../people/Harold McGruther

Sources: BMX Plus!, www.revolution-ads.com, www.bmxfreestyler.com, www.fatbmx.com, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1962 DOB: january 21, 1962.
McGoo, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006: My name is Harold McGruther, but everyone has called me McGoo since I was 12 years old. I raced BMX in my home state of Florida from February 1974 until October 1982. I was a mediocre midpack goon for most of my years on the track, but I had a gift of gab that sponsors found attractive. In 1979 I landed my first factory sponsorship from a legitimate California-based BMX company, Torker. The Johnson family owned Torker in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, and Mrs. Doris Johnson was the person who gave me a job offer to work at Max (a subsidiary of Torker BMX) in 1982. At the time I was living with my best friends Greg and Bryan Esser in Pompano Beach, Florida, and working as the editor of Bicycles Today, the NBL’s official BMX newsletter. In December of 1982 I moved to California to work for Torker and Max and I never looked back. I have been working in the bike industry ever since.
1974 McGoo, 2003: I was 12 when I started a BMX track in Bradenton, Florida, in '74.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: I helped build a BMX track in my home town of Bradenton, FL with neighborhood friends.
1975 McGoo, 2003: I raced and had bouts of success in BMX.
1979 McGoo, 2003: I rode for Torker in '79 and '80. I got that ride because of my gift of gab. They certainly didn't need a fast 16X on their team; they had Doug Olsen, Eddy King, etc. They just needed someone who could talk.
1980 McGoo, 2003: I graduated high school on june 9th, 1980, and went to my last NBL National as a serious 20-inch competitor on june 10th, racing 16&over expert.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: I kept in touch with my various sponsors and friends in the BMX scene at that time, but I didn't race again until cruisers came on the scene in 1981…
1982 McGoo, 2003: March of '82, I got a job as the editor of the NBL newspaper Bicycles Today with George Esser as my boss.

McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: Hooked up with my old friends Greg Esser, Greg Hill, Stu Thomsen and others on the NBL summer BMX tour. I raced a cruiser. I'd been touring the eastern USA racing nationals since 1978, but this was the best summer ever. My travels that year took me to California for the first time in my life, where I met with my old sponsor Torker. The family that owned Torker and Max offered me a job in October of this year. I was living with Greg Esser's family and working at the NBL at the time, so I quit my job as editor of the NBL newspaper and moved to California in December.
1983 McGoo, 2003: I moved to California and got a job with Torker. I worked there for two years. I was first introduced to freestyle when I worked for Max here at Torker. They sponsored riders like Mike Buff, Woody Itson, Martin Aparijo, Eddie Fiola and Bob Haro. Max was one of the early pioneers in terms of sponsorship.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: Bob Haro rode a Torker frame and wore Max racing pants. In November of 1982 Haro introduced his own line of racing pants at the ABA Grands. The people at Max weren't happy about that, and they asked me to let Bob know that we wouldn't be sending him his salary check for the month of December. My first official job at Max and Torker was to fire Bob Haro! I had only known Bob briefly for a year or so before that, and he was one of my heroes. Firing one of my heroes was something I would do more than once in my BMX career...
1984 McGoo, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006: When Max and Torker filed for bankruptcy in November of 1984, I took a position as the assistant editor of BMX Plus! Magazine under John Ker. I worked there for six months.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: Torker went bankrupt and I became unemployed. My friend Dean Bradley had recently quit his job as editor at BMX Plus! magazine, so I interviewed to be his replacement. John Ker hired me on the spot.
1985 CW team manager.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: Things at BMX Plus! were really cool for six months, but I missed working in the bike business. An old workmate of mine at Torker called me and said CW needed a freestyle team manager. I took that job and hired Dizz Hicks and Ceppie Maes to tour with Mike Buff and me on the 1985 CW Freestyle Tour. After three months on the road with Dizz it was easy to see that Mike Buff's days were over. Mike Buff quit riding, Dizz Hicks became the star of our show and Ceppie Maes and I became roommates. I travelled around the USA three times in 15 months with the CW Trick Team. My contributions to the CW program caught the eye of the marketing direct at GT Bicycles.
McGoo, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006: My co-worker at Torker was a man named Rich Osborn (no relation to Bob Osborn.) Rich took a job at CW. In the spring of 1985 CW needed a freestyle program so I quit my job at BMX Plus! To get things going at CW. Mike Buff and Dizz Hicks were already on the CW payroll when I joined the company in may of 1985. I had one month to build a ramp, organize a team, buy a P.A., book a tour and go on the road. I added Ceppie Maes and Gary Pollack to the program the summer of 1985 and the four of us (Gary, Ceppie, Dizz and I) toured the country for the next two years.
1986 McGoo, 2003: CW team featured Gary Pollak, Dizz Hicks and Ceppie Maes. we did two US freestyle tours that year: The Summer Extended Remix Tour and the Fall Back to School Bash. 85 shows in 135 days with once cancellation. It was the longest tour and the most shows that any freestyle team had done to that point, and we were proud to have accomplished it. but we were also exhausted.

