Join Back Bone BMX co-owner Tyson Jones-Peni on the Back Bone Zone, our very own BMX podcast.
I am attempting to delve deeper into topics that may not typically be addressed in regular BMX podcasts. There are so many things that I think about that relates to the world of BMX, that might not be about BMX directly.
By bringing you regular solo podcast episodes and thinking through them on the fly, I can begin to explore topics that might otherwise be overlooked.
With an emphasis on Australian BMX content, I will always try to dive deeper into the awesome world of BMX. I hope you enjoy the podcast. - Tyson
Tyson is joined by Back Bone BMX co-owner Rhys Williams and team rider/T-1 team rider/Australian trail legend Russell Brindley to speak about Posh trails, their experience and why this BMX trail spot was so meaningful.
Colin Mackay was one of the first Australian BMX riders to 'make it' as a full blown professional BMX rider in the USA, turning what was going to be a 3 month trip, into now 18 years of BMX, now living in the USA. Colin is now working for Vans and taking care of the next generation of Australian BMX pros.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the topics on this, or any episode.
Jayden Fuller is a professional BMX rider for Colony BMX and a mainstay of the Australian BMX scene. J-Dog discusses his love of concrete transitions, what made him leave New Zealand, the BMX community and much more.
J-Dog is such a positive dude and I loved this conversation.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the topics on this, or any episode.
Back Bone Zone BMX Podcast Transcript - Episode 37:
Ryan Lloyd mate thank you for coming on uh the Backbone Zone podcast I uh I'm gonna start with one thing only because I feel like it needs to be said um and I feel like you don't no worries but I'm I'm gonna start by saying that you I've never really told to this but you are probably one of my favorite all-time writers um and I think that you are probably the the best Rider I've ever seen right in person so I'll start off with a compliment I know that's going to be hard one to to reply
Just a little bit hazy on those trips and you just no no no. yeah man yeah thank you now that means a lot you know like um we obviously did yeah a few trips together and I spent some time with the jams and things and yeah yeah I think it's appreciate that like coming from you and I think from people that I've ridden with it's yeah it is cool thanks oh man cool to hear that you know yeah well um I guess we'll talk we'll start with that because I feel uh you obviously when was that late 2000s you were writing for yeah you know you were sort of doing the like yeah sponsored like yeah kind of like whatever the Australian sort of sponsored Pro writer does
You know well I think it started like I mean you know Matt Hodgson like he opened little black bike in 2008 so you know before little black bike we had CM BMX Here in Adelaide so you know I'd been sort of riding and hanging out with with those boys for probably a couple years so yeah from about 2006 is when I sort of I guess realized like BMX was actually a thing that you know people did and there was guys here like local guys that put on jams and yeah Tim Doherty like donut Tim put on a jam and it was like the first time I was like man like people actually really get together and you know ride that was at the old Adelaide City skate park so yeah it's been a while now you know since um since first coming out of the country and you know realizing I mean we were just trying to basically trying to ride our bikes like dirt bikes to the country and then see an escape park for the first time I was like man like these things are like concrete and they go straight up in the air these you know like I think I used to call them half pipes for a long time yeah right you know it's yeah it's quite funny yeah that's cool like um yeah because you go up in it was Claire right that's where it was just near there a little town called Claire's where I went to high school so it was they're very close together um Claire's kind of like the main town and then yeah blast like the really small like 400 people like a really small little farming Community you know so yeah cool yeah yeah my dad's a builder up there so you know we're always I lived on a farming tour about 10. I wasn't he wasn't a farmer but my my dad's uncle was like running and owned the farm so I kind of grew up around Farms but yeah Dad's a builder so it was thanks to him he was we were figuring out he built my first ramps and first wooden quarter pipe you know yeah yeah cool you had Trails out at your house and stuff like that too as far as I can remember yeah like I never had been out here place but yeah I built some stuff I mean it's um it's quite funny like we always had like um when I when I first moved into the town of Blyth like there were some older local boys and I remember like you know we used to when it was Daylight savings like we felt like we had to go to bed like you know at seven o'clock and it'd always be daylight outside and I'd see these guys riding on the street and I'd be like what are they doing you know and I was probably 10 years old and so they there was trails and little things but I didn't know what they were there was just random spots around the town that people rode you know a bike on and then the some of the local boys had built basically like a miniature BMX it was basically like a motocross track but four bites it had like you know a set of whoops that were like you could barely ride through you know and stuff yeah so then I kind of rebuilt and reshape those spots and that's what sort of turned into like a trail spot and um at one point I had jumps behind my parents shed like we just yeah get the Rope Tree Hole out there and like dig up all the dirt and just like basically dig out from you know down in the ground with shaped berms and kind of more like I had a steel ramp and stuff so in the beginning it was more just like a bit of like Crusty Demons mixed with BMX like I didn't really know what BMX was but I knew yeah yeah Motocross dudes hit steel ramp so I kind of copied that and for sure and then it sort of morphed into into trails and totally yeah so I kind of feel like we have this a similar sort of upbringing in that way like with BMX because I grew up like in a Country Town not quite as small as that but it was the same sort of thing you know like the only videos that I could get well there was no even BMX shops I mean I'm sure that it was strictly or whatever but it was always like the video shop had Crusty Demons so you'd hire that and then you'd oh totally fine just do whatever you could to make that sort of thing happen like I didn't even know if I saw real Trails until I was like you know 16 or something like going to totally yeah I would have been right about the same I think I you know I first came down there was some there was some local towns that had I remember like Nuriootpa which is probably an hour from where I grew up it had some you know some guys been building some big like BMX Trails like you know big dirt jumps with you know they'd have 44 gallon drums like two or three of them stacked up and then a landing um and then yeah the first time I guess I realized that it was a thing was coming down to Adelaide and I was probably at that point that was probably around 2004 2005 and actually seeing that like oh there's a jump spot in the city where people you know and it was City dirt back then was just mounds of dirt you know and it was just random lips and yeah it was it was super like almost like Sheep Hills style like real ghetto and kind of sketchy but awesome you know and for sure it's morphed a lot over the years but yeah that's kind of the first time I was like well I like this is kind of something people do more than just around the street and jump off the gutters you know like we always used to off those little concrete lips on the side of people's driveways so yeah totally yeah well so where so to go from there to then becoming the rider that you that I think of which is like you know ridiculously stylish but then also sort of seeming like you've got no fear but I don't know if it's just it just seemed like he rode with Supreme confidence back in the day you know there was things like our the one story that sticks in my mind is that we wrote uh Cam whites Jam together when the jumps were at the their Prime yeah and I remember you doing these threes over like the last set and then over that big dog like trick set and I was like man I think I said to you like what's that like to three and you were just like dude it's so easy because it's just so big it's so slow yeah and I was like there's someone to think like that like a 30-foot set's gonna be easier to spin there's got to be something there so yeah and then I tried three and eight absolutely crap but now it goes but anyway um it's it's funny with that like I do fully remember that event um I you know I talk about this with the young people we work with all the time like I'd I'd be nervous like before I'd drop in and I'd almost have like I guess the fear and anxiety would be there before we or before I was on the bike but the minute I was actually moving like on the bike like I I was never mid-run like oh my gosh I'm scared there was never a fear or scaredness or you know like I just I don't know if it was some sort of switch that just it's like I'd I knew what to do like I'd get nerves you know like where my legs would feel a bit weird and you know but not like yeah it's funny with the I remember getting there like actually that a bit like I think I rocked up with like it might who was it was I think it was Toby Forte and like Jamie and we rolled in and Dave rubinish Dave was there I think she's right yeah Dave was around a lot yeah man so we rolled in and I remember actually the first time I was like oh my God what are we doing like we got there and we went to the Rego 10 because I had to sort of registered and you know basically sign your life away to Old cycling or whatever yeah yeah the time yeah and we watched a dude on the you know that big whatever was 38 or 40 footer we watched a guy do like four like four pumps in the air and then he hung up head tube on the back of the landing and just scorpioned down on his face dude we must have we must have been at the registration at the exact same time I reckon because and maybe and maybe with you I just remember in my head like oh my God like someone's gonna die like but and it kind of made me like it gave me a few doubts and then like I vividly remember like wow this is gnarly but then I got there and Chris like Chris Hardy Chris was just like nah man they're chill just follow me yeah yeah like I remember the first time dropping in and I think then you know I think I jumped off on the second set because I was like yeah I'll Follow Chris and Chris just pulls back and goes 20 foot off the lip you know yeah um so that's when like I think I yeah I got those the first or second run Jitters out and then it was just to me like yeah it was like when I was on the bike and just rolling and moving in my head I could already picture like oh this will work or you know I remember with those threes it was weird because you just I sort of would just lean into my shoulder like I would barely even turn you'd just lean and then all of a sudden you're like you know and it was yeah it felt like you're in the air for like five seconds it was so nuts and I I do think like I mean it was so was that 2012 I reckon that was I reckon yeah I'd reckon there's something around 2012 or 2013 one of the two probably 2012 yeah and and that was for me like I'd been riding like I was um I was writing a lot around that 2011 you know um yeah from from 2009 sort of to 2013 basically it was just flat out like so I felt I felt good at the time on the bike like you know the stuff in my head that I was like I think this might work on this you know and I remember hitting those some of those big jumps I'm like oh I might have the the time to actually fit that combo in you know like oh yeah to this day I remember you doing that sea grab one foot table to look back three sixties like that's in my head like but I'm not even like I know that we're speaking now but like that's something I think about all the time when I think about the best trick I've ever seen in my life in real life that was that's it but um yeah that was cool and it was cool because it was a spot where I think what was cool too like I was comfortable with like I I knew you and I knew there was a lot of people around so I think it did help to just it made me relax and you know wrist was there and we're joking about you know like just stuff has been coming down the hill and like you know watching dudes just send like half bakkies and land on their back yeah and then you know like and and rest would yeah he said a few things that just would make me like just laugh and shake my head and it just you know all all you boys and I think like having like obviously Jamie and you know Toby and Dave and like that support crew or that crew there just you know it was super fun and yeah yeah it's a different different vibe that's right yeah yeah oh yeah it was a good time yeah it was it was good man but you know the that's something that definitely sticks with me with with your writing just in general obviously that's one example but do you know where like that confidence comes comes from like um I I don't know I mean I grew up like I grew up playing um like I played AFL football growing up my dad was a football player and you know um there was something about like you're in I was in I was in a team of people and like we'd go out there and like we'd we'd train together we'd practice and you'd go out and I'd just be confident of like yeah like even if a team was supposedly better than us like we're always confident like now we can take them you know like and so I think that confidence definitely came from those early years I didn't do any form of BMX or like official coaching or BMX racing so my confidence I guess came from that team environment I think like growing up you know it was from those footy games I was like man some of these these boys and this I'm talking junior Cults like under under 10 football where like yeah yeah some of the like 10 year olds were like fully grown men you know like big adult like big dudes and you'd run out on the field like I'm gonna tackle him and you know so I think that confidence came from that which you know probably only recently looking back like it started to make a bit of sense but it was confidence Within I guess in myself because I'd practice but with a team of of guys and I think like you know definitely the confidence on my BMX bike like was you know massively with just who was around you know think back to nearly all the crazy stuff I ever did like maybe I filmed a few things with Jamie that were like just me and him yeah but nearly every single thing was like our crew was there and everyone's like oh you got it you know like so I I think that confidence like yeah it's some of it come from me but I think more yeah looking back now I can sort of see it was definitely from who was around because that was a huge part I think for me of just having for sure you know that draw the energy from around you totally and and there's some stuff that I did like the old city park there was a gap there and like I'd had it in my head for like probably two years of like man I think it could go from one quarter to the other and like but I I was never like gonna really pull the the trigger on it myself I was kind of like man I think you could do it but then I remember one of the days I think I don't know if it was Josh or beachy that said it first so maybe Mikey Moore and they were like dude you could do that quarter to border and then all of a sudden it was like oh they believe in me like they think and then all of a sudden it was like then it started to turn in my head of like now that's doable so it's okay if that makes sense I don't know if that yeah yeah for sure so that confidence like yes some of it was obviously because I knew I was riding a lot and the rest of it was like just friends and the crew being there like yeah like you got it like and maybe they just wanted to see me crash too you know like I know I know for Josh and beachy those boys like they're a bit older so they'd just be like yeah Lloyd you got it like give