History of BMX, year 1981
The story continues:
ABA - USA, starts Leukemia " Race for Life" and raises over $ 223,000 in the fight against Leukemia. This program still runs today! ABA number one pro, Kevin McNeal, receives 1982 TransAM. Membership in March 1981 over 62,000 nationwide with 350 track facilities.
Switzerland. Early this year I did have my first contact on BMX with the importer of Murray bicycles in Switzerland, Mr. R.A. Huber. Only in 1982 serious action in Switzerland getting BMX off the ground by Mr. Franz Hattan.
The F.F.B. (Federation Francaise de Bicrossing) in France ceased to exist. Early 1981 at first two clubs, the BMX club of Beaune and Altkirch and later on Delle, formed a new organization called the A.F.B. - Association Francaise de Bicrossing. Very soon more bmx clubs would join the A.F.B. Its first president became Mr. Raymond Imbert (1981 - 1983). Ending 1981 the F.F.B. did have approx. 100 license holders.
BMX in Venezuela started in Caracas. Mr. Alfredo Matheus was the first president of the Venezuelan BMX Federation, the A.V.B. - Asociacion Venezolana de Bicicross. Mr. Matheus also is one of the founder members of I.BMX.F. later on in 1981. At the end of 1981 there were about 600 license holders and riders did compete in events in the USA (specially Florida) and Colombia. Also USA riders took part in events organized in Venezuela. Pioneers in developing BMX were Mr. Ruben Garcilaso, Mr. Alfredo Matheus and Mr. Solari. They were also the men that helped design most of the Venezuelan BMX tracks (early 1983 there were about 15 permanent tracks in Venezuela) and advised local clubs and associations to get organized.
BMX in Chili existed and the C.B.X - Comision Nacional de Bicicross in Santiago de Chile was getting organized. Early 1981 the C.B.X. started with 500 license holders and 5 clubs. At the end of the same year there were more then 1000 license holders and for the first time a group of riders went to an international race in the USA. Thanks to TV and Newspaper support, BMX did grow very quickly. At first ABA rules were used but becoming member of the I.BMX.F., the international I.BMX.F. rules were adopted.
BMX in Colombia also got off the ground around this time. The pioneer in developing BMX here was, Mr. Ivan Gomez. He established international contacts in the USA and was present during the official foundation and became founder member of the I.BMX.F in April 1981. In 1982 the organized sport of BMX went in the hands of "Liga Antioquena de Ciclo Cross Americano". Secretary Mr. Hernando Tamayo took over and this organization had one permanent track at the city of Medellin. Early 1983 the "Federacion Colombiana de Ciclo Cross Americano" became a fact and its first president became Mr. Tamayo. There were over 100 license holders.
Organized BMX in Brasil started in 1981 as well. With help of the Brazilian bicycle industry, manufacturing BMX bikes as well (completely Brazilian made), races were organized in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities, using their own racing-rules, similar to the NBL/NBA/ABA rules. There were only two or three permanent tracks at the time and the sport did not have its own national BMX association. Up and till 1983, the situation stayed about the same. Development and growth towards an international level came after 1983.
Britains's only bicycle motocross action magazine did see the light of day in January. Its name: "BMX 0FFICIAL" nr1 Editorial by : Richard Grant and Nigel Thomas. Photography by: Richard Francis. Consultants : Geoff Wiles and Alan Rushton issued in February.
In Holland Buro Intersponsor, by name of Mr. Bert Ikelaar, involved in assisting the S.F.N. (Stichting Fietscross Nederland) finding sponsors, confirms contracts with 1981 sponsors: Wrangler - Milky Way - Eppo - Peugeot - Citra (Shimano). This took place in January 1981.
January. In this month at Wainuiomata - New-Zealand,
the NZ BMXA Summer Nationals gave the BMX guns a chance to show off their talents. The "heroes" started to appear. Gilbert Wartman from Paraparaumu, David Colin and Shelley May from North shore; Andy Rogers, Brett Hickford, and Mike de Grauw from North shore; Dave Thomassen and Philip Chapman from Lincoln, Kevin Brinsden from Rotorua and Warwick Hay from Palmerston North - were all to became NZ BMX personalities as the sport grew during 1981. NZ BMX brands: BMX 500, Panthas, Healings and Morrisons. Big events did holt about 300 entries. Ending 1981 about 80 BMX tracks were in action throughout NZ. During this year the demand for CrMo frames did grew. However the NZ Government would not give licenses for manufacturers to make CrMo frames, so the BMX racers demanded imported frames.
