Tuesday, December 26, 2006

BMX News ... Congratulations Ryan Birk!

Kuwahara Factory BMX Team adds Upshaw (re-posted from BMXNews.com)

Kuwahara BMX Bikes is proud to announce the US debut of the 2007 Kuwahara Factory BMX Team at the upcoming NBL Christmas Classic race on Dec. 26. And what a marque team it's going to be. Original team pro Matt Pohlkamp will be joined by Australian Warwick Stevenson who will be returning to the US to compete for both the ABA and NBL titles this season.

Also signing with Kuwahara after coming off a nasty wrist injury and making his rookie pro debut at the Christmas Classic in front of his home state fans is Jeffery Upshaw. Sun Ringle's Ryan Birk will be mixing it up in the vet pro class for Kuwahara as well. And even Natarsha Williams, Kuwahara's US Sales and Marketing Manager will be back out mixing it up in the women's pro class on occassion.

The 2 lone amateurs on the team will be national #1 13expert Justin Posey and little 8expert radster Luke Howse.The Kuwahara Factory team would like to thank it's 2007 co-sponsors, Maxxis Tires, Sun Ringle', Funn Components, Fly Racing, and Tangent Products.The team will be riding the all new 2007 line of Kuwahara race bikes available in complete bikes as well as frame only. So stop by the Kuwahara pit at the Christmas Classic and check out the 2007 line of products and meet the team.

It's going to be a big year at Kuwahara with this lineup of bikes and riders.For more info on Kuwahara BMX Bikes check out kuwaharabmx.com.

In other Kuwahara BMX news, US Sales and Marketing Manger and Girl Pro Natarsha Williams and Sun Ringle' BMX Director and Vet Pro, Ryan Birk were married on Christmas Day and will be spending their honeymoon the way any BMX crazed couple should....at a BMX race. So if you see Ryan at the race ask him how the heck he pulled that off and if you see Natarsha...wish her good luck.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays and Merry BM-X-Mas !!!

Time for bikes to hit the racks, and rakes, shovels, and paperwork to get set aside for a few days and enjoy time with our families over the holidays.

But, first, another update for you guys!

The second batch of FLY jersies have arrived and will be taken to the printer next week. We'll definitely have 'em ready in time for the 2007 season opener at Walworth on January 7. I ordered a bunch of extra's in the adult L / XL sizes ... so, if you didn't get in as part of the order, fear not ... we may still have you covered.

The meeting with Milwaukee County this week was both informative and productive. We should have the County contractual language in place by mid-January and then be ready to proceed with the final use-approval process with the City of Franklin. We were also advised that our 501c3 application has been received by the County and may be approved as early as January.

This has been a super exciting year (more on that next week) and John and I just want to say thanks again to all those who have helped advance Milwaukee BMX to this point.

Kevin O'

Friday, December 15, 2006

Milwaukee BMX 2007 Schedule Progress:

John Mittelstadt has arranged a meeting with Milwaukee County Parks, Trails Coordinator, Guy Smith, to move forward with the contractual language that will allow us to race in 2007.

We've also had continued discussions with other local track operators to coordinate schedules, and, by the time you read this, John will likely have submitted to the ABA a schedule that includes racing on Tuesday nights and every other Saturday next summer, during the months of June, July and August. We have no weeknight races scheduled for September, but, plan on a couple of Saturday races to close out the season. Gate practice will be run on Thursday evenings. We plan to get things started with a couple of new rider clinics in late May and early June.

Bench racing:

I've been a part-time competitor, but mostly full time observer of BMX racing for decades. Looking back, the most memorable moments in BMX racing involve rivalries. In the formative years of PRO racing, it was all about Stu Thomsen (#1) and Greg Hill (#3).

It's not like the supporting characters in pro racing we're giving Stu and Greg anything easy. Scott Clark, Brent and Brian Patterson, Kevin McNeal, Anthony Sewell, Tommy Brackens (the Powerlite rider leading the pack in the image above) Frank Post, Clint Miller, Turbo Harry Leary (amazingly still at it in Vet from time to time ... Leary was the "old" guy then!) and Perry Kramer were all amazing riders that could kill it on any given day. But, consistently, race after race, for year after year ... it was “Stompin'” Stu and the "Business Man" Hill that always seemed to factor in for the number 1 plate.

