On Thursday evening, September 17th, 2009, Jeremy McGrath was inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame at the San Diego Hall of Champions located in San Diego ‘s Balboa Park. With close to 300 guests gathering for the Induction Dinner and Award Ceremony, McGrath had this to say about his newly bestowed honor, “I am just so happy to be part of this wonderful event and honored that the ABA has presented ME with this Lifetime Achievement Award, I’m really kinda surprised by it all, but pleasantly surprised of course!”
McGrath, along with six other honorees, represent BMX racing and Freestyle BMX from the 1970’s and 1980’s and one industry contributor. The inductees are Danny Oakley (1960’s and 1970’s pioneer); Jeremy McGrath (past BMXer lifetime achievement award); D.D. Leone (1980’s Professional Racer); Troy Lee (BMX Industry contributor, Troy Lee Designs); R.L. Osborn and Mike Buff (legendary BMX Action Trick Team); and Eddie Fiola (freestyle Pioneer). There will also be special recognition given to Clayton John (retired ABA President) and Bernie Anderson (retired ABA Chairman of the Board), current BMX Hall of Fame members, for their recent induction into the U.S. Bicycling Hall Of Fame in Davis, CA .
“It is a great honor to induct these individuals into the National BMX Hall of Fame and it is only appropriate that these individual’s accomplishments will be highlighted for future generations in the BMX Hall of Fame” stated B.A. Anderson, American Bicycle Association’s (www.ababmx.com) CEO.
INDUCTEES FOR CLASS OF 2009:
Danny Oakley: Danny began organized BMX racing in 1970 and retired in 1981. He was instrumental in establishing organized BMX racing, and numerous tracks in Southern and Northern California, during a time when organized BMX did not formally exist. A few such tracks are The Downhill Track of Baldwin Park in 1970, Landels Park, Hamann Park and The Downhill Track of Mount Tamalpais in 1974. Danny Oakley, a true Legend of our sport, raced for such legendary teams as Bikette & Dirtmaster, Rick`s Bike Shop, Silver Shield, MotoPRO, Speedo and Mongoose. He was instrumental in forming Pro Products, Inc., MotoPRO and Speedo. Moreover, Danny was instrumental in designing product for Pro Products, Inc., MotoPRO, Speedo, B.M.X. Products, Inc., and Mongoose, including the infamous Moosegoose, a 20 inch BMX race frame Danny designed for taller riders and racers (Danny is quite tall himself). He has conducted BMX Racing Clinics and Demonstrations in the United States and in Europe . He has participated in NBA, UBR, NPSA, CBA and ABA sanctioned races. Danny raced and won numerous titles and championships, such as 4-Time West Coast Champion, 6-Time Northern California Champion, NPSA National Champion and NORA CUP, to name a few. Danny was one of the racers that were featured in the BMX episode of CHiPs.
Jeremy McGrath: Often referred to as “MC”, “Showtime”, and “The King” (meaning the “King of Supercross”), Jeremy is the winningest Supercross racer ever, winning seventy-four 250cc Main Events and capturing seven 250cc Championships between 1993 and 2000. He also earned twelve AMA Motocross titles, 2 Motocross Des Nations titles, and an X-Games Gold Medal and Bronze Medal in his career. As a young boy he began racing BMX and became one of the leading BMX racers in the nation and even had a “factory” ride with VDC. At the age of 15, McGrath decided to try his luck at BMX`s big brother, motocross, where he was able to translate many of the racing skills he had mastered throughout his years of racing BMX. After just three years riding as an amateur, McGrath made his AMA debut in 1989 and the rest, as they say, is history. Throughout all his fame and success in motocross, Jeremy always kept his BMX roots. He worked with GT bicycles and even had a complete BMX bike dubbed the “Showtime” model.
