This recent weekend, Toby Henderson, president of Box and former pro BMX racer, attended the 2021 NBA Racers Reunion & BMX Legends Party where he caught up with his old DG teammates and was honored for his career as a DG Factory rider in the late 1970s. The long-awaited reunion that brought together hundreds of veteran BMX racers and legends from near and far was held at the beautiful Valley Relics Museum in Van Nuys, California on Saturday evening. Notable BMXers at the event included founder of the National Bicycle Association (NBA) Ernie Alexander, former Mongoose pro racer Stanley G. Robinson, and Mark Mandeville, the famous “On Any Sunday” Wheelie Kid.
Together the attendees enjoyed food, drinks, and live entertainment surrounded by BMX and pop culture memorabilia from the ‘70s that brought back all the memories of their days on the racetrack. The retro neon signs decorating the museum walls, the classic cars lining the hallways, and the vintage bikes displayed alongside autographed jerseys, photographs of racers, and BMX movie posters manifested an entirely different era, transporting the BMXers back to the beginnings of organized racing in the US when kids were riding modified garage bikes on self-made backyard courses.
The former teammates mused over how the sport has changed over the past few decades, comparing racing then and now, and talked shop while signing one another’s old-school yellow and blue Suzuki team helmets. Topping off the night was the presentation of the first annual First Gen BMX Legends Awards that recognized former racers and BMX pioneers who made significant contributions to the development and preservation of the sport. At celebrations like these that bring together BMX enthusiasts from all eras and walks of life, there is no doubt that the early history of BMX racing is alive, and that it matters.
Written by: Ashley Thomas