Letters to the editor

Matt Pingel / Matt Holiday

Hi Gerrit,

My name is Matt Pingel from Germany. Now this is a real pleasure to hear from the "European Godfather of BMX". Man, You`ve changed the life of so many kids in Europe, including mine! Since the early 80`s to this day BMX has ruled my life. I`ve done a lot for BMX Freestyle in the 80`s and 90`s, being the first editor of BMX Freestyle Magazine in Germany to founding the first ever BMX clothing company "BOOST" to being a pro BMX Freestyler, to doing a BMX show company that did even the GT BMX Shows at the Eurobike (including stars like Dave Mirra, Brain Blyther, Dave Volker ... ) . I`ve also been a strong part of Fat BMX when it was a Xerox magazine. And still supporting it.

OK, I found that particular "bicycle speedway" or "BMX" shot somewhere on the internet and I thought I`d post it to Bart. Sorry, I have no idea where it comes from. It only says: Australia. But boy, I guess since there was bicycles, there was guys riding them off road and doing stunts. Be it building tracks or not. Downhill MTB might not have started by Gary Fisher and the lot, maybe it`s been way way before. The riders from early 20th centuy might be dead now, but....

I`ve got an article from TOUR magazine from the 80`s and there is an article of "hellriders on bicycles from th 1930`s" where riders perform loops in giant metal built loops and riders jumping from giant ramps on fixed gear 28 incher bikes ?  I`ve seen that Flatland rider video in the 1930`s doing trackstands an all kinds of balance moves on such a huge bike.

Now big daddy tell me where does BMX and BMX Freestyle come from?

In the beginning there was a bike. Two wheels a steal frame and no gear. And from that point on riders begun to perform stunts or tried to race each other. In my opinion the BMX started in the 1930`s. Tell me if I`m wrong. But progression made its way. And now we`re here, 2010. The BMX tracks are crazy, the BMX freestyle has gone crazy, the BMX flatland has gone crazy. And now even the fixie bikers are getting into freestyling.

Pesonally I `m a biker and I never gave a shit about whell sizes. I love stunts, I love racing ( in fact I raced road bikes as well in my teens ) I love bikes, so what! BMX old school wise I`ve given most of my memorablia , parts, frames, clothes to Dieter Schadowski at BMX museun. He is a true BMX hero, at the age of 70 now !!!

Same as you I`m an old schooler but who was the first to ride a bike through a puddle of mud and to do the first jump or raced the first backjard comp might be beyond our expectations. Anyway, BMX is there in all aspects. And this is good.
Long live BMX,

Matt Pingel

www.matt-pingel.com

www.matt-holiday.com

Reaction by Gerrit Does:

Dear Matt,
My name is Gerrit Does and I am the www.universityofbmx.com guy. I got the picture of some youngsters racing bicycles through Bart de Jong of FAT BMX. It says "or was bmx founded in Australia?". Matt, the picture show some youngster actif in Cycle SPEEDWAY not BMX. Cycle Speedway was very popular in de '50 in England and Holland. The town were I was born (Hilversum - Holland) even had a many times World Champion Cycle Speedway !!! I already did write an article on Cycle Speedway many years ago with some pictures from back then. My request to you is, can I use your picture or the picture you did sent to Bart de Jong, and place it with this article? That would be great. Thanks so far.

Concerning when BMX started? yeap you'r wright. Many youngers long time ago rode their bikes not only in the street but also in the woods and elswhere. I call that Bicycle Cross., 26 or 28 inch wheels and so on. BMX as Bicycle Moto-Cross realy started as an organised sport in the early '70 s in the USA. Special frames and 20 inch wheels. The excat date and time of when any bicycle sport with among them BMX, BMX Freestyle, All Terrain / Mountain biking, started is nowhere to be found. I would except an exact date IF a picture or film or newspaper clip could prove one of these sport activities on a certain date. I do have Film of organised BMX races in the city of Amersfoort somewhere in the middle of Holland, so a realy old film made in 1959. It was shown on a local TV station around Amersfoort about 3 years ago (2009).

So, anybody with concreet evidence, present yourselfs!

GD.

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