Charles “The AMTRAK” Townsend is a power house and a living legend, one of few 80’s BMX legends that can still cut it in the AA Pro class today. He’s one of even fewer who has his own website.
bmxultra.com: When/how and where did you get started in BMX?
Charles: I started racing about 18 years ago. A friend who lived around the corner raced, I asked him where the track was and went to go check it out with a friend. And I have been hooked ever since. It was at a local track near my house.
bmxultra.com: When did you turn pro?
Charles: I turned pro back in 1987 when I was riding for Revcore.
bmxultra.com: How did you know it was time to turn pro?
Charles: I knew it was time when I had gotten #1 in amateur in NBL and at the World Championships. It was just the next step. It has changed my life a great deal. I have been to places were most people have not been and it has been a great education.
bmxultra.com: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t racing?
Charles: If I was not racing I would be in a whole lot of trouble.
bmxultra.com: What are your highest rankings?
Charles: I have #1 in ABA, #1 World Champion and #1 in ABA.
bmxultra.com: What happened between you and Robinson?
Charles: Some people at Robinson just thought I did not have what it takes to be a Champ any more.
bmxultra.com: Who are your sponsors?
Charles: Right now, my sponsors are; Troy Lee, Haro, Vans, ODI, Knucklebone, Answer, Clifbar.
bmxultra.com: Tell us about your website
Charles: My website is something that I may start to sell product on. Just for my co-sponsors though.
bmxultra.com: How often will it be updated?
Charles: As soon as I get all of my sponsor deals done for 2000, I can really update it.
bmxultra.com: What effect do you think the web will have on BMX?
Charles: I think BMX will be able to benefit from the internet. One way or another.
bmxultra.com: Grant White lived with you in the 1998 season, what was he like?
Charles: Grant was a good guy to live with. He snores a little loud though.
bmxultra.com: Do you think that Grant should have stayed in the US?
Charles: I most definitely think Grant should have stayed for another season.
bmxultra.com: Do you keep in contact with him?
Charles: Yup, I try to stay in touch as much as possible through e-mail.
bmxultra.com: What is your greatest BMX memory?
Charles: I have so many great BMX memories, but getting the number one would have to be pretty high up the list.
bmxultra.com: What is your favourite country to ride in?
Charles: One of my favorite countries would have to be Aussie and N.Z.
bmxultra.com: What do you think of clipless pedals?
Charles: I think clipless pedals are for kooks.
bmxultra.com: What are the biggest differences between BMX today and when you first started?
Charles: The tracks these days are a lot more technical and more jumps.
bmxultra.com: Where do you see BMX in 5 years?
Charles: I see BMX getting more recognition in 5 years.
bmxultra.com: What kind of music do you listen to?
Charles: I listen to all kinds of music.
bmxultra.com: What do you think of Neil Young?
Charles: I don’t like country.
bmxultra.com: If you could change anything about BMX what would it be?
Charles: If I could change anything, it would be the schedules and of course bigger purses.
Interviewed: 31 Dec 1999
Posted in: Interviews