McGoo left his position as team manager at CW to work for GT.
McGoo, 2003: Sean Buckley at GT approached me and said he needed an in-house administrative assistant. I took the job. I really wanted to focus on advertising and product development, so they let me dabble in it a bit. I did the team thing with GT for two and a hal years. I managed to muscle into the product development side of the company for the '90 model line. I cut my teeth developing products domestically with GT.
McGoo, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006: I was lured away from CW in the fall of 1986 by a guy named Shawn Buckley at GT. Shawn was a workaholic kook that very few people liked, but working for him gave me a chance to diversify my skillset in the bike industry. Running the GT and Dyno freestyle teams from 1986 to 1989 was a part of my responsibilities at GT, but I also managed the pro BMX program, designed products and wrote copy for catalogs and advertising. My 3.5 years at GT were good ones, and I worked with a ton of great people, most notably Dave Voelker, Josh White, Eddie Fiola and Gary Ellis.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: GT offered me a job. I took it. My boss at GT was a jerk, but I used the opportunity to gain experience in other facets of the bike business. I became a product manager for the BMX side, I managed the freestyle and race team at GT for two years, and I wrote all the copy for GT, DYNO and GT MTB catalogs for three years. When it became obvious to me that I had hit the ceiling at GT, I handed Rich Long my resignation and moved to Mongoose.
1987 Video GT demo tape.
1988 Interview: Freestylin #40 september 1988.

GT's garrulous freestyle team manager Harold "McGoo" McGruther married his lady, Rhonda Burns, a sales rep at GT, in early october.
1989 Working for Mongoose.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: At Mongoose I met the man who would become my mentor in the bicycle business: Bob Margevicius. Bob was smart, hard working, super experienced and very generous and trusting. He gave me 100% authority to do anything I said was necessary to improve the Mongoose BMX brand, which was a distant #4 in BMX at that time (GT was #1, Haro was #2, Diamondback was #3). I immediately hired Dennis McCoy to help me design and promote a new line of freestyle bikes, and I hired Fuzzy Hall to improve Mongoose's image in dirt jumping.
McGoo, 2003: The Mongoose offer came along, I knew it included going to Taiwan negociating deals on product devlopment. I took it and I was excited about it.
McGoo, www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006: When I quit GT in 1989 to be the marketing and product manager for the BMX division at Mongoose, I hired Dennis McCoy and Fuzzy Hall. Believe it or not, working at Mongoose was probably the most rewarding time in my early career. My boss at Mongoose was an amazing teacher, and the many trips I took to Taiwan helped build the foundation for the career that I enjoy in the bike business today. If I hadn’t spent two years at Mongoose, I wouldn’t have come in contact with the people who helped me start and manage SNAFU BMX, Universal Motocross or my latest venture, Biltwell Inc. (a small chopper parts and accessories company.)

DMC is now riding for Mongoose. He negociated whith McGoo immediately following the AFA Masters Finals and is now their one-man team.
McGoo: I signed two riders my first month at Mongoose: Dennis McCoy and Tim "Fuzzy" Hall. Fuzzy still rides for Mongoose 15 years later.
1990 McGoo: I designed everything for Mongoose BMX for '91 and '92. I had the power of the pen; what I said went. Whatever it cost, I determinated it for better or for worse. Developping a bike that 40,000 kids a year see fit to buy is exciting.
1991 McGoo is no longer working full time for Mongoose Bicycles.
McGoo, 2003: The CEO of American Recreation Group, the parent company of Mongoose, instructed my boss, friend and mentor Bob Margevicius to fire me for "my devisive behavior." What I had done to earn that honor was to put a photograph of a black man dressed as a woman on the cover of the 1990 Mongoose BMX catalog. The photograph was given to me by Brad McDonald, then photographer of Go magazine. A copy of the same photograph hung in Mike Miranda's cubicle at Vision Streetwear.
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: I thought it would be funny to put a photo of a black transvestite on the cover of the Mongoose BMX catalog. Bob's bosses thought otherwise. Bob was forced to fire me at Mongoose. After working for the #1 company in BMX and helping to reinvent Mongoose for the '90s, I decided to try other things. I started a small mail order company with no money called Mental Jimmy's.

McGoo, 2003: With nowhere to go and nothing to do, I borrowed $5,000 from my grandmother and started Mental Jimmy's, a tiny mail-order company. the company was named after a friend of Mark Lewman's from Kalamazoo, Michigan. My ill-fated business plan with Mental Jimmy's was to sell kids what they needed for serious bike riding, not what they wanted. In other words, no purple brakes, titanium cranks, carbon fiber frames, etc. It was a hard sell, and in 1994 I sold the company to John Paul Rogers.
1992 Interview in BMX Plus! february 1992.

McGoo, 2003: I founded Revolution Advertising, a design, marketing and creative services agency that caters to the bike industry. First client is Kinesis, a Taiwanese manufacturer of high-performance aluminum bicycle frames and forks.
1994 Sold Mental Jimmy's mail order to John Paul Rogers.
1995 McGoo's answering to Kris Bennett letter in Ride BMX US.

McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: In 1995 an art director at another small specialty agency named Bill Bryant and I combined energies and clients to make Revolution a stronger presence in the bicycle business.
1999 SNAFU
McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: In 1999 Bill Bryant and I used our connections and experience to start SNAFU BMX.

Props Road Fools 4.
2000 Steve Van Doren and McGoo have put together the Vans Triple Crown downhill races.
2002 McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: We followed that start-up with another in 2002. That company is called Universal Motocross.
2003 Heads up a design/ad agency in Corona, California called Revolution.

September 2003, Harold is bidding on ebay to get a copy of the february 1992 issue of Plus!. Isn't it an exclusive information from 23mag ?
2006 McGoo, www.fatbmx.com, january 2008: In 2006 we hooked up with our friend Chris Collins to start a custom motorcycle parts and accessory company called Biltwell Inc. Managing Biltwell and SNAFU and providing creative services to several other companies in the bike business keeps us really busy, but we've never been happier. I travel around the world, I work with great people, and I spend every waking minute thinking about bikes, motorcycles and business. What could be better?

Interview by Jeffery Slavik for www.bmxfreestyler.com, november 2006.