Unscene History’s mission:
Ross D Lavender grew up riding BMX bikes around the streets of inner city Brisbane during the 1980s. In 1988 Ross joined a local BMX club and spent the following two years racing BMX where in 1990, he made the transition from racing to freestyle and has since been involved in the Australian freestyle community and industry.
The Unscene Archives were established to compile and preserve the history and identity of Australian BMX Freestyle.
The archives range from a variety of pieces including BMX frames and parts, clothing, uniforms, publications, advertisements, video, audio and other forms of communication.
Each piece is carefully researched to ensure its historical credibility and later digitised, coded and recorded into a database.
All artifacts are privately owned or donated to the Unscene Archives and safely stored in a suitable environment to prevent any further deterioration or modification.
The largest project under Unscene History is the Freestyle Timelines. Over six years of research has amassed to a 155 page timeline document which includes the Brisbane Freestyle Timeline (late 1970s-1997), the Australian Competition Timeline and Competition Results (1984-2007) and the Brisbane Freestyle Team Timeline (1984-1995. This is the foundation to documenting Australian freestyle history.
As part of ongoing research to document Australian freestyle history, regular meetings and interviews are conducted to ensure our history is accurately and authentically preserved.
Unscene: A History of Brisbane Freestyle (1985-1995) was an historical exhibit documenting the lifestyle, culture, and sport of BMX Freestyle in Brisbane over the span of a decade.
The exhibit explored the rise in popularity of Freestyle in the 80s, the ‘death’ of BMX in the early 90s, through to the resurgance just prior to the Extreme Games era. The exhibit featured rare photographs, competition footage and locally made videos, zines, and magazines.
Through the exhibit, patrons were able to take a closer look at the clothing, safety gear, bought and fabricated bikes and parts owned by some of Brisbane’s most iconic riders. They were also able to learn more about the evolution of competitons, jams, and the many changes to Beenleigh bike park over the past 25 years.
The exhibit allowed people to understand how local enforcment impacted the Freestyle culture – from helmet laws, to vagrancey, and the ‘no bikes on trains’ law. They were able to explore how BMX was promoted through Freestyle teams including Just Tricks, GT Reebok, and Wheels Entertainment.
Viewers were able to watch rare competiton and riding footage, as well as some of the first BMX videos to come out of Brisbane such as Sex, Drugs, Rock n Rolls; Prody, and videos by the Drain Kids.
Rare Session ‘zines were available to read, and viewers were able to learn more about early documentation by riders for riders.
This exhibition was free of charge and open to the public on the 26th & 27th of October, 2013 at Jugglers Art Space.
Colony BMX is a Brisbane based bike company. Colony is Australia’s most successful BMX company and is distributed in over 25 countries across the world. Since it’s beginning in 2005, Colony has sponsored many riders, events, and competitions. Through these sponsorships, as well as through clever design and innovation, Colony has helped to shape BMX, particularly in Australia, into what it is today. Owner Clint Millar’s contribution to the local and national Freestyle scene has been paramount for over 25 years. Unscene History is proud to have Colony BMX as the major sponsor of this project.
Crossley Cycles is Brisbane oldest BMX only store. For 39 years Richard Crossley has been a Bicycle Mechanic in the Wynnum/Manly area where he opened Crossley Cycle Repairs in 1980. Towards the end of 1989 and into the 1990’s Richard began to dabble in the Freestyle market where he made the switch from general bicycle sales to only BMX stock towards the late 1990’s. Crossley Cycles has been the go to store for a long time for many Brisbane locals and their experience in BMX repairs and maintenance new or old is second to none.
Lix BMX is the brainchild of Brisbane artist and rider Lix North. She has built a strong identity within the BMX community worldwide and continues to build traction locally with her Radventure group rides. Lix’s creative background is extensive; from fine art, graphic art and web design, to custom BMX builds and artwork. She brings her creative skill set to the Unscene project aesthetic; from logo and website design to illustrations and promotional material.
Roberto’s Custom Powder specialises in the art of BMX and bicycle powder-coating. A mainstay of the Brisbane freestyle BMX movement since the early 90s, Roberto Lewis honed his craft on his own extensive collection of vintage BMX bikes. Mastering the complexities of colour-matching, finessing welds and serial numbers to achieve that much desired ‘new old stock’ appearance, RCP has set the benchmark in quality Australian powder-coating for BMX restoration and customisation. An integral part of the Unscene History project, Roberto has devoted both his historical knowledge of the Brisbane scene and his energy and expertise to refinishing frames and parts for our rider tribute bikes.
Ryan Guettler is currently in town and seeing as he hasn’t seen some of his old crew for a good 20 years we figured a rider’s reunion was in order. This past weekend a whole bunch of us old Brisbane crew got together for a BBQ, catch up and a ride down at Beenleigh bike park. Thanks to Ryan for making a video of the day…
For enquiries or further information on the Unscene History project please feel free to contact us.
We’re always keen to hear from riders or contributors to Brisbane’s freestyle BMX scene in the 1980s-90s. If you have old photos, information or merchandise from the you’d like to donate to our growing database we’d love to hear from you!