Sunday, May 31, 2009

Colony Clone Rims

The new products keep moving over at Colony! Here's a quick look at the new Clone Rims (495g - 6000 series alloy) that will be coming out around August/September this year. At this stage they will be available in Black, White, Dark Red, Dark Purple, Dark Blue & Tangerine in 36h. They will also be available as a complete wheelset with the Colony Clone Hubs.

Colony/Focalpoint giveaway!

There is a competition running between Colony & Focalpoint that is coming to a close shortly. Check the flyer below & don't miss this opportunity!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Freestyle BMX magazine for Australia?

Alistair Finlay from Victoria wrote this interesting piece regarding the launch of the new BMX freestyle publication in Australia, BMX Life. Read on & feel free to leave a comment...

So in news that went unreported in almost every bmx circle over the last month (and by unreported I mean that I didn’t see it on any of the RSS feeds I get), Australia is getting a new freestyle BMX magazine.

Okay, that’s not 100% true, in fact Australia is actually getting about .5 of a new BMX magazine.

You see BMXPress is dividing its operation into two different publications.

BMXPress will continue on as a BMX race only magazine and a new publication called ‘BMX Life’ will be dedicated to freestyle. At this stage both magazines will quarterly, as opposed to once every two months that the old BMXPress was.

Issue one of Australia’s newest freestyle BMX magazine

So, in the end, having little more information that I just divulged above, I decided to give the self proclaimed ‘editor in chief’ of both mags, Warwick Wheeler a call.

Over about twenty or so minutes of a reasonably stock standard BMX conversation, Warwick talked about things like his flatland credentials, how he wanted to see flatland in the new magazine and his ethos of BMX photos.

Warwick’s seems an odd fellow, I had never spoken to him before and only really seen him at a few events where flatland was also on the bill as opposed to the bill.

His accent matches his name, which is to say he posses a tendency to pronounce every letter in the word and the overall result being you feel like you’re chatting over the phone to your plumber.

Except your plumber doesn’t use words like ‘gnarly’ and ‘scene’ or ‘underground’ (unless talking about sewage) and doesn’t hold stock standard BMX phone conversations.

During our chat, Warwick did kind of claim that the reason there hasn’t been much flat content in his publications in the past was because 2020 managed to attract all the contributors that used to submit stuff to him.

2020 - market leader

But it’s important to temper any critique about the volume of flat content in BMXPress or BMX Life with the knowledge that Warrick isn’t a flatlander. Unlike Holmes and Pollack, Warrick has never really been exposed to the flat scene and hasn’t kept up with the diversification of its culture.

Ten minutes on the phone with Warrick is enough to reveal this.

As such he has come to rely on the input of others for content. If those people haven’t been forthcoming there hasn’t been any content.

‘I can’t tell what is and isn’t a good flat photo the way I can with dirt. That’s why I go Stumpy to write the words for the BMXgames report in the mag’ Warrick says.

He plans on calling the usual suspects for help generating flat content for BMX Life (people like the afore mentioned Stumpy as well as Stu and the such like – so expect a phone call fellas) as well as hoping that aspiring flatland photographers and writers will get in contact with him.

The thing is, I’m not so sure if now is the time to be launching a new BMX magazine title.

Whilst sales aren’t down across the board for print media at the moment, advertising revenue certainly is, and whilst some industries are flat, on face value there seems to be no greater or less number of BMX related companies starting up or going to the wall.

The question is, can the local market place support one more magazine at the moment?

Warwick is placing his bets on it can and the idea that more magazine titles means greater protection against falling revenue saying ‘a title like Rebel Yell is at risk because if their advertising falls then where else is the money going to come from?’.

Rebel Yell – ‘at risk from falling advertising revenue’ says Warwick

This strategy however would be more affective if Australian BMX distributors, who are also the advertisers, weren’t so tied up in both the race and freestyle markets.

In the end, regardless of whether BMX Life sinks or swims in the long term, if Warwick’s plans for flatland coverage in the mag are even partly realised then it can only be good for flatland.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Roll call: Andrew "Buff" McDermott

Hey everyone..!! After 2 months off with RSI in both wrists, I'm back on the bike (minus the brakes), and riding as hard as ever. The bike has been into my dads Panel Shop recently, with some paint being applied. I love the new look, and with Transformers-2 coming out soon, I aptly named my ride 'BumbleBee'. lol Taking the brakes off has forced me to change my riding style... a change that can only help me progress, so it's a welcome one.

