2015 Golden Crank Winners and Award History

December 11, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Golden Crank Award Winners

The Golden Crank Award dates back some 23 years as the top popularity award in the sport of BMX Racing. Each year, thousands of BMXers vote for their favorite Rookie Pro, Pro, Bike and Team of the year in an effort to push their faves to the front of the pack.

BMX News reached out to the four Golden Crank winners of 2015, to get their personal quotes on what winning the award meant to them. We also wanted a deeper-dive on the history of the award, and received a great day-one-to-present account of how the award has evolved over time.

Rookie Pro: Brandon Cato Brandon Cato - 2015 Rookie Pro of the YearWinning the Rookie Pro of the year was more of a “In the Moment” awe . There are much larger goals I want to achieve before I can be considered as awesome in Bmx . But something I want to leave you guys with is “Don’t make excuses, make sense” . I also want to give a shout out to all my sponsors @bayareabmxers @tangentproducts @westsidebmx @esntlofficial @eekoe for help making 2015 great, but I know 2016 will be better . Thank you to all those who voted for me as 2k15 Rookie Pro of the year !

—Brandon Cato

Pro: Alise PostAlise Post - 2015 Golden Crank Pro of the YearWinning a Golden Crank Award is a true honor within USA BMX. It recognizes not only excellence on the track, but also off of it, which is something my mama always told me was important. She always preached being a good person and taking time for others, and I feel that she would be very proud to see me holding up that peer-voted award. I was lucky enough to be the first girl to win one back in 2006 with my “Rookie Pro of the Year” award, and honestly I never really thought I would win one again.

There are so many talented people out there and with there being a dominant number of males in the sport, it seemed like it would be near impossible to win Pro of the Year up against all of the heavy hitting Elite Men year in and year out. But, the women in the sport have been progressing rapidly and putting on great racing, so I think this award just goes to show that people are taking notice of that. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to giving it your best, racing hard, pushing boundaries, having success, and being a good role model. Needless to say, I am humbled that boys and girls alike voted me as the rider showcasing those traits best in 2015. Its a true honor, THANK YOU ALL!

—Alise Post

Bike: SsquaredSsquared - 2015 Golden Crank Bike of the YearTo say we were surprised to win the Golden Crank Bike of the Year award for the third year in a row would be an understatement. There are so many frame companies in the sport now and every racer seems to be loyal to their respective brand, I thought it would be difficult for any brand to win year after year. With that said, we are honored and humbled to have won again. While we offer a great product in the Ssquared frame line, an award like the Golden Crank is won by image and the voting public’s perception of the brand.

We are fortunate to have some great riders out there promoting the brands, and the Ssquared Answer Factory team and the Answer-Rennen Factory team representing us so well all season long really goes a long way in attaining that winning image. Combining that image with the quality product and our growing dealer and distributor customer base seems to all add up to us fortunately winning the Bike of the Year award again. We appreciate, and sincerely thank everyone who voted for us.

—Ryan Birk, for Ssquared Bicycles (pictured above with Michelle Senger, Global Sales Director)

Team: Factory SsquaredFactory Ssquared - 2015 Golden Crank Team of the YearIt was a great feeling to win the Golden Crank! I know it’s just a trophy, but it makes all the work not seem that hard. It also defines us as an elite team, to me anyway. I would like to thank my wife Therese, for letting me spend 30 weekends a year on the road. I really don’t know how to put into words how much this means to me and my family, and the team, as a whole. It’s 40 years of racing in one night, and it’s a lot to take in. Thanks to our sponsors: Ssquared Bicycles, Answer BMX, Dan’s Comp, Rennen, Tioga, Crit, Park Tools, Bell, ANSR, Sidi, BMX News, ODI, and all the friends and families that make it possible.

—Jim Buchanan, Factory Ssquared Team Manager (second from right)

Some History on the Golden Crank Awards
By gOrk

original 1992 golden crank trophyWe started the Golden Crank Awards in 1992, upon Clayton’s suggestion that we needed a “popularity award,” after Go magazine folded and there was no longer a NORA Cup (Number One Rider Award). The last issue of GO: The Rider’s Manual was December 1991. The NORA Cup had been the popularity vote up until then – but with their demise, ABA wanted to continue the tradition. My request to Oz and my former Wizard Pubs co-workers got nowhere, so we decided to start our own. Thinking that if the NORA Cup was the “Academy Awards” of BMX, then I figured that the Golden Globes would be the next closest thing, and I came up with the Golden Crank award.

A few years later, once Oz had completely checked out from the scene, Brad McDonald at RIDE magazine brought back the NORA Cup for freestyle–without Oz’s blessing, I believe.

Instead of a Silver Cup like the NORA Cup had been (which more resembled our National No.1 Championship trophy), going with something “golden” would be cool to do. I envisioned the gold-plated crankset on top of a wooden base. We wanted it to be a bit old school and totally generic, so we bought four pairs of steel cranks, four steel gears, and four cheap-o rat trap caged pedals from SBS and took it to local BMX welder Woody Woodruff to work his magic on it.

Woody created a base and used some old BB shells from his stash of Reach and Enigma spare pieces. He would spot-weld the pedals so they didn’t turn, and weld the gear to the cranks, and then welded the entire crank to the shell. Once he had those done, the next job was to get it gold plated. We went thru the yellow pages and found a plating place in Tempe that could do it. Funny thing is, though – instead of Gold, it was actually a brass plating process that gave us the 24-carat “Golden” look.

To brass plate each crank was originally about $75 each. Every year, they raised the price. Then, one year, the grease in the cheap-o rat-trap pedals messed up the plating job, so we stopped making them with pedals. To make it easier on us, we began making 12 Golden Cranks at a time, so we’d have stock of three years worth and would get a slight discount for buying in bulk. After I left for Redline, in 1999, the plating place went out of business or something – or could no longer do brass-plating, so that’s when they began gold powder-coating the cranks. I never liked that, as it was a big step down from the original.

While at Redline, I tried to talk my pals at ABA in to using Redline Flight cranks instead of the generic steel one-piece Wald cranks. But they stuck with our original plan, to keep it generic and unbiased. SBS continued to supply ABA with 12 sets of steel cranks and sprockets – and the sprockets would occasionally change to a different pattern.

Profile Racing Team Manager Gus Lanzilotta with three of the Golden Crank trophiesTwo years ago, Profile approached us about getting more involved with USA BMX on a custom project. Updating the long-standing Golden Crank trophy was the obvious choice. We met with Gus, Corey and Charllie after the Gator Nationals and began throwing around ideas for a new Golden Crank design. Jim even came in to the meeting and added his design ideas to the base. The best thing about it would be that the cranks would be anodized Gold, and would look way better than the previous powder-coated ones.

