Jane Windle sent us this image and a little background on Hotshot’s history.
2 High Street – Kidlington – Oxford was our original HQ for Hotshot. My Dad, (Les Windle), saw BMX in the early 80’s and decided to open a shop dedicated to BMX. Soon after my Dad visited America countless American companies began clambering for him to distribute their products in the UK. This image was at a Cycle Trade Show at Earl’s Court.
The dart board in the middle was a BMX wheel on an axle. Shops would place an order and we would give them a dart (no health and safety back then, LOL) and we would spin the wheel and wherever their dart landed – it would dictate their free prize.
Our main bike brands were Redline for which we supported a full team of riders, Akibo was a Japanese brand who made headsets, bearings etc… and also some generic Japanese frames. They actually sent us the first ever mountain bike prototype to test. My brother and I had one each.
(Les Windle’s jacket from the 80s.)
Other product we brought in:
AME – AME grips.
Magazines – we distributed BMX Plus, BMX Action and Bicycles & Dirt.
Tioga – Still going strong today.
Larry Wilcox – don’t know how we came across this one maybe we were fans of the US program “Chips”; Larry was the blonde cop on the motorbike.
Johar – the only pad set to own back then.
UNI BMX – Roger Berg who designed UNI is likened to a wild inventor. Not only did he invent the UNI seat and number plate but also invented the first machine to cook a burger vertical so it cooked the same on each side (he had a burger and ice cream parlour in Oregon). Additionally, he also invented the baby jogger for mums to get fit.
Patterson – one of the true greats with a full UK team being led by one, Tom Lynch.
Dirt skirt (on front), Sharp grip ends, Protec helmets and by the Redline flight bag a range of plastic clip-on badges with slogans like “get radical” etc…
Hotshot also distributed VANS shoes, Awesome shoes, brought the first Skyways into the country, Odyssey, S&M, Standard bikes, Hoffman, GT, Simpson Helmets, Progard (remember those plastic chain guards that go on the chain and seemed to come off on the last straight?), Dyno, Robinson and so many other iconic brands.
The original video we played in the first BMX Shop we had.
1984 Kellogg’s Alan Woods taking the Superclass Main at Gateshead after Big Tim March and Andy Ruffell slide-out and go for a run. If you’ve not already checked out Alan’s Podcast, we talk about the Kelloggs and plenty of early days in British BMX history check it out over on BMXWeekly.com.
Alice Temple rode for Robinson/MRD smashed out a few number 1 plates and it was rumored dated Boy George at some point during the 80s. This shot was taken from Action Bike at the old Hillingdon track.
Gary Llewellyn, much like his younger brother Wayne, was super talented and on another level from battling Craig Schofield in both 15 expert & Superclass, to turning Pro mid-season in 1985. Gary had no problem going head-to-head with Ruffell, March, Shooter and co right off the bat. In this shot, Gary leads over King Kong at Wigan for the final 1985 UK BMX National of the year, which featured 800 riders & 120 motos.
PC: BMX Action Bike Magazine
Titan, UGP, Cyclecraft, Robinson, Powerlite, Haro, Diamondback
Lee Bertram, Peter Holland, Chris Hyde, Scott Beaumont as an Amateur, everyone in Elite.
Masterclas No. 1 1996, World No. 4 1996, Elite National Champion 1999, National 4x Champion 2003
Early 80s both Mike Pardon & Mike Chilvers were top riders that you would see regularly in the magazines and in the results in the older age groups. Chilvers riding for Pro-Star and ranked National number 6, didn’t stick around in the sport too long but Mike Pardon on Torker was actually ranked number 2 behind Andy Ruffell and before heading in a successful Freestyle direction riding for the likes of Raleigh and being BMX Bi-Weekly Magazine’s main guy in the mag along with Andy Preston, Mike also came back in the mid 2000s racing & coaching before immigrating to Australia.
PC: Stefan Faulkner