Most days I'm at my local High School basketball courts, but once a week, I meet up with Jarvis and Mike B. in the City, and we session the Concert Hall. Awesome spot to ride!! Smooth surface, great 'down-town' vibe, and tons 'o babes walking by, all day. What more could you want..?? With Shaun and Mike both sharing my hunger to progress, every session is filled with an energy that pushes us all to strive for more... a vibe that the scene in W.A. hasn't had for a long time.

Besides riding, I try to get into the gym and hit the weights 4 times a week, and run everyday, also. The X-Box has been getting a workout lately, too, with the new UFC game making my thumbs sore, and with 'Guitar Hero: Metallica' out tomorrow, that RSI might rear it's ugly head again..!!

Colonys first 'DownUnderGround' series is coming to a close, with the last stop coming up in a few weeks, in Brisbane on July 4. I'm really looking forward to it..!! Besides the fun of riding and competing, it's been really awesome to be able to see the other riders from around Australia on a regular basis, throughout the year.

pics thanks to Mike Brandt & Lindsay Wilson

See you all soon..!! Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vintage BMX Show n' Shine in Brisvegas

Looking for something to do in Brisbane on June 28th? Then you need to check this out...

Lewis & Sons Powder Coating, Australia's speciality BMX powder coater is holding their 3rd annual Vintage BMX Show n Shine. Its a great day out if you're interested in the history of BMX Racing and Freestyle from the 70's through to the 90's. There will be old school bikes on display, rare parts up for trade and a BBQ. See the flyer for further details.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Around the World - The Francisco Lindo interview

A few weeks ago we did an interview with Melbournes Karl Hughes aka Paradoxium. The feedback was hugely positive & people were both psyched & interested as to what he was doing in & around the World Bike Projects.

Looking to get a slightly different angle, Karl put me in touch with a close friend of his that lives in Lima, Peru - Francisco Lindo. The two have been conversing for some time with Francisco helping Karl learn Spanish by correspondence & in return Karl has been offering support by flowing parts.

* Full name & how long have you been involved with Flatland?
Francisco Lindo Diez Canseco and I have been riding for like 6 years. I left flatland for one year when I started college, but the flat is the flat, when you enjoy this you can't leave this as easy as you think.

* Please tell us a little about yourself
I live in Miraflores, Lima - Peru in an apartment alone but now with another biker friend. In my house all the time when me and my friends finished the day sessions we went to my house to see videos and updates about the news of the sport on Global Flat. I'm a professional Business Manager and I work in many enterprises in my country. I discovered flatland when I skated: I saw a couple of guys riding and doing some tricks and I fell in love with this.

* Please describe the flatland scene in your area
The flatland scene in Peru is growing up really fast. Since two years ago we start to see how the international level of the sport changes so much and we start to try everything we can. For this effort we can say right now that we have many more persons in the area and also international riders have said " the Peruvian scene is the more stronger in Latin America" and we are really proud to hear this from other people. The past year one of the best riders of Peru, Antonio Marrache flew to Columbia for the magicflart contest, the contest format was in battle groups, he battle against Raphael Chiquet, and Antonio won this battle and he went to the final against Matthias Dandois, when I heard that I'm really surprised about this, cause Antonio is only 17 years old, and he's the promise of our country, we try to get a sponsorship for him cause he need something like this for flights to other places and show his skillz in the sport.

The best riders here from my view point are:
Antonio Marrache
Williams Perez
Jorge Nazario aka Koko
Cliff Alania
Me, Francisco Lindo
Esteban Salinas
Christian aka Cabezon

Many local riders have a really good level, we have a style and level more like the European riders, cause they're our inspiration. The guys try to refresh themselves every time with new tricks and in every video they try to make a new stuff and this is what we do also.

We had only four spots and the best one is Larcomar in Miraflores, my district hehe. It's in front of the pacific ocean, upstairs of a big commercial centre. The other one is the Residential San Felipe, Antonio and Koko's favorite spot and also there is one in the Alameda in Comas. Many riders live in Lima Norte and ride in this spot during the day. And the last one and the Cradle of the sport in Peru is the Andres Avelino Caceres's Park. In this place I started to ride flatland and learnt my first tricks, a lovely space with a big flat area and we've also had some jams there too.

