Shot of Marcus Rich at Southampton we’re thinking 81/82ish. Marcus went on to become double British Champion in 1986 and UK BMX National number 2 the same year but for some reason never scored a Factory ride.
PC: Linda Rich
If you’ve not already checked it out there is a pretty cool Facebook Page at the moment that’s caught some steam in the UK BMX Old and Mid School World: We Were RAD. Basically, Anthony Frascina, Andrew Rigby and Clint Pilkington are putting together a British history book of BMX and people have been submitting photos, stories and interviews via the Facebook group. Check it out, there are some great images and it’s super cool the guys are documenting more British BMX history moving forward.
PC: John Davis
1984 NBMXA National at Bromsgrove in the West Midlands has got to go down as one of the muddiest UK Nationals of the 80s and probably 90s as well thinking about it. What did make this race interesting was appearances from GT/US riders; Robert Fehd, Kevin Hull and Darwin Griffin who had made the trip over. Fehd and Hull went 1st and 2nd in 17+ but Griffin had problems and didn’t feature top 3 in his class (15 expert) which was won by the new kid on the block at the time, Gary Llewellyn, who had just got onto Mongoose earlier that year.
Image of the entrance of the Derby Greyhound Stadium which closed down in 1988 – after being a staple on the NBMXA side in racing, hosting the very first British Championships in 1983 sponsored by Halfords, until the last British Championships in 1988. Even though it seemed like the 80s boom had peaked, over 1,000 riders competed.
Photo: Derby Telegraph
Outwell outdoor – John Bilner (5), Lee Flavin (outside) Steve Gilley (6), Scott Barber (1 Torker). Lee Flavin went onto ride for Redline, Raleigh, Prolite and Rainbow JMC and place 2nd at the 83 Slagharen Worlds. Steve Gilley went to Kuwahara Factory soon after this shot but along with Scott Barber had left the sport by 1984. Lee Flavin retired a few years after with only John Bilner continuing to race into the 90s.
It’s very rare these days that riders are both good/compete at Freestyle (is it even called that now?) and Racing, as they seem worlds apart. The closest all around riders that shred today at both would be Barry Nobles and Vic Behm in the US. Back in the 80s/90s it was pretty common that guys could do both at high levels especially when Dirt Jumping Comps kicked in during the 90s with guys like Stephen and Martin Murray, Dylan Clayton, Keith Duly, Tony Fleming, Kye Forte, Clive Gosling and Paul Roberts (among others) raced and hit up the KOD events which ran during a National race weekend.
Chris Young is a name you will be more familiar with if you know your early 80s BMX roots in the UK. Chris was National number 1 riding for teams like Mongoose and Torker before crossing over into Freestyle. Chris went onto ride and Tour with Skyway in the UK with Andy Patterson, Billy Stupple and Skyway Team in 83 putting on demos and really promoting the sport up and down the country which was well-documented at the time through the mags. Chris rode in the 1984 Kelloggs, jumped over cars but kind of disappeared from the scene by the mid 80s. Still, so many great images of Chris floating around online today.
After retiring from racing in the early 90’s, Tom Lynch became a London Ambulance Service paramedic and is the pioneer behind the cycle response units who have served the Capital since 2000. Tom’s initiative has saved countless lives as cycle paramedics can navigate London’s busy streets faster than regular Ambulance vehicles.
We were asked by the London Ambulance service to design a sew-on badge to celebrate and recognise the outstanding achievement of 25 years dedicated service with the London Ambulance Service by our friend, inspiration and mentor Tom Lynch MBE.