Best of 7. Going back in time with people who captured BMX in the early years. Without these images it would be harder for everyone to understand what was happening in the beginning. It fits the oldskool articles nicely. Episode 49 goes to Bill Batchelor who has been treating the BMX historians with some gold lately.
Photographer: Bill Batchelor
Photo 1 -Who: Bob Haro -Where: Pipeline King of the Skateparks, Upland California -When: 1985 -What Happened: In between the actual contest judging events I always took a lot of pictures of the people and the behind the scenes action. Bob was judging the contest so this photo was part of a series of the judges. -Why this photo: As a BMX kid in the early 1980s, Bob Haro was an idol of mine. He started it all, and epitomized what was cool at the time. We’d stare at photos of his riding in the magazines and his Freestyle Tricks book and try to build his ramps. When I first got a real Haro number plate for my race
NAME: Ashley Little HOME TOWN: Leicester, U.K NUMBER OF BIKES IN COLLECTION: Currently have 21 complete bikes and approximately 20 frame sets. I’ve recently sold my unit where I had all my bikes, motorbikes, cars and other random stuff so everything BMX related is boxed up ready for the move.
What was the starting point of your BMX collecting madness? Ashley Little: Completely random but the company I owned at the time had a job working near an old BMX track where I grew up. I had to sign the completed works off on a Saturday morning and there was an event at the track, I popped over for a quick look and it was a small dirt jump event, hanging around I saw a guy on a PK RIPPER and got chatting. Fortunately for me he had no desire to keep the bike and a short while later the bike was in my car and approximately $120 in his pocket. From then on my curiosity lead me to looking up old local bike shops and buying old stock.
Name: Scott Bradley Barrette Hometown: Santa Rosa ,CA Favourite bike: My 24" Gary Littlejohn race cruiser
What's your earliest memory of BMX? Scott Bradley Barrette: One of my earliest memories of BMX was around 1975. Our local shop 'California Pedaler' was starting to bring in Cool BMX products... One day a Gold G-boy frame showed up on their wall! I remember being so impressed with how amazingly light this frame was! That day was when we met a couple local racers. Doug and John, they shared stories of BMX racing. That was when I decided that I must try this new sport... I did.
Name: Alvin Mullins Hometown: Bell Gardens, CA. USA. Started riding BMX in: 1975 Number of bikes in the collection: 42 vintage bikes. Webco, Two Wheeler, JMC, Cook Bros, G-Boy, Dan Gurney, Matthews, Haro, Skyway. Race Inc, SE...
Is your BMX past more Racing or Freestyle? Alvin Mullins: Freestyle. I rode skateparks and ramps.
Does that reflect on the bikes that you are collecting? Alvin Mullins: Not really, I do have a couple Haro Freestylers but mostly collect '70s BMX bikes and a few late '70s early '80s racing bikes.
Do you try to track down bikes that you rode in the past?
Name: Jason Eley (Jay) Hometown: Consett, County Durham, UK Started riding BMX in: 1983 Number of bikes in the collection: 2 bikes, my collection is based on Haro 1984, I have most of the items from the '84 catalogue including the catalogue.
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Jason Eley: Probably 2001 when I was going through my RIDE magazine and noticed a UK shop selling one of my dream bikes, a complete Haro '84 Sport still in the box, I bought one and never stopped
Name: John Buultjens Hometown: Dundee, Scotland. Now San Diego, California. Started riding BMX in: 1982 Number of bikes in the collection: Had 128, now 25
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? John Buultjens: The date was August 1997. I immigrated to Australia back in June 1995 and left all my old bikes and parts under my parents' house in Dundee. The folks were moving and had everything boxed up from under the house and shipped it to me in Australia. When I opened the boxes, I found all my childhood treasures, 1988 Sport, 1989 Chrome Master Bashguard, 1989 Master Bashguard in black and my 1991 Air-Master. eBay had just come online and I started searching for parts to re-build my bikes and bring them back to they way I rode them back in the day. Took me a few years, but I got all the parts. Whilst searching I was finding other bikes too, so I started collecting the Haro’s I had always dreamed of, including the 1982 Haro Freestyler.
Was Haro always the #1 brand in your head of bikes to collect? John Buultjens: Sure was, after receiving my OG bikes, I just knew I had to restore them.
Name: Perry Wills Hometown: Sacramento, CA Started riding BMX in: Late 70’s Number of bikes in your collection: 20-25 bikes currently not including parts
Can you claim you bombed down the hills on a bike in the '70s? Perry Wills: I did not bomb hills in 70’s, we typically made jumps in fields or went to places we knew there were jumps. Relatively flat where I grew up.
Do you think the suspension bikes from the '70s are fascinating? Perry Wills: Love suspension bikes! Own several. Probably the rarest I’ve had is Harry Leary’s mono shock made by Prodyne.. Current rarest probably the Whitney Marine Baja 500 mono shock.
When you see one at a local swapmeet do you have to get it no matter what? Perry Wills: I’ve purchased 3 mono shocks all being Matthew’s at a local flea market and one Silverfox shock bike so yeah pretty much. If I were to find one I’d most likely buy it..
Name: Adam Cox Hometown: Glendora, CA. USA. Started racing BMX in: 1974 How many bikes in collection: 9
As a former Factory JMC rider, is that where the BMX collection started for you? Adam Cox: Collecting for me started in Jr. Highschool with balloon tire bikes, Beach cruisers and Whizzer Motorbikes. In about 2000 I started collecting BMX. At the end of 1980 my family moved to Sacramento, CA. My Dad and I had a shop out of our garage "Factory Connection". I had quite a bit of leftover inventory from that short venture to help me kick off my BMX collecting.
Do you only have "Made in the USA" bikes in your collection? Adam Cox: Yes
Does "Made in the USA" mean a lot to you to this day?
Name: Tom Sustarich Hometown: Macomb Twp., Michigan, USA. Started riding BMX in: I started riding a BMX bike in 1979 on a Mongoose with Tuff Wheels. In 1982, I got a Hutch frameset for Christmas. From 1980 through about 1984, I raced BMX locally in southeast Michigan with my brother, my cousin, and several good friends. We lived in the country, so we were at the mercy of our parents work schedules to get to a BMX track. Although we did not race as much as I would have liked to, my parents were always supportive and encouraging and those were some of the best years of my childhood. We spent our days on our bikes. Jumping in ditches, riding dirt roads. We build a quarter-pipe. We practiced tricks. The weather did not matter. We rode year-round. Snow, rain, heat, etc. It was the first taste of freedom. In the summer of 1984, I sold my race bike and all the parts I