Thursday, November 25, 2010 is online, and I am Thankful

It is Thanksgiving today, and I want to thank Rick Thomas for getting the 2.0 version of launched last night. It is a simple, clean site, but simple can sometimes be challenging, and I know Rick was confounded briefly by technical details. Thanks for pushing through it, Rick.

I am going to put a brief bio on here about myself for all the new visitors to who haven't met me yet...
My name is Paul Smith. I fell in love with BMX bikes as kid, and never lost the love. When I was in my late 20's, in 1998, I had a new, young family, and so I started researching the innernets to find some cool BMX bikes for my soon-to-be-riding 4-year old daughter. That led me to link up with some other adult BMXers on a website called Menotomy. Menotomy is still online, but the focus there was, is, and has always been pre-1970's bicycles. So they were not really tuned in to BMX. So, 1998, I started the first dedicated website on the internet for BMX Collectors. It was called RetroBMX. Also that year, Jason Leikam of the Milwaukee area decided to form the first group for old school BMX bike enthusiasts. It was called ROOST BMX. (ROOST = Revival Of Old-School Technology). RetroBMX hosted the first ROOST web pages. Soon after this happened, Randy Schaffner (a cool NorCal dude with much better web skills than I) started up, which made my RetroBMX pages obsolete. I had no problems letting someone else be the webmaster. Randy partnered with Bill Curtin to grow OldSchoolBMX, but the partnership didn't last and then Bill spun off a new site called I have been a part of VintageBMX since day one, as evidenced by my member number (#13.) I have also been a part of BMXmuseum, BMXsociety, BMXactiononline and eBay for all places, my user name is retrobmx. I invite you to check my feedback on eBay - a member over 12 years and 100% positive feedback. I say all this just to let you know one thing: Paul Smith is the one guy behind RetroBMX. I have been here for years and am not going anywhere. I now have one goal with RetroBMX: to make you the custom bicycle seat of your dreams. I stake my reputation on it.

For the very latest news on the RetroBMX company, please click the link below to find our facebook fan page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RetroBMX is on Facebook!

Going forward, I think that I will be using facebook as a means to keep the world up-to-date on the happenings here at RetroBMX. So please check our facebook page...

RetroBMX Custom Bike Seats

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A look back

I have been thinking for a while about what this blog should be. I know it should be about my little business, RetroBMX. But the fact is that I don't have much to talk about there.

I don't have a lot of witty or incisive world observations to share with you.

And the Vikings are out of the playoffs, so I have nothing to carry on about there.

One thing I do have is a lot of magazines. I have saved every bike magazine I ever purchased, or subscribed to. And it is kinda sad that these magazines just sit around, collecting dust.

So I think it is time to start mining the magazines for material.

Here is the first image from one of my old mags...

The story inside this magazine made a lasting impression on me. I memorized a lot of the details that Bob Haro shared about his experiences working as a stunt double on the E.T. set.

Fast forward to 2007. Bob Haro had been booked to be the "Honored Guest" at the annual Rockford Gathering. I decided it was time to realize a long term ambition of mine as a BMX collector. I built what I call a "Bob Haro E.T. Replica" to show at Rockford. I got Bob to autograph it...

...and a picture of the bike appeared in BMX World magazine, in their Rockford recap.

The caption reads "Each year this gathering seems to unearth a few rarities." The funny thing is, most of the Rockford attendees had no idea what this crazy-painted Kuwahara was supposed to be. And I am not sure that whoever wrote the caption knew what it was was a replica of the bike ridden by the character "Tyler", who was stunt-doubled by Bob Haro, in the E.T. movie.

If you'd like to learn more about my E.T. obsession, go to my photobucket, where there are all manner of E.T. pics, and scans of the story from the BMX Plus issue pictured above.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The real reason...

Don't know if this secret is out yet, but the real reason Brett Favre moved to Minnesota this year was not because he thought he could be the missing ingredient for the Vikings, but rather so he could join our Bicycle Club, the Minnesota Faction.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some of my best seats

Here a few of my best looking seats, in my opinion. These have all been sold - I have none in inventory. But I will probably do more like them in the future. Keep an eye out. Hope the owners of the seats enjoy them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Post-Olympic Hangover

Hey, did you hear about this? BMX is in the Olympics!

I was not expecting anything great out of this Olympic BMX race. I've never thought of BMX as a spectator sport. BMX has had other opportunities in the spotlight, but for various reasons, it has not panned out.

I figured this would be the same scenario. But in my view, it didn't turn out that way.

See, I happen to think the Olympics are a big deal. I remember that the first time I signed up for Satellite television was so I could get full coverage of the 98 Winter Olympics in Nagano. Before that, I vividly remember lots of other Olympic moments, including the Bill Johnson's Gold medal downhill run in 1984, the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey team and Bruce Jenner's Decathlon victory in 76.

I know the Olympics is now a steroid-infested, underage-gymnast-pimpin, politcally-misguided-flag-wavin', extravaganza of Nike/Polo/Speedo commercialism, and that Darfur and Tebet need resolution before another firework needs to go off over the Olympics.

I get all that. But I can't get over the Olympic ideal that I bought into as a kid. Every four years, I get enthralled by sport, by Athletes doing their best, by their effort to excell with the world watching. And this year, finally, after Bob Osborn told me it could be possible back in the early 80's, BMX was part of the Games.