D.D. Leone: Born Dominick Donald Leone Jr., but better known in the BMX world as “D.D.”, he began racing in 1980, at the age of 14 years old. From Louisiana , D.D. was known as the original “Ragin` Cajun” and helped put Louisiana and the Southeast on the BMX map. He raced for over 12 years, participating in over 2000 races and won or placed in 1300. Like most racers, he started off racing for local shops. His determination and winning ways on the national scene got him some much needed recognition and before long he was hooked up by Redline with a “Factory” sponsorship 1982. Later in his career, he rode for Free Agent and Kastan. D.D. was always in the hunt for the ABA Pro Cruiser title. He officially retired from BMX and is currently working and living in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He is also involved with the local BMX scene in Louisiana helping out at ABA `s Gretna BMX track.
Troy Lee: Troy was a long time motocross racer that started Troy Lee Designs in 1981 by following in his father’s footsteps of helmet painting. Troy first worked with BMX racer Dave “Custom Cully” Cullinan by custom painting his helmets. This led to Troy working with many of the top BMX pros around the world. Troy expanded his business from helmet painting to helmet manufacturing in the mid 90`s, with the “Edge” helmet being the first. Then in 1998, Troy launched a full apparel line. Today, his business has grown from helmet painting to one of the top brands in the industry. Troy Lee Designs now has a catalog that spans over 50 pages of product, including the innovative bicycle helmet, the D2, and a line of protective gear. Troy enjoys working with “the world’s fastest racers” from F1 to Indy Car to NASCAR, Motocross to Enduro to Freestyle, Dirt Track to Road Racing, MTB to BMX, and everything in between. Troy `s main goal is to make and design the best products in the world for the “the world’s fastest racers”.
R.L. Osborn & Mike Buff: Although they are best known as the “Godfathers of Freestyle”, both R.L. and Buff got their start as BMX racers. At age 11, R.L. was part of the first ever “BMX test team” for Bicycle Motocross News (from late `75 to late `76). An entrepreneur at the early age of 14, R.L. started up his own company, Hot Stickies. As the son of BMX Hall of Famer, Bob Osborn, R.L. went on to become one of the main test riders for BMX ACTION magazine. In 1978, R.L. teamed up with fellow BMXA employee Bob Haro to form the very first freestyle team, which made its debut at ABA `s Winternationals in Chandler , AZ. Local Torrance hot-shoe racer Mike Buff joined the BMX ACTION test team in 1979. Buff soon crossed over to freestyle and in the absence of Haro, the longtime teaming of R.L. & Buff began. As the “Nerd herd”, R.L. & Buff were vital in setting BMX trends during the 80`s, from jumping styles in bike tests to the 4×4 vehicle craze, to clothing fashions and hairdos. Each year from `82 until `88, the BMX ACTION trick team (as well as R.L.`s later sponsorship with Redline and General) spread the BMX gospel. In all, R.L. and Buff took their annual Summer Tours to 48 states in the U.S. and over 15 countries, taking BMX to places where racers and tracks couldn’t, turning many kids on to BMX in one form or another.
Eddie Fiola: Eddie is a true legend in BMX and arguably the best rider to EVER ride a skatepark. Eddie is credited with being the first rider to do a 540 in a pipe. Eddy won four ” BMX Action Nora Cup” awards and five ” King Of The Skatepark” titles. At the time, the ” King Of The Skatepark” competitions were as big in the freestyle world as the X-Games and Dew Tour are today. In the early days, Eddie was sponsored by Bottema Forks, SE Racing, Haro, and Premier Helmets. At the end of 1982, Eddie was hired by Kuwahara to design, ride, and promote the E.T. Freestyle bike. Eddie was also the man behind one of the most famous freestyle bike designs to this day, the GT PRO Performer. It is rumored that the movie “RAD” was loosely based on the life story of Eddie Fiola. Although Eddie did not play the main character, he was a stunt double in the movie. Today, Eddie works in the movie industry as a stunt man and is credited with working on such great movies as The Italian Job, Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Dukes of Hazard, just to name a few.