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CharleyGnarlyP290

If you Could Do One Thing Different...

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...from your racing/BMX days, what would it be?

I am sure most of us have something we wish we have done differently. I am not just talking about racers here. Anybody that rode BMX of any kind: Racing; freestyle; the neighborhood. I don't have many regrets in life, myself. I feel my path is there and I am following it.

But, the one thing (pertaining to BMX) that I would have done differently, is I would have taken more photos. I really started with BMX type riding in about '74. Modified bike, jumping, racing the dudes in the 'hood, that kind of thing. Then I started racing BMX in late '80 through '86. Kept riding in some form or another until around '90. That is quite a few years of two-wheeled action.

I always had access to a decent camera, but took very few photos. The only pics I have of racing are a couple from my local track, and some that I took at the '82 ABA Fall Nationals. Then I have some more from around the house on my bike, but that's it.

So, the one thing I would do differently is take more pics. At the track, on the trails, on the ramp. More of my friends and competitors. That kind of thing.

What about you guys? What would you do differently?

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...I would have tried harder.

 

I was average. On some days, I was good! But I never really truly committed to being the best racer I could be.

 

We only raced locally (southeast Michigan), but that makes it even more regretful to me. I knew the tracks well. I knew the racers well. I just never had the "kill" instinct. If I was in front at turn one, I was tough to beat. But if I wasn't first in turn one, I was just along for the ride. At least that's how I remember it in my mind.

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I would have actually raced. I always wanted to, but dad wouldn't take me. I don't know why. No matter how much I hinted at anything, he wouldn't take me to do it. I finally flat out told him one day in 8th grade that I wanted to play football. He said "well, go down to the field and sign up."

 

I didn't play football that year, but after that I took it upon myself to just find a way to get into sports. I did finally play football in 9th grade. Boy did I suck (not to mention at 130 lbs I was actually one of the smallest kids on the freshman team - oh to be a skinny boy again). Got into street hockey in the years following which actually led to playing JV ice hockey my senior year. After bouncing around in men's leagues for 5 or 6 years I went back to college and played on my school's club team for a year (I was 25).

 

If I had only applied that fervor to my want to race BMX, who knows, maybe I could have been pretty good... or just sucked the place up.

 

It's weird. I actually had to beg my parents to come watch a HS football game (not that I played) or a hockey game (I got plenty of ice time). The few games they did come to (hockey) was because my friend's dad worked out a car pool schedule with them for practice and games at the rink 20 minutes away. If they didn't have that obligation, they probably wouldn't have come. I can't wait for my kids to play sports. I was actually heavily bummed last year when I missed 2 of the kids t-ball games for work.

 

This year, t-ball and soccer. I'm not tryin' to miss any of those... I can't change what I had (or didn't have), but I can sure as hell give my kids the opportunity.

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I think I would have actually practiced racing instead of just ridden. I had played organized ice hockey and baseball since I was six, and was reaching the end of my team sports involvement. BMX was freedom, and practicing was the last thing on my mind.

 

By the time I was into "strategy" and "technique" I had made the move to racing road bikes. BMX racing for me was just point it and pedal like a maniac.

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I wish I would have documented much more!

Taken on more of a Bob Osborn / Spike Jonze approach.

 

I had so many amazing experiences the my early years of BMX - all the places I traveled - all the people I met - some of the most insane riding that my friends were doing at the time - the crazy weird adventures and environments we'd all find ourselves in..... all the old pros i got to see ride in strange places. I just wish I would have found a way to truly capture the essence of what we were all doing Every damn day on our bikes.

 

I guess I was too busy riding..... which is a good thing. But I really wish there was a way I could have captured and preserved the essence of those times - for future enjoyment.

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You didn't bring Megan with you everywhere with her digitial camera back then? :lol: j/k

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When Scot Breithaupt asked me if I wanted to go on tour with him in 1977 for $650, I would say YES! instead of buying a piece of crap Vega... :whistling:

 

TourOrCar?.jpg

 

Richard Vogt

bmxmountainbiker

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I would have found a way to get the LA area and take part in what I was seeing in the magazines. I was only 1 1/2 hours away in Palm Springs! When I was a kid I thought the action was so far away, I had no idea how close it was.

