Bruce Bunch, Rick Hemme, Kyle Fleming

Webcokid
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10/7/2017 10:08am Edited Date/Time 10/7/2017 10:10am
The story by Bret Smith was good. Can't say I really knew Kyle and Rick, but certainly had great respect for them. Bruce was a cool kid, and always had a lot of fun hanging out with him. He was a good bike rider. I still drive by his house on Barkley st. , and remember the jumps and tracks we had. I'd never bought an Oakley product before, yet had used some goggles at the track a few years back. I'll never quite understood why Dana had to do that, why we will never know. The story helped me forgive Dana, for which is very hard, yet know it's best to let it go! I bought a pair of Oakley sunglasses last week, and have officially put my anger to rest. Im sure Bruce would like the shades!
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Brett Smith
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10/9/2017 5:34pm Edited Date/Time 10/9/2017 5:34pm
Webcokid wrote:
The story by Bret Smith was good. Can't say I really knew Kyle and Rick, but certainly had great respect for them. Bruce was a cool...
The story by Bret Smith was good. Can't say I really knew Kyle and Rick, but certainly had great respect for them. Bruce was a cool kid, and always had a lot of fun hanging out with him. He was a good bike rider. I still drive by his house on Barkley st. , and remember the jumps and tracks we had. I'd never bought an Oakley product before, yet had used some goggles at the track a few years back. I'll never quite understood why Dana had to do that, why we will never know. The story helped me forgive Dana, for which is very hard, yet know it's best to let it go! I bought a pair of Oakley sunglasses last week, and have officially put my anger to rest. Im sure Bruce would like the shades!
Thanks, Tony! Glad you like it and thank you for reading it. You're the the first person I've heard say that about Dana. It's touching. I obviously come into this story with a different perspective, having not known (or known of) any of these people before I started. I just wanted to tell the story. I hope it gives some people a little bit of peace.
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Dragoo168
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2/1/2018 11:42am
Carl gave me that hat shortly after the accident, I've had it on display on one of my Fleming memorial trophies ever since, I have a...
Carl gave me that hat shortly after the accident, I've had it on display on one of my Fleming memorial trophies ever since, I have a picture of it somewhere in this thread. When Carl told me he wanted to wear it to the BMX Hall of Fame I got in my car that day and drove it to him.
That's cool...
a22
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2/14/2018 5:13am Edited Date/Time 2/14/2018 3:09pm
The other night I was watching Ron Lechien Documentary on youtube...Ron Documentary
right at the end (20.54-21.00 mins), there is a tiny bit of footage that may briefly show some R&D Suzuki's, poss Bruce and the others even?

Not totally sure, as its very short and abit grainy but does look like the no 6 that Bruce seemed to run, along with the distinctive helmet, does look abit like a couple or so of R&D Suzuki's. Pity it does not show abit more footage- is a good documentary by the way

That period of racing seemed so cool and the riders and competion seemed fierce and it was prestigious if you managed to do well, as these guys surely did.

The Shop

6/5/2018 3:22pm
So many photos on here that don’t load anymore. Be good if people could repost or submit new photos for this awesome (but tragic) thread
Brett Smith
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6/6/2018 5:02am
So many photos on here that don’t load anymore. Be good if people could repost or submit new photos for this awesome (but tragic) thread
There's a Facebook group that you can ask to join. I think it's called "You Should Know Bruce Bunch". You can also orders back issues of the magazine that I wrote the article in last year. readmeta.com

It was issue #009. There are photos in there that nobody had seen for a very long time.

Thanks,

Brett
a22
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6/9/2018 1:27pm Edited Date/Time 6/9/2018 1:35pm
There's a Facebook group that you can ask to join. I think it's called "You Should Know Bruce Bunch". You can also orders back issues of...
There's a Facebook group that you can ask to join. I think it's called "You Should Know Bruce Bunch". You can also orders back issues of the magazine that I wrote the article in last year. readmeta.com

It was issue #009. There are photos in there that nobody had seen for a very long time.

Thanks,

Brett
Thanks for the Facebook info Brett, did not even know about that- being abit of a fan of these fine 3 riders. I could look at the pics and I am not on Facebook even, so was very cool. Some really good pictures and stories, there is a really great pic of Bruce getting all crossed up over a jump- fantastic! Kind of looks abit like that famous Hannah pic, where he has all his legs flying about off a jump, except Bruce is probably about 14 years old!!
Thoroughly recommend anyone having a look at this Facebook page- some great pics and stories in memory of this fantastic young rider and Rick and Kyle also.

Surely was a great period of racing those years and the talented riders that came with it.
Whymee
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5/26/2019 6:36am
I will say upfront that I did not know any one in question that this thread has talked about at the time that it was happening. Being from WV I was motocross poor. I could barely keep fresh tires on my RM and afford to compete in D5. Let alone afford the additional cost of Cycle News.

