../people/Todd Robert Lyons

Sources: www.toddlyons.com, www.expn.com, Go magazine, Ride BMX UK, www.lifelounge.com, www.ridebmx.com, www.fatbmx.com, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1971 DOB: november 21, 1971.
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, USA.
1981 Todd Lyons: My Uncle Jim bought me my first BMX (Redline MXII) and took me to the track for the first time in 1981 when I was 9 years old. By the mid-eighties my parents were taking me all over the Midwest to national races.
1985 Todd Lyons: My first photo in BMX Plus! was in 1985 from the NBL Grands. It was a photo of Lawan Cunningham and I was background baby in fourth place.

Todd Lyons: From 1985 to 1990, I was kicking ass and was ranked in the top 3 nationally every year in my age group.

Todd Lyons, www.facebook.com, march 2020: 1985 was good year ! I was 14yrs old, wearing collared Polo shirts, ranked 5th in the nation, riding for Whitman’s and I started getting my groove on at the NBL national races. I won my first-ever national that summer at Brookville, OH.The very next nationals were at Ft Wayne, IN & I scored two wins at that race. I finally got the taste of winning and new I could do it ! I had been riding for Whitman’s since 1983, but I (I mean my dad LOL) wanted to be factory sponsored. It was every BMX kid’s dream to have a factory sponsorship from a major bike brand. So my dad (best dad ever) went to work! Check out the resume that he put together for me that he sent to all the major BMX companies at the time. He went berserk ! He sent it to 11 different companies ! He sent it to to Diamond Back, Huffy, Hutch, Profile, Skyway, Vectors, Redline (to The Duke & RL!) Schwinn, Murray, Zeronine, and Kuwaraha. And it WORKED ! One of the companies was impressed with the resume and my results and asked me to join their factory team going into 1986. This was a cool company with a rad team full of superstars of the sport. And very soon after I signed, they sent me free bikes and gear. I was so STOKED! I couldn’t believe it.
1986 Todd Lyons: First time BMX Plus! said my name was 1986 in a photo from the Chrismas Classic. I was doing a big cancan jumping into the last turn. It was a full-page B&W photo, I was pretty stoked on that.
1987 HUTCH.
Todd Lyons is riding for Hutch.

World Championships in Orlando. First World Title.
Todd Lyons: The year that put me on the BMX map was 1987 when I won the IBMXF World Championships as a 15 year old in Orlando, Florida. I'll never forget that race. After I won, my dad told me "Todd, you're a World Champion. Nobody can ever take that away from you." I owe a lot to my parents.
1988 Todd Was dropped by CW for falling at the NBL Grands in 1988.
Todd Lyons: Another rider who went down also asked Todd if he could get 7th Todd said, go for it I'm going for air... Had Todd taken 7th CW would have won the number one team as it turned out they came up two points shy losing to GT.

Another World Title in Santiago, Chile.
1990 Todd Lyons: In 1990 I graduated high school in Columbus, Ohio and immediately moved out to Southern California. With $1,500 in my pocket, I packed up and headed out West to follow my BMX dreams. When I first got to Cali, I lived in the infamous P.O.W. house with about six other BMXers. Every weekend we'd pile into vehicles and go on road trips to various races and trails. Around that time, organized jump contests were just starting to pop up, but they were usually just a sideshow at the races. In the early 90's, the BMX industry was at a low point. There were only a handful of riders earning a living from riding. I went a few years earning less than $4,000, but when you're sharing your house with 6 other guys and eating cans of tuna every day, you learn get by. The first car I bought in Cali was an old retired Postal Jeep for $400. It got me to the trails, but that was about it.

Todd Lyons, www.facebook.com, march 2020: In 1990, I earned $6,581 from riding my BMX bike! 100% of the earnings was from winnings at BMX races. I raced 22 weekends in total that year and averaged about $300 of winnings per weekend. I was mostly racing NBL races on the east coast as I was 18yrs old, still living at my parents’ house in Columbus, Ohio and finishing up my senior year of high school. I was riding for MCS Bicycles as they had been my sponsor for the previous year. Getting a paycheck from a bike sponsor (or any sponsor) in those years wasn’t even on the radar. I don’t think I knew of ANYONE getting a salary from a sponsor at that time. Well, besides some of the California pro Riders. At that time, most sponsors just gave free product, paid for entry fees, and sometimes paid for hotels. My first-ever pro race was in Orlando, FL that year and I did crappy and didn’t make ANY money that weekend. I was so pissed !
1991 GO COVER.
Cover of Go february 1991.

Todd Lyons has officially left MCS and is now a one-man BMX wrecking crew for Bully bikes.