 

I was kinda in the same boat as lboorse2. I wanted to play Soccer in school--my mom actually talked me out of it! I never even asked her to take me to a BMX race, we never went anywhere and I knew it wasn't going to happen.

 

As an adult also figured out if you want something, you have to practice and work hard for it. As a kid I didn't realize that and no one ever told me. I wish there was someone older in my life who had given me a little direction.

 

I didn't even think about photography until some other people mentioned it here. Today, as a professional photographer, I want to make portraits of the celebs of the day. This is, in part, because I wish I would have been around and able to take those portraits BITD. And I wish I had general pics from back then as well. I had a decent camera, but I remember not taking pics because I had no use for them--who knew I would want too look back at kids riding bikes! I don't even have a pic of my Diamond Back, and I have very few of my other bikes.

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Man, lboorse2, that is a bummer. I was lucky with my parents. I have three brothers and my parents always supported us in our sports and hobbies. All they asked was that we give it 100%.

My mom is the one that usually toted us around to our events due to my pop's work schedule. Once I was driving she could focus more on my bros and their stuff. They were more into the team sports. Football, and baseball. But, with the exception of track in my sophomore year, I stuck to BMX.

I remember one race where my pop was actually off and he was able to go with me to the '82 ABA Fall Nationals. I didn't make the main in my class, but did get third in the jumping contest. The best part though was that me and pop had a great time. He was digging it and took pics of some of the races, and of me in the jumping contest.

Great times.

And that I would NOT change for anything.

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I regret trying to grow up too fast. My NBA days came to a crashing halt as my face and arm hit the ground. I had tossed my bike over a chain link fence, climbed up, stood and jumped. My bells got caught on the top wires. I broke my arm and couldn't race. By the time the cast came off, my friends... mostly older guys had put their bikes aside for cycles, cars, etc. The races that led up to the Gold Cup had passed me by. The older gang kind of frowned on BMX as being too kid like. Wanting to fit in and run with the older guys... I quit playing kick the can. My bike stayed in the garage until my parents got a divorce. All my shit from my youth was put to the curb.

 

No regrets, but at some point I realized that I didn't have to grow up. I just needed to take care of business so I could get back out there and play.

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Interesting topic. But I’d have to list 2…

 

Not racing more. I raced quite a bit, but my mom always wanted to take me to more. She really enjoyed it as much as I did. I took second at the Gold Cup Qualifier but didn’t go to the Gold Cup/Grand’s because I was worried it would be too much of a financial burden to my mom. I don’t regret not going to the Grand’s as much as I regret not racing more locally when I easily could have.

 

Methodically deciding to sell my bike and quit everything BMX at age 17 in 1987…which consequently led to never riding a bicycle again until 2004 when I got into vintage. I vividly remember weighing the fact that Stu was 25-ish and still riding, so there was no reason why I couldn’t ride/race for many more years. Cars, a serious girlfriend, the trend of BMX tracks being bulldozed, and other distractions ultimately contributed to what I now see was the wrong decision.

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Cars, a serious girlfriend....

 

Probably the two biggest reasons all of us lost sight or interest in BMX, period.

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I agree,great topic!#1 I would have taken many more pictures,I raced local,state and national in New York from '82-'87.When I turned 17,I just up and quit.I really don't remember why,I raced the '87 Nbl Christmas classic,and then never raced again.Which brings us to #2.I wish I never stopped racing.Thankfully,my son expressed interest in BMX,and 2 years ago we started racing together.It's awesome!!some of the same faces are still there and they welcomed us back like we never left!Now this year my daughter wants to start,cool!

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You didn't bring Megan with you everywhere with her digitial camera back then? :lol: j/k

 

Nope. this was like 25 years ago... Would have been nice though :)

 

 

-----

 

 

Your first response to this thread is great Lee. You may have been shaped by the actions of your parents to be more caring about who your kids really are.... and even though it may have sucked for you .... that's awesome.

:bravo:

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By the time I was into "strategy" and "technique" I had made the move to racing road bikes. BMX racing for me was just point it and pedal like a maniac.

 

Ha ha! So true. BMX was so free and such a refreshing alternative to team sports... but a little coaching could have been eye opening. A week long BMX camp in the summer would have been killer. But I didn't know of anything like that, if it did exist.

