|Like I was 12 years old again, giving the big thumbs up with Bob Haro, |
Brian Blyther, Dave Nourie and Mike Dominguez
August 14 2010 - Ashland, OR.
Very few people in life actually get to meet their heroes. If you grew up a big Led Zeppelin fan, chances are 25 years later you still haven't met Robert Plant. Freestyle BMX is different, especially now. In 1986 when I first got into freestyle, the only access I had to pro riders was the magazine. In the summer of 1987 our local bike shop hosted the Haro Freestle team (actually there were two teams touring that summer I think). Burbank Schwinn was the place and Ron Wilkerson, Brian Blyther and Dave Nourie were the team.
|Dave Nourie wows the crowd, summer 1987.|
|Brian Blyther airs over the Haro ramp.|
|Ron Wilkerson one-handed rocket air.|
The first show took place at the Worlds in Germany in 2009. A pretty amazing video edit from Germany made it online. Early in 2010 I went with a few friends to an old-school BMX gathering in Albany, OR and Dave Nourie was actually there. Between riding and having a few beers (the show was at a brew pub), Dave mentioned the team would be doing another show in August, in Ashland OR. I marked it on the calendar.
I guess Dave is pretty involved in the community in Ashland and helps organize a bike event called Bike It. The Haro show was to be the highlight of the 2010 Bike It event. I arrived early, there were only a handful of people there. I saw Dave in a fluorescent green shirt with matching Vans getting things organized.
|Dave Nourie, master of ceremonies|
|Dave in the midst of "Nourie's Story," the flatland demo|
Throughout the day, there was a lot of free riding, some bike events, Dave's Flatland Demo, a silent auction and a ton of raffle giveaways. Despite the mid 90s temperatures, it was a very cool day even before the Haro team took center stage.
Right around 5:30, Kevin Martin took over the mic, just like the old days and got the festivities started. Before the show kicked off, he pointed out guys in the crowd like Bob Haro, Scotty Freeman and few other old schoolers. A few minutes later he directed the attention of the crowd to the back of the lot where a stretched black limo was pulling up with 4 BMX bikes hanging off the back. The driver and a girl on skates got out to open the door and let Dave, Ron, Brian and Mike Dominguez out. The old school music was cranking and the show got started proper.
|The only way to arrive at a show.|
The guys all took turns taking runs, Dave filling out the flatland portion and the rest hitting the ramps (though Ron did do a few slick ground moves). The heat was intense and the team was decked out in full Haro uniforms and old school helmets (complete with mouth guard). It must have been unbelievably hot but they all hit it hard and gave everything they had.
|Ron W pedal picker drop in, pulled first try|
|Brian with a Chicken Air (video still)|
|Mike D fakie (video still)|
|This is what a 35 year old kid looks like. |
That silly grin was on my face the entire time.
The show ended and almost like that first show I saw in '87, the team gathered at the foot of the ramp and took photos with everyone. The only thing missing was a sticker toss.