Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beyond the Black Stump - The Lee McCormick interview

I've been lucky enough to know Lee for quite a few years now. I can still remember the first time we met at some random jam in the Salisbury Suburb of Adelaide. He was busting out on a blue KHE Premium Lager & I was stoked to see another rider close by! Lee is a busy man - he is married with a family & has a full-time job as an arborealist (aka tree surgeon), but still finds the time to get out for a session on a regular basis.

I caught up with Lee recently to see what he's been up too... read on for more.

1. Full name & years involved with flatland:
Lee McCormick, I'm 29 yrs and have been riding flat for around 14 yrs.

2. How did you become involved in flatland?
Well, some mates of mine had just bought a new Dyno Slammer and a Torker Kickback and after riding one and being the odd one out, I pestered the parents to help buy me a freestyle bike for Christmas. So, went down to the local bike shop and grabbed myself a hot new Torker flipside. After buying the vid Ride On and watching the likes of Agroman and the Dorkin vids, it wasn't long before I was hitting car parks late at night trying cyclones, forkstands and fire hydrants.

3. I understand that you've moved around Australia a bit. Tell us about the places you've lived & travelled & has the bike always gone with you?
The bike has always been there for me, through the good and the bad. Grew up in the land of the Mania (Tasmania) and was lucky to have great mentors like Damon Fox and Leaping Lenny Letchford. Moved up the coast to Queensland and lived in Boyne Island for a while not far from Gladstone before residing further up north to Airlie Beach for 5 yrs. Rode quite a lot up there and being almost the only flatlander apart from the occasional ride with a mate, It was a very newish thing for people passing by. I was doing various demos for schools and events organised by a retail sport shop. Was great weather all the time so it made riding very easy and being not a very populated place at the time there was ample places for riding. Then to the flattest state in 03/04 to Nth Adelaide where I currently call home.

4. Out of all the places that you've been where have you most enjoyed the riding scene?
Definately Tassy. Great riding scene there, great people and riders whether it be a flatty or a street/ramp rider or a skater, we would always ride together! Just crappy weather would have to be the only fault. Whilst in Thailand not so long ago was spewing I had no bike as that is a flatlanders dream there!

5. Now that you call Adelaide home, how do you find that for living & flatland? Adelaide is a great place to be, live and ride. An abundance of flat spots, great people and a laid back atmosphere. Unfortunately there are next to no flat riders. Was never a really big scene here I've been told though. But was definitely a highlight when The Badman and Dave Sayer used to meet up with me for shenanigans and a good ol' roll.

6. Flatland is not the only thing in your life - what else keeps you busy?
Well my occupation is an Arboriculturist (tree monkey/surgeon) for the last 7 yrs so I work hard and long hours. I'm currently schooling every second weekend for my level 4 in Arb. Married to my beautiful wife, have a 14month old disciple and a 19yr old step son. Play basketball socially and regularly go to music concerts/festivals.

7. Describe a typical day for Lee:
Wake up, climb to top of tree, work, have lunch in tree, work, climb down, come home, exercise, walk dogs, see family, but finally get to ride on weekends

8. Describe a dream day for Lee:
My mind boggles too much to answer this question...

9. As you've been involved with riding for sometime, what advice would you give new riders?
Always do what makes you feel good and don't worry bout the parts you have or how good the bike is. Just ride and have fun

10. Final words & thanks...
Big thanks to my parents for letting me buy a bike when they thought i would just ride it once then leave it in the rain. Big thanks to all the Flatheads and friends that i have rode and had fun with on the way.

Just go ride or go home!

Do not try & race this man to the riding spot... he'll beat you every time!


  1. Ah i miss you man, sweet words keep it real yo.

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