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2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductees

July 17, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductees

After months of nominations, selections, campaigning and voting, the 2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame inductees have been announced. The official induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 10, as part of the USA BMX SX race and DK Gold Cup West finals. It is always a great evening of BMX legends, past, present and future, all together in the same place, at the same time.

We can’t help but think-back to 2012, when John Palfreyman was inducted, and became instant-buddies with the JP’s of the modern-era. Every year has a moment like that, where past meets present–which is why you need to be there.

And now, meet the “Class of 2015.”

PIONEER RACER: FRANK POST
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Frank PostFrank was the original “Wildman,” and the original “Post” in our sport. Later came Todd Lyons and Alise, respectively. Frank became one of the most popular Pros in the late-70s, due to his supersonic speeds on the track, aggro racing style, and outspoken personality. Racing for Wes’ BMX, then Team Panda, he quickly made a name for himself on the UBR and ABA circuits.

Most impressively, Frank’s first ABA victory was at the 1980 Grands. He won the Grands again in 81; making him the first back-to-back Grands winner in BMX history. When it came to the big races, where the pressure is most intense, and riders are prone to choking, Post excelled like no other. Winner of Pro Trophy at the Jag World Championships, Mongoose/GNC International champion and UBR #1 Pro in 1979, the Wildman knew when to step things up, and came out on top more often than not. Finishing up his career with Kuwahara, then Boss, Frank left some mighty big footprints, around the country, and in our sport, setting the tone for all Northern California racers to follow.

RACER: CHRISTOPHE LEVEQUE
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Christophe LevequeThroughout the history of BMX, you can count on one hand, the Pros who took the sport to a new level. France’s Christophe Leveque is one of those riders. When the Sunn-Chipie racer first landed in the US, he had already won nearly-every available title in Europe. As everybody knows, the ultimate quest for BMXers around the World is to conquer America, and Leveque learned the ropes quickly and led what is now-known as the “Euro Invasion.”

Thanks to full support from French bike manufacturer Sunn, he was not only able to survive in the States, but his riding style, skills and training techniques soon forced the entire AA pro class to step things up, or risk falling behind. Thanks to Christophe, the mid-90′s was a turning point for the sport and put an end to the so-called body-builder training that was predominant in the late 80′s. Christophe would go on to win the World Championship in 1995, and then won back-to-back No.1 Pro titles in both the NBL and ABA. He is one of only 5 riders to have ever held all three of the major Championships. When Specialized entered the sport of BMX, Leveque is rumored to have signed the richest contract in BMX history. Now, as the owner of Chase Bicycles – sponsoring a few of the top title contenders of 2015, Christophe Leveque continues to make an impact on our beloved sport.

INDUSTRY: BOB TEDESCO
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Bob TesescoWhen Bob Tedesco officially retired, the National Bicycle League was never quite the same. Bob’s love for BMX began in the Pittsburgh area in 1976, at the North Park BMX venue. Two years later, he’d play a big role in getting the South Park BMX track off the ground – a facility that still hosts the Stars & Stripes Nationals to this day. Bob was the publisher of Total BMX Magazine, which was the first “slick” BMX Magazine based in the East, and ran from 1980 to May of 1983.

During Bob’s tenure at the NBL – starting with his hiring in 1977– he jumped the league—and the sport— forward in many ways, forming the President’s Cup in 1985 and bringing BMX Racing to the masses via a TV deal with ESPN. Bob’s contributions to BMX were not only stateside, however. His work with the IBMXF, as well as the predecessor to the UCI, Bob’s years of dedication, International connections and vision for the sport, helped BMX Racing finally get the nod from the International Olympic Committee in 2003 to become a medal sport in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

With four decades of BMX leadership under his belt, Bob’s long-awaited induction in to the National BMX Hall of Fame is well-deserved.

FREESTYLER: BRIAN BLYTHER
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Brian BlytherThere are three words that sum up Brian Blyther: Smooth, and Big Air. Whether he was riding skateparks or halfpipes, Blyther was famous for flowing, almost effortless style. In the late 80′s, if you looked up “smooth” in the dictionary, there was a photo of Blyther and his Haro going big at the Pipeline. It was that trait that made him one of the most dominant riders on the AFA King of the Skateparks series, the AFA Masters and earned him the 2-Hip “King of Vert” champion in 1987 and 1988. Although best known for his aerial antics, Blyther is credited for inventing the standard foot-in-fork, jabbed tailwhip, which is a key element of riding to this day.

