BMX World salutes the Life of a BMX Icon
Following the news of SE Racing founder Scot Breithaupt’s passing, the BMX world exploded on social media to honor and pay tribute to the “God Father of BMX.”
As an example of the grasp that Scot had - the positive influence and impression that he made on so many BMXers world-wide, since helping invent the sport, the story of his passing was the 2nd most trending news item on Facebook and ranked on top of MSN.com’s top breaking stories. From the New York to LA Times, ESPN and even TMZ Sports, the news spread quickly of Scot’s death. Scouring the social networks, everyone from old school racers to modern-day freestylers were all expressing their greif and telling their own personal tales of Scot. These fond memories, more than anything we can write, truly sum up what we will dub as the Scotamania-effect.
“Scot was the “S.E.” (Scot Enterprises) of SE Racing and was the “OM” (Old Man) of our OM Flyer. But beyond that, he was the best creator, innovator, and promoter of BMX that the world had ever seen. Scot Breithaupt was BMX.”
--SE Racing’s facebook post
“Want to know how you’ve impacted a LOT of lives? When you are the NUMBER TWO trending topic on Facebook. That shows what kind of man Scot was, and how much he impacted our lives. Facebook has 1.44 BILLION active users as of Q1 2015. Scot’s death caused not a ripple, but a tsunami.”
--Tony Donaldson, photographer and former editor of BMX Plus!
“Scot Breithaupt had a mind that worked at warp 10 with a body that could only handle warp 5. It takes a lot of fuel to handle that much energy but the problem is that fuel only takes you so far. He gave it a hell of a ride though. Scot was only 2 years older than me and I don’t remember a time when he was NOT called ‘Ol Man (even while still a teenager). He took that in stride and ran with it. Those of us who know him, know how much he did for our little sport of BMX. From day one he poured his heart and soul into it. Yes there were times where he was off center a bit but I gotta believe he always meant well. Good, bad or indifferent, he will be remembered. I know I will remember the best and the good times. Life is too short for anything else.”
--Dennis Dain, BMX Hall of Famer
“Let me tell you what happened that matters to us all: Scot started putting on small races, giving out ribbons, trophies and providing an outlet for kids who were riding their bicycles all over the streets. He gave us all something that is still being enjoyed by thousands of people all over the world.Yes, THAT is what happened and that is what we all need to be focused on, along with any memories you may have of him. I was a punk ass 12 year old kid when I started hangin' out with Scot, and at 13 I had the good fortune to be asked to join the FMF team with Stu, Utterback and a few others. As well as getting to know PK, these guys are like brothers to me, this would not be the case if not for Scot."
--Greg Hill, former SE teammate and owner of GHP
"From my first issue of Bicycle Motocross Action, I decided Scot was my “BMX hero”. His number was 284, so I made mine 283. I loved his wild style. I loved how he had battled for and won the NBA #1 plate in 1976. I loved the articles he wrote and I loved the companies he was involved in. For me, the bikes he designed and the creativity he brought to BMX are unmatched. ...and that was all before I met him.
Scot was one of the first BMX stars I ever met, when he brought Stu Thomsen and Rod Beckering to our own Plainwell track. He couldn’t have been nicer to me (and everyone there), but more than that he made me feel good about BMX. He was encouraging and patient and paid attention and at the same time, was a total wildman. He just got me so psyched. When I saw him the next year, it was the same thing, and every time I saw him, he made me love BMX even more. He was inspiring in so many ways. He remembered EVERYTHING about you and he could tell stories for days. Many things have been said about Scot and the paths he took away from BMX, but for me, he was a true inspiration and a dear friend. It’s not going to be the same without you.”
--Scott Towne (Dan’s Comp)
“It can be said that the OM gave Santa Claus a good race for giving kids happiness through the sport of BMX around the world.”
"We've lost a good man and a friend today with the passing of BMX legend Scot Breithaupt. He will always be remember for his numerous contributions to the sport and his tireless enthusiasm to make Bmx even greater.
