As an aeronautical engineer at McDonnell-Douglas by day, Steve Rink was the local “bike guy” in their suburban neighborhood in Orange, California. With a steady flow of kids coming and going, the neighbors began to complain.
And that is how Peddlepower bike shop came to be.
Rink started up and ran the track out-back; Western Sports-Arama, followed by the Santa Ana Elks track - and his bike shop business thrived with the BMX boom. Then in late ‘74, Rink opened one of the most legendary tracks in our sport - Corona Raceway! With its high speeds and downhill layout, Corona set a new standard of gnarlyness for our sport.
Following the success of Peddle Power Cyclery, Rink started developing his own BMX frames around 1975 - working with an old co-worker from McDonnell-Douglas, named John Johnson. While his first frame - the twin top-tubed Rink Raider went on to inspire the earliest Torker’s, his next generation of frames birthed the Powerlite brand.
The innovation of Steve Rink is evident in the design of the curved-bar-ends of the Powerlite bars, with their patented power-bend. And when cruiser racing first appeared on the scene, Rink was right there with one of the most iconic 26-inch cruiser frames of the day. He also had an eye for talent - hand-picking young riders such as Tommy Brackens, Rob Fehd, Mark Darcy, Kirk Chrisco and Brian Ramocinski.
Steve Rink had that Midas touch. Everything he started eventually turned Gold.
A few years after selling his bike shop to Bob Osborn, ran by Jeff Bottema, and switching ownership to Rob Lynch, Peddle Power would also eventually win a No.1 bike shop title in the ABA. Decades later, long after Rink formed that first Powerlite Team for his son Mark, Powerlite would go on to become the No.1 Factory team in ABA. ...not once, but twice.
Tonight - we honor The Man responsible for a long-lasting brand, an iconic bike shop and two legendary BMX tracks. Without Steve Rink’s early vision for our sport, our BMX history books would be missing quite a few chapters.