../people/Thomas Stellwag

Sources: www.soulbmx.com, Cream, www.fatbmx.com, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1969 DOB: may 16, 1969.
Birthplace: Germany
early years Thomas: I did grow up in Lohhof a little city, north of Munich. Someday I heard about those special-for-jumping-bmx-bikes back in the days... I was always into building crap bikes together and together with my friend Yunus, we already jumped those. Actually these sessions always ended up with a destroyed bike. So we went to the junkyard the next day, picked up some bike parts, and start all over again. That was even before we ever heard about BMX. It just seemed to be fun to work on bikes and ride them up and down little curbs and stairs. So I begged my daddy for a BMX-bike, and got my first one on my 13th birthday. It was a cheap pile of shit. My parents bought it a few days before my birthday and put it in the basement. I wasn't allowed to ride it before my birthday, but one afternoon my parents were not there, and I had a little test-ride on my brand new "BMX 2000". When I got back home, I already had bent the forks and the cranks of the bike... ooops! I cleaned the bike, and nobody recognized,, so I got out of it lucky. Lucky with a bent fork and crankset.

Thomas: Usually we just met at some old motocross spot and tried to jump there, or we just cruised down the streets looking for stuff to jump. We rode a lot of grass banks, boardwalks-jumps, stairs and stuff like that. And we built our own jumps, at one time we even had our own little BMX-track, complete with starting-hill, doubles, step-up, berms.. It was an awesome scene back then. I think that was around 1984.

First homemade quarter at Eching 1983.
1989 Harald Wagner, Christian Hundertmark and Thomas Stellwag try themselves as editors of the BMX-zine Soulride : texts are done by hand or with an Old School typewriter, photos are "reworked" with scissors, TippEx and felt-tip. Everything is "layouted" with a glue-stick on a couple of folded DinA4 sheets and "duplicated" in the near Copy-Shop. All copies then become sortedly, folded by hand and with this one, as usual much too small "bracket machine" stapled together.
1990 360 grad.
Thomas: After I finished school I learned the job of an industrial salesman for three years. It was alright, but somehow I always fantasized to start my own business. From 1990 on, I only took jobs from time to time, and build up a little BMX-shop/mailorder at home. I stored all the stuff in our basement. It was fun, as the "shop" already has built up a good name for having a super-large assortement of cool BMX products, so sometimes parents showed up and were disappointed by the actual size of the shop. You could tell from the look of their faces. I can remember when Markus Hampl one day came in, together with his dad. He was quite little back then, but he already exactly new what he wanted: an S&M challenger. I was sceptic at first, as not too many people were into that kind of bikes. All the kids wanted freestyle bikes... not Markus... now I understand!
1991 Soulrideo #1

1st place Vert German Championships in Freiburg 1991

5th place Street Worlds in Aalborg, Danmark august 1991.
1992 1st Place Vert and 1st Place Miniramp German Championships in Braunschweig, 1992.

8th Place Street and 7th Place Miniramp Worlds in Budapest, Hungary, 1992.
1993 Interview: Fat #27

1st Place Vert German Championships in Beerfelden, 1993.

2nd place 20 and over expert vert @ 1993 worlds, Limoges, France, july 1993.
1994 1994: 1st Place Street German Championships in Nurenberg, 1994.

3rd Place Street and 2nd Place Vert Worlds Cologne, Germany, 1994.

FAT jam, Netherlands 1994.
1995 13th place A-Group dirt @ Backyard Jam, Hastings, UK, july 1995.

Thomas: Actually I went to US in '95. Monika my wife and me went to San Diego, Los Angeles, Orlando and Daytona Beach. It was a great time: they had a trails jam at the old mission trails in San Diego, I met Ron Bonner in Orlando and I even rode at the last Bicycle Stunt Finals in Daytona Beach. I didn't do too good in my run as I was still pretty hung over from the party the night before. I think Big Island even got arrested during that Party! Let's say it like that: we had some fun...