Scot, I thank you for giving me my first chance in Bmx as a young 18 year old. You showed me how to be a entrepreneur, a go-getter and to believe in my ideas.
Thanks too for including me on one of the most memorable trips in my life as we toured the U.S. in the SE bus with many of the sports first heroes."
--Bob Haro, the father of freestyle and founder of Haro Bikes
“BMX has now lost a legend. Scot’s inspiration and determination gave us BMX riders over here in the UK and the rest of the world the best childhood ever.”
“Because of Scot’s actions as a young man in that dirt field he gave me and tens of thousands of other kids a place to find our confidence - not only in BMX, but life in general. Many of us have our best friends from BMX, our jobs, hobbies and our passion for two wheels that we will pass on to the next generation. And we have Scot to thank for it.
The last time I saw Scot (about 2 years ago in LA BMX Vintage Show) he gave me a hug asked me how my family was doing, always upbeat when I’ve seen him, and never asking for anything. Just making me feel like I was someone special, from a guy who made such an impact on all of us through his actions 40 something years ago. I Believe God put Scot on this earth for me, and many like me. We needed something to give us confidence, a passion for life when there wasn’t much else. I was blessed enough to let him know a few years back how I felt. Just want His Family to know how special Scot was to so many of us. He blessed us all. May God comfort you at this difficult time.”
--Jess Guymon, former BMX Pro and owner of Boss Racing
“God be with Scot Breithaupt, the original founder of organized BMX racing. It’s a blessing to have known him. With Scot, you could clearly see both sides of the coin. Happy, sad, good, bad, triumph & struggle. But to me, I genuinely enjoyed and will remember the good. I learned a lot being in his presence and getting to know him.”
“I have just been trying to explain to a 22 year old what Scot Breithaupt was to BMX. What Elvis was to Rock and Roll, I told him, Scot that to BMX. It matters not how they died. What matters is how they lived their lives.”
--Tim March, a former UK pro
“So sorry to hear of the passing of the man who had the vision to create a sport called Bicycle Motocross. Scot Breihaupt created and innovated designs that are still used in BMX today. He mentored some of the best riders in the sport. Was he perfect? No way. I am so honored to have known him. Rest easy now in the arms of your savior. Your struggles are over. C-ya”
--Erick “Big E” Bartoldus, marketing director at Yoshimura
“I first met Scot at the B.U.M.S. track in Long Beach in 1972. I pulled up in my van with my team (the infamous Rick’s Bike Shop Team) and we all piled out and I asked some kid “Hey, where’s the sign up?” and he pointed to the tower. I said “Who’s running the sign ups?” and some kid about 10 years old said “some old guy over there.” (To a 10 year old, Scot was an old man.) Again, they pointed toward the tower. So I’m looking for some old guy, don’t see one - so I yelled out “HEY, WHERE’S THE OLD MAN RUNNING THE SIGN UPS?” Scot looked up from a table full of sign up sheets and says “ I’m doing sign ups so I must be the old man.” (Yes, that’s where he first got the OLD MAN name). Scot and I became friends and stayed friends for over 43 years. I miss Scot already and wish I could have one more visit with him.”
--Rick & Patti Twomey, founder of Rick’s Bike Shop
“What I can say is that Scot had this great knack of motivating people to do their best. His words of encouragement back in the day really meant a lot and rekindling a friendship via e-mail, then thru vintage bike shows, saw the same Scot going full tilt!
I hope to see more enjoyment of Scot’s life here on the Internets and our family continues to pray and send positive vibes to the Breithaupt family during these difficult times.”
--JT, Carolyn, and Jemma Tollefson
“Heroes come and go, LEGENDS stay for ever. Legend Scot Breithaupt will be remembered for ever.”
