|1967||DOB: may 12, 1967|
Kevin grew up in York, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles southeast of Harrisburg and about 80 miles west of Philadelphia. It's a town of around 40.000 people and many of the homes and buildings date back to the 1700s. The town looks ancient. Nice, but old.
|early years||FIRST RIDING EXPERIENCES.
Kevin Jones: In the late 70's. I started skating and bike riding. That was when I was in elementary school in good old York, Pennsylvania. My first riding experiences were with dirt jumps. I was like ten or eleven.
Kevin raced BMX for one month in 1982. He won most of his races. but he liked jumping more than racing, so he quit.
Kevin: I started riding Thunderdome cement skatepark and gone there pretty steadily for like five years.
Kevin had bunnyhopped 39 inches in 1982.
Kevin got into breakdancing around 1983, He was "awesome" by all accounts, capable of doing as many as 30 consecutive head spins before coming down. He'd sometimes stash a book in his wristband before he started spinning on his head and then pull out the book while going around and pretend to read it as he worked his legs to keep spinning. He and his breakdancing friends called themselves the Cardboard Lords. The members were Kevin, Mark Eaton, Mike Daily, Jamie McKulik and Dale Mitzel.
By April 1985, the Cardboard Lords had won all the big local competitions including a York Cable show called "The Great York Talent Hunt" and the overall buzz of breakdancing had faded. All the Cardboard Lords rode bikes too and as the breakdancing craze passed, the guys got back into riding their bikes more. Around the same time, Kevin and Mark bumped into an old BMX friend named Mike Daily. Mike Daily had a freestyle team called the Plywood Hoods. Mike had a freestyle bike with all the modifications like pegs, potts mod, rotor, etc. and was showing them some trick that could be done with these new mods. Kevin was really impressed and immediately ordered a lavender Hutch Trick Star.
Kevin Jones, Ride BMX UK august 2005: I was a senior in high school and Daily had come back from California, on a vacation or whatever and he had seen all the tricks. He was all about it at the time, really into the whole scene, and he showed up with forkstanders and pegs. I was seriously into breaking, but my mind was still into riding, you know, jumping and thinking about stuff. Break-dancing took up eight hours of my day, just straight practice. It was just like riding. Then when I saw the pegs that was it. It was almost like something I had been waiting for, something I had wanted all along, something different to do on the bike. Because the jumping, you know, it got to be too much the same. The pegs opened up all the doors in my mind. I was thinking, 'Oh my God. You can stand there and do shit.' Daily came back and he was showing me. He couldn't do the stuff, but he could do a little bit, like side-glides, a little bit of hopping, but he was telling me about all this shit, like what Dizz Hicks was doing. Apparently he had been to a contest and seen all of these styles, like crazy, fast styles and hopping and flipping the bike around, and instantly I thought, Yeah, that's what I'm doing.' It took me maybe two seconds to realise that's what I was going to do, And pretty much that day was the end of break-dancing for me.
Two months later, The Cardboard Lords disbanded. Jake and "Bee" started skateboarding and Kevin Jones, Mark W, Dale, Mark Eaton, and Jamie McKulic got back into BMX and started freestylin. Soon after, The Plywood Hoods; Mike Daily, Brett Downs and Brian Peters adopted these ex-breakdancer / riders onto their team.
FIRST TRICKS WITH PEGS.
Kevin Jones, Ride BMX UK august 2005: The first trick I learned with pegs was probably the fork wheelie, just kicking the tyre going backwards. That took a couple of seconds. And then the side glide, front peg hops then to the fork whips, back peg hops, cherrypickers. I went right at it.
White Hutch trickstar with green Skyway tuffs.
Kevin Jones, www.facebook.com, february 2012: My Trickstar was actually my street/ramp/dirt/skatepark bike then... I had a CW California freestyler for my flatland bike.
1986 AFA MASTERS FINALS VELODROME.
11th place 16 and over expert flatland @ 1986 AFA Masters Finals, Dominguez Hills Velodrome, Compton, California, november 1986.
wikipedia.org, november 2011: In November, 1986, Jones entered the AFA Veladrome Finals as an expert. He turned heads with some new innovative tricks like the "Hang glider Boomerang", the "Chicken Hook Switch", and the "Insanity Roll".
Kevin Jones: My first good trick was called an uptight wheelie. They call it a crank-a-roni now. I did it for the first time at the '86 Velodrome.
|1987||1987 AFA MASTERS ROUND 3 TEXAS.
2nd place 19 and over expert flatland.
Kevin traveled to Austin. Texas, for the AFA Masters. To make a long story short, he blew the minds of almost everyone who saw him, previewing such tricks as the trolley, the locomotive and the steamroller, moves which had never been seen before in AFA Masters competition. Rick Motiterno, the reigning star of the 19 & Over Flatland class, rode an incredible routine of difficult tricks and did so flawlessly. The judges gave Rick the win and Kevin second. Many in the crowd called it a rip-off and booed the decision. It was hardly a total loss, however. Skyway team manager Ron Haro had seen enough. In his opinion. Kevin was the first rider he'd seen who looked as though he could someday beat the likes of Martin Aparijo, R.L. Osborn and Dennis McCoy. Skyway signed him to the team.
