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BMX Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 Announced

Filed under General on June 14, 2013 | Comment(s)

In November of 1985, the ABA inducted its first three members in to the BMX Hall of Fame. Now, 29 years and 109 members later, the National BMX Hall of Fame is proud to announce the "Class of 2013" - five more legends from the sport of Bicycle Motocross. 
It's a long and arduous process to narrow down the field to just one inductee for each category. This year, there were a record number of nominations, which were slimmed down by the Hall of Fame committee to the final five nominees in each category. Final selection was then voted on by nearly 500 members - including former Hall of Fame inductees and the BMX industry.

Inductees for 2013 are:   

PIONEER RACER: Rob Fehd

Rob Fehd first raced BMX in the early 70's, but put racing on hold for a few years to pursue baseball. By 1980, he returned to BMX racing - and with the introduction of 24" cruisers to the scene, excelled on the big-wheelers and quickly hooked up a factory ride with GT Bicycles. After coming close to capturing ABA's No.1 Cruiser title in 1982, Rob turned Pro the following year. Probably best known for his super strength, Rob was one of the first "body building" pros of the 80's - seriously training for his sport. Representing America at many international BMX races, he went on to win the IBMXF World Championships in Australia. Forced to retire after multiple knee injuries, Rob evolved into GT's first in-house Team Manager and competed in some of the first Masters (Vet Pro) races in the 90's.

 

RACER: Billy Griggs

Known best as "Mr.Bill", Billy Griggs was one of the most stylish racers of the 80's. As a top ranked amateur and pro racer during the 90's, Billy rode for CW, Mongoose, Schwinn and Redline. Known for his style as well as speed, Griggs held an average ranking of 12.7 with three top-3 National rankings, and 140 AA-pro mains. Following his retirement from racing, Mr.Bill worked at GT Bicycles in the R&D shop - and was responsible for developing the Box Series frame design, alongside Gary Turner, and has welded up plenty of custom frames for top Pros - including the GT frames ridden by Mike Day and Jill Kintner in the 2008 Olympics. Currently, Griggs works for Razor in product development.

 
INDUSTRY: George Esser 

In the early 70's, a motorcyle race promoter named George Esser was running the NML - the National Motorcycle League, when his eldest son Greg asked him about racing their bikes on the track. Almost instantly, BMX was born in the Sunshine state. By 1974, the National Bicycle League (NBL) was formed. As founder and president of the NBL, George gave the sport of BMX the major boost it needed on the East Coast. In 1981, Esser teamed up with the Godfather of European BMX - Mr. Gerrit Does, to found the first International Governing body for BMX Racing; called the IBMXF. Esser, at one time, was also part owner of MCS - and would later own and operate Fab-Weld of Pompano Beach, FL, manufacturing frames and product for many big BMX brands. Sadly, Alzheimer's disease took George Esser away from us in August of 2006 - but along with his five sons and his ever lasting legacy in the sport BMX, George Esser's legend will always live on.

 

FREESTYLER: Ron Wilkerson  

In 1984, when Wizard publications introduced a new magazine called FREESTYLIN', there on it's very first cover, was a hyper mop-headed Ron Wilkerson doing his thing in Golden Gate park. This moment not only kicked off the sport and paved the way for where it is today. Soon after hooking up a factory ride with Haro Bikes, Wilkerson went on to invent numerous tricks - such as fakies, abubaca, and nothings. For over ten years, Wilkerson toured the World, helping spread the freestyle gospel to all who would listen - and as team manager, picking up some of the most talented riders along the way. Ron was never one to be pigeon-holed in to one specific type of riding - he did it all. Proof of this is Wilkerson's 1985 AFA Flatland, Ramp, and Overall Champion. Ron continued to push the limits of himself and the sport. Thus, when that sport needed a boost, Ron turned into an event promoter and created the 2-Hip contests, King of Vert halfpipe series and Meet the Street contests. Starting up his own brand in 1989 - originally called Wilkerson Airlines, it became one of the first rider-owned freestyle brands - and still survives today as 2-Hip Bikes.

 

WOMAN: Leigh Donovan

From the moment that Leigh learned to bunny hop a curb on her boyfriend's bike, at age 11, she was hooked on bikes. After convincing her dad to get her an Elf BMX bike and an ABA membership, Leigh began racing at the World famous Orange "Y" track and hasn't stopped going fast on two wheels since. Leigh's speed and smoothness stood out amongst her peers - and in 1988, she dominated the entire season and brought home the very first National No.1 Girls Cruiser title. After a successful career in BMX, Leigh turned her sites on the MTB scene and became one of the most winning female racers in mountain biking. It's safe to say that the skill level of today's women pros and Olympic athletes are all a part of the racing evolution that dates back to Leigh Donovan.

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For 2013, the Induction Ceremony for the BMX Hall of Fame moves back to it's regular time - in September.  

This year's Ceremony is tied in nicely to the first-ever USA BMX HALL of FAME Nationals, at Chula Vista (held on the Chula Vista Am track). 
In addition, the 3nd Annual HOF Golf Tournament will be held onSeptember 28th beginning at 8:00 am
The ceremony will again take place at the upper pavilion at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista - on the evening of Saturday, September 28th.  
 
Tickets will go on sale on June 14th - thru EventBrite - with an Early-Bird price savings when you book early. Tickets are limited - so reserve them quickly at:  2013bmxhof.eventbrite.com

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THE FIRST BMX HALL OF FAME SCHOLARSHIP GOES TO...

USA BMX and the National BMX Hall of Fame committee would like to congratulate talented Illinois racer TYLER WHITFIELD on becoming the recipient of the first-ever BMX Hall of Fame scholarship.
Tyler Whitfield will be attending Marian University and will be a member of the university's cycling team. His future goals are to become a pediatrician, get a NAG No.1 title in his class this year, earn a national title at some time and race in the 2016 Olympics. Tyler commented that, "without family behind you supporting and pushing you, it is almost impossible to get to the spot where you want to be." 
 
The National BMX Hall of Fame scholarship has been accumulated over the past four years, since the Induction Ceremony moved to San Diego. Funds for the scholarship are brought in through the annual Silent Auction at each year's ceremony. Last year - as well as 2013, the HoF auction was full of one of a kind BMX Art from many artists and photographers from the BMX industry.
The amount of Whitfield's scholarship will be announced at the Induction ceremony.

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