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.