it a send you know sure that was kind of cool as well you know so man I um I know this might sound a little bit weird but I actually thought because I know that obviously you're real you're religious or maybe people don't know that but I always felt like maybe you had this feeling because you have this belief that God's on your side when you're riding man because it's it's impressive like I've never seen anyone literally ride the way that you ride and it always stuck with me that's you just had Supreme confidence we go on a trip to ride somewhere and you would be like oh yeah I could do that and it was never there and I was very impressed and I've I've kind of been on this journey myself with like trying to understand where I am in the world and stuff like that and yeah and I I think about you often with that sort of stuff just in relational writing it's pretty cool right yeah it's right I definitely like you know um and growing up like my parents like we had it we had a faith in God and you know that that Jesus is our savior and our Lord but never um not religious in the sense of doing like going to the same church at the same time or nothing like that but I think what they instilled in me was this this belief that like yeah like God to me is just like love and goodness yeah yeah that was always something like and it still does like it helps guide me for like you know tough times and things that have you know I've had some really you know rough times where I'm like man like is this going to get any better and that goodness and that faith in that you know what God wants for us I believe is is good things to happen it's not that everything is going to be true cruisy but I've always had that like sense of like nah he's got me you know he's kind of got my back you know and yeah yeah yeah it really is like that's it is because there's times like if I if I get in my head too much sometimes I think about like you know things that have that could have gone wrong like really pear-shaped you know yeah some of this stuff and and so that's where like and you know my mom like man she's I don't think still to this day she's my mum's never watched me in person on the but I think it's just so scary oh wow so crazy for her like um you know she she'd watched me play you know football but on the bike like I think it's just so full on of like man like what he's doing like he could die you know a little bit and but she's you know she'd always just be praying and like her prayers and her faith of like nah he's gonna be protected you know so yeah it's been a huge part of it yeah yeah yeah yeah I know this you know it seems to be something that's not really spoken about in BMX the whole like religious and faith and all that sort of stuff and I'm kind of I'm interested in it it's not something I was never raised um like uh with religion or anything like that but I can understand now that you you even say it it's like you're just believing in that there's goodness and things like that and I feel like it's just translated I've just I feel like watching from the outside in you've just seemed like you you don't let negativity get to you and maybe that's a better way to describe it for people that maybe find religion hard to digest you seem to be very positive yeah and when negative things can happen to you you know oh totally and there's obviously like I think with with religion or anything like there's obviously certain things that you know certain negative things in in religion or things that I just feel like man it's just distracting from like there is some great things in it but then those things you know you hear about what what happens at some Churches oh yeah we're doing and like that's it's obviously negative and it's it's a bit like it's like anything like you've always got there's always a positive and a negative and I've just it's the same with BMX or with mountain bikes or whatever there's always people you're like that's the best thing ever or people ah that sucks oh yeah hey you know so for sure and I think that's it's definitely from you know from my my parents and our our family growing up like you know I think um you know my dad went through some pretty rough stuff like my my grandma got cancer when my dad was pretty young and so and my mum you know she lost her dad you know when she was fairly young and they've been through some pretty pretty wild stuff in their life so I think they were able to sort of teach and share that with me you know as I was and I was in a I grew up very loving home but we also like we'd fight and yell and scream and carry on so we always had to find the positive you know and yeah yeah and I think um you know from a young age I can look back now and see how that was it was never perfect like but it was taught that like when it goes sideways like hey let's look at the positive here what you know and I think that's a it's a big thing like um you know I'm trying to teach that to my kids too you know when stuff doesn't work out like trying to stay positive and not get not just in your head about oh you you stupid or you idiot or you know you get that voice sometimes you tell yourself and um I think we it's it happens to everyone you know but for sure yeah yeah I think that's an important yeah definitely an important lesson to to have regardless of you take the you know the religion out of I think the um willingness to say good all the time and to be and remain positive definitely helps you to move along the path it's almost like they the saying that you can't see the solution when you're stuck at the level of the problem you know what I mean if you're only thinking on the bad of what's happening in your life then how are you gonna how are you going to look towards the future where it's going to be good you know if you're only thinking about bad stuff but I agree you know in BMX we're having there's a bit of tough times in uh BMX within the scene here at the moment that I won't quite go into but you know you kind of just have to move past that stuff yeah yeah um it's actually really good kind of Segway I guess because yeah you know we were riding I felt like you were in the window we were both riding um for United at the time I actually had flown over to New Zealand to ride in a rebel dirt comp Rebel roaster and I remember um we were going to ride together and film a video and yeah you you sent me a I don't know if we'd had Instagram at that point in time or what but you'd sent me a message that was like oh I've just hurt my back should be right um but my mate Nathan's gonna pick me up who by the way is I get to see Nathan or just recently he was here which is cool yeah yeah and then that was um you know it turns out you'd hurt your back quite badly do you want to yeah yeah and that one yeah so that was 2013 yeah so right yeah you know I'd written um I'd gone down there and it was four because there was the farm Jam was on so you know I'd gone over for that and um you know Dan and Brett Frew like the Frew family put on that big you know Farm gem event I'm sure a lot of people would would have seen that I don't think they've done one for a couple years now but um yeah that event was on and so rode that and that was awesome and riding with like a lot of top guys that was pretty cool and you know I was I was feeling really good like I'd been riding a lot before that so you know that was another one where like I just had these thoughts and tricks and ideas just coming to me like that whole session and you know just doing stuff that like yeah I think about now I'm like yeah it was a bit silly you know like and um but at the time like it you know and so the long story short I guess but the the jump that I was having a lot of fun on like I was doing a lot of cool combos in threes and and it was the big last jump at the bottom of the of the set and um and we rode like and that event was awesome I think you know I think I can't remember what place I got but I got the style award and that was judged by the Riders and that was like for me I was like what this is yeah like whoa like it's not just a couple of Judges like it was all the riders that you know so I was pretty emotional I was just like what like this is cool you know like and and all those crew like there was a few guys that were serious but everyone was just talking on the roll in and you know like good time so and then we we basically left that like had an awesome night like yeah it was just really cool and you know Mike Ross and um and his dad were there and you know like it just awesome crew like and you know I remember Mike doing some I just actually um sent him a message the other day I'm like how many combos have you done in one jump because I think I saw like five or six tricks in like one one jump down there you know from from Mike and but um yeah we came back to the to the farm three days later so we went back to Queenstown in New Zealand and it's about an hour and a half or maybe two hour drive to where the farm was and um we went back there three days later and it was with a few other crew and a few guys that I kind of forgot that were even there with me a few guys from the states um you know um yeah and it just it was one of those things I don't know I was just tired of what it was we'd got there and I'd done a few runs like I'd maybe done two runs and I think it was maybe the third run I went to jump that same big double down the bottom and I just come into it and it was I guess it had been dry so like it was a lot drier and it was just hot more hard packed and fast so you know for me the last thing I remember was just I got kind of got shot I probably didn't pull back enough on the lip and I've just got shot off and I remember being like mid-jump like I'm going way past the landing and I was like oh you can't jump off because you've got a sore ankle like I should have jumped over the bars and then I don't remember like I've got no memory of after that so yeah right I think I just landed like front wheel first probably from the takeoff I mean I probably went maybe 10 12 meters you know basically I think I blew a hand and went straight to my face so yeah the right like my right cheekbone um nothing broke but like pretty pretty much ripped off this side of my face like you know like really smashed my face up and in the process of you know getting knocked out of fractured three vertebrae in my back so um I I'm just so thankful you know for me it's just I'm thankful that I can still walk and that you know I remember seeing the Specialists we I was in and out of it for a while and you know he's like yeah but it gone like if you're compression if they'd actually cracked and gone the other way like it could have been your spinal cord you know and I was just another one of those moments were as bad as it was I was just like man I'm so thankful like that that wasn't spinal cord like it really you know so to me it was just like yeah and and to make the story like it was a bit crazy but then my wife Liz she got hit by a car in Adelaide so [ __ ] yeah like and we worked out it was 15 minutes apart so it was crazy dude like so Nathan like God Nathan I think from memory I think she called and basically to tell us that she'd been hit by a car and was getting taken to hospital and she didn't have any major injuries but she'd had pretty like a big strain on her neck and you know they were sussing her out and you know she called up and then poor old Nathan and Nicole Parker like Nathan had to explain well I think like yeah well actually Ryan's like he's broken his back like you know like so we're in the hospital it was it was super nice yeah it was it was look it's crazy timing and I mean yeah it was one of those things that looking back on it now was something that we went through together that was like pretty amazing but I never would have you know wished that on any but it was really pretty pretty special to go through that and I mean I'm so thankful that Nathan and Nicole were a huge help of getting me you know back to Queenstown and I was able to stay and watch roaster like remember watching yeah I was right and I was with it enough and you know I'm thankful that I still got that it wasn't that I just got ripped like you know I didn't have to get straight on a plane home and you know fully out of it like I was still able to I was in pain but it was like I was able to just at least be there for that last bit of that roaster and then I flew back so um yeah it was yeah pretty wild time it went like literally went from like yeah this is the sickest Jam event like to just like yeah like it it nearly killed me you know and I think like that's the the awesome side to writing you know you've I know you've had some bad head knocks and things that some stuff happens I wasn't trying I wasn't trying to 360 one foot seat grab to double look back or I wasn't trying some extra combo and crashed I just crashed jumping the jump hmm you know and that to me is like it's it's the hard thing because we can never fully predict I think that's why I love it so much like it's why like any form of writing I think we're drawn to that like as dialed as you think you are like you gotta still respect what it is that we're doing and it is you know as calm as I try and be you know when you're jumping something like you know that big like those big doubles and those big jumps like you kind of you want to switch it off that it's dangerous but it yeah at the same time you've got to respect respect everything man yeah it would have it was uh certainly an ex I mean yeah seeing you handle that and then I guess um it seems like I could be totally wrong but there's obviously quite a bit of time that you had off but it must have been later in that year you were back riding for Oktoberfest because I think I came to Adelaide and I stayed with you and Liz and that was like one of the first times and you built that S&M lip remember yeah that's right so I think yeah that was awesome and she did something crazy to her hair too didn't she yeah that's right yeah we actually have like uh wallpapers on our TV like a screensaver thing and yeah that comes off and I'm always like I can't believe she gave me cornrows like my hair short as right now yeah you got you got real real Adelaide gangster yeah I know yeah it was super super gangster but yeah that was really cool yeah so I think so when I I crashed when was that like um it must have been February or something like that February or March and then yeah like I I had full six months like no BMX for six months so I think maybe towards the end of that six months like I rolled around on my BMX for you know I just did a few laps at the at the racetrack like just rolling um but it was yeah I got the green light after about three months in you know I was able to take off my back brace I had like a brace that was just keeping it you know stable um and once I got that off it was really cool like being able to just like get on a road bike and just move my leg like just get moving and I had no sort of um no issue with like anything spinal cord was but it was just like just getting my back muscles strong again getting my core Str you know getting everything strong and did a lot of swimming like went to the the pool here in Adelaide like did a lot of swimming and just I guess just yet doing whatever I could and then yeah that Oktoberfest I remember like yeah just like just digging and all those things but it was I felt like the old man of like Bend at the knees you know like every time I was digging I was like you know trying to think about my my posture and you know do it I guess do it the the right way and but that was still cool like throughout that time as well like I was able to sort of like I was filming and editing and and still involved and that really helped me get through that you know six months off the bike was you know it was absolutely the longest I've ever I'd maybe stop like if I rolled my ankle bad like I'd be off the bike for like a month yeah yeah it'd never been I'd never been off for long um you know uh yeah that was I think that really was like the absolute longest I'd ever been off yeah especially completely off like that yeah yeah and I think with the scene here in Adelaide so good at the time you know that's what was really cool like I'd go out and you know I'd film with like guys like you know Jack cargo was around and it would be like Jack and you know we'd load up and like go and film and it'd be like guys like Liam zingberg's