January 10th. Through the "HEIDEMIJ",
a company helping the Dutch BMX organization finding the right locations for BMX tracks and help building them, Mr. J. Romkema working for that company, arranged a meeting with an interested party by the name of Mr. v.d. Most in Slagharen. Mr. v. d. Most also owned the well know hotel DE BONTE WEVER, were during the Worlds of 1983 many people stayed from outside Europe. However, we did not come to an agreement. Finally we would end up at PONYPARK SLAGHAREN in the same town of Slagharen. Ponypark was owned by Mr. Bemboom. Through the AVRO TV people who did have long time connections already with Mr. Bemboom, the Ponypark was selected.
January 17-18th. first official meeting of the FSC,
the BMX committee of the KNWU (Royal Dutch Cycling Federation), former S.F.N. president Gerrit Does acting as chairman of this committee. Further more, Louis Vrijdag - general secretary, board members Harrie Brander, Henk de Groot, Henk van der Kort, Gerard Rooijakkers, Piet van Someren, Jan van de Wiel and others.
January 25th., this letter arrived at the I.BMX.F. office, sent by James M. Schiff, International Marketing HUFFY.
February 2nd., affiliated clubs now with the KNWU BMX committee:
department I: 8 clubs (soon to be affiliated 12 more)
department II: 10 clubs (soon to be affiliated 13 more)
department III: 2 clubs (soon to be affiliated 4 more)
Race schedules in 1981 total: 78!!!
As you can see, Holland divided in three districts due to fast grow of the Sport. Girls classes were called " Powder - Puff " classes. AVRO Fietscross Trophy: 4 events broadcasted, each 1 hour. These would become a routine up and till summer 1984 and proved to be a great marketing tool for BMX.
Start of a national BMX magazine called "Fietscross Magazine".
February, first issue of "BMX Official".
Britain's only bicycle motocross Action mag, was issued for the first time. Editorials by Richard Grant and Nigel Thomas, pictures by Richard Grant, consultants Geoff Wiles and Alan Rushton. Later on in October 1981, this magazine did have a circulation of about 25.000 copies.
February, seen here the members of the B.C.B. (Belgische Cyclo Bond) board in Belgium.
February 10th. Information came in from mr. Armand Blondiau of Belgium,
that due to "differences of opinion" he had left B.C.B. (Belgische Cyclo Bond) and would start a new BMX organization in Belgium, called F.B.B. - Federation of Belgium Bicrossing. There first event took place on March 15th. 1981. Now already problems started in a small country like Belgium with at that time about 10 million people and some what over 250 bmx license-holders.
General impression of BMX racing and uniform during this periode in time in Belgium.
February/March. First issue of a national BMX magazine in Holland, called Fietscross Magazine.
This magazine was issued by a company called Zuidgroep B.V. Uitgevers in Best - Holland. Louis Vrijdag was acting as editor. Also the official announcements on BMX of the K.N.W.U. (Royal Dutch Cycling Federation) were published in this magazine. Here some more pictures and articles shown in this first issue of FIETSCROSS Magazine.
March 26th. Gerrit Does elected and appointed as member of the board of directors KNWU, representing within that board the section BMX.
April 3rd- 25th. During this period I (GD) stayed in Florida.
On April 4th, I did meet with the Dutch AVRO TV people at the Sarasota BMX track. They made an impression on American BMX and Toby Henderson did perform some tricks on camera to use in our BMX program in Holland.
During this trip also my son Nico traveled with me to Florida and took part in this and other BMX events throughout Florida, like at Homestead BMX Track. We stayed at Don Hutelin's house were we met with Stu Thompsen. During the week George E. Esser, Tadashi Inoue and myself prepaired documentation for the founding of I.BMX.F.
April 3rd. International BMX Federation ( in short the "I.BMX.F.") officialy founded.
During this periode I stayed in Florida as you can see above. This trip was combined to finish the official creation of the International BMX Federation. George Esser, Tadashi Inoue and myself did meet with an public notary the finish all legal paperwork. We all did meet at the NBL office in Pompano Beach. Since there were no financial means within the I.BMX.F., all parties concernd payed for there own expenses, that is how the I.BMX.F. started.
The original international founders of the I.BMX.F are:
- Mr. George E. Esser - USA (r.i.p.)
- Mr. Tadashi Inoue - Japan
- Mr. Gerrit Does - Holland
- Mr. Geoffrey Wiles - England
- Mr. David S. Quinn - USA
- Mr. Tony Hoar - Canada
- Mr. Alfredo Matheus - Venezuela
- Mr. Ivan D. Gomez - Colombia
- Mrs. Gilma Pedroso - Panama
Countries involved in BMX at that time besides the above mentioned were: Australia - Belgium - France - Germany - Switzerland - Sweden Norway - Spain - Portugal.