* What does flatland mean to you?
For me flatland is part of my life and all the time i'm thinking about flatland. I can do anything I think of in flatland. I remember when I studied I wrote the tricks what I practised in my notebooks and thought about the combinations I can do with this. It's like a life style, flatland gives you a discipline, perseverance and attitude, every time when I ride I can make another combo until the first one is done three times consecutive. The flatland open my mind to get to know another kind of people, as maybe you don't know but Peru is a mixture of all the races, and the racism here is really big with the poor people, this is for me is ridiculous. I came for a family with money and before riding I saw the people with another eyes, now, a lot of my friends don't have a lot of money but they're still my friends, because for the people it's not about the looks of the person but what they inspire in you. Every flatlander that i've met in my life is a really nice person for me and we've had lots of things in common and we are one with the sport.

* I understand that Karl Hughes aka Paradoxium has been helping you with parts in exchange for language lessons. Can you please tell us about that.
Karl... is a wonderful person. I met him like a year and two months, I saw in the Spanish forum something like exchange of bike parts for Spanish lessons. I wrote on this thread and he answered me. He asked me about the offer and I accepted, and now we are really good friends, and he helps me with bike parts, for me and for my friends, cause many parts he has given to me. when I changed parts I give to my friends and for me Karl is one of the best persons that I have met in my whole life. He make a lot of things for nothing and the money comes from his pocket. This is wonderful how he can love the sport so much to do this for another person and many times he doesn't know these people. It is his way to say please keep riding and make your dreams reality. I admire him a lot, and now he can write me in Spanish with many words that are really good and he is understanding more Spanish and this makes me feel proud because my form of teaching works hehe!

* Has knowing Karl changed your perception of flatland?
More than just flatland, he has changed my perception on life. He taught me about being a good person, because its like we go to the Egyptian times when the rich Pharaohs go to the grave with all they're stuff, and for what?? What we can do keeping all our money in the grave?? It is better to make the effort to help people, because this is a good way to spend our money, making smiles for other people. Maybe this won't make us rich but our souls will be.

* Where do you see the future of flatland for yourself, your scene & in your country?
Well, in the really short future I am going to Europe to take an MBA and I think my future maybe is going to be in Europe for a couple of years. In Peru if we do the things that we want to do then maybe there can be other options to get more of the pro riders visiting the contests. The scene is going to be so hard and strong here and I hope the foreign brands take a look here and start to sponsor our riders.

* What are you final words?
Well my final words... for every flatland rider in the world, keep your good word, the sport is not easy but when you finish a trick or a combo your happiness is so big...
keep the good job for the contests organisers, this is one of the reasons that the people make their best effort to make new tricks, and maybe they can take a look to make a contest here hehe!
And I hope that flatland can exist always, cause it's like an artist expression and a life style for everybody who knows about this.

* Who would you like to thank?
Special thanks to Karl for helping me since we met, to my mom for support me in the sport, to Camilo, Beto and Koko for learning me some tricks and for everybody who rides flatland and makes our sport bigger and bigger.

Edit: Francisco just sent me this awesome edit he just completed featuring Toño, Coco and himself...

Monday, May 25, 2009

General randoms.... Simon O'Brien & Shane Badman

Simon O'Brien has been spending a lot of time getting his house finished & these before & after shots show that he's not just got the skills on the bike, but he's doing pretty well off it too!!

Simon is going to be heading to Japan shortly for a little break so stay tuned...

Shane Badman had an opportunity to visit Legoland in Denmark over the past weekend. If you ever get the chance to check one of these places out - do it!!

World BMX Battle!

Keelan Phillips & Lee Musselwhite are holding a big contest in the UK on July 26. Here are some words from them directly...

The most important thing about this contest is that it is put on by the government (council)- no companies or sponsors involved, so this is a massive step forward for flatland, the government are fully supporting a flatland event which shows they are now taking flatland as seriously as other sports and paving the way for more flatland. It is going to be bang in the middle of the busy city center of Keelan´s hometown ´Leicester´, free for the public to watch, and held on a weekend where it is very busy in the city. There is gonna be a stage with big tv screens/music etc so its gonna be a huge contest with a huge audience and it will be 1 on 1 battles! There will even be a noise-meter so show how loud the crowd get for each rider!

With Kit McKenna over there - hopefully he can keep us posted...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Colony T's in stores now!

The new Colony T's designed by FocalPoint wizard Cooper Brownlee are available in stores now!

