Throwback Thursday: More Old School Rides & the Bikes that Started Pinkbike

Feb 4, 2021
by Daniel Sapp  

I had to stop and make sure I was seeing the number correctly, photo 27? If you've ever uploaded photos onto Pinkbike or formatted a blog post, you know that the number of the photo is part of that script, or part of any photo link you send. The above photo that Radek Burkat (who founded Pinkbike) sent me is simply number 27. For reference, we're now well past 20,000,000 (20 million) photos uploaded to the site, with more being added every minute.

Now, while these photos were uploaded in 2004, they were old photos then. Pinkbike was actually started in 1998. Here are a few of the bikes that started things along with some more throwback staff bikes, plus a trip down memory lane with Taj Mihelich as he reminisces about the days of BMX in the 80's.




Radek Burkat - Founder of Pinkbike


According to Radek, he once did own an XC bike, prior to the days of 50 lb freeride bikes of the early 2000's. The Marin Nail Trail was the bike he rode when he started Pinkbike.


My handle bar snapped landing this drop and the next day I walked into Calgary Cycle and bought my first Santa Cruz.
My handle bar snapped landing this drop and the next day I walked into Calgary Cycle and bought my first Santa Cruz.


Then came the Santa Cruz Bullit. It took on the North Shore with plenty of skinny riding as well as a little urban freeride.



Views: 23,226    Faves: 222    Comments: 122

The Bullit in action in Calgary.

Following the Bullit was a Santa Cruz Super 8.


And finally, the original V10 with a Marzocchi Monster T






Alan Crisp - Head of Sales




bigquotesThe year was 2002 and I was at Thredbo, Australia. Notice on my helmet that my uncle got me a Subway sticker I thought it was pretty cool. I’d twisted my Boxxer and cracked the lowers the week prior to this race so a friend gave me a set of less cracked lowers to use. On the drive down to this race my lowers were rubbing on the bike rack and wore a hole in a leg and were leaking. Nothing a bit of tape couldn’t fix. I ended up using these for the rest of the season as my lawn mowing job wasn’t paying enough. Alan Crisp




Tom Richards - Videographer/Photographer





bigquotesThe picture in the snow was my first ever proper mountain bike, a Scott Voltage YZ35 hardtail. I got that bike when I was 15 years old, must have been around 2006. I saved up about 1/3rd of the cost then my parents paid for the rest for my 15th birthday. It was ultra basic spec, came with elastomer RST forks which I rode for about a year, warrantied twice before swapping out for a set of 100-130mm travel adjust Rockshox Tora’s. I still have this bike, it's at my parent's house and my mum uses it as her bike now.

The stair set huck shot and the red t-shirt shot are of my first ever full-suspension bike, a 2005 Kona Stinky I bought cheap off eBay for around 400 pounds. I loved that bike! At that point, I was really getting into riding but I lived in Lincolnshire, the flattest part of the UK. There was a tiny local forest with a hill about 40-50m in elevation where some friends and I built a 20-second trail with a few jumps and drops, but we had to resort to stair sets for anything bigger. My go to riding gear back then was baggy jeans, a hoody, 661 white stormtrooper knee/shin pads, and of course skate shoes.

My third bike, an Astrix Havoc R. I bought it whilst at university with part of my student loan as my Kona was falling apart. The guy I bought it from was on a small UK race team, so the bike had a partial vinyl wrap with all the team's sponsors on it, which I kept on when I bought it because back then having stickers plastered over everything was cool! I had that bike for two years, in which time it did two full summer seasons in the French Alps plus racing in the BUCS student champs. The entire suspension linkage and rear pivots ran on bushings that wore out within one week of riding and I was lazy about swapping them, so the frame almost always had massive amounts of play in it!
Tom Richards




Alan Golds - Head of Brand



bigquotesThis is the 2007 Cove Shocker which I raced in the Phat Wednesday series and rode in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.Alan Golds