The elected Board of Directors of I.BMX.F. at the 1st annual I.BMX.F Congress on July 24th. 1982 in Dayton - Ohio, USA consisted of the following persons:
- President - Mr. George E. Esser USA
- Vice-president - Mr. Tony Hoar Canada
- General Secretary/Treasurer - Mr. Gerrit Does Holland
- Member - Mr. Vincenzo Cascino Chili
- Member - Mr. Charles Scott USA
- Member - Mr. Tadashi Inoue Japan
- Member - Mr. René Nicolas France
The initial Registered Address was:
I.BMX.F. - 3801 North Federal Highway
Pompano Beach - Florida 33064 - USA
The I.BMX.F. Head-office address was:
I.BMX.F - office
Mr. Gerrit Does - General Secretary
5582 HN Waalre
Holland - Europe
April 7th. George Esser, Tadashi Inoue and Gerrit Does did meet and finished business to establish the I.BMX.F which was founded April 3rd.
On the pictures above we do see Gerrit Does (l) and George E. Esser (r) at the NBL office in Pompano Beach. During this periode we also did meet with Promotor (Silverdome event) Mickael Gilkey (right) to discuss the upcoming International BMX event at the Silverdome.
April 21st. Official and documented start of the International BMX Federation in short I.BMX.F.
Already during this time there was a discussion going on, how we could identify international riders during international events and specially during the Worlds. Privat sponsored and factory team riders wanted to wear their official sponsor uniforms and NOT a jersey in country colors, just for recognition of from which country they are. This could also be done a different way. In order to keep the identity of the sport as it was at the time (and in fact still is today: free chose of uniform), the suggestion was made by yours truly, to have the riders wear helmets, painted "in one's country colours" at World-Championships. Up till now no action has been taken on this proposal.
Around April I had my first contact with a Spanish organizer/promoter,
Mr. Juan Ventura through Mr. Brian Montgomery of BH (bicycle manufacturer) in Spain and René Nicolas. Juan got in contact with me, asked me for more detailed info on getting bmx organized and applied for an I.BMX.F. membership as well. Still an official organization had to be founded first in Spain! (this happened in October of the same year). Juan visited my house were we talked and discussed BMX and how to get organized. Besides Juan, also a former World Champion motorcycle trial rider Mr. Pedro PI got involved in BMX as a manufacturer and organizer. However he specialized in manufacturing bicycle-trial bikes (Monty) with his company, but also was active as an organizer. Pedro got involved in the UCI FIAC technical group for Trialsin. His son Ot PI became World Champion Elite in 1990, winning his 4th. bicycle-trials World title at the time.
During Easter 1981, the A.BMX.A. - Australian Bicycle Moto Cross Association was formed at a meeting in Sydney - Australia,
between representatives of the V.BMX.A., the Q.BMX.A. and the NSW.BMX.A. It was largely achieved through the effort of Mr. David Lloyd who five months ago flew around the country acting as a catalyst in the formation of BMX State Associations. Preliminary work has been carried out during the proceeding three months, principally by the NSW and Queensland Associations. This organization planned to become part of the I.BMX.F sometime during 1982. The first A.BMX.A. president was Mr. Peter Howell.
May 30th., as general secretary of I.BMX.F. I received a brochure from Gary Litteljohn Inc. Inquiry for information and so on.
It is interesting to find myself, many years later, being inducted into the ABA BMX Hall of Fame in 1998, together with Gary Ellis, Anthony Sewell ánd .... yes, Gary Littlejohn. Seen below a brochure I received in '81 on Gary's business at the time, Gary Littlejohn Inc.
June 6th., first one out of 4 TV registration on BMX racing at the WAALRE BMX track in Holland by AVRO took place.
Selected riders formed 8 teams coming from all over the country and competed in a team competition. The other dates scheduled were: July 4th., August 1st., and August 29th. 1981. Beside BMX racing, popular music groups performed and a celebrity race was held, to make it a show all together. The events on TV scored high in appreciation (7/ 7.5) and the number of people watching these events (2 till 3 million people out of 12 million). Due to the exposure of the sport of BMX on TV, the sport and sales of bikes started booming in Holland.
June 20th. On initiative of the general secretary of I.BMX.F. the first meeting of European countries,
affiliated to I.BMX.F. took place in Motel Eindhoven in Eindhoven city - Holland. Affiliated at that moment were France, Belgium, England, Holland and Germany. Goal set for this meeting: uniformity in rules and such. Present were: Geoff Wiles (GB), Armand Blondiau (B), René Nicolas (F), Louis Vrijdag, Jan v.d. Wiel and Genereal secretary I.BMX.F. Gerrit Does (all three from Holland). Not present Mr. Kurt Hammer (D). Purpose of meeting: making appointment concerning exchanging riders, and coordinating international events using a uniform set of rules and regulations to make it easy for riders from all over Europe and the world to travel all over the world and compete in I.BMX.F. events without any problem.
Present situation in Europe, a brief report by those present.
Holland expects to have about 30 clubs and 1200 license holders ending 1981.
England holds after about 10 months over 1200 license holders.
