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Freestyling can be traced back to 1975 when kids started riding bikes in concrete Escondido reservoir channels in San Diego, California. And, bike riders were seen in 1976 riding at Carlsbad Skatepark in Carlsbad, California.  Skateboarder Magazine published photos of kids on bikes riding in empty swimming pools in 1975. 
Bob Haro and John Swanguen rode BMX bikes at Skateboard Heaven, a concrete skatepark in San Diego, California in late 1976. Later they transformed freestyle beyond skateparks by creating new bike tricks on flat streets.  In the fall of 1977 Bob Haro was hired as a staff artist at BMX Action Magazine where he befriended R.L. Osborn, son of the magazine publisher Bob Osborn. Haro and R.L. often practiced freestyle moves in their free time. 
In the summer of 1978 Paramount, Lakewood, and other Southern California skateparks began reserving sessions or whole days exclusively for BMX bikes. BMX racer Tinker Juarez was innovating freestyle moves in vert bowls.