../people/Brett Downs

Sources: www.vintagebmx.com, www.notfreestylin.com, Jeff Slavik and Chris Ard interview, www.bmxfreestyler.com, www.rampupthejawn.net, www.global-flat.com, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1967 DOB: august 14, 1967
early years Brett, www.vintagebmx.com, january 2006: I lived on a street lined with giant oak trees that pushed up the sidwalk sections to make jumps. Quickly I learned that if I went fast enough I could pop my front wheel up. Jumping them came next. then I realized I could put a board on a cinder block. 1972. By '75 I had knocked myself out and was jumping ramps, stairs and dirt every day. By 80 I thought I was done as there was nothing else to do. In 81 I learned about BMX, By 82/83 I started doing tricks.

Brett, www.vintagebmx.com, october 2004: I started jumping when I was five in '72 and didn't know about BMX until '82 when a friend gave me a box of BMXA's that his dad was going to make him throw out. I learned 3 years worth of mags in a week and was hooked.
1984 Plywood Hoods
Brett, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2004: Back in '84 Mike Daily, Brian Peters and I were in the school cafeteria with the other BMX misfits and decided to start a team. Half the guys would  race and the other half would do tricks. Mike was a racer and Brian had one of the only quarter pipes in York. I had never raced but could do basic tricks and jump anything that popped up in front of me. Eventually, the racing side of it never came to be so we just did tricks. It was easier than going to the track. Mike had the ambition and wanted to do shows. He was and will always be the Captain of the team. Kevin Jones, Mark Eaton and Dale Mitzel went to a different school but were quickly added to the team because they were great riders and good friends.
Brett, www.global-flat.com, december 2006: I always rode flatland but it was weird back in the day to ride with Kevin and Eaton. While everyone was biting their tricks, I was riding next to them and felt weird if I was trying one of their tricks too, so my flatland was pretty weak. Later they told me that they wouldn’t have cared. Damn!
1985 March 23, 1985 was the date of the first Plywood Hoods show in York, PA.

No footed can-can and nothing.
Brett, february 2005: One day in 1985, Kevin Jones was following me in the skatepark doing whatever I did. I tried to stump him doing every jump I could think of. He did them all including a no footed can-can and a nothing. This was about a month after Freestylin' showed a picture of Dominguez doing the first no footed can-can. We might have been the first to do those two tricks on jumps but I have no verification.
1986 Reading skatepark.
Brett, february 2005: Reading skatepark in Pennsylvania killed nearly all the Hoods. Mike Daily got a hip pointer and was on crutches for a month. Kevin got about 30 stitches in his arm when his bars snapped. I broke my leg there. Eaton broke his hand there and got a concussion.
1987 Aggrorag.
Brett Downs ,www.notfreestylin.com: Back in the 1980?s websites were called "zines". They were mini-magazines put out by riders to represent their scene or viewpoint. Perhaps the most famous of these was one called Aggro Rag. While most zines were about ten pages, Aggro Rag was over fifty and full color. I used to work on the Rag with my buddy, Mike Daily.

Gary Pollack.
Brett, february 2005: A young Gary Pollak used to ride goofy footed when he did lookbacks and one footed inverts on ramps. He did it because he ran a coaster brake and could tweak the tricks better.
1988 1988 Skyway tour.
Brett, february 2005: Craig Campbell told me he only crashed once all summer. He was trying a 540 over a 6 foot gat between two quarter pipes. He got up and pulled it the second time. Amazing that he could tour all year and only fall once.
1992 Brett, www.global-flat.com, december 2006: In January of 92 Kevin Jones asked me if I wanted to go to New York City with him to film a music video. We rode in a tiny sound stage and he could do so many tricks in an area the size of a bedroom that I just felt dumb. Then we rode out on the streets following a camera truck and Kevin did hang fives through mid-town traffic. I was stoked on his ability but also in that he got the chance to do cool things because he was a good flatland rider. Flatland opened a lot of doors for me but it also has been a total blast to learn. I’ll be riding flatland for as long as I can ride a bike.
1993 Hoffman Bikes Big Daddy.
Brett, www.global-flat.com, december 2006: Kevin Jones and I drew up the Big Daddy on his parent’s pool table. The design was pretty much 50/50. I wanted to make a few updated versions and though Kevin said he didn't mind, some other issues come up which prevented it. I have one built up and about 3 more. For those of you that would love an updated Big Daddy all I can say is it could happen ?
1998 Brett, www.vintagebmx.com, october 2004: I raced only once in '98. They put me in 18 and over X, rather than the oldest novice class I requested. I got third out of a five man gate and nearly pushed my friend over a berm, wanting to get the full race experience. Oh yeah, I was racing with a coaster brake on a Trek freestyle bike (Gotham City Daredevils - thanks Byron).
2000 Brett Downs is holding the York 2000 jam.
2001 11th place stuntboy flat @ 2001 CFB round 3
Expert flat was stacked with talent from all over the country. Plywood Hood Brett Downs showed up on a We the People Pony, with Rooftop shoes, to nab 11th place in qualifying. Yes, most people know Brett for his backflips, but he also still rides Flat, complete with a coaster brake and lots of stylish footwork.

Brett, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2004: I broke my leg for the second time in November of 2000.  I think I was riding great at that point on both ramps and at flatland.  That injury has slowed me down because my ankle can't take another break so I try to be smoother and not so ballsy.  My crazy bits days are behind me but I still improve everyday I ride.  It's tough knowing you can do things and not doing them because you can't afford to get hurt anymore.
2004 Brett, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2004: These days I am a Mom.  We had twins in March so I am at home while my wife works.  I'll be doing that for a couple more years when our oldest goes into first grade and then go back to my own carpentry business. I do shows for the Freecycle stunt team (freecycle.us) and any other teams that need a rider in the area.  I am one of the rare flatlanders but I can also fill in on ramps.  I try to ride FDR skatepark a couple of times a month and I ride flat a few times a week.  I ride trails once a year and go to Woodward every couple of months.  I still go ride with Kevin and Leif in York whenever I can and have a great bunch of guys (16-24 years old) that I ride with at home. Otherwise, I am chasing my son, Henry, on his big wheel at the playground-I have to let him win. I don't have any official sponsors but I'd like to thank Odyssey for keeping the Plywood Hoods well stocked in goodies that actually work well and are strong.  I'd also like to thank Kink, FBM, Harvest, Little Devil, Woodward, Contortion bars, Snafu, and Cyclesonic bike shop for helping me with deals or hooking me up.
2005 Interview in Ride BMX UK august 2005. Ride BMX UK
2006 Interview on www.global-flat.com december 2006
Brett: I am spending the summer teaching dirt jumping and flatland at a summer camp near me. I have three kids who I spend a lot of time with. I ride flatland and skatepark every week. I spent the last two years staying at home after my wife had twins. I don't know what I’ll do after my summer job is over. I just keep trying to progress and learn new stuff while avoiding injuries and boredom.
2007 Woodward march 2007.

Brett, september 2007: I’m still riding all the time and have taken up BMX racing as well.  Just getting all I can from the bmx experience
2012 Brett Downs, www.youtube.com, april 2012: At 44 years old I wanted to put something together for my friends. This stuff is mostly recent and is an example of daily riding. I see very few videos with people mixing up riding styles that I wanted to show that one person can ride Flat, Street, Vert or Park. Didn't have time to get to the dirt jumps so that will have to be another time. Don't think of this as old school or some middle aged kook. I'm just a rider, same as you. Hope you enjoy the vibe and it makes you want to ride your bike. Just ride-that's the bottom line.