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: 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: Mark McCorkle Hometown: Beaverton, OR Started riding BMX in: 1978 in Littleton, CO Number of bikes in the collection: 14. 11 vintage/old-school.
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Mark McCorkle: It was 2008. I still had my original race bike from 1979. I had been hauling around, place to place for nearly 30 years. One day I just sort of realized I didn't feel I'd ever really use it. I figured if I could get $1000 for it, I'd let it go. After digging around on eBay, BMXMuseum and OS-BMX (now BMXSociety) websites, I generally found it was probably a $500-600 bike. So I decided not to part with it.
Name: Daniel Purcell aka Superbikedan Hometown: Essex, England Started riding BMX in: 1980
When was the first time you rode at Romford skatepark? Daniel Purcell: On a skateboard in '78 when it opened then on my first BMX in 1980.
When was the last time? Daniel Purcell: 2004 when after a lot of pressure from my son and Rom old school to see me ride again I lasted a couple of hours before I broke my leg and that was the end of my come back, many said that was the best few hours they saw, haha.
Obviously you've been involved in BMX for a long time and have seen the bikes come and go. What bike (brand) has always been a favourite to you?
Name: Jonathan Sherwood Hometown: Durban (South Africa), now living Durham (UK). Started riding BMX in: Had a BMX from a very young age but only properly discovered BMX in 1992. Number of BMX bikes in your collection: 35 completes, 14 frames, and a whole lot of random parts and race gear.
Being from South Africa originally, what were popular BMX brands when you started? Jonathan Sherwood: BMX was huge in SA in the 80's, so all of the major brands from that era were popular (GT, Mongoose, Kuwahara, Hutch, Patterson, etc). In the 90's however there were absolutely no BMX bikes for sale in SA, so you could only get bikes from mail order stores like Dans Comp, ACE, and