RL Osborn .... ?  RSS Feed

#1 2012-05-31 11:27pm

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

RL Osborn .... ?

I've noticed in recent years, a lot of old school BMXers and Freestylers coming out behind the curtain and showing up at BMX and old school freestyle events. That said, RL Osborn, in my opinion was without question one of the top BMX Frestylers of all time and his Father ( Bob OZ Osborn ) is considered the founding father of the sport not to mention the best alternative sports media publication to ever hit the stands - BMX Action Magazine. Last I heard RL was self employed in NorCal. From what I understand, he won an introduction in to the BMX Hall of Fame in San Diego some time back and was a No Show at the ceremony. Something tells me there is more to this story than what we already know. The bottom line: I am wondering why RL chooses to remain under the radar when he could possibly make a living just being who is: RL Osborn - One of The Greatest Extreme Sports Athletes of All Time and a Pioneer for The Sport of BMX Freestyle.

Comments ... ?

Last edited by oldschoolray (2012-05-31 11:33pm)


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#2 2012-05-31 11:40pm

I am the owl...
Pro MemberSinner
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-04-30
Posts: 21736
Bikes: 7
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

He wants nothing to do with nostalgia. What you saw in Joe Kid, is it....


I love dead people....

Offline

 

#3 2012-05-31 11:49pm

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

I never saw that movie, Joe Kid .... What did he say exactly ... ?

Thanks


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#4 2012-05-31 11:49pm

I am the owl...
Pro MemberSinner
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-04-30
Posts: 21736
Bikes: 7
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Ya gotta see it smile He didnt go into anything, just talked about back then


I love dead people....

Offline

 

#5 2012-05-31 11:50pm

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

... I'd like to know what was said.

Thanks a lot.


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#6 2012-05-31 11:54pm

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

It's my hunch that back in 1989 or 88(?), when the sport took a serious nose dive for no apparent reason, and his Dad terminating the original magazine name and maybe some people felt betrayed or upset. I can imagine a lot of work went in to building Wizard Publications. The magazine changed to ' GO '. I also remember around this time RL was roomates with Rodney Mullen in Redondo Beach ... How cool was that? The best from the two top extreme sports at the time living under the same roof.

I miss the 80s ....

Last edited by oldschoolray (2012-05-31 11:56pm)


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#7 2012-06-01 4:21am

dausacpa
Pro Member
From: Saratoga Springs NY
Registered: 2011-12-22
Posts: 30
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

He was ok in the movie. He talked about freestyle being a fad and how the factories terminated the pro riders contracts in the late 80's including his. He probably just moved on and did the best he could. I think he owns a carpet cleaning business in California now. Google it and you'll see.

His dad and sister were in the movie too. The whole magazine thing was a family to them but business is business and it was time to close shop and move on.


Paul D.
Saratoga Springs NY

Offline

 

#8 2012-06-01 5:00am

4130bigr
Intermediate
From: Adelaide, SA
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 408
Bikes: 6

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

I understand what your saying about him being the man!
but maybe he is concentrating on now, because he needs to.
I thought he was quite good in joe kid

Offline

 

#9 2012-06-01 6:00am

drfly
Death Rabbits
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2010-04-28
Posts: 600
Bikes: 5

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

it's been a while since i watched Joe Kid ...but i'm pretty sure it was rl in the movie that said he was young at the time and getting paid to ride...living the dream... he then says he had no idea the trend would end...on top of the world one minute and at the bottom the next...


“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather"

Bill Hicks

I take my wife everywhere,but she finds her way home.......

A day spent fishing cannot be deducted from a persons life.......

Offline

 

#10 2012-06-01 6:06am

ANTDOG
Pro MemberSite Advocate!
From: EDISON NJ
Registered: 2006-12-05
Posts: 8178
Bikes: 2
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

He wants nothing to do with nostalgia.

Owl is correct, for some reason he has no desire to be involved in the current trend.   THis is just my speculation , when you are making alot of money doing something you love and all of a sudden it is taken away, you feel like you got burned, and want nothing to with it anymore. Regardless El Cid will always be rememberd for his contributions.


I love bmx racing

Offline

 

#11 2012-06-01 6:20am

FreeEnterprise
Centurion Member
From: Oxford, OH-Raleigh NC bitd
Registered: 2006-10-13
Posts: 238
Bikes: 4

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

One of my all time best memories, was the Saturday morning I was sitting in my living room in Raleigh NC and there was a knock at the front door...

I got up and RL was standing there with a goofy grin on his face. "Wanna go ride?" he asked... I was like "HECK YEAH!!!". It was the first time I met him, and I couldn't believe he was knocking on my front door!...