Constantly touring the World – being the quieter Haro hero, to Wilkerson’s wild-side, Brian put in enough air time to qualify for a pilot’s license. Hitting the road on tours for Vans, Huffy, Haro, Life’s A Beach, Swatch, Rad, the Movie, 2-Hip, GT, Giant, and on the Bercy Stadium Tour with Tony Hawk and Mat Hoffman. Then the Haro 25th Reunion Tour in Cologne Germany, and most recently – the 30th Reunion Tour of the Haro Freestyler in Cologne, Germany, Blyther has racked up plenty of frequent flier miles, both on the bike, and on the plane. To this day, Brian still rides, and is still idolized by vert riders and the freestyle community around the world.

WOMAN: KATHY SCHACHEL
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Kathy SchachelIn a time when the girls were still called Powder Puffs, “Fluffy” Kathy Schachel set the standard for the future of the Pro Womens class. Under the guidance of her New Jersey mentor – the late, great, Hall of Famer, Charlie Litsky, she became part of the Shimano factory team and went on to tally up an impressive 55 career wins. Among those victories came three NBL National No.1 titles, two World Championships and even a European Championship title. She lead the formation of the world’s first Womens Pro class, in 1985, then proceeded to earn the NBL No.1 Woman Pro title in its first two years. The fact that Kathy was rad enough to roost all over the cover of the November 1979 issue of BMX Plus! stands alone – as she set the tone for future generations of girl racers, showing them that girls can not only jump and get rad like the boys, but sometimes … you can even beat ‘em! (Editor’s note: As we prep this story, we’re listening to “Flirtin With Disaster” by Molly Hatchet–one of Kathy’s mottos back in the early 80s).

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: RON MACKLER
2015 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductee: Ron Mackler
Whether it was coaching boxing, putting on youth functions or creating off-road bike races around the trees of Palms Park, Ron Mackler was all about helping out the local kids, giving them something positive to do and keeping them out of trouble. As park superintendent, working for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Ron Mackler was the man in charge of Palms, and held some of the first organized BMX races ever.

It wasn’t long before kids were showing up from all over the valley to compete in Ron’s races. Charging only 25-cents for an entry fee, participation began to grow – attracting many of the early BMX Hall of Fame pioneers, such as Thom Lund, John Palfreyman, Perry Kramer and the legendary Rick’s Bike Shop team, led by Rick Twomey. Ron was just humbly doing his job – which was to give Santa Monica teens something positive to do. Little did he realize that his actions would give generations of kids, young and old, something positive to do, and help lay the groundwork for an eventual-Olympic sport.

Ron passed away on July 10, 2010, but members of his family will be present in Chula Vista to accept this posthumous honor.

Both Bob and Kathy were previous inductees into the NBL Hall of Fame. The process of adding them to the National BMX Hall of fame Class of 2015 was completely separate from those previous honors. All inductees were voted in by a ballot sent to Hall Of Fame members, BMX Media and select other folks.

Join us October 10 in Chula Vista!
2015 National BMX Hall of Fame Ceremony
The above-six will be officially inducted in a ceremony/dinner celebrating their accomplishments on October 10, 2015 at the US Olympic Training Center (also home to the National BMX Hall Of Fame Museum) in Chula Vista, CA. See link below for online ticket ordering.

A big BMX News congratulations to these six most-deserving legends of our sport.

—Mike Carruth

The National BMX Hall of Fame Press Release contributed to this article

Links

2015 National BMX Hall of Fame Dinner/Induction Ceremony Tickets





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2013 Hall Of Famers Announced

June 14, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2013 National BMX Hall of Fame Inductees

After a public nomination process, then voting by members, media and industry, the National BMX Hall of Fame’s “Class of 2013″ has been announced. Here they are:

Rob Fehd inducted into the National BMX Hall of Fame
Pioneer BMX Racer: Rob Fehd. Rob was one of the first cruiser powerhouses of the 80s. Those of us who were “cruiser-only” big boys watched Rob on the track with special intent to pick up some of his muscle-moves into the first turn. Rob turned pro in 1983, and later came back for a stint in “Masters” class (aka Vet Pro). He went on to become GT’s first full-time, in-house team manager.

Billy Griggs jumps a mini truck in the 1980s
Racer: Billy Griggs. Did you like the “CW” Billy Griggs or the “Redline” Billy Griggs? We liked the Redline Mr. Bill a little more, but maybe that was owing to the fact his style evolved in those years. One of the most memorable photos of him is jumping his mini-truck (to flat-ground) for Windy Osborn in the cul-de-sac near his house (above, via Facebook). After hanging up his BMX helmet, Bill put on a welding helmet and worked alongside fellow Hall-Of-Famer Gary Turner, and built the custom GT frames ridden by Mike Day and Jill Kintner in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Billy is still on two wheels, with a new frame company, BGKustoms on the drawing board.

