By Joey Bradford / www.JoeyBradford.com - 2005

Name: Eric "Big Daddy" Rupe

Home Town now and then: now/Chatsworth, CA - then/Tampa, FL

Years Racing: 27 yrs as a Pro. 31 yrs total

Sponsors: Mongoose, Hyundai, Sram, Kenda, O'Neal, Sun Ringle, SDG, O'Gio, Easton, Bio Racer, ATi, Oakley, Vans, Profile, Champion Nutrition

Titles: 1976 NBA Western States Champion 13x 1983 NBL #1 AA Pro 1984 NBL #1 AA Pro 1984 USBA #1 AA Pro 1987 ABA #1 Pro Cruiser 1987 NBL #1 Pro Cruiser 1987 UCI World Champion Pro Cruiser 1988 ABA #1 Pro Cruiser 1988 NBL #1 Pro Cruiser 1989 UCI World Champion Pro Cruiser 1995 ABA #1 Vet Pro 1995 NBL #1 Vet Pro 1996 ABA #1 Vet Pro 1997 ABA #1 Vet Pro 1997 ABA World Cup Champion Vet Pro 1998 ABA #1 Vet Pro 1998 ABA World Cup Champion Vet Pro 1998 ABA World Cup Champion Pro Cruiser 1999 ABA R.O.C. Champion A-Pro 2000 NBL #1 A-Pro 2000 ABA #1 Vet Pro 2001 ABA World Champion Vet Pro 2001 ABA #1 Vet Pro 2002 NBL #1 A-Pro Cruiser 2004 NBL #1 Elite Masters

What would be a normal day for Eric Rupe?: Wake up around 8.am. and eat oatmeal/8 egg whites. Read and answer some e-mail. Be at the gym by 10:30. Have lunch.....back at the house to relax and do whatever. Go to Sycamore BMX track at 5pm for gates and practice. Dinner by 7:30 with friends or family. Chill with some TV until around 11p.m., then bed. Not too exciting, as I'm not as young as I used to be. LOL

What are some of the problems you face trying to stay at the top of your class as you get older?: Motivation at this point is the hardest thing to maintain. As you can see from my list of titles won, I've done a lot in my career. There isn't much more I could have won, so I try to keep it fun and find different reasons to keep going. Getting paid huge amounts of money to ride bikes for a living makes it pretty easy though! ;-)

Past sponsors and current sponsors and job?: Canyon Cyclery (bike shop 1976). R&R (factory 1977). Schwinn (factory 1977 to 1980). SE (factory 1981) Mongoose (factory 1982) Profile (factory 1983) Mongoose (factory 1984-1990) Parkpre (factory 1995-1997) Mongoose (factory 1998-????)

When you were growing up as a racer who did you look up to?: The first guy in BMX that I looked up to was my older brother Robby. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike when I was 5 years old. He taught me and inspired me to be better and better, which is a huge part of why I have been a successful racer. Stu Thomsen was the first guy on the Pro National Circuit that I wanted to be like and be even better than. It was a great day for me when I beat him out for the NBL AA Pro title in 1983. My first pro championship.

What was the best year of your career?: I'd have to say 2000 was my best year. I took my oldest son Rocky with me to a bunch of races that year. He even went on summer tour with me where he made his first expert main. That was a proud day for PaPa! I won the NBL single A Pro Title that year and the ABA Vet Pro Title. 2000 was a great year for a 37 year old BMX veteran.

What motivates you to stay with BMX over all these years?: I still have fun riding, traveling, hanging out with my teammates and competing, but it still thrills me the most to see my bank account grow larger and larger every year! Tru Dat. $$$$$$$$$$

Who did you hate to race against back then?: Nobody really. I liked racing all the guys. Win or lose, it was always a good show for the fans. What did you like the most and least about racing back then compared to now?: The thing I liked most about racing back in the day was that everywhere I went (tracks & shops) everyone knew who I was. I felt like a cool-guy superstar. It's not quite like that today. The thing I liked least about racing back then was... actually nothing. I loved it all! The thing I like most about racing today is the fact that I'M STILL RACING! Sweet. The thing I like least about racing today is that... again, there isn't anything I don't like. It's all good. I love racing BMX. How else could a guy race for 31 years? LOL 

What's changed about racing over the years?: Two things have changed over the years. The bikes are better and the tracks are tougher. The pro payout is pretty much the same (which SUCKS!) and the riders are no different. The guys from back in the late 70's and early 80's could have been just as good as the kids of today if they would have had the same kinds of bikes to ride and the same kinds of tracks to race and practice on. If today's pros could somehow go back in time and race the pros back in the 80's on the old tracks who would come out on top?: There is no question that if top pro BMXers of 2005 went back in time to race with top pros from the 1980s, 2005 guys would win. But if you took that same 1980s pro and raised him on today's tracks using toadies bikes, he would be just as good.

What do you do for training?: Sprints, weights, starts, full laps, trails, rhythm sections, sleep right, eat right. For more detailed info on all of this, you can visit me at www.ERICRUPE.com

Name some of your favorite amateurs: Joey Bradford, Eric Magnola, Dennis from Vegas, Randon Yates, TJ Johnson... wait a tick, isn't he pro?, Mike Lundy and David Seino just to name a few.

Name your favorite pros: John Purse, Randy Stumpfhauser, Nate Berkheimer, and some other guys, but I can't remember their names. ;-)

Favorite food?: Mexican, Italian, American, and just about any kind of dessert.

Favorite Drink?: Water, Red Bull, Diet Pepsi, Lemon Aide, Ice Tea just to name a few. 

Personal Hero?: I believe there is a "HERO" in all of us. Up Up and Awaaaaayyyy!!! 

What was the last thing you bought?: Other than food and gas, I'd have to say it was a new Play Station 2. I dropped my old one and broke it. Oooopps!

Favorite thing about BMX?: Traveling and seeing the world on someone else's dime and getting to do what I love for a living, No many people can say that.

Least favorite thing about BMX?: Missing my kids Rocky, John, Kevin when I'm on the road.

Name Game: 

John Purse: Determined 

Randy Stumpfhauser: Calm

Nate Berkheimer: Buff

Christophe Leveque: Smooth

Thomas Allier: Fast

Mike Day: Stylish

Jason Carnes: Bald

Harry Leary: Legend

Bubba Harris: Incredible

TJ Johnson: Rockford

Joey Bradford: Future

2005 goals: Stay healthy, have fun, win races, have fun, make people feel good about themselves, have fun, invest $$$, have fun and sign a contract for 2006!

Thanks: A big thank you shout out goes to my Mom & Dad, my three great sons Rocky, John & Kevin, Travis/Mongoose, Bruce/ATi, Agnew/Pacific, Pures/Mongoose, Chris/O'Neal, Brooke/Champion Nutrition, Termite/Profile, Rob Rupe/Brother, Blick/Oakley, Badders/Vans, Joey/Answer and the thousands of others that have helped make my career possible. God Bless You All. I love you.