1st place good @ 1991 2Hip Meet The Street round 1, LaJolla, CA., april 1991.
Todd Lyons rides past the edge... WAY past. La Jolla was no exception. When he wasn't spontaneously combusting and shoulder-blocking the cement (which Lyons has down to a weird science), he was setting the crowds a-flame with wild behind-the-back 360 floaters, crossed-up one-handed boosters over the sub (smooth), bio nose wheelies over the grind table (fast), gonzo jump variations, and THE TRICK of the contest: Tabletopped, crossed-up, feet-on-the-pedals HANDPLANTS over the mighty sub ramp. Good God. Winner of the Good class and $250 hands down, so to speak. Welcome to the Nineties.

AA Pro is no longer racing for Bully.
todd lyons go 02 1991

todd lyons handplant
Todd handplanting at the LaJolla Meet The Street.
1992 Todd is riding for S&M.

Todd is riding for Webco (Nico Does company).

Interview: Invert july1992.

Todd Lyons: I spent quite a few summers in the early 90's over in Europe hitting up races and jump contests. I became the European King of Dirt two years in a row and pulled my first 720 at the European Championships in Italy in 1992.
1993 Interview about Webco in Tracks magazine january1993.

1st Flips EVER in a BMX Race October 24th, 1993.
Todd Lyons journal: ABA Fall Nationals Burbank CA AA Pro motos 4-4-3 I didn't make the main. I flipped the pro jump in my 1st & 3rd motos. EVERYONE went crazy. I got balled up in the semi & didn't qualify to the main. Pro Open motos 6-3-6 I didn't make the main. I did flips in the 2nd & 3rd motos. There were crazy good races to watch. Cara & her roommate came & watched for an hour. Later I talked to some of other girl & got her number. She's from San Diego though. Went to the P.O.W. house with Dave Clymer after the races & a bunch of people were over there. Cara came and met me over there later.
www.toddlyons.com, june 2007: If there is one thing that I had to pinpoint in my BMX career that really made me who I am in the BMX world, it would have to be being the "First rider to ever do a backflip in a race." Back then, it was a really, really big deal. Most people had never seen anyone do a flip on a bike. Actaully, I can pretty much guarantee that 99.99% of them had never seen anyone do a flip at all before this weekend. Remember, this was 14 years ago. What's funny is that this was the first time I ever did them in a race & I did them in 4 out of my 6 motos! I don't think that I made any mains that weekend, but I will never forget that race. How shady was I back in the day? The girl who I was dating at the time came out to the race. And after she left, I was swoopin' on another chick! Shady, shady. I seemed bummed that she lived in San Diego. That's probably because I didn't own a car back in these days.

Sponsored by Haro! November 5th, 1993
Todd Lyons journal: Rode to work in the morning at GT BMX. I got home & called Haro. They offered me a $500/month sponsorship salary & all travel expenses! I'm cool with that. It's a deal! Welcome to fatness! I'm going to quit my job at GT tomorrow. At night, John Paul Rogers & I drank beer & then rode down by Main Street in Huntington Beach & went to the heavy metal bar, Mazotti's. I met this girl (woman), Leslie. She's from England & she was all up on me. John Paul & I went to another bar with her. We had fun! When we left, I doubled Leslie on my handlebars back to her house. Funny! She's old! I think she's about 35yrs old. I stayed the night there with her.
Todd Lyons, www.fatbmx.com, july 2007: Man, I was absolutely stoked that Haro was going to pay me $500/month to ride for them. Wow! It felt so good to walk back into work the next day at GT to tell them that I quit. I was only making about $475/month working at GT three day a week. So I was on seventh heaven being able to quit my job and being able to be an official salaried "Pro Rider." This was the first time in my life that a company actually paid me a salary to ride my bike. Man, I couldn't believe it. How about that "old woman?" Take note that I'm 35 yrs old now. I remember that we used to see her at all the bars & we'd named her O.E. As in "Old English." And sure enough, I went home with O.E. I guess it was my way of celebrating my new Haro sponsorship. I wonder if any girls at the bars nowadays call me the "O.M.?"...
Interviews in Ride BMX UK #13 october 1994 and Props #5 november 1994.

Todd Lyons: It was back in like '94 at the Christmas race in Columbus. I was sitting with Craig Reynolds and Steve Buddendeck, who was the current editor of Snap magazine. I was just talking and telling some crazy stories about some wild stuff that I've gotten into. Then Craig looked at me and told me that he was going to start calling me the "Wildman." I was like "Yeah, yeah, whatever." But Buddendeck was there and when the next Snap mag went to print, I was referred to as the Wildman. The rest is history. Reynolds always jokes with me and tells me that I owe him a commission from my ODI Wildman grips.
Cover and interview in Snap #4 may 1995.

