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julieharding
Hey BMX folks,

With the ABA going away soon, can we finally acknowledge it's begginings ? Everyone knows that Merl Mennega was a founder, but there was also Jerry Harding as a Founder in 1977. Additionally, Lee"Leroy" Harding was the first ABA #1, not Kyle Flemming. Merl & Jerry wouldn't acknowledge Lee as the 1st ABA champ because of the fact that his father was the Vice President and that might jeopardize the "legitimacy" of the ABA ! Has enough time passed for the ABA to be "legitimate" and acknowledge it's begginings ?

Julie ......
http://bmx-recollection.com/Downloads/Book...77%20(IBMX).pdf

cheez
ABA going away soon? Did I sleep through something again?

You seem to have a gripe with the ABA maybe you should take it up with them or at least have this thread moved into the current day racing section were they hang out more. To my knowledge no one who was invovled with the ABA in 77 is still working there. Cheryl Bustamante
has been there the longest out of all of them (82)
julieharding
Hi cheez,

Nope, not a gripe......we've had along time to gripe if that were it. More of a let's get the facts out/straight before it's too late. I read that the ABA and NBL were merging into USA-BMX. Best-of-everything to you.

Julie
julieharding
Cheez,

Just wanted to be clear........no griping here. BMX memories are ALWAYS with smiles. I actually was saying it with tongue-in-cheek when I said "has enough time passed" since 34 years is reeallly a long time ago.
cheers
Racer
He was District Number 1 in 1977 but from what I can tell they had No Champion that year or National Numbers etc.
Just the two district champions.

RandyS
QUOTE (Racer @ Sep 29 2011, 11:17 PM) *
He was District Number 1 in 1977 but from what I can tell they had No Champion that year or National Numbers etc.
Just the two district champions.


Thanks Erick, I didn't want to be the first one to call this out. Kyle Fleming was the first ABA national #1 and to say he wasn't is a slam against someone whose time on this earth was taken from him way too early. If you want to claim first ABA #1 I have no problem with that, but Kyle Fleming won the #1 plate in the first ABA national series. That has been clear since a good portion of us here watched or participated as it happened.
julieharding
O.K. guys ....before this turns sour.

I said FIRST A.B.A. #1 not first NATIONAL #1. "National" titles were added after there were enough tracks. Just because the A.B.A. got bigger doesn't mean the first year didn't happen right? I mean, '79 was bigger than '78 and so on. Lee has told me that he and Kyle were team mates at one time and that he knew the parents well (Carl & Paula?). He thought the world of Kyle. What happened to him WAS tragic. There is absolutely no "slam" against Kyle Flemming, that's not what the post was about please don't twist it into that.

A.B.A. races were held at different tracks every weekend in the beginning. One weekend Chandler, next Tucson, next Azusa, CA. Only at the end of the year did the A.B.A. decide it had enough members that it would be beneficial to split it into districts like I.B.M.X. did. All districts earned points at the same track initially. That's why you see them ranked in 1 column .

Peace
Reilley1
Azuza was ABA in 77?
cheez
QUOTE (Reilley1 @ Sep 30 2011, 11:45 AM) *
Azuza was ABA in 77?


Yeah me too

I remember PXA (43rd & Union Hills) being ABA in 77 as well

In fact by the end of 77 I remember at least 3 tracks in the valley and Prescott were ABA
Racer
I have the ABA paper with year end points for 77. They had Two Districts. AZ 1 and 2.
I think from that issue the first ABA race at Azusa was in 1978.
From what I can garner from ABA Action, BMX News and Bicycle Motorcross Action et all.
Only two ABA tracks ran in 77, Chandler and Tuscon.
The two districts were Ariz-1 and Ariz-2 (Probably Phoenix and Tuscon)
Ariz-1
#1. Leroy Harding
#2. Al Schott
#3. Isaias Nino

Ariz-2
#1. Matt Hubbard
#2. Matt Eisenmenger
#3. Billy McCombs

Got your email Julie, thanks tons. I will certainly talk you and Leroy more and get everything straight from all sides. Was a hectic time as BMX was growing so fast.
AZ was a huge hotbed for BMX at that time also.
julieharding
Cheez...

What's your real name? If you raced in AZ. in the 70's, I'm sure I knew about you. If you want proof about Azusa just send your E-mail and I'll get it to you.. No big deal, just the wife gets "fired-up" sometimes about being called-out and threatened with "virtual" things being dropped on her head.

