This was one of the most awesome weekends of my life! This was my first stop in what I'm calling my Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Tour, or just Blaze of Glory Tour for short. I'm trying to make my next stop at the Grand Opening of the Bicycle Source in California and also eventually make it to the 25th Anniversary of RAD! in Canada. If you want to add your event as one of my stops, contact me at email@example.com and let's make it happen! Keep posted.
The following is an article I am writing on my trip for my hometown newspaper, The Pagosa Springs Sun, but I will be submitting it to various other websites to see if they want to carry it. Keep posted to my website for updates. Or my Facebook. ( like I know what I'm doing ) As much as I don't really care for FB, I am going to try to spend more time figuring it out and being more accepting of friends. For the record, I really am not familiar with it and REALLY hate spending time in front of the computer, not to mention that I don't have access at home on the computer and have to go to the library to get on, so if I haven't added you as a friend, forgive me because it's not that I don't want to, it's that it's such a pain to get online.
I will start the transposing the article right now, 4.4.11, but won't EVEN get far but keep posted and I will continue adding as time goes on. With that.....
God has blessed me in being Jose Yanez and allowing me to be the person that invented and pulled off the first ramp to ramp backflip on a BMX bike. I call myself D.Cat that does D. Flip on D. Bike!, or D.Cat! for short, because not only do I have an affinity for cats, but because I throw myself upsidedown with a bike and like a cat I force myself to land RIGHT side up on my "feet".
I currently live in Pagosa Springs, Co. since last September but have lived in Arizona most of my life since I was 5 years old. I was born in Texas so that makes me a Cowboy, Baby! I spent 7 years in Pagosa from 1976 to 1983 and graduated there in 1977. I am known in Pagosa as Lucy Gonzales' son and as the guy who did the backhands springs in the 4th of July Parade one year. Recently I was the Capt Jack Sparrow lookalike in the St. Patricks Day Parade. I call myself Capt Jack Josey cuz I'm Jose with a Y, and because I like The Outlaw Josey Wales. I do birthday parties and appearances as that character and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
I also pulled a ramp to ramp backflip on a motorcycle back in 1991 ina field in Pagosa. I even showed Travis Pastrana the video of it way before he ever pulled his first one. But, that's another story.
In the movie RAD! I was the stunt double who performed all the flips and crashes for Bill Allen, who played the star character, Cru Jones. They actually wrote my stunt into the movie after they got word of it while I was touring with Hutch Bicycles in 1985.
After RAD! I toured with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus for 3 years. Two in the States and one in Japan.
This past weekend I was able to make it to the 3rd Annual Old School BMX Reunion at Woodward West in Stallion Springs, California courtesy of SE Racing, Todd Lyons in particular, who hooked me up with a roundtrip flight and a SWEET black, gold and chrome 2007 Retro P.K. Ripper.( To see a better image of this photo go to bmxtransworld.net, look for it in the images and enlarge. Sorry I don't know how to do it on my website. YET!)
I'd be remiss were I not to mention that I still would not have been able to make it were it not for Willie D from California and my girl, Cindy, who I'd like to thank all most graciously.
The Reunion have been organized by Steve Swope, who in my mind and I'm sure others, is a true Legend of BMX in his own right. In the first 2 Reunions he took financial losses, but graciously so. This year he required a $40 registration fee of which I admitted to Willie D that it was totally appropo. He invests ALOT of time and money to make this happen and if people don't understand the need for the fee, well, they should. With the fee, one also received an Official 3rd Annual Reunion T-shirt, which I'm sure in itself was worth $15. I would like to thank Steve for comping me the fee and meal tickets. Then I went and left my t-shirt at The Hangar. Wah.
This was my first time at Woodward West,with more to come I certainly hope, and I found it to be amazingly AWESOME! It is like a vacation resort for BMXers! My GF likened it to a Disneyland for BMXers. It has an amazing array of ramps ranging from the ones in The Hangar, which is comprised of a 13 ft. or so halfpipe that has a resi section, a couple of mini halfpipes, various bowls, a street course, a game room area and most importantly and exciting to me, and I'm sure to alot of others, the foam pit and resi section. Just to clarify, by resi I mean ramp that has a gap and landing ramp with a layer of foam that is covered with plastic that is connected to the foam pit. When one is comfortable with a trick into the foam pit, it can be taken to the resi on which if one cases it, or eats it, crashes, the chances of one getting hurt will be significantly reduced THIS is where I'd be doing my riding later.
Woodward also has an outdoor concrete skateboard section, a wooden mine and an awesome street course.
And it has a Mega Ramp, appropriately named. In short, a box jump that is HUGE! 50 foot or so huge. Built on a hillside so it's downhhill all the way Baby! Then, OMG!
Woodward also has a Lodge, Canteen and Cabins, which are essentially motel rooms. To learn more about it go to their website Woodward.com.
I was booked to fly into LAX from Durango, Co. at 1 pm and be at Woodward by 3, but my flight was bumped to the point that I missed Friday's festivities. Needless to say, but I will, my rides to and from the pertinant airports, Willie D. in California and my GF, Cindy in Colorado, were greatly inconvinienced.
