In 2009, the legendary Haro Bikes team of the 1980s, including Ron Wilkerson, Brian Blyther, Mike Dominguez and Dave Nourie, began to reunite for demos at the BMX Worlds each summer in Germany. Separate from Haro, the riders, who were all still connected to BMX in one form or another, began to embrace the legacy they had created during their tenure as top BMX freestyle pros. And an older generation of BMXers emerged to welcome this nostalgic walk down BMX memory lane. (Can I say that without sounding silly? I don't think so, so excuse me this one time.)
Last year, around the 30th anniversary of the Haro Freestyler, the first BMX frame designed to accommodate freestyle riding, Haro re-produced a limited run of US-made Freestyler frame and forks, and began to embrace their heritage as the brand that pioneered BMX freestyle bicycles. It was long overdue, but the brand had at least come to recognize what they had started all those years ago.
According to Haro's Joe Hawk, "I'm a bit ashamed to say that Haro had little to do with the success of the 2009 demo and all of the exposure that it received. It was a bit of a wake up call, albeit a slow one for the company. We completely underestimated size and importance of the collector market as well as the undercurrent of love for this brand, and its creator Bob Haro."
This week, Haro continues to embrace their legacy with the release of The Rise of BMX Freestyle, a 144-page hardback book written for Haro Bikes in 2012 by English writer and BMX historian Dom Phipps. The book tracks the earliest period of the Haro Bikes story, from 1980 through 1986, with insights from founder Bob Haro, and a written perspective from current Haro CEO Joe Hawk, who helped the brand embrace their deep roots within the BMX culture.
The official release of the book is tonight at The Bicycle Source in Anaheim, Calif., featuring over 20 former Haro team riders, book signings, and a live raffle of a single digit serial number Haro 30th Anniversary Freestyler frame and fork kit. The event is free to attend and open to all.
To learn more about the heritage of the Haro Bikes brand, and to purchase a copy of The Rise of BMX Freestyle, check the Haro Bikes website.