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Welcome to BMX Hall of Famer, Dennis Dain - The Red Baron!

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I'm gonna brake from the current story line for a bit. Steve and I were chatting and I realized these next pictures had not been shared here. Now that I think about this, these were taken about the same time frame as where I am in my side hack timeline.

 

So here we go...my first sponsor was Bill Hemrick, the owner of Western Sports Arama in Orange County, Ca. It was considered one of the premier (flat) tracks of the time. I think it started out as a mercy sponsorship because I spent so much free time at the track riding and actually working on it. I stayed at my sisters house a lot and she was only a few miles from the track.

 

Bill was attempting to start up his own sanctioning body IBMX. So he sets up a photo shoot with 'The Great and Powerful Oz', Bob Osborn.

 

I'll show you the photos first then tell you why later and then to the even better stories after that. :-D You know you made the big time when you hear Bob say, "can you do that one more time?"

 

OzPics_2_VisibleCredit.jpg

OzPics_3_VisibleCredit.jpg

 

OzPics1_VisibleCredit.jpg

 

 

 

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And on the Rink Raider as well I see. I'll just be here chomping at the bit waiting for the rest of the story. :rockout:

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I still remember going to Bob's house as part of the shoot. Not surprising he had somewhat of a bike shop work station in his garage. We took photos there also. The one thing I remember about the inside of his house was that he had an old fashion barber shop chair in the living room. How cool is that? LOL

 

The photo session turned out be for the first rule book for IBMX. The whole deal turned out to be very memorable. A photo shoot with Oz and the cover and inside cover of the rule book.

 

img657.jpg

 

img649.jpg

 

...and that is not the end of the story.

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That is awesome, birthday boy, thanks for sharing ;-)

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Oh good stuff! Bet you did'nt know that Evan welded up the First ELF BMX frame in my garage. And I would ride with Jeff, Joe and Sue Gingrich to the OrangeY from our house in Santa Ana.

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I can't do it alone but this site needs stimulating. It is sad that Social Media has taken precedence over forums like this place. It is easy to get sucked into the immediate gratification of someplace like Facebook. But in reality there is nothing lasting in posting anything of value there. The hope is that by posting our BMX related stories and general information here it will be kept as an archive for future reference. (maybe I am being too dramatic here) I'll just get on with the story...

 

Bob Osborn took those photos of me in 1975 and a lot of time passed until a 'gathering' in Phoenix, Az. in 2007. On the Friday night before the actual party a bunch of us met up at a hotel lobby/bar. It is the first time most of us had seen each other in 30 years. I walked up to a table where Ernie Alexander (I think Suzanne was there also) and Bob Osborn were sitting. Ernie said he recognized right away but Bob took a few minutes to place me. No worries, he had seen a lot of BMXers in that interim.

 

I had brought a bunch of my 8X10s to have some of my friends sign for old time sake. In my stash were those 3 B&W photos Bob took so many years before. When I showed those to him he was impressed and said "those are great photos, who took them?" LOL I told him he did. He laughed and said, "I told you they were great."

 

Most people don't know this but Bob lost all his old photos from the BMX past. I don't recall the details but they are all gone. He asked if he could borrow those to make copies for himself. I said of course, they are yours, after all. 

 

When I got them back in the mail he included a photo quality copy of my side hack photo from my interview in BMXA in 1977. He said he could not autograph it because Windy took it.

 

vintage weekend 3-24-07 065.jpg

 

There are a lot of BMX relics in this photo. LOL

 

Scan from Oz - Copy (2).JPG

 

He did write some photo specs across the bottom though.

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Great photos, Dennis. The old hack stuff is always good to see. I rode a hack once with a friend in my home town of Lake Isabella at one of the places where motorcycle riders used to gather and ride. It was called The Turkeyshoot. Some hairy downhills with some pretty huge jumps. It was fun, but scary at the same time.

And that is a bummer about Bob's photos! That would be horrible to have taken all of those photos through the years and have something happen to them.

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Love that pic. One of the best hack pics ever.

 

Sucks Oz doesn't have any of his old pics. The countless unpublished shots I'm sure were amazing and would have been incredible to see.

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Not to derail this awesome thread but....

 

 

Truly, what happened to Oz's unpublished pics??  What's the story??

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I honestly have no idea on how Bob lost all his old photos.

 

I realize it is one of those things that begs to be asked and the curiosity inside all of us want to know , "how could that happen?"