and you know Josh and a bunch of boys and Mikey Moore like crew that you know Colin Evan Colin was always the hot man getting everyone pumped and you know fanging around the bowl and like so I was always just it kind of it went really quickly in a weird way yeah yeah six months because I was involved with those boys so yeah it was good yeah the Adelaide scene seemed it was pumping back then for sure yeah there's a lot of dudes that were I remember like that was fun having all you guys over I think maybe did Chris I think Chris come over for that yeah yeah Hardy and rain drove over in the Commodore yeah it was pretty funny that's right I remember um I can't remember if it was rain or I think it was I watched him like like why are you stepping in the door dude and I think the the Como had given up and it just deadlocked itself or something yeah yeah yeah yeah that's right yeah that was yeah it was a cool cool scene but you know like so so around that sort of time I can't quite uh 2013 it's been 10 years but yeah around that sort of time uh we had just sort of started in Canberra to do some coaching yeah and I remember you and uh Jamie Moore who used to run stowaway distro obviously you know that but for people that don't know Jamie Moore was a big part of where BMX is today in in Australia and we destroyed United and fbm and a bunch of other brands but um you guys were sort of talking about oh we're thinking about potentially doing the same sort of thing like but what do you do I remember sitting in the car with you guys you were talking maybe I don't even know if you had called it Lighthouse at that point in time but you were talking about it yeah we had like I know in the early days like we had the idea for the name was the lighthouse project was what Jamie had sort of and and we'd been getting asked like for a while like I was getting asked to go and do like demos and things and like we'd get random phone calls from like you know one was from like a it was a youth officer or someone in it was in Singleton in New South Wales she's like hey can you send a pro Rider over to like do demos and coach and and be the MC and like I was calling this like all in one package and so I did one of those trips and it was to Singleton and I got over there I was like man like it was so cool to be there like I showed off and rode the park and tried to do my best demo you know as a as a pro and which was quite funny and there's a lot of like tables and turndowns and um and I don't think yeah like I wasn't backflipping so everyone's like is this really the pro guy but then you know I was really like just getting in with the kids and like hey like all right you're trying to jump or you're trying to air I'm going to give you these tips and and that was the trip where I was like man like the demos are cool to get them hyped up I was like they can watch videos I was like the video like at the time I don't think there was any sort of coaching videos or I can't remember back then but like it was at the time I was just like a kid I just felt like if he then learns how to Bundy help or you know with the heirs like it'd be teaching them to pull back off the coping or you know pop and really pop an air and actually put some you know get some pump into the the quarter pipe and actually pull back and I remember thinking like man like this is so cool like when the kid learns that then they can do that for you know and then they'll they'll run with it and do their own thing and so you know me and Jamie like still when stowaway was running like yeah we had these kind of ideas around that and I think from my injury too like we both started to think about like as as awesome as writing is at a high level that's so important but we're kind of at the point where like it's really cool but at these jams and events we're like we don't want the young kids to just be on the sidelines watching like it's cool to watch but then it was like hey let's involve them let's bring them in you know so it was really cool and I know you guys like you were talking about um you know coaching and starting to get in with the schools and I think at the time you were looking for like how can we get funding for this and really get into the schools and really show like how good BMX can be you know so yeah um it was an awesome yeah awesome time and you know we yeah we kind of in the beginning we're like how are we going to do this like are we kind of just and and classic like a bit the same as how Jamie started stowaway you know from his pretty much from his bedroom or from his shed like we just started like meeting up and we'd just talk about like oh here's some ideas like you know maybe we could do it through councils or maybe we could do it um through some of the other bigger bike foundations and things and then we sort of realized like nah like we want to we really want to have control over and do it our way you know like do it so that you don't get too big that you miss the real the real important little stuff you know and like um around the same time like we got asked to go and you know do some work in the youth prison here or the youth correctional center which you know works with disadvantaged kids that have that have come through the the youth justice system and yeah they're basically in a prison but it's trained like they're trying to obviously help them get better and you know we took some bikes in there and the young like the lads in there just were just frothing on it like some amazing Riders like kids that a lot of the kids you know had just grown up at the skate parks and things and you know some of them had gone into stealing cars and you know doing stuff that just ended up getting them locked up but we sort of realized like man like if we can just teach them how to like redirect that you know they've got that excitement and that thrill seeking and if you can just redirect it in the form of like BMX or riding as an outlet like yeah so we we really then just got the wheels turning and we we officially um you know registered Lighthouse at the time it was registered as a not-for-profit and so we're still a not-for-profit and then years down the track we got registered as a charity so you know it was a lot of like in the beginning like days I'd pick up Jamie from he worked at a bike shop here in Adelaide to after stowaway basically finished up and you know he it was crazy like we'd we'd both work a full day and then I'd pick him up then we'd go to the skate park for four hours and you know ride with the kids and we had like a tiny tiny bit of funding from a local Council um which is kind of like the city or the you know the government of the city and yeah it was really cool like just getting that rolling and then you know um bit by bit we're like oh does do we need to add like you know people on board to help us get it to the next level and we had like we've got board members that you know we meet with them and talk about like directions that we can go and I guess try and get like we've always tried to get a bit of input from people that have sort of maybe know things that we don't know and try and help us get to the the next level of building it up so um yeah that was 2014 when we when we first registered that so wow it was it was literally like the year after and like we'd sort of I guess the wheels got turning back then and yeah it was pretty it's pretty cool like I mean I'd gone through the back injury and you know Jamie had built up stowaway like stowaway was it was massive and I think a lot of people he doesn't want credit for any of that stuff but I just think about like in those years if you look at like 2010 to 2013 like the amount of things that Jamie made happen like the T1 guys were over here and you know he would kind of do whatever it took he was just chucking his credit card down to just make the trip happen or whatever you know and I think like it's tough when something finishes because people look at like oh it's a real negative that that ended and I'm I'm sure that was tough for a lot of people like when that ended and you know it was so tough for him but I think like it's hard when those things happen but it's like what came from that was this love of like going back to the Simplicity of BMX and like as awesome as like sponsored pros and team trips are like it's really good but what's even cooler I think in what we've we've come to is like if you don't have the next kid learning to to Bunny Hop or learn a tweak or a table or like then you you're sort of just missing missing the point a bit it's like yeah I love those trips and the pro level stuff's awesome when you can keep in touch with that real Grassroots like you know Tommy learned a bunny hop today and it literally could change the direction of his life you know so yeah yeah you're exactly right man like um I think that you've you guys look to be doing an awesome job with that stuff and I I really want to drive that you as an example uh or you and Jamie and Lighthouse as an example of of the way that people can take their idea of what BMX can be if maybe if you're a young kid or if you are an adult and you say you're even a sponsored writer or something you know like you've taken this Avenue of BMX you were you were literally the the best like I said at the very start of this you you could have easily been top Pro internationally you know what I mean like riding for a company but you've you've kind of decided that that isn't the Avenue that you necessarily wanted to pursue or maybe you saw that there was a greater purpose and it and it's it is more about Young Riders getting to write because I mean you started writing and you weren't like a top tier Pro the day you hopped on your bike but something happened where it changed your life and and now you're bringing that so to other writers I guess it's just something that I really notice now with um obviously I own a bike shop now but it's something where uh there's a lot more to BMX than just getting really good at BMX yeah it makes sense yeah and I think what was interesting to me like I think um there's something where you know it it just happens like we're at the time you can't focus on all aspects of BMX like at the time to get to get really good at riding quarter pipes and hitting dirt jumps like you have to be super focused on that and I had to be like you know I was just that's all that was on my mind like I was you know and then but I guess as I got to like you know so at that point like 2013 like I was 23 you know 2014 I'm 24 and like I think I got to the age where I started to be able to see and and I think too like I did a few trips and you know riding trips where I was I was with full-time Pros some of the best best in the sport at the time you know and like and and I stayed with and and this is and it's not a dig on any of these guys like it was just what I saw and you know I stayed with Nathan Williams and and rode with him and he was like man like he it was incredible the stuff he was doing but I watched the pressure that that dude was under of just like keeping that level and I think part of me I was just like you know there were some times I'm like flipping heck I watched you know I watched Nathan do some things I'm like this is nuts but it had just become like that was The New Normal that you just filmed that clip and like I just want you know you wanted to jump around and like like hug him for like 10 minutes I was like oh my God you just you just did that but but to him it was such a like and I think there's obviously there's pressure it comes at different levels like he was coming up at the time like 2011 I was on that trip like Nathan was he was obviously one of the top up and coming Street Riders at the time and like he was definitely pushing some stuff that I was like whoa this is I don't think anyone's ever seen him do that or seen anyone do that and I think that it wasn't that it fully put me off BMX not at all but it was just like there's a level of like for what he's doing people don't see the price that he kind of had to pay like that pressure from sponsors that when you people just think oh it's easy to be on crazy figures of sponsorship and whatever it's like it's definitely not easy and Nathan would put effort in like what he would do I was just like holy moly and putting obviously putting his body on the line too so I think what I saw from that was like do I really want to go that way and part of me was like I enjoy the pressure but I always want it to be fun like and there's two sides to the fun you know like the best stuff isn't always fun like I know that now but I think for me it was just like I love where I grew up and and I didn't really want to it was cool to do a trip to California but I didn't want to live in California and I kind of just was like man like I love I love Adelaide and you know I love the crew here so I think for me it was just like I think it was a lot of things lined up at the same time it was like at a very high level and then I had an injury and it made me think like well through the injury like of course I want to try and ride at that level again but like man coming back off my broken back like just to do an air again I was like oh like you know it's that feeling of just being weightless and I think it really just it it sparked up all the the basic um I don't know how to say it best but like all the real simple sides of writing I think as we all are in it like 20 years or you're probably 25 30 years into BMX like it's not that we want to take it for granted it's just we just do like you know and so when I got stripped back of like no writing for six months like just to be out of bunny hop again was like ah like this is sick you know and I kind of I think with the with the programs we do now and like teaching young people like we're constantly seeing that like you know we've seen our 17 year old lad that like had never ridden a bike before like just pushing himself along like like a kid does on a balanced bike like a two-year-old kid on a balanced bike and seeing this guy's smile like he's a big boy at 17 he's overweight and his face just been like wow like you know like just yeah yeah I was doing just buzz yeah and so I think I've seen like and I'm not so like nowhere like it's not like I was hanging with the craziest Pros but it was more just that I saw that there's there's there's levels and it was just like I think at the time it was just like I pressure is great but it was more just like I want to focus more on just trying to keep those you know keep this simple stuff really at the focus and and you know really um you know really push that side and I think obviously with with Jamie too you know like he you know has seen firsthand the pressures of of trying to distribute and run a company with you know so many different things that can go pear-shaped and and go well because you know he's got to ride with some of the top guys in the world and some of them are his friends that he can you know lifelong friends that you ride with so there's there's always two sides to it but I think just yeah with the lighthouse you know side of things we really want to focus on those core you know the Stoke that got you going in the first place and and you know literally at some of these events is like there might be a kid that can do a backflip tail whip and what like that's awesome but if one kid just went like I'm just gonna try and ride today like that's just as important to me because it's like a kid that instead of just being at home watching it on YouTube and kind of living through YouTubers like that kid like he had butterflies in his stomach but he got out and he peddled in front of like 20 or 30 people and that was a huge thing for him so I think it's just yeah like trying to go back to the most the most um yes simple I guess in a way form of what BMX is and um yeah it's it's crazy to think like that you know and at one point like it was BMX on my mind like God I didn't know about mountain biking I didn't know about roads I didn't know about any of that stuff you know and I think like you know dirt bikes have always been there but I just could never afford a dirt bike you know so yeah never never got into that but yeah for sure yeah that'll be once I get once I get even old that I can't paddle a mountain bike then it'll probably be to a dirt bike yeah right yeah that's cool man yeah so it sounds like Lighthouse is going well then like you've obviously taken it from 2014 and