Robinson BMX Team managers

Chuck Robinson made a name for himself as the Team Manager for Webco and later DG.

But when he wore the big hat at Robinson he had to have help running the team.  If you can add details or bios on any of these guys please do.

Early 1980’s Team Manager – Mark Soria

Late 80’s Team Manager – Danny Nelsons Dad I think

Was Mrs. Hatfield a TM at one point?

 

 

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20 Responses to Robinson BMX Team managers

  1. Joe says:

    What year was the Robinson sst frame release?

    • Racer says:

      Not sure without doing research but probably early 90s. The bikes I think are all date stamped in the serial number so easy to tell year.

  2. Mark Soria says:

    Hello. I was the TM for Chuck in the early 80’s. Then went to TM for CW Racing. I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.

    Mark Soria

    • Racer says:

      Hi Mark and thanks. You were TM in the glory days (in my eyes) for Robinson.
      How did you end up there? Did you have a kid that raced or? Did you go out and find the guys like from Utah or did they find you?
      An old teammate from a bike shop I raced fro for one year says he was sponsored by Robinson (must have been ’81 since we rode for Langley’s in ’80.) Did you do a lot of shop co sponsors?
      Any funny tour stories?

  3. Mark Soria says:

    Racer,

    Forgive my memory but it has gotten foggy over the last few years. I was about 21 at the time. Chuck had unofficially adopted the Cavner brothers and I was good friends with the oldest brother Brian. Brian was working for Chuck and had just gotten an opportunity to work for Simpson Helmets I think. We were sitting around Chucks house and he asked if I would like to learn the BMX business. I was like hell yeah. At the time his office was attached to the back of the house. It was him and a girl that helped him answer the phones. The girl turned out to be Suzanne Crough who played the little sister on the Partridge Family.

    Every night Chuck was taking me to tracks like Devonshire Downs, Van Nuys, Corona. Chuck was introduing me to the elite of the BMX world at the time Skip Hess, Ernie Alexander, Voris Dixon, Bob Osborne, Jon Ker, and many more.

    At the time Chuck had no product and the backorders were crazy. The demand for Robinson Frames, Forks and Handlebars were nuts. Trackmaster was making the Frames and Forks for Chuck but was also making Redline at the same time. We thought because of Redlines size Robinson was being stalled. After a few months we started getting Frames and Forks in and I stickered, packed, and shipped everyone of them. Not only was I learning the BMX business from Chuck but I was learning every part of the business world from him.

    This is were the real trouble began. Within a few days we were getting calls from every bike shop we shipped frames to. The head tubes were too small in diameter. He was convinced it was sabotage at this point. We scrambled to find smaller than normal cups and sent them out. In the meantime we had Trackmaster mill the inside of the headtubes to accomodate normal cups. The problem was the metal was so thin that frames started splitting at the headtubes. Chuck could not afford to replace all thse frames so we had the customers ship them back and welded the cracks. So if you see frames pop up with welds on the headtubes these are probably geniune Robinsons.

    This really added to Chucks financial stress. Trackmaster continued to make frames but Chuck was having a difficult time recovering financially because of the head tube debacle. I guess several months passed by and Skip Hess from Mongoose helped out Chuck financially and we were able to get out of Chucks Garage and get into a real business building. At the same time Gary Turner and Rich Long started making Frames for us. So things started looking up.

    Oh yeah Trackmaster was sitting on hundreds of frames when we switched to GT for manufacturing. The problem for Trackmaster was that they all had the famous Robinson R logo gussetts. So Trackmaster tried to sell them as “Rebel” frames. This started another legal battle for Chuck.

    This was all over a 2 year period and I had gotten burned out and left Robinson and thought had gotten out of BMX. This lasted a few weeks when Roger Worsham called me and offered me a job running the CW team. Thats for another time.

    Along the way I had guys like Tod Tompkins, Danny Nelson (fastest 5 and 6 year olds you ever saw at the time) Gary Ellis, Tommy Jacobson, Todd Henry, Bill Bryznk, Darin Perry, Travis Chipres, Brian Scholfield, Charlie Williams ( Fastest kid I had ever seen at the time at Devonshire Downs), Richard Fleming, and few more that I wish I could remember but the memory bad. I think Damien Bernal was there too. Him and Tod Tompkins ended up with me at CW.

    Since Chuck did not have the funds we generally stayed local in Southern California for races. Bu there was a lot of great races at the time. Magic Mountain, Corona, a killer downhill race in Simi Valley. the Tropicana in Las Vegas. We went to Chandler AZ a few times. I wish I could remeber them all. Mostly Chuck would help kids with bikes and uniforms around the country. This was the most he could afford.

    I have a story for you that no one knows unless you were there. We had decided to go to the Oklahoma Grand Nationals. We packed up Bill Nelsons motorhome (Dannys dad a great guy). I know I will not remember everyone but it was Danny Nelson, Todd Henry, Matt Henry (Todds dad), Travis Chipres, Bill Nelson and myself. I’m sure there a couple more. But we planned on driving non stop and the adults would take turns driving. We stopped for gas early in the morning after our first night driving and had a difficult time waking the kids that were sleeping in the back of the motorhome. After a trip to emergency it was Carbon Monoxide poisening from a loose muffler I think. Call it what you want but there was a reason why we stopped at that exact time for gas and breakfast. An hour later and we could have lost those kids. On the way home GT asked us to bring thier 7 foot team throphy home for them. We strapped it to the top of the motorhome and by the time we got back to California there wasn’t a single nut and bolt that didn’t come loose and the throphy was a mess.