Lee


Rodogg
popcorm1.gif



I love learning about the early days.
Reilley1
Lee. If you think that asking about Azusa being ABA in 77 is calling someone out, you are wrong. It is trying to get information. The same goes that thinking that a "signature" that predates your joining of this site is a threat.

Don't keep your proof of Azuza being ABA on a personal e-mail. We, as a bmx community, would like to learn something new that you have to offer.
julieharding
Reilly......

The comments looked like they were mocking her.. ...Like I said, it's no big deal. I didn't even know about this site until she felt she had to tell me about it. I'd think it's great if we could actually get to exchanging info. As I wrote to cheez(who is supposed to be from AZ.) I knew just about everyone involved in AZ./ So. Cal BMX in the 70's. I'd go on, but I don't think you guys would actually believe me if I told you how involved I was. I've somewhat agreed to keep specific info private for another person who is doing research on BMX and knows who I am. However, if anyone has a legit question.....fire away ! I haven't really talked about BMX in any length for a long long time.

Sincerely, Dr. Lee "Leroy" Harding D.D.S.
Reilley1
You race at the Yuma track?
julieharding
Reilly,

Sure, a couple of times anyway. I have a couple of newspaper articles from races there. The track was run by Don Rycroft. He owned Mark-1 bicycles previously in Phoenix. Me and Kyle Flemming were on that team.

Lee
julieharding
I need to reduce the file sizes of most of the scans, but here is one that fit for now.

Click to view attachment

The "A Peddlers Corner" team 1977: Doozer Trevino, Kyle Flemming, Paul & John Romero and yours truly. Racing at Canyon Raceway, still wearing my Patterson uniform.
cheez
Peddlers corner remember that shop well 35th and Dunlap. The shop was purchased and moved to Cactus and 43rd, name changed but I don't think it's there anymore, was in 05. Some of the other greats are still around. Landis on Indian School, Sun on 7th street, Bike Barn on 36th street, Swiss American off Bell. I rode for Road Runner on 43rd and Bethany Home rd
Bill Curtin
QUOTE (julieharding @ Sep 29 2011, 09:39 PM) *
O.K. guys ....before this turns sour.

I said FIRST A.B.A. #1 not first NATIONAL #1. "National" titles were added after there were enough tracks. Just because the A.B.A. got bigger doesn't mean the first year didn't happen right? I mean, '79 was bigger than '78 and so on. Lee has told me that he and Kyle were team mates at one time and that he knew the parents well (Carl & Paula?). He thought the world of Kyle. What happened to him WAS tragic. There is absolutely no "slam" against Kyle Flemming, that's not what the post was about please don't twist it into that.

A.B.A. races were held at different tracks every weekend in the beginning. One weekend Chandler, next Tucson, next Azusa, CA. Only at the end of the year did the A.B.A. decide it had enough members that it would be beneficial to split it into districts like I.B.M.X. did. All districts earned points at the same track initially. That's why you see them ranked in 1 column .

Peace


First District #1 in AZ-1. Big difference from National #1.

Being the first rider to earn a #1 is district points for AZ-1 is a cool claim but what you earned was a district plate. We split districts the same way today. It is beneficial to competition to level out the numbers in the district. It was no different then as it is today. You raced quite a bit and you placed real well.





Bill Curtin
Track Department / Information Systems wanna-be
American Bicycle Association.
julieharding
Ya, those were all good shops....you remember well! I went to Moon Valley and there was a shop called "Double Wheels" right across the street. I bought my first bike there in '75(Mongoose with motomags) and all the Ashtabula schwag. It was owned by a Mr. Hadley...........great old guy who remembered selling me that bike years later.

Lee

I need to set up my own account ....I'm finding too much good stuff. The wife's out!
Reilley1
You remember the old Manzanita park downhill track in Tucson?
julieharding
Absolutely!

Manzanita, Randolph park, Pantano park.....Tucson had all their BMX tracks at city parks. We used to go down there and do "learn to race clinics" for the newbies when promoting I.B.M.X. and eventually the A.B.A. My man George Trevino(Doozers daddy) was the "go to man" for organizing races there.