--Gerritt Does, the godfather of European BMX
“We lost our Founding Father of BMX today. Scot Breithaupt, you were and will always be our first true hero of the sport you created. You will be missed by everyone all over the world always and forever. From your original organization of bicycle motocross races, with decades of amazing growth and popularity and the inception of BMX into the Summer Olympic Games in 2008, you are our history and future. I am honored to have known you and your positivity and foresight were so powerful enjoyed by all. R.I.P. Father BMX; Godspeed.”
--John Purse, Hall of Famer, World Champion and former No.1 Pro
“Scot Breithaupt had a way making you feel good. Not that long ago Scot told me I was the only thing that he hated about coming to Northern California to race. win or lost he said they knew they were in for a battle. He nicknamed me the Nor Cal terror.”
“I feel like my crazy Grandpa has passed away. Pioneer, agitator, nutball and prolific raconteur, Scot Breithaupt was only 13 years old when he organized races at the B.U.M.S. BMX track in Long Beach. He reached incredible heights at an early age, but ultimately succumbed to negative forces that he was never able to shake. He was always attentive and focused any time I ever spent talking with him, as he seemed to be with anyone he crossed paths with. Thanks for running interference and calming an out of control situation between the S&M team and an intoxicated, gun wielding equestrian center manager at a San Diego ABA National in 1990. Not getting murdered allowed us to head out on the open road shortly thereafter in a clapped out VW bus for a summer of BMX shenanigans crisscrossing the country, inspired by the SE Racing hooligans of the 70s. BMX’s numero uno, worldwide ambassador, we’ll remember the good times. Ride in peace O.M., C-ya.”
--John Paul Rogers,former Schwinn TM and editor of Faction BMX
“My good friend, the founding Father of BMX, and the creator of SE Racing and the PK Ripper, Scot Breithaupt, has passed away. My heart aches for his family and friends. Specially his mom, Carole F. Breithaupt. Known as the O.M. (Old man) of Bmx, Scot was a pioneer and visionary in creating a sport that is still loved by millions. This past March, I drove all the way from Denver to Palm Springs to pick Scot up for the BMX show in San Diego. As I arrived, I gave Scot a gift. A baby blue loop tail PK Ripper and Landing Gear fork. When I gave it to him, he cried. He couldn’t believe I was giving this to him. He hugged me (and then kissed me!) and told me that he couldn’t wait to build it. I hung out with his mom while we loaded Scot’s stuff into the trailer.
That weekend, Scot told me and Rob Danger Corollagts stories that very few had ever heard. That weekend will be one I will never forget. Scot - your legacy is so profound, that you were TRULY a legend. Until we meet at he BMX track in the sky, C-Ya my friend.”
“I am positive that Scot is organizing a Summer Tour right now and promoting!”
--Brad Fanshaw, former ABA employee and owner of BonSpeed watches
“These bus photos tap right into the main frame for me. This was the era that hooked me for ever on BMX -- and I was a PK Ripper kid. I wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but I distinctly remember laying in bed at night as a 12 year old reading BMX Bugle, fantasizing about being a “factory boy.” The closest I ever got was holding photos like these from the pages of magazines in my hands. Yet that was enough to hook me. I’m 46 years old and I have a team blue PK Ripper “pre-PK-serial” looptail sitting in my living room about 15 feet away from me as I type this. It strikes me what a powerful statement that is on the gravity of Scot. It defies reason. I will be honest, I feel a little self conscious about it.
Scot Breithaupt DEFINED epic. The guy crafted an entire BMX mythos. As far as I’m personally concerned, nobody ever before or since could build legend like this guy. Now, he’s gone. The star collapsed in on itself. He was the coyote, the trickster, the bridge burner, the kingdom builder... look at all these posts all over facebook. All the photos people have posted of themselves with Scot. He made you feel like the only person in the world. He was so charismatic and charming. The grand visionary - to the point that it was impossible to live up to all of it, even for him. But damned if that wasn’t some kind of greatness we all had a brush with.”
