Name: William LaRoque aka Larock Hometown: Long Beach, CA
What's your earliest memory of BMX? Larock: Seeing On Any Sunday for the first time and wanting an MX kit for my hand me down Lime Green StingRay.
Who were some of the BMX riders that you admired back in the day? Larock: That’s a tough one! I was kind of Partial to the SE Factory Boys because they had such close ties to Long Beach, BUMS track was less than a mile away from where I grew up. Scot, Thomsen & PK of course. But who could deny the Panther, Dain, Utterback, King, Atherton and all of the others that graced the pages of our favorite magazines.
Name: Paul de Jong Hometown: Aarle-Rixtel Started riding BMX in: 1971 but real BMX Bike in 1979 Number of bikes in the collection: Don’t have a clue, at least 15 nice ones
Do you have any bikes from the '50-s when the first people started racing BMX in The Netherlands? Paul de Jong: Yes I have a 1950 Schwinn girls beachcruiser from Mom, who was jumping doubles in the 50’s when BMX was popular in the Netherlands. Before you “Americans” are going to reply on this: Ignaz Schwinn is from Europe fyi.
What makes you decide to start a certain bike building project?
Name: Steve Strong Hometown: Dagenham, UK. Started riding BMX in: 1981. Number of bikes in the collection: 3 at the moment, built around 25 decent ones I was happy with.
What was the first project bike that got you into collecting BMX bikes? Steve Strong: 1981 Team Murray 'Track Certified'.
How difficult was it to find parts for it in the beginning? Steve Strong: When I first started, I knew nothing of the UK scene. I was (and still am) a member of BMX Society and BMXMuseum. Primarily all of my parts came from Ebay.com and the Museum pages.
Name: Brian Gutierrez Hometown: Venice, California born and raised but migrated to Orange County in the late 80's. Started riding BMX in: Friends of mine I rode with and me started calling it BMX in 1972. Prior to that point we just rode our Sting Rays. We were emulating Evel Knievel whenever possible. Starting with use of a small wooden car ramp we would attempt new records over an ever longer, ever taller stack of old banana boxes. When that lost its sparkle we went to the dirt! At first it was just to find bigger stuff to jump off of or over the top of.
Then we discovered we liked the dirt. The trails that went along with the jumping spots were just as fun
Name: Scott Towne Hometown: Otsego, Michigan, USA. Started riding BMX in: 1977 Number of bikes in the collection: More than I need, less than I want. I don’t consider myself a “collector”. I’m a lifer. Old BMX bikes are something I have because they are part of my story. I could give a presentation on each bike that I have and why it means something to me. In fact, I just might start doing that. “It’s all in the presentation” after all.
Name: Alex Leech Hometown: Oxford, England Started riding BMX in: 1981 Number of bikes in the collection: Maybe 20 completes and another 20 frames
Do you have any other brand of BMX bike in your collection other than an S&M? Alex Leech: I have one BMX that’s not S&M; a Haro “84 Sport”. I had one in 1984 so I wanted to get another one. The one I used to have was a USA made Gen2 Sport. I rode it for ages and it broke many times. Unfortunately, I have no clue where it ended up. The one I have now is a Gen3, so not exactly the same as my old one. It isn’t built the same as I rode mine but it’s got a few references to my old bike.
Name: Michael Gamstetter Hometown: Dayton, Ohio, USA Started riding BMX in: 1978 Number of bikes in the collection: Currently, 5. At one time, 20+.
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Michael Gamstetter: Yes, it was around 1996 or 1997. It was a random thought that popped into my head while I was working. I thought it would be cool to find an old JMC or Torker, a pair of Oakley II grips in the box and a set of Reedy pedals (I eventually had all those.)
Name: Dom Phipps Occupation: Owner On Record - A Brand history marketing agency. BMX History Projects done: Haro Bikes - 30 Years of Freestyle. Haro First Generation Innovation. Books - The Rise of BMX Freestyle Volume 1 & 2. The Birth of the BMX Freestyle Movement - 1st and 2nd Edition.
Current BMX history project: Redline BMX Foundations.
First of all, how can you explain your interest in the early days of BMX? Dom Phipps: I was just a neighborhood rider growing up in the south of England. BMX came along in a period of my childhood, where I think many of us needed to set off in a direction. BMX became the catalyst for a lot of young people to become free-thinking, creative, and independent. I loved everything about it, including the social aspect and friendships with other like-minded kids. It was a magical time to be young.
In the early '80-s everyone in The Netherlands rode a BMX bike. People in their 40-s-50-s remember that time well as everyone has stories of bombing frontyards, breaking bike parts or winning their first trophy. The magazines were the bible, it was all you had and they were read over and over again. It was how we learnt English in fact with every word that we did not understand looked up in the dictionary. New products were drooled over but impossible to get our hands on for multiple reasons.
Oldschool BMX Parts opened up shop in Heesch for a day to bring the BMX pioneers and oldschool fans together. Collectors displayed their bikes, brought products they wanted to sell and the Oldschool BMX Parts man-cave sold plenty of old parts. It was just cool to go back in memory lane because some of the