Two new designs: "Freehand" & "Living the Dream" - get them quick, the last batch sold fast!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Colony Cube bars!

The final prototype of the Colony Shane Badman Cube bar is finally ready!

Material: Full post heat treated multi butted CrMo
Width: 24.5″
Height: 7.9″
Backsweep: 2.5 degrees
Upsweep: 2.5 degrees
Weight: TBA

Available worldwide from late August/September!

Foot Locker Flatland Demo this Thursday in Sydney!!

If your around Sydney this Thursday between 4pm - 6pm you need to check out the flatland demo that will be going down. The occasion is the grand opening of the new Foot Locker store opposite Town Hall in George Street.

Vinny Pugh & Tomasz Hantke will be down there ripping it for the crowds as will Channel V to document it all.

So get down there to show your support as Foot Locker supported flatland at this years BMX Games...

photo thanks to Andrew McDermott

Vinny Pugh & Foot Locker... word.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ben "Ginny" McGinnes Bike Check

I've known Ben or Ginny as he is more commonly known on the forums, for a little while now. I can remember seeing a few photos & hearing about this awesome rider who lived out on the East Coast of Australia & finally had the chance to meet him in Sydney at the BMX Games a couple of years ago.

If there is one thing I know about Ginny is that he loves flatland, he loves bikes & he loves to ride. Take a look at his bike check below & a few words from the man to get to know a little more about him...

Full name & years riding
Hey, my name is Ben McGinnes and I've been riding for around 6 or 7 years now but I've always been into BMX... just mainly little jumps and street urchin type stuff as a kid. Pretty much by myself, where I thought doing the odd wheelie was about as technical as you could get.

What got you introduced to flatland?
Ages ago I saw a dvd of Dave Mirra's 'tricks and tips' ... And right towards the end of if there were some clips from another dvd called 'Dorkin in York'... I couldn't believe what I was seeing, insane rolling front wheel tricks.. These rolling whip things, spinning back wheel tricks... All on flat ground! Who are these Kevin and Chase guys??? I had no idea any of this was possible!

....So after this 5 minute preview I went and bought some steel pegs for my old Mongoose and the rest is history. I'm not going to be some big name pro or anything, but flatland just gives me the best feeling whenever I'm working on something so intricate and finally nailing it, it just keeps me coming back. It's one of those thing that can just make your day.

What things do you look for in bikes/parts? What influences your decisions and how often do you go through parts? Any modifications?
Thankfully, over the years I've gained a bit more knowledge on bike parts.. I have broken that much stuff it is borderline ridiculous. Frames, forks, bars, seats, seatposts, stems, axles, 80 million spokes, pegs, sprockets, chains... It's endless. Some breakages were purely my error, some parts were just past their life span, and some were just well, shoddy quality.

On the bright side, you can learn from these things by looking for what actually went wrong, and look for a better design in the next part. My forks for example... I went through 2 pairs of KHE Tanaka forks... all of them cracking at the dropouts. I decided to get a beefier set at slightly more weight with the OG Vajda forks, they are solid as around the dropouts, and have alot of backup by the OG team. Good reviews and of course real world experience with parts helps alot in selecting what would be advantageous for your riding. Instead of choosing the lightest of everything and being bummed out because you can't ride for a week because your bars are snapped in half just because you wanted to save a few grams... You have to have faith in parts you run. You don't want to doubt the strength of parts when trying kickflips, whoppers, whatever.... There is nothing worse than thinking "I hope these hold up to this.."

Some parts just aren't suited for all riders. There's different styles, body weights, levels of experience - no two riders are the same, but on the other hand, It's also good to try out different things. Just getting a simple new part just gets me all the more stoked to go and try it out.

I love my setup at the moment, It's light enough to manoeuvre quickly, yet strong enough to handle what I can throw at it, plus it's a really good length - I can actually ride the bastard places!!! It's not the craziest Frenched up thing, but hey... The less attention I draw to myself in the carpark the better.. but later on I might change up some stuff if I get sick of looking at it..haha!!

