With the World BMX Championships and the Brits now in the rear view mirror, we are able to look forward to the British BMX Hall of Fame 2023 on November 11th 2023.
Nominees in all categories are now locked in and our selection panel members now have the task of selecting who the Inductees of the BBMXHOF Class of 2023 will be. Please keep your comments and feedback coming on our various social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) as we read and take them all in into consideration when making our final decisions. Here’s a recap of this year’s nominees.
Pictured at last weekend’s UCI World Championship in Glasgow, two of the most successful riders to come out of Scotland, Mr. Ian Archibald and Andy Welsh, along with Andy’s dad checking out the Elite racing. Both Ian and Andy literally lined-up together in lanes 7 and 8 – 37 years ago – in the 15 year old Final at the 1986 World Championships in Slough and 3 decades later Ian placed 4th in the 50 plus Cruiser last week at the Worlds and Mr. 1986 British, European and World Champion, Andy looks like he hasn’t aged a day since his domination year. On top of all of the memories and history being made this week in Glasgow, the Scottish BMX history runs deep. We will dig into more as we carry on the documenting.
This year and starting this week in Glasgow will mark the 4th time the World Championships have hit the UK, from Slough 1986, Brighton 1996, Birmingham 2012 and now Glasgow 2023 in a span of over 4 decades.
Slough 1986 even to this day was our best showing throughout the age groups with us bringing home 6 World Titles. We were probably at the tail-end of the 80s BMX boom but still Slough received plenty of coverage and it was our most successful showing in World Championship’s history.
You’ve then got Brighton in 1996, when racing was starting to grow again after the late 80s and early 90s, during the quiet and underground years, yet the stands were full, the sun was out and it turned out to be an amazing weekend despite the doubt surrounding having the Worlds in Brighton in the first place.
2012 Indoor Birmingham, in a now Olympic era of Elite racing, Challenge classes and this time around a tight indoor track. Despite the good atmosphere and again more success for the UK riders – an indoor Worlds was just not the same.
Onto this year 2023, is a little further north in Glasgow yet we can still claim it as a home Worlds. It’s going to be interesting how this one all shakes out. In the Elite Men and Women’s class we have got to be amongst the favorites for the rainbow jerseys with current GB team’s success and then add in the Girls, Cruisers and Challenges classes this could be the year we top the record set at Slough 86 for British riders becoming World Champions and adding to our history below.
We are now less than 5 months away from the second British BMX Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony and are looking forward to welcoming our guests to another amazing night of BMX history and nostalgia but more importantly the opportunity to meet up again with long lost friends and to celebrate and honour some of the incredible people who have made British BMX the great sport it is today.
As many of you will appreciate, a lot of planning and organising goes on behind the scenes to make this event happen. This involves the Organising Committee (Dale Holmes, Darren O’Neill, Daryl Gibbard and Mike Wong) liaising with the venue, caterers, vendors and partners/sponsors to make sure everything goes to plan on the night and everyone who attends has an unforgettable night, and the Selection Panel (led by Dale, Will Smyth/DIG BMX Magazine, Neil Waddington/Ride On BMX and everyone they consult with) to research the hundreds of worthy contenders for induction this year, before then whittling it down to a shortlist of 10 (which we have now started posting and are finding all of your various comments and suggestions really interesting).
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has bought their tickets already. We appreciate your continued support. However, we would like to reach out to everyone who has expressed an interest in this year’s event to please purchase their tickets as soon as possible. We have reduced attendance from last year to make the event more intimate and more manageable (as everyone involved in BBMXHOF are unpaid volunteers), but this means we have less tickets available for BBMXHOF 2023.
So if you attended, last year, had a great time and want to attend again, please buy your ticket(s) as soon as possible. If you bought/sponsored a table last year so you could be seated with a specific group of friends and want to do the same again this year, please get in touch ASAP so we can arrange that for you.
It’s worth reminding everyone (because the BMX rumour mill runs wild sometimes) that the British BMX Hall of Fame is not a money making venture for the organisers. Its purpose always has been and will be to commemorate and preserve the history of British BMX and to celebrate and honour those who have contributed to its rich fabric over the years. Hopefully, all of those who attended last year will confirm we delivered a great night which was value for money.
As such, we can’t stress enough we rely on the support of the British BMX public to help us create this event year on year. The easiest way to support BBMXHOF is to simply buy a ticket here: Tickets.
But if you also want to get more involved we also have a number of partner/sponsor packages available. Please contact any of Dale, Darren, Mike or Daryl to receive our partner/sponsor deck which sets out the various packages available.
Sorry for the longer than usual post, but we are putting our hearts and souls into this event, and wanted to remind everyone that the event is fast looming and tickets are limited.
It’s been 40 years this summer since you became the first British rider to win a World Championships. You also got 3rd in Open class that weekend. You were so young at the time. Did you realised what you had done?
Wow, has it been that long?! Honestly, I was so young I just didn’t take in what I’d achieved back then, couldn’t really understand the massive response to what I’d done as I was just a kid who loved riding his BMX and was a shy so felt a little awkward at times with all the attention. I was lucky enough to travel the country every weekend with my brother and dad and all over Europe. It’s weird, I look at my son now and he’s just turned 6 and I can’t imagine him doing what I did at his age. Pretty crazy when I think about it.
You received all kinds of media attention at the time including the major newspapers if I recall. How was all the attention back home?
It was crazy, as I said before, I was rather shy back then and was so young it just didn’t really sink in. I still watch the interview I did on breakfast tv and my mum has still got the sun newspaper and all the magazine cutouts bless her but I watch that tv interview now and still can’t quite believe what I achieved back then.
Back home in the UK you also became UKBMX National Champion that same year. Who were some of the guys you battled with?
