Many of you have emailed me in recent days asking me to confirm the rumor that I was the new owner of vintagebmx.com. Well, as they say in show business "a rumor is just a premature fact."
So, yes, it is true that I have acquired the site and related stuff from Bill, as of March 12.
We were not going to make any kind of splashy announcement or "official" fanfare around the change in ownership, since there will really not be much "change" visible to you, the members. Bill, Hal, Rick and Elvis have all agreed to stay on and play a part in taking the site to the next level (VBMX 6.0, as I have taken to calling it after our fifth anniversary).
But, rather than have a bunch of rumors flying around about what's happening (sooner or later, the rumor mill would have Trump and Oprah owning it or somesuch), I thought I should go "on the air" to let you know what's up.
We are planning some great new features for the site (the BMX wiki project being but one of them), and I expect this summer's Olympic coverage will bring lots of people you used to ride with back to the sport, thus enhancing our community, and what you get out of it.
I encourage any of you who have comments, suggestions or other feedback to email it to me directly at mike <at> vintagebmx.com.
For those of you whom I have not met, I'll include a brief history of my involvement in the sport. I give you this, not as any kind of bragging or back-patting ritual, but to give you a snapshot of who I am and my background in the sport. I think it is important you know I have a deep appreciation of the history so well represented by this site. Far from being simply a business acquisition, the material covered on the site spans a large chunk of my life, and some of my best days...and I am passionate about it's past, present and future success.
1979: Purchased first BMX Bike (Mongoose Motomag...well actually, my FIRST BMX-"style" bike was a Graco shock bike, but I got laughed off the local trails and whined until my mom sprang for the 'goose); First Race (July, Itasca BMX Track near Chicago)
1981: First trophy (Rondo Classic, Minneapolis, MN), yeah, I sucked pretty bad...it took nearly two years to trophy
1981: First article published in Super BMX Magazine (Itasca, IL War Of The Stars, July)
81-82: Covered NBL and ABA Grands (81 only), Knott's Berry Farm Race, IBMXF World Championships (Dayton, OH), Jag World Championships (Indy and Vegas), and many more...all Freelance for Super BMX
1982: Founded BMX Underwriters, "world's only independent BMX Product testing service" fielded a regional race team.
1980-1985: Race announcer at various tracks and nationals around the Midwest
1982: Worked in telephone sales for Zeronine while trying to get a Zeronine national tour together (never happened)
1983: Cofounded Can-Am BMX News (One issue only).
1983: Cofounded Trigon/MCE Freestyle Team with Randy "The Magician" Tischmann
1983: Had a brief stint on ESPN's Jag BMX series with D. David Morin as the "Color." I was basically terrible on TV, but was a pretty good announcer in my day.
1984: Founded "BMX Now" a "Made-on-the-Xerox" zine comprised mostly of freestyle (three issues).
1984: Promoted a freestyle demo series for Hublein Beverage Co.
1984: Worked at Excel Manufacturing, makers of the infamous "Hotfeet" Pedals (I did not design them, I just sold them--or tried to).
1985: Founded the World Freestyle Organization and ran freestyle contests around the Midwest (Rick Moliterno hosted one at Bike & Hike in Moline, IL, and Dennis McCoy competed in the first contest in the series with his KC homies). Ran a similar series later in 85 and throughout 1986 in Southern California
1985: Hired by BMX Plus! Magazine as Associate Editor after McGoo went to work for CW as TM.
1985: Added "Advertising Director" to my title at Plus! I was a selling, shooting and syllable-slingin' machine.
1986: It's a bit sketchy, but at some point I was off Plus!, replaced by my pal Scott Towne, and started writing/shooting/selling Freestyle Spectacular, later American Freestyler. Many of those issues were a single-handed effort, as we did not have a contributor budget. Appeared in 101 Freestyle Tricks as the Emcee of the Ramp section.
1986: Earned NBL Califorinia State Number 1 Plate for 17-Over Novice
1987: Traveled to Japan/China/Hong Kong/Hawaii with the GT Freestyle Team (Martin and Josh). Received first lap dance in a Honolulu hotel room (courtesy of a friend of our trip host in Hawaii). Worked with the ABA on their freestyle initiative.
1987: Came 16 hours away from leaving Plus! to work at Challenge Publications (Super BMX and "Freestyle" magazine). Decided on Sunday night before my first day I just could not do it...didn't feel right. That position, I believe, ultimately went to Steve Giberson.
1988: Traveled to Brazil with the Haro Freestyle team (Blyther, Wilkerson, Nourie).
1988: After prompting by Jon Raudman of Skyway (who was one of my favorite advertisers), recommended to the Hi-Torque management that we try a Mountain Bike Magazine as a "one shot" special issue ("I already have one advertiser" was my pitch). Mountain Bike Action was born. Attempted to cover a MTB race in Shasta,CA and in Durango, CO and failed miserably in both cases. Knew MTB was not for me.
1987: Introduced the concept of running manufacturers' catalogs in the magazine as advertising, then having us ship them "overruns" of the catalog only (GT was the first, then Haro and Kuwahara followed).
1988: Produced the packaging and handbook for "101 Tricks Part 2: Psycho Version" with Karl Rothe helping to crop photos. This gave me the itch to start producing ads (write/shoot/art), and I formed a side company called "ImageQuest" to further that pursuit. Tioga, Elf, Kuwahara and Redline were early clients.
1988: Was "terminated" from Plus! in June after it was decided that I could not sell and produce ads at the same time.
1989: Accepted a contract gig in Taipei, Taiwan for an ad agency who did artwork and color separations for the likes of GT, Haro and other well known makers. Worked there from March-September.
1989: Off the BMX Radar and in to mainstream advertising.
1996: Reserved the domain name "bmx.net" and planned to start an online BMX magazine. Could not get sufficient traction to make it happen and sold the domain name in mid-1997.
2002: Owned the domain bmxa.com for a couple years until I let it lapse in 2004.
2008: Purchased vintagebmx.com on March 12
So, that's my story. I am eager to start the next chapter, and hope to have your support and involvement, one and all.
As a closing thought, I want to thank Bill, Hal, Rick and Elvis for their contribution to the sport, and this site. It is a permanent tome of BMX history, and it wouldn't be here without the hard work of this core team (and all of you who spend your hours each week online).