Kevin Jones has been added to the Skyway team.
1st place 19 and over expert flatland @ 1987 AFA Masters round 5, Wayne, New Jersey.
Kevin Jones won the class in Moliterno's absence, but he did so with a mistake-riddled run that was far short of what he is capable of doing. Jones at first only tied for first with up and-comer Greg Flowers of the Kuwahara team. Jones finally showed how good he was to win the runoff, and Flowers ended up with second place.
1st place 19 and over expert flatland @ 1987 AFA Masters finals, Carson, CA.
If Jones impressed people in Austin, Texas, he amazed people in Carson, California, several months later. His routine at the Velodrome in the Finals of the AFA Masters series was incredible. He put together impossible tricks and even turned his bike upside down while riding a wheelie from the rear pegs (a trick he calls the dump truck), and he never touched the ground at all. It was a run that blew away every other run of the day. including the pros. Kevin seemed to spend half his time riding with the bike upside down and the rest of the time riding with the bike right-side up, and he did so on one wheel much of the time. He was riding so smoothly from one move to the next (and even inverting the bike while riding it), that nothing but tires ever touched the ground. It was a perfect run. He connected unbelievable new tricks in ways no one there had ever seen before. The 19 & Over Flatland class was his. If he had been in the Pro class, he would have won that, too.
Dennis McCoy, American Freestyler may 1988: Kevin Jones is so innovative and definitely has what it takes as a competitor, too. At the Velodrome run, people had been there all day; it was getting dead, the crowd was small, it didn't even look as though he was pumped up. He just went out there and hit his run, perfect, no mistakes. It was completely emotionless, straight-faced, like he had nothing to prove. It wasn't the crowd response like at a big contest; it was such a rad run. I definitely respect him a lot.
Interview in American Freestyler april 1988.
It's apparent that Kevin's friends like to talk about Kevin much more than he does. We learned as much about Kevin from his friends as we did from him. Kevin finished high school and attended two years of college but he now works parttime loading trucks at Roadway Packaging Systems for four hours a day at $7 an hour. Mark Eaton and Dale Mitzel, another member of the Plywood Hoods. work there, too. They all ride after work. Kevin spends four hours a day practicing his tricks, sometimes riding at a playground near his house, other times in his garage, in the Eaton's basement, or on a lighted basketball court downtown.
DORKIN' IN YORK.
Tirée à seulement 500 exemplaires, la première vidéo faite par un rider, vit le jour en mai 88 sous un nom qui deviendra légendaire: Dorkin' in York. Kevin Jones commençait déjà les rolling tricks comme Elbow glide ou Death Truck alors que les autres en étaient encore à pogoter sur les cylindres de 5cm de long qui faisaient office de pegs.
Kevin: The first time I pulled an hitchiker was November of '88.
During the summer of '88 I was on tour with Skyway, and I was out riding with a friend just joking around saying, "Yeah, I'm gonna do this trick." I was showing it to him by putting the bike in the positions, and I was like, "Yeah, I'm going to learn this some day." We just laughed and were like, "Yeah, some day, if I keep riding." I just thought of it as a front-wheel-rolling-undertaker, like "I'm going to do an undertaker on my front wheel and roll through." I kind of forgot about it after that until November. I put in a few hours of thought when I decided I really wanted to do it. just sat there and thought, "Okay is it possible? Is it going to be worth while to sit there and work on it?" When I first did it I was on vacation in South Carolina, and I spent most of the trip down there thinking about how to do it. After I started practicing, it took me like four days until I finally pulled it, but it wasn't the whole trick. The first time I pulled it, it was riding into it from a whiplash to an elbow glide, dropping it down, and then I learned that balance point. I could go really far, like 40 or 50 feet, but I didn't have the other balance point to ride out the other side. So I just flipped the bike into an upsidedown position, let the seat hit, turned my body around, and then did like a Dizz-grind out. I had that on video because I was taping myself. It was about three days later when I learned it all the way through-coming in on one side, letting it down, switching hands, and riding out like a Karl Kruizer. Before that, it was very limited double-footed rotting tricks... Maybe a backyard or locomotive where you just throw your foot on for a little bit, but nothing really similar. Maybe a steamroller where you put your other foot on, but you never really had a reason.
I can't remember where the name came from. There's no special reason. The names just pop in your head, and it's just something to call it when you're writing it down or when you're telling someone about it.
Kevin: When I was on vacation I pulled it three or four times, and then when I got back home I did it for a couple more days and pulled it probably like 100 times. Then I started thinking, "There's got to be a whole bunch of other stuff like this." That's when I thought of backpackers, and that took about the same amount of time-like another week to pull it off once and then a couple months to get it consistent. The first thing I thought of was cross-footed and figured that was way off, like it wasn't something I wanted to try early on. I tried it a little bit backwards, but I wasn't so set to learn it right away. I pretty much moved right on from hitchhikers to backpackers, and then forward and backward for both tricks.
krtschmidt.com/blog: 1988 AFA Masters round 3 Tucson, Arizona.
