Best of 7. Going back in time with people who captured BMX in the early years. Without these images it would be harder for everyone to understand what was happening in the beginning. It fits the oldskool articles nicely. Episode 49 goes to Bill Batchelor who has been treating the BMX historians with some gold lately.
Photographer: Bill Batchelor
Photo 1 -Who: Bob Haro -Where: Pipeline King of the Skateparks, Upland California -When: 1985 -What Happened: In between the actual contest judging events I always took a lot of pictures of the people and the behind the scenes action. Bob was judging the contest so this photo was part of a series of the judges. -Why this photo: As a BMX kid in the early 1980s, Bob Haro was an idol of mine. He started it all, and epitomized what was cool at the time. We’d stare at photos of his riding in the magazines and his Freestyle Tricks book and try to build his ramps. When I first got a real Haro number plate for my race
-Spot to ride: Anything you can smash your pegs into -BMX video: The Price is Wrong -Website: funkypidgeon.com -Web video: every YATETAPE -Food: Anything that swims -Twitter to follow: Don't have Twitter anymore RIP -Person on Instagram: Eric Elstran, dude is jokes -Travel destination: The Pyrenees for sure
WeThePeople's Riley Smith built up a sample of their new Capital frame, which was made in the USA by Whthous. The Capital frame shares the same geometry as the WTP Battleship (specs below), so Riley had zero issues getting used to it and went on to stacking clips.
NAME: Ashley Little HOME TOWN: Leicester, U.K NUMBER OF BIKES IN COLLECTION: Currently have 21 complete bikes and approximately 20 frame sets. I’ve recently sold my unit where I had all my bikes, motorbikes, cars and other random stuff so everything BMX related is boxed up ready for the move.
What was the starting point of your BMX collecting madness? Ashley Little: Completely random but the company I owned at the time had a job working near an old BMX track where I grew up. I had to sign the completed works off on a Saturday morning and there was an event at the track, I popped over for a quick look and it was a small dirt jump event, hanging around I saw a guy on a PK RIPPER and got chatting. Fortunately for me he had no desire to keep the bike and a short while later the bike was in my car and approximately $120 in his pocket. From then on my curiosity lead me to looking up old local bike shops and buying old stock.
Did you ever meet a pro and then rebuild his bike years later? Ashley Little: No, although I’ve met a bunch of the UK pro riders it’s the early SE pro’s from the States that have always inspired my builds. Although saying that I’m now thinking about possibly building a tribute to Darren Wood’s gold PK RIPPER he raced.
Do you believe Scot Breithaupt was instrumental as far as BMX development and product development goes? Ashley Little: Absolutely. Not only was he there from day 1 but his creative genius will live on in the BMX world forever. Yes he had his well documented flaws but he was doing something others weren’t, he was a character and sadly that’s one thing global sport is missing today. I never had the chance to meet Scot but built up a good friendship over the last 15years or so, 2 years before he passed we started work on a series of kids books about a boy and his BMX adventures, I’d love to get those finished. He's missed by a lot of people.
Could you name 6 pro riders who have raced for SE without looking it up? Ashley Little: Yes no problem, it’s easy to go with the pro/sponsored riders who had bikes named after them for a start. Stu Thomsen, Jeff Utterback, Derek Brown, Perry Kramer, Rod Beckering, Toby Henderson. The list is long and packed full of big hitters. SE had some amazing racers over the years.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you? Ashley Little: PK RIPPER and Quadangle, my first bike was a 2nd hand '81 Burnished PK I couldn’t believe how light it was compared to a lot of other bikes my friends had. As a kid I used to stare at pictures of the Quadangle in magazines and I couldn’t quite figure out how that crazy frame was created, it looked amazing back then and still does today.
Do you still have that bike in your collection today? Ashley Little: I sure do. It’s beat up, has cracks, scars and heaps of dents that tell a thousand stories of care free riding and it’s awesome. SE had pretty much the best race outfit in BMX.
Next to bike parts, do you also have some of the SE racing gear? Ashley Little: Yes I have several race jerseys, race pants, gloves, helmets, team jackets. I also love collecting memorabilia as much as the bikes and I’m also very fortunate to own Scot’s race helmet he wore in his last race.
Do you get creative with your builds or do you stick to the correct spec? Ashley Little: My builds are era correct as much as they can be, the exception being the GPV I built, that had to have a few fabricated parts to mount the fairing and newer foot pegs and tyres, other than that the rest is based around 81 parts. My tribute builds are my passion, I enjoy trying to capture a moment in time such as my Portland Bike Gallery BD-III and Rod’s 79 PK, my recent blue PK was a nod to Perry and his style of bikes he raced.
Name three BMX collectors that you respect? 1) Brian Hays. Passionate about SE racing? Just a bit! That man has forgotten more about SE than a lot of new collectors know. 2) Sean “Stidds” Stiddard. One of the nicest guys in the UK BMX scene, builds amazing bikes and has incredible knowledge. 3) Craig Fisher. Mr Skyway Australia, another great guy that has been around since day one and still rides like a demon today.
What products are a great help when you find an old rusty historical piece of shit bike that needs to shine again? Ashley Little: I’m fortunate as PK’s don’t rust so a light polish with Mothers sorts them out. But if you do try to polish aluminium get some rags…plenty of rags.
How often do you look on eBay/Craigslist/BMX Museum to shop for old BMX stuff? Ashley Little: Rarely these days, I’ve spent over 22 years networking and building up friendship/relationships and I’ll always go to those guys for anything I need.
Do you have a man-cave where your bikes are displayed? Ashley Little: Not right now as I’ve sold the unit but did have a nice set up.
What’s a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven’t been able to locate? Ashley Little: There are 2 specific frames/bikes I’ve searched for, I now know where they are so fingers crossed.
Thanks to? Ashley Little: Thanks for the opportunity Bart and keep the amazing interviews coming. Also everyone who has helped me along the way however big or small, If I put names down I’d probably forget someone.