It’s been cooking for months, but Brian Kachinsky is finally ready for the next edition of his Chicago art loft turned indoor BMX street course to pop out of the oven. And even though it’s no longer housed in an old bread factory, Kachinsky -- a BMX legend who earned bronze in the 2010 X Games -- is still calling it The Bakery.
Located in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood and converted into a private facility for pro BMX riders around the world to use in 2011, the original Bakery building was condemned last year for not being up to code (“Yeah, it was in the ‘hood,” says Kachinsky). And so Kachinsky convinced friend and ramp builder Aaron Bostrom to make the trip from Long Beach, California, to Chicago to help him build The Bakery 2.0.
The result is a more polished, yet still edgy experience sure to attract BMX’s best to shoot more “Baker’s Dozen” videos. Red Bull hung out with Kachinsky on location at The Bakery before it officially opened on Wednesday to get a little backstory.
So you originally built The Bakery as a practice facility for yourself, right?
I used to have to drive to Milwaukee multiple times a week, and it was three hours of driving a day there and back. I was like, ‘Man, I should just build something in Chicago and that would work instead.’ What I built did more than work, it became world famous. I originally intended to build something small and simple, but it escalated into a huge project that’s known worldwide. That happens to a lot of things I do -- I start with one intention and the stars align and it turns out cooler than I could ever dream of.
It sounds like creating this has really meant a lot to you.
This is me making my childhood dream come true at 31 years of age. I always dreamed about something like this. My parents were supportive of me, but I didn’t have anything like this as a kid. Being able to finally create something that’s sort of my dreamland is fun.
For those who’ve never been to The Bakery, how would you describe its features?
This is considered street, so we emulated a lot of stuff we found on the street in Chicago. We built a perfect handrail, a typical staircase, a little manual pad -- simulating a curb you’d find in a parking lot. We also made a cellar door, a wedge to ride on and do tricks, and lots of ledges with angle iron on the side for grinding. Some stuff is really unique, that you’d only find in The Bakery, which makes it an attractive place to visit. It’s something I’m proud of.
Talk about some of the pro riders who will be visiting the new Bakery?
Chad Kerley, Aaron Ross, Garrett Reynolds… I think we’ll get more international riders to visit. I know riders from Ukraine, Russia, China -- all guys who have never been to the US, but might come to Chicago to see The Bakery, so that’s pretty cool.
You’re opening the new facility, but you say that it’s still not technically finished?
It’ll always be a work in progress, but I’m proud of what we’ve built up until this point. You always want things changing and evolving, just like BMX evolves almost on a daily basis because of the Internet. You go to any BMX site and most likely there’s a new video with someone pulling off a new trick or riding terrain you never expected. There’s always something new, and that’s what makes it attractive. I love basketball, baseball and hockey, but how often have you seen a slam dunk or a home run? In BMX, if you go to any major event, you’re guaranteed to see something you’ve never seen before on a regular basis; that’s exciting to me. It never becomes stale.