The British BMX Hall of Fame planning is currently underway and moving along nicely as we prepare for our first event set for Nov 5th this year. Andy Ruffell is in town so I thought it would be a good time to record a quick Podcast.
It’s been a few years since we last did one (first one covering Andy’s BMX Career) so we had a little catching up to do. We chat about what he’s been up to lately and what Andy went on to do after retiring from BMX in 1988.
We then catch up on everything British BMX Hall of Fame as we have begun to roll out the final 8 in each category. We talk ticket sales, updates and event info with of course, a little Tim March chat for good measure.
We have also set up the British BMX Hall of Fame as its own Podcast and this is episode 1 with all links and will be archived from our Hall of Fame website and posted on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
My friend and fellow British BMX Hall of Fame collaborator, Mike Wong, recently made the trip over to California, so we took the opportunity to drive up to Huntington Beach to catch up with Paul Roberts to record this podcast.
Mike has been riding BMX bikes in some capacity since 1981 and running his own bike brands, Dialled Bikes and FTB BMX, for the best part of the last 20 years.
We cover our reasons for starting the British BMX Hall of Fame project, address some of the social media comments we’ve seen/been made aware of since announcing the Hall of Fame, and finish up with some healthy debate as to who we think are the main contenders to be nominated and inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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.
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.