Frame: St Martin Happy Place 19.1"TT
Forks: OG Vajda brakeless
Bars: KGB Sarvets 7.3" zero sweep
Bar ends: Knight Bikes Revolvers
Headset: FSA intergrated
Grips: Ares 88
Stem: Colony TLD
Pegs: Abadthing round ends
Front hub: 36h Geisha
Front rim: Sun Rhyno lite, double butted spokes
Tyres: Odyssey Frequency G wire bead
Crank: KHE Hindenburg 152mm, ti axle, KHE BB
Sprocket: Tree splined 18t
Chain: KHE hollow pin
Tensioners: Quamen Pops
Pedals: Ares
Seat: KHE watanabe
Seatpost: Thomson
Seatclamp: Intergrated with frame
Freecoaster: KHE Geisha 36h, 9t
Rear Rim: Sun Big City lite
Weight: 9.5kg (21lbs)

Modifications: Ti stub axles in both the hubs, alloy axle nuts, ti bolts and barrels for the cut Thomson post, ti bolt in the seat clamp, 3/4" high carbon spacer under the stem, ti bolts in the tensioners, chopped the brake mounts, Ti prepped and greased freecoaster and I'm soon to trim the dropouts. There's not really much else to do to it... It really is a nice reliable ride. I just have to keep the maintenance and tyres up to it! haha...

Any last words or thanks?
I'd like to thank you Shane Badman for giving me this interview, the peeps currently reading my babble...All the good friends I've met through riding flat and basically everyone out there busting their arse on a 'stupid kid's bike'.. for hours at a time... just for the hell of it.

Four pegs and a funeral bitches!!!!

Online Survey: BMX Media in Australia

Ali Finlay, who will shortly be completing his University course, needs some help to complete an assessment task. He has put together a small survey on the access & use of BMX print media in Australia & will only take a few minutes - thanks!

Click Here To Take The Survey

If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to email Ali at

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Colony Down Underground info - Updated!

Brett Dighton just sent me over the finalised flyer for the Colony Down Underground Series final in Brisbane on July 4. All sponsors & details are finalised.

Shaun Jarvis & crew have finalised the judging criteria that will be used for the contest.

And don't forget on how to get there...

Judging categories & format for the Down Underground round 4: The Finals

Three (3) Judges

Judging categories

Each category is judged out of 10 points - best score given by one judge would be 30 points

Middies class
2 runs up to 1 1/2 minutes in length
all scores from the three judges added up to find total score for rider
highest number of points wins

Advanced class
2 runs up to 2 minutes in length
all scores from three judges added up to find total score for rider.
top 4 riders go into a battle format final

Advanced class battle format final
top four (4) into the battle format final

The judges will decide the winner by vote

4th battles 3rd, the winner moves up & the non winner gets 4th place.
The winner from previous battle, battles 2nd place qualifier.
The winner moves up, the non winner gets 3rd place
The winner from previous battles 1st place qualifier.
The non winner gets 2nd place & the winner of this battle receives 1st place

The countdown has begun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A reply to Trevlon Hall’s INFRASTRUCTURE & THE FUTURE: An Australian Perspective

In what is fast becoming a quite enjoyable trend in flatland, that being the long and thought provoking blog post, Trevlon Hall has put forward a call to action with a result rather then an opinion that‘s mealy subjective.

The aim of this piece is to look at some of the key points raised by Trevlon and discuss weather it is even practical to attempt to apply them in Australia.

It is perceived by sections of the Australian flat community that Australia is in the second world when it comes to flatland. Compared to other countries, we fall way short on rider numbers, access to product, mainstream media penetration and sponsored riders and events. That’s not to say we don’t have some of those things, it’s just they aren’t on a level with other places.

However, this is also the way it is in much the rest of the world, in fact, despite all we don’t have in Australian flatland, what we do have is pretty damn good considering.

Trevlon’s idea, whilst noble in spirit, is completely impractical in Australia. If we use Melbourne as an example of how you might begin to move on his call to action, you would first need to look at obtaining land to locate a spot. For this you only have two options; government or private enterprise. That is to say you’ll need to lobby government for them to give you either money or land or both, or you can try and get money together via other means to buy the land outright and build your own space. The ways to do both of this things are many and varied, but they also cost a packet and in the case of government you’ll need many people supporting you.

When it comes to government you have three options; federal, state and local (all of which are currently broke I might add). Now, say in Melbourne and around Victoria there are twenty riders who ride on a regular enough basis to justify a legitimate dedicated spot and another 50 (and that’s being incredibly generous) who have an interest in flatland. That is no way enough people to lobby and convince either state or federal government to allocate crown land, as well as money to the construction of a flat spot.

