Interview with Lee Baker

March 17, 2015

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I had a chance to ask Lee a few questions about his BMX history.

Q. Where was your first race and when? A. My first race was in March of 1977, at Burdette Park BMX, in Evansville, Indiana.

Q. What bikes shops did you race for?  A. My first bike shop sponsor was The Handlebar Bike Shop, in Evansville, Indiana. I got picked up by The Handlebar in July of 1977. In 1978, I rode for The Moped Center, in Evansville.

Q. What were your favorite tracks? A. My favorite tracks were Knoxville, Tennessee and the Supercross track in St. Louis, Missouri.

Q. What was your racing favorite memory? A. I really have two favorite memories. One of my favorite memories was beating Tim Judge for the first time during the pre-race for the National in Lawrenceburg, TN, in 1978. My other favorite memory is when Frank Nolte, who was a good friend of Chuck Robinson, called me to let me know that Chuck was going to pick me up. I had been holding an offer from Steve Johnson of Torker, and Frank made a call to Chuck. This all happened in February of 1979, and the rest is history.

Q. Who were the fastest guys you raced locally? Or the legends from your home track? A. The fastest guys that I raced locally were Chuck Barton, who was NBL National 3, behind Tim Judge and Matt Workman, in 1977. Also Buddy Higgins.

Q. What was your home track? A. My home track was Burdette Park BMX, in Evansville.

Q What did you do after BMX? A. By the end of 1980, I’d been racing the NBL national circuit for the last 3 years and raced indoors in Indianapolis on the weekends during the winter for the last 2 years, I was disappointed with how my 1980 season ended up, so I was tired and ready to give it up. In 1982, I went into the Navy. After the Navy, I went to college and then to law school. I always looked back with regret for giving up on BMX. So, I got back into it in 2010. I race the 46 & over Expert class, where my national rank is #16, and the 46-50 cruiser class. I’m sponsored by SSquared Bicycles and Answer BMX USA. It’s great to be back on the gate with old timers like Eric Rupe, Danny Wall, Turnell Henry, Billy Griggs, Greg Hill, Harry Leary and a bunch more. I’m having a blast. One of the highlights from last season was my old teammate, Mark Wegener, coming out to watch me race at Powder Springs, Georgia.

Thanks Lee for sharing some insight into your days tearing up the Midwest tracks

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