Thomas 2003: Together with me wife we run AllRide BMX Distribution. We started the company pretty small. UGP and Graveyard were the first two brands we started with. (that was in 1995). Nowadays we're the exclusive distributor for Primo, Shadow, TerribleOne, Animal, FBM, Mutiny, Fit, lnopia, Kink, Blacken, UGP, 2-Hip, Esaych, Quamen, Camacura and Tree. We're stokend on "our" brands and we do the best we can to support 'em overhere. A lot of the guys behind those brands (they are all riders by the way.. just in case somebody didn't know J) are good friends of mine, so it's a blast to work together.
1996 Interview in Freedom BMX october 1996.
1997 3rd Place Dirt German Championships in Munich, 1997.
Rollerhouse, Berlin 1997. Photo: Mike Steingraber.
1998 Thomas: My first Austin-trip with Markus Wilke, Oliver Klinger and Sören Jacobs will stick to my mind forever. That was a totally different side of America. We had no rental car, stayed for free at Steve-O's place and just explored the beautiful city of Austin on our bikes. There were a lot of cool riders in town and the locals were super nice, it was right after the first Props road fools came out, so you can imagine how cool it was to see all the unbelievable Austin spots in real. It was a treat.
1999 Thomas: In 1999 I hurt my shoulder pretty bad, I had to get surgery and couldn't ride for nearly 8 months! It drove me nuts! I was never off my bike for that long. During that time I put a new bike together. It was a T1 barcode, all nice parts and everything but I couldn't ride it. That bike still had two brakes like all my former bikes too. Someday that kid from the neighbour hood, Andi, asked me to ride these curbs with him. I was "Allright let's give it a try. Maybe my shoulder is ok again by now." But I didn't like the idea to break in my brand new T1 with some stupid feeble grinds on a little rough curb, so I checked what old bike parts I still got and I put together an used bike for this session. I couldn't find old brakes and Andi already told me to hurry up. He wasn't riding brakes too, so I was "Ok, whatever I want to take it easy anyway, I give it a try without brakes. I rode that bike till it fell apart. I didn't even touched the brand new T1. And when the used bike was finally done, I immediately took off the brakes of my new bike too. Ever since I kept it like that.

Fat Jam.
2000 8th place street @ worlds, Koln, Germany, july 2000
Thomas Stellwag had to drop his VDO camera for a couple of minutes to ride and he did the biggest wallrides out of the transitioned quarterpipe and back in. He also did ramp builder Marcus Arnoldi a favor by grinding a rail that no one had done before. Respect to the daddy.
2002 Interview: www.fatbmx.com june 2002.
Thomas: Together with my wife Monika, I run 360° Sportshop, SOUL videomag and AllRide BMX Distribution.

12th place pro park @ European X-Games, Barcelona, july 2002
2003 Mutiny Bikes
Thomas: Steev Inge at Mutiny Bikes, hooks me up pretty good. Mutiny builds really good frames and parts, and all the teamriders rule! Everybody rides so good and all of them a nice guys too. So I'm more than proud to be a part of the family. Hopefully I can keep up with the team though.. All those younger riders are awesome. Morgan Wade is CRAZY!!!!

T1 world tour.

Thomas: I'm 34 years old, live in Munich/Germany and I ride for Mutiny, MPS and Inopia Shoes. Pro Tee Helmets and Tree Bikes are flowing me stuff too. Thanks guys!

Thomas, Marvin and Monika.
2004 Interview pour Cream BMX #4 january february 2004
Thomas: When I first started riding, I would never ever had imagined that I would still ride more than 20 years later. I'm comfty with my riding, I still try to push my limits and the funny thing is I'm still progressing. I'm still learning new stuff, which is amazing... sometimes I'm all like "Yes, finally 10 years later I pulled that one trick! ", and I can tell you that feeling really rules!