Ollie Lammas - Account Executive






bigquotesRiding back in the day for me centered around Swinley Forest which has a max vert of about 50 meters. Obviously, a downhill bike was necessary. I mostly rode with my little brother, Seb, who would always guinea pig the drop, gap or, jump first. We thought we were U.K. freeride pioneers copying features we saw being built on 'The Shore' in movies.Ollie Lammas




Taj Mihelich

1987 with Robinson Pro and Kyle

bigquotesI started working as a dishwasher at 14 to save money for a new bike. After a year of greasy scrubbing, I ended up with this absolute dream bike, the 1987-ish Robinson Pro. It was lavishly decked out with Redline Flight Cranks and Forklifter handlebars and an all-in-one Uni plastic seat/ post combo. Sadly, the family garage was burgled a month later, and the bike was gone.



bigquotesThe 1990, POS. This started it all for me and landed me an Airwalk sponsor. My first dirt jump comp and my first picture in a magazine (by John Kerr in BMX Plus!). Like all BMX bikes from the era, this one lasted only a few weeks. Some random race frame I found in the back of a bike shop. Mismatched pedals and tires, ODI penis-shaped grips, and very bent kneesaver bars. Parts were hard to find, and absolutely anything that could keep my bike rolling was just fine.
1990. BMX Plus Two different sized water ski gloves I found in the road.

bigquotesThen was a 1994, S&M Holmes. In late 1993 I realized the only thing I wanted to do was ride bikes, and so I threw my bike into my car and drove south until it got warm. I ended up in Austin, TX, with $5 in my wallet and a jar of peanut butter. Somehow I made it work. I started riding with James Shepard, who had a video camera, and he sent the clips to Dave Parrick, who put them in his Dirty Deeds BMX video.

Importantly, this bike had the Hoffman Superfork on it. A crude and extremely heavy clamp-on stem design (still with a threaded headset) that finally moved BMX beyond dangerously weak quill stems. The fear of forks breaking at any moment was finally over!





You can check out the first round of Pinkbike staff throwback rides here.


117 Comments

  • 44 1
 I remember seeing Taj on bmx videos back in the late 1990s ad early 2000s, whilst his more recent contributions on here are rad he will always be one of the sick guy bmx dudes I used to watch as a yoof. Its interesting how many other bmx legends are now moving in bigger wheeled circles
  • 8 0
 Still my VHS copy of UGP Face Value, Taj's section was insane in the day!
  • 4 0
 @nojzilla: Such a good vid, Tajs section was one of the main reasons I got into Sabbath
  • 8 0
 Taj was the tailwhip king back in the 90's.
  • 2 0
 Ive still got a VHS copy of Dirty Deeds about somewhere. Along with Ride On i pretty much wore those cassettes out. Mid school times were fantastic.
  • 1 0
 @losidan: Ride On was excellent. Must have watched that at least 20 times too.
  • 3 0
 Taj and the 360 tabletop at Xgames. One of the smoothest!
  • 2 0
 @think1up: Bingo. I think one of the only smoother guys at the time with table 360's (and even now) is Brian Foster.
  • 1 0
 Yeah here in Pittsburgh, PA there is a deep old school bmx culture. Funny enough most of the guys now have mtb rigs and ride DH a lot...
  • 11 1
 @tremeer023: Taj is still the T-Whip King. Best Tailwhip style on earth. Always barely pulling them off with a huge extension. Non of this bunny hop perfect to the pedals cookie cutter. Each one was different and each one was huge.
  • 4 0
 @tremeer023: Taj is the king period.
  • 2 0
 What was the video where Taj was dressed as a hill billy?
  • 1 0
 @BobLogiii: A Hoffman bikes Vid with G Love an Special Sauce, 'Cool Beverages' is the song rings a bell but, I'm old an probably miss remembering
@Tajlucas
  • 1 1
 @manhattanprjkt83: Bigger wheels and suspension are kinder on older bodies.
  • 43 0
 Radek still owes me a Pinkbike shirt from hauling his Super 8 up the Fernie DH course for him at the Canadian Cup. Child labour.
  • 47 0
 haha, I remember that. Are you one of these guys!?
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5526
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4748
  • 37 0
 @radek: Sure am! I am wearing the red hat. Glad there is legal proof of this happening! Crazy how much that mountain has changed since these photo's. We actually did get shirts from you in the end, just took Nels the old Rocky rep tracking you down! Hope you are doing well all these years later.
  • 62 0
 @bbmbc: Awesome! PM me your email. I'll get you hooked up.
  • 33 0
 ^^^ this is why I read the comments Smile
  • 20 0
 I don't know, sure looks like the kid in the black hat is doing most of the work...
  • 14 0
 @bentomas: Red hat means management!
  • 22 0
 OMG. I was looking for that "winter riding" video for ages. This was one of the videos that started it for me in ca 2004. Got a bullit shortly thereafter. Thanks Pinkbike for stoking 15+ years of passion.
  • 21 0
 People you met 20 yeards ago: uh, what's your name again? The bike you rode 20 years ago: could probably write the whole spec list down.
My first full susser was a Kona DuDu, and I loved it. Frame's on the wall...
  • 16 0
 It's great to see @radek come out of the shadows and get some well-deserved time in the spotlight. I must have watched that Calgary urban riding video of yours 100 times when it first came out.