just before we've you know got onto the recording of this um you said that this was your new your new spot that you knew home base yeah we got a new home base and um it's out on the basically on the west side of Adelaide so Port Adelaide and yeah it's a warehouse out here so we've got like um yeah we've got a few staff on now that work with so they're running programs working with young people that might be in and out of school or they might have yeah just not be not be finding it easy to to go through the normal forms of education and so yeah they'll come in and and ride with these guys and a few of the crew at the moment I'm watching out they're doing some ramp testing so I might give you a little tour yeah yeah yeah that'll be sick come down and yeah so this place we've been in since the end of January basically so it's um it's like a a warehouse sort of Office Space but I'll give you a quick tour through you've got the lads here at the moment that's awesome yo oh that's sick guys this is Tyson Tyson runs a bike shop in Canberra what's up you going into here so Sean's been he was actually one of the first students that come through one of our Lighthouse Like official programs oh for real and then Sean went off and he's a carpenter as well now and um now he rides and teaches the kids how to build ramps so that's awesome yeah it's pretty cool and we've got like just plenty of space here so the guys are obviously testing the ramp at the moment yeah but we'll basically like get bikes donated so we're fixing and repairing pretty much everything from like a beach cruiser through to yeah BMX bikes mountain bikes so your aim is just to fix bikes off and and then get get Curry riding that's pretty much what it seems shall I still get it [Music] that's awesome man yeah so basically this is this is kind of the base for a program so um at the moment this program that they're doing is called it's called Cadence so the program Cadence is focused on you know it's a mix of fixing and repairing the bikes but then you know um yeah building ramps going riding and trying to you know the idea behind it is it's like hey like as things change or you know as you you know your mood might change on the day and you know we want to give you I guess an all-rounded version of what writing is and you know it's not just going riding at the skate park every day yeah okay you know what I mean it's sort of focusing on like all right like if you've rolled your ankle or you've had a really crappy night's sleep and like you can't ride maybe you want to come in and you know fix a bike or yeah okay you know if that makes sense like trying to bring a well-rounded aspect because I think what I've had to learn you've probably had to learn as well I mean you've got the shop there and you've got an element of you know interaction with people and fixing repairing dealing with Brands and things and I think like for some kids when you're young like if if riding was stripped away from me for six months when I was 14 I'd be like what the heck like what am I going to do you know and I think like for some of these guys like if it's just the focus is riding well what happens if you break your leg or you you know tear your shoulder or you do your collarbone we've got to then teach you like hey like this is what you could do in that time you know like yeah yeah like still trying to teach them that there's positive um things that you can do yeah that's cool man I I like that idea so what are you are you trying to um get them get the kids that come through just skills for going into jobs or is it just more to get them back into positive mind certainly and yeah and that's yeah definitely like the positive mindset I think that channels into you know all aspects like jobs and whatever they're going to move into with training or just to get back to school you know for some of these guys it's like hey like you know if if life really sucks let's have you know we might have a few months of just riding and just focusing on all the good things again and then you get to a point where like hey like let's talk about like even just get one subject done this semester you know like and sort of just really from the ground up like build it back up because I think it's really hard like if if life is really tough because some of these guys have gone through some situations that you can't imagine and you know I think to then talk career and work and job and life it's it's too much you know so for sure it's a stepping stone and you know one of the other programs that I'm running at the moment is called The Trails program and it's been us out on the mountain bike trails basically fixing and repairing tracks here in Adelaide and then riding the mountain bikes but a lot of it's like fully away from like we're up in the hills and up in the bush and you sort of you're completely away from the the Suburban like craziness of cars yeah and and we're at a point where like you get a chance to talk with them it's like you everything's stripped back you just there's maybe Koalas in the tree but no one's around to watch you no one's so you're completely like at ease I guess and we're fixing and repairing the tracks and in some ways like you know we all need that at times to just go back to basics and then build up from there and like we'll we'll strip a track back and fix a corner but then you get to ride it like if not the same day like a couple days later you can test ride that and I think there's just something that gets built into when you're learning these things on that level you're sort of realizing like hey like you know if life goes pear-shaped maybe I just need to get back to like hey let's just go for a ride every Monday morning you know like and then build up from that again and and get things back on track because if you look too many steps ahead it's just it's too crazy you know yeah oh man that's that's really cool man like I think it's good for people probably that aren't involved in in a program like this you know I'm sure there's a lot of people that get sometimes that BMX or riding your bike can be something that allows you to think more clearly you know and and make better decisions and yeah just feel more part of a community and all that sort of stuff so I think it's important to really um to see that sort of stuff yeah yeah we're probably been chatting for a while yeah yeah I've actually got a um a delivery here so oh sweet I'm gonna actually pause it for a second just give me one second I'm gonna let him in done yeah speaking of um getting stuff getting stuff done that isn't writing the Shop's about to open but yeah no man it's um you know I think that it sounds to me like because I still obviously I follow you on Instagram I get to see you still riding you still obviously doing it you know still having fun riding bikes and killing it but um it's been a real uh reminder to me that you know writing does change as you not even if not even as you get older you know you don't have to get to an old age for it to for you to realize that you can make a difference in BMX without necessarily being really really good at BMX you know yeah yeah so I think I think it's a juggle for kids nowadays like I think about that so where I grew up I had no option to go mountain biking well I didn't we didn't really have the money to afford it and we didn't have like I couldn't go Motocross right I could do it with friends but it forced me to just focus on one skill and that was like when we built a wooden quarter pot I would ride that from like when I got home from school until dark and like the day that I learned to air left I learned to air right I just got bored you know so I just focused on that skill and I think that's going to be the challenge for kids now is like you can ride all forms of bikes and for some kids they do have the means to to buy everything under the sun and I just think no matter what you're on like you know you've got to spend a bit of time to get used to it and get set up and I think like probably a conversation for another day but like riding the mountain bike has taught me so much and now I get back on the BMX bike and I'm like it's the right tool for the right job but when you do like bring both together you really get some skills from like even just things like just traction and control and where you look to in Corners the mountain bike sides taught me a lot and then I'll get back on my BMX and like oh wow this really I can see those little improvements and then it goes back and forth and I think that's what's really cool now like obviously with injuries too like a balance it's like I'll get on my BMX bike but I'm sore for like a couple of days you know like the I've done a bunch of different wrist injuries ankle injuries so I think it's me juggling now like I've still got ideas in my head of tricks and combos I could do but it's that balance between like do I want to be off the bike for three months if that goes wrong you know and yeah yeah and that's I'm sure you're juggling with that and and with the kids and my family like um you know it's it's balancing when to push like the send it button and when to just be like I need to chill out a bit here you know and my poor wife Liz like Liz has been through so much with me and like I've been injured at times when you know she's we've had kids on the way and like newborn babies that I can barely hold because I got my wrist in a in a cast you know so it's just this juggle but it's super fun and I think like yeah especially on the riding front I think don't be don't be afraid to try new bikes and other things but also like you've got to put the time in to really to really know that it's like any tool that you use like a carpenter has lots of tools but like you know when you see a guy that can hammer in a nail properly with one with a hammer you know like yeah yeah and there's something to that like I think it's just yeah it's not that one's better than the other it's just they do different jobs and I think like the mountain bike's been cool it's allowed me to actually keep my knees and ankles and just keep everything moving you know like yeah everything together so um it's super fun and I think like on the BMX front it's cool to see like it's changed a lot in the last you know 10 years but I still see like seeing the the base level Stoke of what we see here like kids building a ramp they're test riding it today and like learning airs you know it's like I'm sure some guys could probably do a double tail whip flare on that chord and that's sick as well but it's like just the the kid that's learning to air or do a fakie it's like still just as cool now as what it was you know exactly yeah yeah they can't be they can't be any color or a feeling for that kid to learn what he's learning right now you know so that's an important lesson for everyone to remember and yeah for anyone that like I mean we we have our get stoked events are like called just community events where it's like anyone can bring whatever they've got and come down and ride with us so you know if anyone's ever coming over and wants to get in touch with us and just come for a ride or just come along to one of those it's it's not so much like a BMX Jam but it's it's kind of just a jam on everything you know yeah sick that's good mountain bikes to to kids bikes so it's a real cool like yeah just you know a real blend of of just riding and having a good time so yeah sick yeah so where can people find um Lighthouse yeah so we've got a website so that's www.lighthouse YP for youthprojects.org okay so lighthouseyp.org and then yeah we're on like Instagram and Facebook and we we obviously like what you see on there is like what we can share um you know a lot of the work we do is it's really tough like these some of the young ones are in situations where like we can't share who they are we can't really care what we're doing and that's you know it's it's just as important it's just not it's not on social media you know oh totally I mean far out not everything has to be on social media and that's the cool thing I sometimes get as funny because I'll get messages like oh it's crazy you still ride your BMX and I'm like well I actually write it all the time I just don't put it up you know and I think that's the juggle like I'm I'm definitely not riding at the same level but it is funny sometimes because I'm almost like in my head I'm like so cool to just do it for yourself and go and just rip that phone off and and you could film it or you could just enjoy like being in the air and just feeling your tires hit the ground and I think like for all of us I think it's a good reset just to go back to like just go out and have fun on the street and focus on like what you're doing and just enjoy that you know instead of it always being about the extra or the clip or the comment it's like it's important don't get me wrong but it's like I love it sometimes when you just see people in their own little world riding and they're just really loving writing and I think like yeah it's it's cool to see that that's still there you know so for sure man for sure good way to finish the podcast Ryan I think we need to do another one of these because I feel like we only it's good give them the surface so but I'm really glad to speak to you man I'm glad that you're doing what you love and um I can't wait to get to Adelaide hopefully and yeah and hang out one time yeah likewise I'd love to get over and bring the kids over and come and ride some of the stuff over there and yeah man in Canberra you know and be good to see you see all you guys I know it's cool seeing like some of the crew now I've got kids and yeah it's really cool to see that so we can talk bikes and what size and yeah yeah for sure that's right hell yeah thanks again I appreciate you you know having me on and no worries um yeah really stoked on seeing what you guys are doing and and um yeah all the best to to you and all the guys over there thanks man likewise likewise cheers to us awesome brother thank you
Sick. Dave, thanks for coming on the podcast. I know we just spoke about it, but I have to introduce you. Maybe you can introduce yourself. How about. Yeah. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. My name's David Paterson. I am the product manager of We Make Things, which is basically the parent company for a bunch of brands.
Wethepeople, eclat, Fuse, Radio a lot more. And yeah, so I am currently living in sunny Cologne, Germany. And yeah, I guess I've never really done one of these before. That's, that's basically what I do amongst other things. But. But yeah we've been, we've, we've been doing a lot. I feel it's been so sick.
I think about this all the time. It's crazy how we have met through this, like, internet world, you know, like, I feel like you're my pen pal, almost. Yeah, it was. It was kind of like a like a Covid kind of Covid pen pal, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're talking love fest I work in, but yeah, it's, it's strange because, like, I speak to you quite a lot, like, quite regularly and I guess it's like, yeah, the first time kind of doing something like this, which is good. Thanks.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I wanted to have you on. To be honest, when I first started doing this, I was like, Man, it'd be so sick to talk to Dave because for me, I love, obviously, working in a BMX shop for so long. I love that industry thing. But I also love, almost not dispelling myths, but just you get to see behind the curtain a little bit, you know what I mean? Even when we started speaking, obviously, I started riding for Wethepeople back in 2020. And right away we started talking about doing stuff. And it's just been really cool to, after so many years working in a bike shop, to still be like, 'Oh, wow, that's so crazy to see how things go'.
So I am very honored to have you on on the show.
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, it's the first one of these I've done actually. A few people have yet been trying to get me on, but I have a bit of a chat and talk about bikes and bikes and everything.
How long have you been working where you make things and what do you do?
So it's almost nine years now. Oh shit. So I moved to Germany in 2014. Yeah, it's crazy. Long time when you think about it like that. But. But yeah, I basically came in as as product guy. And I guess the cool thing about the role was they, they were, they were really cool about it.
