Paul moved back to Arizona so not sure how it will go this year but looking forward to the next chapter. Gary from BMX museum is one of the sponsors & is a big help. Still have quite a bit from my childhood & always looking.
Is the focus on ''Freestyle' Bikes for you?
Michael James: Definitely have more freestyle than race but dig them all! Love to build customs out of old Schwinn’s, Hawthorne’s, Columbia’s etc…
At this moment, do you wish you had started collecting earlier?
Michael James: I do wish I would have started earlier & wish I would have kept a few I got rid of. I had an '88 Ozone method one that I wish I still had. But overall pleased with the collection.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake?
Michael James: I totally dig the history of BMX & the cohesion of the community. It has always been a great outlet for kids & adults alike.
What's your take on companies reproducing bikes in the oldskool style?
Michael James: Reproduction is great for riding & honestly you may never be able to get a grail bike if it was not for the companies making these bikes, so I’m totally cool with it. Colony made the Oz-one & it’s a great rider & finding another Ozone has proved challenging to say the least.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you?
Michael James: My dream bike was a 1986 Haro Master. I don’t have that exact bike in the collection ( I destroyed it riding flat) but do have a replica that is very close. Did still have the Haro number plate off of it from Christmas morning 1986
Name three BMX collectors that you respect?
Michael James: Collectors I respect; Jeff Haney & locally Gary Samson & Dustin Howell all have amazing stuff! Love the way these people keep the hobby alive!
Do you have decent mechanical skills?
Michael James: I was a machinist in the military & really dig finding and repairing crappy rides. I do have some survivor rides but really love the restoration process. Have a really good local Chromer & powder coater. Have a local bike shop that is great also.
What products are a great help when you find an old rusty historical piece of shit bike that needs to shine again?
Michael James: Mostly just the local folks are the most helpful. Pacific NW plating, Mr. Powdercoat & Vancouver Cyclery are super helpful on getting the builds done.
What's the story behind the candy apple red Diamondback?
Michael James: The candy red 1980 DB pro belonged to one of my best friends in high school. His Dad worked for the county & powdered it orange & it was never assembled afterwards. One day I was at his house & asked him if he wanted to get rid of it? He collected Coca Cola stuff so we worked out a trade. Found some if the original color on the bottom bracket & took it back to the original red. One of those bikes I could never get rid of.
How often do you look on eBay/Craigslist/BMX Museum to shop for old BMX stuff?
Michael James: I look for bikes & parts every day I all sorts of social media. For the most part I do only buy locally however.
Do you have a man-cave where your bikes are displayed?
Michael James: We have a bonus room that serves as the bike room. Currently there are 36 bikes, 1 mongoose scooter & 2 tricycles. The numbers fluctuate depending on what’s going on. Sold 3 recently to pay for an engine for my '57 bug.
What's a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven't been able to locate?
Michael James: Really want a set of flight 400’s for a survivor '84 Master build. Would also like a set of original Vector freestyle bars for it also.
Where can people reach you when they have that part available?
Thanks to: Thanks to my Wife for always being patient with my collections ( also collect vintage toys & VW’s ) & to all the local folks who help with the show & keeping me in mind when they find something they think I may want or need for a build.
All pics by Michael James
Previous Episodes on FATBMX:
Episode 1: Christophe Detandt (BEL)
Episode 2: James White (GBR)
Episode 3: JT Freestyle (USA)
Episode 4: Ben Murphy (IRL)
Episode 5: Rainer Schadowski (GER)
Episode 6: GAry Sansom (USA)
Episode 7: Michael Gamstetter (USA)
Episode 8: Grant Stone (GBR)
Episode 9: Steve Blackey (USA)
Episode 10: Shannon Gillette (USA)
Episode 11: Woody Itson (USA)
Episode 12: Oliver Kienzle (GER)
Episode 13: Kelly Swanson (USA)
Episode 14: Pat A Lar (GBR)
Episode 15: Billy Mills (GBR)
Episode 16: Steve Brothers (USA)
Episode 17: Aykut Hilmi (GBR)
Episode 18: Alex Leech (GBR)
Episode 19: Mike Janssen (NED)
Episode 20: Brian Gutierrez (USA)
Episode 21: Chad Powers (USA)
Episode 22: Alessandro Barbero (ITA)
Episode 23: Chris Daly (GBR)
Episode 24: Ian MacArthur (GBR)
Episode 25: Steve Strong (GBR)
Episode 26: Stephen Joseph (GBR)
Episode 27: Paul de Jong (NED)
Episode 28: Jon Western (GBR)
Episode 29: William "LaRock" LaRoque (USA)
Episode 30: Johan Janssens (BEL)
Episode 31: Darren Chan (USA)
Episode 32: Frank Lukas (GER)
Episode 33: Jason Teraoka (USA)
Episode 34: Shad Johnson (USA)
Episode 35: PJ McKenna (USA)
Episode 36: Henry Sarria (USA)
Episode 37: Jonathan Sherwood (SAF)
Episode 38: Trevor Henry (GBR)
Episode 39: Daniel Purcell (GBR)
Episode 40: Mark McCorkle (USA)
Episode 41: Tom Sustarich (USA)
Episode 42: Adam Cox (USA)
Episode 43: Perry Wills (USA)
Episode 44: John Buultjens (SCO)
Episode 45: Jay Eley (GBR)
Episode 46: Alvin Mullins (USA)
Episode 47: Scott Barrette (USA)
Episode 48: Ashley Little (GBR)
Episode 49: Bill Batchelor (USA)
Episode 50: Steve Firestein (USA)
Episode 51: Jon Hoffman (USA)
Episode 52: Peter Ashby (AUS)
Episode 53: Patrick Freitas (USA)
Episode 54: Mel Stoutsenberger (USA)
Episode 55: Martin Primentel (AUS)
Episode 56: Chino (USA)
Episode 57: Ely D. Thomas (USA)
Episode 58: Mickael Clerté (FRA)
Episode 59: Toby Henderson (USA)
Episode 60: Eddy King (USA)
Episode 61: Byron Friday (USA)
Episode 62: Lionel Eden (USA)
Episode 63: Donnie Platt (USA)
Episode 64: Brad Nash (USA)
Episode 65: Mohamad Al Amin (MAL)
Episode 66: Christopher Wesley (USA)
Episode 67: Sean Stiddard (GBR)
Episode 68: Tyler Collins (USA)
Episode 69: Rod Miles (USA)
Episode 70: Brian Britt (USA)
Episode 71: Sean Ewing (USA)
Episode 72: Jim Fisher (USA)
Episode 73: Òscar Pallarès (ESP)
Episode 74: Jeff Utterback (USA)
Episode 75: Timmy Williams (USA)
Episode 76: Tommy Yaley (USA)
Episode 77: Jason van Buskirk (USA)
Episode 78: Stu Thomsen (USA)
Episode 79: Scott Towne (USA)Episode 80: Raphael Lawson (AUS)
Episode 81: Cash Matthews (USA)
Episode 82: Arthur Kourtis (AUS)
Episode 83: Maurice Meyer (USA)
Episode 84: Jeremiah Grimes (USA)
Episode 85: Karl Chalk (GBR)
Episode 86: Bill Ryan (USA)
Episode 87: Luke Haralambous (GBR)
Episode 88: FJ Weeks (USA)
Episode 89: Bob Lipsett Jr. (USA)
Episode 90: Brett Jackson (USA)
Episode 91: Six Pack To Go (USA)
Episode 92: Michael James (USA)