- Dave Vanderspek


  Golden Gate Park
  Starting the Curb Dogs
  Getting Sponsored
  The First Pro BMX Half-Pipe Contests
  1984 Skyway European Tour
  New Tricks
  New Parts
  1984 Skyway European Tour Coverage
  Marketting the Curb Dogs
  GPV (Gravity Powered Vehicle)
  Changing Sponsors
  Vander R.I.P.
  Lew's Story
  Accomplishments / Contributions
  Site History

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If BMX Freestyle was born in the 70's, it definitely hit puberty in the early 80's. What had been the sideshow curiosity at the BMX races with only mentions or a few pages here and there in the magazines came to have its own bikes, contests and magazines. At the time, there were a handfull of well known riders mainly from the southern California area. But there were other riders out there and as the sport took off, this new crop of riders came on the scene. One of the new stars of the 80's era was Dave Vanderspek. Also know as Vander, Radner and The Flying Dutchman (due to his Dutch heritage.) He was an all-around rider who raced pro, competed in skateparks, ramps, ground and street. The first to do so. He also organized the first BMX half-pipe contests and promoted his bike/skate team the Curb Dogs to international recognition.

To the shock of the BMX Freestyle world, Dave died in 1988 at 24 years of age. Dave was a good friend of mine and did a lot for me as a rider. This site is meant to pay tribute to his accomplishments as a rider and catalyst for BMX Freestyle.

Dave Vanderspek I met Vander in 1983 on some Sunday in Golden Gate Park - the meeting place for riders in the area. It's hard to believe now that when he died 5 years later that it could only have been 5 years that I had known him. I suppose that when someone passes away and leaves you with only memories, those memories still play some part in your life and the relationship seems to continue on. When we met I was 17 and he was 19. I'm 35 now but I still think of Dave as an older guy in the same way the legends of Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix, both who died at a younger age than I am now, seem to keep them forever older yet never aging.

Dave was the kind of person who turned the mundane into a laugh riot. Often embarassing those of us around him but, never boring us. He did this on a bike and skateboard as well and, for crowds. He was anything but shy.

Foodfight: Vander vs. Drob
Foodfight: Mop it up Vandersplunk Foodfight: Dave Attacks Foodfight: The Struggle

He was a guy I looked up to for being the screwball that I wasn't and for not giving a crap about the things that I'd get hung up on and trying the crazy stuff on a bike I wouldn't. I was serious where he was not. Where I just put my head down and rode, he'd be out there jumping up and down or doing whatever he had to to get the crowd going.

A couple 6-packs to go...
Dave helped get me sponsored by Skyway at a time when I had just dropped out of school and had no idea what I wanted to be doing with my life. If it wasn't for him I would not have had some pretty life-changing experiences with BMX freestyle and a lighter outlook on life in general. Dave also did a lot for BMX Freestyle which should not be forgetten. So, in some small way, this site is meant to thank Dave by further imortalizing his accomplishments and to remind people about the roots of BMX Freestyle - one of the most positive things in my life. I hope you enjoy it and will add your stories as well

Maurice "Drob" Meyer
Founding Member of the Curb Dogs

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