 

But the end result is they are gone and no explanation will bring them back. Bummer....

 

...maybe this next story might distract everyone for a bit.

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This is something I have been wanting to post for a while but could never find the right place. I think this is a good time and the right place...

 

I have a couple of digital cameras, a Canon DSLR and a Sony Cybershot. I have taken some pretty good photos with each but mostly because they (the cameras) are far more intelligent than I ever will be. I would give myself about a 3 (1 to 10 scale) when it come to photography. In the story to come, I understand what Bob is saying he did, but I just can't wrap my head around the details. Mel should get a kick out of it...

 

 

 

"A few years ago, when we had BMXACTIONONLINE going and Bob was easily accessible, he posted this picture and his description of it. This is awesome....

 

I took this photograph at the ABA Grandnationals, Thanksgiving weekend, 1980. It was published in the March 1981 issue of Bicycle Motocross Action as a two-page spread.

The caption reads: "The beauty and the violence of BMX, superimposed. Patterson and Ruminer." That is exactly what I was trying to portray with this type of exposure...the beauty and the violence of BMX racing (and the speed). But I have never known whether I was successful or not.

So my question here is (and I would like a REAL answer)...was I successful or do you view this as just a clunged-up photographic mess?

Several interesting points about this photo:

1. This is actually two images on one transparency, exposed simultaneously. One image is an exposure of maybe a 15th of a second duration, slightly underexposed. This would account for all the streaks of light and blurred images...movement within the 15th of a second. The second image was accomplished with a flash attached to a small electronic device that allowed me to control at what point during the exposure the flash would go off. In this picture I set the flash to occur about 1/3 of the way into the 15th of a second total exposure. The flash burst, which lasts about 1/10,000th of a second produces a sharp image. I also slightly underexposed this exposure, intending for the two exposures to add up to a properly exposed transparency. So the flash produced the sharper images seen within the blurs. You with me so far?

So now let's take a closer look at Jeff Ruminer. You can see within the picture Jeff, his bike, number plate, logos, etc. quite sharply rendered.


So we come to interesting point number 2: I was using a very wide-angle lense. Not quite a fish-eye, but close. Which meant I had to get very close to the action or the racers would appear to be a mile away. See the flash/sharper image of Ruminer's left lower leg, with the JT logo and Van's tennie? Now see the blurred image of same? Notice how his Van's seems to be coming right at my lense? The reason for that is that it was! Jeff's foot missed my lense by one inch!

In all the time I photographed BMX races I never interfered with a rider in a race, meaning got in his way or somehow screwed him up (camera flashes don't count). This was the closest I ever came. One inch! Whew!"

Beauty Violence.jpg

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A few years ago, Bob asked what we thought of that picture. Everyone approved and said what a great picture it was.

Well, almost all. Matt Raymer and I were probably the only ones who said differently openly. 

I forgot what Matt said but I said it while it was a great picture, it was very "Un-Oz" like. 

Bob sent me and Raymer a message that while he disagreed with our opinion, he respected us for saying what we thought.

Oz is good people. 

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Its kind of funny when one thinks about it, but when I was getting those mags back then, but I never considered what it took to get the phenomenal photos he published. The chums and I would talk about how awesome they were, but that was it. As far as I can remember, I would have thought that a photo like that would have been the result of a pleasant accident.

 

Now a question, Dennis: Did you ever race in the Kernville/Lake Isabella area in the '70s? I lived there from '74 until '84 (grad in '82) but never raced. I didn't start racing until October '80, and that was at the YMCA in Bakersfield, then later at The Plunge BMX. I have some copied of old newspaper articles about some BMX races back then, but they seemed to focus more on the locals.

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I never raced there but I went there once with a friend. 

 

My best friend growing up had/has family there.

 

Working on a side hack timeline here. Stay tuned...

 

Here are a couple of the earliest pictures I have of the hack. It looks like the only modification I have made it this time is a support strut for the push bar.

 

img492.jpg

 

img491.jpg

 

Here is a rare picture of me in second place (at the moment) at Coronas first turn on the hack pictured above. I believe it is an ad out of BX Weekly.

It looks like Steve's foot slid off our outboard foot peg.

 

BX Weekly (20).jpg

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This is something I have been wanting to post for a while but could never find the right place. I think this is a good time and the right place...

