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Conroe,TX Considering “Kyle Bennett Elementary”

August 23, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Conroe, TX Considers Kyle Bennett Elementary
The Conroe, TX Independent School District board is considering names for two schools in their system–one elementary school and one high school. Among the 140 names submitted for consideration is that of Conroe’s favorite Olympian, the late Kyle Bennett.

Kyle was killed in an auto accident Read more

Standing In The Gap – Kyle Bennett Memorial Race

November 12, 2013 by · Comments Off 

2013 Kyle Bennett Memorial Race

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, at Beltway 8 BMX in Houston, TX, a grand group of friends and family showed up to spread the smooth memories of their brother and friend, Kyle “Butter” Bennett. Aside from an opportunity to come together and remember our friend, the BMX community also turned out to raise funds for Kyle’s daughter, Kylie, at the Kyle Bennett Memorial and Benefit Race.

An amazing outpouring of silent auction and raffle offerings from the BMX industry and friends came in and a total of $10,288 was raised, thanks to those willing to “stand in the gap” for Kyle.

Product donations for raffle and/or silent auction were received from Onyx Racing Products, Free Agent, SE Bikes, Redline, Fly Racing, Promax, Box Components, Rennen, Webster Bicycle, Moxie BMX, Energylab Products, Doublecross Bikes, Deft Family, Cronk Photography, BlackCrown BMX Products, DK Bicycles, Uni Seats, Bicyclist Ops, MotoUp Clothing & Apparel, Kid Dynamite, Trikin Out Truks, Coach Greg Romero, Sam Willoughby, Connor Fields, Donny Robinson, Hunter Pelham, Tanner Sebesta, Joel and Regina Pelham for Weldwire Company of Texas, Jersey Mikes, PC BMX, Ryan Hernandez, Arne Pepin, Matthew Morgan and Jason Cooper.

2013 Kyle Bennett Memorial Parade Lap
The whole event was special from beginning to end, with Kyle’s mother, Donnel Collins Purse, his fiancé; Lynsie Argenti, and his closest friends, Hubert Jackson, Thomas Bosquez, Chris Rikkard, Cody Machala and Hunter Pelham, who led the parade lap.

The race drew a total of 193 riders in 42 motos of BMX action, but the racing almost seemed ilke a sideshow at times to all the fellowship on the other side of the fence, as the epic gathering of BMX family came to hang-out and share memories of their friend, Kyle Bennett and support the effort to raise money for Kylie’s college fund.

Marco Soto is awarded a Redline BMX Race bike at the 2013 Kyle Bennett Memorial
One of the best moments of the day was saved for an effort to keep Kyle’s dream alive of helping young BMX riders. Rod Wagner of Aggieland Cycles and Thomas Bosquez, have begun a “Kyle Bennett BMX Encouragement Program”. A complete Redline bike was given away to Marco Soto as the first recipient of this program.

Special thanks to all those who helped make the day a resounding success, J.C. and Jenna Colombo, Ray Kirkpatrick, Dom McClintock, Chris and Melissa Plummer, Jim and Debbie Nelms, Johnnie and Melissa Miley, Lil Love Apparel, and all of the volunteers at Beltway 8 BMX!

Story by Kirby Cronk and Jenna Columbo
Photos by Cronk Photography





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Kyle Bennett Memorial Race

October 10, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Kyle Bennett Memorial Race
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year already, since that Sunday morning when we woke up to find out that tragedy had struck in the early hours of October 14, 2012, taking Kyle Bennett from his family, and friends in the BMX community.

A group of those friends in the Houston area have organized a memorial race on November 2, to raise money for Kyle’s daughter, Kylie’s ongoing trust fund, and continue to celebrate the life and memory of this incredible individual, who was taken from us much too soon.

Here are the details sent to BMX News by Jennifer Colombo, one of the organizers.

