Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sunday Rider

Growing up in Southern California has revealed a lot of history I don't think I would have known about having grown up any other place in the country. More specifically a lot of history that impacts life today. We all know that I am a huge fan of what is old, and though I have not said it I truly believe that what is old will always be new, at least to someone who had not known about it previously.

So in my struggle to keep this boat afloat and by boat I mean Trimmed With Gold Above and by afloat I mean worth reading I have delved into all that is vintage, all that is Los Angeles and all that is both vintage and Los Angeles more than I would have ever imagined. Even into topics I would have never once been interested in before, like BMX/Bicycle Motocross. BMX biking was said to be made famous by the 1971 documentary On Any Sunday (which I would hope we all know) where in the opening children are seen riding their Schwinn Stingrays off dirt jumps in a race.

The reason I mention this is that this all started in Southern California. BMX biking I mean, I must admit that we were not the original motocross circuit. Motocross was originated in England designed after the off road race called Scrambling of the 1920s. The competition only evolved from there and quite quickly in motocross and in 1972 the Los Angeles Coliseum held the first ever Stadium motocross race.

On Any Sunday is a great film by and with Steve McQueen about the great Motocross racers of the time, Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith, "doing for motocross what the Endless Summer did for surfing" as Roger Ebert so enthusiastically stated. Below is a little tidbit from the movie that says more than I could ever have said in far less words.

This film is credited as the force behind the movement and popularity of BMX biking and motocross. And has been able to leave a light on motocross very similar to that of the light left on skateboarding by the Z-boys of Dogtown. Steve McQueen will forever stand by his rebel persona winning the hearts of racing enthusiasts everywhere for this movie.

A little added bonus, when I first met Nick from A Time to Get he showed me this video at his place and I can't keep it to myself anymore. Well more like I forgot the guys name and just had to ask Nick what it was again. So, here you go. This guy is nuts.