 

I have a couple of digital cameras, a Canon DSLR and a Sony Cybershot. I have taken some pretty good photos with each but mostly because they (the cameras) are far more intelligent than I ever will be. I would give myself about a 3 (1 to 10 scale) when it come to photography. In the story to come, I understand what Bob is saying he did, but I just can't wrap my head around the details. Mel should get a kick out of it...

 

 

 

"A few years ago, when we had BMXACTIONONLINE going and Bob was easily accessible, he posted this picture and his description of it. This is awesome....

 

I took this photograph at the ABA Grandnationals, Thanksgiving weekend, 1980. It was published in the March 1981 issue of Bicycle Motocross Action as a two-page spread.

 

The caption reads: "The beauty and the violence of BMX, superimposed. Patterson and Ruminer." That is exactly what I was trying to portray with this type of exposure...the beauty and the violence of BMX racing (and the speed). But I have never known whether I was successful or not.

 

So my question here is (and I would like a REAL answer)...was I successful or do you view this as just a clunged-up photographic mess?

 

Several interesting points about this photo:

 

1. This is actually two images on one transparency, exposed simultaneously. One image is an exposure of maybe a 15th of a second duration, slightly underexposed. This would account for all the streaks of light and blurred images...movement within the 15th of a second. The second image was accomplished with a flash attached to a small electronic device that allowed me to control at what point during the exposure the flash would go off. In this picture I set the flash to occur about 1/3 of the way into the 15th of a second total exposure. The flash burst, which lasts about 1/10,000th of a second produces a sharp image. I also slightly underexposed this exposure, intending for the two exposures to add up to a properly exposed transparency. So the flash produced the sharper images seen within the blurs. You with me so far?

 

So now let's take a closer look at Jeff Ruminer. You can see within the picture Jeff, his bike, number plate, logos, etc. quite sharply rendered.

 

So we come to interesting point number 2: I was using a very wide-angle lense. Not quite a fish-eye, but close. Which meant I had to get very close to the action or the racers would appear to be a mile away. See the flash/sharper image of Ruminer's left lower leg, with the JT logo and Van's tennie? Now see the blurred image of same? Notice how his Van's seems to be coming right at my lense? The reason for that is that it was! Jeff's foot missed my lense by one inch!

 

In all the time I photographed BMX races I never interfered with a rider in a race, meaning got in his way or somehow screwed him up (camera flashes don't count). This was the closest I ever came. One inch! Whew!"

attachicon.gifBeauty Violence.jpg

 

He lost me in the opening sentence, " two images on one transparency".    

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Steve, Mel might know better than me but my take on this is;

 

....there is one image absorbed on the film in the first 15th of a second and another image taken when the flash went off. Both images are on the same negative and then he played around with that in the darkroom.

 

I could be wrong but they have to be taken simultaneously as I doubt even a modern motor drive camera could take two photos that near each other.

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I was searching for some photos of forks earlier on line, went to google images, went to an old thread on Vintage and then went down a few rabbit holes there and ended up on an old V thread where this pair was posted, with this caption: 

 

 

 

"I still own the same bike and the same jersey."  :nah.I.mean:                                               

--Dennis Dain

img650.jpgIMG_5656.jpg

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I whole heartedly admire everyone who has built a bike from the past and I truly appreciate the passion for the history here.

 

I am very fortunate to have saved so much from my past. The difference with my 'stuff' is it has documented pedigree. (I hate how my facts sound like bragging) 

 

:Idunno:

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I really need to focus. I suck at keeping my word.  I was reading through just the last page of this thread and it has taken 3 F'ing years to get this far. Damn! 

So sticking with some Bob Osborn stories and photos.... this is from a photo shoot at Yarnell for the side hack interview in the second issue of BMXA. This falls into the "I wish I could see all the photos Bob took that were not good enough for the magazine". He went through rolls of film at every shoot. This particular jump was one of those "Dennis, could you do that one more time?" We must have pushed the hack up the hill and hit this jump at least a dozen times.

He told me what he was attempting to capture. A normal panning shot, like the one Windy took of us at Corona's first turn, where the photographer follows the subject going by and captures a crisp image with a blurred background giving the concept of speed. Bob told me he was trying to do the same thing with us coming directly at him. He said he had to zoom, focus and shoot at the same time. He told me later he was not able to achieve the affect he wanted but I would love to see what his version of 'not good enough' was. 

I can only imagine....

BMXA Hack interview (2) - Copy.jpg

BMXA Hack interview (2).jpg

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