Sadly, the one year anniversary of Kyle Bennett’s death in nearing and many in the Houston BMX community were looking for a way to honor Kyle and all the many things he did for our community. Myself and others in the Houston BMX area are planning a Memorial Race and Benefit in Kyle’s honor on November 2, 2013 at Beltway 8 BMX in Houston, TX. I have spoken with Kyle’s mother Donnel Purse and we have decided the proceeds from the Benefit (Raffle/ Silent Auction, BBQ, etc.) will be donated to Kylie Bennett’s Trust Fund (Kyle’s daughter).

We currently have received product donations from Rennen, Onyx Racing Products, Box Components, Promax, Vee Tire Co. Doublecross Bikes, BlackCrown BMX, EnergyLab, Moxie BMX, Bicyclist Ops, and jersey’s from Sam Willoughby and Hunter Pelham and many more to come.
We would appreciate greatly if you could post the flyer and info on your website to help us promote this event in effort to raise the most money possible for Kylie’s future!

If you have any questions/concerns/thoughts you can contact me at 713-480-5780

Kyle Bennett Armadillo Downs Track Closes

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Last night at Kyle Bennett Armadillo Downs

Within hours following the tragic loss of Kyle Bennett, near his home in Conroe, Texas, last October 14, the BMX community came together at his home track, Armadillo Downs, to celebrate Kyle’s life, mourn his loss, and begin the long process of healing.

The track, by then renamed Kyle Bennett Armadillo Downs, served as a town square of sorts in the months since the accident, with a memorial plaque placed near the spot where Kyle set down his pit during local races.

Then, a few weeks ago, another setback: Kyle Bennett Armadillo Downs had abruptly lost its lease, and would need to vacate the property by the end of the month (March 31).

USA BMX got involved in discussions with the City of Conroe to try and find a new location for the track, and many in the local scene feel very confident it will happen soon.

Kirby Kronk is a friend of ours down there, and had this to say when we asked for a comment on the situation:

The owner informed the TO only a few weeks ago…so it was a shock to all…not many other details are really needed, because it was so sudden.

You can imagine the hurt…this was where many of the current-crop of riders started out, so it’s their BMX home. It was also a place that saved many lives, because those kids had riding as an alternative to other pursuits. If they didn’t have that…who knows what would have happened to them?

This place was not just a place to ride…it was their home, and now they are “homeless,” with their family spread over a wide swath of open land, waiting to come back to the family reunion at their new place.

There were lots of tears, and stories told last night, and in the days leading up to the closing. It’s bittersweet to leave, but “KB Dillo” will live again real soon. When it does, the BMX family will join together there and celebrate the life of our dear friend Kyle Bennett, as we continue his work there.

Kyle Bennett Memorial at Armadillo Downs BMX
National star Hunter Pelham is a local there as well, and told BMX News that the KB memorial (above, with friends), has been picked up, and will be re-installed at the new location (photo via Facebook).

News wanted to take this opportunity to show our support for KB Dillo, and tell everyone who is part of the scene that we look forward to seeing the first photos of the new digs.

—Mike Carruth

Thanks to Kirby and Hunter for their contribution to this story, and additional appreciation to Kirby for the group photo.

BMX Community Mourns and Remembers Kyle Bennett

October 15, 2012 by · Comments Off 

UCI BMX Commission Retires Number 88 for Kyle Bennett

The BMX community is still in shock over the news that broke Sunday morning about 8:30AM. That news, of course, was the death of BMXer, US Olympian, and friend, Kyle Bennett, in an auto accident near his home in Conroe, TX.

We’re leaning on each other, as we often do when tragedy strikes our close-knit community. This time, however, it’s so tough. We all went to bed Saturday night, and the world was right… then, while we slept, it went so terribly wrong. And when Sunday dawned, it would never be the same, because our friend and hero, Kyle Bennett, was gone.

Displays of support and remembrance were quick to emerge, both spontaneous, and organized.