They kind of let me kind of move into a job and kind of find my place. And yeah, I guess I started kind of like it's like product marketing. I guess in the beginning when I started, my role was kind of split between kind of a product side of things. And Harry taught me a lot and I was learning.
And then also the marketing side of things. So I guess when I started I was a lot more kind of involved with like, you know, team riders and going on trips, stuff like that. And I guess as the years have gone by and the company's grown and evolved and my role has changed a bit nowadays, I'm kind of I'm the basically the product manager, so I'm more focused on, yeah, like developing products, developing a product lines, helping market with those products and growing what we do here, I still still quite closely connect to the team, almost kind of like the middle man in a lot of ways with product, with product projects, a lot of people are involved to make a BMX product come to life. It's not it's never just one person. A lot of people from, you know, 3D designers creating the 3D models, the graphic designers, the sales team. So I basically helped with everybody else coordinate that. And, and yeah, it's, it's, it's a lot of work. I mean, we make a lot of products, We've got a lot of brands.
But it's it's always rewarding to see the whole process from start to finish, you know, from coming up with a concept for an idea of a product and seeing it all the way through from the design to the testing, working with a rider to get it now down, and then over, I grew to kind of helping shops and distribution sell it when it comes out.
So that's kind of like a brief summary of what I do and how my jobs kind of changed. But yeah, it's been nine years and it's it's been fun. It's been a lot of fun.
Yeah, that's awesome. And for you, you do have a lot of products too, to work on, that's for sure. Are you just doing that by yourself or?
So there's a big team here like I'm privileged to work with a lot of really talented, cool people here who work on various different parts. So like, um, it depends on the project really, but kind of like the product team, there's like two or three of us and then there's just a lot more people involved from like we've got like a whole graphic design team here.
We have a bunch of really talented freelancers that we work with for various different things. But, but, but yeah, the actual kind of like here in the office, it it's me and Harry Schmidt, the CEO here And then, then, yeah, we have like a whole graphic design team. We have a lot of really cool designers that we work with on like a freelance basis, that kind of thing.
But, but it's, it's small, but there's definitely and a lot of people have to be involved, too, to make even a simple product become a reality, really. So I'm kind of right in the middle of it.
I mean, let's talk about - I guess this is my experience, right? We obviously spoke about well, firstly, I feel like I need to explain how it went from my end with the whole way.
There's nothing because it was obviously pretty surprising for me to be even looked at being sponsored it at my age, you know, at that time. And it was really cool to then start riding for Wethepeople. And I don't know if I ever explained this to you, but obviously trails is my love and passion with riding BMX and, well, half of it's not even riding -
- shovelling and talking shit.
Yeah, yeah, that's right. But you know, a big part of what was exciting to me when I guess I left the last bike sponsor that I was riding for, and I thought that I'd just like, buy an S&M or whatever, you know - buy something else. And then, and then Scott, who owns BMX International, was like, Oh, dude, have you ever thought about Wethepeople?
And I was like, Oh, man, I love I do love Wethepeople, but I just had never even thought about it. And then I went home and I was thinking about it more and more and I was like, Wethepeople are such a sick brand and it would be really cool to work with that brand too, to almost be like, 'here's another brand out there that that cares about trail shit'. You know? Not that we'd even talked about since parts or anything at that stage.
I just thought that you guys made real quality products and I was like, oh, the patrol frame is actually really sick and pretty close to what I ride. And, and then once I spoke to you, you were like, offered me a signature frame straight off the bat. And it was just it was just such a trip out, you know, like to see that.
So Wethepeople is always, I guess in recent years, a lot of our pros have been straight riders, but we've got like a rich history in sponsoring dirt jumpers. The brand itself is almost 30 years old now, and during that time we have made trail frames, we've supported trail riders.
And for us, we're being next company. You know, we all we want to offer a product for every kind of rider. And with the Patrol line, which I think we first started working on in 2015, we kind of wanted to get back to that because we felt, you know, we've learned a lot over the recent years on how to make a real solid line of products, and we wanted to get back into it.
But I guess for us, when we develop a product, it's a really fun process for us. But having a rider involved always makes it gives it a vision. You know, we don't want to just make a product and just slap a logo on that. We really want to make something special with some real thought behind that. And having a part of the picture just made sense from our perspective.
You know, we wanted a guy that really knew what he was talking about and would be able to help us create something special and unique. And and I feel with with the new line of products, we work with you. We've been able to do that. And yeah, I mean, a big part of my job is working with riders on the signature products and it's not always a simple process.
I think we always kind of try and shoot for the moon. We want to do something different. We want to make something like a product that really inspires people and stands out in quite a flooded market. And I the ideas you came up with was completely on par with kind of where we wanted to go. So it was yeah, it was, it was it was honestly a fun project for me.
It's probably one of the more fun ones I've been part of purely because I think one time it just happened at crazy time. It was during the time that it was home office. We thought it was End of the World and you just had some pretty some pretty big ideas and we really wanted to sit there and say no.
So when you started talking about disc brakes and super long top tubes and yeah, we were like, this is it was just the perfect product for us because we like a challenge. Yeah, You know, we have like a good engineering team here and, and yeah, it was, it was a lot of learning for me. It was a lot of learning for us.
But, but it was a fun project, you know. And I especially with the Chaos Machine frame, that frame came out pretty much exactly how we wanted from the beginning, which isn't always possible when you're developing a new product, especially something different. And, and yeah, it was, it was a fun project and I really hope that you're stoked on it.
And the feedback we've had from the public has been, has been great, you know. So yeah, so yeah, I mean we're having a part of we the people, it was just a logical thing for us, you know, like, you know what you're talking about, you know, racing really well and we're not really the kind of brand to sit there and assume that we know everything, especially and maybe like a niche of a market where we haven't had as much recent experience.
So sitting there with you for hours. Yeah, when I was sitting at home on the Home Office and just listening to your takes on what would work, what people would buy, what, what you would like to ride was it was it was a good experience. And everyone here, we enjoyed it and it's it's pretty rad to see to see it came out a little bit longer than than we would have like.
But I think everyone was in that boat. We've come the show and things but but yeah it's rad to see all those frames and all those parts out by now. Yeah, I'm pretty psyched too. And like it's, it's, it's definitely mind blowing is with, you know, the, the process I like and your involvement with working with team riders, how does that generally go.
I mean, I can speak with some my experience, but you know, it has it when I when I spoke to you and I said I think I'd I don't know what you would think about it, but I like it this break, you know, you're pretty open. You're very open to the idea of it. And you were kind of just like, Oh, let me have to think about it to see if it's possible.
Low and behold, you totally got it done. And I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to make it happen. But is there things like that to happen with with team riders and products? Yeah, I mean, it all depends on the rider. Some riders, you know, working in a shop that they don't care. They not necessarily they don't care, but like they want a solid bike.
They want it to look good. That's good enough for them, which is totally great. Of the other side of riders. They want something special and unique. They want they want it to be that product which we as a brand fully respect. You know, we don't want to just slap logos on things. We want to really design and develop and engineer.
And it depends. Yeah, some riders really come up to us with an impossible, impossible concept, which for us is a challenge and it's fun and we kind of have to meet them in the middle. BMX isn't the most accepting market in terms of new trends and new products. You know, we try a lot of things because we feel like it's a better way to do the product, or it can help steer BMX in a positive direction.
And sometimes people are stoked on it, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. But but with your train and the disc brake, I mean, disc brakes are nothing new. That's been around for 30, 40 years. We've been using foam on our radiator jump bikes for ten years. The engineering team at Bomb Track, which is our sister brand, which makes kind of mountain bikes, gravel bikes for our bikes.
Yeah, a lot of the engineers there. Yeah. They have a fantastic knowledge of, of, of, you know, disc brakes and everything involved which goes into so much more detail than the BMX bikes that they were really kind of instrumental in helping us engineer that onto a, onto a freestyle BMX program which was actually a little bit more complicated in the beginning.
But yeah, I mean, that's always a real fun part of the job when someone comes up to us with with a pretty unique concept and it's, it's a fun project. I mean, everyone here, we like a challenge, we like doing something new. We don't want to just play it safe. But but with this, it was yeah, it was something for us that made sense.
I mean, with the size of jumps that you ride, I mean, it's clearly not designed to dismantle most balls. You know, that thing is designed to roast and, and yeah, it was, it was, it was a fun engineering project and it served a purpose, you know, like, I think disc brakes make a lot of sense for the riding that you're doing.
It's actually a far more reliable braking system than a traditional caliper brake, which is must be like a hundred years old at this point. That system. Yeah. So, so so yeah, it's not always simple. It's not always easy. Some riders just want something very kind of like safe which, which is great. And other riders have like a vision of something different and unique.
And for us it's, it's an enjoyable challenge to try and make something unique out there. Yeah, I think everyone involved with the product development here kind of shares that vision and I always wanted to try and do something different and new and try and push the boundaries of BMX and just bring out exciting, fun products because I think BMX needs that more than ever.
You know, BMX needs trends, it needs tastes, it needs new things to excite younger riders because, because otherwise, how are you going to keep people stoked and excited, you know? Yeah, totally. We've actually spoken out about that before. Like the trans thing. I think it's actually really important for people to be able to jump onto different trends, you know, like that's how things aren't stale.
You know, we, we sort of speak about a lot in the shop here, especially my colleague, co-owner Rhys. Yeah. He talks about if everyone liked my block, then what am I going to run? You know, because you kind of want to run a matte black bike when everyone can run whatever oil slick or whatever the the trend might be.
So and I think that's kind of fun to even just being like, oh, ten years ago I rode this and now my tastes have changed and it's it evolves and new trends. So I think it's you're exactly right and I think it's cool to watch. You know brands especially like way to people yeah try it like you try stuff you know and I think that's yeah we do some sometimes like people hide, sometimes it's you know sometimes maybe a little bit too early or just something that needs a bit more explaining to the consumer.
But BMX is an industry now more than ever needs exciting products and stuff that inspire people. And I mean, I'm 33 now, but I still try and get into the mindset of when I was, you know, like 15 years old and wanting to go to a BMX shop and opening magazines. And I was always super excited by it, by products, you know, that's what captivated me and kept me in BMX for so long.
And even though, you know, I'm sure I set my bike up quite differently to your average 15 year old now and maybe have a different tastes like I think we all here try and look past that and try and keep BMX riders engaged and excited and we try and do that every day. And I think the industry needs that.
You know, you need you need to captivate the audience, you need to get people excited, you need to get them talking. This amount of comments we had on sticking a disc brake on your frame, whether positive or negative and insane, He was good. It got people talking with. Yeah, that's right. And I don't care. Like people don't like it.
They don't have to buy it. But yeah it does. It wasn't awful before the there's probably people that are like, Oh man, I'm sick. I want to get it. So I think that's what keeps what we do and that you need talking points and BMX you need like we're not here to keep everybody happy. Like we we're here to do our thing and, and make products and bikes that we really believe in.
And I think it's good to get people talking. I think for sure. Interested in BMX and having a viewpoint. And I think like we always like we always try and listen a lot, you know, like I know I go for every single Instagram comment. It takes up way too much of my time, but it's been invaluable in the past, you know, just to see a different perspective, just open your mind up, up.
Maybe it's a different way of doing things and, and Yeah, but yeah, yeah. Really hyped on how your stuff came out. Like everyone involved from like the 3D designer and Chris who did the graphics. Your frame like a lot of people are involved and it's, it's pretty humbling to be part of a process, you know like I still can't believe that all these years later I'm going to work in the morning and helping make BMX bikes.
It's it's yeah, that's a real still that's very cool Yeah or how so so concepts for my frame might have been particularly long you were saying just with like the delays with like manufacturing stuff about how long is it, you know, like say if a client got to two questions, one of it would be like how long would something take?
Two hour. And what the what's the process like to, you know, how much back and forth is there? And then the other thing would be like, do you have like a plan in mind for forecasting that to hit with like a certain trend or anything like that? Or do you not even think about that? You just want to do stuff that's cool.