You might have luck with local government, if those 70 people all live within the same local council, but they don’t, they are spread out all over Melbourne and Victoria, which is quite a large area. This means that even if you can get something together from the local council or through private enterprise, some riders just aren’t going to go because it’ll be to far away and others won’t like it because it’s not to their taste. The Imax experience has shown this time and time again.

The famous Imax riding spot in Melbourne

The private enterprise model would have you begging for money from everyone, and I can tell you, people don’t generally give big amounts of money for nothing. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible, just impractical.

But the real issue I see with Trevlon’s idea is the reasons behind it. His argument boils down to flatland exists, there for it has intrinsic right to a private space. I don’t agree with this, I feel if you want recognition for anything, you have to earn it, or there has to be a real need for it. Just because a few guys who ride kids bikes in an odd way feel they are entitled to it, does not in my mind make me think that government or big business should provide such recognition.

The example of tennis is used to suggest that flatland can pull itself up out of the street and into mainstream respectability. However I would argue that the example is flawed as flatland is deeply linked to the street and street culture. The ‘paradigm shift’ Trevlon calls for is removal of flatland from street culture in an attempt to attain higher status by having space allocated for something that already exists. This supposes that for flatland to gain respectability it must be allocated this own physical space and reject its association with the street.

The thing is that tennis has had hundreds of years to come and go, fall in and out of favour and so forth. Yet tennis was originally the cultural practice of peasants (as was soccer and rugby league), flatland has never been the cultural practice of peasants. The peasant culture of successive European basket-case nations throughout the last few centuries bears very little in common with today’s global street culture, of which I believe flatland falls within and is most suited to.

Flatlanders ride in public and trespass on private spaces because that is, what I feel, flatland is about. It’s about using what’s already there for a second different purpose, or recycling modern infrastructure. Why create more of what already abounds (well, in the developed world anyway).
The issue of getting hassled in public spaces is used to support the argument, however on the model suggested, it seems to me that you are just as likely to get hassled riding at an open dedicated flat spot as you are on a tennis court. I have found that the only people that hassle when you ride are drunks and bogans, so they’ll come and bother you no matter where you ride if its out doors.

I believe that Trevlon has raised some good points, and his cause is true, however when applied to Australia I think that such action would prove impractical, impossible and even unfair considering the wide range of selection most Australian riders have when it comes to choosing of riding spots. Yet he should also be commended for putting forward ideas, that if realisable might benefit sections flatland community without negatively affecting others.

Read Trevlon Hall’s original post titled INFRASTRUCTURE & THE FUTURE on flatmattersonline here:

Well known Victorian rider, Ali Finlay, has kindly offered to provide regular commentary to issues that face the flatland community in Australia & beyond. This has been the first of many installments that will be coming out... stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Congratulations Lenny!!

Tasmanian ripper, Chris "Lenny" Letchford and his wife Ange recently became parents to Oscar Christopher Letchford on 22 April weighing in at 9 pound 12 ounces (4.40kgs)

Huge congrats to them both!!

New Colony "Jam Circle" pegs available in August!

Clint at Colony just sent me over some details that the long awaited Jam Circle pegs will be available from August!

6061T6 alloy CNC machined
10mm axle hole
38mm diameter
115mm length

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5 minutes with Ben Moran...

Every scene has a rider that completely breaks free of everything around them. They walk their own path & their angle of view is always just that little bit different. Enter Ben Moran. I've known Ben for quite sometime now, I think the first time we met was a few years ago in Sydney for what was the Planet X-games at the time. Out of nowhere showed up this kid who completely blew everyone away - original tricks & hard combos.

Fast forward a few years & Ben's no different. He brings a fresh approach to the scene & riding - his approach reminds me a little of Pedro Melo from Portugal: totally original & completely unique in his riding & approach.

Full name, where you live & years riding
Ben Moran. Je suis de Waubra & I have been riding for six years.

Your riding style is very unique & I know that you ride quite a bit of street. Can you describe how that has had an influence on it?
I just like to ride street to mix it up a bit, it doesn't influence my flat riding it's just a good break from the ground "that I often hit & it hurts".

The first time we met you were riding a super-dialed bike & the last time we rode together your bike was nearly falling apart? What happened in the meantime?
The first time we rode together my bicyclette was only quarter weeks old & I didn't ride any street then. Thou my bicylette looks derelict like myself, mostly it runs good... mostly.

Who or what are your inspirations for flatland?
Riding wise I would have to say the usual suspects, Chase, Jesse, Martti, Raphael & Lee Musselwhite.

What goals do you have with flatland?
That's easy landing something "Yeah".

What are your 5 travel destinations?
Fraser Island, Bro Town, Tasmazing, Kangaroo Island & of course Brunswick st (Melbourne), (Yeah I know I haven't done much travelling).

I remember hearing about a trip you made earlier this year where you rode your bike 80kms to another town... what's the story?
Well it was in a town called Hyden in that great state Western Australia. It was either wait a week for the bus, or ride to Merredin. I got my provisions at le marche, & hit the smooth asphalt, the whole trip was flat as the deux flats I got 'flat out bro', anyway back to the freakin story; so I rode about 80kms the first day & arrived in Narembeen were I had my beauty sleep. I woke up the next morning & proceeded to question my sanity for this journey of self discovery, then I rode the next 70kms to arrive in Merredin - "go figure".

What does the future hold for yourself?
Well apres I take first place in Brisbane; I am going to Darwin, why you ask? because I haven't been there before. {Relating to that first place statement that was first in judging so get your money out, I am taking bribes now}.

List 5 riders or people that you would like to session with daily & why
I would have to say Paul Chamberlain because of his love for the ground & The Streets........album. Michael because he pushes you to get tricks done. Andrew McDermott because when your sitting down he is still riding. Jason Parker because he moves around the bike with style & has fun doing it. Kate I would like to have a session with her; oh! I almost forget to mention that word because.

Final words & thank yous!
Thanks to my friends Paul & Jen for letting me stay at there place so often & hooking me up with demos, also going on that trip to Tazzie. Michael & Matthias for introducing me to fessebook,those "Crazy Frenchman". Ali for getting back into flatland again & involved in the flat community "Cheers Bro". Ronnie & Brett for letting me stay at there place in Brisbane & showing me an awesome time, bring on round quatre. Tomasz for the accommodation in Sydney, not only can he ride flat he also shreds on the streets (Props Bro). Thank you Shane Badman for this interview, keep ripping the ground of Europe & a Big Thanks to my family.

All photo credits: Andrew McDermott

[lEntil As anyThing]

A short video of Ben's riding can be seen on Agoride by clicking here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shintaro Misawa confirmed for Colony DownUnderground!

You heard it here first! Shintaro Misawa is confirmed to be at the Colony DownUnderground Finals on July 4 in Brisbane. Awesome to see him on a Colony Cube as well...

And check one of his parts from the Sequence online vids...

Sounds like most of the Western Australia crew have sorted their travel too. Shaun Jarvis sent me a couple random pics including Andrew Lightbody spinning on the decks at Round 3 in Sydney & Andrew "Buff" McDermott chillin' with a friend...

Remember this?

Simon O'Brien vs. Martti Kuoppa - Red Bull Circle of Balance from 2002... who do you think won the battle?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flatland back in major contests?

Fat Tony from Ride US has written a very interesting article about modern flatland & it's potential to be back in the spotlight with the rest of BMX. With big contests like Ninja Spin & Jomopro is it too far to think that flatland could be included in the Dew Tour???

The last time flatland was in the X-Games it was all Simon O'Brien taking the Gold...

Image thanks to ESPN

In Australia we've been lucky that the BMX Games have always included flatland. Like anything there have always been a few challenges along the way, but judging by the recent contest in January it looks they've got the formula right.

Image thanks to Jason Cho

For the future & growth of flatland - not to mention an opportunity for riders to make a living from riding, I think it would be great to have flatland back alongside the rest of BMX.

NEW! Mike S - Vans - Edit 2009

Frequent Sydney-sider Mike S has just completed an awesome new HD edit for Vans. Lets hope he's making it back to Aus again this coming summer...

MIKE S VANS BMX from on Vimeo.

Colony DownUnderground finals - location

Brett Dighton in Queensland sent me over the map for the Colony DownUnderground Finals in July.

If you need something bigger to work from this link will help.

BMX War Jam in Costa Rica - promo vid

My friend in Costa Rica, Luis Elias sent me this short vid. It's a promo for the BMX War Jam that's happening in December in Nicoya. If you're thinking about somewhere to visit - maybe this is it??

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Karl Hughes {Paradoxium} interview

I've been lucky to know Karl for quite a few years. He's the soft spoken gentleman from another era that managed to somehow find his way to BMX Flatland. One standout memory I have is arriving at the BMX Games in Sydney a few years back & seeing all the Melbourne crew arriving... with Karl having driven them 11 hours to get there & taken care of everyone. That's Karl straight up: he'll do anything to help those around him without second thought.

