Name: Shannon Gillette Hometown: Chandler, Arizona Started riding BMX in: Racing in 1980, but have been riding BMX bikes since about 1976. Number of bikes in the collection: Only a few as of now. It's alway revolving stable.
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Shannon Gillette: I always just kind of hung on to my personal stuff. Like jerseys and number plates. But the first bike? I lived in Hawaii at the time and the year was 1989. It was actually a friend's old race bike, a 1979 Supergoose and he was throwing it in the garbage in front of his house. So I swooped it up and he told me I couldn't take it. I had to buy it from him. hahaha.. I said what?! You're throwing it out in the garbage. He said I want $40 for it. I said DEAL! It was in rough shape, but working in bike shops for 10 years I was up for the task. Long story short, I cleaned it up, rev=built the wheels as the spokes were all rusted. Hawaii does that to bikes with all the salt air.
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: Grant Stone Hometown: Newbury, Berkshire, U.K. Started riding BMX in: 1980 Number of bikes in the collection: 8
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Grant Stone: I’ve never really stopped riding BMX, so I have always had a current BMX in my possession. But I guess I started buying old school stuff about 9 years ago when I had the idea of replicating my Skyway TA that I sold in 1988 and regretted ever since.
At this moment, do you wish you had started collecting earlier?
Name: GAry Sansom Hometown: Lewiston ID... Started riding BMX in: 1969 Number of bikes in the collection: Over 600..200 plus completes and 400 plus framesets
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? GAry Sansom: Hmm... a couple times.. I rode all thru the 70's..and 80's.. when I moved to Portland in 1996, I was down to 5 bikes..then I found ebay..
At this moment, do you wish you had started collecting earlier? GAry Sansom: Yes..they were so inexpensive in the early 90's.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake? GAry Sansom: For sure..part of the reason I started collecting.
What's one of your oldest BMX products in your collection? Gary Sansom: My 1981 Kuwahara.. Skyway forks..Redline squareback
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you? Gary Sansom: SE Quad angle..I recall seeing one in the shop.. 1980 or so.
Name: Rainer Schadowski Hometown: Karlsruhe, Germany Started riding BMX in: 1980 Number of bikes in the collection: Currently 61 and counting
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Rainer Schadowski: It evolved from my habit keeping bikes and gear I had raced and never sold. Then my Dad added more bikes and gear he got from retired racers and all of a sudden it was a collection. That was in the mid to late 90s.
Name: Jeff Tollefson, aka JT & The Torker Kid Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA) Started riding BMX in: 1974 Number of bikes in the collection: Down to 25
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Jeff Tollefson: I actually started the day I got my 1974 Redline Squareback frame and fork 46 years ago. As a kid I traded and sold various parts yet by 1984 I had a basement full of vintage items then started JTFreestyle, my mini bike shop/mail order selling new school parts while doing Freestyle shows. So basically I was collecting from the start.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake? Jeff Tollefson: Yes, there are so many BMX innovations throughout the years and having those documented/displayed is key for all future generations to experience BMX. My daughter, Jemma (8), grew up with my vintage bike collection in our home. Seeing first generation Redline parts, Motomags, Addicks sprockets, various stems, one piece/alloy/chromoly cranks, into the crazy Freestyle parts she knows so much about the history of our sport before she became a National #1 BMX racer. When I bring vintage bikes to a BMX race the kids and adults all freak out on what we rode back in the day and have an opportunity to explain the history of BMX through the bikes.
What's one of your oldest BMX products in your collection? Jeff Tollefson: My original 1974 Redline Squareback frame and fork
Name: Ben Murphy Hometown: Dublin, Ireland but now living in Vancouver, Canada Started riding BMX in: 2000 Number of bikes in the collection: 20 I think, plus Tons of spare parts, Boxes and boxes of Magazines and a VHS/DVD collection for around 700 or so, who knows haha?
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Ben Murphy: I remember it to the day. It was 26 December 2015, I bought an FBM Night Train with Kick Ass Forks, 44t FBM sprocket. I had joined the group Mid School BMX Day on Facebook a while before. I got some money for Christmas and I knew I had to buy it.
It takes someone to do it. It took Alain Massabova a year to do it. Some things are easier said then done. "You should write a book about the history of BMX!" Alain took on the challenge and pulled it off, and in a great way. 300 pages of French BMX history, from the early days to 2022. From racing to freestyle. Jams to competitions. Road trips to photo shoots. France has some rich history in BMX and flipping through the book you will face familiar names. Some you've forgotten. Some are still ripping. In 35 years a lot has happened in BMX and seeing everything together in one thick book is great. Collecting the photos alone must have been a challenge. Back in the day nothing was digital so that scanner must have made some overtime scanning all the early photos. Then archiving them first, putting them in the right order before making a selection. Which ones to use?
It only works when eveyone pitches in, and lots of them did. This makes the book something special for everyone. The book starts off with the 1978-1988 oldschool phase. How it started, the pioneers,
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
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.