../people/James Menard Levan

Sources: metalbikecompany.blogspot.com, BMX Plus!, Ride BMX US, Freedom, Cream, Dwix, BMX Action, Go, www.ridebmx.com, www.odysseybmx.com, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1974 DOB: february 22, 1974.
early years STARTED RIDING.
Jimmy Levan, 1996: I started riding in BMX as it was popular in the late 70's in my neighborhood. My big turning point came when I was 15-years-old. I built wooden ramps in my back yard and practiced until I progressed to national competition level in 81 and actually started racing in 1983. My first bike was a Mongoose.

First bike: Mongoose Moto Mag.

The pic is from 1988, Jimmy is doing the fakie wearing the Vision hip sack.

Karen LeVan letter in BMX Action august 1989: Dear Gork, I lust read your articles "Summer of '85" and the "E-Team" (March '89), and wanted to say BRAVO! It's features like this that prove to parents and kids around the country that there is nothing wrong with being straight. So often we hear about the "bad boys" of BMX. The media too often embelishes those who make the news in a negative light. The ones who are setting good examples are most often forgotten.
I met T.C. and Big E last summer at Waterford Oaks. My BMX'ers, Susie and Jimmy LeVan, had met and talked with them at an Auburn Clinic in Louisville a few weeks earlier. I must say I was impressed with them then and now. I'm grateful to have role models like T.C. and Big E for my kids to emulate. Being a single parent on a tight budget, I am often criticized for "investing" in BMX. But I'm finding out that my investments made over the past seven years are paying off in kids that I am proud of. Kids that are "drug free,' thanks to the help of the "good guys" in BMX. Yes, BMX is an expensive sport, but compared to a drug rehab program, I'd say I've come out way ahead of the game. Keep up the good work with the E-Team and BMXA.
levan 1988
1991 Bio in Go december 1991 by Joseph King.
Being a junior at Fern Creek High School in Louisville, Kentucky can be a very scary thing, especially if you're of the 'punk rock" persuasion. Like Jimmy LeVan. He explained, "My school is so lame. It's like going to school and seeing a thousand mirror images of Vanilla Ice. Their main goal is to have more bass in their cars than anybody else."
Now seventeen and still without a driver's license, Jimmy spends too much of his time riding to worry about saving money for a car with or without bass. He sums up his riding schedule as follows: "After school, I usually go riding around the neighborhood with the Fern Creek Crew, a bunch of friends of mine who have been riding for about two years. On the weekends I ride with the Fog Horn Posse, about ten or twelve really rad freestylers. One of the guys is Brandon Trotter, the guy who does back flips on quarter pipes. We go to Audubon Skatepark for ramps. For street we ride downtown Louisville and the university campus. For dirt jumping we either go to the NBL track or our new jumping spot that has no name. Once in awhile we'll venture off to Cincinnati (about a two hour drive) for some more street riding."
It doesn't take long to see that Jimmy is a well-rounded rider. How did racing go this year? "I got national number fourteen in 17X in the NBL. I had number eight for a brief while when I came out to California to ride. I didn't race for about a month." What do you think about jumping contests? "I think the UGP-sponsored NBL ones they're doing this year are pretty cool. Just the jam session thing they're doing is really cool--you can jump as many times as you want. At the first one, Fuzzy pretty much did laps." How do you see riding in your area? Is it picking up or what? "There's not so many people who ride, but the people that do ride, ride a lot harder." So in essence, Jimmy LeVan is a big time BMX racer and dirt jumper who can liven up any given street, miniramp, or vert ramp session. Right around the time I talked to Jimmy last, he was doing street demos with the Fog Horn Posse and sessioning his backyard stonehenge ramp often. Work in some weight training for the upcoming ABA Grandnationals race in Oklahoma, and a newly acquired ability to do tail taps on a vert ramp, and what you have is a plethora of bike riding talents. Now sponsored by ELF Racing, Jimmy is really getting down to business.

S&M Feel my leg muscles video.
levan 1991

Feel my leg muscles.
Turndown on the cover of BMX Plus! august 1992.
jimmy levan bmx plus 08 1992
Jimmy "froggy" Levan has turned Superclass in the NBL.

Jimmy Levan, www.facebook.com, july 2012: Full page bar hop pic of me at Dover trails Newport Beach CA in BMX PLUS! Magazine September 1994.
jimmy levan 1994 bar hop
1995 1995 X-GAMES.
4th place dirt @ 1995 X-Games.
1996 1996 X-GAMES.
5th place dirt @ 1996 X-Games.


Jimmy Levan toothpicking the Hubba ledge in SanFran for the cover of Ride BMX US #23 august september 1996. Interview in the same magazine.

Jimmy Levan is riding for Huffy.
jimmy levan ride bmx us
1997 Video Huffy Annihilator.
Jimmy goes off in this video, in one of the most inspirational street sections ever.
Jimmy Levan left Huffy and picked up a Standard Trail Boss.

Icepick on a Standard Trail Boss on the cover of Freedom #23.

Handrail on the cover of Dig #8 summer 1998.

Interview in Ride BMX US october 1998.

MTV Sports and Music Festival 2
Jimmy Levan jumped the back of a semi truck.

Videos Props Road Fools 1 et 2.

