BMX ACTION August 1986
SIDEBAR WITH THE LIL' HUTCH SQUAD
Interview taken after the aluminium JR test


The day's testing was finished. Azusa has a picnic table that's about to fall apart conveniently located underneath the shade of probably the only tree within a 10 mile radius, so I figured that's be the best place to interview Hutch's terrible threesome.

Gathered 'round the table were tealm manager Richard Hutchins Jr. (call him Richie) and Charles Townsend (Richie was Charles' only transpo to the airport, so where Richie goes--Charlie follows). They were listening in to make sure their star ankle-biters didn't reveal any Hutch secrets. Chad  The Action Kid  Henderson, guarding his bottle of gatorade like it was cold, also sat in on the interview.
And then there was the mini-sized Hutch gang: Seven-year-old  Rocket Rich  Houseman (broken arm and all), newest team member Mike Luna (a freckle face who is said to be the fastest 10-year-old in the country), and Robert Lee Zahnow (he prefers to be called Lee, and he was by far the most talkative).
 Okay. The tape is rollin' . . . Tell me what it's like to travel and be factory type dudes at your ages. 
ZAHNOW:  It's realy interesting meeting different people, and I feel lucky because most kids would like to be where I am right now. On this team, you want to win. You have the drive to win. I just feel real lucky--I think about that when I'm on the gate in the main. Ya know what I mean? 
 I've heard thatv you guys really thrash on Richie in the hotel room. Is he really your official punching bag? 
EVERYONE: (Complete laughter.)
 Do you all stay in one hotel room? 
Charles:  Yeah. All nine of us (laughter). 
Richie:  Mike and the big guys stay in one room, and I get the three little guys. 
 So the older guys go out and get in orange fights while Richie gets beat up on. 
Rocket:  yeah 
Charles:  Hey, the next time we stay at the same hotel as GT, we're going to get the key to their room and get a fire extinguisher, and . . . (laughter). 
 Wait! Say no more. Let's let the little guys talk. So your guys beat up Richie? 
ZAHNOW:  Yup. 
Richie:  I now go to a chiropractor because of my back. It's written in rocket's contract that he gets to beat up on me. 
 Do they jump back and forth between beds and stuff? 
Richie:  All three of them do! Pillow fights! I'll be sleeping and the next thing you know, here comes Rocket jumping on my back real lightly, and then pretty soon I'm bouncing off the mattress with him . . . 
 Sounds like a nut house. Tell me, how many states have you been to, Rocket? 
ROCKET:  Huh? 
RICHIE:  He's been to about 30 out of the 50. 
 Not bad for a seven-year-old. Do you guys feel like you're better than everyone else up on the gate because you're factory sponsored? 
LUNA:  Yes. 
ZAHNOW:  Yeah, I feel like they've got to give me some competition. But I don't think about that--I just think about

myseld. 
 What grade are you guys in? 
LUNA:  Fifth 
ROCKET:  second . 
ZAHNOW: Seventh. 
 What are your titles from last year? 
LUNA:  national No. 2 ABA. 
 Number TWO? Right behind Brent Romero? COOL!
What'd you get last year, Lee? 
ZAHNOW:  National No. 12 ABA, No. 2 in age class behind Geoff Scofiels, and National No. 10 NBL. 
 Prestigious! How many trophies do you guys have? 
ROCKET:  256 
LUNA:  About a thousand. Maybe more. 
ZAHNOW:  I stopped counting. Last time I counted, I think I had about three thousand. 
 NO WAY! What do you guys do with them all? 
LUNA:  Sell them 
ZAHNOW:  sell them, give 'em away to friends. 
ROCKET:  Keep them in my bedroom and in the attic. 
 What's your tallest one? 
ROCKET:  The one from the grands. Eight feet. 
 Which one's your favorite? 
ROCKET:  (Long pause) . . . The Worlds. The bear one. 
 Oh yeah . . . The Eskimo-stabbing-a-bear trophy.
How hard do you guys work at being fast? 
ROCKET:  I ride in my backyard. We're going to get four motre loads of dirt and make it bigger. 
LUNA:  that's how he got this (points to rocket's cast). 
ROCKET:  My little brother beats me in my backyard. 
LUNA:  Your LITTLE brother?? 
 Uh ohhh. Watch out. Lil' Gary is going to be rad. What do you do to practice, Lee? 
ZAHNOW:  I do lots of gates in my backyard. I ride with a lot of pros--and Billy

Would you believe that  Rocket Rich's  dad runs around the track rootin' Rocket and his lil' 5-year-old brother Gary on?
You've gotta see it! All of that running and yelling must help, though--Mr. Houseman lost five punds running down the last straightaway at the Ascot nationals.

Griggs sometimes. 
 WHOA! Are 12 and 13-year-olds really into training and working out? Do you Chad? 
CHAD:  Sure. I work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday--unless there's a national that week. I do pull-ups and push-ups at the school down from my house. 
 What's weekly schedule for you guys? Mike? 
LUNA:  On Monday I go to coal Canyon. And then Tuesday, Pipeline. Wednesday is Orange, sometimes Thursday is Pipeline, and Friday nothing. 
 Friday is open for you to go out with your girlfriend, right? 
LUNA:  Noooo (laughter). 
 You guys are usually at nationals every weekend, right? So Friday is a flying day. When do they usually fly out, Richie? 
RICHIE:  Fridays, after school. They usually miss a little school on Mondays when they come home. 

Robert ZAHNOW. He stopped counting his trophies after 3,000.

 Do you like flying? 
LUNA:  Not really. You have to sit in the seat all the way and watch the movie. 
 What's YOUR weekly schedule like, Rocket? 
ROCKET:  I only race on saterday and Sunday. We have weekday races, but we don't race on Mondays and all that. 
 You're next , Lee. 
ZAHNOW:  Well, usually when I come home from a national, I go to school, come home, and go to sleep. On Tuesday, I start my training really slow. Wednesday, I go out to Orange YMCA to race and practice. By Thursday, I'm still working out, and if there aren't any nationals that weekend, I go to Coal Canyon on Saterday and ride my bike ALL the way home from Yorba Linda. On Sunday, I just mess around with my friends--go to the movies and stuff. 

 How many bikes you guys have? 
ZAHNOW:  Let's see . . . One, two, th . . . Five. 
LUNA:  About seven. 
ROCKET:  One. 
ROCKET:  Oh yeah . . . two, now. 
 Do you guys have any other hobbies? 
ZAHNOW:  I like basketball, baseball, and skateboarding. 
LUNA:  Collect baseball cards. 
 What about you, Rocket? What else do you do besides break your arm? 
ROCKET:  I like basketball and football. 
 You guys aren't into video games? 
ROCKET:  I am . . . 
 I thought you were into Gummi Worms . . . ? 
LUNA:  Ten bucks of 'em every single race he wins. 
 Really? Hutch gives Rocket a Gummi Worm contingency? 
LUNA:  A whole box. A big five gallon bucket, probably. 
 Why do you like Gummi Worms so much? 
ROCKET:  Because they're GOOD! 
 Oh. 

Mike  The Luna-tic  Luna. No, he's not the same Miley in the Life cereal commercial.

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