In fact, that video inspired me to film our own version, the "Whitehorse (Yukon) Freeride Championships" which sadly is no longer available but at least the original page remains www.pinkbike.com/news/article290.html

Still have my original Support Your Local Freerider t-shirt too. It's just, um ahem a little tighter now.

Thanks @radek for starting something and sticking to it, no doubt through some challenging times. I can't believe it's been 23 years. Congratulations.
  • 3 0
 Loved those Pinkbike parties back in Cowtown. @radek is a visionary.
  • 3 0
 That video brings back memories! Didn't the administrators of the school they were riding off claim damage was done to the roof?

I would love to know the history of Pinkbike, I know Radek is one of the founders, is he still an owner? Who owns it now? The two Mikes? A hedge fund?
  • 1 0
 @charmingbob: It's been taken over by Big Drink Bottle, but sshhh or they'll come for you.
  • 7 0
 Bomber Z1 and HS33’s!
They were the best back then. Had that set up a couple of times. Remember putting a set of Hope Sports on some Mk2 bombers and the fork leg snapped clean off above the disc mount. Great times.
Watching your frame or forks bend every time you applied the brakes Smile
  • 13 2
 Bring back 26er. We want them back. No more wagon wheels.
  • 1 0
 That's what I ride, won't go bigger !
  • 3 0
 I won’t go as far to say ONLY 26’ers, but I hope tire, wheel, and fork companies keep doing product support for them. I love my old bikes, and they need lots of love.
  • 5 0
 @MB3: Agree %100. Only reason 26 would ever die is if the manufacturers kill them on purpose. All of mine are 26. All 6 of 'em.
  • 2 0
 @rosemarywheel: Yup, same here. 4 of 'em. All 26".
  • 1 0
 @bmbracing: What do you have?
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: Foes Fly and S-Works Enduro - long may they live! (Getting most 26" parts is ok - getting decent forks with non-tapered steerers is another story!) And a Scott freeride hardtail and a lightweight rigid whippet for zipping about town.
  • 1 0
 @bmbracing: I myself own... 5? straight 1.5" steerered forks. 2 Totems, 2 Marz. 66's and one (no, 2 actually!) Fox 36'sSmile
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: Yeah, ironically would have been better off if I still had my old Cannondale as they had 1.5" headtubes and could take pretty much anything with the right headset. But the Enduro is definitely faster than the Dale! Someone on here has offered me a vintage Marz 66 so hopefully these Covid restrictions will ease soon and I can go see and buy it.
  • 1 0
 @bmbracing: The only problem I have is finding enough of the straight 1.5" ones. Although there are a few on eBay and one on your side of the pond that is a chris king. I actually want to start making straight 1.5" headsets as soon as I can get acess to a CNC machine.
  • 2 0
 @rosemarywheel: well they did kill the 26" wheel standard. But 26" parts will always be available because of dirt jump bikes. But other than that theyve dump all the old bikes so people would buy these monster truck wheel bikes. Aka not as fun bikes
  • 1 0
 @pballbiker: Mmm, I suppose they did. I think the larger wheel sizes certainly have their place and I myself would love to have a DH bike in at least 27.5... but it would be nice to have the option anyway.