Jimmy Levan, www.ridebmx.com: I guess I started Metal in 1998, but the ball didn't really get rolling until 1999.

jimmy levan freedom bmx 07 1998

jimmy levan dig bmx 8

jimmy levan mtv
1999 BS round 1, Louisville, KY, april 1999. Jimmy Levan launched from a wedge over a railing to a nine foot drop outside of the course. ESPN was not happy.
Interview in Dig #13 november december 2000.
2001 FISE
Cream #19 january february 2003.

Jimmy Levan x-up footplant during the Props Megatour II on the cover of Ride BMX US november 2003.
jimmy levan cream bmx

jimmy levan ride bmx us 11 2003

Odyssey video.
Interview with Jimmy Levan in Dig march 2004 about the new Metal video.
Now and then with Jimmy Levan in Ride BMX US april 2005.

Poster in the December, 2005 issue of Ride. Jimmy Levan puts it all on the line with this fully committed second story gap. Shot in Seattle, WA, by Keith Mulligan.
2007 Jimmy Levan went down hard in New Jersey.
Chad Shackelford, www.odysseybmx.com, november 8th, 2007: November 3rd, we all flew into Newark for the Red Bull Down and Dirty contest in Asbury Park. The contest was on Sunday and went well. The next day Jimmy Levan, Aaron Ross, Chase Hawk, Wade Young, Jim Cielencki and myself went back up to Newark to start our 5 day east coast trip ahead. Our next stop was Wades friend, Tommy's house to drop off his car and start our trip. Our plan was to head into the city for the day to shoot some lifestyle and ride the Banks. While we were loading up at Tommy's, Jimmy and Chase were goofing off on the skateboard that Chase bought the previous weekend. In front of Tommy's is a pretty serious hill, that's basically one giant S curve. The road is rough, covered in gravel and potholes. Jimmy walked up to the top as we were loading stuff up and started cruising down the hill. He bombed the whole thing first try, it was sick. We thought it would be rad to get a shot of him bombing it again. So, after we pulled the camera out and Jimmy got back to the top of the hill, we were ready to shoot. I need to stress how bad of a road this was. It was long, steep, and rough. Not too mention, Jimmy went about a 100 ft. higher up, than the first time. I yelled out "Action!!!" and Jimmy started cruising down, he gave a little ollie, then a power-slide that sent him straight to a pretty rough tuck and roll. As usual, Jimmy got up laughing, knowing that he just got a hilarious clip. He grabbed the board and jogged back up to the top of the hill. Now ready to get the clip, he took off again. He gave another ollie and a couple of successful power-slides. At this time he was about to where we were standing, which was half way down the hill, He gave a "Shaka Bra" and started to pick up mad speed as he hit the steepest part of the hill. He was going about 20 mph and almost at the bottom of the hill. As he neared closer to the bottom, he got speed wobbles bad and that's when it all turned horrific. In the blink of an eye, Jimmy caught a bad wobble and the board shot out from under him, sending him directly to the back of his head, at again, about 20 mph. He immediately went limp. Chase, Wade and Jim C ran down to check on him, thinking that he just knocked himself out and he'd be up in a minute with a slight headache. I continued to stay up top shooting. Instantly, they realized what happened and flagged me down. I ran as quickly as possible to the scene. When I got there, Jimmy was snoring. At this point it had been about 1.5 min, we started to worry. We tried to let him come up on his own, but then we realized he has bleeding and panicked. Wade was already on the phone with 911. He was out for around 3 mins and we started to really worry. The operator said the EMT's were on there way and they would be there soon, just hold tight and we'll be there. By this time Jimmy started to come to, completely disoriented. With no clue where he was, what day it was, what had happened, he tried to stand up and walk around. When he did this, we really saw how bad the exterior gash was. We immediately tried to wrap his head in towels, but he was reluctant and kept taking them off. He made no sense, babbling about not being drunk and wanting to go back to the girls house, where were we at? I held him by the arm and walked him up to the house as he staggered alongside me. I got him to the top of the hill and sat him in a chair in front of Tommy's to wait for the Ambulance. Again, we kept pressure on his head, but he needed an ambulance. The police arrived and after, the EMT's arrived. They immediately started wrapping the exterior wound, which was about 2-3 inches long on the back of his head. They pulled out the stretcher and a neck brace, laid him on the stretcher and started to put on the neck brace. He immediately wasn't having it and resisted leaving the scene at all. After sedating Jimmy, and an eventful trip to the hospital Jimmy got to the hospital and is getting the help he needs. He has a bruised brain and a fractured skull. Because of his injuries and history of being aggrevated when he comes out of anesthesia, He still remains in a drug induced coma, The doctors are confident that he will recover soon, but he will surely be in the hospital for at least a week. Jimmy's sister and mom are with him in the hospital now. We are hoping that Jimmy will be awake and coherent by the time we get back to jersey on Saturday evening. The most we all can do is stay positive and hope for the best. Jimmy is one tough guy, who’s been through a lot. He will definitely pull out of this and continue on his legacy. Get well soon friend, were all pulling for you.
The hospital stay and recovery is going to be extremely expensive. Empire BMX has set up a fun to help with Jimmy's medical bills and will match any donation! To donate go here. ALL funds go to Jimmy.
Jimmy Levan, http://metalbikecompany.blogspot.com, january 2012: A handful of months ago I was asked by a TV Producer to be on an Episode of the Playboy TV show called Bad Ass. A handful of friends of mine and I had to teach naked Playboy bunnies how to ride BMX. The first day the Producer and I took them out to a BMX race track then to a friends backyard trails. We all had a blast with the bunnies Dani, Tanya and Alexandra so no complaints here! Good times my friends!