Pete Augustin, 1987

On the left is Pete Augustin tire bonking the end of a rail atop the International Pier in Redondo Beach in late 1987 shot by Spike Jonze, and my photo on the right from the same location in mid-September of 2015. Pete Augustin was/is an enigma to me. After spotting the first photos of him in Freestylin' Magazine in 1986, I could sense there was something different about his persona and his riding. He wasn't about to stand in line, wear a uniform and do the trendy tricks of the time. He shaved his head and he had tattoos. He seemed to have trouble keeping bike sponsors, he didn't do great in contests, and when the first street competition finally arrived in early 1988, he was quoted as saying, 'This is not really street — it's an obstacle contest.' I get the feeling he was more at home cruising the streets, jumping curbs, hitting wallrides and exploring the streets of Hermosa and Redondo on whatever bike he could get his hands on. And because of that approach, he became one of the first true street riders without having to put a label on himself, pushing BMX in to a more organic place, away from quarterpipes, uniforms and definitions. Also, he's doing a friggin tire bonk on a rail in 1987 — a trick that most people can't comprehend even now.

A photo posted by Brian Tunney (@briantunney) on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *