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.