I forget which article I read it in (or, which comment section for a particular article) but someone mentioned it would be nice if wheel size was dictated by frame size. Extra small/Small having 24- 26" wheels (probably with 27.5 options) and Medium/Large XtraLarge having 26/27.5/29" wheel sizes. I hope this takes off.

Take a Hint, Oh mighty Specialized! before Trek beats you to it!!

On the other hand, I am in the process of converting my hardtails to mullet and that seems to be the direction some bike models are going.
  • 6 0
 This is awesome. Giving me nostalgia for getting on pinkbike every day and checking the POD and then later the VOD, back when they were on the front page. It would update every day at 7pm my time and that's the only time the news would update and I would read everything, because there wasn't much to read but it was all exciting! Cheers for the memories.
  • 5 0
 Subway was around in Oz in 2002! I remember a few drunken nights at least 5 years earlier stumbling in and getting a meatball sub with all the cheeses.......also remember getting my then fiance (now wife) one for her first meal after she gave birth to our first squid.

Also remember the old HB Taj, then Deebo and finally the T1 Barcode, 3 of the best bikes I ever owned, Taj was god in my house!
  • 8 0
 Taj Mihelich is THE MAN..!!
  • 4 0
 Real EPIC! The video brings so the old spirit across. I miss that a bit nowadays. Reminds me of myself earlier when you just went out and did everything with your bike what was somehow possible. Whether in nature or the city. Now it must always be perfectly shaped lines. Also by the end of the Disorder and kranked series something big has broken away. People tried to emulate the idols and could hardly wait until the next part came out. Until then you have watched the old parts countless times. I could not name a current film because you do not even notice it. Today, everyone does their own thing and promotes themselves, so you can't keep up. For me, one reason why DH Racing has taken more the upper hand. You just don't really get freeride anymore.
  • 4 0
 nothing speaks to me like that Taj Mihelich video clip. that is really what inspired me as a kid seeing shit like this blew my mind, you are sooo frigen iconic man! I love OG riders, I love all of you, this is the shit that will forever be ingrained in my soul, when im hopefully in my old ages sitting in a hospital bed, im gonna still be stoked on this memory.
  • 4 0
 It’s a treat to see pics from this era, if for no other reason that it was way before smart phones and Go Pro action cameras. Heck, before digital cameras became common, period.

I owned two cameras back then: a bulky film one the size of a large hamburger, and a Polaroid instant film one that was even bigger... neither of which I would even contemplate bringing on a ride. Even getting the pics developed was a pain.
  • 5 0
 I still ride old skool kit i have a 24 pornking with monster t forks on her from 2002 and shes still going strong love and old skool lump of kit
  • 4 0
 Why the hell don't all of your videos start with the 'helicopter logo culminating in a cartoon boing'?! That needs to make a come back!
  • 3 0
 I love the early PB videos shot in and around Calgary. I recognize some of those locations from when I lived out there and I remember seeing Radek at COP with his Super 8. Good times...
  • 5 0
 Calgary represent! Yeehaw! Im sadly not as good though. But awesome to find out that PB started here.
  • 2 0
 Love the Calgary throw-back. So many of the places I rode shown there. I recall when this vid came out; I was always impressed with the second attempt up onto the C-Train platform Radek. I spent a lot of time riding urban/trials downtown. That riding taught me a lot.

Was that 24hrs of adrenaline in Canmore too? What ridiculous stuff we used to think was fun.

I miss CGY, but admittedly, the shore is a smidge better.