--Steve Brothers, webmaster of BMXsociety.com
“Like many of you, I as well rode SE racing products at some point in time during my childhood. I was even briefly sponsored by Scot in the very early 80’s on a PK Ripper frame during my SST. He’d gave me one of the very first sets of LandingGear forks ever made, to test for him. Needless to say, I broke them and Scott wasn’t very pleased with me. Later on we would laugh about it. Thank you Scot for the friendship and the lessons both taught and learned. I’m glad you are no longer in pain my friend. C-YA!”
--Woody Itson, BMX Hall of Famer
“A sad day for BMX. Scot Breithaupt, you did a lot of things for this sport and put on so many good events. I have photos of Scot at one of my early Race Against Drugs (R.A.D.) races he and our home track operator used to put on that drew some of the best talent out to our track and made a young 13 year old go fast and beat these guys coming to our track. Thank you Scot and thank you for everything you have done for BMX and the sport i know the later year took it’s toll when i saw you last at one of those 4130 rides but bmx is everywhere and a lot of that is the rode you and so many others that paved the way . R.I.P. Old Man i’ll take a lap for you.C-Ya”
“Such a pioneer and innovator he made the world a better place for all of us who fell in love with Bicycle Motocross. Thank you for all you’ve done. Ride in peace.”
--Jonothan Hearn, editor of the UK's 20/24 mag
“Didn’t Scot basically invent BMX?”
--Jose Yanez, inventor of the backflip
“Don’t know what to say, think, feel...but sad. The most influential men in my career, hell...life are gone. First Richard Long and now Scot Breithaupt. Loved Scot and hated him a lot at times but never forgot the opportunities and encouragement he have gave me. The last 20+ years I know/can imagine have been very hard on Scot. He’s at peace now. Ride on OM of BMX. You made a lot of kid’s dreams come true.”
--Todd Huffman, former SE employee and factory racer, and producer of The MX Files TV show
“He had a passion that most can’t understand .
He only did things at 100 percent!
He knew youth was the Blood of our sport!
In honor of what he meant to me?
Today I’m 100 percent!
Nothing less than what Scot would want.”
“I know a lot of you didn’t know Scot, or my connection to him. Even though Scot and I tended to disagree in our adult years, this man gave me direction and belief as a kid. To Scot I was always “Billy.” I was 7 years old the first time I met him at the local dirt jumps. When I first met him, he was just one of the teenage kids who were hanging out at the jumps and doing things I knew I shouldn’t be doing. But they were rad - jumping everything, being loud and crazy.
I have to thank Scot, for giving me my first job in the industry: stickering frames in the back of the Paramount building. He tossed me the keys to the SE van the day I got my license and telling me to run to heat treat, putting me in a sales room with Perry Kramer and Byron Howard Friday . I don’t think he realized what he was doing then teaching this young kid what to do and just as importantly what not to do. Those lessons will never be forgotten.
Scot, I wish we could of saved you the way that you saved us. We tried, lord knows we tried. And all the time we would argue, it was because we loved you and wanted to help you. The world will be a different place without you, but there is an all star crew up in heaven already, and I know you aren’t wasting anytime getting your master take over plan in action. Rest in Peace my friend!!! #C-Ya”
--Bill Ryan, owner of Supercross
“Thanks for making my life and the lives of people across the world Rad with your bikes and all that you have done for the sport. Your bikes were a huge part of my childhood memories. Today at 42 in still racing a Floval flyer!”
"Scot had positivity and a magic that made him believe he could do anything, and if you could hear him, you believed you do anything, too. He was an inspiration to thousands of kids on bikes, including his hand-picked team of BMX heroes, including the likes of Stu Thomsen, Jeff Utterback and Greg Hill. As a teenager, doing big things for this fledgling activity, Scot was dubbed “The Old Man of BMX,” but the truth is that he was only a year or two older than most of the kids he was grooming to be the superstars of BMX."
