B-Movie Night: BMX Bandits

It’s been a long time since I saw a children’s film that wasn’t a cgi animation or laden with special effects. I am aware of High School Musical, Hannah Montana and the work of the Olsen twins, but have managed to avoid them so far. Surely they can’t be the only live action, sfx free fare on offer to kids these days? Is there a modern equivalent to BMX Bandits?

In a very early role, Nicole Kidman is Judy, a BMX mad young lady working in the local market to raise enough money to get herself a new bike. She meets Goose and Maverick P.J., equally bike mad boys, when they wreck their bikes at the store. Though the accident was neither their fault nor hers, it costs her her job. Bonding over their shared love of cycling, the three become fast friends and set out to make their money by more creative means.

Fishing for mussels, Judy, P.J. and Goose find a mysterious box which contains walkie-talkies. With little thought to the legality of their salvage, they proceed to sell the radios. The problem is, there were destined for an armed gang who are planning a big payroll job and need them to communicate. They’re also on the Police band, so both cops and criminals are hunting them. Cue ‘mild peril’ and car chases.

Perhaps because it’s Australian, or maybe because it was the Eighties and they didn’t focus group things to death as often back then, there’s a refreshing coarseness to the film. The kids are self reliant and rebellious and in the end they benefit from these qualities, rather than having to learn important life lessons about how they must conform. There’s no cheesy romance sub plot, though they do cheekily play with it a couple of times. Trapped in a freshly dug grave, Goose tries to kiss Judy and, after dodging it, she tells him that she likes him just as much as P.J. but…. All the while unaware that the radio is on and P.J. can hear their conversation. Later, when jealousy looks like rearing its ugly head again, she comes out with the great line- “Two’s company, three…. Gets us talked about.”

Production values are quite high and the chases are well choreographed. The goons sent to recover the radios are buffoons but still manage, when needed, to be threatening, and the holes in the story aren’t big enough to care about.

I really enjoyed this film, and not just for nostalgic reasons. I don’t know how a modern tween or teen might feel about it. If you’ve got one lying around would you find out for me? Thanks.

You can buy BMX Bandits from Amazon.

Puch GTI turbo

Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX

How eighties is this? It’s a bike from my youth. I never had what I’d consider a proper BMX, but I’m sure I had a Raleigh Grifter for a while.

Harry turned up with this on Sunday. The first thing I did was get on it and try to pull some wheelies.

As far as I can tell all the components are original. There’s a little surface rust, particularly on the chromework, but it’s in really good condition considering what it is and its age. The only things missing are the padding on the top tube and handlebars. If you’d like it, it’s for sale.

Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX Puch GTI turbo vintage BMX

Action Sports Environmental Coalition

This is as well suited to How to Save the World for Free as here. The Action Sports Environmental Coalition “serves the action-sports community as the platform to educate and empower individuals, companies, and organizations regarding ecological sustainability and responsibility.”

We strive to bring this community the power to implement creative, forward-thinking environmental and social strategies. As this community grows, ASEC utilizes its collective assets to broaden the horizons of conscious consumption–paving the way for skateboarders, surfers, snowboarders, BMX bikers, and those passionately involved in the sports to achieve lasting sustainable benefits for individuals and community institutions. Like these sports, ecological sustainability is not just a trend–it is your chance to get involved and take action in a movement, and to leave behind those companies that only take from you, unconcerned about your needs, your body, your mind, and the fact that you do have a choice.

This is your chance to lead, follow or be left behind.

via Treehugger

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Storm of objections over skatepark

via Gene’s BMX

Suffolk, UK — 12/05/2005
RESIDENTS today hit out strongly at proposals to site a £120,000 skatepark close to homes – accusing leisure chiefs of backtracking over the project simply to get it done.

Families living near the site on Orwell Green, Felixstowe, say many measures to protect children using the park and neighbours who could suffer disturbance have now been removed.

Barry Farr, chairman of the Cavendish Park Residents’ Association, stressed residents were not against a skatepark – but felt Orwell Green was the wrong place for it.

“We all want the children and youths of this town to have things to do but not at the expense of the quality of life of other residents,” he said.