There have been other classic duels between then and now. Pistol Pete Loncarevich and Ronnie Anderson is one example that comes to mind, as do: Gary Ellis and Charles Townsend; Mike King and Eric Carter; Danny Nelson and John Purse ... all good battles. But, none really consistently measure up to the wars held between Hill and Thomsen. Maybe it's because they are actually family (through the marriage of Hills' sister to Thomsen). Perhaps it was that they were once team-mates on Redline. Whatever the reason, these two clearly set the pace for several years in the early 80's.

Fast forward to this moment. For several years now, Bubba Harris (Redline) and Randy Stumpfhauser (GT) have gobbled up the #1 or #2 plates in the two major sanctions. This year at the ABA Grands was an absolute classic showdown between the two. Harris was hurt for a while early in the season, but steadily worked his way back up to (his normal) speed. Stumpy, on the other hand, had been killing it at pretty much all the NBL races and always in the mix at the ABA events that he made. We invite you to check out the mains, captured by Millineum BMX by saving the files to your hard drive with a right mouse click and "save target as".

The pair split the first and second rounds of the mains, setting up main #3 with the two tied at 3 points each. We can only imagine how that third lap would have gone down if it were not for Bubba clearly coming unclipped right out of the gate. Yeah, Harris finishes the lap fourth, but, down the first straight, the pack has hit the big double by the time Harris is at the drop off.

Harris, who is now the first three-peat #1 AA Pro in the history of ABA racing, has been a phenom since he was a kid, and has been a consistent winner throughout his career. We’ve seen him grow up in BMX, and noticed his work ethic and commitment a long time ago so it’s really no surprise that he’s achieved so much so quickly.

Stumpy, predominantly a player in the NBL until the last year or two, on the other hand, seems to have clearly stepped up his game.

Looking back, it seems evident that Hill and Thomsen were the first to recognize and fully capitalize on the rapid growth of BMX in the early 1980’s. When Stu was on Redline and Hill was on GT from late ’81 through sometime in ’83, the two were the first six figure salaried pros in the sport.

Today, it seems pretty evident that the addition of BMX Racing as a medal sport at the 2008 Olympics is playing some role in the continued commitment of these two riders. Harris and Stumpy both want it … and it shows. Not to take anything away from other contenders, Donny Robinson finished third at the Grands, and Kyle Bennett is a consistent front runner when he’s healthy.

Stumpy and Harris, at the moment, however, just seem to want it more. That’s what rivalries are made of, and theirs is a good one for sure. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2007.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More NAG(ging)

We're happy to pass along the following note from Mike Welch -- who reminds us that the WI-01 riders profiled in a previous post are not the only Wisconsin riders to earn NAG honors this year ... We send our congratulations to both Dallas and Desiree for top finishes against national competition.


Just thought I'd mention that two other Wisconsin riders ended the year with some
super strong nationals this year to end up with NAG plates.

Dallas Weimer is NAG 7 on his cruiser (13 year old) and Desiree Roeder is NAG 3 in 11girls. Those are two kids that pretty much everyone racing in Wisconsin knows. Dallas started racing when he was 4 and i think Desi has been racing for at least 4 or 5
years now.

Mike Welch


Thanks for the heads up Mike.

Friday, December 08, 2006

BMX'er in need ...

Steve Spencer, who designed and constructed the original layout Milwaukee BMX track, recently sent out the following plea for financial support for his good friend, and integral member of the BMX racing community, Greg Leasure.

I made a small personal donation earlier this week, and would encourage any of you who know Greg to also help out. To be mis-diagnosed as potentially having cancer during the holiday season would be hard enough to cope with ... and, we can only imagine how devastating the crushing reality of the financials associated with this untimely hospital stay must be.

Below is Steve's message.


