The expanded Birth of The BMX Freestyle Movement Vol. 2 book is on the the way. To get you hyped, Dom Phipps has hooked up some new sneak peek images of the book, along with some specifics about the new edition. Click below for that, along with launch party info. Fans of old school BMX should get your pre-order on HERE.
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The Birth of the BMX Freestyle Movement.
BMX Freestyle erupted out of the melting pot of southern California culture in the early 1980s, inspiring a generation to embrace the twenty-inch bicycle as a tool for freedom and creativity. The Birth of the BMX Freestyle Movement celebrates and records the origins and ascendant culture of freestyle during a decade-long era of evolution and exponential growth. Through the personal, and often intimate, recollections of 109 individual contributors, including Bob Haro, Bob Osborn, RL Osborn, Spike Jonze, Ron Wilkerson, Eddie Fiola, and Pete Augustin, ‘Birth” recounts the rapid rise of a new extreme sport from its grass roots era and to its zenith in the late 1980s. Nine targeted chapters recall the first organized contests, the birth of the vert, half-pipe, flatland, and street riding scenes. Hundreds of previously unpublished images from the archives of a celebrated community of photographers and journalists illustrate the story and set the scene. The Birth of the Freestyle Movement is a story of youthful innovation.
Book Excerpt – Roots… The Mid 1970’s. The state of California is in the grip of a devastating drought. Groups of nomadic BMX racers roam and explore the industrial heartland of Greater Los Angeles in search of rideable terrain. The depleted reservoirs, cement ditches and drained public pools become the canvas for interpretation, as the relentless rays of the sun peel-back an undiscovered world of paved transitions.
Dogtown, West LA. Skateboarders wedge their decks into the handlebars of BMX bikes and patrol upscale neighborhoods in search of drained pools. They skate until the cops arrive and flood the pools on exit to protect their assets. The bicycle becomes more than just a means to roam and explore when sixteen-year-old John Palfreyman takes the inevitable first run, in a pool, on his bike. He rolls into the “Keyhole” in Beverly Hills and carves high over the light fixture on the opposite wall.
Spring Valley, San Diego. Bob Haro and John Swanguen negotiate “bike night” with the management at Skate Heaven. They pick fast lines through deep cement bowls, using the coping and transitions to pivot and jump. Soon, Haro’s artistic talents lead him into an exciting new world. He lands in the epicenter of the BMX Industry in 1978 as the on-staff artist for BMX Action Magazine.
Torrance, Los Angeles, 1979. BMX Action Magazine publisher, Bob Osborn, creates sidebar coverage of Haro, and his son, RL, riding bikes on a plexiglass ramp in the Wizard Publications parking lot. With Oz’s guiding hand, they form the BMX Action Trick Team. The two teenagers stage the first organized Trick Riding demo at the ABA Winternationals BMX race in Chandler, Arizona, in February 1980.
Late summer, 1980. Skateboarder’s Action Now magazine editor D. David Morin, compares Bob Haro to a freestyle skateboarder and puts the words “BMX” and “Freestyle” together for the first time in print.
Excerpt – Out of the Ether – D. David Morin: “Our paths crossed at the perfect moment. Bobby was a perfect age, he had the perfect look, and he was iconoclastic in that he was a southern California kid who also skated and surfed. He had a strong belief in what he was doing, and he was taking it somewhere.”