- Dave Vanderspek
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When a film star, famous musician or artist dies the things he or she leaves behind take on a mystical aura of reverence. A scrap of paper with a song lyric on it or a car used in a scene become destined for a museum or collection. If there were a BMX museum I'm sure things that Vander left behind would be placed there.
Dave parents gave away all of his bikes and as I recall some of his photo albums were taken without their consent. I felt completely awkward about the whole thing and didn't seek out any mementos. I had photos and plenty of memories.
More than 10 years after Dave's death I found this tape in a box I had. What an eerie feeling. Seeing it opened a flood of memories and a montage of scenes. Picking songs for a show or a contest run, cueing your tape for your run and the start of the music over the PA system calling you out to another show and everything that went with it like the stares of crowd and wondering if you'd live up to their expectations, pull your tricks or just screw up. All the aprehension and excitement.
Even if it didn't say it on the cover, I knew it had to have The Romantics' "What I Like About You" since it was practically his theme song and was on all the show tapes we used. But I was curious to see what else was on the tape so I gave it a listen. This is what I found:
On Marc 13th, 2003 I was down in the garage screwing around with some
project or another when housemate and Curb Dog Marc Babus walks in with
a plate in his hand. As soon as I see it I know what it is - Vander's
first Curb Dogs plate. Turns out Dave gave it to Marc when he didn't
have a plate for his bike. This is the same plate that Vander had in his
portfolio shots and the bomb drop in the combi pool with the S.L. (San
Leandro) changed to an S.F. (San Francisco) since Vander was from SL
and Marc from SF.
The last bike that Dave rode - a Boss Freestyler - turned up at a flea
market about 10 years after his death. Darren Chan found the frame
in a pile of others and immediately knew what he was looking at by
I'm sure there are jerseys out there with Vander's name on them.
Hugo Gonzalez has a signed cover of Vander's BMXA cover shot. Several
banners were signed in 1984 as was this truck. I wonder if it's been