No, there's definitely a plan. Yeah, because I mean, it really depends on the product. Really? Yeah. I mean, some some products just simply take longer to develop than others because the hubs, for example, and other products don't take as long to develop. I mean, we're really big on testing here. That's just a vital part of designing BMX products because no matter how many times you, you know, you run something through a lab and and due to ISO tests and everything, sometimes you literally just need to give a product to a rider for six months.
Maybe one day is actually really bad maintenance and looking after that bike and yeah. And seeing how the the general consumer which would handle something, it depends on the project. Some projects simply take longer, some some, some are relatively a bit more straightforward. Yeah, depending on the product but but yeah, that's definitely a plan here. And I would call every day here.
We are always developing new products like there's never been a day where we are working on something new, whether it's, you know, just like a new colorway or simply a new concept. Like I think we have kind of an Aladdin's cave in, in our headquarters just for the products which just didn't quite get there, whether it was too expensive or didn't quite look how we wanted it to function, how we kind of wanted.
00:21:17:10 - 00:21:44:20
So. So yeah, we're constantly developing things, but the plan is to bring them out for sure. Yeah, sure. It's it's interesting to think about like, I think a lot of people probably think that, well, maybe a lot of people just don't really think about a product and development of a product like you hear. I, you know, some of them might say like, oh, there's a new frame coming out.
Like, for example, we've been sort of talking about the, the 22 inch like Chaos machine, you know, and a lot of people to have a back now, a lot of people are going to be happy to hear that. Yes. So, you know, the 22 inch chaos machine is going to be coming out. But it's like one of those things where with social media and today it's just seems like the second you say something, it's like, when's the coming out?
And it has like, you know, things just need to where is it? Whereas I wish we could kind of make it come out as smoke, but it really depends on the project. It's kind of a difficult question because some some things, even as simple as a drop out on a frame or and you tubing needs a lot more testing and development and sometimes simply making a top tube longer and switching out the color and stickers that is is is a much faster process.
But I think yeah, we're all pretty like adamant on making sure we get things right rather than rushing to bring them out. But yeah, it depends. Depends on the product. I mean your frame. Yeah, simply took a lot longer because it's just a lot of new features that we've never done before, you know, even having the fabric mounts and the disparate mounts on the same frame engineering wise was, was, was something we had to play around with and getting a disc brake mount to, to fit a horizontal drop out and work in multiple axle positions.
That was that was something that needed tweaking. And so the engineers over at bomb track kind of helped us with that a lot because disc brakes simply aren't really my forte so much, you know? Yeah, BMX background. And I mean, those guys were definitely a big help with that. But it depends on what it is. I mean, your frame has so many kind of cool little features on like it has that one thing where people probably don't notice at first that can also fit your bike mounts, I think.
Yeah, that's right. Simply because plus we're trying to bring disc brakes into freestyle BMX. We understand that not everyone will have access to that and even adding a down tube with an extruded layer on it allowed us to kind of hide the integrated cable holders on that. So that's actually kind of a cool feature. It's like a best way to explain.
It's a bit like, you know, when you're a kid and you got Play-Doh, you push it through that mold that does like the star of the moon. Yeah, yeah. That's how you do an extruded shape. So you basically kind of push it for a mode and make one layer a little like the other. Yeah. Yeah. So that allows us to to tap a thread into a tube that normally wouldn't be thick enough to have a thread.
And that way you can have kind of cable guides on the down tube. Yeah. Well, rather than the welded rather than like a weighted. Yeah. Yeah. Looks a lot cleaner. That's like just one little thing we wanted to do. But yeah, yeah. That thing came out. Came out great. Like, no, not the kind of frame I would ride myself.
Like, you know, as a product, it, it, it looks great. And the feedback from the community and kind of people who like a longer, longer frame has been really positive. So yeah, we're developing the 22 inch wheel version right now, which I know a lot of people will be pretty hyped to see. And I hope the the Exile hub's on the Claw, which we actually developed our own hub for, those are coming out right now depending on your availability in the world that was that was a cool project because when we decided to make a frame with a disc brake, your first question was what about the hub?
And I think only profile could be wrong. Yeah, that's right. Once you offered up an 110, 112mm. BMX about help with the disc brake now and I think for a lot of people they just simply wasn't an option. So we had to develop our own hub to fit the frame. And yeah, I suppose ups are now just giving.
Yeah. Shameless plug. Yeah. So that's about the Exile cassette hub. So this is an earlier version. But, but yeah, if that's a regular BMX frame as a 9 to 10 tooth driver and has a standard six bolt disc brake. Yeah. This brake mount basically and it's a cool little hub, we kind of use like an alloy driver to save a little bit of weight.
We added this kind of custom knurling on the cones on here, but yeah, pretty hyped on that. So that's just another thing you have to do. If you change it standard, you have to make sure you're offering all the different parts for it. Yeah, that's right. I think it's pretty interesting that you guys almost that you guys are willing to do that.
I know that we've I've said that to you in the past, but, you know, it was it's one thing for me like, oh, I wanted this brake frame. And then you're like, well, you know, like, you got to make the hub and then you are psyched to make the hub. But then as well as that I was like, Oh, I'd like it to potentially be able to run new brakes because not everyone might have a disc brake straight away, you know, And the fact that yours think about that and then you're like, Yeah, we can do that, you know, like it's it's impressive to think that obviously it speaks to you guys and you being, you know, a product developer and, and saying how you can make that sort of stuff happen. I think it's pretty impressive, man. Give yourself a pat on the back.
I think a lot of people deserve a pat on the back. But yeah, I think as a company and as a brand, that's what we want to do. I mean, that's why we make a lot of products. We simply want to offer everything a BMX ride or a BMX shop. Give me. Yeah, for sure. Well, we have a very, very big catalog of products, but from a plastic bar end to a free coaster system, I think as much love and passion gets injected into everything we make here.
Yeah, you can tell, man. You can tell. We we talk about a lot, you know, regardless of whether our way with people or not. Like we talk about our stuff in the shop all the time, you know that you can tell a brand is trying to do the best that it can versus some brands that just do straight up copies of stuff.
We've got that Taiwan catalog. It's probably 15 years old now, but you can get a lot of stuff out of there with with your name printed on it.
Yeah, you can. You can start a bike brand quite, quite easily these days, but yeah. And then you can start a bike company and I think it's two different things, you know, like, yeah, that's true.
Like everyone here, especially the founders of the company, have like a real passion for creating quality products, you know? Yeah, yeah, sure. We want to make something when we really care about the people who buy our stuff a stoked and happy. And we're always listening to customer feedback and just talking to people that already have our products. I mean, what I used to do is go to we actually have our own BMX shop in Cologne.
The People's store something not a lot of people know kind of outside of Germany. But we have our own shop and I think we make things have habits. Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. We have our own BMX shop, the People's store in Cologne. It's it's one of the biggest BMX shops in Germany. It's been going along around for, for a long time now.
I think over ten years we just opened up a new store well, last summer, and I think that's a really important part of us a as a brand, you know, to have our own retail outlet where we sell our products but also everyone else's. And that's like a big learning experience for us. Sometimes I just go into the shop and sit, I have a coffee and just listen to like, you know, like kids going through the grips and see which ones they're hyped on, which ones I know.
And I think because we have our own BMX shop, it helps us understand the industry better. What's working, what isn't working like how we can create a better product that people actually want. You know, it helps us adapt to trends and tastes. And I think BMX shops are so important. I think a lot of younger riders don't understand that having an actual brick and mortar BMX shop in your city is as a BMX rider is a blessing.
You know, you've got the knowledge, you've got all the products available, you know, like I think it's an essential part, building a BMX scene. And and that for us is something that's really important.
Yeah, man, I definitely agree with what you were saying about the the BMX stuff. Sorry I lost you before because I didn't pay my zoom bill.
Technical difficulties. Yeah, B-Tier podcast over here.
Yeah, I know. But I do think that it's a cool idea the way that you have a shop, because at least you see it as a shop, you know, like I don't want to really, like go too much into BMX industry stuff I guess because you know, we're both obviously within BMX industry, but I think it's pretty cool to, to actually have a shop stock with other brands, see what other people like to do, like what other people, why people are vibing on different brands and things like that. And as well as that, people get to see your products in the flesh. And I think that's a lot cooler than just say, opening up with the people BMX dot com as like an online store because at least then it's like, you know, you're contributing to a scene.
I think you're exactly right with obviously I'm toot my own horn with having a BMX shop but I think that BMX shops are important, you know, because I kind of have a direct line to the saying. So I agree. Yeah. I mean, I feel like we're part of the BMX ecosystem, if you can call it that. Yeah. And part of that is is supporting other brands and being friends with them.
And then, you know, I think it's great there are other BMX companies out that, you know, like I through what I did before I worked here, like I got to know a lot of other brands really, really closely. And I think, yeah, you know, we we've got to we're all part of the same pie. You know, we've all got to support each other.
And, and whilst competition is great and everything, like we do this because we love BMX, you know. Yeah. Not some shameless German corporation sitting in our skyscrapers, you know, whether it's a rider run rider operate a company that just loves making bikes and doing cool projects and supporting riders and keeping the thing that inspired us as kids life.
So having a BMX shop is is really important for us as a company. Yeah. Joanne It's actually funny that you say that. Like, I think just from a personal perspective, like, say in the way that BMX is can get just busy other BMX is for some reason because they're not into a particular way of doing things or you know, like this.
So like for example, like trails drama that goes on, it's like man at the it like people need sometimes take a step back and be like, Oh, that's right. I just like riding a BMX bike and shit isn't that difficult. I'm just going to make it. Like it will just tend to bring on drama and difficulty themselves.
I think as BMX riders we're passionate people, and I think that's part of what keeps BMX so sick. And yeah, that we love the hell out of it. We have, you know, I'm sure everyone loves riding bikes, but BMX riders, we're protective of this thing that we have and I think it's like a catch 22 sometimes, you know, sometimes it can maybe come off as a bit bitter. But like, I think if BMX riders weren't so protective and we didn't like this thing, we wouldn't have this really cool rad sport that, that, that, that we all enjoy so much.
So it's, it's a catch 22 thing, you know. But yeah, we, we're very protective of this special thing we have and sometimes that can be a detriment but often it helps I think especially now more than ever, other areas of cycling are looking to BMX because it is so core and it is so special and it's so genuine.
And I think that this protected nature we as BMX riders have over it is kind of what makes it so sick. You know, we, we, we bleed for this shit, you know, as corny as that sounds. So I think, yeah, we'll always have a bit of drama here and that but now we're, we're here because we love doing it, man.
I've never thought of it in that perspective before. It's very true. Is that that's funny that you think that we actually did. We actually did a Back Bone t-shirt, that was a set of like bear trap pedals and then it just said Back Bone bleed for this.
Oh, that's funny
Man, that's such a different perspective.
I've never really thought about it like that because it's so true. Like, if we were just fucking super mellow and shit, you know, like, not really, like, worried about one way or the other, whether things are cool or not cool. Like then, then you just apathetic, you know, and you don't really care about anything and then. And then just a bystander.
So I guess you are right. Like BMX is a passionate so. Good point. Good point. But you did mention just before about what you were doing before. You know, we make things way to people like what we like nine years, a long time. And then I guess how did you even eventuate to getting into our working for we you make things so it's this it's it's been an interesting tale.
I mean like I grew up in a in a small town kind of halfway between London and Brighton probably learned how to ride a bike pretty late actually, probably around 12 years old, pretty, pretty late. Growing up we didn't have a lot of money, and having a bike just wasn't really an option for me. But yeah, I ended up designing on my little sister's bike quite late and then I got a paper around where I had to go by van every single morning, seven days a week, like four years, which basically incorporated a bike every single morning.
And I think that's kind of what really got me into it. Yeah, like had a friend at school, got a BMX bike, tried it for the first time in love with it. I think even from like a young age, I was just really into just how bikes work, you know? Like, it just fascinated me. Like, I remember like that show, American Chopper or like Discovery Channel where it's like an American Chopper show.