I think that BMX succeeded spectacularly in this Olympics. I am convinced that BMX has gained a foothold in Olympic culture. If you're interested, you can read more about it in a new blog I have started.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Make up post #2 - Rockford

In the BMX world, “Rockford” means two things: It refers to a stellar track in Illinois, USA, which hosts one of the ABA’s biggest races every summer. But increasingly, "Rockford" also is coming to be known for the sideshow to the race: a gathering of BMXers who are members of The Rockford Gathering started out as a dozen guys swapping stories around a Bar-B-Q grill, and has grown into an annual destination for hundreds of the world’s most committed BMX historians. Now, every June, hundreds of BMX bikes of all eras, makes, and models are put on display for attendees to view, drool over, reminisce about, and generally incite passion for the sport of BMX. The passion that is evident in these old school guys is passed on to younger generations, who get the opportunity to learn that Oakley made grips before sunglasses, that frames could actually be Nickel plated, and that Haro is more than a bike brand – it’s the name of guy who steered the sport a lot of positive ways.

This year, the 9th Annual Rockford Gathering (or as we simply like to call it: Rockford) kicked off with a meet-and-drink at that American Institution known as Hooters. A good time was had by all, culminating in the Hooter’s staff leading the bar in singing “Happy Birthday” to BMX. Yeah, they’re not hired for their brains.

Friday brought a session at Rockford’s excellent outdoor skatepark by the guys who still ride. While there, Plywood Hood Brett Downs talked about his intention to start a magazine called “RODE”. Get it? Not “RIDE” but “RODE”? Point taken – there’s too many of us who are content to sit back and talk about the old days – there should be more of us still out there doing it. Props to those who did expend some sweat in the park and on the track this year.

Friday also means the Vintage BMX swap meet at the track. Levity was brought to the night when one of our members drove his RV rig into the middle of the swap area and got stuck in the damp soil. Just another thing to make the weekend memorable. After the swap meet, we convened at the Clocktower for pizza, drinks and Karaoke. But for some reason, everybody was too shy to sing – except for my kids. Wait – Natron and Krystina actually were kinda good. While the singing was lacking, at least everyone had a great time sitting around drinking and talking – and getting their picture taken with Mike Dominguez.

Saturday is what Rockford is all about. Our crew fills up about 2 acres of the park that surrounds the BMX track. Guys truck in from all corners of the USA with their collections. This year we were graced with the presence of Neil Clark (aka Subwax) from England, and also Warren “Waza” Eales from Australia (check out his awesome historical website at The bikes are immaculate, and too numerous to mention. Follow the links to the pictures. The show did kind of come to a dead stop when our guest of honor, Woody Itson, showed up with his two display bikes. Woody is a pioneering rider who was truly innovative and influential in freestyle’s formative years. But apart from his riding skills, Woody is known for one thing: the Gold Plated Hutch Trickstar. This bike, along with the Futuristic Black Trickstar that Woody also used during this era, were on display in fully restored glory. And if you still thought the legendary Gold Trickstar was stolen and lost for good, well you should have been in attendance to hear the full story. It’s a bizarre, suspenseful and uplifting story, and reassuring to learn that there are people in this world who will do what they can to make things right. Hey, maybe there’s hope for me to get back my long lost Kuwahara.

Woody’s stories were shared in full at the Awards banquet, slide show style. Woody started at the very beginning, showing loads of photos that demonstrated how he started out like all of us, on the local dirt trails. From there he took it to the skateparks and the streets, amassing skills like over-the-fence-flyouts and 40-inch bunnyhops. If there were any racer-types in attendance who doubted our choice of guest of honor, I am pretty sure Woody’s 30-foot ditch jump pictures won them over. From his roots in Orange County, to stardom riding Hutch Trickstars all over the world, Woody showed how much fun can be had as a BMX professional. And on to today – Woody continues to promote BMX with teams performing on some of the biggest stages.

After Woody’s presentation, we got down to the business of handing out trophies. Claude Murphy, all the way from Louisiana, scored big with wins for both Best 70’s BMX (a Cook Bros.) and Best 80’s BMX (a display of practically every product Cook Bros ever made in the 80’s.) Best Mini went to Brian Page of New Jersey with his 1985 Vector Mini. Best Cruiser went to Cheesehead John DeBruin for his gleaming candy red 1983 National Pro. For the second straight year, Best Retro went to Ed Ferri of, this time for his 2008 Knight Industries Redline Squareback 24 (rolling on Skyway Tuff Wheels, natch.) Best Pit Bike went to Brian Pegausch for his mini-me of Woody’s bike, a gold-plated Hutch Trickstar pit bike created at C4 Labs. Juan Mattos and Jamie Jennison’s ultra-rare 1984 Free Agent Freestyle bike took home the Best Freestyle award, along with Best in Show.

After the awards, the ever-popular product raffle occurred. Tons of great product was handed out, thanks to the generous help of our sponsors: ABA, Hutch, Kuwahara USA, Redline, Supercross, SE Bikes, Action Graphics, DiamondBack, Profile Racing, S&M Bikes,, C4 Labs,,, and

So that’s a wrap on Rockford 2008. Click over to and look for the Rockford BMX Collectors Gathering Forum to read more about it. While you are there, check out hundreds of old school bikes in the museum found at the top of the page.