A candle vigil was held at Kyle Bennett Armadillo BMX Park Sunday night. Approximately 500 people came out to lay a candle, a card and tokens of remembrance in a circular shrine, around KB’s race bike and jersey.

Among those in attendance were Kyle’s grandfather, affectionately known, universally, as “PePaw,” the man responsible for getting KB into BMX nearly 26 years ago, his fiancé, Lynsie Argenti and the local community who is so proud to call KB Armadillo BMX Park their home track.

Reporter Scott Engle with the Montgomery County Police Reporter, the news outlet who originally broke the story of Kyle’s death, was also on hand at the vigil, and put together a touching 26-minute video of the ceremony.

In it, we hear from close friend, Hubert Jackson, step-father and mentor, John Purse, Lynsie and other close friends. Hard as it was for them to speak so soon after the tragedy, their stories brought some laughs, along with the tears.

It is definitely worth a full-view.



Online, tens of thousands of people set their Facebook profile picture to their favorite Kyle Bennett photograph, or to several “In memoriam” images that were created up by loving fans around the world (some of which are below).

The UCI BMX Commission took the unprecedented step of officially retiring career number 88, so it can serve as a permanent link to the US Olympian and three-time UCI world champion.

(all links will open in new window)
Mainstream media has picked up the story, with dozens of tribute stories. From The New York Times to The LA Times, The Sacramento Bee to Yahoo News, where “Kyle Bennett” was the number one trending story late Monday afternoon, fitting tribute is being paid to this world-class athlete, role model, friend and loving father.

On Twitter, the hashtag #KB88 is becoming a popular place to share 140-character stories and of Butter.

And on VintageBMX.com, the somber mood, set when the news broke at 8:35 Sunday morning, is beginning to give way to a celebration of a life spent accomplishing the next goal, the next dream, the next challenge that would be considered unattainable by a lesser man.

For my part, it was impossible to write today–I just could not put together any thoughts, and any story, aside from this one, seemed wrong.

Here are some of the awesome tribute images:

By Nate Berkheimer
Kyle Bennett Tribute Image, by Nate Berkheimer

By Blot Out Graphics
Kyle Bennett Tribute Image, by Blot Out Graphics

By Craig Hooper
Kyle Bennett Tribute Image, by Craig Hooper

Memorial and Funeral services for Kyle are still pending public release.

We will update the story, as new details become available. It’s going to be a very tough week.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Remembering Kyle Bennett on VintageBMX.com

Kyle Bennett Killed in Auto Accident

October 14, 2012 by · Comments Off 

BMX Olympian (2008) Kyle Bennett Killed in Auto Accident - bmxnews.com

>>UPDATE: Sunday October 14, 7:14PM – See bottom of page for new details.

Devastating news this morning, as we learn that our long-time friend, Kyle Bennett was killed in an automobile accident in the early hours of October 14, near his home in Conroe Texas. He was 33 year old.

First reported by the Montgomery (TX) County Police Reporter website, the accounts from the scene said that Kyle’s 2006 Toyota Tundra pickup left the roadway, while traveling at a high rate of speed and impacted a wrought iron gate, a culvert pipe and several trees, before coming to a stop, upside down in a residential subdivision. Kyle was alone in the vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved.

The website said that, at the time of the accident (2:16AM Sunday morning), KB may have been en route to the location of a business, where his fiancé’s car was reportedly broken into. Police at the scene reported that Kyle was not wearing his seatbelt when the accident occurred.

This is one of those moments, where you hope and pray the news is a case of mistaken identity, or an internet prank gone wrong. We kept checking Kyle’s Facebook page for a “what’s all this about?” post by Butter, himself…but none came. Unfortunately, photographs of the destroyed pickup on the police reporter website, match images of the truck shown in photos on KB’s Facebook page. Sadly, it appears the truck is the same and this tragedy is all-too-real.

Kyle was the father of a young daughter, and we expect that a support fund will be set up to help Kyle’s daughter and family in the coming days.

Calls to Texas Department of Public Safety officials in the Conroe Area are pending return.