This is a call out to the BMX community in general. It is time to come together and help out a great friend to all.... Mr. Greg Leasure. Many of you may have been following the reports on Greg since falling ill in Tulsa. To summarize what Greg has experienced:Greg began to feel ill on the Friday 11/17 while driving with the ABA crew to Tulsa. It started with chills, fever, and nausea. The next day it continued and Greg figured it was the flu and with some fluids and rest it would run its course. On Sunday night he started to get shortness of breath and asked to be taken to the hospital.

While in the hospital Greg was placed on IV's and after a brief evaluation it was determined he had a bad case of pneumonia. He was issued antibiotics, inhaler and pain med's. He felt slightly better on Monday but was still unable to hold down any food and most liquids. Early Wednesday morning Greg woke up his room -- Dan Mooney and said he felt worse than ever and needed to go back to the hospital. Dan rushed him over and Greg was immediately admitted for observation. New xrays showed that the liquid in Greg's left lung had increased significantly. At this point a ... doctor ... stated that Greg may have cancer and would have to have a biopsy performed! This news escalated Greg's anxiety along wiht those of who are close to him. Greg's girlfriend Lizzie immediately flew out to Tulsa to be with him.

Greg was released on Thursday and flew back home to Phoenix in hopes to get in to a doctor at one of the premier medical facilities in the country, the Mayo Clinic. Greg's condition was not improving all while in the back of his head he kept hearing the word "cancer". Greg's attempts to get into a doctor were delayed due to insurance changes that were taking place with his recent move from San Diego to Phoenix plus the Mayo Clinic's scheduling did not have him due to come in until sometime in January!!! Greg's mom and Lizzie were persistent in communicating Greg's condition to the Mayo Clinic which led to Greg's appointment today, 12/06.

The examination concluded that Greg did not have cancer but did have what is called Valley Fever ( http://www.dhpe.org/infect/valley.html ). The condition is sometimes fatal but Greg is in the right hands now. Greg is at ease with the cancer-cloud no longer looming over head.The whole ordeal did not come without a price. Greg has amassed a substantial medical bill while in Tulsa. Greg is presently in between jobs since moving to Phoenix and is very concerned about addressing the medical bills. This is where we come in. Please find it in your hearts and wallets to help Greg out. Any amount will be glady accepted and greatly appreciated. Those of you who know Greg know that he would be the first one to spearhead a fundraising effort if any of you needed the assistance.

Greg lives and breaths BMX and is a friend to all in the BMX community. He is the US Marketing/Advertising Director for BMX World Magazine, an avid contributor to the VBMX forums, one bad-azz racer for Factory Avent/Bombshell who had his Grands/NAG dreams knocked out from underneath him this year and is ONE HELL OF A FRIEND and a human being.

Please, let us band together and help out our brother in need. You can send your donations via PAYPAL to: gregleasure@hotmail.com If you do not have a PAYPAL account they are very easy to set up so no excuses. Thank you in advance for your help. - Steve Spencer

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Miscellaneous December News:

There are just two races left at the Walworth Indoor this season and they are going off this Saturday and Sunday, December 9-10. The 2007 Wisconsin racing season kicks off at Elkhorn on Sunday January 7.

Final jersey orders for 2006 have been made with Ray Hudson at Fly ... we'll have several extras available (kids small / medium + L & XL) if you missed out and are still interested ... please don't hesitate to contact us.

Bubba Harris re-writes the history books, becoming the first the first AA-Pro in ABA history to win THREE consecutive titles.

The Grands Report:
It takes a tremendous amount of speed and poise to make your way through the rounds and rounds you face to advance to the mains at the grands. The format is progressive, where every lap after qualifying motos pits you against faster riders, who have a more cut throat attitude, and even the slightest bobble can eliminate you from heading to the next round. Of the riders we profiled last post, here's how things wound up for them at the grands:

Tim Eiring - although solidly advancing through the early rounds on both his 20 and cruiser, Tim's season came to an end having made his Semi's on both bikes. Nevertheless, the affable Eiring will be running #4 Gray Nag plates on both bikes in 2007. Tim has plenty of highlights from his '06 campaign and we figure it's a safe bet he'll be right back in the mix for the #1 plate in 2007.