Belgium is a problem area; has 4 organizations at this time!. I.BMX.F affiliated B.C.B. holds approx. 150 licenses.
France developments are improving. At this moment about 6 clubs and 150 License holders.
In Germany already working for a long time on the promotion of BMX is Mr. Kurt Hammer (Frankfurt/Main). The problem is that Mr. Hammer didn't have the charisma and conviction the push the development of BMX in the right direction. A lot of good will and more then sufficient financial means were available.
In the meantime also the B.D.R. - Bund Deutscher Radfahrer in Germany was getting involved in BMX. June 18th. Mr. Hammer called me to explain that it has no sense coming to the meeting in Eindhoven, since B.D.R. is getting involved. He doesn't have any faith at all in B.D.R. (and he was right). BDR never contacted Mr. Hammer, but will work with another group that already was preparing an organization. The name of Mr. Teichreber was mentioned as one of the 5 people going to set-up the BMX department of B.D.R. There has been contact before with me (as I.BMX.F. gen.secr.) and Mr. Teichreber, that's correct.
During the Eindhoven meeting it was also decided NOT to start an overall European BMX organization. First: lets get organized well inside our own countries.
July 4th - 5th. Florida - USA riders John Hutelin (SE-Racing) and David Argyle (MCS) visited Holland
and raced in Luyksgestel and Volkel. At first they stayed at my house en later on Dutch, Hutch importer David Trigg took care of those two riders. David did bring the two to England to compete at the Halfords sponsored race in Redditch. Also Kerensky Bullard, Jamie Burrows and Greg Esser raced in England. They went to England to compete in an international event on July 11th. & 12th.at Redditch.
July 11 - 12th., the 1st. Anglo-American Cup took place at Redditch - England. Several American BMX'ers were present. Also a Dutch team competed.
Present from the USA were Greg Esser, Kerensky Bullard and Jamie Burrows. From Holland were present Danny Neys, Bert v.d. Wiel, René de Groot, Leon Walravens, Rob van Someren and Wim v.d. Heiden. This was the second international event organized at Redditch.
The final results in the 14 year and Open class:
1. Jamie Burrows - USA
2. René de Groot - Holland
3. Kerensky Bullard - USA
4. Danny Neys - Holland
5. English rider
6. English rider
7. Wim v.d. Heyden - Holland
8. Greg Esser - USA (crashed)
July, seen here the results after 2 legs for the Belgium National BMX Championships,
specialy look for the name of Joël Smets in the 12 year class. Joël Smets became a many times MX World Champion later on and still is involved in BMX today through the BMX club in Dessel-Belgium, which track is called after him: the Joël Smets BMX track.
July 26th, 2nd. time an international BMX event was organized in Beaune - France.
Present among others John Hutelin a USA SE factory rider from Florida, who stayed at my house for some time and we brought him to France. Besides John, racers were present from 5 countries: 66 riders from Holland, 22 from Belgium, 6 from England and 3 from Spain. There were around 100 French riders.
The day before the races we went to a vineyard with among others John Hutelin. The owner explained how wine was made and of course we had to test and taste the wine. One has to nip the wine, not drink it all. Well John Hutelin didn't and every time he drunk the whole class. At the time we had to go out for diner, one can say he was drink. The worst thing is that while we were eating diner at a restaurant, John had to throw up but could not get away from the table. So, he did his thing just under the table. The others sitting there were very surprised, we picked up our plates and sat down at another table. John was "out" for the rest evening and felt very ashamed the next day. The race itself was a success even for John.
July. For the second time, the bicycle orientated German Magazine "TOUR" rund ums rad" reports
on further developments in Germany, concerning the sport of BMX. As promoters/organizers were mentioned,
Mr. Wolfgang Renner (former road cyclist and now businessman)
Mr. Karl Stuhle
Mr. Eckhard Teichreber (also former cyclist and businessman)
Mr. Hartwig Hofherr "Hajo" (bicycle businessman).
During this year the AVRO TV company showed on television the "AVRO's Fietscross Trophy" serie and would keep on doing this up and including 1984. The 4 shows per year, twice each month in July and August, were 50 minutes programs, made by director Cor de Jager, Frans Vermey (producer) and presented by Birgit, Ria Visser and Karel van de Graaf (Karel has a very important talk-show at this very moment-2001). Location: PONYPARK Slagharen-Holland.
** foto's Ria Visser / Karel v.d. Graaf in zijspan en apart, etc.
August 1st. First German riders competing at an international event/level, during the AVRO Fietscross trophy, TV series were,
Uli Heidkamp and Andreas Tittmann (at one of Avro TV fietscross events). Mr. Helmut Heidkamp, Uli's father was a very dedicated promoter of BMX in Germany and specially in the city of Cologne and surrounding areas. Seen here Andreas on the left and Uli on the right, picture taken during an international indoor BMX event later on in '81.
