Lee Reynolds Interview

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In the late 80s and early 90s, the English invaded the BMX scene much like the Australians did more recently. But rather than banging the contest scene over the head, the Brits were rejuvenating the then-ailing BMX scene with style and innovation. According to my memory, just before Simon Tabron and Jamie Bestwick came along, it was James Hudson, John Povah, Jess Dyrenforth, Carlo Griggs, Craig Campbell, and Lee Reynolds, to name a few. I remember James dropping in on vert ramps backwards, Povah ending up in in Nowhere Fast, Jess on the cover of GO in custom painted jeans, Craig doing 540 wallrides.

I was 11 years old when I first saw these guys in the magazines. For me Lee Reynolds was a standout; maybe because of his Airwalk ad featuring that mean photo of the casual, padless hung-out-to-dry can can at the Enchanted Ramp. Or it could have been the fact that, when I wrote his sponsor Haro a letter with a torn-out magazine photo of Lee asking them to please forward it to Lee, he autographed it and mailed it back to me.

Either way, it strikes me that Lee’s style on a BMX bike was a glimpse into the future of simplicity and effortless style reigning supreme. Lee did this about 1.5 decades before Mike Aitken and Chase Hawk and Brian Yeagle took BMX in the K.I.S.S. direction.

I like to see what BMXers do after BMX. It tells you a lot about them. Some burn out, some fade away, some become designers and open clothing stores have families and start DJing professionally and keep riding. Lee did all but the first two. Read on to find out why and how.

  • http://goodsbmx.com shad

    True G, much respect always Lee!!!!

  • http://www.os-bmx.com/forums/index.php s.brothers

    stone cold shredder… big ups, Lee

  • Micah

    I was just thinking about that Airwalk ad the other day. Amazing!

  • http://www.thebicyclesource.com Steve Blackey

    King of the “Cancan”!! Much respect to Lee

  • rick allison

    An amazing story and life.I remember you living at Rons place back in 88 or so.You were always a really cool guy n great rider.Really nice to see were your at today.Thx for sharing.

  • http://www.niagarastreet.net chris orbell

    i like reading about these guys makes me wish i was around back then!

  • Rob J

    Had that advert hanging on my wall for years when i was younger. Much respect.

    Great interview dg!

  • http://www.century21yourhometeam.com Alvin Mullins

    Lee is one of my Favorite riders and one of the nicest guy’s you’ll ever meet

  • Dug

    I am pretty sure he was on the front of one of my folders back in grade school. Anyone remeber that? Was that him? Great interview, Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lovee_youuuu :)

    I will ride his cock all day!

  • Xavier

    Lee, you always amaze me when you get on that bike, can’t wait to ride together again.

    X

  • Andy Brown

    One of the nicest, coolest and giving guys in BMX.

  • Daz Whitfield

    Amazing rider and a top bloke!

  • Andy Irwin

    Great stuff with great pics and good luck with the shop it looks cool.

  • http://www.geturfixx.com dirtron

    the american dream. so awesome! thanks for that guys.

  • Lee Reynolds

    Thanks for the kind words… you guys have gotten me all choked up!

  • Jesse D

    You are the Man Lee! Eating it at the vert demo showed me that it I will never be too old to make a fool of myself in front of a crowd. I still ride vert (mostly under coping) and dont think Ill ever stop JD

  • Colin Platts

    Cool interview good to see Lee is doing well great pics too

  • Nick Elkan

    Great interview….Always brings back great memories…I’ve got to get on my bike more..!

  • http://www.strictlybmx.com Paul Robertson

    Great interview, good memories. All these dudes made a massive impact in the late 80′s.
    Can we please have an Angry Brown interview now?

  • Anthem 2

    Aaaah, yes..the Airwalk ad. My all time favorite BMX photo.
    A true inspiration indeed.
    Finally met this guy at the NORA cup rehearsal, it’s nice when you find out that your idols aren’t douchebags.
    It was a true pleasure.

  • Dave Young

    Great rider, great bloke, inspiring human being…..Nice one Lee respect!

  • http://www.jaredsouney.com souney

    Photos of Lee’s can-cans are part of the reason I started shooting photos to begin with. You just can’t do that trick any better.

  • Brian blyther

    Lee you rule, I love the way you cant holdback it inspires me to not be such a puss. Thanks for all you do stay healthy and ride. BB

  • Trev Noronha

    Cool interview.
    Lee was and still is an awesome rider and an all round nice guy.
    Really hope you can make it back over next year. Will be great to see you.

  • http://www.easternbikes.com jon byers

    Lee, my favorite story is how you and your dad stole a christmas tree together… i always thought that was awesome.

  • http://www.decobmx.com chad degroot

    I remember you came to the US and had some dreads, but they were with super glue. All of us wanted to try this idea, but stuck shit together and decided to glue money to shit so people would get excited but wouldn’t be able to get it. Sweet rider, super glue, nnnnice…

  • Lee Reynolds

    I really appreciate all the kind words and funny stories!
    If any of you are in San Diego hit me up and we’ll go ride.
    lee_reynolds@cox.net

  • Simon Tabron

    You’ll be cool forever Lee!
    I’m in SD, I’m hitting you up, let’s ride soon!

  • http://bmxrestorations.com Mark Gray

    Great getting to meet you Lee and hanging out with you and a great time it was..!!!!!

  • chris pullen

    i remember riding with lee in the late 80s at meanwhile, london under the flyover! wow he used to go so high on his hutch that he alost hit the roof most times, must have been 40 feet off the ground even back then! he was so good it was unbelieable!, chris pullen!

  • Angry Brown

    Just stumbled over this Lee! Great read mate :)