Like, I remember watching it with my dad as a kid, and I was just hyped on days off and grind is like cutting up metal. And I think I got kind of pretty pretty into it then. And then, yeah, got a job working in a in a local bike shop on a Friday. And I guess that was my first kind of gateway to the bike industry, you know, all the money I got paid for that literally went into just buying BMX stuff because I was fortunate enough to get trade price.
And as a kid, when you don't have much money, that's a game changer, you know? And that's how I was introduced to all of these brands was through working in a local bike shop that had a small BMX section and the owner, Damian Lewis Yeah, he was kind of cool enough to kind of, you know, teach me how it distribution works and that side of things and then I guess it all.
So this is a long time before social media. I basically start a blog. Must've been like 19 years old and I was posting a lot of bike stuff on Facebook. I think all my friends that up is saying is that like the prime of Facebook, I think you even had to be registered to a university to have it.
That meant so as posting a lot like stuff, people were telling me to get lost. So I started like a WordPress blog, basically crazy. And I did that and then it just became more, more BMX content essentially. And yeah, so I started doing that. So again, sorry, the troops are coming in the right. That's cool. That's right. Yeah.
00:38:11:25 - 00:38:41:27
So like I basically just started posting more stuff and of course products, so I was just posting pictures of cool bikes I saw on the internet and then it started to take off. And I think at the time it was there wasn't like a BMX product website that was, that was trends. Well, that was Dig. And then I just posted new products you know is if a brand does it on Instagram these days and there would be a press release, you know to see would post a picture of the news broke it and I'll post it on the site.
00:38:41:27 - 00:39:03:03
I mean it became this place where people would go to see new BMX products. It was called The Merged.
Oh, yeah, I remember The Merged. Yeah, the Merged. No way! That was you?
Yeah, that was me. Yeah. Yeah.
Is that kind of like initially, when was the. Iy must have been like 2007 or something maybe. Yeah. Around then.
So I mean that website originally started off with me and my housemate reviewing cheese or something pretty random like, but then it quickly became its place because it was before Instagram, you know, like you had to go to a website to, to, to read things. Yeah, yeah. So I just started posting more product content like more and more.
And then it started growing and it was those Facebook was kind of expanding and then, and then yeah, then I kind of, I got to know BMX brands because they would email me and be like, Hey, like, can you post our products on your website? And that was pretty cool because I got to like, yeah, me personally, brand owners, you know, And then I so Kurt Hoberg did BMX thing and hit me up and he was like, Hey, let's try make this thing.
And we partnered up and I had app ads running on the website and, and it was a really cool experience. I was in my kind of like late teens, early twenties, running a BMX website, riding with Brian Castillo, a volume and Goldsmith the barista and and we the people that that's kind of how we got to meet like how really cool and Rich College at the time was cool enough to be like, Hey, let's send you a box of product.
You film a video and, and, and yeah, it kind of grew from there and it was, it was a great time, you know, back in the boom of BMX websites and I got to meet all the different brands with the money I made from from the advertising I saved up for a long time. And I took my first trip to California Stadium, a bunch of dudes who I met on the blog as well, a Tradition back then.
Yeah, yeah. Bus trip to USA and I stayed with with Ditch Matt in California and I got to go to meet all the Cult guys. I got to meet like yeah to go to Fit and S&M. And then I was lucky enough to see that I then at the same time I basically got my first full time job which was working for a big bicycle shop chain,
It's still around, but it was a lot bigger back then and I started off just in data entry, a guy called Stuart Reed. It was kind of like one of the older BMX riders on the scene like squeezed me in a job that I'm sure annoyed the hell out of him, but they got me in there just uploading products onto a website and I was there for three years and learned a lot about the retail side of the bike industry and we sold quite a lot of BMX stuff to Evans.
When I eventually became a BMX buyer. But for Evans, so like I was talking to all the distributions and ordering product and getting to know the brands and I did that for a few years and then that kind of ran its course. And then it was my second trip to California. I went to into bike those who don't know, into bike history, the biggest bike trade show.
And for a BMX nerd like me, it was just haven't you know, I was walking around looking over new products, taking pictures, uploading it onto the merged and stuff. So you're still doing that at this point? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was kind of doing the too much was just like a side hobby. It wasn't really like a main source of income, but you know, when you're young and super into people acts, it was great.
So I was in Las Vegas, and if my memory serves me correctly, Primo had this pretty crazy party. This is my BMX companies really spent money on online product shows and stuff, you know, and they had a party on the roof of the MGM Grand Casino. Wow. And I went down and it was surreal. You know, I was like watching Sean McIntosh rap and drinking a beer with Mike Aitken.
And it was just surreal that blew my mind. And I remember not feeling too great the next day. And I remember I was searching for Wethepeople, the whole time, but it wasn't in like the BMX area back then. It was BMX brand to be in a similar park and to be the people booth for place where I really wanted to go and see the new bikes and eclat products, it was in a totally different part of the convention center.
Yeah. And it was like a labyrinth. I'd just get lost. But the next day I really wasn't feeling too good. I walked in, walked past the Wethepeople booth, and then we had this kind of table and chairs laid out for meetings with customers because it had really like he he goes hard with everything. You know, when we do a convention or we do like a trade show, he's like, No, we're going to do it like a proper booth.
You know, we have graphic designers design the whole thing. So they had this pretty incredible booth compared to other BMX brands. And I had like a whole table and chairs one and two good, had a little sit down, tried to collect myself, and I ended up talking to Harry. And, and Paul Robinson is our marketing manager here and we just got talking and yeah, we just got chatting a lot and I'd spoken to people a lot through email.
I mean, Wethepeople. For me as a kid, it was always my favorite brand. It just was I was captivated by it from a young age. But yeah, talking to them was great and I got to know them. And then a essentially I flew back home to England not knowing what I'm going to do future work wise, being a little bit lost.
And then I saw a job on their website for a product designer and I saw it and I was like, Oh, I'd love to be Paul, but I never went to university. I don't have a degree. I'm not fully trained in product design, but I want to be part of it. So I literally just sent an email and then 2 minutes later I got a reply being like, 'Hey, let's have a chat.
And I had a few Skype calls with Richard, who was a product manager at the time. And then, yeah, I flew over to Germany to Cologne on a very cold February morning, wait two days, had two days of interviews. I've been hired and just talked for hours and just about, you know, BMX hobbies and just fully nerding out.
And yeah, they said when can you move here and holy fuck away because I didn't think that was at all a possibility. I was just happy to be that, to be honest. And it was it was a pretty big decision for me to move across the country. You know, in the grand scheme of things Germany is not that far away from England.
But back then when you're in your early twenties and no expectation of moving to a different country, it was it was pretty, pretty wild. So and I feel like every year and then I wouldn't be able to do it. And I've been really fortunate here of working with me and teaching me along the way and expose me to a lot of different parts of the business and working with me to find my strengths and teaching me things.
And it's it's been a fantastic experience, basically. So. So yeah, that's just kind of how I got here. Basically starting a blog, writing about cheese and being a little bit hung over and sleeping on the way with people. Booth And talking about freecoaster hubs. So. So yeah, nine years later, I'm here, so holy shit, that's a, that's a, that's a story.
It's so one, it's so crazy because you know, the shop here has been open since 2005, right. And I came into, I came into the shop to essentially I was bugging the shit out of Rhys just, you know, hanging around like a like an 18 year old kid. But I was also studying web design and multimedia, but I couldn't really I couldn't really afford to live.
I'd move to Canberra essentially for BMX and I was like broke as. And anyway, I was like, I couldn't really, really afford to study five days a week, which is what I was doing, like it was a full time thing. And I kind of just said to Rhys like I can make websites, I do need a website and hey, there's a serendipitous, you know what I mean?
Like a he had someone else that was doing it. They were kind of lagging cause, you know whatever. And then I came on and my whole point of this is it's like you had this thing where you were just like frothing on BMX products and now you're fucking product, you know, like one of the product. What was the head product design or whatever?
Product manager, Product manager. Well, I kind of I work with designers. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So I kind of coordinate with all of our graphic designers, everything, but it's product manager. Product manager, Yeah. So you're managing all this stuff because you were just enough, not fortunate enough, but you were making, you'd, you'd taken what was just a passion and you turned it into this thing called The Merged, which by the way, like as a side note, like I told you to look out all the time working in, working in a shop, you know, working in a shop, you always to what the new thing around the corner is.
And that was the website that I'd always go to and be like, It's always got more info than some of the. Yeah, I, I ended up I mean most brands were really stoked on it and it was cool. I made a lot of friendships, which I'm still kind of happy to have to this day, you know, like, but there were a few that have got me in trouble.
I mean, I can understand it now as someone who works heavily with product marketing and keeping the release of products under wraps, this this kid from England with long hair who always wears tie-dye who is leaking our products onto the Internet without telling us. So I think there were a few stern conversations, a few brands. Yeah right back to but but yeah I mean I'm pretty fortunate here.
Like I think as a company I really believe in having riders work here and people with with motivation and energy and enthusiasm for BMX and I think Harry and all the team here want people part of the company and the brands to pull out on BMX. I'm very fortunate in that regard to be doing it. But it's, it's yeah, it's, it's cool.
And I think as a BMX company you need BMX riders. I'm constantly, you know, talking to the younger generation, getting a lot of feedback on products because I think that's important, you know, like we're not going to have the be all and end all saying what's actually cool and BMX forever. You know there's going to be a time maybe it's already happened where I'm completely out of touch.
So I think we always try and talk to the team a lot, like all our team riders really getting better opinions on various different things and local riders. Yeah, and I think I think that's a pretty important part of making BMX products, honestly. Yeah, it's I listen to as many people as possible. Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, even with the like say the 22 inch chaos machine that you're working on, that's something that I've only ridden a 22 inch by.
I rode my friends at the trails a few years ago, and if I was if I'm completely honest, I was like, Holy shit, I could see how I could just ditch my 20 inch bike for this thing. Which is kind of funny because. Yeah, like, I was like, Oh my God, keep that to myself. Because that was they were brand new.
00:50:38:08 - 00:50:59:15
My friend is like six foot eight he had his and only makes sense and it Yeah. And about riding and I was like wow this is sick but the cool thing that I have is the ability to, you know, ask him what he thinks about it because he's way more in touch with it than than I am. You know, I, I love it.
But and I think they're great idea but it's like what you're saying with talking to team riders or other people that have their finger more in that pie, you know, like you have to be able to take your ego aside, you know, and, and not completely yeah not think that you know what is best but more just try to help to move the needle where it needs to go you know.
I think it's give and take like we really try and do that but sometimes you know I feel like as, as a company, as a brand, sometimes we have to move the needle and see if people follow, you know, like I think
sometimes BMX is just an industry very resistant to change. And I totally understand why, you know, the average rider and shop doesn't have an insane amount of disposable income. So coming up with a new handlebar STEM standard like 25.4, which makes total sense, it's it's slow. But for the riders to adopt because you know they want a new bike to go to buy new stuff and that's that's a kind of a hard sell.
But when the system works so much better and so effectively, I think since all of our pros switched over to overseas, no one breaks bars. Yeah, right. It it just doesn't happen anymore. Well, but there's definitely more more companies going on it. And then I think it just makes total sense it's just sometimes slower BMX. But I think we make so many products, but it's sometimes hard to explain every little detail.
You know, it's sometimes hard like to get across everything. So even doing this kind of stuff with you talking about frame and the special parts of it is, is something which I kind of enjoy doing. And yeah, we could get everything across about our product in an Instagram post, but sadly it's, it's difficult. Yeah, totally. Yeah. What so what breaks on on the set of handlebars because I run the 25.4 too, because I thought it was I thought it made sense like more grip area and things of that.
But is it just do they, I mean, I mean, but it's more like that it holds the bottom. The bar doesn't slip more than anything. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. If a two piece handlebar is going to break normally it will be at the No, I mean, we don't really have many 22.2 bars break, but that is technically a weak point on the bar, especially the stem isn't tightened properly or it's over tightened, which can happen a lot with younger riders, you know, kind of don't really well, underwriters that don't really know how to work on their bike, but it just makes a lot more sense for for a secure hold on the bar.
