Friday, March 21, 2014

Barnett was always a fan favorite

This is an excellent comment and I wanted to move it to a post. Easy to see this story unfold. An early witness to The Bomber's talent:

I grew up one town over from Mark Barnett. We all used to practice at this track down by the canal in the town where I grew up called Summit. He was an amateur probably about 15 or 16 y.o. He would even gather a crowd to watch him practice. He was flying around on his RM125 with his Jofa dangling from one side of his helmetand one time he launched off this big jump, when he landed the force knocked the Jofa off and it was a mad dash of a crowd of people to see who could get it. Even then everyone knew he was going to be something special. on Barnett comin' at ya

Monday, March 10, 2014

Legends of Retro Motocross

I haven't blogged in quite a while. It's not because I love retro motocross any less, simply that life got in the way. I have been working on a new book - the psychology of fitness and nutrition - and have also been building an online university degree program in advertising communication.

All that said, the photo above prompted me to come back to life. Over the weekend, I received the image above from my good friend Bill West. He's the man behind much of my success in the sport; after my Cycle News days, it was Bill who suggested to Wrangler that I'd be a good PR rep for their new sponsorship of the sport. I will always be grateful.

Today's post is a tribute to four great individuals in motocross. We often give the credit due to top riders over the decades, but how often do we think about those off the racetrack, who built the character and foundation of what motocross became?

Let's stop and honor some authentic MX giants. From left to right, that's Tip Tipton, Bill West, Ron Tichenor and Roy Janson. I could go into more detail, but consider this: These fine gents have been engaged in our sport for over 40 years. If you ever needed a hot plate of food, a sip of moonshine, a place to sleep or a warm jacket, this crew was always there, always giving.

So here's what I'd like to do. Let's get active. Drop some comments, leave a few stories to support the greatness of these MX vets. Retro motocross would not be the same without them.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Barnett comin' at ya

Here's a shot of Mark Barnett, doing what Mark did best - get holeshots and win races.

A bit of backstory: Barnett now lives in Greensboro, NC. It's about 90 minutes from where I live in Boone, NC. I made contact with Mark a few weeks ago. It was really nice to connect. Was talked about getting together for a mountain bike ride.

I'm afraid to go. How can a mortal ride in the shadow of  The Bomber? And though I haven't seen him in several decades, I have no doubt he still goes very fast on all occasions.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Icons of Motocross: RJ, Wardy and the Little Professor

This just in from David Bailey: A pic of Rick Johnson, Jeff Ward and DB from Broc Glover's recent charity ride (Broc's son has Cystic Fibrosis) in San Diego.

Have to say, this trio has weathered the past two or three decades pretty well. Each achieved legend status in the sport.

How'd you'd like to put all that motocross talent into a bottle and sell it on eBay? What might it be worth?

In my opinion, beyond a highest bid. Totally priceless.

Amazing individuals. Distinct in personalities, multi-time national champions, building blocks in American motocross.

For those of us who were part of this golden era, we'll never stop telling the stories. These men were truly icons in American motocross.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bailey skates the corner

How cool is this. Sometimes I delve into my digitized negs and come up with an image that I may not have noted prior. This one is a tad out of focus, but hey, we were shooting with manual focus lenses in those days.

We also had really great floor access at the Supercross races. We could wander pretty much anywhere, with the promoter and AMA warning "please don't get hit."

I liked to use a wide angle lens and get in close on the infield turns.

Here's David Bailey, throwing a bit of body English at a tight right hander. Note the eyes; a consummate pro who is clutching his way out and is already setting up for the next maneuver. 

As the years roll past, it's sometimes hard to keep up with the people we care about. David and I have slipped into and out of each other's lives over the past two decades. Just recently, we reconnected and traded several emails. I makes me happy on those occasions, to share a few words and catch up. With David, it doesn't take long for wit or wisdom...or the scoop on almost any topic you can conjure up. The guy is in the know and it's always fun to hear the inside story!

I am grateful that my career intersected the crazy sport of motocross. It still remains a dream come true, a kid from Wisconsin who lived on the national circuit for almost three years. It's surely a miracle and I thank The Lord for giving me such a wonderful blessing.