I'll be signing up with my own account tomorrow. I've posted enough now that I don't want to use the account Julie set-up. It's time to fire up the "way back machine"(if you remember Wallace & Ladmo you know what that is)There are some things I MUST clear up with the A.B.A......... I'll scan some good stuff tomorrow.

Lee
cheez
QUOTE (julieharding @ Oct 4 2011, 11:40 PM) *
Ya, those were all good shops....you remember well! I went to Moon Valley and there was a shop called "Double Wheels" right across the street. I bought my first bike there in '75(Mongoose with motomags) and all the Ashtabula schwag. It was owned by a Mr. Hadley...........great old guy who remembered selling me that bike years later.

Lee

I need to set up my own account ....I'm finding too much good stuff. The wife's out!



Moon Valley? Do you know the Stanards? Felicia and I almost got married in 85. Double Wheels yeah in the strip mall where Pep Boys is. My ex father in-law had his real estate office in there too. Double Wheels ended up moving to Peoria (Cactus and 59th Basha's center)

Tucson LOL, we used to go pimp points in Prescott and Payson. Bill is completely correct. If you raced allot like we did (4-5 times a week) it could be seen as easy to have a low district number but only the first year or two. By the third year the ABA tracks, ridership had exploded in AZ and with so few districts at the time it was a real knock down drag out fight for a low number. You had to be damn good and race at least 4-5 times a week to even get a 2 digit number.

I liked the old Thunderbird park down hill better

You need to check out the AZ racing thread in the track section
toothtwister
Click to view attachmentClick to view attachmentClick to view attachment

O.K. I've signed up with my own account and uploaded some pics. I will add more in another post. Find attached: original A.B.A. incorporation papers from 1977. Note the original vice president and then who actually signed as incorporators. Also see: ABA press release from the '77 awards banquet "overall" ABA champion. Much more to follow if your open minded and want the REAL history of the A.B.A.

I want to say something right out of the gate:

I've never said 1977 had a "NATIONAL" champion. That title(the first) has always and will always belong to my dearly missed friend Kyle Flemming. I spent many, many days BMXing and riding dirt bikes with him. I know some day we'll moto together again.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lee "Leroy" Harding D.D.S.
toothtwister
guess I'll have to go to the image hosting site for more space.
bnd
This thread has got me looking & enjoying the talk about the very early days, thanks for sharing but, is it me or do you have some sort of ax to grind with the ABA? I may be wrong but that's the way some of your posts are coming across.

Anyways, please share more stories & pics.

b.
toothtwister
QUOTE (bnd @ Oct 5 2011, 09:34 PM) *
This thread has got me looking & enjoying the talk about the very early days, thanks for sharing but, is it me or do you have some sort of ax to grind with the ABA? I may be wrong but that's the way some of your posts are coming across.

Anyways, please share more stories & pics.

b.


Hmmmmm, Cheez thought that of the original post at first as well.... upon re-reading I guess I can see it that way, but no. I've got (what I think is) some interesting ABA history I'm sure others will find a unique read. I'll keep it coming, Lee
mxmug
QUOTE (toothtwister @ Oct 5 2011, 07:41 PM) *
Hmmmmm, Cheez thought that of the original post at first as well.... upon re-reading I guess I can see it that way, but no. I've got (what I think is) some interesting ABA history I'm sure others will find a unique read. I'll keep it coming, Lee



Cool stuff so far, looking forward to reading more.
toothtwister
http://www.bmxhosting.com/is.php?i=2396&img=photo(2).jpg

I used to publish a weekly newsletter for AZ. BMX. All the track promoters would call me with results etc. Merlyn Mennega and my father Gerald Harding were originally the founders of the A.B.R.A. (Arizona Bicycle Racing Association). You can see on this newsletter that my father was President and "Merl" was the VP.

http://www.bmxhosting.com/is.php?i=2400&img=photo(3).jpg

Later, Merl Mennenga, Morris Mennenga, and my father would each put up $500 as initial funding to form the American Bicycle Association. The same Association that sanctions nearly every race today ! You'll see that Gerald Harding (dad) was the original VP. Come on now....how many of you thought that Eugene Roden was the original VP?
Deanna
Interesting read and welcome to the site. Always great to see some of the very early days history posted.
rocketmaniac
I remeber leroy, Do you remember the Battle bros.,John Donelson,dave kearsy,Randy Lee,Meat webster. Those guy's were all fast at PXA.
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