During another session this season, an American Pro by the name of Nelson Channady (GT factory) was invited and raced in the TV recorded event against top Dutch BMX'ers like Addie v.d. Ven, Ludy v.d. Werff and Peter Ploemen. Both John Hutelin and Nelson Channady stayed at my house in Waalre. Here also a picture of John and Nelson taking during a local race in Bladel, a small town close to Waalre.
August 8th. As I.BMX.F secretary I did sent an information letter to the B.D.R. in Frankfurt-Germany
to introduce the I.BMX.F. and explained at the same time our relationship with Mr. Kurt Hammer from Germany, who tried to get BMX started in Germany for some time already). They should take advantage of the know-how gained by Mr. Hammer.
August 10th. I received a letter from DMU - Denmark Motorcycle Union, informing I.BMX.F. about their plans to start a BMX department within DMU.
At the same time a letter came in at the Waalre office in Holland from Mr. Ib Kjerulff Jensen from Hjorring - Denmark, explaining a group of people wanted to establish BMX as a sport in Denmark. They asked for all available info on the international organization, I.BMX.F.
August 14th. I had a long conversation with mr. Teichreber of Germany about their situation.
They had 1 meeting with the BDR (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer). It is very difficult to keep the 5 persons, asked to help develop BMX in Germany, together. Not much faith in BDR!
August 18th. A reply came in at the I.BMX.F. office in Waalre - Holland from the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer eV. Germany,
written by Mr. Walter Hupel. Mr. Hupel explained that following the developments of the KNWU in Holland, they decided in June to start with bmx officialy. One of the BDR's vice - Presidents, mr. Wilfrid Spronk has been appointed to coordinate this new initiative. Mr. Hupel, working for the BDR, is now in charge actually starting up the BMX department. Mr. Hupel contacted Mr. Hammer in the meantime and received a lot of information from him. The BDR contacted the other German pioneers in BMX, Mr. Teichreber, Mr. Renner and Mr. Hofherr. BMX rules are being prepared for the 1982 season. Mr. Hupel himself has been to a meeting in Assen-Holland on Juli 11/12th. 1981 to learn more about BMX. When ready, the BDR will contact I.BMX.F. and ask for an application.
August 23rd. International race at the Citadel - Namur, Belgium.
Organized by Mr. Armand Blondiau of the F.B.B. (Belgium BMX Federation). The event took place on top of the Citadel, the location were once a year the start took place of Grand Prix Moto-cross 500 cc races, a unique location. However, the weather was very bad and probably the organization even worse. In the end the winners had to be determined by drawing lots!
August 29th. Indoor race at Earls Court in London - England
During a bicycle exhibition a BMX indoor race was held. Present there was Mr. Skip Hess - owner of Mongoose at the time.
September of this year, the KNWU (Royal Dutch Cycling Federation) BMX department did put together a long term (5y.) policy plan and budget.
September, seen here the final results of the Belgium, B.C.B.'s National BMX Championship.
Some famous names in BMX in these results, like Gunther Devisser, Chantal Cnaeps, Mike Schenkelaers, Joël Smets, Patrick Ooms, Peter Van Den Abeele, Alex Moonen, and others. In the picture of the Belgium Champions one can find Joël Smets second rider on the left, second row (from top down).
September 15th. The first official Scandinavian BMX race was held at the Viking BMX track at SANDNES - Norway.
The event was a success and the organization got good PR, both on TV and in the newspapers. We also did send our KNWU brochures on BMX to Sandnes, which they translated in Norwegian and used for their promotion. In 1991 the World Championships would take place on this location on a new built track however.
September 30th., letter came in from the Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute.
October 4th., the A.F.B. of René Nicolas in France is organizing an indoor event in Paris, during a bicycle exhibition.
Promotional activity of high importance. I went there to watch and see what happened and make contacts.
October 6th. The first official BMX organization in Spain was founded by mr. Juan Ventura
The organization was called "AMICS del BICI CROSS" and was located in Palau del Plegamans - Spain. In 1981 they organized their first 3 events and in 1982 they organized about 15 events.
October 7th. till 13th., the HUFFY - Pro spectacular Pontiac Silverdome - USA. BMX indoor event took place.
A group of French and Dutch riders left together from Schiphol airport on Wednesday October 10th for Detroit in the USA to take part in the International BMX Championship called the HUFFY Pro Spectacular Pontiac Silverdome event. This event took place indoor at the Ponitac Silverdome. The group left Detroit for Schiphol airport again on Monday October 12th.
Here some pictures to get an impression on the Silverdome indoor.
On October 8th. the second official meeting of the I.BMX.F. Board of Directors took place at the Northfield Hilton - Pontiac Silverdome.
