Today we celebrate one of the most colorful riders in BMX: Rick Thorne. Rick Thorne was from St. Louis, Mo, and great friends with legend Dennis McCoy. In the summer of 1991, Mat and Rick were doing Sprocket Jockey shows and in the middle of a show Mat said ‘Hey, yo, Thorne – you wanna ride for my new bike company, called Hoffman Bikes?’. The rest was history.
Here is a little Q&A with Rick Thorne
What stands out to you as innovations from Hoffman Bikes and Mat Hoffman?
“Innovate is what Mat has done for the sport since he started riding, I’ve seen him do some of the gnarliest stuff in his old warehouse that only few people got to witness, like a barhop fake completely stretched 6 feet out on vert. Hoffman Bikes has innovated the sport as well with product, bikes, style, design, team, graphics and a positive image and attitude. When I rode for Hoffman Bikes for those 10 years (1992-2001) it was always an honor to be a part of such a rad brand, there was unity in the spirit of being proud to ride for such a rad guy and team. Hoffman Bikes and Mat gave the sport hope when it was down on its luck, to keep shredding, to keep it alive. Mat in my eyes saved the sport at a time of need, nothing but respect and love for Mat and Hoffman Bikes.”
How as Hoffman Bikes and Mat Hoffman contributed to BMX and helped shape the current bmx culture.
‘Mat contributed his life to bmx, inspiring people with his riding, running and creating BS contests, XGames, Sprocket Jockey shows, tours, events and Hoffman Bikes, and being a positive role model for the world. Mat as done a tremendous amount not only for me but many other riders by creating opportunities and sharing his success with them.’
What years did you ride for Hoffman Bikes and Any Stories you like to share?
‘I remember before Mat started Hoffman Bikes and the day he asked me to ride for him. We were doing Sprocket Jockey shows for 2 weeks at the Indianapolis State Fair in Noblesville, Indiana on the outside of the Deer Creek Amphitheater in June of 1991. I was getting ready to roll in for my run during the show and Mat said ‘Hey yo Thorne you wanna ride for my new bike company I’m starting called Hoffman Bikes?’ I was like uh? Me? YEAH!!! It was a moment I’ll never forget, I was so excited I think I did my ever best ‘state fair’ show run on the vert ramp ever, I was so hyped and honored. Such good vibes at that show and Mat did a run and blasted huge and when he popped out he said to me ‘somethings up with this bike’, (this was before he had his frame and forks done so he was not riding a Hoffman Bike yet)we looked and he had broke the downtube in
two, completely snapped, not attached together at all. When you sat on the bike it was like sitting on a titter totter, you would bottom out instantly just by sitting on the seat. I was like what the……..? He looked up and said ‘Man I can’t wait to have my own Hoffman Bikes done so I can stop breaking frames every other day.’ He finished off the show off with a broken downtube blasting huge 540’s and tailwhips, don’t ask me how, it was a trip. Later that night, me, Hoffman, McCoy, Swope and Eddie Roman went to see the Clash Of The Titans……….it was Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeath performing on the inside of the Deer Creek Amphitheater, I scored us front row seats by doing an early morning news show promoting our Sprocket Jockeys Shows. We showed up in a grip of clothes we bought from the thrift store the day before, we were all dressed as elderly people, we had security remove all the people in our seats cause we showed up a little late from doing our last demo. I remember Dennis McCoy had the best get up on and Eddie Roman had a bucket on his head wearing rubber gloves. Haha awesome! I remember Kerri King of Slayer double taking at us all like ‘who just let the circus take over the front row?’ Seating at that show was assigned, even the front row, it was all controlled by security. So just image us Sprocket Jockey’s rolling in looking like 80 year olds……hahahaha!!!!!!!
Exciting and honored is what riding for Mat was all about to me, it was fun, creative, brotherhood, good energy with good friends, and of course always pushing it and going big! I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to represent and experience Hoffman Bikes for 10 years, it’s such a rad brand and a rad chapter of my life. Thanks for the great moments and memories Mat, forever grateful!’