Voting for the Golden Cranks has also evolved throughout the years. The first decade or more, you could only vote with an official ballot from the magazine, that had to be mailed in. The first year, there was no limit on ballots – not many rules. But we soon found out that tracks who got a box of magazines to give to riders could easily stuff the ballot box. It was a close battle that first year for Rookie Pro between Bryan Ruest and Shan Hatfield (Shan won it). The following year, we added the rule that limited the number of ballots per envelope to a maximum of five. That helped a little, but still tracks would heavily campaign for their local pros…which they should, in my opinion.

Not sure what year we went electronic with our voting. It might’ve been 2010 or 2011. And it’s easier now to catch ballot-stuffers, as we require a membership #. All duplicate or fake votes can easily be detected and deleted. I think we now have the most fair system for voting.

The best thing about the Golden Cranks is that it is a POPULARITY award. It’s not always about who won the most races, or who dominated the year. I think it’s more about who put on clinics, who regularly goes to their local track(s) and who is most accessible to their fans. The past couple of years, it’s also become a bit more about who has a good social media following and presence. I think Cato’s Twitter and social media following is what helped him win this year’s Rookie of the Year award, although Tyler Whitfield’s YouTube presence helped push his votes. It was the closest count ever for Rookie Pro, between those two.

Alise’s win this year – being the first girl to ever win Golden Crank Pro of the Year – same as she did in her Rookie year, says something about her likeability and accessibility to her fans. Carley Young being in the top-five the past couple of years also proves that those who are doing clinics and helping out at the local or regional level has an impact with the voters. Could be a good lesson to all of the male AA-pros – a lesson that dates all the way back to 1985(ish), when fan-favorite Mike Miranda won the NORA Cup more for being his jovial-self than pulling off wins and podium finishes.

What a great story! Thanks very much to gOrk and USA BMX for giving us so much detail on the history of this prestigious award.

And, of course, a big BMX News congratulations to all four award winners. The Golden Crank truly is the closest thing we have to an Academy Award.

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Anthony Dean Wins Big Bucks in Aberdeen

September 16, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Anthony Dean of DK Bicycles wins Aberdeen Pro/AM

The $20,000+ Wild Oats Pro Am in Aberdeen, South Dakota ran over the weekend, to an amped-up crowd of fans that, as one rider put it, made the atmosphere feel like a “real-deal spectator event.”

They had some rain during the weekend, but were able to get the three mains done in the dry, due to some rearranging of the program. It’s good they did that, as the final 30 mains had to be postponed on Saturday night and run on Sunday morning.

Jeff Upshaw probably had the best story of the weekend, leading in to the first gate. Jeff was driving the 15 and a half hours to Aberdeen from his home in Dayton, OH. Three hours into the trip, he realized he had forgotten the most important thing one could forget on a racing trip: his BIKE! So, the way he tells it, he got off at the next exit, turned around, with a smile, and drove the three hours back to Dayton to get his Kuwahara steed, then started the voyage all over again.

Men’s Class

Denzel Stein took the first men’s main of the day, wire to wire, with Dean in the two-spot, and almost sneaking by him at the line. Upshaw was third that first time out.

Second round of mains, there was an empty spot in gate one, where Joey The Bomb should have been. He crashed pretty hard in the third turn (breaking his ankle, we later learned). Tanner Sebesta had gate two–the inside gate for the second main. Next to him was Upshaw, Stein, Olijuwon Davis, Elliot McGrath, Nic Long and Dean on the outside.

Sebesta ran the table in round two, with a gate-to-stripe win, followed by Upshaw and Dean.

That set the stage for the final round. Dean and Upshaw were tied for points, but Nic Long had the inside gate–which was a major bonus on this track. Dean was in Gate 2, and Uppy was out in five, with Sebesta in between.

Nic was out, and away with the lead, and it looked like Jeff might mitigate the outside gate with a nice dive into the sweeping left-handed first turn. It was pretty puch a pedal-all-the-way sweeper into the second straight. By the time the pack hit the second straight, Dean had the two-spot sewn up. Still, the pack was close, and Jeff almost made a hail-Mary move in the last turn that could have taken both he and Dean down to the Soil Tac. He didn’t, and it finished Long, Dean, Upshaw.

Dean goth the overall win, and a $5,000 payday. Upshaw got second, and a $3500 fan of Benjamins. Tanner Sebesta was third with $2000 going back to Texas.

Here is the video of all three men’s mains (courtesy of BMX Hub, via YouTube)

Men’s Results
1. Anthony Dean (Dk) Austrailia
2. Jeffrey Upshaw (Kuwahara)
3. Tanner Sebesta (Ssquared)
4. Nic Long (Haro)
5. Elliott McGrath (Space for Rent)
6. Denzel Stein (Redline)
7. Olijuwan Davis (Morphine Ind.)
8. Joey the Bomb (Doublecross)

Women’s Class

We did not have the luxury of a three-main video of the ladies, but suffice it to say, the win by Mika Shaw of Colorado, over the winningest champion in the history of women’s BMX was a pretty big deal. Dom had a pair of aces going in to the third main, then she and the whole pack went down in turn two. Word was that Dom got back up, but crashed again in the last turn, giving Mika a one-point edge on the champ when the final points were tallied.

Mika took home $1500 for the win, Dom grabbed $1000 for second, and it was a hometown girl, Shayne Lier for third with $750.

1. Mika Shaw ( 2-2-3 = 7)
2. Dominique Daniels (1-1-6 = 8 )
3. Shayne Lier (4-4-1 = 9)
4. Katilyn Larson (3-5-5 = 13)
5. Bailee Enlow (5-3-8 = 16)
6. Emily Mundahl (8-7-2 = 17)
7. Alison Tate (7-8-4 = 19)

Until Next Year…

Kyle Oswald and his crew did a great job putting together the event, promoting it well, and getting some big names up to a corner of the country where the pros usually don’t go. That is an awesome accomplishment, and he is already making plans for the 2014 installment. Sponsors were, undoubtedly happy, as news outlets from BMX News to the Middle East and North Africa Financial Network picked up the story (link below). Plus, gOrk, himself from USA BMX on-scene to shoot the cool captures (even some Black & Whites in the set!).


