We normally don't do many birthday blogs in here, but I feel as if this warrants some attention. Fit Bike Co./Fox Racing pro Brian Foster turns 40 today, and to anyone that's been paying attention for the past thirty years or so ("BF" got his first sponsor, JF&S Plumbing in 1982), Foster has pioneered a legendary path through BMX that started within racing and ultimately transitioned into street, park and trail riding.
Riders reaching the age of 40 and retaining their status as a pro is nothing new in BMX. (This week at X Games, Jamie Bestwick, 40, is going for his sixth straight gold medal in vert), but no one in the history of BMX has achieved what Brian Foster has on a BMX bike. Foster turned pro on the race scene in September of 1991, and won his first pro race as an A pro at the NBL Christmas Classic in December of 1991. Less than a year later, Foster turned AA pro and proceeded to enjoy a successful race career for several years with support from Cyclecraft and Hyper.
But his aspirations were leading him away from the race scene. By 1995, Foster was ranked national number three in the NBL (National Bicycle League) for racing, but was also starting to explore the newfound discipline of dirt jumping competitions. Foster also joined the newly formed Schwinn/Airwalk team, and had a line of signature model bikes from Schwinn, as well as one of the first signature model BMX shoes from Airwalk (with his brother Alan, dubbed the Foster Bros. shoe.)
By 1998, Brian Foster was invited to compete in the dirt field at X Games in San Diego, Calif. He won the gold medal in a Schwinn race uniform. By 2001, the X Games had added a Downhill BMX discipline, which showcased a Supercross-style BMX race down the side of a hill at Woodward West in Tehachapi, Calif. Foster's race skills and dirt jumping skills won him a silver medal in the category.
That same year, Foster retired from racing, citing a lack of fun. He also parted ways with Schwinn and joined the newly formed Fit Bike Co. team. Now riding a bike more suited for trails and skatepark riding than racing, Brian Foster began his eventual transition into street, park and trail riding. Because of his vast experience on a BMX bike, Foster was able to learn fast. Suddenly, the BMX racer that won X Games BMX Dirt gold was pulling abubacas on sub boxes and qualifying into the finals at Backyard and Metro Jams.
BF's second incarnation as a BMX pro had arrived. And for the past decade, Brian Foster's name has become synonymous with incredible park transfers (BF won Best Trick at the Nike Pool event in 2011), East Coast trail riding and even bunnyhopping rails on street missions for Red Bull videos.
Within the all-encompassing world of BMX, no other rider has been able to successfully maintain a career that has spanned over thirty years and crossed over from professional racing to pro park, street and trail riding. Now age 40, BF's BMX career is far from done. In the past, I've asked BF about his plans once he feels that his riding days are over, and he's humbly replied, "Probably packing boxes in the warehouse at S&M Bikes."
For all of his successes, Brian Foster remains as grounded as they come within BMX. Happy 40th birthday to a true BMX legend.