Sweet Land of Chromoly
Counting down times Radical Rick saved the good ol’ U.S.A.
Being a BMX superhero is no cakewalk.
As Radical Rick knows, it’s a twenty-four-seven job. Competing, traveling, pleasing fans, rescuing the Rad Squad while keeping BMX-dom safe from Mean Inc.’s grisly takeover plans—clearly, there’s no rest for the rad.
As if that’s not enough, when the United States of America calls, Radical Rick answers. This month, and right in time for the Fourth of July, we’re counting down the times Radical Rick saved… ahem ‘served’ his country. Words talk, but action walks. You’d be surprised how often Radical Rick’s humble patriotic action speaks for itself.
So before you light up those fireworks, read on for rad news, and some episode bits that will make you want to pull out those stars and stripes shorts that once looked killer… way back when they fit you.
Old school, baby.
Who is Damian?
If you’ve been wondering, welcome to the club. Just who is that man behind the curtain? That irreverent, uncompromising, Mad Magazine-loving genius who gave us the hero we love and each of his rad adventures?
Turns out, there’s a panel discussion on that very question breaking instagram. Rumor is some monkey named Damian in the Amazon rainforest might be involved.
If you’re new on the scene and if you’d really like to hear more of Damian (and Radical Rick’s) story, he gave a splendid interview with Haro Bikes not that long ago.
While we’re at it, one more thing.
Damian was just nominated to the BMX Hall of Fame in Tulsa Oklahoma.
He’s in the industry category, and you can join the fan-built campaign to get him some rad recognition here on instagram. He’s up against some seriously rad nominees… and we’ll update you when we hear that a decision has been made.
Letting Those Rad Colors Fly
Here they are, Rad Fans—times when Radical Rick saved his country, all of BMX, and the youth of America from dastardly annihilation.
Considering the Radsters’ knack for flying, last-minute saves—in a previous investigation, we found this comes from the heroic impulse part of his brain—some of these are pretty harrowing…at least for us.
As MX Mug put it:
“Radical Rick doesn’t need your thanks, Mr. President. When I was teaching him everything he knows, I told him that saving the country is a BMX duty… and before you ask, YES. I’d be honored to be the next nose added to Mount Rushmore.”
So put that hand over your heart and buckle your seatbelt.
Radical Rick Saves the BMX Industry
We traced Radical Rick’s first call from the president—that’d be Ronald Reagan—to the winter and spring of ‘83. Over five episodes (39 - 43), Radical Rick and MX Mug work nonstop to foil the plot of a new, America-hating villain on the scene.
Believe it or not, this cute yearbook photo on the bottom right is the first time any of us caught sight of the scrawny, ghoulish Purin Flashin.
Ten points if you caught it.
As we soon learn, Flashin’s plan for ruining America’s economy starts with (where else?) the BMX industry. In an old, retrofitted potato chip factory, our heroes find a chop shop operation—swing sets and old Volkswagens being cobbled into enough fake BMX bikes to flood the market like locusts.
After a few stumbles, our heroes find their American-economy saving legs. In the first of many disappointments, Purin Flashin watches as his potato chip factory goes the way of the Hindenburg.
By making it out with nothing but singed eyebrows, Mug and Rick savor their first patriotic achievement—saving the early eighties American economy from a bad case of bikeflation.
Radical Rick Joins the Army
Well, not quite.
Rather, he and MX Mug team up with the brass in Episodes 80 - 86 to take down their old nemesis Thrasher Bones. Or as this grizzled, five-star general calls him ‘Private Bones.’ As we covered before (not that you need it if you know your trivia), Thrasher Bones challenged a young Radical Rick to his very first race. When Thrasher lost, he sulked over to a recruiting office and joined the army.
In this case, facing an old nemesis who’s gone on a rampage, and even destroyed the first Radillac takes backup—both from the U.S. Army and elite A-Team member Mr. T.
Even though Thrasher gives everyone a good scare by holding Mug hostage, Radical Rick and Mr. T manage to put the rogue ex-rider in his place.
Turns out, Thrasher Bones is no Rambo.
What can we say? Serving your country by facing old grudges certainly counts.
American Splatiators That’s right.
In one of Damian’s more famous pop culture parodies (we’re assuming you know what American Gladiators was), Radical Rick can’t resist an open audition for ‘American Splatiators.’ Little does he know, Hulk-sized rivals Skuzzer Switchblade and Butch Cartilage have infiltrated the arena and are waiting to strike.
Are rippling muscles, boulders, a chainsaw or even a royal loincloth any match for rad reflexes? We’ll let you figure that out for yourselves.
Stopping the World Piece Bomb
With the highest stakes and a multiple-episode goose chase, we saved this patriotic adventure for last. It starts with another high-ranking cameo—Radical Rick and MX Mug get their orders from none other than Lt. Colonel Oliver North himself.
The situation? Purin Flashin’s back, and he’s threatening the White House with a ‘World Piece Bomb.’ The baddie reasons that if he can control Reagan’s America and the most powerful military, well then he can control the world. We reckon Pinky and the Brain would approve.
In a race against time, our heroes follow the World ‘Piece’ Bomb to a movie lot (a Hollywood director is using the bomb as a Christmas tree prop), a dirt racing track, and then to the launch pad itself. In a near catastrophe, Bonnie disarms the warhead but not the rocket boosters, and Radical Rick nearly makes the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
If there’s a lesson to this epic Radical Rick chapter, it might be this: you don’t need to be Captain America to stop Washington from being blown to pieces.
A rad gland, a little humility, and a knack for adventure might just do it.
If we missed one of Radical Rick’s America-saving moments, let us know! Leave a comment or hop on instagram.
Meanwhile, have a happy Fourth of July!
When that anthem plays and duty calls…stay rad, and don’t be a wimp!