We've asked Mel Stoutsenberger to pick his favourite photos from back in the day and give us the Who, Where, When, What, and Why. Mel documented BMX first hand. Here's photo number Five.
Who: Bruce Bufkin from Canoga Park, California. Bruce and I became friends in 1968 because of our shared interest in motocross. We didn't have motorcycles yet but we had our Schwinn Stingrays which we rode as much as we could in the empty fields and trails around our neighborhood. His older Brother used to help us work on our bikes, gave us tips, customizing and making them better suited for riding in the dirt.
Where: Indian Dunes Motorcycle Park, mini-bike track, Valencia, California.
Name: Sean Stiddard Hometown: Bristol, England Started riding BMX in: 1980 Number of bikes in the collection: Now 14, I had 37 at one point. But I scaled back as to leave the bikes that either meant a lot to me (i.e. my original bikes) or ones I just plain loved too much to let go. I remember once a long time ago my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) asked the dreaded question “Exactly how many bikes and frames do you have?”, my reply was “You know about the 20 bikes in the loft, well I have 6 frames at work, 2 frames in the back of my car, 4 being chromed, 2 at my parents and 1 in the mail that I purchased yesterday”, I think that is when she realised she had a love rival in the relationship.
Name: Mohamad Al-amin Abdullah Hometown: Perlis, Malaysia Started riding BMX in: BITD mid 90s, and came back to BMX in about 2016. Number of bikes in the collection: Since 2016 until 2021 I have owned 150 complete old school BMX bikes ('70s-'90s) and more than 250 frame & fork sets. Last year I started to sell a few things from my collection (already sold around 60-70 BMX). I sold some to other local collectors and just tried to move a few items in order to cover the costs of the container. With the help of some friends in the UK and USA, I have stockpiled some parts and bikes, which I then ship in a container back to Malaysia. It is very common in the old school scene for sellers to refuse international shipping. So, we try to have an
Name: Brad Nash Hometown: Winchester, England Started riding BMX in: 1983 Number of bikes in the collection: Currently 6
What was the first collectable bike that started it all for you? Brad Nash: In early 2000’s I got my hands on an '83 Mongoose Californian and that was it...
Do you have a closer feeling to bikes you did own back in the day or badly wanted when you were racing BMX? Brad Nash: Badly wanted is more like it. I had a rubbish BMX as a kid. Mum swears it was an American import but I think she meant from Halfords. I never raced BMX. We did have a mud track locally that kids
Name: Donnie Platt Hometown: Borelando, Florida Started riding BMX in: 1982 Number of bikes in the collection: 10 completes
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Donnie Platt: I’ve always been into old school bikes. I always kept them around even as I got new bikes. I decided I wanted to start racing again in 2005 and decided to fund it by selling off a bunch of my old school parts. That was when I realized that there was a real scene there. I wasn’t the only one that liked that stuff. I sold off a bunch of stuff (including the Boss cruiser I’d had since 1992 which I tried to buy
Name: Lionel Eden aka carbizguy Hometown: Born and raised (and still living in) Redondo Beach, CA Started riding BMX in: 1977 on my brother's old monoshock Number of bikes in the collection: Currently, I have 9 complete bikes and 20 frames/forks. At peak insanity, I had probably 3 times this in my collection. I haven't been very active lately, I thinned out my collection back in 2010.
What was the starting point of your BMX collecting madness? Lionel Eden: In early 2000 I found an old BMX Action magazine and that sparked this idea of
Teams represented: Kawasaki Motor Co, Shimano America, ***Redline Development Linn Kastan (it was not a team - Linn and I work together to develop The ProLine series: V bars, stem, frame, and fork. Flight cranks. While riding the Redline product Mr. Jim Emerson of EFF /Peddlers West provided me with parts, support, and transportation.
What was the first bike you used to ride Bicycle Motocross before you got picked up by Kawasaki?
Name: Toby Henderson Started riding in: 1972 Teams represented: DG, Raleigh, Hutch, SE, GT, Iron Horse.
Was pretty much everyone on a Stingray when they raced Bicycle Motocross at BUMS in 1973? Toby Henderson: I know I was on one. The rest of the guys... I'm sure there were some Huffy's on the field :)
At age 12, was the Stingray actually a perfect fit for you? Toby Henderson: I didn't know better, but it handled everything better than any other bike I rode at that time. It was funny you asked because I was the first one to get a Schwinn Scrambler/prototype, a straight tube version of the Stringray. The head tube was so slacked out, it was almost unrideable. Not sure if they ever fixed that as I went on to ride for DG later on.
Did you do many of the downhill BMX races when they were around? Toby Henderson: Yes, I remember one in San Diego where I crashed really hard. On the Yarnell track, I was scared to death just to go out of the starting gate.
Name: Mickael Clerté Hometown: Gujan Mestras, France Started riding BMX in: 1985 Number of bikes in the collection: 18
Do you remember the moment that you decided to start collecting BMX memorabilia? Mickael Clerté: Yes around 2010, hearing about more and more BMX old school reunions.
Who were the first people you came across that helped you out to find the stuff you needed? Mickael Clerté: My old friend from TOURS, Eric Pontoizeau. This guy is one of the first French who start to collecting.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake? Mickael Clerté: Yes sure.
Did you get to keep all your bikes when you were part of sponsored teams? Mickael Clerté: No never, always need to sell those bikes to pay BMX travels, races…I wish I could but not.