George Esser - Don Hutelin (NBL/USA); Gay Wise - Tony Hoar (BMX Ca/Canada); Gerrit Does (as General secretary I.BMX.F.) and Jeroen Jens (KNWU/Holland); Geoff Wiles (UK.BMX-England); Ted Inoue (JBA/Japan); Alfredo Matheus (A.U.B./Venezuela); Rene Nicolas, Bernard Nicolas (A.F.B./France), Vincenzo Cascino of the CBX de Chile (first contact with Chile through Vincenzo). Present as auditors: Rene Koob (BCB/Belgium) and Bernd Tittmann (B.D.R./Germany). I acted as chairman, due to all the preparations I had made for this meeting, so stated President of I.BMX.F., mr. George E. Esser when officialy opening the meeting.
Continental representatives were appointed to coordinate activities in those areas:
Don Hutelin - North American affairs
Ted Inoue - Asian affairs
Alfredo Matheus - South American affairs
Geoff Wiles - European affairs
René Nicolas was appointed OBSERVER for Europe.
A sponsor-committee was formed to find sponsors to finance I.BMX.F activities: Geoff Wiles and Gerrit Does. First activity: establish goal work on proposals for B.o.D.
Also a Technical Committee was formed and their first goal was to set-up racing-rules and regulations;
Don Hutelin - chairman
Geoff Wiles - member
Gay Wise - member
Affiliated full members (over 1000 license holders) at the time:
Canada - Columbia - Great Britain - Holland - Japan Panama - USA - Venezuela (founder members as well).
Aspirant members (over 500 license holders):
Australia - Belgium - Chili - France
Registered members (less then 500 license holders): Denmark - Germany - Norway - Spain - Trinidad and Rep. Dominica.
Situation October 8th. 1981: 18 countries involved.
Affiliations realized in fact from early April 1981 till now (Oct. 28th. 1981). BMX was booming world-wide.
Mr. Tadashi Inoue handed out to the general secretary a letter from the JAPAN BICYCLE PROMOTION INSTITUTE, a very important document for the support of the industry towards our sport and congratulated the I.BMX.F. with their 1st. official international I.BMX.F. event at the Silverdome- Pontiac - USA.
Letters received and contacts through GD made with:
Huffy Bicycles International, Mr. James M. Schiff
Pro-Tec Inc., Mr. Jerry Boquist
Gary Littlejohn Manufacturing Inc., Mr. Gary Littlejohn.
Blazer BMX Racing, Mr. Mike Maberut
Maximum BMX Racing products, Mr. Gary Bergman
Murray Export Sales Inc., Mr. R.A. Huber(through Switzerland)
Letters from: BMX PLUS, Mr. Bob Hadley
American Bicyclist and Motorcyclist, Mr. Kenneth J. Anderson
TOTAL BMX, Mrs. Judi Serafini
Personal contacts with: Bob Hadley, Howie Cohen (Everything Bicycles - Kuwahara), Otto Kynast, Steve Johnson (Torker), Renny Roker (JAG BMX), Bob Osborn (BMX Action).
October 8th. At the Silverdome BMX event a banquet to celebrate 10 year anniversary of BMX in the USA was organized.
During this banquet, a professional presentation of the American history of BMX by Denis Barton and Scot Breithaupt. Held to commemorate the originators and the major companies as well as individuals supporting BMX throughout the years. Celebrities were presented and gave short speeches.
October 9th. BMX clinic for US and foreign kids. Conducted among others by Stu Thomsen. Participants were all the members of the European delegation present at the Silverdome.
*** foto BMX Clinic Stu!
October 10 - 11th. First official I.BMX.F. sanctioned International BMX race at the Silverdome - Pontiac, USA.
Promoter Michael Gilkey of DMG Promotions, took care of a nice surprise NOT to pay out the professionals price money after the races. From Europe the following countries were represented: Holland had 3 riders, Germany 3, France 7, Spain 1, England 6 and Belgium 3. The riders from Holland were Ludy v.d. Werff, Don Burgers and Nico Does. From Germany: Uli Heidkamp, Andreas Tittman and Willi Zims. From France: Philippe Nicolas, Claude Vuillemont, Olivier Imbert, Valerie Hubert, Christophe Delarche and ........ From England: Andy Ruffell and Alan Woods. From Venezuela - South America were present the riders Jose Gregorio and Alejandro Mattheus. The European riders did go to an amusement park and Gerrit Does went together with Stuart Thomsen to several radio stations to give interviews on bmx in General and the I.BMX.F and the event at the Silverdome specialy.
I also did meet one of the pioneers and most famous BMX racers of the first hour in the USA, John George. John raced BMX from the fall of 1972 full time through 1977, at which time he came to work for B.M.X. Products Inc. (Mongoose). In 1975 he was the Southern California nr. 1 plate holder as well as National nr. 1 plate holder of 16 & over Expert. After the birth of PRO- class, John raced several times over the next few years, primarily when Mongoose sponsored the race.