Kevin Jones on a Skyway Streetbeat on the cover of Freestylin may 1989.
From spring 1989 to the end of 1989, Kevin is riding for GT.
Kevin: J'ai refusé de faire un Tour pour eux, notre contrat n'était pas signé, j'avais posé certaines conditions et ils ont laissé traîner (...) j'ai compris que c'était fini.
Interview in Freestylin' #51 august 1989.
Kevin: The last contest I entered was either New York or the one in Philadelphia circa 1989.
Joe Johnson and Kevin Jones on the cover of Freestylin august 1989.
Kevin: I can't remember exactly when started doing that. It slowly came from connecting hitchhikers into steamrollers or back into Karl Kruizers. Sometimes I would do one-and-a-half and not think about it, and then eventually I realized could keep doing a whole bunch. But multiple ones weren't a big idea. I could do one, and I knew I could do more so it wasn't like a big step.
Footage from Eddie Roman's "Aggroman". Location is Pacific Beach in San Diego.
Kevin is riding for WAL (Wilkerson Airlines).
Bercy 6, Paris, France. Dimanche 18 mars 1990. Hoffman et Kevin Jones sont les stars US freestyle invitées.
Interview dans Bicross and Skate magazine #89 juin 1990 réalisée à York avant qu'il ne vienne à Bercy.
Philippe Roman, www.facebook.com, september 2010: I was in York to suggest to Kevin Jones to come in Paris for a demo in Bercy. I interviewed him too, and took some pictures, but the weather was very bad, and the interview was illustrated with photos taken in Paris a few months later (when he came to Paris).
The flatland skills of Kevin Jones were rented for a few seconds worth of filming for the new Kudos snack bar commercials on TV.
In 1990, Kevin went on tour with Wilkerson Airlines and this would be the last time that most riders would ever get to see him ride in person. After that tour, he became very elusive. Except for the video that came out each year, he had virtually disappeared.
Paris, march 1990. Photo by Spike Jonze.
Kevin Jones, 6th International BMX of Paris Bercy (March 18, 1990) numérisé par Satoorne.
wikipedia.org, november 1991: In 1991 Kevin was riding with Chase Gouin on an average of 10hrs/day, and they were setting out to master every trick both "switch" & "regular", on a quest to be able to link any trick into any other trick.
Interview in BMX Plus! march 1991.
From june 1 through august 21, the Plywood Hoods are "rolling" across the USA on their '91 summer tour. Kevin Jones, Mark Eaton and Chase Gouin have hooked up with Peregrine and tour manager Jerry Uy to put on this tour.
Kevin Jones is working with Peregrine on the manufacture of a Plywood Hoods freestyle frameset.
Kevin: Peregrine and ODI.
Tricks invented ?
Kevin: Hitchiker, backpacker, locomotive, deathtruck, elephant glide, dumptruck.
Claim to fame ?
Kevin: Making up new tricks and being the first person to do something new.
|1993||HOFFMAN BIKES BIG DADDY.|
In 1993, Hoffman Bikes announced the release of the Kevin Jones Big Daddy.
Kevin: The only thing I did was design the bike. I get a royalty from every one sold.
Interview in Ride BMX US october november 1995.
Flatland Kingpin Kevin Jones learned backflips at Woodward and is now doing them over box jumps.
Interview in BMX Plus! november 1996.
Kevin: Most consecutive whiplashes pulled: 85
Yellow Big Daddy..
9th Dorkin video produced by Mark Eaton.
Brian, www.theflatlander.com: Kevin's spot in this video is nothing short of classic and a must-see for anyone who has ever rode a bike. He is the smoothest flatland rider of all time, and proves just that in Balancing Act. Jones has no problem making multiple one footed whiplashes look routine; rolling bar spin transitions look easy; and McCircles with his foot on the top of his frame seem simple. Besides the fact that nearly all of the tricks he pulls in this scene he invented, there is no struggling to maintain balance through any of his wild links and you never doubt his total control of the bike.
Interview: www.theflatlander.com june 2001
Brett Downs, www.theflatlander.com, june 2001: Kevin Jones is not who you want him to be. He is not a God, an answer man, a Pro or even a flatlander. He doesn't know anything you don't. He isn't any better than anyone else. He isn't shy or ambitious. He won't be coming to a town near you. What he is, is a rider. That is what he does and how he lives his life. Kevin is also my best friend. We have ridden together through over 15 years of BMX and done a whole lot. In all that time he was never the superstar or mythic figure. He was just my buddy.
Interview in Ride BMX UK august 2005.
|2006||FRONTWHEEL DRIVE BICYCLE.
Early in 2006 Kevin Jones was seen performing some familiar flatland tricks, on a modified frontwheel drive bicycle. Jones then further modified the hub and made it a "freewheel unibike."
In August 2006, it was announced that Jones was making a new version of the legendary "Big Daddy" frame, for Hoffman bikes, and had rejoined the freestyle team.