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January 26, 2006 at 1:14 pm #24711
General Bikes…besides sponsoring R.L. and Todd Anderson, brought big names to the NJ freestyle scene. The company was based out of Rutherford and the freestyle team was run by none other than Harry Myers. Harry was the guy who started and ran Craigmeur BMX track during the early days of BMX in NJ, so Harry’s roots ran deep in the sport.
In this thread I will go over my time with the team which just happened to coincide with R.L. leaving and the beginning of the end of the “boom” era of freestyle.
Stay tuned.January 26, 2006 at 1:15 pm #27975
For the those who are wondering why I “locked” this thread… I didn’t want it to turn into General bashing, which I knew it would. Oh and what I post on my General thread will only be reports on the simple facts of what went down while I was there…No opinions on my part. I’ll leave that to Adam G’s thread. With that being said, let me get going here.January 26, 2006 at 1:15 pm #27976
Early 1988. My main ramp rider Tom Nieradka had began to pretty much disappear from the NJ freestyle scene due to his own personal reasons. This left me without a ramp rider. Someone had recommended Jeff Mayer to me and I asked him to do some shows with my then 3 year old freestyle team High Voltage. It wasn’t to long after this that the Lynches, the people who ran the NY AFA needed someone to bring ramps to thier contests. Since they saw that I was a reliable guy with a portable ramp setup they wanted me to help out. Through them I got the whole team sponsored by General through Harry Myers. As I mentioned above, I knew Harry was heavily into BMX racing in the early 80’s so I figured he was pretty into the bike thing.
I was right, he set the whole team up with all the parts we needed, (even though they were at first those not as well made Osborn replica and Blood bikes), painted our ramps with General Bicycles presents High Voltage Trick Team and set us up with some uniforms, as well as paying our entry fees at contests.
At this point my team consisted of Jeff Mayer, Adam Stack, Bob Ryer and Chris Hartway, a real young kid who would eventuallly grow up to look exactly like Mark Eaton. We started doing more shows through General Bikes dealers and eventually went as far as Ohio with my Ford Ranger Ramp Rig. For me, things were really looking great as I finally had a “big” sponsor for my team which I believed would bring enough notoriety that I could spread the BMX word more and possibly sponsor more kids…
At this time Roger Sullivan had just been picked up full factory General and was scheduled to go on tour with the “B” team, Phil Finkle, Mark Roldan, and Brandon Morgan. It was also around this time that Jeff had the 2-Hip ramp at his house where Roger and him used to practice quite often with some appearances by Sabre Schnitzter…Many things would change in my life because of that ramp…but more on that in the next post.January 26, 2006 at 1:16 pm #27977
So the spring of ’88 is rolling around. We’re doing shows, having fun and the like.
Roger and Jeff are be practicing on the 2 Hip ramp in preparation for Roger going on the 88 summer tour with Phil, Mark and Brandon.
Well, one day during a session, Roger bails and gets some “pain” in his side.
A little while later Jeff takes him to the hospital and luckily so…because Roger had ruptured his spleen. (This is where he got the nickname, Spleenovan)
This leaves the east coast General Team without a ramp rider…
So, Roger recommends Jeff to Harry and I take him and the ramps up there to let him “audition”.
Jeff starts doing some airs and what not…then Harry pulls out a list of “tricks”…Jeff can you do an, abubaca, nose pick, nothing, no- hander..etc…it was pretty much no to all of em…but Harry wasn’t sweating it. He just said ok, and Jeff was going with ’em on tour.
At this time Phil Finkle had taken over for Fred Blood and had gotten a rather large some of money to get the tour going from Vision, because we had that huge Vision logo on the trailer.
Well, apparently, Phil had used the money someplace else because as the tour went on things were getting pretty heated between Phil and the rest of the gang.
(Hey! I got to speak to Phil himself this evening! (8-15-07) he was able to give me the lowdown on what really went on before I got handed the tour duties in ’88 and I was way off base with what the deal was. Phil is gonna post what went on during his tenure with GB back in the day to set things right. Apologies to Phil who goes all the way back to the earliest days of BMX racing in the NY-NJ area…anyone remember Nomura, 😉 )
Jeff finally got Brandon and Mark to break down, they called Harry and recommended I replace Phil.