USA BMX Aberdeen Photo Gallery on Facebook

Aberdeen Pro/Am Article on Middle East and North Africa Financial Network

Top Photo: Pro Men’s Podium by gOrk/USA BMX, via Facebook

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Panel: How to be More Media Savvy in 2013

January 8, 2013 by · Comments Off 

How To Be More Media Savvy in 2013,

Proportionate to their revenues, BMX Racing companies invest heavily in sponsoring athletes and teams. They are making this investment in order to draw attention to their products and, if it all goes to plan, sell more units. It is the ultimate intangible, because it’s rare for riders to be directly responsible for the sale of a frame or set of cranks to a consumer.

So a lot of it is about image, how the riders and teams present themselves to the public–and, of course on-track performance.

It is up to the riders and teams to help their sponsors realize a return on their investment. And since there is not a race every day of the year, the best way to stand above the other teams and/or riders in the prowl for the public’s attention, is to have a sharp media relations game.

There are some over-arching themes where BMX Racing folk miss the mark in media relations. We, in the BMX Media, talk about it all the time while we’re waiting for mains to start, or during practice.

So, rather than just talk about how you can step things up, we decided to come together for an all-hands discussion on the topic.

On the panel, we have (listed alphabetically):

Mike Carruth – BMX News
Ben Crockett – BMX Plus! Magazine
gOrk – USA BMX Communications Director
Jerry Landrum – BMX Mania
Pat Nugent – ESPN/Action

All respondents (including BMX News) did not know the content of the other participants’ responses. So, you will see some similar points being echoed from time to time. When that happens, it’s only because it is THAT widely-practiced.

It ended up to be a fairly-long article, so feel free to print it, or bookmark it if you have to read it in chunks. But we all think there is some important content here, and wanted to give you as complete an account of things as possible.

And now, on to our questions…

1). What mistakes do teams make in how they present their riders to the media?

Mike Carruth – One mistake is that many teams do not present their riders to us at all. I can only speak for our sites, of course, but it’s rare that teams reach out to us to say “hey…what about a story on X, Y or Z.” I am not looking for “do a story on me, just-because” pitches, but with every rider, there’s a unique story on something. I want those stories. Content that is uniquely for our readers.

There is a LOT of opportunity for teams and riders who truly want to represent their sponsors’ brand, and are willing to put in a little non-race-day work to make it happen.

There are many “ideas” on how to make a team more visible, that are not necessarily “mistakes,” per se. I will cover some of these in #3, but one major point that could be characterized as a “mistake,” if we want to use that term, is that I need to know your riders better. Contact me before a national, and arrange a time for me to meet your whole team, and their parents. Let me shoot some headshots on Friday– or Saturday, during second round. I have never had such an invite that I did not pre-arrange myself.

Ben Crockett – They don’t (present their riders to the media). Between racing and freestyle do you know how many calls I received in 2012 from team managers or representatives to set up a meet with a team? Two. The biggest mistake teams make is getting in the mindset of, "I’ve created a great team, with awesome uniforms and a kick-ass pit, now I am going to sit back and wait for the media to come to me." That’s fine, and we will recognize your top contenders, but what about the rest of your team? Teams are more then just top pros, and it shows strength and pride when a team manager will set up meet and greet days with the team, or even set up times at the major races where the entire team will be in the same place at the same time. Media outlets have a very broad reach in the industry, but it generally comes down to one representative at any given race; Mike Carruth, Jerry Landrum, myself… If you have 30 riders on your team, all running wild at a national, there is no way we are going to take the time to track them all down, but if you were to say, come by the pits at 12:30 and meet the entire team, you can bet we will all be there.

gOrk – Whether it’s presenting themselves to the media – or more importantly, to the public (their customers), I can see quite a few mistakes being made. First off — sponsorship is about having a rider who is an advertisement. When you break it down, a factory rider is really a breathing, racing (and hopefully winning) billboard for their brand. Any smart manufacturer wouldn’t run an ad with another manufacturer’s product – but they allow their factory rider to. That’s mistake No.1. If you’re riding for a factory team, yet don’t like, or can’t run, your sponsor’s product – then DON’T ride for that company! Sponsors need to put their foot down as well; if your factory rider is substituting your product for another brand, that’s a breach of contract and that rider should be dropped.

Jerry Landrum – I think that the first thing that people miss is that they don’t do anything at all. There are some great options out there for publicizing your team on the internet. I think most of the web guys I know are "Up For It" when it comes to publishing team news from those who understand what good publicity can do for their team.

Pat Nugent – I think the single biggest mistake is the brands often side- step the media when making announcements. Rather than sending out a press release to a handful of media outlets, they prefer to release the news themselves on their blog/Facebook/twitter. I realize that this has alot to do with the instant gratification of the news being done and out as soon as they post it. A link to an article on BMX News or espn/bmx would make their news seem like actual news instead of some internal release. Rather than it just saying “here is our news” it would say “we have this big news and it’s been posted here, here and here because people outside of our brand are interested in it!” Send a press release out to the media the day that the news is official and then wait a few days before tweeting/posting to your website. Along with having links out to show that your news was relevant, you will also have people thinking it’s a rumor and talking about your brand for a couple days extra.


2). What mistakes do individual riders make in how they present themselves to the media?

Mike Carruth – The biggest one here is for the rider, however young or old…Expert, Girl, Cruiser or Elite, to understand that, as a sponsored/co-sponsored rider, when they are at the track, they need to consider those “business hours.” If you’re sponsored, regardless of your deal, someone is always watching–do you want them to see you and your sponsors at your best, or your worst?

That means whenever you are on the track, you need to be in your FULL racing kit, including pants and number plate! It is so frustrating to get a great shot in practice, but not be able to use it, or pass it on to the sponsor for their promo, because the rider is not fully kitted-up. For the top riders, I may only get two or three chances to shoot them in a day, since they are out first round, then we do not see them again til the semis and/or main. Practice adds more chances for coverage, but not if you are in warmup pants, with bare bars– or, God forbid, a random USA jersey from the worlds five years ago. Speaking of jerseys, when yours is off, have one of your sponsor’s T-Shirts on, so any pit photos also represent what your sponsor and, by extension, you, are selling.

Ben Crockett – Ego. Maris Stromberg is the greatest thing in BMX racing right now, but if he never took the time to sign an autograph, teach at a Free Agent clinic or make himself accessible in the pits because he was too full of himself, or he felt it was beneath him, his Gold Medal would count for nothing. This also spins off into riders who feel as though they are above the team. When you have an entire team in one set of gear, or running hubs made by a team sponsor, but you are running something different without good reason (i.e. They don’t make a part in your size), it projects very negatively on you as a rider and team player.

