Vintage

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For the past four years, one of the good guys of the vintage bmx scene has held a party at his house in New Jersey. Brian P and his family let a bunch of BMX kooks invade their yard, street and home for a day of fun. Folks bring out their bikes for show, and to get their kick-turns on with the wedge ramp. Enjoy the video from this year’s 4th annual Summerjam.

This is what “roots” are all about, indeed.

Oh, and you KNOW I mean “kooks” in the best way possible. Heh.

Keith Mulligan’s BMX Sticker Board

Ride Editor, Keith Mulligan’s custom-made sticker board.

If you haven’t been over to ridebmx.com – aka bmxonline.com – aka bmx.transworld.net, get over there and check out their new site, which launched a couple weeks ago. Much more user-friendly, with content from the magazine and new blogs from their editors, the new site has a ton of reasons to visit and hang around for a bit. Personally, I’m just happy to see the funky photo gallery navigation/pop-up thing go away.

Keith Mulligan, Ride’s editor, wrote a “favorite things” post about a week ago, and most of them are of the vintage variety. From his first BMX racing trophy in ’81 to the plexiglass board his dad made, covered in hella-cool stickers of various eras, it is definitely worth a read. BTW, what BMX rider hasn’t had a certain place to stick, or horde the many stickers collected over the years? I know I do.

Check it here: Mulligan’s Favorite Things

Steve Fair - Abubaca, Shawnee, KS in 1988

I shot these photos of Steve Fair (sp?) back in 1988, in the parking lot of Little Darlings, a former 7-11 in Shawnee, KS that had been converted into a dance studio. This spot was a favorite mellow bank to flat that was a lot of fun to pop out of. Plus there was (is) a very small bump to wallride on the side of the building.

I didn’t know Steve very well, and we really only rode with him for about a half of a day. Like many of us at this time, he was a “street” rider, and a damn good one at that – definitely inspired by both the street skating of the day and pure BMX-style. Check the flattie below…

I used a photo of Steve in the new header graphic, above. I knew I had to give him his due on the page. If you know of his whereabouts, drop me a line.

Oh, and as always, click the photos to enlarge. I have a feeling I’ll be making a desktop/wallpaper of one of these as well.

Steve Fair - Flattie Tabletop, Shawnee, KS in 1988

Dennis McCoy 1987 at Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO

I’ve been using the new scanner a lot over this weekend, so here’s some samples of the goodness I keep digging up. Click on any of them to enlarge.

Above is a shot of Dennis McCoy doing a lookback in 1986 during a Darryl Starbird custom car show at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, taken by Mike Haefner. I say ’86 because he was riding an early fluorescent Haro Master, a color that was released on the ’87s. I remember people were going nuts for both the ramp and flat, and Dennis, always the showman, was feeding off of the crowd, blasting consistent 8-10 ft airs on a shady quarterpipe.

Tony Schrag, can-can out of a ditch in Lenexa, KS, circa 1989

Tony Schrag, one of the crew I mentioned in my first post of old photos. In the midst of either a candybar or a can-can, at a ditch in Lenexa, KS. I’m sure the DANGER sign behind him mentions not “playing” in the ditch or something.

Jeremy Schutte - Bar Endo on the Trickstar, 1987

Here’s another shot of me on my Hutch Trickstar, with a bar-endo, circa 1987. I stripped the candy flake blue off of the frame and repainted it grey with Freestylin’ Magazine stickers, pink griptape, and a duct-taped numberplate.

One Got Fat, Archive.org Video

I’ve known about the Internet Archive for a long time, and have used it for work and personal research for years. Between the Wayback Machine (a website archive – here, check out RideBMX’s site from Sunday, June 18, 2000), and the Live Music Archive, you can literally spend hours finding hidden gems of all sorts.

The sweet spot, to me, however is the Moving Images archive. Especially the vintage films found in the Prelinger Collection. You say you want a Chevrolet World’s Fair movie? Check. How about some AFL-CIO union worker training films? Sure, no problem.

Well, this being a bicycle/bmx-focused site, and all, you know where I’m going with this. After yesterday’s big industry discussion, I wanted to post something a bit more light-hearted today, so here’s some TRUE vintage for ya.

There is some great bicycle safety film footage from the 50s-60s that is too good. And in the case of “One Got Fat“, the gem above, it features a bunch of kids riding with creepy-as-hell monkey masks and running into steamrollers and other obstacles in suburbia. Seriously, the masks are waaay creepier than anything from Planet of the Apes.

