The Liam Mulrooney interview
Q: Give us a brief description about UAB HQ, so the people out there that dont know about it can understand what they've been missing for the last couple years.
A: UAB HQ is primarily a BMX & MTB bicycle indoor park, much like a skatepark, but the ramps are built big and strong, so too endure the abuse from bike riding. It also doubles as an all ages venue, we bring in bands to play music on weekends. Aside from business aspects of HQ, UAB HQ is about having fun, riding bikes and not getting hassled, or told no bikes allowed. Bikes are always allowed at HQ, no question.
Q: UAB is really different of any indoor parks around here. How would you describe the atmosphere at HQ?
A: HQ is a laid back atmosphere, and it’s more about having fun and catching up with friends then it is about going nuts on your bike, although that still happens daily. The atmosphere is what it is, because if you’ve been riding a bike for a long time, then you know what it’s like to show up at a park and be turned away because of your bike. Something that will never happen at HQ, and I think people can really appreciate that fact, and how we went about getting it done. And that comes out in people’s attitudes and makes for a relaxed and fun place to hang out and ride some bikes.
Q: Is there any rules people have to respect at UAB?
A: People need to pay to ride. People need to respect one another. People need to have fun, it’s not a rule, but if you’re not having fun on your bike in a place like HQ, then why are you on the bike in the first place???
Q: This isn’t really related to HQ, but what have you been up to lately?
A: When in Quebec, I spend most of my time working on things at HQ. Ramp repair, building renovations, working on things in the shop, like displays, orders, inventory etc... When I’m not at home, I’m working sub-contracted by CAE. I assemble flight simulators, put them to together, and make sure everything mechanical fits together and operates well. It’s a hell of a job, but it allows me to travel around the world, and see a lot of new things. My most recent trip was to China, and I meet up with BMX riders working over there. I brought my bike and got to ride, it was awesome, and I think they’re sending me back in January, sucks I’ll be outta the country for my B-day, but it will be like 45 degrees warmer over there, so I win.
Q: There used to be a lot of party’s going on at the park. What happened with that?
A: Well the parties were always a bad idea. In the sense that we had no real permits to host anything. The police starting showing up a lot, and it was just to sketchy for me. The parties were always in control, but if I got fined or a criminal record it could make the new job real hard, or even be the end of HQ. So I put an end to them before they put an end to me. We’re gonna get a permit for an all ages venue and start having shows again in the new year. Then maybe go for the liquir license later on and get things going again. Chances are if you’ve been to a party at HQ, you’ll never forget it.
Q: I heard crazy stories about party’s getting out of control. What would be the craziest thing that ever happened at HQ?
A: Rock Fights are always pretty nuts. New Years parties are crazy too, and were gonna put one on this year, so come have fun!!!!! The craziest thing logically was when the cops showed up last Halloween, and asked me and the guy that put the party together all kinds of questions. They also thought we were selling booze to the kids. After a long talk, the cops left, and told us to make sure the party was done by 3am, and that no one got killed, I think everyone lived through the night.
Q: There was also many rumours about UAB closing down in the past years. What is the actual situation with that? Do you still use money from your own pockets to make it survive?
A: The rumours were true and untrue, people like to talk. It probably hurt us that people were going around saying were closed, when I was sitting at HQ waiting for people to come ride. But we made it passed those days. The landlord is a business man, if he can make more money renting out the building or selling it, then it’s his right to do that with his business, but I won’t go down without a fight. And yes, unfortunately a large part of HQ’s rent, and utility bills are coming outta my pocket. But how many people can say money makes them REALLY happy, and how many people can say they run an indoor bike part. I’d just waste the cash on toys, it’s better spent on the bike community.
Q: Are there any events planned for the winter?
A: We got a New Years Party on Dec. 31st. I’d like to premiere a lot of the new BMX movies coming out this winter at HQ. Maybe once a month, if the demand ‘s there from the kids. Put on some little comps for fun during the days of the premieres. And maybe organize something big at the end of the winter.
Q: What is the actual ramp setup in the park right now? Any recent or future changes?
A: Well nothing much has changed since last winter, although last winter we re-enforced a lot of ramps. I plan on building a new ¼ pipe to straight wallride, starting in the end of November. Later this winter we need to rebuild the little tranny to tranny box jump, and a big grind box beside the pyramid in the street section. The park will also change a lot cosmetically as we have more time to clean the place up. Chances are if you haven’t been to HQ yet this winter, then the place will look much better to your eyes.
Q: What's up with the shop you wanted to open? Is it open yet?
A: The shop is about half open. Were running it out of the upstairs section of the building. We’ve got displays and clothing racks. But we haven’t gotten our hands on lobby yet, mainly because between my travels, and our landlords, it’s hard to schedule a meeting, but I meet him earlier this week, and things are in the works, I hope to have the key to the lobby very soon, and start the renovations on the lobby. But as of right now we’ve got a good stock of Macneil, Demolition, Volume, Kink, Animal, and We The People, components, bikes etc... we’ve also got a few other clothing lines in stock and were getting new products in every week. Come check us out, we’re got what you need!!!
Q:Now let’s get to the basics. Address, winter schedule, fees, etc.?
A: Ugly Ass Bikes HeadQuarters is located at 1935 ave. De l’Eglise. As of December 1st we are open every day (expect Dec. 24th, 25th & 26th and Jan. 1st) Weekdays we open at 2pm and close at 9pm, Saturdays we open at 1pm and close at midnight, and Sunday is 1pm till 9pm. Once the shop is in the lobby and running 100%, we’ll be open even earlier. Imagine that??!?!?!?!?!? The cost of riding is $10 a day, but we also have $6 sessions on Tuesday from 2pm till 6pm, and Sunday 6pm till 9pm. Month and winter passes are available, and if you do the math a month pass ends up costing about $2 a day.
UAB spotcheck from Vincent Allard on Vimeo.