Total number of entries in 2 days at the Silverdome: 2100.
Number of spectators : 20.000 in 2 days. (the Silverdome is able to hold over 100.000 spectators!!!).
The results of the International BMX Championship at the Ponitiac Silverdome, Michigan sponsored by JAG-FOX*Bell*Huffy and sanctioned by the NBL and I.BMX.F.
Continue results Silverdome page 2:
Part of he French and Dutch team watching the races from the grand stands. Fltr and from top to bottum, Christophe Delarche (F), Don Burgers (NED), Valerie Hubert (F) (with broken jaw!), Claude Vuillemot (F), René Nicolas (F), Jens (NED-KNWU official), Olivier Imbert (F), Ludy van de Werff (NED) and Philippe Nicolas (F).
Continue results Silverdome last page, number 3.
Here some "ad random" places pictures on the Silverdome trip/event. The Dutch team in front of hotel, fltr., Gerrit Does, Don Burgers, Ludy van de Werff and Nico Does. Next pictures showing Stu Thomsen - Pro BMX´er and Gerrit Does - General Secretary I.BMX.F. being interviewed at a radio station. Picture on the right, the group of French and Dutch riders and support at the Oakland Country Parks for some sightseeing.
Original founder member of the I.BMX.F. Board of Directors, Tadashi Inoue and mr. De Board talking, organizer/promotor Mickael Gilkey and NBL official Bob Tedesco in underneath pictures.
Before the actual event, a BMX clinic was conducted by Stu Thomsen. Scot Breithaupt assisted Stu as "speaker". Seen also some info on part of the foreign riders present, taken form a BMX magazine.
Some colour pictures now of among others the official opening, the opening parade with Stu Thomsen leading, the schoolbus that took us to the Oakland Country Parks (sightseeing) and a typical BMX hotelroom.
During the event there were BMX free/style demo´s by the BMX Action TRick Team, R.L. Osborn and Mike Buff. On the quarter pipe Premier helmets Denis Barton and Pro rider Scott Clark. Bob Handley talking to Don Hutelin on the right. Even though the event did have around 2100 entries and 20.000 spectators in 2 days, looking at the grandstand were around 100.000 people can sit, it looks like nobody was there!!!! Very impressive indoor hall.
Seen here fltr., Nelson Channady and his sponsor The Hot Shop owner. Owner of Torker Steve Johnson fooling around with on os his factory riders. R.L. Osborn watching what is going on at the track.
French teammember Olivier Imbert carrying the French flag during the Parade of Nations. Japanese friend Tadashi Inoue and John Hutelin. Far right, Alfredo Mattheus and his wife, both from Venezuela were involved in I.BMX.F too in the beginning.
Going back home to Holland / Europe, fltr., Jens the KNWU official, Gerrit and Nico Does.
October 17th. In Germany the Centurion Super Cup-BMX Bremen was organized by mr.Teichreber. NO affiliation of any kind ("wild" event).
November 4th. Another letter received from mr. Ib Kjerulff Jensen from Denmark reporting on a meeting in Copenhagen a week before,
to establish BMX in Denmark. A formal decision was made to run a BMX series in 1982 with participation of at least 6 teams, one of which was run by world famous speedway champion, mr. Ole Olsen. Blaupunkt and various other companies would sponsor the BMX series.
November 8th. BMX race at Palau de Plegamans sponsored by BH bicycles Spain,
Organizer of this event was Juan Ventura, the man who started organizing BMX in 1979-1980 in Spain. Juan visited me here in Waalre in the early days to get information on rules and regulations. Also films from the USA amd pictures were shown. We also agreed to a working together relationship at the time. Later on Juan Ventura and his orgnisation became member of the I.BMX.F.
November 1981, the K.N.W.U., department BMX, helt their first awards presentation in Nijmegen.
After the integration of the S.F.N. (Stichting Fietscross Nederland), this was the 1st. awards presentation wihtin the K.N.W.U. Seen on the picture, the awards, championship jerseys and the men doing the awards presentation: K.N.W.U. afd. Fietscross chairman and K.N.W.U. Board member, Gerrit Does as well as K.N.W.U. Road cycling department's chairman mr. Rozenburg. Mr. Rozenburg was the man who attended the K.N.W.U. board of the fast grow of the S.F.N. and BMX.
November 1981, the B.C.B. - Belgium Cyclo Bond had their number 3 issue of a BMX magazine on the market called FIETSENCROSS.
Seen here the front cover of that particular magazine that was issued to all B.C.B. license holders.
November 26 th. through 29th., the Mongoose International Grand Championships took place at Knott's Berry Farm.
November 28th. In Holland the former SFN (Louis Vrijdag/ Gerrit Does) and Zuidgroep b.v. got together to evaluate the developments on FIETSCROSS MAGAZINE.
