You skated before BMX, how did you get into skating and in what year?
David Fraser and I were in Leeds and saw Skateboards in a shop, we brought 2 boards for £20 total. We wore them out in two weeks at my primary school parking lot. Then went back and bought 2 more, summer of 76.
How did you find out about BMX and in what year?
I travelled to Lakewood, California 1979ish with Steve Gratton and Steve Illingsworth (2nd para) and a few more guys. We travelled from park to park skating at a pro level with other pros. Stacy Peralta, Ray Bones, Cab, McGill, Doc Otamura and John Schaff. Everyone was there. At Lakewood, I met Eddie Fiola and Tinker Juarez chatted about how to ride a halfpipe on a BMX bike. I’d already ridden the monster pool on a tank Schwinn beach cruiser. Lakewood was the best, Snake run, Half pipe, Pools, Bowls, The bomb!!! When we returned to the UK we kept skating harder and better after the US trip and then at some point I bought a Murray.
What was your first bike, where did you get it from?
The first real bike was a Mongoose/Supergoose. Supposedly, I was sponsored by Mongoose through Brian Siddedly in Southport. Those days are a bit vague but I remember getting some Skyway Tuffs shortly after.
Local scene: Who did you ride with?
Southport – rode a lot with Mike Chilvers, Steve Gratton and Andy Irwin. It’s a long time ago and I’ve had a bunch of concussions.
Tell us about the photo shoot in BMX News at Southport Skatepark. What do you remember about it and who shot the photos?
Mike Chilvers and I had been at a race in Southport. The rain was relentless and the track as usual was crap and I had seen real USA tracks that were like dirt skateparks.
It was such a chore to sit and wait in the rain to ride a muddy track and then not qualify because of the bad conditions. Remember I was 6’6” and 180lbs I was pushing big fast gears.
I said to Mike, screw this I’m going to the skatepark so I geared down and we were just messing around (Mike wheelied) the whole way lol.
After a while, a guy shows up with a camera (Martin Higginson) and asks who’s Andy Lomas? He said so what’s the deal? Why aren’t you racing? I said this is better and I’m a skater so I know the lines and on a bike you can rip and go hard and fast. I did a few table tops over the corners he said, “What’s your best trick?” So… I never said a word. I just marked a spot he could focus on (since we had a manual focus camera) and popped the biggest foot plant and landed it with both feet on the bike in the air on the bank. Then I did the iconic one handed footplant that was ran in the article. I don’t want to knock racing. If I’d lived in America back then I would have raced into retirement. I was big, fast and aggressive. Falling wasn’t a big deal since I’d skated forever already.
Do you still have a copy of BMX News from that shoot?
I don’t have a copy of the magazine. I wish I did.
You came from the Northwest which was a real hot bed for BMX in the early 80s. Did you race much?
I was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire and moved into a pub called the Queen in Carlton outside leeds. I was one of the first skaters in the Leeds Wakefield area. I raced with Steve Gratton and we would travel around but the weather made it hard. I was such a Tinker Juarez fan and of course Eddie Fiola after meeting them in the States, I wanted to ride vert and pools and pipes. I wanted to be Tony Alva on a BMX.
I’m pretty sure I was the first rider to go to BMX at Romford. Steve had gone down to Chatham Kent racing so I tagged along but instead went to Rom once we got South, I rode BMX with a full face Bell helmet. Everyone at the Park stopped when they saw me!! Steve and I were always ahead of the curve along with Stefan Harkon and Neal Danze. We were the first well-known Skaters and because of Southport it changed people’s perception of BMX.
You moved to the US, what prompted the move?
At 12 years old I wanted to travel to California. In 1981 age 20 I moved to Belmont shores with Darren Burrdell (Sheenagh’s brother). We lived with David Quackenbush of the Vandals. By then we were skating, surfing and BMX riding. And lots of photography!!
You’re a photographer these days and it looks like you still skate?
I shattered my humerus about four years ago. I’m 62 this year so my skating and riding is limited. I’ve had a very crazy life over the past 50 years. I’ll skate more these days but it would be nice to get a 24 cruiser and still shoot photos.
We get one life, I lost my mum at 7 so I figured I would turn up the volume, dream big, drive hard and keep pushing. I’ve skated with the best, ridden with the best. I was a golf pro for a decade. I spent years doing rock concert work. I’ve shot with the seals. I’m about to move to Bali and the Philippines. Oh, and I ordered a Kawasaki 1000 ex cop bike. A new era has begun.
Live your life like it’s your last day on earth (it might be). One day at a time.