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BMX Society Collector Spotlight #2: Darren Chan

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Let's start out a bit differently here. This is an intro that needs no intro. Everyone in this hobby knows or has heard of Darren Chan. Whether you just happen to know that Dcbmx1 is tattooed in your mind somewhere or he came out of the blue (which he always does) and answers your wanted ad with the part you need at a very fair price.







Place of birth ?


Oakland CA (the biggity biggity "O")




Current residence ?


Fremont, CA




Age ?






Family ?



Married with a son and daughter





Lets start with your racing history



I Started racing in 1986, as I finally got a ride to the races. I raced mainly at Mountain View Orion Park and at Sunol then. Then, in the 1990s, I raced mainly at Santa Clara PAL BMX and Sunol. I did go to the bigger races in Central and Southern CA, Nevada and went to the ABA Grands once.











How old were you when you started?



I got interested in BMX in 1981-1982 when I first learned how to ride a bike. There were kids at my school that had the nicer BMX bikes from the local bike shop, which was Hank and Frank. My brother and I got a subscription to BMX Action around that time.



How did you get started in racing?



I would ride my bike in Alameda, and met some racers out there. I got a ride from them to the BMX track. Thanks to the Murphy family for helping me out. They gave rides to a guy named Greg Leasure (BMX magazine) as well.









What was your first bmx bike?



Huffy Pro Thunder




Tell me about some of your history with wins and status?



I did not win any titles or plates. I reached intermediate status in 20 inch and raced 24 inch more by the end of the 1990s. I won a National as a Novice and made main events at the Grands in both class and mixed open (where Novices and Intermediates are combined) along at different Nationals and Gold Cups.











you have a preference on a restored, survivor or restored bike?



I prefer the survivor bike as it has character. Yet - if something is badly scratched or damaged, it may need to be restored. I would be hesitant to buy anything restored, as it could mean buying repaired





Even though this is a collector interview, I dont think of you as a "collector" more like a guru or legend on this scene. With that said, We've all heard the stories, storage lockers, garages etc...please be very honest...over the years, how large was your collection at its largest.




I have had storage lockers, yet that was more a transition from moving. I have had a shed and garage full of stuff. Yet - I have BMX stuff from all eras. I also have had different bikes like road, mountain and tandems. I also have had skateboards, yet they don't take too much space. I did get rid of a lot of stuff several years ago, so I have mainly BMX and a few mountain bikes. I sold a lot of my collection several years ago as I needed space and money to buy my dream car, a second hand Acura NSX. Thanks to Pineapple Pat McKenna for recent upgrades to the car.







You and a handful are literally the original bmx collectors, besides yourself, who are the earliest cats you remember?




The list would include Dan Goins, Dave Cononetz, Dave Landino, Bill Curtin, Jeff Mattox, Scott and Craig "Gork" Barrette, the Raynes' brothers, Randy Alvarez, Shannon Gillette, Ricky Hutchinson, Pat Quinn, Alex Vesa and Dean in Oklahoma. Most of these guys helped me out in the early days of collecting. There were other collectors out there in the early to mid 90's but it took later in the 90's with the internet to connect us. Big props to Troy Thompson (Troy's Bikes) as he was the guy that got me started into collecting. A local bike shop, STD (Standard) Cycle, helped me a lot with my NOS stuff. Thanks to my best friend Ray Woo for inhaling the paint remover fumes on the frames that needed restoration in exchange for race sponsorship.









I know bmx was a way of life for you, not just collecting, if you could sum up your favorite moment in bmx - the best experience, what would it be?




Watching my son race.




You've been here since the start of all this, where do you predict the future of collecting?



It seems to have its highs and lows depending on the economy. The most rare stuff will always have value. The more common stuff will be more affordable.




Whats the most rare part you've ever found?



It would be a toss-up on the prototype pinch bolt Aerospeeds I got from Jeff Haney or the NOS set of boxed Hutch Aerospeeds (which was purchased from Dan's Competition). I do not have either sets anymore to anyone that reads this.]=




From talking to you over the years, I just assumed you got all these parts and early because infact you never stopped riding or forgot about your bmx roots...is this so and please elaborate if so



I raced from 1986 to 1989, taking a break for college. I started again in 1993, when I also started collecting. I raced until the end of the 1990s. I collected heavily until 2006. I would go to the flea markets and the bike swap meets. I would check with local bike shops and the classifieds. I would trade with other collectors and on Ebay as well. I would get stuff from the factory guys as well. Currently, I look on Craigslist like most other collectors, yet it is really competitive so scores are few and far between.