Finally, poor sportsmanship and excuses. If you or your parents are contesting passes or moves other riders are making in every-other rac, and you have a laundry list of excuses every time you don’t win, then no one want to deal with you. You don’t need to tell us why your loss was everyone else’s fault, racing is racing and you won’t win them all. We would much-rather run a story on the fastest rider in a class who was beat by the slowest and be able to quote the fastest rider as saying, ‘John Doe got a great start and really owned that race, they really deserved the win,’ versus ‘They cut me off and I got balled-up on the outside, after drawing gate 8…’ Want me to put names in these? Because I will do it all day long.

gOrk – In the same sense, a company wouldn’t normally run a blank ad with none of their products in it — yet you see some factory riders doing the “blank ad” thing at the races. Example? I don’t think there’s ANY excuse – other than laziness, as to why a rider doesn’t have his numberplate on his bike during practice. There are still photographers out there, there are still plenty of fans watching and idolizing them, and that rider is still sponsored as if they are in a race – and by not running a plate, they took away their number-one form of logo placement for their sponsor and all of their co-sponsors. …not to mention, they set a bad example for the young, impressionable fans who strive to be like them. That to me, is just plain stupidity… yet you see so many factory riders – both Ams and Pros, doing it.

If you’re sponsored – you should be promoting that brand from the moment you get to the airport (or when you hop in the car) to go to a race, to the time you get home Sunday night. I’m amazed when I see a factory rider who’s wearing some other brand of shirt when I see him in baggage claim, or when he arrives at the track to sign up. I often think to myself, “How much is that cool t-shirt brand you’re wearing, that has nothing to do with our sport, paying you to be here?” Riders need to remember who’s signing their checks – or simply, who they REALLY ride for.

Jerry Landrum – Once again, not making the initial effort to do something is always amazing to me. Why not give it a try. Another thing that I feel might add to team’s efforts is for someone on the team to be in charge of getting photos. With today’s phones being so easy to use to take good candid / lifestyle shots, someone could easily get some good shots that could be posed or taken in the pits to add interest to team news releases or race reports.

Pat Nugent – I feel like, for the most part, the riders do a pretty good job of presenting themselves to the media. The thing that alot of riders don’t do well at is meeting up on a race weekend to shoot some side photos (for a bike check or something else). I understand that on a race weekend they are under alot of pressure to perform, but finding 5-10 minutes to shoot a few photos and chat shouldn’t be that difficult to come by.


3). How can someone who has never met you personally, get on your radar?

Mike Carruth – The best way is a face-to-face introduction. Call me over to the fence line at a race, or invite me into your pit to meet the team. Better yet, email me your cell number before the race (, so we can arrange a place to meet before the action gets going. I typically shoot the first round on Saturday and Sunday, then roam the pits (or go back to the room to get a jump on processing photos, if nothing else is going on). This is a great opportunity for me to meet riders and teams.

Obviously, meeting you is not a guarantee of coverage, but it puts you “on the radar,” as the question asks.

Ben Crockett – I will find myself admiring riders at the track I have never heard of or seen before if they have crazy lines or bike handling skills, but I don’t always have the time or means to track them all down, especially since riders take off their jerseys and head off to pits-unknown, immediately after crossing the finish line. If I get the chance, I will catch these riders while they are on the track or in staging and introduce myself, but what really makes the name and face stick is when a rider follows up without a full-face helmet and gear on. It really makes a rider pop when they have skills but they are also acutely aware that there are thousands of other people in the same place, in similar gear and on similar bikes, doing the same thing and they shouldn’t hesitate to put a name and a face with a compliment when it comes around, not simply bury it in the ego pocket and disappear into the woodwork.

gOrk – When I was at Redline, a few riders caught my eye by just being out there on the track, in the lead and looking good. Anthony DeRosa got on Redline way back when by wearing a blank white jersey and totally dominating his mains. I could tell by his style that he was a kid worth tracking down. Then there was Denzel, who we watched for a coupla years and slowly began helping out with parts. Denzel was consistent and persistent. Every year at the Winter Natls, he’d come up to me and ask if there was room on the team for him. After two years of that, it really showed how serious he was – plus, at the time, he had a grey-background numberplate on his bike with a No.1 on it.

For the most part — Redline, and myself, look for what I call the “complete package.” Bubba Harris is the best example of that – he was the total package. He was not just fast and always a title contender, but he was great in the pits – friendly and approachable. He’s a good looking guy, so he was easy to use in advertising and outside-the-sport promotions. He spoke well for interviews and knew how to plug a sponsor … the list goes on and on. Some riders can go fast, but then they’re so tatt’ed-up that it scares away parents, or keeps outside-media attention away. Or other pros who go really fast, but may not know how to speak well to their fans; either they’re too shy, or soft-spoken. There are just too many factors to list them all. But I’d recommend a rider to just try to be the BEST they possibly can be, in all aspects of life. There’s more to being a factory superstar in BMX than just winning races.

Jerry Landrum – Email me at BMX Mania, just hit up the Email Link on the front page and check in with me, I’m easily available and welcome the opportunity to help team managers or media personnel to get their stories published on BMX Mania. My policy on BMX Mania is that we treat everyone the same, and I will run just about anything that is sent in regardless of what team it is from. I love helping teams get their news out.

Pat Nugent – It’s as simple as them introducing themselves. BMX isn’t my full tine job, I follow it pretty closely, but if a rider isn’t in the top 10-15 he is probably off of my radar. So aside from doing well at races, the only way onto my radar is by actually meeting the rider.


4). Give us five things teams and riders can do to boost their media profile in 2013.

Mike Carruth – Understand that I am there to tell a story, in words and photos. For all the people at the race, there are thousands more of our readers who are not. My job is to put the reader at the event, and tell them what happened, maybe even better than if they were there themselves. What’s your story from the race? Email me immediately after the race (within 4-5 hours), to give me your take on what went down (perfect task for the car ride or flight home). By Noon Monday, it’s old news. Chances are, if it’s good, and timely, I will work it in to my coverage, and maybe contact you for an interview, bike check or feature.

I almost-never run press releases, or stories that are going out to every news outlet in the known-universe. If your plan is to send me a release that you are also going to post on Facebook, and then email to all the other outlets, I will probably not run it. In this day of Facebook-as-magazine, our readers do not benefit from seeing the same content everywhere they turn. I want the stuff nobody else has. The size of our audience rewards your efforts in coming to us first. Scoops are great, if they are newsworthy. At the very least, a different version than you are sending to everyone else will improve your chances of getting it posted on our sites.

For riders and industry insiders (team managers, brand managers, etc), if you have a Facebook and Instagram presence, be sure to take some photos of you, with your jersey or a company T-Shirt on every once in a while. If there is news about you, I am going to go there first to grab a photo, if I do not already have it in my library.