Karl has since unwittingly stepped it up a notch. What began as a one-off project to help a rider in need as turned into a world-wide phenomenon: The World Bike Projects. He'll never admit or take the credit for it, but Karl aka Paradoxium on the forums, has started something big... very big.

Here is the man...

* Full name & when were you first involved with flatland?
Karl Hughes, started BMX at 14 years of age {around 1986} and stopped at age 21 {around 1993} Sadly had a 7 or 8 year break, then got back into it around 1999 and have been with flatland ever since. Unfortunately its always part time as I have a family and run a business.

* Has Melbourne always been your home?

Yes, i've always lived in Melbs.

* How would you describe the evolution of the Melbourne scene?
It's an always changing scene. There are only 2 riders still jamming regularly from the beginning up until now, that's Grant Cruise and myself. Everyone else has moved on, stopped riding etc, but there is always new faces of young riders, and we have many new faces of various ages and old schoolers return, so it's refreshing to always have a decent scene at our jam spot in the city.
Currently, we have around 10 regular flatlanders with 3 being overseas at present.

* The world knows the huge contributions you've made to the global flat scene, especially riders that are doing it tough. How did your involvement come about in all of this?
In the beginning, I tried to keep it quiet, but the more I helped, the more I realised it was impossible to keep anonymity. In the end, I went full on public with the ideas. That was when I saw the worst bike in the world, and decided to start a project. I figured if I buy the biggest parts, I may be able to get worldwide assistance to finish & it worked.

At the same time, I have been flowing parts for over a year to my friend, Francisco in Peru in exchange for learning Spanish by correspondence. I benefit by achieving my goals and many riders in Peru benefit from this exchange. I also helped another rider, Coco, by supplying him forks when they broke.


& his bike>>

Put it all together & you get the following...

* It seems that what started as a one-off project has grown to an enormous scale - how do you feel about that?
I am more stoked than you can imagine. A gradual increase of giveaways & donations has occurred in many levels all around the world. From what I've seen & heard, this is taking place all around Australia, North & South America & Europe.

* Do you see any further opportunities to develop your projects such as getting communities involved, companies to co-sponsor projects etc?
Yes. I am stockpiling parts for my next project which is bigger than the present ones. I am doing more groundwork with this one. As soon as the Barbados and Panama projects are complete, I'll start the new one. So far its been very difficult to get companies involved, with a response of "We cannot afford to help your friends".
I have plans to invite companies to jump on board with this next project, and awareness has grown dramatically of what's happening. Companies I approach will no longer feel I am looking for free stuff for my friends, but indeed have a worthwhile venture to contribute to. They can see the benefit to the company in question & not just the flatland community.

* I understand that you're involved in a number of forums around the world. What is it about the forums that really interests you?
Hahaha, yes I'm a regular on Flatland Australia and Global-flat but I'm doing my groundwork now for the next project & the forums are the best way to get to know the scene of a region. I also study language as a hobby and lurk more forums but don't participate due to limited skills, hehe.

* Given your work in the World Bike Projects & the response from the riding community, has this changed your perception of flatland?
I feel so. I see the global flatland community growing from strength to strength, with a feeling of a brotherhood. If I can help with that in just some small way, it's all worth it.

* Where do you see the future of flatland?
It's hard to say, but I feel it's increasing in the regions already assisted. The good vibes that flow from assistance is amazing. It gives the entire scene a boost. As for flatland as a whole, it would be safe to say it's moving forward steadily.

* How would you describe the flatland scene in Australia?
Amazing. Paul Chamberlain & Shaun Jarvis have given the Aussie scene the boost it needs with the new Colony DownUnderground national contest series & we can all thank them, & everyone else involved for that. It pushes riders to progress and motivates people to stick with riding.
Jams and contests are what makes the scene. It's motivating - Aussie flatland rocks!!

* It's been great speaking with you Karl - time for thanks & final words...
Yeah, I want to thank everyone that helps flatland in some way or another, through websites, jams, comps etc or just reaching an incredible level of riding. Also everyone that has helped with the various projects, including Flatlandfuel, The Byke Project and Animal Bikes for jumping on board with the projects. Also Shane Badman for the Flatland Australia News Blog, this interview & his contributions to the sport.