The idiots who write letters to Ride complaining about how “gay” flatland is every month are the same morons who have never tried to ride flat themselves.People always mock what they don’t understand, and flatlanders are not exactly easy to figure out. Don’t get the wrong impression, though. Ground riders really are not too hard to please. Give them a level surface and a bike designed specifically for flat, and you probably won’t hear a word from them for days.

If you’re looking to get into the bizarre world of flatland, Mongoose has a bike you should check out. It’s the newly-designed Hooligan, and it’s pretty much a flatland-specific machine. It’s short in the right places, comes with the right parts, and at $350, you should be able to afford one without cutting into your junk food fund. The Hooligan has a 4130 chromoly frame with chain tensioners, U-brakes in the front and rear, an SST Oryg, and new forged chromoly three-piece cranks. The cranks are not as heavy-duty as something like Profile’s, but for $350, you’re getting a pretty good deal.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the Hooligan is the perfect bike for you¿only you can decide that. What I will say is that if you have three-hundred-and-fifty bucks to spend on a new bike, you should give the Hooligan a good look at your local shop. Then you can show people just how “gay” flatland really is…

oHead tube angle: 72.5°
oSeat tube angle: 71°
oTop tube length: 19.5″
oChainstay length: 15″
oTop tube O.D.: 1.5″
oDown tube O.D.: 1.75″
oColor: Dark purple
oWeight: 33 pounds
oPrice: $350
oWarranty: Lifetime frame & fork for defects; 1 year on parts
oContact: (800) 257-0662;

Dennis McCoy rode for Mongoose longer than most people have been riding at all, and it came as big surprise when he left the company to ride for K2 at the end of ’97. Quite a few months have passed since McCoy flew the coop, and Mongoose still doesn’t have a pro vert or street rider. With freestyle being on TV so much, you would think that not having a big-time ramp rider would be hurting Mongoose… But then again, Mongoose does have Fuzzy Hall, who is one of the biggest names in dirt jumping today. In fact, dirt jumping is so huge right now that maybe having Fuzzy is enough. Here’s what Mongoose’s Don Palermini had to say about it.

With Dennis McCoy off of Mongoose, are there plans to pick up another vert or street rider?
Yes, we’re looking at several riders, but we know it’s unlikely that we’ll hook up with someone of Dennis’ caliber. Perhaps an up-and-comer… I can’t name any names as we’ve not talked to anyone yet.

Will Mongoose concentrate less on vert or street, and focus more on dirt with Fuzzy?
Mongoose is looking to be bigger in all aspects of 20″, including dirt, flatland, vert, street, and BMX racing. We may add riders in any, or all of these categories, or perhaps do a regional program. Fuzz is a god.

Will Fuzzy be even more important now that Dennis is gone?
Fuzzy is our focal point for 20″ right now, and he’s doing almost no racing and all comps… We’re going to basically let Fuzzy do what he wants because we know that whatever it is, he’ll be good. The only thing we might want him to cut back on is his motocross bike… he has a tendency to get lost out there!

Dirt jumping is almost bigger than everything else in freestyle right now. Do you really need another rider, or is Fuzzy enough?
We’d like to get back into things on a high level with a vert and street rider, both for the exposure and for R&D purposes. I think Fuzzy will carry us this season, but we hope to be doing more in freestyle next year.

What will happen with the Mongoose DMC bike?
The 1999 version will be called the AKA, and it will include numerous refinements of the ’98 model that were already scheduledd.

Was it a surprise when Dennis left? Did you try to get him to stay?
It was a bit of a surprise when Dennis left, partly because it happened so late in the year, and partly because we thought we were close to re-signing him. He got a big offer that he couldn’t pass up, and we weren’t in the position to do better at the time. Dennis made a very positive, lasting impact on this company, and we were glad to have him for so long. I think we parted ways on a positive note. Mongoose sponsored Dennis when freestyle was dead, and I think he appreciates that. And we certainly appreciate the nine years that he dominated the sport on Mongoose bikes. People move on, and change is natural… We wish him all the best.