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R.I.P. Ron Mackler.


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#1
sodbuster

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Just heard through the BMX grapevine that Ron Mackler Passed away recently. His funeral was today. for those who do not know the name. He organized the first BMX races at Palms park back around 1969.

God speed good sir and thank you.

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#2
PlanetX

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That's yet another name from the early days I never heard of.

R.I.P.

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#3
RipVanWinkle

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Very sad news. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

#4
sodbuster

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PK and TL in their own words.





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#5
bmx2112

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Sad news indeed, RIP Ron.

#6
1966bmx

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wow that truly sucks . a real pioneer for bmx . R.I.P
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#7
getset

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R.I.P. sad news indeed.

#8
Old School PK

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Hey guys I ended up going to the funeral and learning more about Ron Mackler. It seems the consistent thread throughout his life was that he was always trying to help steer young people to the right path of life. I was one for sure as if he wouldn't have came upon me and my friends hanging out on our bikes before school who knows how long it would have been before I discovered BMX racing.
I ended up speaking at his funeral and passed on all the well wishes from riders who had the priveledge of racing at his track, and having him yell "peel out" while waving his flashlight on the starting line.
Ron Mackler was a good man who died way too young (he was 57). He had a brain tumour that was discovered a couple of years ago but by that time it was too late. He fought it but it got the best of him earlier this week. RIP my friend Ron.

#9
reilley1

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Just 57? Never realized he was that young. When you are a kid, everyone looks older.


Godspeed and thanks for you and Rich Lee did for the sport.

#10
thumperpilot

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Thanks for the update P.K. Our sport has lost another one way to young. R.I.P. Ron, you will be missed.
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#11
S.Brothers

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Sorry to hear of his passing. Too young, indeed.

#12
Johnny Johnson

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Condolences to Ron Mackler's family and friends.
The sport of BMX has people like him that made it
so much fun and put forth the effort to help.

#13
sodbuster

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Here is a link to an excerpt from a cool little book called The World of BMX. A good (but short) read.

My link

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#14
GARY THE FLYING FONG

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Just heard through the BMX grapevine that Ron Mackler Passed away recently. His funeral was today. for those who do not know the name. He organized the first BMX races at Palms park back around 1969.

God speed good sir and thank you.


I remember one time we all piled into Ron's van and he sang songs (he didn't have a radio) as he drove us to Indian Dunes. Gosh what a nice man. Here's what I remember from Palms: (I was Gary "The Flying" Fong - one of Manny's Mudsuckers, Plate #52)

We'd be on the concrete line before the asphalt by the sandbox. We'd all line up, and Ron had a flashlight. He'd yell, "Peel out!" and he'd wave that flashlight back and forth real fast, and we'd jam into the first turn, a steep right onto some worn out grass. There would be a small left berm wrapping around a tree (180 degrees) then a fast right similar berm, up a small hill, then it went downhill. It was completely dark at this point, and there was this 3' jump over a landscaping wall onto a flat area. We'd then have a hill climb (we'd be winded by then) onto the concrete area, and then a right hand turn back onto the flat concrete area back to the finish line.

I should draw a diagram. That would be cool!

We were called Manny's mudsuckers because our frames were painted in terra-cotta primer. My teammates were Jim Rios, Richard Cantrell, and someone else, or two.

Gary Fong, #52

#15
RipVanWinkle

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Welcome to the site, Gary. I would like to see a diagram and anything else you might have. What years are we talking?

palms_park.jpg
This it?

#16
S.Brothers

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Welcome, Gary. Cool story.

:cheers:

#17
GARY THE FLYING FONG

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Welcome to the site, Gary. I would like to see a diagram and anything else you might have. What years are we talking?

palms_park.jpg
This it?


YES! This is it! It was 1973 I believe. I was a Jr. Expert and I think when you turned 14 you were in the Expert class? Gosh I'm so bummed Ron died. Do you know I wrote about him in my book? My book is in the bookstore near you (borders, barnes and noble) here's the amazon link. I wrote fondly about Ron. He did such a great job about teaching about SPORTSMANSHIP. Do you remember how he would have a sportsmanship trophy? What a wonderful, caring man he was.

http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/1933771917

So glad to have found this site. What ever happened to the photographer, scott something, from BMX news? They did an article on me because I did a thing showing how I welded my frame from a schwinn stingray to a straight-bar thing. I'd love to get that article!

Gary

#18
sodbuster

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So glad to have found this site. What ever happened to the photographer, scott something, from BMX news? They did an article on me because I did a thing showing how I welded my frame from a schwinn stingray to a straight-bar thing. I'd love to get that article!

Gary


Gary

Welcome to the site. just to let you know The majority of the old BMX news issues have been converted to a digital format and available on DVD. They are available through this link I've provided. Click here! Once again welcome to the site.Posted Image

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#19
RipVanWinkle

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Cool stuff, Gary. Took a look at a preview of your book.
I'm looking through the BMX News issues to see if I can find you inside. Most of these mags are from 1974 and forward so 1973 information is pretty hard to find. In 1974 PK was racing Jr. Expert I believe. 12-14.

I never raced or went to Palms, I was 12 and racing at Soledad and other Valley tracks in 1973. Can you save that picture I posted above and draw the track layout over the top? How about posting all or part of the "Mudsuckers" chapter from your book? Any other names, dates, photos, bike setup, etc. would be awesome.

#20
GARY THE FLYING FONG

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Cool stuff, Gary. Took a look at a preview of your book.
I'm looking through the BMX News issues to see if I can find you inside. Most of these mags are from 1974 and forward so 1973 information is pretty hard to find. In 1974 PK was racing Jr. Expert I believe. 12-14.

I never raced or went to Palms, I was 12 and racing at Soledad and other Valley tracks in 1973. Can you save that picture I posted above and draw the track layout over the top? How about posting all or part of the "Mudsuckers" chapter from your book? Any other names, dates, photos, bike setup, etc. would be awesome.


OK traveling right now. Yes I remember Perry Kramer. As soon as I get to a scanner I'll do the map - also, I'm so curious now that since I live in L.A. during the winters, I'll go over and walk the track. That will be fun. I'll try to scan the "Mudsuckers" chapter from the book too. Manny Jardine owned Manny's Cyclery, it was on Westchester on Sepulveda (right now it's a "Hairvisions" salon). The mudsuckers were hardtails, and Manny welded custom frames with the sprocket box really high so he could put long derailler crank arms for more torque, and a slightly smaller front sprocket so we could get fast off the line. On long tracks, we'd have a standard sprocket but we could still get off the line.

Do any of you remember that South Bay BMX park where we would do Grand-Prix style starts? I think it was Redondo. We would have to "run" to our bikes for the start. It was a long track compared to Palms, I think 1/4 mile.




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