Name: Cash Matthews Hometown: Shawnee, OK Started riding BMX in: 1972
Like many in the very early days who could not afford a motorcycle, the bicycle was turned into a motorbike look-a-like. What were some of the things you did to reach that goal? Cash Matthews: Like most, we made lots of cool 2-stroke motorcycle sounds with our mouths!! As our group of friends who rode progressed, we started riding “flat track” style in a circle. We emulated Kenny Roberts and my Uncle, Jerry Matthews who were all accomplished Flat Track Stars. I conned my uncle out of a number plate from his motorcycle so that was the first cool-mod of the Schwinn. As many Flat Track guys, we added cardboard, grip covers to save us from rocks and things that never really mattered but they looked cool. In those early days, just having a set of waffle grips was epic, so we began there,
Pre-internet Gen-X: Skating, freestyle BMX, and the explosion of goth, industrial, post-punk, and electronic music connect and divide a series of teens exploring sex, drugs, and violence amidst a racially polarized blue-collar bedroom suburb backdrop of Cleveland, Ohio, Dayglow Black is a series of all true tales from 1987–1991.
Name: Stu Thomsen Started riding in: 1972 (I Think) Teams represented: Three Majors: SE, Redline and Huffy. Some of the smaller and short term teams were: Dirt Master, Webco, DG, FMF, Motobecane (One Weekend), my bike shop (Stu Thomsen’s Family Bicycle Center), Southridge Cycles (on MTB and BMX). A short stent back on Redline and now representing SE again.
What was the first bike you used to ride Bicycle Motocross? Stu Thomsen: Schwinn Stingray
In 1973, what were people using at the first few races you entered? Stu Thomsen: Modified Stingray type bikes and a few custom garage builds by ingenious fathers.
You've seen the BMX bike development firsthand. What kind of full suspension bikes did you get to ride? Stu Thomsen: I had a custom made Monoshock bike I would race now and then at the Corona downhill
Shot locally and released in 1986, the movie Rad tells the story of Cru, a young man with a dream of making it big as a BMX racer by racing the “Helltrack” and winning the grand prize of $100,000 (and a sweet Corvette).
Name: Jason Van Buskirk Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA Started riding BMX in: 1979 Number of bikes in the collection: 30+
Dutch roots by any chance? Jason Van Buskirk: Yes, my Heritage is Dutch, however, I am born and raised in the U.S.
Is your focus on BMX bikes from the period you raced in mainly? Jason van Buskirk: Yes, I tend to collect bikes from the late '70s To mid '80s... Probably 1987 being the latest. I do have a couple '90s bikes, but that's not the era I enjoy collecting the most.
Name: Tommy Yaley Hometown: Mtn View. California Started riding BMX in: 1974ish Number of bikes in the collection: 9
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Tommy Yaley: About 7 years ago I decided I wanted to re-create the 1st Gen proline I had when I was a kid. I sold a bunch of my music gear collection and then, like everyone else, it took off from there. Just one more bike...
Name: Jim Fisher Hometown: Gaines, MI... Denver area now. Started riding BMX in: '79 Number of bikes in the collection: 20 plus
Is your focus on BMX bikes from the period you raced in mainly? Jim Fisher: Mainly '79-'84, I have to say I’m more a collector today than I was a racer back then. I just had and rode a few of these bikes when I was a kid/teen in small town MI. We didn’t have a track but we had a couple sweet bike shops and lots of places to ride like maniacs and we did. I dreamed of moving to California getting a Toyota 4x4 and racing with the pros back then.
Did you manage to get the bikes that you really wanted when you raced? Jim Fisher: I was blessed to have some nice bikes... I followed BMX thru the magazines and got to know the guys at the local bike shops so I built up a few really nice bikes back then.
We've asked Mel Stoutsenberger to pick his favourite photos from back in the day and give us the Who, Where, When, What, and Why. Mel documented BMX first hand. Here's photo number Five.
Who: Bruce Bufkin from Canoga Park, California. Bruce and I became friends in 1968 because of our shared interest in motocross. We didn't have motorcycles yet but we had our Schwinn Stingrays which we rode as much as we could in the empty fields and trails around our neighborhood. His older Brother used to help us work on our bikes, gave us tips, customizing and making them better suited for riding in the dirt.
Where: Indian Dunes Motorcycle Park, mini-bike track, Valencia, California.