Ralf has asked me at least 5 times to write a story about my BMX days
for the Club Old Boy website.
I had never seen the site until today so I'm sitting down to write something for the new website.
I guess this is about my BMX years which actually started way before BMX ever made it to Europe.
My brother Paul and I were obsessed with motocross but could not afford a motorcycle. The next best
thing was to imitate motocross on our bicycles. We had never seen a BMX bike before but when we found
out that there were bikes being made for what we did, we were sold. I got my first "original" BMX bike in 1979.
That's almost 30 years ago. Last weekend I got to ride the Sugar Hills and managed
to do some tricks over the Killer Jump at the Sugar Hills in Aarle-Rixtel. I remember that kids
considered me too old for that little bike when I was twelve. My answer was that there were pro racers
in the USA that were 18 years old and still rode on a BMX bike.
I can't remember the times I was laughed at for riding a little bike. It still happens
30 years later, but I just laugh inside and know what BMX has given me. BMX has given me
everything I've got. I've traveled the world because of BMX. I met my friends because of
BMX. BMX makes me feel good. Somehow these things have never changed. The love is too big.
In two days I'm flying to California and I'm bringing my BMX bike. I will be riding as many
spots as possible and I'm looking forward to that. I will be visiting BMX companies, the BMX
media, and some BMX events. The second weekend will be the Old School BMX Reunion at Woodward
West. Some of the people who are going to be there are old school heroes Bob Haro, Eddie Fiola,
Bob Morales, Brian Blyther, Ron Wilkerson, Dave Nourie and a ton of other well known BMX freestyle
heroes. It is going to be good. Spending a weekend with people who think the same as you do is always good.
Luckily I've been able to make BMX my living. I run my own company called European BMX Connection
and have worked with great companies/people since I started in 2001. I currently work for Dave Mirra's
company called Mirraco, judge a lot of International BMX freestyle events, am a member of the IBMXFF
and also run the www.fatbmx.com website. Some of you will remember the photocopied 'zine from back in
the day. Well, it's now online and attracts thousands of BMX fans every day.
I currently live in Helmond, Netherlands with my wife Wendy and kids Philip (5) and Veerle (2).
Life is good. Thank you BMX.
- Bart de Jong
P.S. If you really want to read about my old school stories, find all FAT-'zines online at www.fatbmx.com