From issue number 01 in January till now, 2000 subscriptions were realized. 12.000 copies per issue were printed. Fietscross Magazine would be issued 6 times a year.
some advertising in "fietscross magazine"
November/December: B.D.R. (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer) - Germany,
decided to adopt BMX as a new discipline within their organization. They forgot however to contact and involve the groups of people that already were organizing BMX events and had gained some experience in the field of BMX. Up till today (1990), this policy still effects the development of the sport in this country. Several very motivated promoters/organizers got out of the sport, due to the arrogance of the people working on BMX within BDR. This was also the reason for the BDVC of Mr. Kurt Hammer to stop all of its activities.
December 3rd. A letter received from mr. Erik Green of Jonas Oglaend A.s. in Norway.
Early this year they built their first BMX track in Sandnes and held a few races at this track. He asked me to come over and help rebuilt their track meeting international standards.
December 4th. Official info came in that BMX Association Canada had an official new newspaper called BMX CANADA.
December 14th. I received a letter from René Nicolas explaining to me,
that in Italy there was an amateur bicycle organization interested in getting started in BMX. The address to contact was : U.D.A.C.E in Milan - Italy.
Holland situation: KNWU, BMX department had 1318 officially registered license holders at the end of the season; 30 clubs were affiliated and over 65 official events were run during 1981.
Ending 1979 SFN:
3 clubs affiliated, 123 license holders, 15 official events.
Ending 1980 SFN:
15 clubs affiliated, 750 license holders, 27 official events.
Ending 1981 KNWU:
30 clubs affiliated, 1318 license holders, 65 official events.
Some more facts:
A KNWU license h.fl. 30,= for 1 year.
Affiliation cost per club. h.fl. 100,=
Fixed entry-fees for spectators h.fl. 2,50 p.p.
Entry fee per class h.fl. 2,50 p.p
Subscription FIETSCROSS MAGAZINE h.fl. 16,= p.year
BMX demo team, LUCKY SEVEN h.fl. 250,=
KNWU organization fee:
- local event: Dutch florins 100,=
- district event: Dutch florins 200,=
- national event: Dutch florins 300,
December 1981. COCA-COLA / JAG BMX World Championships IV, Indianapolis – Indiana, USA.
Organizer/promoter: Renny Roker
Sanctioning body: Non
Foreign entries: 180 and around 400 foreign visitors and riders all together.
Countries present: Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Holland, England, Mexico, Canada, Bolivia, Australia and Saudi Arabia
Pro purse: $ 12,500 ($ 10,000 for A Pro; $ 1,000 for the B Pro class and $ 1,500 for Pro Cruiser).
Total number of entries: around 2.200
Number of moto's: 313
Media present: besides the well know BMX Mags, also ESPN, four screenings scheduled in February
1982 at national cable TV.
A-Pro purse: € 10,000
For the first time present ESPN (all sports) TV cable network and broadcasting. Present as well an USCF (United states Cycling Federation) official by the name of Tom Boyden, a timekeeper, who kept the times of the riders during this Worlds.
This event number IV JAG Worlds was the least, well organized of all of them. John Ker did write in BMX PLUS Magazine: “The 1981 Coca-cola Jag BMX World Championship had more than its share of complaints, This was the fourth year for the event an, from the way many of the attendees were talking, it was the worst running of the race they had eve attended”. And more ….”The World Championship in spite of all complaints, as long as that name is used people will still come. It was just a shame the race wasn't run as well as it was promoted”.
Bob Osborn's BMX Action Magazine “Race Rater” of the Coca-Cola/JAG BMX Worlds said the following;
$ 25 mail and $ 35 post entry fees were TOO HIGH.
Promotion of the event sponsors were very good. Even the hay bales had logos on them.
Track lay-out was not red hot, sorry to say.
Civilian spectator attendance was very good ………. and they'll probably never again come to a BMX race.
Adherence to schedule was fine, right up to the eights and quaters. From there on it was the worst ever. What could – and should – have been a five star race, became a shanbles. The pits.
Overall race rating (best possible is six stars): 2 stars.
Pro A money Pro A Trophy
Pro A money Pro A Trophy
Results in all other classes on this sheet:
December 1981, US Pro's were seen as hero's in Europe.
Here a picture of USA Pro BMX riders who were considered hero's in the early days of BMX in Europe. Everybody looked up to those riders and wanted to become as good as they were. Must be sad that most of these Pro's had charisma and acted as real athletes. By imitating them European riders would grow into hero's too in the years to come.
End of 1981.
Picture gallery 1981:
Next picture shows you Greg Esser, David Argyle, John Hutelin and Kerensky Bullard in 1981. At one time each and everyone of this group stayed at my house in Holland and they raced here as well in Holland. They also travelled to France and England to race.
Souvenir from AVRO Fietscross Trophy.