In a few weeks the new issue of TransWorld BMX should be out. Inside it has a Flashback we did on Todd Corbitt, the guy behind the Giant BMX team.

When we did the Flashback, we got two of TC’s long time friends, Erick “Big E” Bartoldus and Danny Nelson to help us out, and the stuff they wrote was pretty cool. We were able to fit most of what Big E said in the mag, but Danny really went all out and wrote a bunch, some of which, unfortunately, had to be cut. When someone takes the time to write as much as Danny did, there’s no way it’s not going to get used. So, consider this the extended version of the Flashback you’ll soon get to read.

If you looked at this photo with a magnifying loop, you could see the “Urchins Rip” patch on TC’s jersey. Classic. By the way, when was the last time you saw a drag racing tire lining the inside of a track?  credit: Steve Giberson

“In 1994 at an ABA national in Texas, TC crashed into the announcer’s platform at the finishline. He had broken his leg very badly, had a lengthy recovery ahead, and never raced again.

At the time of the injury, I was 19 years old, had been Pro for one year and was on Powerlite. I was still a young kid with a bit of an attitude coming through the Pro ranks. TC on the other hand was an established Pro racing for Auburn at the time, which was under the GT umbrella, which made us teammates in a roundabout way. I could probably count the number of times TC and I raced each other on one hand. He probably got the better of me even though he probably had the worst gate start in the history of the Pro class. Even to this day, I don’t think I’ve witnessed a more terrible gate start.

When Todd was healthy, it was another year later, I had another year under my belt, my Dad was still managing the GT team, and TC was coming back to work at GT. After some floating around and several different jobs at GT, TC began to take the Team Manager reigns from my Dad and eventually became GT’s Team Manager. The timing was great because my Dad had had enough and TC did a great job of relating to all the new riders on the team. Chad Hernaez had been there forever, but remember, all the soon-to-be-superstars came up with TC—Steve Larallde, Dan Shanahan, Jason Ream… all those guys were lucky enough to call TC their Team Manager. But more than that, he did a great job of being a friend first and a manager second, to all those guys, and myself.

Todd Corbitt getting his turnbar on in the Spring of 1988.  credit: Steve Giberson

I had seasoned into a top Pro in the late ’90’s and Todd was with me every step of the way. We shared a lot of highs and lows together, and he’s always done whatever it takes to help me.

In 1998 I was chasing the NBL mid-year points lead, which was worth $10,000. In the second main in Orlando, I crashed and my bike broke. We didn’t have a backup; I had to borrow a bike and ended up losing by one spot. We shared tears over that one as TC felt personally responsible for not having a back-up bike for me. I told him it wasn’t his fault, but I know that after that race, he made sure every Pro on the team had a spare bike ready to go in the trailer.

In 1999 I came back strong and won the NBL title. It was very sweet for both of us and once again there were tears, but this time they were tears of joy.

By the time November 2002 came around I was once again up for the title. AAnd once again, Todd helped me through the season and at the Grands in every way he could. We may ride and work for a different company but the way we help each other never changes. To be honest, at this point it’s almost an unspoken kind of thing as we’ve been through so much together.

At the end of the 2002 season we once again shared a very special moment in the twilight of my career. There were no tears this time, but we knew we did it together.

That brings us to where we are today. As I write this I’m leading ABA points in defense of my title and I still call TC every weekend during or after the races and we talk about what needs to be done to win. These days we have a friendship first and a racing relationship second. I believe it takes both for me to win. I’m thankful for the success that I’ve had, but the friendship I’ve built with him is more important than all the wins. I don’t know where the future will take us. Bicycles for me can’t last forever, but I’m sure our friendship will.”

—Danny Nelson

Danny Nelson  credit: James Ayres