“The top site in the council’s own survey was Brackenbury Sports Centre – but this was dismissed because of ‘noise’.

“It’s surprising how this council can go to great lengths and expense to ‘overcome’ noise at Orwell Green but not at Brackenbury! Or maybe it has something to do with where certain councillors live?

“As part of the council’s survey the following were considered to be necessary in order to ensure the long term viability of the project – toilets, CCTV, car parking, security and supervision.

“The survey also stated that noise, litter and potential misuse were of major concern.

“Those things which once were considered necessary have now disappeared from the plan completely and those which caused concern have not been adequately dealt with. These
were part of the council’s own original list of requirements.”

The proposed site was in the middle of a residential area with some of the homes sheltered accommodation, where residents’ average age is 80.

“It will also be very close to a church which means the sanctity and solemnity of the sacraments held there, funerals, christenings, weddings and other services will be destroyed,” said Mr Farr.

Suffolk Coastal has announced proposals for a 20m by 30m skateboarding area below ground level, enclosed on two sides by landscaped bunds and surrounded by a footpath. It said scheme had additional measures to control noise to help resolve the fears of some residents.

Cabinet member Maggy Wilson said: “The challenge has been to balance the desire to keep noise and disturbance to a minimum while still providing a facility that is accessible and visible enough for young people to use safely.”

It's our £431m BMX park

via Gene’s BMX

Scotsman, United Kingdom — 12/03/2005
The twists and curves of the Scottish Parliament building have earned praise and ridicule in almost equal measure.

But one group who have been delighted with Catalan architect Enric Miralles extravagant design are the city’s young BMX bikers and skateboarders – who have adopted it as a play park.

They have discovered that the curved walls and landscaped gardens of the £431 million building are perfect for stunts and tricks.

The Holyrood site has become an alternative attraction to the popular skaters’ haunt of Bristo Square in the evenings.

Unfortunately the visitors have left their mark. The walls beside the main visitor entrance have become heavily marked with rubber from bike tyres which have also churned up the gardens.

The problems have arisen despite a police ban on skateboarding and cycling in the landscaped area, which was finally and belatedly opened in the summer.

Mark Thomson, spokesman for the Edinburgh Skatepark Project, said the walls were ideal for bikers performing tricks.

He said: “The last time I was down at Holyrood I noticed someone riding along the walls of the building with a pretty beefy bike. The marks are made when the tyres slide down the wall just before you jump off.”

The lack of a purpose-built skatepark near the city centre and problems at Bristo Square had driven skateboarders to Holyrood, according to Richard Roberts, of the campaign group Skateboard Scotland.

He said: “There’s no doubt some people are just avoiding Bristo Square now as they see it is a no-go area because of all the jakeys that are there now.

“The Scottish Parliament is a great place to go for a change of scene.”

Parliament chiefs said the marks on the building would be cleaned off later this month as part of an annual operation costing almost £750.

A parliament spokesman said: “The area in front of the parliament building is a public area.

“As long as there is no health and safety issue or risk of damage to the building, we would have no objection or reason to report anything to the police. To date skateboarders and BMX bikes have not been a major issue.”

Lothian and Borders Police said officers will move anyone skating or riding BMXs in the landscaped area outside the building because of “the potential for damage to be caused to the building and also noise disturbance”.

Bill Aitken, chief whip for the Scottish Tory group in the parliament, said: “On the one hand it is good to see people getting their value for money out of the parliament by using it for something like this.

“However, on a more serious note the parliament was not designed for this kind of thing and people should be skateboarding and riding BMX bikes where it is safe to do so.

“The last thing the taxpayer needs is for damage to be done through something like this.”

Rosemary Mann, convener of the Edinburgh Old Town Association, said: “I’m not surprised to hear about this at all. If you create a landscaped area like this then people are going to use it.”

Old Town councillor Bill Cunnigham said: “If there is a problem with this then it’s the parliament’s problem to try to sort out.”

It certainly sounds like the Scots are being more civilised about this than a British council would be.

A photo from the archives taken in Bristo Square a few years ago-