Facebook and the VintageBMX.com forum are packed with sentiments from friends, former teammates and fans.

Free Agent BMX, via Facebook:

It is with a very heavy heart that the FA Team sends thoughts and prayers to the family of Kyle Bennett, who passed in an accident last night. We were very fortunate to have him a part of our team for so many years.

Greg Hill, via Facebook

KB you are going to be missed by all. You left a mark on the sport and a true legend at such young age. From a local Texas ripper to Olympian and all other accomplishments in between you were a true hero to many. It was a pleasure having you ride with us at GHP. It seems like yesterday when you; Greg Hill and I were hanging at the house before the winter nationals this year teasing you about making sure you had your fig newton’s. Your time was short but we know GOD has bigger things for you. RIP Kyle Bennett.

Our prayers, and indeed, those of BMXers everywhere are with Kyle’s fiancé, Lynsie, and his whole family.

2008 US Olympic Teammate, Mike Day, via Twitter
A good friend, legend, Olympic team mate, and the best to ever do it was taken way to early. RIP KB

BMX News will being you more on this tragic story as more details become available.

—Mike Carruth

>>>UPDATE: Sunday October 14, 7:14PM

BMX News has been in contact with Scott Engel of The Montgomery County Police Reporter website, who filed the initial report, and Jamie Nash, its editor. The website is about to publish a more comprehensive report, which includes the following new details:

Homeowner Ruben Posada said he was in bed when his wife woke him saying she heard noises and thought there was “air coming out,” which turned out to be gas from the broken meter. A neighbor soon came to warn the family about the gas leak, which is when Posada went outside and saw the wreckage on his property. At first, he did not realize what he was seeing.

“There was something on top of the bushes on the flower bed, and I said what is it, and it was a vehicle upside down,” Posada said. “And I never realized that somebody was inside because more people was outside, I thought maybe the vehicle belonged to somebody over there.”
He then learned of Bennett’s death. Posada said he felt bad for the family, because the vehicle and things it damaged can be replaced, he said, but the life that was lost cannot.

One of those Bennett inspired and mentored was 21-year-old Tyler Graeter, who has known Bennett for the past 12 years, having started racing at the age of 9.

“I came out and saw him ride the first time I was out there and it started the biggest interest I ever had,” Graeter said. “He’s been an inspiration to me and many of my friends.”

“We all just looked up to him as kind of a symbol that being someone who can make an impact is actually possible in this sport, and we’ll always remember him for that.”

Graeter said although Bennett had a very busy schedule over the years, it seemed he was always there for him and others.
“I’ll always remember just hanging out here, around the track working on it, and having guy talk – just being around him,” Graeter said. “He always put a smile on your face. He was always cracking jokes, lightening up the mood if everyone was tired and just getting everyone motivated – it was great.”

Cody Machala was another of those who looked up to Bennett and was trying to come to grips with the loss on Sunday.
“Kyle was an inspiration- my hero, he was also everybody else’s inspiration out here,” Machala said. “He was somebody to look up to. A loving father and everybody loved him.”

Machala said he would always remember riding with Bennett, and so much more.
“We always had a good time when we went to the gym,” Machala said. “He was my trainer, my coach, and I was always asking him for advice.”
Machala said Bennett’s Olympic experience was amazing.

“That’s why he’s my hero – going to the Olympics is probably the best thing you can do and he was supposed to win but things happen (referring to Bennett’s Beijing shoulder injury).

“The (Armadillo) track is the way it is because of (Bennett) – without him, the turns wouldn’t be like they are, the building wouldn’t be like it is and people wouldn’t be coming out here (have been).”

There is a candle vigil for Kyle at Kyle Bennett Armadillo BMX tonight at 8:30PM. Mr. Engel will be in attendance, and will post details on their website later this evening or in the morning (link below).

