the best thing to do. Just doing a big carve on anything.
So if I asked what your favorite kind of riding is, would it be carving?
Garret Byrnes: Cruising, just cruising.
You seem to have a Ďcharge aheadí attitude towards your riding, like you donít ever think negatively when you approach something.
Garret Byrnes: I donít know. Peter Adam has been changing my mind lately, cause he seems to find the worst possible thing that could happen on anything and points it out right before Iím about to go up to it. OK, Iím gonna try this 180 down fifty steps. What if your pants get caught and you smash your head on the last step? Peter Adam, what are you doing? Why do you need to say this? And Pete will say, ďOh, you just need to know in case this happens so you can get off early.Ē Peter Adam, youíre nuts.
Anyway, before Peter Adam. How do you get in the mindset of doing some of the crazy shit youíve done?
Garret Byrnes: Itís just more or less, in my head, that anything is possible. Ruben, Van, Alistair, all those guys that are seriously pushing things, they just show that anythingís possible. And even if you think somethingís not gonna work, it might work. You might as well try it. Just go for it Peter!
You seem to have a ride when you want, donít force it attitude. How did that come about?
Garret Byrnes: Doing so many things in a week, you only have a certain amount of time to ride, skateboard, hang out with friends. I try to fit in riding whenever I can, but if Iím not feeling it 100%, I donít ride. Itís the type of thing that I want to feel good when Iím doing, not just riding to ride because Iím supposed to. Itís not training. Itís how I relax.
Are you anti-contest?
Garret Byrnes: Iím not really anti. I think times are changing a lot and itís always been that I want to go and hang out. A lot of the contests lately, like the Backyard Jam and the La Revolution contests are really good. You can just tell that everyoneís having fun.

Garrett has parted ways with Little Devil after five years of support.

Garrett Byrnes dans la piscine d'Ashbury park en couverture du Soul hors-sťrie spťcial photo de juillet 2003. Photo par Guedz.
garrett byrnes soul bmx hs 07 2003
2004 COVER.
Garret Byrnes upside down in Carbondale, Colorado on the cover of Dig #38 june 2004.
garrett byrnes dig bmx 06 2004
2005 FLY.
www.databmx.com, february 2005: La famille Fly Bikes continue ŗ s'agrandir avec l'arrivťe de Garret Byrnes. Il reste bien sŻr chez T1 et participe ŗ la tournťe Fly en Nouvelle Zťlande.

Garret en couverture du Soul #39 de novembre 2005.
garrett byrnes soul bmx 39
Garrett Byrnes launches roof and ramp while the great ball of fire rises over the Atlantic on the cover of Ride BMX US july 2009. Photo by Mulligan.
garrett byrnes ride bmx us 07 2009