Thanks for this.
  • 2 0
 Love the YYC history in there from Radek! Such a throwback to the old days. LRT platform step up fail was gold! McMahon gap was always sketchy. Was that Roots or SideShow Bob on one of the drop ins? Great to see where PB is now. Keep the stoke alive.....and yes, more hair metal please Smile
  • 2 0
 I'm loving these throwback articles!

Last time I saw @radek was at C.O.P. sometime around 2003 or 2004. His day ended with a dislocated/jammed finger. He seemed pretty relaxed about the fact that his digit was no longer pointing the right way.
  • 4 1
 Holy high top tube Batman! Yes Robin, my young noob chum....that's why we used to put foam covers on there - to protect the batnads.
  • 4 0
 No 1987 diamondback ascent ex in blue fade smoke? You guys are just youngsters!
  • 2 0
 I had a 1989 diamondback Axis. Good times!
  • 2 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: 1988 Mongoose Hilltopper, Cheers!
  • 5 0
 Does Radek has any Polish roots?
  • 8 0
 Born and grew up in Swinoujscie and around Chozow.
  • 6 0
 @radek: Pozdrowienia! I live around 15 kilometers from Chorzów
  • 3 0
 @radek: Polish exports really benefit Canada.
  • 1 0
 @azawad: Kurrrwaaaaa!
  • 4 0
 I watched the Calgary Crew video almost as much as Ride to the Hills. Classic stuff.
  • 1 0
 As a former bmxer that loves mountain biking now, I often find myself going “why did I think mountain biking was SO lame back in the day” and these posts keep reminding me ‘oh yea that’s why!’ especially when directly compared against Taj’s Dirty Deeds part hahah
  • 1 0
 "Old School" continues to amuse me because of its extreme relative nature .
I'll bet no one here remembers riding any bike with reverse pedal brakes that weighed a minimum of fifty lbs down fire trails in marin county PRIOR to , cunningham, ritchie, fisher, joe breeze etc.
Now THATS old school . so fucing old that my old double top tube cruiser was recently found at a California Archeological site along with some dinosaur bones .
  • 1 0
 Radek's third pic: pretty typical old-school Marin! Razz I'll never forget the one that separated before my very eyes on the last turn at the local DH course - instant dirt sandwich for the poor guy.

Alan Crisp's pic: pretty typical old school Boxxer - cheese lowers with a pinch bolt missing! Don't think I ever had one with all 4 working bolts.

Meanwhile, 20 years later the Monster T is still shrugging off light knocks, like a 30 foot huck to flat... Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I'm curious what the total number of current staff is now at pinkbike. @brianpark ?
  • 5 0
 Well, there's Mike, and Mike, and don't forget about Mike. Oh, and Mike.
  • 2 0
 The contacts page shows 42
  • 2 0
 Recent huck to flat videos look lame @mikelevy , let Radek do it off a school roof like BITD, just not on the Donut for his own safety
  • 4 0
 I love this idea and am 100% certain zero bike manufacturers would ever send us a bike for testing ever again.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: oooorrr they’d build them to 50lb monsters fitted with massive forks and would pedal like in custard, but with 29” wheels
  • 3 0
 Those Cove bikes were so sweet back in the day. It'd be awfully cool to see that brand refreshed and brought back.
  • 4 0
 Breaks handlebar...buys new bike. That's awesome.
  • 6 0
 That was the last straw. I think earlier that week I went though a couple of cranks too so it was time for a full suspension. A lot of this happened in those days www.pinkbike.com/photo/3310
  • 1 0
 Oh man.... I knew the song that was gonna play before it even started on the Winter Off Season video.
@radek can't wait to get out for a lap with you here in Squamish sometime!
  • 1 0
 Ah, photo #27 - memories of waiting out your lap at the Nordic Centre in the rain.