Todd Lyons: 1995 was the year that BMX dirt jumping really started to boom and get some mainstream coverage. It's no coincidence that this was also the first year of the ESPN X-Games. Back then it was called the "Extreme Games". I got 5th at that inaugural contest in Rhode Island and got kicked out the very next year. It was a crazy night where I had a run in with the Rollerblade girl racers. But man, I had a good time...
Todd Lyons, www.facebook.com, february 2015: The inaugural event took place in Rhode Island 20yrs ago in the summer of 1995. I was one of the lucky BMX dirt jumpers chosen to compete & I placed 5th that year. The dirt "course" was just one giant jump. That vert rider Jay Myron won dirt, believe it or not! Love or hate the X-Games, they really nailed it with this sentence on the invite: "Our mission is to create an Olympic-style event, through which the competing athletes and their "alternative" sports can be household names." -Before the X-Games, I would always have to explain to people what BMX was. And think about this, before the X-Games, did your high school friends and your relatives know who the "Miracle Boy" Dave Mirra was? The X-Games changed all that. It has definitely brought BMX and it's premier riders into the public eye. -I competed in the X-Games eight times in three different disciplines over the years. And looking back now that I'm in my 40's, I'd say that being an "X-Games athlete" is one of the highlights of my career. Man, all of this reminiscing kind of makes me want to SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!

Todd Lyons gets a little crazy on the cover of BMX Plus! august 1995 with this lake jump no-footed seat-grab gone wrong in St. Cloud, Floarida. Photo by Mark Losey.

Todd Lyons: I won my first ever AA Pro ABA National that year in Reno, NV, right ahead of the legendary Gary Ellis.
todd lyons snap bmx may 1995

todd lyons bmx plus! 08 1995 pp
1996 Flip x-up one foot. flip xup one foot
1997 Riding for Huffy.
Todd Lyons: In 1997 Huffy gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. The salary was over 5 times the amount I started with Haro just 3 years earlier! It was definitely a gamble though seeing as at that time Huffy was only considered as a K-Mart brand. I definitely took some heat from other riders for riding for such a mainstream company. My five years on Huffy were pretty carefree. It was a super relaxed program where I could travel when and wherever I wanted. I took advantage of the large budget and went to just about every contest and race that I could. They gave me my first signature bike (TL-88) and promoted me to the fullest. One month I had a photo on the cover of USA Today's sports page and also a photo in the Wall Street Journal. During those years I was also the BMX team manager for JNCO clothes and Arnette sunglasses. I had about five other co-sponsors paying me a monthly salary as well. The money was rolling in from every direction, so I decided to buy a house here in Huntington Beach.

Video Huffy Annihilator.
huffy stick
Signature sticker from Huffy drawn by legendary BMX Artist Andy Jenkins.
1998 A shoes and clothing compay called JNCO showed its support of BMX picking up Todd Lyons.

Todd Lyons: I broke my wrist really bad in Australia at the 1998 World Championships. I had to get 6 frickin' pins put in and I couldn't ride for 5 months. After months of therapy, I went to my first race and broke my other hand! Some suckers out there thought my BMX days were over.
1999 Todd Lyons: By the end of 1999 I came back and earned the NBL's A-Pro title.
Cover of BMXer june 2000.
09 99
Todd Lyons: After a couple of good years on the jump contest scene, the BMX industry started to take a dive. With 9/11, the crappy economy, and the hurting BMX industry, Huffy dropped me at the end of 2001.
todd 2001
2002 Sponsored by Knucklebone, Odyssey, ODI, Spred clothing, Kenda, Adidas, and Asterik knee braces.
Todd Lyons: I started off the first part of 2002 without a bike sponsor and I was paying my own way to the races. Luckily Intruder, a small bike company out of Florida, stepped up in March and paid my expenses to the rest of the year's races.
2003 SE.
June 2003. Todd Lyons: I just signed a 2-year deal with SE Racing. I've got another signature bike in the works and I've got the backing to get to all of the contests and races again. I've definitely got a new psyche and positive outlook on riding. My life has revolved around that "little BMX bike" for 22 years and I'm just as excited to ride as ever. As long as most of my body parts are still working, you can bet that I'll be down at the trails.

Todd placed 4th in the Downhill BMX event of the 2003 X-Games.
Oakland, NJ - Aug 1, 2004 - SE Racing has named Todd Lyons as its new brand manager. Lyons will continue to be a sponsored rider for SE Racing and will now be responsible for media relations, promotions at events, developing a grassroots program, and product development. "We're excited to have a guy with such an extensive BMX background in this position," says the president of Fuji Bikes, SE Racing's parent company, Patrick Cunnane. "He came to us highly recommended from many people within the industry."