For Team Managers: If you are sending me news of a new rider pickup, plan ahead and send me a photo of the new rider, in your jersey or a company T-Shirt, as part of the scoop. Give me a quote from the company, a quote from the TM, and a quote from the rider (that you are not sending to anyone else, or posting on Facebook). Bonus points if you make the photo 580×440 pixels in size.

Write an article for us on something other than yourself or your team. With five Websites online, I am always looking for solid, original content. Maybe it’s a BMX mom’s guide to going on the road, or a how-to vid of one of your riders (in full kit, of course), taking a tour of next week’s national track where s/he’s a local. I am open to ideas, so come on with it! That is all stuff I would love to run, and would get your sponsor(s) a link, and some coverage for your initiative.

Bonus: Choose your pitches strategically and wisely. I can’t run stories on you or your riders every day, or even every week. So look for the good opportunities (upcoming news that nobody has yet is best), then hit me up at And send your copy in plain-text (.txt) format with attached JPG images at 580×440 pixels in size.

Ben Crockett – Keep us posted with media blasts, but don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what you are up to on a more case by case basis, especially if you are passing through our town.

You never know when we may have a hole to fill in the mag or online and could use a rider.

Don’t use Facebook or the like as your sole form of PR. If we don’t follow you, then we have no clue what you are up to and if we don’t know what your up to, then we aren’t going to follow you.

Contact us directly with news. We all want the scoop, or at least a unique quote on what in the news; so don’t hesitate to follow up.

Finally, be a good sport, be positive and represent your sponsors

gOrk – I’d just like to see more professionalism from the teams. Riders are getting away with things – like the no numberplate, or Adidas sweatpants in practice, because sponsors are allowing it. The look of their team pits should emulate AMA Supercross — I’d say Redman~Rockstar does this best. Their set-up is 100% Factory. I like the consistency of GT’s team numberplates, with their bikes lined up on custom bike stands. The more BMX can look like Supercross, or other pro sports, then the more likely it’ll be to draw outside the sport sponsors — like energy drinks and cell phone companies. Lastly, I’d say communication is also key – Morphine does a great job getting their post-National news writeup to the BMX media, and more teams should do like that … but not limit yourself to just the BMX media. Send that stuff to other sports outlets. You’re just preaching to the choir on most BMX sites – when the goal should be to reach new, potential customers.

Jerry Landrum – A. Communicate with media outlets to see what they can offer the team as far as media coverage is. You don’t know til you ask!

B. Take some good photos with your camera or phone around the pits and use some of those cool free photo apps to include with your news release or race report.

C. Appoint someone within the team family to be responsible for writing up team news. It’s important to have a Go To person to be responsible for this important task.

Pat Nugent – A. Facebook. Most brands and riders are on their already, use it more. Share more photos. Post your race weekend updates. Tag all of your orders. DO NOT TAG MEDIA PEOPLE. I haven’t been tagged in anything, but I imagine after saying that there would be a likely chance.

B. Twitter. I hardly follow any brands on twitter because anything relevant is retweeted by all of their riders. I do follow most of the riders. I see that half the Elite class is spending their winter riding snowboards and all of that. It is still important for the brands to tweet and for their riders to represent them on their as well.

C. Instagram. I personally don’t use instagram (due to an outdated iPhone but I play it off as thinking Instagram is lame).
Link your instagram to your twitter and Facebook. Post photos from the pits at the races, the travel to/from races, save some of the photos for off weekends so you can still throw some stuff up there. Kids in 2013 are lazy and would rather see photos than read a release. The written stuff is for older riders, parents and the records when someone has a question in the future.

D. Talk to media people at the races. I regularly chat with Dale Holmes (Free Agent), Pete D (Chase), Derek Betcher (Haro) and Brian Fell (MCS) at the track. It helps to have an idea of what is going on in the future of their brands. Pete and I were talking back when their brand was starting up and did a full bike check pretty much immediately after they released their frame and lines of parts. Dale has had Maris all over the place this year. Those dudes are doing it right.

E. Do something different.


5). Anything else you would like to add to the discussion?

Mike Carruth – This is a topic I could go on-and-on-and-on about for days. But, as a brief closing, begin to understand what the media are looking for, in terms of covering you. I would be happy to take you through some of the finer points, personally, if invited to do so. Have a pre-prepared statement of what you are going to say when you’re interviewed–who to thank, where the logos should be in your photos, and so-forth. Don’t schedule me to come see you 10 mins before you have a practice. Learn the correct pronunciation of your sponsors’ brand names (for example, Sinz is not “Sins,” but pronounced like “Signs”). And, if you have the good fortune to land on a podium somewhere, for God’s sake, don’t show up in street clothes, or blow it off entirely. Full kit, always! Watch a few AMA Supercross races on TV for tips, as they always do a great job.

Ben Crockett – On the independent rider front, let your sponsors know what you are doing. Let them know at regular intervals what you have been doing, what tracks you have been going to and what you have been doing to rep the brand. We are seeing more and more big name riders dropped because they are either coasting, or their sponsors are under the impression that they are coasting because the riders aren’t keeping them sufficiently up to date. Don’t expect people to follow you, but strive for them to.

Jerry Landrum – I can’t speak for the print media guys but I can speak for some of us who run BMX racing web sites and I think it’s important to point out how available we are. Get in touch, allow us to help you, I’m sure it’s easier than people think. I know it is on my web site, I love it when people get in touch and allow me to serve them.

Pat Nugent – I think a lot of people don’t realize that media guys pretty much all come from within BMX to an extent. For a while a lot of people thought I was just some random dude who stumbled into the role that I am in. For the most part, I AM some random dude who stumbled into this role, but it was through having a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances that I know solely from riding BMX for the last 17 years, with Brian Tunney (the general editor for espn/action).
The other misconception is that this is a full time job for me. It isn’t. Not even close. When I go to races, I typically leave from my regular job on Friday afternoon, take the last flight out to wherever. Get there late. And then on Sunday, if I am fortunate enough to be on the east coast, take a late afternoon/evening flight, get home at 10 or 11pm and have my alarm set for 6:30 Monday morning. If I am not on the east coast, I fly redeye, get in at 5:45 am and head straight to the office a couple hours early.

My regular job is shooting photos and doing photoshop for a corporate photo studio in NYC called Camera 1 (

I would like to thank Ben, gOrk, Jerry and Pat for participating in this important discussion. All of us share a deep commitment to the sport, and want to see it grow in participation and as an industry.

