Dave Voelker, 1987

Woody Itson, 1987

Larry's Donuts, a donut shop located on Torrance Blvd. just east of Prospect Avenue became my 'white whale' while living in Redondo Beach. The spot, a bank with a dumpster box that eventually served as place to disaster for Dennis McCoy, had long since been demolished, but I had no knowledge of that and spent days looking, googling, searching for the damn place. Eventually, I wised up and asked Jason Pitschke @lotlifebmx (but I'm saving that story for the eventual book/magazine thing), so I won't go into detail here. It turns out, the spot is gone, but the adjacent buildings remain, and they were but a short bike ride away from my house on S. Helberta, basically right under my nose. I will detail out the day-long story I went through with Jason, but for now, I stumbled onto this photo of Woody Itson testing the 1987 Diamond Back Hot Streak at the banks, and was able to basically replace the 1987 version of the background Verizon building with the 2015 version of the building (look close in the bottom right corner). There are more trees now, and the original location of Larry's Donuts is now a parking lot for hospice care in the South Bay, but cancan nosepicks are still cool.

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Bob Haro, 1982

Even though we're less than a month from 2016, I can assure you that the photo on the right was taken in 2014. But it still feels like an eternity ago. My life has changed so much in such a short period of time that I'm left wondering why I was wandering around Torrance in the fall of 2014, looking for marked up curb cuts in office parks behind hospitals. The answer is this: more R.L. Osborn photos from the early '80s shot in front of the former Wizard Publications building at 3162 Kashiwa St. Also, I'm completely out of R.L. Osborn stories, so in this instance, I'll just talk about being sick the past few days and living a life punctuated by Benadryl. Or I'll just go take a nap instead. Seriously, I slept 10 and a half hours last night and it was glorious…

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RL Osborn, 1987

In 1986, Redline Bicycles dropped their top freestyle pro, R.L. Osborn. He went on to sign with a newish bike company from Rutherford, N.J. named General Bicycles, which reportedly paid him a salary of $100,000 a year. With connections to the magazines of the time (his dad was the publisher, his sister the photographer) and geographic proximity to the offices, R.L. did what he knew best and started promoting General Bicycles to the masses. But he never rested on his laurels or seemed to take advantage of his familial connections at the magazine — he rode, a lot, and progressed originally with the trends of the time, adjusting to rolling tricks, street riding and changing anti-uniform styles. In 1987, General unveiled their first run of complete bicycles, and of course, R.L. Osborn ensured that the lower end General R.L. Osborn Hustler Pro bike was featured in the March 1988 issue of Freestylin' Magazine. 'Bike test' is a loose term for the feature, because it's R.L., Chris Day and Craig Grasso all riding their personal bikes, with one unridden photo of the new complete bike taking up a page. Instead, it was three of the best riders of the time doing progressive moves on street and flatland with the likes of Spike Jonze and Windy Osborn behind the lens. Here, R.L. Osborn pulls a switch-footed handlebar grab backwards wheelie to fakie whiplash in the parking lot along Harbor Drive in Redondo Beach. I rode the same lot more times than I'd care to admit, and I always remembered that loose bike test whenever I passed that parking garage. General Bicycles didn't make it to 1989, and R.L. disappeared from BMX just a few years later. I still kinda miss them both.

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