NBL Founder George Esser inducted into the National BMX Hall Of Fame
Industry: George Esser. The last of the big three sanction founders to receive a National BMX Hall Of Fame nod, George was the Ernie Alexander of the East, birthing the NBL from its roots running alongside his National Motorcycle League (NML) in 1974. George had his hands in many parts of the industry–also owning part of MCS in the early days, and working with Gerrit Does of Holland to create the IBMXF, which was a prelude to UCI BMX. We are stoked to see George voted in this year, and look forward to seeing Greg and Bryan in Chula Vista to accept the plaque on behalf of their late father. George passed away in 2006 of complications from Alzhemer’s.

Ron WIlkerson is voted in to BMX Hall of Fame
Freestyler: Ron Wilkerson. Dude has done it all in 34 years of riding. He was the on the cover of the first issue of Freestylin Magazine (from Golden Gate Park) as part of the 2-Hip Trick Team, before he got picked up by Haro and anchored the team in its golden age with Blyther, Nourie and McCoy. Ron also did the thing that needed doing. When the AFA started to sputter in 1988, Ron ran contests on his backyard “Enchanted Ramp” which ultimately gave birth to the “Rider Owned, rider, run” movement in Freestyle. He started his bike company (now 2-Hip Bikes) 23 years ago, and still rides every day– in addition to owning a cafe in Santa Cruz, CA being the dad to a five-month old (Xander), and finalizing a book he’s releasing this fall. Trivia: Ron was also an Eagle Scout, which is hella-hard to accomplish.

Leigh Donovan voted in to National BMX Hall of Fame
WOMAN: Leigh Donovan. We knew Leigh back in the 80s as the only girl who could jump at our local track (Orange Y). She rode for Rob Lynch’s Peddlepower bike shop back then, and she would tear up the national scene. Girls cruiser became a thing in 1988, and Leigh dominated the season, taking home the first National Number one cup for the class. After BMX, she bumped up to bigger wheels, and became an MTB star where she lit up the circuit for years. We last saw Leigh in photos from Women’s Weekend at Ray’s MTB Park/ Milwaukee last March. Today, she works for the bike industry trade show, Interbike, and is married to “Stikman” Glaspell, Global Marketing genius at Troy Lee Designs.
Photo via Interbike Blog

Make your plans now to attend the first-ever Hall-Of-Fame Nationals on September 28 and 29. The official induction ceremony for the Class of 2013 will be under the torch at the Olympic Training Center on Saturday Night.

Links

2013 National BMX Hall Of Fame Ceremony Tickets






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2012 Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

May 9, 2012 by · Comments Off 

2012 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

You’ll be seeing this hit the wires in a few hours, but BMX News is proud to be first to bring you the 2012 National BMX Hall Of Fame Inductees.

Pioneer BMX Racer – John Palfreyman, Jr.
A true pioneer in the early days of the sport, “Snaggletooth,” as he was lovingly called by his contemporaries, blazed a trail on the early tracks, on which nearly all the sport’s later heroes would follow.  The featured rider on the storied Rick’s Bike Shop team, JP turned six years of competition into a lifetime achievement through title wins at the 1974 Northern California Yamaha Gold Cup series, where he won the Expert Class; placing third in the first-ever pro BMX race at Saddleback Park (also in 1974); and a now-legendary pairing with Doug Takahashi as half the unbeatable sidehack duo of the time.  John was also one of the original test riders for Linn Kastan’s Red Line BMX line, and appeared in the very first Red Line magazine ad.

BMX Racer – Eric Carter
With an easy smile off the track, and fierce competitive nature on the track, EC was at the top of every fan’s autograph list through the mid-1980s and 90s. His winning ways also made him an “anchor” member on the team sheets of the time.  Eric was one of the key riders who put Hall Of Famer Yvonne Shoup’s Free Agent brand on the map, and rode his Hutch to an ABA National #1 Amateur Title in 1986– adding the cup to IBMXF world titles from 1985 and 86 (he would go on to win the 87 and 88 world titles as well). Eric made the transition to the Mountain Bike world in 1993, where he stacked up a slew of national and world titles in Dual-Slalom, Downhill and Four-Cross.  In 2012, he returned to former BMX sponsor Hyper Bicycles, where his skills are breaking new ground for the brand on the mountain.

BMX Freestyler – Mat Hoffman
From early roots as a 14-year old blasting unbelievable airs on his personal ramp in Edmond, Oklahoma, to being widely-credited as the savior of the sport of BMX Freestyle in the early 1990s, to his role in organizing the X Games with ESPN, and his position as president of Hoffman Bikes and the Hoffman Sports Association, “The Condor” literally has too many accomplishments to list.  Through his passion for the sport, “big idea” business skills, and unequaled talent as an athlete, much of the popularity of BMX Freestyle today can, in one way or another, be traced back to Mat’s vision and efforts.

BMX Industry – Steve Johnson
Even today, yellow and black on a BMX uniform are bound to start a discussion of Steve Johnson’s Torker.  His iconic twin-top-tube frame design, and keen sense for the granular details of marketing his products made Steve among the most celebrated and respected industry figures of the late 70s and early 80s.  Steve had a deep respect for riders, and The Torker Factory Team was home to a roster of A-List talent that, over his eight-year tenure, included Eddy King, Jason Jenson, Kathy Hanna, Tommy Brackens, Kevin McNeal, Mike King and Mike Miranda. Steve was also instrumental in the early days of BMX Freestyle, sponsoring Bob Haro’s touring team in 1980, and later serving as a mentor and manufacturing source to Bob in creating the Haro Freestyler–the first frame made specifically for BMX Freestyle.

BMX Woman – Windy Osborn
“Photo By Windy” was the line that a generation of BMXers would look for upon cracking open the newest issue of BMX Action magazine.  For many, she was our first crush, and for everyone, she was our visual link to all the action that was happening at the tracks and secret riding spots, far, far away from wherever we, the readers, happened to be.  First published in Hall Of Famer Elaine Holt’s “BMX News” newspaper in 1974 (as a high school freshman), Windy helped define the sport of BMX through her viewfinder for nearly 20 years, in BMX Action, Freestylin’ and GO magazines.

Special Recognition – The 2008 Olympic BMX Team
As the place where the sport of BMX originated, the United States felt an overwhelming sense of pride when Team USA captured three of the six available medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.  Mike Day, Donny Robinson, Kyle Bennett and Jill Kintner represented their country with extreme poise, sportsmanship and untiring dedication. Their accomplishments as the first US Olympic BMX team have set an example of excellence for future generations of BMX Olympians, from London in 2012, to Rio in 2016, to the local tracks where the next generation of Olympians are just starting out.

BE A PART OF HISTORY!
The Sport of BMX will come together under the Olympic Flame at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA on June 16th for the 2012 National BMX Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner.  Inductees in the four traditional categories will be joined for the first time by a new category honoring the women who have helped make BMX the great sport it is. We will also pay tribute, in this Olympic Year, to the first US Olympic BMX Team, by inducting all four of its members as “Special Recognition” honorees.

A select number of tickets are being offered to the public for the 28th Annual Induction Ceremony at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Tickets must be purchased in advance (no later than June 7th).

Tickets for the 2nd Annual National BMX Hall of Fame Golf Tournament are also being offered to the public.

Visit the link below for more information and to purchase tickets to these events:

Purchase Your Tickets Now

Weigh in With Your Congrats on VintageBMX.com





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Nomination Season Open for BMX HOF

February 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

2011 Nominations for the BMX Hall Of Fame Are Now Open

The National BMX Hall Of Fame announced today that the public nomination period for the class of 2011 is now open for applications. Between now and March 10, members of the BMX community, and the general public at large can prepare a nomination packet and submit it to the Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee for consideration.

“It’s an exciting time for the National BMX Hall of Fame. After the HUGE success of last years event, we are even more dedicated to preserving the history of our sport. We are very excited about the nomination process. The fans will play a big part in getting their favorite riders on the ballot” stated B.A. Anderson, CEO of the American Bicycle Association, which founded the Hall in 1985.

Those interested in nominating their favorite BMXer should download the application PDF, and plan on doing as complete a job filling in the questionnaire as possible. The more information the committee has to consider on a given candidate, the better.

Following the March 10 deadline, the HOF Nominating Committee will carefully review all submitted applications, and will select a final slate of nominees for the 2011 ballot. This ballot will, in turn, be distributed to the Hall Of Fame voting list, which is largely comprised of HOF members, industry historians and other select individuals.

The four nomination categories are:
• BMX Freestyle
• BMX Industry
• BMX Pioneer Racer (1979 and earlier)
• BMX Racer (1980 to modern day)

Nominees in the Freestyle, Pioneer, and Racer categories are required to be inactive from professional competition for at least five (5) years.

Nominees in the Industry category may still be active in the industry.

Spend some time on VintageBMX.com to revisit some of your old heroes, and get an application going today.

ABOVE: Bryan Dorsey accepts a posthumous Special Recognition award for his mother, famed NBL announcer Linda Dorsey, at the 2010 BMX HOF Induction Ceremony. The hat was said to be one of Linda’s favorites.

There is a tremendous trove of BMX history on the official National BMX Hall Of Fame Website. Take a few minutes to visit it now.

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