—Mike Carruth


BMX Plus! Magazine

USA BMX – Pull Magazine

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25 Ways to Be a Great Brand Ambassador

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Update: gOrk Starts ABA/USA BMX Gig

July 7, 2011 by · Comments Off 

gOrk starts at ABA

On May 18, BMX News reported that Craig “gOrk” Barrette, long-time Marketing Manager at Redline, was loading up the truck, and heading South–back to Gilbert, AZ. He had made the trip North 12 years earlier, when he left his post as Editor of ABA’s “BMXer” magazine (née American BMXer, née ABA Action, currently “Pull!”).

Well, all the packing and unpacking has now been done, road photos of the fam on the move, now a matter of record…clocks all set to Mountain time (which, come to think of it, is the same as Seattle until November 6, but it’s a “state of mind” thing).

Tuesday marked gOrk’s first day at USA BMX HQ. When asked what his first order of business would be, he said “getting acquainted with the Macintosh & Canon — and deleting all of the un-needed files Dan left behind for me.”

Look for great things to come out of the office over there. You know how it is when you stand under those mega power line tower–you can hear the buzzzzzz? Well that’s the vibe we’re getting– “electricity!”, though without the same risk of damaging the magnetic polarity of our cells.

Welcome to the Mac brotherhood!

gOrk To Depart Redline. Destination?…Gilbert, AZ!

May 18, 2011 by · Comments Off 


Just got word that, tomorrow, Seattle Bike Supply will announce long-time Redline Marketing Director Craig “gOrk” Barrette will be leaving his post of nearly 12 years. “Where to?” you ask? Well, this is why it is such amazing news (even kicking the ABA/NBL merger off the “Top Story” slot).

gOrk will be reporting for duty at a place he has reported to before. Oh, sure, the lunch places may be different than in 1999, and there is more traffic gettin there…but gOrk will be rollin up to Sunrise Boulevard in picturesque Gilbert, AZ. Specifically 1645 Sunrise Bl.

You don’t need Mapquest to tell you where that is. Just look at your ABA Card or the new issue of “Pull” magazine. That’s right! gOrk is heading back to the ABA, this time as their “Chief Communications Office,” a newly-created position. You may remember that, prior to putting on the red, white and black for Redline, gOrk was editor of the BMXer…and before that he was editor of the massively-popular BMX Action Magazine, where he set the standard for hundreds of thousands of BMX racers on what “cool” was (that month…something cooler was always coming next issue).

This news is big enough on its own…but when coupled with yesterday’s news of the likely merger of the ABA and NBL into USA BMX, we can hardly contain our excitement for our friend. In an email to him today, I said “In my opinion, you could not be coming into a better place, with a better job, at a better time, in the history of the sport. The potential for making an impact, and taking your own career to the next level are truly endless.” I would not usually share something written in private correspondence, but it so perfectly sums up how I feel, that I figured it would be a perfect case for breaking my own rule.

At Redline, gOrk has been a tremendous supporter of what we do here at BMX News, Vintage, BMXNOW, and BMX Action Online, and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for believing in us over the past few years, investing his marketing dollars with us, via advertising, and yes…knowing we love a good scoop to quicken the pulse (my heart is racing as I type this, hoping to get it posted before anyone else can).

Incidentally, this isn’t part of the big ABA/NBL news yesterday. gOrk’s move has been in the works “for months,” and was planned on being announced now, for a July start. We caught a whiff of it in Chula Vista last month, but nobody was talking with any specificity on the subject, which is why we did not report it then.

We asked him to tell us how it all came about, and give us some scoop on how he was feeling about things. here’s what he said:

“This has been in the works for a long time. Really, ever since BA took over as president of the ABA – and probably even some years before that, one of the first things he has said to me whenever we see each other was ‘You ready to come back yet?’ So at Rockford last year, when he asked me that question for about the hundredth time, I finally began thinking about possibilities and what it’d take to make it happen.

Then last November at the Grands we talked about it a little more serious, and they gave me a really good offer that was hard to refuse.

It’s not that I was unhappy at SBS/Redline – in fact, I always figured I would work here until I retire. And I will truly miss the entire SBS staff – just the same as I have missed my friends at the ABA over the past 11 years. SBS has been an incredible company to work for.

I’m just stoked to be going back to concentrating 100% of my effort on BMX racing, and doing whatever I can to increase the exposure for our sport and to help it grow even bigger. And with yesterday’s news and USA BMX becoming the new home for all of BMX racing in North America, the timing of this just couldn’t be any better.”

What more can we say? The guy is a hall of famer, sidehack national champion from the 1970s, as marketing savvy as it gets, and can still mix it up with the best of us slangin’ the Nikons on the infield. I expect we’ll be seeing much more of him out there, and that is a beautiful thing!

Congratulations, gOrk! We’ll miss you in Seattle, but can’t wait for you to get to Gilbert.

—Mike Carruth

Global Effort On Redline’s Mysterious “Project-79″

March 11, 2011 by · Comments Off 


To hear gOrk tell it, Redline’s “Project-79″ is a program befitting the highest security clearance possible. It’s Area 51, meets the secret formula for Coca-Cola, mixed with the blueprints for the next iPhone, combined with the identity of “Charlie” from Charlie’s Angels.

So, what is it? Is it a new-fangled frame-and-fork form-factor? A new mega-innovative downlow drivetrain dealio, or some kind of springloaded, stored-momentum flux capacitor technology?

Well, those of us without “Yankee White” clearance got a dribble of a nibble today, as a teaser video surfaced, along with the above “far-enough-away-so-as-not-to-show-too-much-leg” photo, both shot at Speedworld earlier this month.

The communique tells us “Project-79 (is) being tested by Redline Global riders from four different countries; including the entire Dutch National Team,” and that “Our riders have all been sworn to secrecy and have signed the confidentiality agreements in blood – so you won’t get anything out of them except for the above.”

Watch Project-79 Video, Part 1 Now

2010 BMX Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

August 7, 2010 by · Comments Off 


Tim Judge, (#2, above, from the 1981 Jag World Championships) is one of six inductees in the Class of 2010.
Photo By Bob Osborn, ©Wizard Publications, used by permission.

The 2010 National BMX Hall Of Fame inductees have been officially announced. Six BMX greats will be inducted at the September 16 ceremony in San Diego.

Each year, the public nominates their most worthy heroes from the 40-year history of the sport of BMX. The top nominees are placed in one of four categories (Pioneer BMX Racer, BMX Racer, BMX Industry and BMX Freestyle), and a ballot is sent to current Hall Of Fame members, BMX media and industry figures for their vote.

The Hall Of Fame board of directors, based on recommendations from a steering committee, also considers if there are any persons worthy of a “Special Recognition” award, which the board bestows above and beyond the standard four voting categories.