    Anytime you want to talk let me know. It’s hard to remember everything from 30 years ago and put them down in a few paragraphs

    Mark

    • Kirby says:

      Amazing Story, Thanks for sharing Mark!!!

    • Bob & Cathy Adorni says:

      Hello Mark

      We knew Todd Henry before he started racing. Next time you hear from Him ask him about Bobby Adorni going off the Cliff on the Templin Hwy on His 1975 Mongoose Motomgag. It’s a Great story.

      More Later
      Ciao Bob

      • Racer says:

        well dont tease us with it, whats the story?? Did you also race Bobby?

      • Bob & Cathy Adorni says:

        Hello

        No Bobby is Our Son.

        Todd, his Brother Mike an Our Son Bobby were riding the BMX’s off the Side of the road down an embankment off the Templin Hwy on Interstate 5 North of Castaic

        The Slope went down to a Flat Masa. Then at the end Masa was a Giant Drop off the was like a Cliff. Todd & Mike went down. Bobby seen all was good and it was his turn.

        Well on the way down the slope his feet came of the Pedals he had no way of stopping the Bike. So off the Masa ledge he went. All Todd & Mike could do was watch. Well the bike started flipping wheel over wheel.

        All Bobby could do was hang on. Not sure how many flips it took to hit the Bottom. But when he landed handle bars still in hand he just layed next to the bike flat out.

        Todd & Mike thought he was Dead. Their first thoughts were what are we going to tell His Mom & Dad.

        Then Bobby Stood up an looked up at them like what just happened.

        The Post for the Seat was all bent out of shape, an the seat still has the Rips out of it. It is still on the bike. But the post is new.

        I’m sure if you could share that story with Todd he would get a good Laugh. Not funny at the time. This must have been 1977. Todd was just getting into the whole BMX thing.

        More Later
        \Ciao Bib

      • Racer says:

        Oh man got to get some pictures of that dropaway and cliff. Put things in perspective. In 77 or early summer 78, I had a similar story but not as scary. Me and some friends including Greg Zanolini were racing through the woods of the State Park in Washington Crossing, NJ. Greg was just a bit behind me and his brother Kenny. Greg had his head down trying to catch up I guess and didnt see the turn.

        Well he goes off a small cliff maybe 6 foot high, into a mostly dry creek bed. We of course had no helmets. He was crying bad but thank god he didnt land wrong and get killed by hitting his head onto a boulder wrong.

        We didnt know about real BMX races yet. We were all just on our Stringrays with MX conversion kits.

        He was ok and got into BMX for a year and even beat Rich Farside once at Flemington’s Petes Bike Shop track in 79 or 80.
        Never saw another local beat him (Farside). But Greg didnt stick with racing. I dont think Kenny ever got a membership.

      • MARK SOUND says:

        Amazing hearing these stories about my uncles Todd and Mike Henry and grandfather Matt…hahaha, they’d tell these same stories …
        Too bad and thankfully, at the time my pops Mark Henry Sr… Was working …. And havin babies hahaha…

      • Racer says:

        Hey Mark thanks for chipping in. If you dig up any old pictures and want me to post them of your Uncle or whomever else rode in your families group of friends email them to with any information and will post to the site. Thanks
        bulletproof2000@live.com

      • Bob Adorni says:

        Hello Mark

        Thanks for writing. Yeah the Henry’s are Good people. If you ever get a chance try to hook Us up with them by email.

        They would get a kick put of the BMX Collection I have been restoring. It is a Great Collection of Old School Rare BMX bikes. Only have one Robinson. It’s a 1978.

        Now that we are here on the Shore of Lake Erie with the Temperature tonight in the 20′ s. Woo!!

        Keep in touch.

        Bob & Cathy Adorni

  4. I sold a GT Interceptor to get a Robinson Pro frame. Then I outfitted it wit Elf 6 piece handlebars, first the 8 inch, then the 6 inch. I lost the forks. And after a lot of trades with other riders at the trails, also lost S&M Pitchforks. Happy to still have a great set of Elf Forks and 1994 Robinson Pro Frame. In addition, still have the handlebars from the Interceptor.

  5. Still have the original Robinson Catalog from the era. I can entertain an offer from a Haro Group 1b Fan; if they can provide any photos of one of their bikes. P.S my brother is still mad I took his Haro to Mickey D’s and didn’t chain it up 20 years ago…

  6. There was also a bike called, “The Big Boss — Sizzler.” It was White, with a little bit of signatures in Pink or Light coloring. I think it was sold at a “Venture” or “Zayres” or “Kmart” at the time. Any info. on that would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks. —

  7. j.shegas@yahoo.com says:

    please take pciture/tag . off jason shegas off the webpage please …..thank you

  8. Warwick says:

    Can someone confirm if Robinson released their first alloy production frame in 1997. I thought it might have been around 95/96???
    When they released the alloy frame, if my memory is correct, the Amtrak was the last model in their range to go to alloy??
    Thanks

  9. Bob & Cathy Adorni says:

    OK here is another good one that happened to Son Bob.

    Not sure how many of you are familar with Castaic Ca. But the Old Original Hwy that went from Southern to Northern California is the Ridge Route.

    Well one time in 1977 we thought it would be cool to have Our kid ride the Same 1975 Mongoose Motomag down Ridge Route from the Templin Hwy to Castaic. Well that is about a 7 mile of nasty windy Steep hills.

    We followed him in a 1972 VW. There were times our speedometer was at 35 an we were having fits keeping up with him. the curves were crazy. When he got to the Bottom he was shaking an his eye’s were watering from the wind.

    Helmets. They were for Sissy’s. Can you imagine if someones parents would do that today. Jesus you’d be put in Jail for Child endangerment. Whoa!!

    Ciao Bob

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