Sometimes you meet someone that is bigger than life. They light up a room and are so full of positive energy that everyone just gravitates to them. Charlie Litsky was one of those special people. Charlie and I lived in the same town and both raced for Shimano. Charlie's talent to promote the sport of BMX is well documented and is true history. I can still hear his voice from the announcers tower. I remember when we were traveling in the Shimano van while on summer tour. We stopped at a McDonalds for food and there was no one behind the counter so Charlie grabbed the mic and began to order 20 big macs, and lots more food. The staff in the back was working into a frenzy when the counter girl came back from the bathroom just laughing. Charlie could make you laugh at anytime. He was taken from us way to soon, I think of him often and always with a smile RIP Leapin'.
The smell of hair spray on your tires and BMX bikes as far as your eyes could see. I remember my first Jag World Championship race. Everyone you read about in the magazines were there in person, Stu Thompson, Greg Hill, all the best racers in the world. The best of all for me a girls class. Back then we were powder puffs twelve and over and eleven and under. Just my
Luck I was 12 years old. I loved the wooden jumps but these girls were super fast they were so much older and had so much more experience than me. I made it out of the quarters to the semi and all the way to the finals. In the finals I came in third place! My first big trophy. I couldn't wait to race in a big race again.
My first race was a surprise and meant to be a joke. I would go with the team from the Cosmic Wheel in Bogota NJ and take pictures. The boys would race because there were no girls racing locally in 1978. So one Sunday they signed me up. I was nervous and excited at the same time. Being up on the gate my nerves turned to anger when several of the boys started laughing and making fun of me. Like most 11 year old boys would do. Well the gate dropped with a "riders ready pedals set" and I came in third place in my first race! As time went by and I began to win against the boys the laughter stopped.
Kathy Schachel was a National, European and World Champion female BMX racer. She was the first National Professional Women Champion in 1985 and again in 1986. She was the first women ever on the cover of a BMX magazine through BMX Plus, November 1979. She held 5 National #1 plates, 2 World titles and 1 European title.