Here are in-depth bios on all six inductees:

National BMX Hall Of Fame 2010 Inductees

Pioneer BMX Racer – Tim Judge

“Here Come Da Judge!” was a popular refrain from announcers and magazine writers anytime Florida flyer, Tim Judge, was in view. Tim got into BMX when he noticed a kid on his block, jumping a ramp made of found wood and an old tire. That day in 1973 would propel TJ into a lifelong affection for BMX, and “go-fast” sports, in general.

As a member of the Speed Unlimited/Thruster Factory team, Tim was one of the youngest riders of his time to have a replica frame named after him. His eventual departure from Thruster came only days before the 1981 Jag World Championships, so Tim borrowed a bike from pal Greg Esser and packed for Indy. There, he won 14-Over Open, earning a spot in the “World Championship” Trophy Dash. In an epic lap, Tim beat Pro Money winner Kevin McNeal to take home the title, and what may be the tallest trophy ever awarded at a BMX race.

Tim did a brief stopover on the Mongoose Factory Team, before landing on what would be his “home team” for the balance of his career. With Hutch BMX Products, Tim got a second “Judge Replica” frame named after him, and chalked up another world title, this time in Cruiser, at the IBMXF World Championships in Slagharen, Holland.

He won a slew of age group titles in his 12-year career, but he says his two world titles, are his most memorable.

TJ transitioned out of BMX Racing in 1985 and made a name for himself in the watercraft (JetSki) world, earning countless awards and honors as both a rider and one of the industry’s top mechanics/builders. The drive that made him great in BMX served him well in the watercraft world, earning him a spot in the International Jet Sport Boating Association (IJSBA) Hall of Fame in 2006.

Today, Tim operates his company, Judge Motorsports, and lives in South Florida.

BMX Racer – Steve Veltman

Long before BMX racers were considered to be “Extreme” “X” or “Action Sports” athletes, there was a different kind of BMXer. Musclebound, and more suited for the gridiron or bodybuilding contest than a bicycle track. Then, there was Steve Veltman. Built like a linebacker, but with a skill set that left onlookers, and even his peers with their mouths agape. Steve was an early, and some would say “natural” athlete, playing soccer from five years of age. Just after his 10th birthday, he decided to change things up, and find a sport that was more based on individual accomplishment. Once he and his dad discussed his idea, a BMX career was born. Steve credits Charles Scott of World of Wheels Bike Shop in Conroe, Texas as being the one who showed him how things worked in BMX Racing, and gave him his first sponsorship. Steve raced well at the local level and on the national scene, and got picked up by the legendary Hutch BMX Products Factory Team after the 1981 ABA Grands.

On his Hutch, Steve went on to win the ABA National Number One Amateur and Cruiser titles in 1982 (the first time someone took both titles in the same year). He also racked up two Jag, and two IBMXF World Championship amateur titles. After the 1985 campaign, with the original Hutch closing its doors, Steve took a two-year break from BMX racing, returning in 1987 for the newly-formed McDonald’s Factory Team. He won the 1989 World Championship in Cruiser and turned pro after that season. He was an immediate threat to “The Firm” of the day, winning the Gold Cup title and Rookie of the Year honors by finishing number five overall. In 1993, he took pro racing to the most dominant level it had ever seen, winning 14 nationals, including 7 in a row and culminating with the ABA National Number One Pro title in a career defining come from behind win at the Grandnationals.

Steve’s joyride at the top was short-lived, as he discovered a degenerative disc in his back in February of 1994. He was sidelined for the better part of the next two seasons, but returned to his old form by 1997. That year, he won more ABA Pro Series races than anyone else, and entered the Grands as points leader, only to be injured and unable to retain his long lost crown. He came back a second time in late 1998. In 1999, he represented the US at the World Championships in Argentina, winning the bronze medal in Elite Cruiser. In 2000, he won AA Pro at the ABA Grands, and subsequently competed in three X Games. After Hutch and McDonald’s, Steve had a string of factory sponsors, including L&S, Vans, ODI, Boss, Torker, Answer/Kastan, NEXT and Magna. He retired from competitive racing in 2004 after 15 years in the top class.

Steve was as prolific off of the track as on, becoming the first cyclist, and only BMXer, to appear on a Wheaties box. He was featured in a McDonald’s ad campaign, a National Geographic article and holds US patents for products, both bicycle related and non. In 1985, he competed in Apartheid-ruled South Africa, an accomplishment for any BMX racer, a life-changing experience for an African American. In his career after racing, Steve became a Corrective and Performance Exercise Coach in the San Diego area. He uses his two-decades of experience in BMX racing to help keep his clients performing at the top of their abilities. “I keep people fast,” he said in a recent interview. Consistent with the maxim that “no exit from BMX is permanent,” Steve is developing a top performance training program to serve BMX athletes by blending both his professional skill sets.

BMX Industry – Craig “gOrk” Barrette

Few industries have a person so well known and respected, that one name suffices in identifying them. In music, it’s Madonna and Cher. In BMX, it’s “gOrk.” gOrk has played nearly all the positions on the proverbial BMX playing field. As a racer in the late 70′s, he and his brother, Scott, mounted up their sidehack and motored all over Northern California in the chase for the UBR national title (which they won three times, with gOrk as the “monkey”). As the infant sport of BMX Freestyle made its way North from the pools and parks of So. Cal, the “gOrk Trick Team” was formed, and he and Sacramento local, Dizz Hicks put on shows that wowed the crowds in the air and on the ground.

The team landed a sponsorship by CW in late 1984 and soon after, gOrk found himself movin on down to Southern California to get closer to the epicenter of the emerging freestyle world. With a few other leads for work in the industry, he ended up in Placentia running the warehouse for CW owner, Roger Worsham. The warehouse gig lasted until he got an unexpected call from BMX Action founder, Bob Osborn, who asked him to come to Torrance for an improptu job interview. Steve Giberson was in the process of moving on, and by the September issue, he was on the masthead at “Mighty BMXA” as Assistant Editor. His stint as assistant lasted less than a month, as Gibey saw the book was in capable hands, and left Kashiwa Street for good. gOrk was bumped up the masthead, and assumed the title of Editor with the October 1985 issue. Four years later, BMX Action and Freestylin’ were folded together, and gOrk was on the move, after covering the 1989 worlds in Australia in July, 1989 (December 1989 “combined” issue, two issues before the magazine changed to “Go”).

The day he found out that his position was being eliminated due to the consolidation of titles, he mused that “The ABA will always be around…and the (American) BMXer could use some sprucing up…” So he put in a call to ABA President Clayton John from home the next morning. By the time he got to Wizard, a message from Clayton was on his desk. Funny thing was that Clayton had not received gOrk’s earlier message, but was calling for the same reason–to offer him a job. He was in Chandler within a week or two, and stayed at ABA for 10 years, where he made good on sprucing up the BMXer and acted as steward to this very Hall Of Fame for several years, among many other notable accomplishments.

