ED BENNETT: Flying Solo | Ride UK BMX

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ED BENNETT: Flying Solo

Words & photos: Robin Pearson

The boys from the They’re Watching crew were on a big one last year. Louis Otto especially seemed to be missioning around Europe for months on end. Ed Bennett seemed to be all over the place as well. I spoke to the lads to see what their plans were, and it turned out that they were planning on visiting Lisbon at the end of the trip. That’s near where I’m living, so I offered to show them around, visit some spots and try to make the most of it.

There’s a great feeling of novelty when you get to meet up with other UK riders in a foreign city. Every time it happens by accident, it’s a treat. Planning it felt good, we had an idea of what they wanted to ride, the weather looked pretty reasonable, there was time and energy available to make things happen. But then… Ed showed up in Lisbon by himself. Read on to find out the whole story.


Warmup stegs
Music please

Q&A with Ed Bennett

– Tell us about the original plan for your trip.

Originally all the boys were staying in Barcelona for the first part of the trip. They were leaving about 2 weeks before the end of this part, leaving Louis and me to finish the rest. After this we would travel to Valencia for 2 weeks where a skater homie from back home would be coming to stay with us. Then to Lisbon for 2 weeks and potentially France but playing it by ear towards the end of the trip.

– How did it start?

The trip started sick, Charlie and I arrived last, 12 days before everyone left. We got straight to work filming a video with Archie and exploring Barcelona. Was such a sick part with all the boys in the apartment, always a good time.

A week before we left for Barcelona, we had to sort out a bike for Joe as it got stolen while they were out there but as soon as he had his bike back everything started moving.

“I just cruised around the city looking for new spots and taking it all in. It’s so different to anything I’ve seen before.”

– How and why did plans change?

After the boys left, Louis and I went to scope out a big stairset he had been told about in Barcelona. We got there and he was hyped so we made a plan to go there a couple days later. We got there and Louis was determined to get it. The set was scary to look at. He warmed up a bit then went straight for the 360. After the 4th try he felt something in his foot and couldn’t walk on it at all. We rode an hour back to the apartment with a fucked foot and bike. The next morning it was worse so we went to the hospital and he was told to go home for surgery. That’s when the solo trip started.


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A post shared by Louis OTTO 🚲 (@louisottto)

– How did it end up?

Louis left his camera for me so I was able to keep filming even though his trip was cut short. A couple of the locals helped me get clips in Barca for the last week I was there, then was time to go to Valencia where Troy came. That was a sick 2 weeks, filming, riding and skating sick spots. Lisbon was sick, meeting up with Robin and shooting photos for the mag, getting clips in between were we could. That was the only part of the trip that was mostly solo.

– What’s it like being on a solo BMX trip in a foreign city?

It’s a different feeling for sure. It’ so chill getting to cruise around new cities on your bike, there’s nothing else like it.

– Would you recommend it?

It was sick but it’s always better riding with the boys, definitely more opportunities when you have other people with you.​


Nollie feeble, classic ledge spot
Noz hanger

– What was your daily routine in Lisbon?

This was the end of the trip so I met up with some locals when they were free to ride some skateparks. If I was solo I just cruised around the city looking for new spots and taking it all in. It’s so different to anything I’ve seen before. The weather was pretty up and down so was hard to plan ahead but this meant it was a lot more chill.

– Did you manage to get many clips on the solo bit of the trip?

I got quite lucky on this trip because of the plan we had made already. In Barcelona the people we had met helped film with me, when we weren’t cruising in Valencia, Troy helped film, and the couple days I met up with Robin we were able to get some good clips.

– Would you like to go back to Lisbon with the rest of the crew?

Lisbon was sick, I would definitely like to explore it further with the rest of the crew. There’s a lot left to explore there and other parts of the country.

– What’s the next trip going to be?

Nothing planned yet but I’m sure we will make a plan soon. There’s so many sick places we all want to ride and visit so it won’t be hard to think of something​.

Bank booster!


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