Ray kicked off the magazine, along with his partner Barbara Cash, in 1998 and grew the magazine over the years to be the high quality and informative vintage dirt bike publication it remains today. Ray was a former racer and co-founder of “Australasian Dirt Bike” magazine in 1975 and Ray started VMX to fill the information void for older riders with an interest in classic dirt bikes. As he said at the outset “With one exception, Racer-X Illustrated, the modern bike mags were totally focused on the money driven culture of contemporary dirt bikes, with no relevance or connection to older riders or the heritage of our sport. Australia was never intended to be our only market; so it only took two issues to mould VMX into a truly international classic dirt bike magazine.”
A lover of all old dirt bikes, Ray’s collection of bikes in the shed was an eclectic lot and included various Husqvarnas, a few Hodakas, a BSA B50MX, a Triumph 500, a Yamaha HL500 and a silver Honda NX650 Dominator. His passion for every make and model was nonetheless just as fanatical and that showed on every single page of the magazine. His concept of what the magazine should be all about was “We embrace all old dirt bikes up to and including the mid 1980s. VMX speaks one language and that’s the common dialogue of old dirt bike riders and restorers from as far afield as Sydney and San Francisco. It’s all about the people, the experiences and the values of being part of a unique culture of the same old dirt, same old bikes and same old fun” and that focus remains today.
Tragically, Ray was diagnosed with cancer following the staging of Classic Dirt 3 in March 2004 and fought the illness with vigour but sadly passed away in August 2004 from complications with the treatment he was undergoing. It was a sad time for all in the vintage community worldwide, as Ray had touched thousands of people through the pages of the magazine.