Yeah. And it wasn't like we're having riders breaking bars every week, but if a bar would break, it would be better. And since we moved to 25 points for overseas, that's just not done. I don't think it's happened. Yeah. Yeah. Have you ever have you ever seen any thing that you guys have tried where you're like, you know, you were talking about sometimes you have to move the needle and the industry has to catch up.
Is there been stuff where you're like, Well, that's just not going to ever take off? Or if we've got, yeah, we've there's been so many projects, so many projects we've worked on that just, yeah, it just hasn't come to fruition where it just didn't end up looking kind of how we wanted or we just thought it's not right.
We've experimented with all sorts of things. One thing we did a few years ago, which was kind of cool, was play with the idea of a rear spacing of a frame. So a typical BMX frame is as a 110 or 112, depending on the brand. Mm. Hop spacing. So from here to here, which has been the standard for a very, very long time, but obviously with, with 2.4 and 2.5 tires, the rear triangle is getting really, really tight.
Oh yeah. So we just on itself. Yeah. So I mean if you look at mountainbiking now they use 148mm to, you know, like wider spacing and having pretty similarly sized tires sometimes. So we actually did a yeah, some samples of a Battleship frame and a Cortex free coaster with 120 millimeters spacing. So it was just just a little bit more and it helped a lot more with like, yeah, like tire clearance mainly.
But then if you do that, you also have to have a longer crank spindle because otherwise the sprocket will be too close to the frame. We ended up having to change so many things. It was a cool concept and I think as a company we're always working on concepts, like we're always working on new products and you know, just to test the waters, see what's possible.
And I think that's a brand that's kind of a foundation of what we do. We were always trying to see what we can do to make BMX bikes better. And the end goal is actually it trickles down into complete bikes. If you look at complete bikes now, like compared to 20 years ago, it's it's insane. And I think right now with the amount of younger kids getting better earlier, like having even more die with smaller complete bikes is is essential so that we do that part of G line.
Now Wethepeople. Yeah just an aftermarket 18 inch frame and fork and we developed that together with split foot with a few younger riders, especially Souke to bring my favorite BMX rider right now. Yeah he's just incredible, awesome kid, awesome family and yeah there's a need for better stronger bikes for a young audience, but we didn't just want to make a Battleship frame and shrink it.
We, you know, we developed our own hydrophone tubing, which was stronger and lighter. We use like, you know, slimmer should we engineered that frame to be proportionate to what the rider needs. And the same with a fork in the box. It's a very, very lightweight but incredibly strong frame for cable designed for for the younger 18 inch riders who need that gateway between the 16 and the 20 inch bike.
Yeah, it's crazy at the moment, actually. We literally got one to build up for a young kid right now and it's it's like, you're exactly right, man. Like, things have changed so much that I would have never thought from a bike shop perspective that the bikes that we sell the most of are like 14 inch 16 inch, 18 inch bikes.
And it's like, but the but companies except, you know, with exceptions like yourselves as companies aren't really thinking it so that's necessary yet you know like yeah I mean when we develop like these smaller bikes, like we're looking at everything so, you know, like a 16 inch bike does not need a 2.4 tire that's completely over the top.
Heavy, sluggish. Yeah, we have the Thrillseeker like from Wethepeople, which is our new kind of entry tier, Wethepeople bike and although it's it's a lower cost bike we wanted to make sure those bikes they look good, they ride good. It has a 2.25 tie on it because when you are younger right. You do not need a 2.4 tire on that you know like it's that's that's Yeah.
It makes the bikes super heavy and cumbersome tire clearance can can be an issue and we have like a whole new line of we the people bikes they come in like a small, medium large, extra large. The small one has a 19 inch top tube and that proportionate in geometry. One thing we did a few years ago, which was was kind of really important to us was the geometry about complete bikes.
So even on the Nova, we gave them a 12.75 chainstay. They a super short chainstay. They haven't been done on concrete bikes before because it's just the engineering is a lot of work, you know, you've got to do the tooling to bend, the chain stays and to have enough tire clearance. And we did that because we wanted kids to ride on a bike, which actually felt good for them and be shorter.
It was more agile and it worked better. So it's a lot of work here really goes into making complete bikes, especially the the entry level ones, because it's just so important. If a kid has a bike that rides like shit, that's just going to quit BMX and then you've lost someone who could be it for a long, long time and help contribute to making it better.
So a lot of work goes into just making really down company bikes and we're always constantly seeing what we can do to make that part of whether it's materials or just the esthetics. A lot of the conversations we have with a design team about how we make a bike look good, you know, should we use a Spanish bottom bracket on a 16 inch save complete bike because that kid does not need the longevity of a bracket and it will help ultimately reduce the weight.
A lot of thought goes into that, and especially with Salt, like our kind of OEM brand we developed. So we were one of the first brands to really put money into developing good OEM or like a lower cost products on our bikes. Do you think when Harry first went to Taiwan in the nineties that design his own bikes and actually do it himself, you know, we as a company weren't very happy with the things you could just get in a catalog.
You know, that lever is too long for a kids have that grip is too short and we've spent a lot of time developing Yeah whole lines of like brake levers and brakes and like a stem we do like a 45 male and a 40 no stem, you know, because on an 18 inch bike, a 50mm, maybe too long, abandoned at 40mm too short.
So we designed a 45mm reach stem. So like a lot of the design work and product work goes into actually just making sure kids have dog bikes. And that's awesome. When we hear from our team riders that we bike with a Wethepeople like, yeah, we hear that quite a lot and that's, that's always great. But I think yeah, going into a bike shop and seeing how a kit fits on a bike, that's something I know Harry does a lot and just thinking, Hey, can we do that?
But like that's kind of important thing for us because if complete bikes aren't dialled, then you're going to lose a whole generation of bike of younger riders, basically. Totally, yeah. Bikes are dialled now it's it's awesome. Like everyone makes makes good stuff.
Yeah yeah I, I feel like a lot of that stuff would people how would you feel that sort of stuff gets out I'm really excited you know the fact that we talk about this stuff right now and we always talk about tech stuff when we're on the phone to each other, it's something that I nerd out on that, you know, I love hearing that.
I love hearing all of the intricacies of it. And that's something that I think, you know, I notice it when I'm selling a bike to someone for their child or if their child comes in. I can explain to them the difference between a made in a Spanish bottom bracket on like the the right or whatever. But that's something the I guess we're doing it right now on the podcast.
But how how how can you see people getting more I guess educated and how do you see like the future of BMX going for like young riders and things like that in terms of like bike parts and and whatnot? Because I guess what I'm getting at is, you know, there's a lot of people from a shop perspective that just wouldn't think that those things make a difference until you ride it and then, you know, But it's hard.
Yeah, it's hard. I mean, especially parents, you can't expect a parent unless they're like typical bike parent, you know, to really understand why they should be paying X amount more for this brand rather than this brand. And it's it's a hard thing. I mean, that's what BMX shops, the bike shops are fantastic because they're a source of education for parents and riders.
And that's why I think we should be supporting workshops and going in there and, you know, like doing what we can do to support them because if they're gone, then you're losing this whole source of education to new riders. And, and for parents, yeah, I mean, we as a brand we are about marketing.
So a lot brands to show people but I mean I think the younger riders social media is obviously like a huge thing that's pretty the first port of call. Yeah they kind of learn, you know, we obviously put a lot of effort into that and developing our own stuff. I probably need to go in front of a camera and talk about some new bikes and I think I think BMX shops are really important.
But but yeah, it's rare. I mean, I remember when I was a kid or a young person growing up in BMX, I loved what I learned about bikes from my friends. Yeah. So like I think just sharing the information and like what I was saying earlier, like BMX needs talking points. It needs things that excite people, whether you like disc brakes or you don't like disc brakes or whether chain stays or too sure or that too long.
I think he has kind of companies and brands we need to we need to stir the pot a little bit and get people talking about it because I think it's it's it's important. Like if someone's stoked on BMX enough to write a comment where a positive or negative, it means they're interested and they're engaged and they they care.
And I think that's what you need. You need people that care about BMX, whether they're more of a product person or that kind of more to live a lifestyle and to look at it and stuff. I think you've just got to keep people engaged, really like make cool stuff, you know, show video parts to just just make cool stuff, basically.
Yeah, man, That's so true. Well, speaking of making cool stuff, what's what's on the horizon? What can you talk about? Any of the stuff that's that's coming out? Yeah. I mean, we're always working on new products like it's like a non stop thing here. We've, we've got some, some cool stuff coming out. I mean, one thing I know we've been working together on, which is, is something for us is kind of cool is this new Surge XL pedal so it's a new alloy pedal I think alloy pedal is making a comeback.
It's just BMX is cyclical. Yeah. Bike but we yeah we, we work together to design a larger platform alloy sealed pedal with some inspiration from the mountain bike world. And you've been riding boats a lot of people have been riding in them are pretty stoked on That's been kind of cool. Like of course the majority of BMX pedals are plastic now, but we wanted to do something that would get trail riders, that just prefer having a super grippy alloy.
Kaido So be seeing a lot more about soon. Yeah, cool. That's very cool. Okay, I get asked about those all the time and yeah, it's a super cool looking product and like we took a, you know, you really helped out a lot with feedback for that one and it's just a super good looking paddle. I mean, it's not going to be as cheap as a plastic paddle, but you're going to get something super dialed.
Yeah, that thing just looks great and it's one of the biggest alloy CNC pedals ever made. Like I really did research about the platform is huge. That's it's a really dependable, durable axial bushing system. Yeah that's that's a product that that that that was really hyped on. Yeah we have new products coming all the time depending where you are in the world.
The new. Yeah. The the Exile line which is dropped to provide the tires and the disc brakes hubs and the Exile sprockets. That's, that's been pretty cool for us to do something a little bit different product wise. I think all is kind of landing worldwide. We have a whole bunch of products that are probably projects I probably can't talk about.
Yeah, that's all right. If people kind of subscribe to our Instagram like it's normally posted on there. Yeah. And product stuff. Anyway, we kind of post a few sneak peeks every now and again. I think that's important as a brand. That's what kind of got me where it was being hyped. On seeing Sneak peeks on websites. So I think we always like to tease a little bit every now and again just to kind of show people that with their hard at work here, working on some new stuff, what else?
Good good question because there's just there's plenty to like. Yeah, yeah. I mean as far as like you said, the list, this is cool. This is like a well Oh no I yeah. So one compound is going to be harder for the rails among one side is going to be soft of the ledges where you need a bit softer compound and no, that's pretty cool.
Simple. But that's, that's better. Yeah that's, that's, that's that's one thing that just happened still my desk is. Yeah. The camera but no doubt. Yeah. We're always working on various different things whether it's new bikes you reports and we, we, we, we have a lot of stuff going on but yeah, there's plenty of good stuff to come. Basically, I feel like you're always every time we talk, you talking about doing new stuff so I can't criticize you for you definitely hard worker And so everyone's a hard worker here.
I can't Yeah yeah. Well you know, we every everyone here works works really hard to make stuff and we've got a fantastic team of really good people here and it's also fortunate to have some, some really creative good people around. I always bring a different opinion and I think it helps just make cool products, you know, that's love, love really great people here for sure.
Man, I, I really appreciate everything that you that you do and I don't think that I mean, we could talk for hours about specifics on particular parts, but I feel like, you know, the amount stuff that you guys do behind the scenes, we make things in general, I think is something that you all should be very proud of because I, I even someone who's worked in the BMX industry now for, you know, whatever, 16 years or something like it's always just scratching the surface on seeing what people do like yourself.
So I'll definitely see your praises. I look forward to being able to talk with you more about about stuff in the future. And yeah, sure, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. So sounds good. Like it. So yeah, it's always good having a chat with you. Yeah, it's like super late my time and you're early in the morning, so.
Yeah, yeah, that's the team sitting down. But. But great to have a chat. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. Yeah, no worries, man. Yeah. Look forward to the next time. Yeah, for sure. All right. Yeah. Take it easy.