I just read through this 12 pager. Also read the article in Meta. Brett that has to be one of the best articles that I have ever read about the sport that I have been involved in for the better part of 40 years. Powerful journalism.

May the people involved (either living or deceased) find their peace. They certainly deserve it...
1
Brett Smith
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5/28/2019 6:40am
Whymee wrote:
I will say upfront that I did not know any one in question that this thread has talked about at the time that it was happening...
I will say upfront that I did not know any one in question that this thread has talked about at the time that it was happening. Being from WV I was motocross poor. I could barely keep fresh tires on my RM and afford to compete in D5. Let alone afford the additional cost of Cycle News.

I just read through this 12 pager. Also read the article in Meta. Brett that has to be one of the best articles that I have ever read about the sport that I have been involved in for the better part of 40 years. Powerful journalism.

May the people involved (either living or deceased) find their peace. They certainly deserve it...
Whymee,

Thank you so much for reading that article and taking the time to send such a kind note. It was quite an experience writing that.

If you liked "The Darkest Day in Motocross", check out my website wewentfast.com. Lots more moto stories there.

- Brett
a22
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12/6/2021 2:31pm
Really beautiful pic of Bruce, Rick and Larry from the time.

Mike P. posted it in another thread but figured appropriate to include in this thread as a memorial of these two super riders, alongside Kyle.

8
Sully
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7/21/2022 10:19pm
The 40th anniversary of this tragedy is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd post this cool video featuring Bruce and Rick that Motokiwi posted in another thread last week. It definitely would have been cool to have gotten to see these kids ride in person.

4
Webcokid
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7/28/2022 12:03pm
a22 wrote:
Really beautiful pic of Bruce, Rick and Larry from the time. Mike P. posted it in another thread but figured appropriate to include in this thread...
Really beautiful pic of Bruce, Rick and Larry from the time.

Mike P. posted it in another thread but figured appropriate to include in this thread as a memorial of these two super riders, alongside Kyle.

So, many people look at this photo and simply see the R&D boys at Ponca. But there is much more to it. Bruce is wearing a Shaun Kalos hat and being the usual smart ass as he was. Then Bruce has a cast on his left wrist, from how they kept secret from what really happened, yet some know the "truth". lol. He shaved the hand part down with a razor blade, so he could hang on and work the clutch as needed. Lastly, this was to be his last race and insisted on attending, although Suzuki did not require him to race. Look closely, Bruce does not have any R&D Racing gear on? Without public announcement, he had been signed as an Factory Suzuki rider and could only wear the Suzuki name. The minute this race ended he would become a pro, yet we all know what happened instead. He signed for a substantial amount of money as well, and some know the actual figure...Guess Who?

Webco Kid: Saddleback Park, Calif.
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Webcokid
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7/28/2022 12:04pm
Sully wrote:
The 40th anniversary of this tragedy is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd post this cool video featuring Bruce and Rick...
The 40th anniversary of this tragedy is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd post this cool video featuring Bruce and Rick that Motokiwi posted in another thread last week. It definitely would have been cool to have gotten to see these kids ride in person.

This was really great to see. Thank you for posting, as it brought back alot of memories.
Webco Kid
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Brett Smith
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8/1/2022 6:33am
It's with a heavy heart that we observe August 1 and the haunting memories the date brings. Forty years ago today the motocross world lost 3 future champions and the Bunch, Hemme and Fleming families each lost a child.

We Went Fast has reprinted "The Darkest Day in Motocross", which, in 2017 appeared in the journal formerly known as META.

To read online: https://www.wewentfast.com/2022/08/01/darkestday/

To listen to the podcast version, find the "We Went Fast" podcast channel in your preferred player and look for episode #19. Or listen directly on the We Went Fast website by clicking here.

It's been an honor and a privilege to care for the memory of these boys. Please share this story with a friend.

- Brett
@wewentfast
wewentfast.com
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Sully
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8/1/2022 11:35pm
It's with a heavy heart that we observe August 1 and the haunting memories the date brings. Forty years ago today the motocross world lost 3...
It's with a heavy heart that we observe August 1 and the haunting memories the date brings. Forty years ago today the motocross world lost 3 future champions and the Bunch, Hemme and Fleming families each lost a child.

We Went Fast has reprinted "The Darkest Day in Motocross", which, in 2017 appeared in the journal formerly known as META.

To read online: https://www.wewentfast.com/2022/08/01/darkestday/

To listen to the podcast version, find the "We Went Fast" podcast channel in your preferred player and look for episode #19. Or listen directly on the We Went Fast website by clicking here.

It's been an honor and a privilege to care for the memory of these boys. Please share this story with a friend.

- Brett
@wewentfast
wewentfast.com
Just finished reading it. Great work as always, Brett.

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