Words & Photography by: John Wells
“I’ve known Jack for probably around 8 years now. If you want an idea of the type of person he is… I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not smile in all those years. I’m seriously not joking, you could punch him in the face and he’d still smile. He’s very polite and well mannered which makes him very pleasant to hang out with, and he genuinely loves BMX. I remember one time he was on a 400+ day riding streak and the only thing that stopped it was a broken leg. I don’t know anyone else that rides that much without the occasional day off, but I guess he just loves it that much. I’ve seen his style change from park riding, to a street rat with 4 pegs, to him now being obsessed with trails. To be fair, he’s always killed it whatever he’s done, and he still whacks on the pegs every blue moon and busts out a trick no one else can do. He also owns a barn, has upwards of 6 golden eagles, is about 12ft tall and drives a pretty nippy mk2 Golf. Oh yeah and he’s an accountant. Read on to find out more about the grinning friendly giant!” – Josh James, bqr123
Full Name: Jack Griffin
Years riding: About 6 or 7
Top three riders: Chase Hawk, Clint Reynolds and Mike Aitken
I hear you live on a farm in middle of nowhere. How do you stay motivated to ride?
My parents let me fill one of the barns with ramps since I started riding so I have always had somewhere to ride, even throughout the winter. Some of the best sessions are in the barn with a group of mates. Also travelling to new places and riding new things all the time keeps me motivated.
Yeah, It seems like you get around the country quite a bit, where is your favourite spot in the UK?
Probably my local trails, the crew there are some of nicest guys I know and nothing beats a summer’s trails session followed by a BBQ in the woods. I also always have a good session at Jay Aliano’s trails.
You kill the trails. How do you rationalise riding big ass trails brakeless?
My brake usually comes on and off every month or so depending on where I have been riding and I also find changing it around keeps things new and different. I feel comfortable riding my local trails brakeless or places I visit regularly however if I go to a new set somewhere I usually put a brake on. I prefer the feeling of riding brakeless but I go through phases.
Tell us a good story from your years of riding?
One of the best days riding I have had was when I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago and we tried to visit the Eurocamp park and trails. First of all we missed the first train we had planned to catch as we had woken up late after a night out the night before. After an hour long train journey we caught a coach for another half hour or so and the driver told us we had reached our stop so we got off and built our bikes up. In fact we were about 5-10 miles away and had to cycle up the steepest and windiest roads. By the time we eventually reached the park we only had about an hour of riding before it closed. However the ride back down the hill turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. Sometimes it’s the simple things that turn out the most fun.
You recently travelled down to Decoy with Joe Baddley. You must have a story there?
Joe is nuts. He sends himself all the time and won best trick at the Decoy jam. The morning we set off for Decoy Joe had been given a framed picture of himself as a present, That was taken after him winning the Green Acres jam a few weeks before. The whole journey down to Decoy Joe would hang out of the window trying to show random people stuck in traffic the picture of himself and shouting “This is me”. As we passed some road cyclists I remember him shouting whilst holding the picture out of the window “Keep going lads, this could be you one day”.
You’re part of the illustrious Bqr crew. I’ve been living under a rock my whole life, so please, give me a rundown as to what Bqr is all about?
It started out as a group of us mates just riding, filming and posting videos online of trips we would go on. I don’t think anyone ever expected the videos to ever be as popular as they are now. We started producing t-shirts and the whole thing has grown ever since. I think people like it as the videos are more easy to relate to than a conventional edit.
You could punch him in the face and he’d still smile – bqr
The celebrity lifestyle hasn’t spoiled you… yet. What is it like getting recognised at parks and reading about yourself on twitter?
I am not used to it at all and it still takes me by surprise when I meet someone who knows who I am. Its pretty cool though. I just see myself as someone who just loves to ride and I never really think about the fact people may be interested in what I get up to.
What’s the best thing about riding?
Everything! I don’t think I can answer that question with one single thing. From travelling to somewhere new with your mates to that feeling when you land something you have been wanting to do for ages. I can’t imagine life without riding and I’m so grateful for the places it has taken me.
What’s the worst thing about riding?
Injuries are definitely one of the only negatives I can think of from riding. The worst part is the time off my bike, which I usually find harder than the injury itself. Going from riding about 4-5 times a week to nothing, is something I can never get used to.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I’m currently training to be a fully qualified accountant and hopefully will finish that in the next 2 years or so. After that I plan to go travelling with my bike for a while before coming back to another full time job back home. As long as I’m still riding I will be happy.
Thanks to the Sheet locals for letting me come down regularly. Thanks to Jay Aliano for having such an awesome set up in his garden and letting me be a part it. Thanks to Josh James (Boqer) and Source for hooking up the whole BQR crew. Also, thanks to my parents for letting me turn the barn into a skatepark.