Links

Remembering Kyle Bennett on VintageBMX.com

Montgomery County Police Reporter website
*NOTE: The Police Reporter story includes photos of the wrecked vehicle, which some may find disturbing

Montgomery County Police Reporter on Facebook

Story on the Houston Chronicle Website

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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Podcast: Kyle Bennett and Greg Hill

January 4, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Kyle Bennett  goes to GHP/Risen Team

Mid last month, a few whispers hit the Internet that Kyle Bennett might be moving to GHP for the 2012 season. Nothing was confirmed or final at that point, so that news dove back under the bed until today, when we sat down with Kyle and Greg to talk about the go-forward plan.

Listen to the Podcast Now

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iPhone users, paste this URL into your browser:
http://www.bmxnews.com/podcasts/at_049_kyle_bennett.mp3

Here is the official press release:

Kyle Bennett has teamed up with GHP BMX/ Risen BMX to continue his success on the track, look for KB out front at a USA BMX National event near you! Kyle will be training with Greg Hill in preparation for a successful 2012 season, Kyle brings years of experience along with three UCI Pro World and 3 NBL Pro titles, KB has a lot of fuel in the tank and has his sights set on adding more titles to his resume in 2012 and 2013…”I am very excited to be working with the guy’s from GHP/Risen BMX and working with Greg will take me to the next level” KB
We want to welcome Kyle to our GHP and Risen BMX family, it’s on for 2012, watch the magic unfold this year as KB does work! I am very happy to be working with one of the sport’s most accomplished athletes. –GH

While Bennett will be fully equipped with the full range of GHP and RISEN BMX products. He will also be supported by Dan’s Comp, Tioga, Alienation and Crit Plates.

Kyle Bennett Signs With GHP

December 15, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Kyle Bennett Signs with GHP

Hot off Greg Hill’s Facebook Wall is news that GHP has signed Kyle Bennett for 2012. GHP was pro-free in 2011, and is diving back in with a big name. This news was eight minutes old when we saw it, so there are probably more details to come.

BMX News will have more on this developing story as it becomes available.

—Mike Carruth

Photo via Kyle Bennett’s Facebook Page

Interview: KB on “Hurry Up & Wait” Healing

July 21, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Kyle Bennett joins Mike Carruth on this episode of the BMXNEWS.COM Announcers Tower Podcast

When one has reached the heights of a profession that Kyle Bennett has reached, the pressure to improve, perform and stay healthy is ever-present. More often than not, these concepts are at odds with each other, yet all are essential. The fear is that there is always someone grinding out one more sprint, doing one more of something, or one less of something else…and walking between the raindrops on the dozens of injury risks that lie in wait for any top-performing, present-day pro.

For Kyle Bennett, things seemed to be sizzlin right along this summer. He was solidly in the top 10 (closer to the top 5, really) in the ABA standings, he was on the funded USA team for the World Championships in South Africa, and he was training well. Save for a little setback in the semis in Salt Lake (which was said to have rung his bell quite a bit), it was going to plan.

That plan changed on Saturday, July 10 when, as he Denzel Stein and Donny Robinson were doing laps at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Kyle over-jumped one of the sets on the third straight. What happened next changed the fate of Team USA BMX for 2010, and left both KB and dR in the hospital for several days.

In this episode of Announcers Tower, Kyle talks about the day of the accident, how it happened, and how he’s doing 10 days after spending a week in the hospital. He also looks to the future with the positive attitude of a champion, and makes it clear that he will be in the mix for quite some time to come.

Listen Now

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We really enjoyed doing this interview, and were very glad to hear the pep in Kyle’s voice, despite the injuries, and the disappointment of being sidelined for the 2010 Worlds. Thanks to Kyle for joining us! We look forward to keeping an eye on his progress, and eventual return.

Kyle Bennett and Donny Robinson at a San Diego-area beach

KB and dR, fresh from the nursing ward, hit the beach with a cropped-out Denzel Stein and Corben Sharrah. (Photo courtesy of Donny Robinson)

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