I guess I’ll stop there for now and continue later tonight…January 26, 2006 at 1:16 pm #27978
So I’m chilling at home one night in like June and Harry calls me.
Brett we gotta replace Phil, do you want to go on tour and be the announcer / manager guy.
I was working for my dad at the time so I said I’d call him right back…
Asked pop, I got a chance to go on tour for the bike thing…he’s like, you better go!
I call Harry back and 2 days later I’m on a plane to chicago to replace Phil.
Harry pulls up, and I’m feeling like a real dic*head, cause here I am replacing the guy who got this thing going. He says to Phil, I think you know why I’m here, Phil just nods, I shake hands with Harry and it’s done. Phil takes off back to the airport with Harry and I’m there to announce for the second show.
As far as I can tell the guys were real P.O.’d at Phil, because there was no money for the tour and they were sleeping in the truck instead of hotels, there was no money for food, etc, even though Vision put up a buttload to get it going..again this was all relayed to me…
First show was excellent, we had a shi*load of fun and we all got along pretty good.
Mark Roldan was a real nice dude, really had his stuff together. Brandon was funny, sorta rock starish…and Jeff…well you guys that know Jeff, know he was one sarcastic f-er…so he was a trip. It got a little tiring after awhile being on the road but it was for the most part really amazing.
I think my next post will be about a show we did in Colorado…No, no..Minnesota and the Suburban on the roof…January 26, 2006 at 1:16 pm #27979
So it’s like the second or third show on the tour that I am doing with these guys. We set up at some mall in Mankato MN. Do the show, blah blah blah…
We head back to the hotel and these 2 “groupies” are tagging along all jonesing on Jeff and Mark..
I was new at this so they wanted to take the Suburban, Jeff and Mark, to park it. I tell em ok, they take off and I don’t see them again till the next morning.
They took the “ladies” parked on the roof and had a “good” time…
Unfortunately they killed the battery in the truck so we had fun getting that fixed…
So, what is the big deal about this story…well these 2 girls come down say goodbye to Jeff and Mark and one of them has this big frigging embroidery on the back of her pants that said USED on it…
I looked at that and laughed I my a** off…nuts…
We wandered a bit through the midwest and then headed out to Colorado for another show.January 26, 2006 at 1:17 pm #27980
We get to Colorado and are at this bike shop with a pretty decent turnout. Just one show that day and everyone is feeling pretty good even though we are up in those pyscho mountains. Anyway we do the show and afterwards Jeff is all laughing, and I’m going what’s up? I should preface this by saying usually about halfway through the show, I’d come out and bust some stuff so they saw that the “announcer” rode too…
So anyway, he’s laughing, I’m “whats the deal” and he’s saying “Dude, you were the only one on the team doing any modern flatland tricks!”
Guess you had to be there, but it sorta goes along the lines of being able to practice or just doing shows…
Next stop…UFO land, New Mexico.January 26, 2006 at 1:17 pm #27981
New Mexico, crazy amount of land…small amount of people. We have a show all the way west in NM at Gallup. So we roll all the way across NM and drop a way fun show there and wind up in the local paper. (pic to follow this week) Our next stops were in Fla. so we had a crazy road trip from NM to Fla! Brandon pisses everyone off by having a cousin who gets him a flight from NM to Fla, while we get stuck driving across the country!..Let me say there are parts of Texas that smell beyond belief!
Along the way through NM we stop for gas in what I have to say is the spookiest rest stop ever with a kid standing there that has a shirt on that says ‘Take Me, I’m Yours”…Undoubtedly waiting for the aliens!
So we rolled what was about a 24 hour drive and finally wind up in Florida and bunk at Jeff’s parents timeshare for our time in Heaven’s Waiting Room.January 26, 2006 at 1:17 pm #27982
We hook back up with Brandon and decide to roll out to Disney World to have a fun time. Being the oldest guy on the team I was just having a good time, the other younger dudes, well if they got within 25′ of girls they were on it…and Florida has ladies, lol.
So we’re in Disney World and these lads start hitting up young ladies eventually finding a few that will actually talk to them.
We proceed to hang out at Disney till the park closes…I was getting real pissed as I knew we were going to have bit*h of a time getting a room that night.
