I picked up my first BMX aged 13 years old just to ride to school on. It was the cheapest one my mum and dad could find from Halfords (don’t judge me I didn’t know anything about BMX bikes then haha!) I loved riding it to and messing about on the way to school, on my 14th Birthday I got some money and went and bought myself a new bike from the local BMX shop, Ledge in Leicester, which has sadly since closed! It was a Mongoose complete and I started to go to my local, dare I say, dire excuse for a skatepark, it consisted of a concrete half pipe and a ledge and flatbank, but its all we had at the time. Anyway to cut a long story short a mate taught me to drop in on my bike and I was hooked from then on. I started watching BMX edits on YouTube and at that time was a massive fan of Harry Main’s riding and wanted to learn a few tricks. My mum and dad used to take me to a newly opened indoor park in Melton Mowbray called Terminal 1 https://www.trm1.co.uk/, which is still going which is awesome. For Christmas that year I got a voucher for a lesson with a couple of local talented pro riders called Tom Justice and Martyn Cooper, Tom is now someone who I ride with on a regular basis and love his unique style, they taught me how to manual (which is balancing your weight on your back wheel whilst using your legs to pump yourself forward with out pedalling, I suppose its a bit like a wheelie but you don’t pedal but you still move forward.) Anyway I went and practiced everything they taught me and learnt from just riding with other people and I rode everyday and have done 99% of the last 6 years.
It may sound like a cliché but BMX really is my life, I eat, sleep and breathe it. After just 2 years of riding I entered my first contest which just happened to be the BMX world championships in Cologne, Germany. I went with a couple of mates and my dad, I entered the amateur category and qualified in 4th place out of 100 riders, I was stoked! I had tried a trick I could do but not 100% of the time and I bailed and landed sliding down on my knees, luckily I had pads on but it did make a mess of them, so I had to go into finals with my knees all cut up under my pads and didn’t do so great and ended in 12th place. I wasn’t bummed about it because I was still buzzing from reaching the finals. I was hooked!! I wanted to compete all the time. In 2014 just turned 17 and having a winter of riding and getting some tricks on lock, I entered my first Pro category in Marseille, France. It was a FISE http://www.fise.fr/ series stop and had some of the worlds best riders competing. I ended up being in a group with riders I looked up to and if I’m honest, I was bricking it bigtime haha! (Luckily I don’t feel nervous anymore when I compete) The contest came and went and I finished 35th out of 70+ international pro riders so it felt pretty good. I mean you have to start somewhere. Later on that year at a FISE Stop in Reims I finished 6th out of 40 + riders and won my first prize money cheque of 200 euros, you would have thought it was 2 million with how happy I was. A month later, I competed in the BMX world championships in Cologne for the second time and they changed the set up to a bowl which I was unfamiliar with, I rode in the pro category this time and qualified into finals in 12th Place out of 50+ riders, It was the best feeling, Finals went ok I took a crash during one of my runs which put me off to be honest and I finished in 15th Place. The following week we headed to Luxembourg for a smaller scale contest but just as fun and I WON!! I got my first pro podium aged 17 it was amazing and I seriously will never forget that moment.
Since then I have competed in over 40 International and gained consistent Top 10 finishes in all of them and plenty of podium and top spots. I said to cut along story short but it is 3 years of my riding life to squeeze in to a couple of paragraphs. Now you’re up to speed on where I am in my riding I will start regular blogs, about riding, travel, contests and anything else BMX related.
One final thing……DID YOU KNOW BMX Freestyle Park is now an official OLYMPIC SPORT as of last month and its heading to TOKYO 2020………watch this space!