As the 20th century came to a close, he made the move to the manufacturer side of the industry, and headed to Seattle to join Seattle Bike Supply as Marketing Manager of it’s flagship brand, Redline. Eleven years later, he has his hands in everything the public sees with the Redline brand on it, and still works closely with his former co-workers at the ABA via the Redline Cup. gOrk lives in Seattle with his wife and family and still rides when he gets the time.

BMX Freestyler – Woody Itson

The son of a sea captain, Woody Itson would find himself peering out over a sea of another kind in his formative years–a sea of screaming fans at freestyle shows all over the world. But it was at the Orange Y BMX Track that Woody would first find fun and passion for riding his bike. As a competitive racer on the local scene for several years, Woody would entertain the crowds by doing what we would, today, call “dirt jumping” on the first straight. Enthusiastic kids would command him to “do a trick” (a phrase that later became a “pants motto” in his freestyle days).

Local bike shop owner and BMX mad scientist, Brian Scura caught wind of Woody’s antics down at the “Y” and invited him to do freestyle shows outside his shop. It wasn’t long until he got hooked up with legendary Vans marketing man, Everett Rosecrans, and hit the road with Mike Dominguez, Brian Blyther and Martin Aparijo for a national tour. During a swing through Baltimore, bad weather boded well for Woody, when Rich Hutchins invited the team to do their show for a local TV crew in the warehouse of Hutch BMX Products. Soon after, the call came from Hutch, asking Woody to join the newly-formed Hutch Factory Freestyle Team. That call, and the events that followed, would prove to be the most profound in Woody’s career, as it catapulted him into the international limelight. At Hutch, Woody was given a free hand in designing the bike of his dreams. The resulting Hutch Trick Star, remains one of the classic rides of freestyle’s heady heyday.

The mid 80s were also a time when the competition scene was taking form in freestyle–first with the AFA’s contests, and then with the NFA. Naysayers spouted that pro riders should not compete, and others chided that they were too scared to compete. Woody thumbed his nose at both opinions and ended up winning the 1985 AFA Summer Freestyle Championships, and the 1986 NFA Grand Nationals. But the sport really was more about performing than competing.

In the late summer of 1986, Hutch declared bankruptcy and Woody’s ride abruptly ended. He joined former Hutch Teammate Mike Dominguez in a two-year deal with Diamond Back soon after, and ended his professional riding career riding for Vision Street Wear in 1989.

Woody has been described by friends as “the level-headed one,” and exhibited those qualities when he left BMX in 1989 to attend college at Cal State Long Beach. His parents had always been uneasy about his career choice in BMX, and were pleased when Woody’s pursuit of an accounting degree brought a steady stream of President’s List letters and other academic accolades. With a diploma on the wall, Woody made his way back in to the bike business, this time as the guy calling the shots, rather than pulling tricks. His stint as Freestyle Program director at GT Bicycles spanned nine years (1993-2001), including the era that saw the tragic loss of company co-founder, Richard Long, in 1996.

As 2001 was ending, Woody and some of his coworkers at GT teamed up with SKip Hess at Giant Bicycles to create a company to manage a BMX racing and freestyle program, and make Giant the exclusive sponsor of that program. As Woody put it in a recent interview “We had a great five year run with Giant. And when it was done, everyone parted friends, and we kept going…doing what we loved to do. And we’re still doing it.”

Today, that company, Satellite Sports Group, performs at over 500 venues each year (featuring BMX and skateboard talent), and keeps Woody neck-deep in BMX on a daily basis. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children. He says his son, though only five years old, is bound to show up with dad at the Orange Y someday soon, bringing the story full-circle and into a new generation.

Special Recognition – Linda Dorsey

In honoring someone for whom the sharpest wit and cleverest turn of phrase was as natural as green on grass, words are difficult to wrangle when talking about legendary announcer, Linda Dorsey. Her son, Bryan, probably summed it up as well as any of us could, saying, simply, “BMX was her life.” Starting, as many a parent did–with a checkbook opened on the counter of the local bike shop, buying a Mongoose Motomag complete for her only son, Linda would soon volunteer as a scorer at her local track in Azuza, CA. Bryan doesn’t remember when, exactly, Linda announced her first race, but it was likely to fill in for Azuza announcer/Track Operator, Richard Long (who also co-founded GT Bicycles). Linda took her place in the announcers tower at Azuza, and talked to us for nearly 30 years, non-stop. And we loved every second of it.

During her three-decades on the mic, Linda was a fixture on the NBL National circuit, served on the NBL Board of Directors, and brought her voice to France and Japan, among other places motos were posted and crowds were gathered. Sadly, Linda passed away from cancer in 2008, but announced BMX races with the same fire and passion until three months before the end of her life. She is survived by Bryan, who will be in San Diego to accept this posthumous honor.

Special Recognition – Al Fritz, father of the Schwinn Sting-Ray

Starting on the welding line of Schwinn’s landmark Kostner Avenue plant in Chicago, Al Fritz worked his way up from the factory floor in 1945, to become the number-two man, and a member of the Board of Directors at Schwinn Bicycle Company.

In 1963, Mr. Fritz, then Schwinn’s design director, had a chance weekend conversation with a West Coast sales rep, who told him of a “goofy” fad out there, where kids were “buying used 20″ bikes and equipping them with Texas Longhorn handlebars.”

That Saturday morning phone call planted the seed for a project Mr. Fritz would rapidly prototype, and ride through a gauntlet of skeptics, including Frank V. Schwinn, himself, to launch as the Schwinn Sting-Ray. The Sting-Ray went on to sell more than a million units, and every BMX bike on today’s track and trails can trace its roots directly to that first Sting-Ray, built by Al Fritz in the winter of 1963.

A select number of tickets are being offered to the public for the 26th Annual induction ceremony at the San Diego Hall Of Champions (San Diego, CA) on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Visit the link below for more information and to purchase tickets.

The National BMX Hall Of Fame, founded in 1985 as the “ABA BMX Hall of Fame,” has established a mission to further the sport of BMX by helping future generations remember the champions, heroes and thought-leaders who shaped the sport over its history. The Hall Of Fame currently has 90 inductees for the years 1985-2009, and is honored to welcome the six in the class of 2010.

Visit the Hall Of Fame Website at to check out the inductees from 1985-2009

We’re talking about the Hall Of Fame Class of 2010 over on, come join the discussion