Well, at that time, I wasn’t quite as tactful as I am now…So I just blurt out, “Are you guys gonna fu*k these chicks or can we go get some fu*king sleep”. Well, surprisingly the girls decided to call it an early morning and the rest of the team is pissed at me for the night.
As I knew it took us over 1 1/2 to find a room, overpriced and the attendant was kind enough to get us up at 9:00am when we got there at like 5:30am and then bitc*ing at us to get out or we were getting charged for another day.
We eventually got our as*es up and headed back to Jeff’s parents place for the duration of the Fla stay..
Next up is movies, malls and maniacal boyfriends.January 26, 2006 at 1:17 pm #27983
Here’s a few pics…more to follow
1988.5 Team Jeff Mayer, Adam Stack, Brandon Morgan, Scott Clark
Mayer-Middaugh, Over Under Airs
Sean Leslie street ramps 1989
Rog Air Sullivan Lookback 1988
Sullivan X-Up 1988
January 26, 2006 at 1:18 pm #27984
So everything is cool and calm staying at Jeff’s place…not quite..
We decide to go hit up a movie and the teenage hormones got racing again…
The guys pick up some ladies at the movies and we take them back to their house…
Well, it seems that we were followed their by some “jealous” boyfriends who promptly took to accosting our Suburban…
Jeff “Stuntdriver” Mayer once again took care of the situation and high tailed it out of there with…can you believe a couple of IROC’s chasing us…
Man… it wasn’t easy finding time to relax on the road..
All in all though Florida was a fun place to go and we hit Disney like 3 times on the company tab and had a blast. Our next stop was in VA where calamity would strike…February 27, 2006 at 12:01 am #28353
So we roll into this shop on the outskirts of Washington DC for our last show before we head back to homebase in NJ, which by the way at that last stop in NJ would lead to meeting a couple of guys who had unbridled enthusiasm for BMX and would help keep things alive in the dead years…
Anyway, me and I believe it was Brandon are in the shop talking to the owner when we hear a loud ARGH HHHHHHHHH come from the parking lot…well it seems Jeff Air Mayer had just tweaked his ankle attempting a 540 practicing for the show. Freak out time as we now had NO ramp rider for that shop and had to chill on the price of the show… I was bummed that Jeff was hurt but pissed at him at the same time…dang it! Couldn’t ya wait till we got back to NJ and got Roger Sullivan back on the tip…Just kidding…Anyway we plodded through our two shows and packed up for the at that time short 4 hour ride to NJ.
I got to sleep in my own bed for the first time in 2 months and awaited the next day’s show in nearby South Plainfield NJ at the new TC Cycles Bike Shop, a name that would become infamous on the NJ scene in the coming 4 years…March 4, 2007 at 3:14 am #41049
Let’s get back into this shit, and I gotta call Harry Myers..
We wake up the next day and I realize that the shop we were about to roll up to was a brand new one that had opened before I left.
Owned by 2 guys from Plainfield NJ, they promoted the SHIT out of our show. The crowd there was huge, loud and they even had a freestyle contest for the local guys there.
This blew me away as I lived literally 3 miles from this place and it seemed like overnight, they had banded every BMX rider in the area together.
This was Roger Sullivan’s first show back on the team since rupturing his spleen on the 2-Hip vert ramp that was stationed at Mayer’s house for the time being. (yea, THE 2-Hip vert ramp, you saw in all the mags, lol) Rog was ripping it, but was doing some crazy crashing as well. This kid was nuts and ahead of his time as evidenced by wearing the shorts when everyone else was wearing leathers.
2 Killer shows, a crazy contest, enthusiasm beyond belief and I knew I had found some guys that would change the way freestyle BMX was in NJ.
This was also the beginning of street riding being the in thing ’cause you can see we were tearing around using a small jump box.
After this show, we headed up to Massachusetts to finish the 88 tour.
Does anyone have shot of one of those old Wildstyle Tour shirts?
Let me get a few pics up.March 4, 2007 at 3:14 am #41050
I’m unlocking this topic so all you OS guys can jog this farts memory!
I’m gonna direct Harry Myers here as well.March 4, 2007 at 3:17 am #41051RaidenHaydenMember
Memories are good
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