Randy Behnke - pulled his way into the main where he finished with a fifth. Behnke was the only rider to hail from East of the Missippi River to make the main in the 23 rider field. Funny to think that I've known Randy since he was getting started with bmx, a scrawney 14 year old riding second and third hand stuff, and 20 years later, he's totally killing it on a national level. Behnke's NAG plate for '07 is the lowest NAG number that will be represented by the state of Wisconsin ... #3. Congratulations on an outstanding season, Randy!

Curt Zizzo - is another Wisconsin rider that will have a gray #4 NAG plate on his bike in '07, having finished sixth in the 36-40 cruiser main that had a super competitive 32 rider field. Zizzo told me that of all the times he's been to the grands, this was the first time he's held it together and made his main. "6th felt like a letdown", Zizzo said "It was hard keeping my head straight, I guess I felt a sense of relief that I had made it to the main". Well, ya did make it, Curt ... great job.

Bryan Dickerson - As we predicted a couple of weeks ago, Bryan was indeed a top contender in the 41-45 cruiser class, and in fact was the top point earner going into his main. Bryan told us that he felt like he got a bit mentally balled up going into the main. In any event, Bryan came out with a sixth place grands finish and a #4 on his 2007 NAG plate. To put things into perspective, Bryan is a vice president at a software development company for the healthcare industry, is the team manager for Direct Link BMX, helped us build the Milwaukee BMX track this summer, and found time to have a house built to boot. Amazing.

Fred Yanke - was our darkhorse pick and according to Dickerson was going fast all weekend long, but having some difficulties with the 900 foot long rhythm section at the grands track. Yeah, you read it right, the rhythm in Tulsa must have felt like it just went on forever. Trying to get your cardio up for the grands at Elkhorn is like practicing for nuclear war in a romper room with a yo-yo. The two just don't relate.

Cory Caliendo - Slipped a couple of spots in both 11 expert (#10) and cruiser (#7) but finished with NAG plates in both. He capped his impressive season with a seventh place finish out of 42 (!) riders in the 11 expert class. Nice going, Cory.

Sun Ringle' BMX Press Release:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know who took home the big shiny cups from the ABA Grands last week in Tulsa OK. What you may not have known is that all 4 Pro Titles this year were won on Sun Ringle’ wheels. It’s no secret that Sun Rims (headquartered in Mequon, Wisconsin) can be found on almost every top BMX racer on the track so we’re used to our riders winning and having success. But sweeping all the Pro Titles for the year is definitely something to brag about.

CMC/Tangent’s Alise “the Beast” Post had an incredible rookie year in Girl Pro, taking the Golden Crank Award for Rookie of the Year (beating out the guys for this award) and then winning the ABA Girl Pro Title a few days later. Alise rides the Sun 4Stroke Race wheelset.

“Redline’s “Black Jack” Jason Carnes came back from early season knee surgery to take the ABA Vet Pro title for the fifth year in a row. Jason rides the Sun 4Stroke Race wheelset.

“The Little Engine that Did” Formula’s Donnie D.R. Robinson capped off his awesome 2006 season by winning the Golden Crank Award for Pro of the Year and the ABA Pro Cruiser Title. Donnie rides the Sun CR18 1.5 rims.

And some guy they call “Bubba” made history this weekend by becoming the first Pro in history to win the ABA Pro Title 3 years in a row. Redline’s Bubba Harris has ridden the Sun Pro Super Stock wheelset to all 3 of his ABA Pro Titles. And not to be forgotten, Sun co-sponsored Redman/Yamaha Waverunner won the Factory Team Title for 2006 as well.

Submitted by Ryan Birk Sun Ringle' BMX Brand Manager

Big props to Ryan and the entire Sun Crew ... we totally appreciate your support of Milwaukee BMX.

Thanks for reading Milwaukee BMX ... we'll see you at the track this Sunday.

Kevin O'