Now Darren, I think I speak on the behalf of all collectors who havent met you in person. You are a mythical figure, a Keyser Soze if you will..Give us an insight on who you are and your life outside of collecting.



I am no Keyser Soze. I am just a guy that has a passion for BMX, yet I want to be known as a good person more than any bmx myth or bmx collector/racer. I try to ride my BMX when I can, yet work and family take up most of the time. As for the collecting scene, I wish I could have gone to some of the BMX events like the ones in Southern CA or in the Midwest, yet it conflicts with family and work events. At my job, I am not supposed to be posting on forums. At home, I am busy with family so I do not get much time to hang on the forums. Yet - when people email me, I try to get back to them timely.





At one time you've had every part, is there one frame or part that got away, which is it?




I think I have owned most everything I have wanted, yet what means most to me are the bikes I used and the friendships/memories I have made.



thank you Darren for spending the time With me on Bmxsociety.com

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Darren's good for a restoration tip every now and then. It's fun to see him pop in from time-to-time and the stuff he shares with us via Jake (Spur) is unreal.


Great stuff Kerry. Thanks DC.

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I communicate with Darren almost weekly and have done buisness with him on and off the boards. You will not find a nicer, fair, or more helpful cat than DC. He contributes a great deal of knowledge to this site and we definitely appreciate it!



Another great interview Kerry!

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Thanks, Darren. Thanks, Kerry.


Good stuff. When Kerry and I were talking about this one before it happened, I was a little worried that Darren might not want to submit to the scrutiny as he is usually very low profile. Really glad you did.


2 Collector spotlights, so far... featuring 2 rad Dads.


I like that.




Finally, yes Michael... there is an archive for these. it's called:

BMX Society Collector Spotlight




It's the last link in the "Research" section. (Just below this "community" section).


If you guys can't see that let me know. Maybe I don't have the permissions set right.

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Great questions Kerry, and answers Darren.

It's nice to have honest insight into the lives, minds and experiences of some of the early collectors / riders.


Every time I see pics of your collection Darren - I'm blown away.

Some super rare items, and very well-organized information.


Thanks for all the contributions to our growing knowledge.


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Darren made this easy...i could've asked him questions all day and night but it came out great...I like his love of cars ....clean ass e30 with the low-pro trunk lid spoiler and euro bumpers...looks crazy euro with the roof bike racks.


good stuff

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Darren is one cool BMXer, collector, Dad, and all-round nice guy! Was on a business trip out his way and he brought me to the local track to watch some great racing action, meet his friends, checked out his collection, and met the family! I don't remember too much from the business side but Darren's passion, knoweledge, and stories made that trip.


Hoping to make it out that way again! Now his car has a place to park instead of a BMX time-warp in his garage.


Thanks for the collector spotlights!!

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I've mentioned this in the past, but it's worth saying again: I would bet that you could not find one person in this hobby who has something bad to say about Darren. To me, that is the ultimate indication that a person is living right.


Nicely done Kerry and Darren. I really enjoy reading these installments. Keep it up Kerry.

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Very cool to see this on here. Def one of the good guys and one of if not the first collectors names I think of since I have been in the hobby.

Hey Darren I still sell parts to this day to Comptech and Chad @ Driving Ambition I had no idea you were into NSX's.

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Checking out a couple of the other current threads that are featuring Darren's collection... it really struck me how important the Chan collection is. It's such a monumental grouping of Nor-Cal BMX treasure. Obviously on the whole - it's bigger than that - but that's such an important aspect of it, imo. I don't know of anyone else holding it down like that. Epic.

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Great interview.


Nice to have an insight to who I've bought all those bits and pieces off over the years! I don't think there would be many members on here that haven't got that hard to find part from DC at one stage or another. Always at a super reasonable price. (sorry to sound like feedback on ebay!)

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