There were some great riders around me back then that I used to race most weekends including, Scott Vogel, Sam Jarvis, Russ Swift, etc. I think we were the top 4 and we really and had great battles – apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone; there was Sam on Mongoose, Russ on Kuwahara, and me on Diamond Back. Brilliant times.
You were also on the very prestigious Diamond Back Factory Team. Do you remember your teammates and what it was like on the team?
Diamond Back was always my favorite factory team back then. My hero was Harry Leary and even before I got signed by them, I rode a Diamond Back and had all the outfits so to actually sign for them was just amazing. As I’ve shared, I was so young I can’t really remember the others on the team except for Jason Maloney, who took me under his wing and looked after me. Also, Tim March I remember as well, although Tim wasn’t on Diamond Back he too Iooked out for me. I think he and my dad used to chat on race days and I remember using his number plates when he first started producing them.
You also raced on a trick custom bike. Do you still have it?
Can’t remember the custom bike but I still have my Turbo Lite that Diamond Back gave me for winning the Worlds, it was the first one in Europe I believe so I’m always keeping that. I’d love to get it fully restored as it’s currently red and white! After I left Diamond Back I rode a year un-sponsored and I wore the red and white Hutch outfit which in my book was the coolest look around at the time. I had the bike sprayed red one side and white the other, and it looked really cool with the Hutch gear.
It looked like by 1985 you were winding things down in racing. Any reason why you retired?
I think it was taking its toll on my schooling and my mum thought at the time that that was more important. Diamond Back at the time was interested in me relocating to the States but she was having none of it. I often think about what my life would have been like if I moved to the States but I was so young they just didn’t think it was sensible at the time.
Do you still keep up with racing over the years? Or still, ride for fun?
I keep up with everything BMX on social media, it will always have a special place in my heart. I was always looking at how well you were doing Dale, absolutely smashing it here and then moving to the States and beating everyone over there! And now, the best English BMX racer ever, is giving me an interview! Very surreal.
Sadly, I don’t ride anymore but if either of my sons wanted to ever take up racing I’d love to support them.
Are there any other highlights from your BMX days?
The main highlight obviously was winning the Worlds but looking back I really hoped I gave hope or motivated the young kids who wanted to get into racing back then and hopefully pushed English BMX into the spotlight a bit.
What are you doing these days? On social media it looks like you are busy with family life.
Yeah, settled down to family life now Dale, nothing exciting like when I was young but I’ve got my amazing wife, Faye and my two amazing boys, Grayson and Hudson who are my world so I’m extremely lucky.
1982 was my first year. My dad knew Jamie and Jeremy Vince’s dad from the antique furniture trade. They were coming to race at the new Hillingdon track near us and said we should go along. We went to watch the first race then went back soon after.
Local scene / tracks?
Hillingdon was always my local and Region 9 – Slough, High Wycombe, Hemel, Hounslow then Harrow and the London skateparks and Pinner.
Your early day’s crew?
Lee Restall, CJ Butler, Michael Chenery, Bruce Hutchins, Dylan Clayton, Sam Jarvis, Ben Beasley were my local crew around my age. Then as I got older I rode with Paul Roberts, Bobby Hyde, Dean Iddiols, Keith Joseph, Winnie and the rest of the Hillingdon and London Locals. So many people through the years.
You were definitely one of the early riders that traveled to the US to race in the 80s. Can you remember much about your first trip and racing the Jag World Championships?
Not a great deal to be honest, just vague memories of the arena, water jump, having my photo taken with some of the pros, and winning a massive trophy.
You were so young but like so many were always one of the guys on the European trips. Favorite International events?
Slagharen was a treat in so many ways, the track was always so good to ride. Any trip to Europe was always fun, getting to ride new tracks and hang out with the euro crew.
How were some of the guys you battled with in the Am days?
I was never overly competitive, but there were a few guys that it felt nice to beat.
What teams did you ride for?
I think Revcore was my first sponsor, then onto Mongoose. UGP, Giant, Spooky, Edwardes, Beamish Bike Shop and DMR. S&M have always helped me out in some way.
Tell us about TwoAnd8?
It is a clothing brand I started in 1994 which ran well for a number of years, then slowed down for a while. I realised at the start of last year that it was 28 years since I started the brand, so we did an anniversary tee which people seemed to like so we have decided to reignite the flame and see where it goes. Stay tuned, much more planned for 2023.
Proudest moment result wise in BMX?
I was never really a results guy, I just enjoy riding my bike. Some of the more memorable ones were when I was racing master class then into elite. Not necessarily wins but good battles and fun days on the bike.
Name some of your favorite UK riders?
So many to name, mostly people I grew up riding with – Paul, Dylan, Murrays, Ross, Fortes, London / Union crew more recently going to Hastings & Sidley and hanging out with Rikki, Ian, and Dulys.
You traveled frequently to the US over the years. Where were some of the places you raced/rode visited?
Mostly Cali – Sheep was always a favourite, Hidden Valley, Orange. So many places over the years.
In addition to all the BMX stuff, what do you do for work these days?
As well as TwoAnd8, I’ve been working on a new project with my girlfriend – Cornwall Skatepark Map. Check it out, I’ve been visiting and documenting all the skateparks in Cornwall, we are in the process of producing a free map. I also work part time in a surf shop.
BMX in 2023, how much do you ride these days?
As much as I always have, if not more as I get older, I appreciated the time on the bike. Since moving to Cornwall last year, I’ve been riding some of the many concrete parks down here. Trying to ride dirt and pump tracks as much a possible.
Could you ever see yourself stop riding?
I don’t think so, as long as I keep fit and healthy I can’t see a reason to stop.
Keep building the TwoAnd8 range and see where that goes. More riding.