On April 4th, 1993 the world lost a truly special human being and one of my best friends, Jamie “the Flash” Holtorf. On that fateful day Jamie went out for a ride on his motorcycle along with Ryan Johnstone and Steve Rosman. As they say “accidents happen” and this one changed the lives of everyone who knew Jamie forever. Rarely a day goes by where I don’t think of him still.
Just a few short days later I was riding Jamie’s Auburn bike and wearing his racing uniform leading the funeral procession from the service to the cemetery. Riding shotgun beside me was Kevin Grandberg riding Jamie’s 24” cruiser. We were both so incredibly honored the Holtorf family asked us to do this. I’ll never forget turning back and seeing the long line of cars following us farther than my eyes could even see. I honestly felt like I was in his skin and he was leading the pack to the finish line one last time. Jamie’s spirit and unmistakable laugh still live on inside all of us who knew him.
Fast forward to 2018 and a new trend is taking off, retro 26” and 29” BMX bikes. Bigger and more comfortable to cruise on but with all the nostalgia of the bikes we grew up riding and loved. Any BMX rider growing up in the 80’s and 90’s have outgrown their 20” BMX bicycles as they have become hard on the back to ride for most of us. Kevin Grandberg approaches me to build him a custom 29” BMX to cruise around Copenhagen on. I suggest we build him a Jamie Holtorf tribute bike and he’s instantly sold on the idea. We asked the Holtorf’s permission to build a custom bike honoring Jamie and they were delighted by the idea.
This got me thinking though, one bike is not enough to honor the legacy of such an amazing human being and Canadian BMX legend. To tell Jamie’s story you would need at least three bikes commemorating his Canadian BMX Association National titles. Kevin Grandberg will be riding the first one in honor of Jamie’s 1991 cruiser title. With everyone’s help I would love to raise some funds to build the next two bikes.
First off would be an Auburn tribute for the Holtorf family. I know Joey Holtorf would love a big bike replica to burn around on. Jamie took his riding to the next level when he got on his Auburn, it fit his riding style perfectly. He took his Auburn and carried on a Saskatoon tradition by winning the Amateur 20” National title in 1991 following Elling Haug, Paul Buczkowski and myself as Saskatoon alumni.
Lastly something special for Steve Rosman. We were teammates with Jamie in 1990 riding for Bike n Blade as he went on to win his first National 24” cruiser title that year. Steve and Jamie had a very special friendship and to honor that would be very special indeed. Even though I lost my own brother to motor vehicle accident I can’t imagine what is must have been like for Steve & Ryan to have been witness to Jamie’s fateful crash.
It would be my goal to have one of these bikes finished and unveil it at the inaugural Jamie Holtorf memorial race scheduled for Jamie’s birthday on July 31st this year at the Diamond BMX Club in Warman SK. So with your help I’d love to bring smiles to the faces of everyone who loves and misses my man Jamie “the Flash” Holtorf
Thanks in advance, Steve Calette❤️
- Graham Matheos
- Pam Cowles
- Martina Henry
- Dave Savoie
- Paul Savoie
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