Old School Sunday Tribute: R.I.P Josh Marsele

Photos: Kieran Chapman @wire_zine.

Josh Marsele – KOF – April 1989 from Kieran on Vimeo.

Yesterday the sad news, New England flatland legend Josh Marsele aged 48 has passed away broke online. Josh’s name and riding talent first came to my attention in my ‘zine swapping days in the late 80’s early 90’s, and particularly Kieran Chapman’s Radazine and Wire creations that did a fantastic job of documenting the N.E progressive flatland and ramp riding scene.

Josh was also one of those riders that broke out of the thriving New England flatland scene, and competed all over the states in the AFA Masters series, and even became year end champion in his class in 1989. (Those classes were stayed back then, that is not an easy achievement!).
I will dig out some contest footage below as well as some photos, as we pay tribute to this amazing rider. Thank you for all the inspiration you personally gave me through the late 80’s and 90’s.

Rest in peace, Josh Marsele.
Condolences to all of Josh’s family, friends, and the New England flatland scene.

Effraim Catlow / Flatmattersonline.

Josh Marsele – KOF – October 1988 from Kieran on Vimeo.

Scott Denoncourt kindly sent in this tribute that I will share with you all….

“Joshua P. Marsele, 48, of Bristol, died on Tuesday (January 19, 2021) ending his battle with an ailment that caused him intense chronic pain and severely limited his mobility. Josh was born in Bristol on February 14, 1972 and was a son of Joan (Beger) Barney of Bristol and the late James F. Marsele.

A lifelong Bristol resident, he graduated from Bristol Central High School Class of 1990. He worked as a graphic computer artist, a medical assistant for kids and the elderly, and for 14 years as a high-voltage lineman for Eversource.

He was a loving son, brother, and doting father to his cats Applejack and Buster. His loved ones will remember him as a charismatic, creative, passionate, funny, mischievous, vibrant, generous, and accomplished individual with a singular sense of style, a soft spot for animals, and a penchant for kayaking. His true passion was BMX flatland freestyle riding (search YouTube: Axlepeg BMX) and he was the 1989 American Freestyle Association Masters Champion.

In addition to his mother, Josh is survived by two sisters: Julie Marsele-Cusson of Naples, FL, and Hayley Varhol of Philadelphia, PA; a niece, Chloe Cusson; a nephew, Kyle Cusson; his stepfather, Stephen R. Varhol, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.

A walk-through visitation will be held at Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, on Saturday, February 6, 2021, between 1 and 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Friends of Bristol Parks and Recreation Fund.


Please visit Josh’s memorial website at:


7 thoughts on “Old School Sunday Tribute: R.I.P Josh Marsele

    • Yes Romulo, Josh was definitely ahead of the curve dusting that time period. I remember seeing the videos and zines from the New England scene and being astonished at all the new moves they were doing in the contests with raditude to boot. Dialled!

      Its a sad loss. R.I.P. Josh Marsele.

  1. Josh’s sister, here. Thanks so much for spreading the word to a community that meant so, so much to him. He never stopped trading, selling, and building the BMX bikes of his dreams, and even though his body was wrecked, he rode as long as he possibly could. I’m so glad to see these pics and videos, and to hear someone call him a “legend.” He was always a legend to me, of course, but I thought that was just because he was my big brother.
    Thanks for the well-wishes, y’all. Dream big, and ride as long and as hard as you can.
    And if you have digital media or memories of Josh you would like to share with the family, please reach out.

    • God bless you Hayley!

      Thanks so much for reaching out, Josh’s riding inspired me a lot and I know others whether New England or via the AFA masters, or tasing zines worldwide. I always find posting this kind of news the hardest to do.

      Kieran Chapman would be the best to contact, he I would imagine has a whole archive of Josh growing up riding.

      RIP Josh…

  2. Josh was so dialed – I was lucky enough to see most of Josh’s runs in person – he rode with total confidence under pressure and had fun doing it. Not many (then or now) can do that. When Josh, Joe P., and Brandon Cole showed up from Bristol on their pink and white Diamond Back Strike Zones, they meant business!! Great memories, and such a sad loss.

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