Here are some others to check out. The first one reminds you that you should never be a “showoff”:
You and Your Bicycle
Drive Your Bicycle
Bicycle Safety – shot in Lawrence, KS

Jeremy Schutte, Hang-5

Yours truly, hang-5 in Shawnee, Kansas - 1989. Nice bent seatpost – I always had to run a layback because of my height, and the short top-tubes of the day.

19 years ago, growing up in Shawnee, Kansas, I rode with 3 guys pretty consistently – Scott Haefner, Mike Alexander and Tony Schrag. We met when I moved from Kansas City, KS and searched out anyone I happened to see on another BMX bike. Back then, it didn’t matter if it was a race bike, a freestyle bike, whatever – just seeing someone else on a bike was enough to open up the possibility of cameraderie. We rode flatland, “street”, ramps (though they were few and far between, until Mike got more into skating, and had an amazing 6′ mini ramp), anything was a possibility, and we didn’t see any issue spending hours at the same concrete banks – there were NO skateparks within 200 miles at that point.

Though Scott, Tony and Mike were a few years younger (which for some reason, can seem like a big deal in high school…), we became good friends and rode together consistently from ’87-’91, when I graduated high school and left for college. We would ride off-and-on until about 1994 or so. I’ve kept up with Mike through the local music scene, and Scott occasionally via email, but haven’t spoken to Tony in years (where are you, man?).

Part of the reason I started this site was to share the photos and stories from this time. A time when freestyle, especially, was so raw and still fairly young. My other love was photography, and in fact, we all took photo class in school, and shot photos of each other. Well, I finally got a new scanner, so look for a bunch more of this stuff to come. This first batch is me, Scott and Mike. Tony will be in the next batch.

Discuss these or post some of your own over on the Vital Old School Forum.

Mike Alexander, wallride, Shawnee, KS

Mike Alexander, curb-to-wallride with Johnny Rotten sticker in full-effect.

Scott Haefner - Front Yard

Scott Haefner – spinning frontyard. Adidas high-tops, 2-Hip shirt and a General RL Hustler Pro.

Skyway T/A Wallpaper

Jeremy Johnson’s survivor Skyway T/A. Photo by Jeremy Schutte.

In honor of the recent appearance of the 1st of the 150 Skyway T/A frames being made this year at the Rockford BMX show last weekend, I’ve pulled out a desktop wallpaper (background, to us Mac users) that I created back when I shot this photo last year. For some reason, I never posted it, but new that now the time was right. Visit this post to learn more about the history of the bike, and go to the Downloads page to pick up either the 4:3 or 16:9 versions. Plus if you haven’t checked them out before, there are two others there for ya.

Plus, it has a nice “red, white and blue”, 4th of July thing going on… So, why not?

Hutch Hi-Performance BMX Logo
I wondered when it would happen. We’ve seen a number of retro products over the past couple of years being pushed out by Knight, SE and other manufacturers. Just yesterday, it was announced on a number of the BMX message boards that John De Bruin, who has been making repro Hutch pedal cages and decal sets, has acquired the rights to the Hutch Hi-Performance BMX brand, as well as CW. He plans on creating new product “reissues” that have at least one detail that is different from the original, and down the road, creating more modern products. Read his full press release here.

This story holds interests me a lot, because I was a Hutch kid. When my department store Columbia BMX (that had been quite updated, mind you) cracked on a jump, my dad and I went to BMX Pros, THE BMX shop in Kansas City in the 80s, so that I could pick out a new frame. They had all the flavors of Hutch Candy. I picked a Candy Metal Blue, had it built with the good parts from my Columbia, hooked up a pair of white Skyways, and so the freestyle story began. I’ll scan some photos over the next couple of days and tell more – that bike was THE nicest thing I had ever owned, and it was absolutely my baby.

Needless to say, with the prices of Hutch parts continuing to climb, Hutch Hi-Performance with be something to watch. Interesting to see if John will build bikes with modern geometry and old-school flavor, a la SE, or vintage-style frames with 1″ headsets. Hell, they’re making “new” 60s Ford Mustang bodies now, so it was only a matter of time until we saw this happen with BMX.

SE Aluminum Sign

So, you’ve got your vintage looptail PK Ripper, your retro O.M. Flyer, and all of the latest SE t-shirt designs. Continue to show your love of all things SE with this 47″x14″ aluminum sign. They’re available now through any SE dealer for MSRP of $36.00.