If Street BMX becomes Olympic sport, what cycle discipline dies?

At yesterday’s cycling reception in Westminster, British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford let it slip that street BMX is probably going to become an Olympic sport. Mark Sutton, my colleague on BikeBiz, says this is “huge news for BMX”.

I’m all in favour of street BMX joining racing BMX at the London Olympics but who makes these decisions? Probably not the International Olympic Committee. It’s down to a sport’s governing body and in this case that governing body is the UCI.

When he was president elect of the UCI, Pat McQuaid told me the UCI was being lined up to be the governing body for all “wheeled sports”, even sports like in-line skating.

But the UCI has a poor track record of protecting blue riband cycling events. To introduce racing BMX to the Olympics, the UCI wonks – in their wisdom – ditched the kilo and the women’s 500m time trial. The women’s event was a recent entry but the kilo had been in the Olympics since the very first summer Olympics, in 1896.

I campaigned hard – but unsuccessfully – against the UCI decision, creating a pro-kilo petition and delivering it, by hand, to the gnomes of Aigle.

The follow-upstory on BikeBiz.com got the UCI is all sorts of hot water with the IOC.

The UCI later removed the minutes of committee meetings from its library, following disclosures I made on BikeBiz.

So, which cycle discipline will have to be removed from the Olympics to make way for street BMX? The UCI doesn’t answer my emails (I wonder why?) so I haven’t got the answer.

Buy the Stephen Murray single, ‘Soldier’

Click on this link for a Quicktime video of a single being released to benefit BMXer Stephen Murray.

North East England native Murray crashed while jumping at the Dew Action Sports Tour on June 22nd 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Later today the music video ‘Soldier’ will be played in the same arena.

Written By: TJ Lavin & Pippa Tabron
Vocals by: TJ Lavin
Written & Recorded By: Pippa Tabron
Featuring: Cory “Nasty” Nastazio
Guitar Written & Played By: Simon Tabron

CD available at Murray’s MySpace page.

Chain Gang vids now on YouTube

In 1994 I was the (young, fresh-faced) presenter of ‘Chain Gang’, a six part magazine programme on cycling by Tyne Tees.

I’ve been given permission to re-broadcast some of the best bits from this series. They are billed as ‘From the archive’ and the series is brought to you in association with Muc-Off.

The higher res versions went on iTunes last week. Here are the YouTube versions. Click on ‘play in higher quality’ for the best playback performance.

I won’t embed all the videos here as it would take up an awful lot of space. But here’s one of them: a bicycle tour in Malawi.

The other videos are:

Jason McRoy and the Reebok Eliminator, Mammoth Mountain 1993

Behind the scenes on ‘Chain Gang’

Bike v car commuter challenge
(Trivia: the car park at the start of this extract is the famous one featured in Michael Caine’s classic 1960’s gangster flick, ‘Get Carter’).

Wax or shave?

Mass v custom build, Raleigh v Dave Yates

If you like these sort of things, here’s a YouTube player with all the vids in place:

Ride Free

In 1994 I was the presenter of CHAIN GANG, a six part magazine series on cycling, produced for Tyne Tees TV and Yorkshire Television.

One of the show’s interviewees was Jason McRoy, Britain’s first truly global MTB superstar.

The video below contains footage – with permission of Tyne Tees and Rose McRoy – of Jason more than a year before he starred in the famous MBUK video, Dirt.

Jason McRoy – 1994 TV appearance from Quickrelease.tv on Vimeo.

Unbelievably, Jason died in 1995 but his memory lives on…

BikeRadar.com has just run an excellent two-part feature on Jason and his legacy:

Riders and journalists pay their tributes

Jim McRoy talks about his son, the first homegrown global superstar of British mountain biking

Video also available as a direct download via Libsyn or for Apple TV via iTunes.

Rich Oz BMXer builds replica Beijing track in back-garden

Luke Madill’s back-garden BMX track – an almost exact replica of the track he hopes to race on at BMX’s inaugural Olympic Games – first made the news late last year.

But it has now been filmed and syndicated to news stations across the world. BBC Newsround has carried the footage, ITN has pumped it out as an ‘and finally…’ piece, and the video is available from Reuters:

Madill’s Sydney back garden is pretty big as his plaything is the first Olympic-sized BMX track in Australia. The track features an 8m-high start ramp – plastered with a Red Bull logo, not something that will be allowed in Beijing – and identical humps to the ones that will feature on the Beijing course.

Australia’s Olympic squad won’t be selected until May but with Madill currently leading the world ranking points for Australia he’s a dead cert for selection…especially as he’s sharing his back garden track with fellow BMXers in the Oz team.

“I’m happy for people to come out and check it out and have a bit of a ride (but) I mean, I get to ride it every day so it’s a lot more of an advantage for me than them coming once or twice a month,” said Madill.

Trade auction raises £15k for BMXer Stephen Murray

Sunday night’s auction at the Fisher Expo also raised £2k for Jason McIntyre fund via Braveheart

Fisher Outdoor is currently staging its annual trade-only Expo at the Edgbaston cricket stadium in Birmingham. The event started on Sunday and was a star-studded affair, with guests including former pro roadie Sean Kelly; trackie Craig Maclean; MTBers Will Longden and Steve Peat; and Cycling Weekly columnist Michael Hutchinson.

Martin Murray was also at the show. Murray is the brother of Stephen Murray, the US-based British BMXer injured last year in America. The presence of Martin Murray at a charity auction, held Sunday night at the Jury’s Inn in central Birmingham, helped to get Brit bike shops to dig deep for the variety of items in the after-dinner auction. These items included signed jerseys and ride sessions with Steve Peat.

Commentators Anthony McCrossan and Brian Smith were auctioneers for the evening and they kept the bids flowing.

A signed Sean Kelly jersey raised £2000. A Stay Strong iPod nano customised by Muc Off to benefit the Stephen Murray fund raised £400. A mystery prize raised £1200 (it turned out to be six month’s worth of credit from Fisher Outdoor).

In total, the auction raised £17,000, £2000 of which went to the family of Jason McIntyre via the roadie Braveheart fund. Scottish champion cyclist McIntyre was killed by a driver last week near his home in Fort William.

Last year Fisher donated $5000 to Murray’s fund thanks to Fisher employee, and trials rider, Martin Hawes.

150 people were at Fisher dinner, including all the Fisher staff, brand Continue reading “Trade auction raises £15k for BMXer Stephen Murray”

Shanaze Reade wins BMX Worlds

The BMX star stunned the track cycling world in March by joining up with Victoria Pendleton to win the Women’s 500m Team Sprint World Title. At the UCI BMX World Championships held in Canada over the weekend, Shanaze Reade won the senior women’s event by quite some margin. She was previously world champ at the junior level. She’s now the surefire favourite for BMX Olympic Gold next year.

This is her first year as a senior rider.

Here’s a video of Shanaze and Victoria Pendleton on the podium:

Elite Women
1. Shanaze READE (GBR)
2. Sarah WALKER (NZL)
4. Cyrielle CONVERT (FRA)
5. Willy KANIS (NED)
6. Amelie DESPEAUX (FRA)
7. Anne-Caroline CHAUSSON (FRA)
8. Laetitia LE CORGUILLE (FRA)

There’s a WMV video file of the final here. Go to Samedi, elite women.

Frank the BMXing Bunny to cream Arctic Monkeys?

Natasha Khan – aka Bat for Lashes – has today been nominated for the Nationwide Mercury Prize, one of the top music awards in the UK. Likened to Joanna Newsom (but without the harp) and Bjork (but without the Icelandic twang), singer-songwriter Khan has a rather wonderful BMX-themed music video for her single ‘What’s a girl to do?’

BMXers in animal masks appear from behind Khan as she rides along. The video was shot in Wokingham. The bunny character looks a bit like Frank the Bunny from freaky US movie Donnie Darko.

Boy, were those BMXers clever to clap in time to the music. In fact, the timings were altered in post-production. And the way the animal BMXers ‘disappear’ behind Khan is also a bit of digital trickery. Mind you, great vid, SFX or no SFX.