My good friend Jon Byers (who started Eastern bikes) was riding for him on Bully at the time, and RL, Perry Mervar, and Jon were getting ready to leave town to start the Bully Tour (this was 1990). We spent the day riding all over Raleigh, flatlanding, street riding, hit the U jump, and even drove around asking people on the campus of NC state if they knew where "water street" was located...

When they said, "No" we would soak them with super soaker squirt guns we bought for the day of fun. I'll never forget shoving RL and the other guys trying to get to the gas station bathroom sinks first so we could fill our squirt guns.

What a day...

RL is a great guy... He even gave me a set of the original prototype Hammer shin pads for my work filming Jons part of the Bully slow ride video. I wish I had kept my original Bully...

Offline

 

#12 2012-06-01 6:33am

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

If you look back at the sport of BMX Freestyle during it's peak of the mid 80s, RL Osborn was one of the top Pros if not the top guy. Fiola was popular and Dominguez was a phenomenon, but RL was the all around Pro that did everything amazingly good and he had the good fortune of having a family in the business producing the best media outlet available at that time - BMX Action Magazine. I've done research and from what I’ve learned RL is the highest paid Pro BMX Freestyler of all time when he signed the General contract. Living with Rodney Mullen near the Beach in Redondo ... Wow, that's living the dream all of us had at that time. From what I understand he was paid over $300k annually from General not including smaller sponsors, extra bonuses and his paid tenure as Captain of BMXA Trick Team.

Even today, top Pros don't make what they did back then and I think RL's tenure in the sport was the biggest monetary wise, and I think he was simply the best all around BMX Freestyler of all time. He did not get the highest air like Fiola or Dominguez nor was he Martin Aparijo on the ground … but he simply did everything damn good.

I imagine the scene in 88 - 89 when BMX Freestyle took a big turn south then RL’s father's magazine closed and became ‘ GO ‘ .... On top of the world since 1978 then BAM! Contracts terminated, no unions and no national player reps or groups looking out for Riders like today's NFL, MLB and NBA. Back then BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle Pros had no representation. If you got hurt - you got cut, and it could be for no reason. Bike manufacturers had all the power and they could do whatever they wanted.

I have nothing to gain by posting this and I've never met RL or any of the Osborn family but I think they did more for the sport of BMX than any other entity. That magazine - BMX Action was simply a phenomenal effort and a work of art. Think about it ... How many magazines back then had that kind beautiful imagery and innovative text? The text, the artwork, the photographs by Bob Osborn and the general way that magazine was produced ... Amazing. Just amazing …

RL, Mike Buff, Haro, Fiola, Dominguez, Donovan Ritter, Jeff Watson, ( I know I've left out many more ... ) etc ... Those guys were pioneers.

Simply put, the sport of BMX Freestyle would nothing today without those guys and their contributions.

Last edited by oldschoolray (2012-06-01 6:49am)


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#13 2012-06-01 8:31am

LIFE BEHIND BARS
Banned
From: Saint Petersburg, FL
Registered: 2012-01-06
Posts: 1946

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Doesn't he own a carpet cleaning company now?

Offline

 

#14 2012-06-01 8:39am

I am the owl...
Pro MemberSinner
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-04-30
Posts: 21736
Bikes: 7
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

LIFE BEHIND BARS wrote:

Doesn't he own a carpet cleaning company now?

That was already said up above... yes


I love dead people....

Offline

 

#15 2012-06-01 8:55am

kmpap
Pro Member
From: Bronx, NY
Registered: 2007-08-21
Posts: 2316
Bikes: 16
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Something to consider, which I've read in interviews (and also heard), is that at heart RL is an entrepreneur. 

He loved BMX but also saw it as a means to build a business - a franchise.  We're all familiar with the story of how, as a kid, he wanted to make $500 on a race weekend selling stickers - but wound up making $1,000 (or something like that).  He ran the BMXA Trick Team - a familiar name but an independent entity from the mag.  He started Hammer.  He started Bully - then grew tired of the b.s. involved in the bike biz.  Even when he was still riding for Redline he was buying property.  I remember reading something he said, which went along the lines of "If I hadn't found BMX, I would have done something else (in the entrenpreneurial spirit)".

I think he's healthily moved on, honestly.  I was shocked to read that he kept practically nothing from his BMX days except a few items (a JT helmet, for instance), and even these things he donated last year to the Bicycle Source auction for that sick little dude (can't remember his name).

Offline

 

#16 2012-06-01 8:57am

Jon1971
"100 Flavors of Fun"...
From: Philly-ish
Registered: 2010-07-25
Posts: 2965
Bikes: 3
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

I'll try to find it again, but there's an interview with RL that was done sometime in the 2000s and he just came off sounding really bitter about his BMX days. It seemed (to me) like once he started Bully and was dealing with a whole different side of the industry, he just got really let down by what he saw. I also think, from reading a Vic Murphy interview, that RL had a real problem adapting to the whole anti- stance that came along when street riding began to get big. He talks about showing up at a photoshoot and RL telling him what clothes to wear and being mad he'd painted his bike and what not.