I still have that same Bomber on my early '90s Marin, scavenged from a rider who's Trek Y frame cracked.
  • 1 0
 Remember the massive storm at around 2 am one year around 1999/2000 at 24 hrs race? Lightning, thunder, rain...good times.
  • 2 0
 @azawad: definitely 2000, my wife and 6 month old were staying at the Transalta houses on the reservoir. I had just crawled into my tent to sleep when it hit, then woke up at 5:30 for my next lap to clearer skies and fast tacky conditions.
  • 1 0
 @leftypumpkin: Lucky you! I had to ride in that crap - after each lightning strike I couldn't see for a few seconds until my eyes adjusted to the low light. Those 24 hr races were so much fun.
  • 2 0
 That is epic! Thank you for the throwback. So cool to see how everything evolved
  • 2 0
 Seeing that Bullit got me all misty eyed. Also my first full suspension bike, cruelly stolen many years ago.
  • 1 0
 Noticed how long the rear derailleur is on Radeks blue bullet? It virtually follows the diameter of the wheel. Also monsters were rad.
  • 3 0
 And if you go on FB you'll see this era bike for sale for $3,899... haha
  • 3 0
 Tanktops are really underrated to ride in
  • 1 0
 The good ol' days! I remember riding with Radek and the crew around Calgary. Trials, street, dirt jump, DH bikes and more all thrashing around downtown.
  • 2 0
 That V10 has a Monster T, not a Super Monster T
  • 1 0
 Correct. At least the one on the picture
  • 2 0
 This website really should have been named “Huckbike”
  • 1 0
 loved this i had my first real TBT ,thinking about my Giant Warp (Y) SHAPE >>>
  • 1 0
 I remember riding stuff like this! haha Those Monster T forks look cooked!
  • 1 0
 Taking the Nail Trail off the Amasa Super 8 drop, there's a lot less dirt in that landing now.
  • 1 0
 Cannot forget myself not asking, does Taj Mihelich have Slovenian roots?
@tajlucas
  • 4 0
 I never knew my father or much about him, but he was Croatian.
  • 1 0
 @Tajlucas: Sry for being so personal Smile
Yes, Mihelch comes from Mihelič/Mihelić. It's very common surname here in Slovenia or Croatia (we are neighbours Smile )

Thanks Taj
  • 2 0
 Loved those Astrix Havocs.....
  • 1 0
 Rad pics. IRC Kujo, my first DH tire. Wasn't it the original DH tire with thicker sidewalls or was there another before it?
  • 3 0
 IRC Missile was the predecessor to the Kujo.
  • 1 0
 @4823904823041: Ah, thanks. That's the one I was trying to think of.
  • 1 0
 How about some color correction/matching on those first few pics? Maybe get the fork color to be slightly consistent...
  • 1 0
 Give it 24 hours and MTBR will duplicate this effort. Remember when they were the top dog of mountain bike sites?
  • 1 0
 i miss the good old games of "foot down" at eau claire market, back in the early days. no one could knock @radek down.
  • 1 0
 Radek's Marin must have been before they realized that you could cut the steerer tube on a fork
  • 2 0
 Nah, it was back when xl sizes just got a longer head tube and seat tube but didn't get any longer (in reach). Those were tough times. Downsizing was popular till maybe 10 years ago for that reason. Well, that's why I used to downsize frame sizes anyhow.
  • 1 0
 and this is the first picture ever uploaded to pinkbike:

m.pinkbike.com/photo/1
  • 1 0
 That Gazzaloddi! I used to run one of those with an Intense FRO on the rear. It was a tight squeeze even with a Super T.
  • 1 0
 Radek, come home honey... you, you bastard you
  • 2 0
 Taj got robbed!
  • 1 0
 Taj is a god amongst mere PB mortals. Recognize his greatness.
  • 1 0
 The best years to ride a bike were back then! Memories forever Radek!
  • 1 0
 Would you rather ride a 20 year old bike or the GRIM DONUT?
  • 1 0
 So many good memories. Definitely makes me feel old
  • 1 0
 This takes me back to when trailforks was free. Good old days.
  • 1 0
 Legends!
  • 1 0
 Penis-shaped grips
  • 1 0
 Nice content PB!

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