--Scott Towne, former editor and current Dan's Comp employee
Read more at http://bmx.transworld.net/features/an-homage-to-scot-breithaupt/#QUX2hCdMcRAaMf7D.99
“I hold the “OM” responsible for this. Think about the 7 degrees of separation and how many of us would not know each other if it wasn’t for BMX! We all have stories. But better, we all have stories of Scot Breithaupt! The “OM” was the ringleader no doubt! Thanx for creating memories and support throughout my and all of our BMX careers! C-ya!”
--Richard Bartlett, former AA-pro & owner of Block
“OM taught me countless valuable life lessons. One thing, for sure, is he led by example. One of my biggest, most valuable takeaways from seeing Scot in action is dream big and figure it out as you go along the way.
If it’s a good idea, don’t hesitate to start executing immediately and figure it out as you go.
Whatever you do don’t let fear, what if’s or uncertainties stop you from initiating and getting started. Things will have a way of working themselves out especially if your idea is a good one.
The value of dreaming big and living big will create serendipity and happenstance. This will open new incredibly valuable doors of opportunity. Things you never imagine will happen. Things beyond your wildest dreams.
There are two types of people in this world - consumers and creators. Scott was a creator. He was brave and willing to take chances, never letting fear and procrastination get in his way. If he crashed, it didn’t matter how hard... he got back up and continued on the trail... blazing the trail.
I share the above from first hand experience. Scot influenced, and created the initiative I needed to do things and take chances that I otherwise would not have done if I had not crossed paths with him.
Fortunately, Scot and I recently engaged in some extended conversations about life. I’m glad I initiated this conversation with him. I remember meeting Scot for the first time when he was setting up the Yamaha Gold Cup at Birmingham high school, like it was this morning. My memories of Scott are both vivid and still alive.
Scott, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
--Byron Friday, BMX Hall of Famer
“If you are lucky enough to live long enough, you will see many of the people who you love and admire, pass away. That is Life. Such was the case when I got word over this past weekend that “The Godfather of BMX,” Scot Breithaupt, had passed away.
I first met Scot shortly after I got out of high school. For all my Surfer friends, Scot was like The Duke Kahanamoku of BMX. For all my skater friends, Scot was BMX’s equivalent to Dogtown legends Stacy Peralta and Jay Adams all rolled into one. Scot’s contributions to the sport of BMX are too numerous to list here. He was a tireless BMX pioneer who did it all. From race promoter to National Champion Pro racer. From product designer to TV producer. From putting on the first EVER BMX race in Long Beach to seeing BMX become an Olympic Sport, and everything in between. Scot’s stoke of BMX was truly infectious and I, like millions of other kids, got infected.
Scot unknowingly helped shape my life in more ways than he’ll ever know. He was always encouraging and kind to me. He made me laugh. He made me think. He inspired me to be entrepreneurial and take risks. And through his hardships and incredible struggles, he made me cry. We should all be so lucky as to have positively influenced as many people’s lives as Scot did. If you, or your kids, or your grandkids ride a “BMX” bike, you have Scot to thank. Even if you ride a mountain bike today, you have Scot to partially thank. For without BMX and the rapid product development and innovations that fueled its growth, the creation of the mountain bike, would not have been possible. You were a crazy kid with a dream who helped many of us live out our dreams.”
--Dean Bradley, former editor of BMX Plus and co-commentator with Scot on many BMX shows
“Scot was my first racing sponsor, first mentor, designed my first company logo and helped me start my first business when i was 14 years old. Absolutely one of the most sincere, humble, silly, creative, smart, brilliant, caring and giving people I had ever known. He touched a lot of lives."
--Bob Morales, founder of the AFA, Dyno and Auburn bikes and owner of ASV
"The “Dynamic Duo” has a huge void in it tonight. RIP Scot Breithaupt. Just go on ahead and put together some new ideas and sponsors for your next Factory Team. We’ll be along...”
--Jeff Utterback, BMX Hall of Famer and former SE teammate
“He paved the way for many of us. Be at peace my friend.”
--Stompin’ Stu Thomsen, former SE superstar