As an overall picture, it seemed like you had this guy who was trying to run a company at the same time he was trying to be one of the guys, and maybe as a result he wasn't treated as an equal by the riders or by the people his company had to make deals with (distributors, welders, whoever) and by the time he sold everything off, he decided he didn't want anything to do with bikes any more. This is purely my impression, please don't go saying that RL said this.

I'm gonna go look for those interviews, I'll add links if I can find them.


Scooters are just like bikes for guys who want to feel the wind in their vagina.

Do I owe you feedback? Please remind me via PM and I'll take care of it.

Offline

 

#17 2012-06-01 9:01am

Gustafa
Expert
From: Memphis, TN
Registered: 2011-06-20
Posts: 874
Bikes: 2
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

If you read the December 88 issue of Freestylin', you see RL kind of already checking out. He had Hammer rolling as a business and freestyle was still moving, just starting the decent - you could see money + my own business and a bit of burnout, no wonder he flamed out some.

Parts of that article read like he really didnt care anymore.

Offline

 

#18 2012-06-01 9:01am

Jon1971
"100 Flavors of Fun"...
From: Philly-ish
Registered: 2010-07-25
Posts: 2965
Bikes: 3
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Here's the RL interview (from 2004):
http://bmxsociety.com/topic/40845-frees … born-2004/

Here's a snippet from the Vic Murphy one, read the entry for 1990, although it's from a 2003 interview:
http://www.23mag.com/gens/murphy.htm


Scooters are just like bikes for guys who want to feel the wind in their vagina.

Do I owe you feedback? Please remind me via PM and I'll take care of it.

Offline

 

#19 2012-06-01 9:01am

ghostrider
Who's Ron Wilkerson?
From: Webster, NY
Registered: 2008-09-15
Posts: 1582
Bikes: 16

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

RL is the Axl Rose of freestyle smile (<---- please note the smile)

Last edited by ghostrider (2012-06-01 9:03am)


I am not Ron Wilkerson!

Offline

 

#20 2012-06-01 9:33am

Gustafa
Expert
From: Memphis, TN
Registered: 2011-06-20
Posts: 874
Bikes: 2
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Where does one view the "Joe Kid" movie? Havent seen that one yet...

Offline

 

#21 2012-06-01 9:45am

ghostrider
Who's Ron Wilkerson?
From: Webster, NY
Registered: 2008-09-15
Posts: 1582
Bikes: 16

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

Gustafa wrote:

Where does one view the "Joe Kid" movie? Havent seen that one yet...

have to buy the DVD.  it's on TV every once in a while.  get it, worth the $20


I am not Ron Wilkerson!

Offline

 

#22 2012-06-01 10:09am

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

I don't beleive that. RL was in this from the beginning, a young kid. From like 13 years old up to almost 30 years of age ....  There's more to the story about the falling out of his Dad's magazine. I'd like to know what happened ....


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#23 2012-06-01 10:16am

TosaFreestyler70
Intermediate
From: New Berlin, WI
Registered: 2012-01-02
Posts: 259

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

I'd like to know what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa, if the moon landing was real, the real reason behind "NEW" Coke, who shot J.R. (skip that) etc..... roll

RL has his reasons, let his legacy live on in the memories he gave us. If he decides to let the world in he will. Speculating there is more behind it.... let it go.  big_smile


Always on the lookout for 85-88 Haro Sport F/F in survivor condition
Looking for Peregrine HP 48's or Peregrine Super Pro 48's

Offline

 

#24 2012-06-01 10:24am

oldschoolray
Expert
From: FLORIDA
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 587
Website

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

There is a lot more to what happened .... We're talking about the #1 magazine and #1 Freestyle Pro ( at that time ).


Peace / Love / Happiness

Offline

 

#25 2012-06-01 10:49am

Capt. Nemo
Pro MemberSE Racing Addict
From: Racine, WI
Registered: 2006-01-04
Posts: 3972
Bikes: 49
For Sale

Re: RL Osborn .... ?

oldschoolray wrote:

There is a lot more to what happened .... We're talking about the #1 magazine and #1 Freestyle Pro ( at that time ).

Why not just call his business to come clean your carpets, and while he is there, he will recruit your into is cult, and THEN you will have all the info you desire...

Honestly, what frankin' difference does it make? The world moved on in the late 80's, and so did he. The guy was in his mid 20's and grew up. He was old guard, and it was time for new blood. The scene changed, and he probably decided so should he.


The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "save us"...

And I'll look down and whisper "no".

Offline

 

Board footer