I finally arrived at LAX around 5 and we made it to the hotel in Tehachapi, Ca. arount 10. I'd like to thank Willie D. and his Aggro Alliance Trick Team for comping me that night's and Sunday's rooms. He also has a bike bulilding business in California and is always looking for good builders, so if anyone is interested he can be contacted at email@example.com.
The next morning, on the way to the continental breakfast, I ran into some old school BMXers on their way to the Reunion too, Todd, Terry and Pat. We ended up hanging and chatting until we had to roll out. THAT was the beginning of ALOT of chatting and hanging with some of the most amazing, gractious and different mindsetted people that I have ever met! It was truly MY pleasure to have met you all! Truly.
Todd Lyons had instructed me to meet a friend of his, Khamisi, to procure my P.K. Ripper on Friday, but as aforementioned, I was not able to do so. Surrendipiously enough, as I was waiting for Willie D. to pick me up, I walked to the nearby convience store and ran into him! We made arrangements to meet at Woodward just as Willie D pulled up.
I have to clarify that how I got Todd Lyons, Vice President (how appropo, huh?) of SE Racing, past acquaintance and brother to one of my dear friends, Brad Lyons, who hooked me up with Todd, to sponsor my trip was to convince him that I was so ready to go back on tour at the ripe "old" age of 52 on my Blaze of Glory Tour. Of course, that meant busting flips on bikes. What I'm trying to get at is that everytime I do a show, the closer it is to flip time, the bigger the butterflys get. The closer we got to Woodward, the bigger they got to the point that I actually dry heaved. Sorry about the graphic visual but just being truthfull. After all, because of my delayed flight, I found myself with a limited time to get used to a new, but beautiful, bike, and I hadn't busted a ramp to ramp flip since I invited some friends to help me celebrate my 50th birthday to the Chandler Az Bike Park TWO years ago.
But to be clear, I had performed flips into water as recently as last summer into this pool at this house I used to live in in Chandler at the time. That also included front flip attempts but I never got them past landing on my back because I had a tank of a bike at the time.
We finally arrived at Woodward, got registered at the Lodge, where I had the pleasure of meeting the two Katies, the wonderful receptionists there, and ran into Eddie Fiola in the parking lot. Eddie, of the Pipeline Legendgry and main stuntman in the movie RAD!! He still looked just like I remembered him. Only uglier. I KEED! I KEED!
Now it was time to flip the bike! As much as I would have liked to have made it an announced spectacle, I just got a few people with some really nice cameras that I had the pleasure of meeting earlier, to know and come witness. People like Kelly Oliver from Old School Museum.com, Dan Hubbard from Bike Source, Kyle and Angie, and of course Willie D and his friend Dan.
To be inescapably clear, I ALWAYS get butterflys before a show, and this felt like one, but this time I had HUGE Monarchs flittering in my stomach! Not only was I on a new bike, I was going to practice in front of people but I hadn't flipped since last summer and never into a foam pit. Let alone that this one had a massive roll-in, to me, and a huge launch. You see, I've done hundreds of show but my ramps have always been around 4 feet tall. This one was 6 or more.
I found myself on top looking down as if I was on a cliff ready to dive. I asked the photographers if they were ready, and, of course they said yes. This guy, Riley, I think, told me to take a few pedals on the flat but as high as I was, I decided to just use the roll-in momentum. I rolled in, hit the launch and flipped but it was such a low and quick flip that Willie D said that I tagged the lip with my back tire!
I went up again and told Riley that this time I was going to use his advise. I went down, pedalled and pulled a nice high flip! But I still wasn't happy so I went again and finally pulled a nice high one that I felt could've landed ramp to ramp. Then I went for a no handed flip and even pulled a 360 and called it a session because I was tired! It is more of a work out getting out of the foam pit than it is to ride!
That's when Keith Mulligan from Ride BMX Magazine showed up and asked if I was going to jump some more. What could I say but ...yes?
I pulled off a couple of flips for him and gave him sweet Superman Seat Grabber in order to show the cool gold P.K. Ripper graphics better then decided to try a front flip. As I mentioned before, I'd tried fronts into a pool but never could get them past my back so I was a bit anxious about this, but, man!, I pulled the sweetest front flip I ever had! So sweet that I actually felt like I could pull it off ramp to ramp sometime! Maybe at one of YOUR appearances.
After that front I was so stoked that I told Mulligan I'd go for the backflip onto the Resi. Butterflys! I went for it, landed on the flattop, touched with both feet but got back on and rode out of it. I was satisfied. For now. I'm sure I'll be pulling off some more in upcoming appearances I hope to be at, like The Laughlin Colorado River Challenge, The Bicycle Source Grand Opening in California and of course the 25th anniversary of the movie RAD! in Canada in August. But I also hope to be at YOUR shows so be sure to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make arrangements!
As I mentioned before, this truly was one of the most amazing and awesome weekends of my life! I hope that, God willing, there will be lots more to come and if you all email me for shows or appearances, maybe one of those will be with you!