 

I guess the other thing is that I just wish I would have been a little more secure in the wholesomeness of BMX. BMX was such a fringe, dorky thing to be into back in 84 entering high school in the mid-west. A lot of other stuff seemed like a better use of my time. BMX did not pay dividends in chicks and swagger. It actually seemed to knock one down a few notches on the chicks and swagger meter. Ah... the cloudy and convoluted machinations of the adolescent mind.

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My experience was completely opposite. While I can relate to it being a fringe, not once would I refer to it with words like wholesomeness or dorky. There was nothing wholesome when I went to the track to do my 2 things: main, then win. And I know that the preppy era influenced me to not just win, but to look good while doing it. Did I have friends at the track? Of course. But I went there to race them.

 

BMX also paid dividends in chicks and swagger. It was an incredibly cool scene to be involved with. I look back at my pics from BITD, the girls I dated, the scene we created and lived, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it to this day. All I did was ride, and my bike was with me everywhere. I actually parked it every day in the Vice Principals office in Junior High, so this swagger wasn’t just with friends my age, it carried through to everyone. I would not be the same person today if it wasn’t for BMX.

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I never really thought of BMX as being "cool" or "uncool" in the mid-1970s, and certainly never thought of the payoff of chicks or swagger.

 

BMX was more than something we did. It was what we were. :OSThumbsUpPeace[1]:

 

Richard Vogt

bmxmountainbiker

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If I could go back, I would definitely accept the invitation to bathe with that attractive lesbian couple somewhere in the Midwest...sorry, I forgot this was just BMX related.

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BMX also paid dividends in chicks and swagger. It was an incredibly cool scene to be involved with. I look back at my pics from BITD, the girls I dated, the scene we created and lived, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it to this day.

 

Post up your pics then, homey. Let's see how you rolled.

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I wouldn't have quit racing when I did. A lot of my racing buddies were quitting, so I quit too. I thought that with all those riders quitting, that the racing wouldn't have been the same.

 

It probably wasn't, but I was still into the sport, but I didn't want to be part of it as it faded out.

 

When I was experiencing the height of the BMX era (early to mid eighties), it was fantastic, and if I could relive that era, I so would. Everything about it was fun, and being part of that exciting sport back then was a total buzz.

 

It would be great to race again.

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I would have stopped thinking that I needed to 'grow up' at about age 16. I took life far to seriously once I left high school and that meant studying more at university and not riding/racing. So silly when I look back now and don't really use that university degree and am back riding.

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BMX also paid dividends in chicks and swagger. It was an incredibly cool scene to be involved with. I look back at my pics from BITD, the girls I dated, the scene we created and lived, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it to this day.

 

Post up your pics then, homey. Let's see how you rolled.

 

Debruin BITD:

 

post-2943-127678714352_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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It would be great to race again.

 

I tried to pick up where I left off and raced my Judge in 2006 but crashed and broke 2 ribs and my pelvis in 2 locations. Actually, I raced the XL24 at the 2005 Rockford Nationals instead of putting it in the vintage show. That was a lot of fun.

 

I'll post mine if you post yours Lee

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I tried to pick up where I left off and raced my Judge in 2006 but crashed and broke 2 ribs and my pelvis in 2 locations.

 

I think you should race more.

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Not to rain on anyones parade but I would not change a thing. Please don't take this as being 'full of myself' but I had it all. I was in the right place at the right time and I knew the right people. God has blessed me and I was as lucky as a teenager could have been.

 

Those early days of BMX, that time of transition from Schwinn Sting Rays to BMX specific equipment, was a great time be involved. I don't take any of it for granted. There were great people all around me who took pictures and would just hand me random shots. (and I kept them all)

 

I shared the gate with THE best BMXers of the time and I have no regrets of walking away from the sport at my prime. At the end I developed my craft enough to be competiitive with those characters.

 

As far as chicks and swagger go...

 

img521 - resize.jpg

 

After these cute distractions, there was this other girl who had a little brother that raced, I met her in 1978, married her in 1991, and in June we will be happily married for 20 years. She totally gets the whole 'reliving my youth thing' and just laughs it off. I'm still a lucky guy.

 

That's the short version. :)

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