ISSUE 200: Cover Story | Ride UK BMX

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ISSUE 200: Cover Story

Words: Charlie Wyatt
Photos: Adam Lievesley

Throughout any rider’s career, there are few defining moments that are really able to pay homage to the hard work, and the endless hours of blood, sweat and tears that must be put in, in order to be a really, really good rider. Without question, the front cover of a magazine is one of those moments.

When Zac & Mike told me that the next cover of Ride UK was going to feature the pair of them, I was almost speechless, but honestly not surprised. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the last 10+ years of my life riding my bike with the both of them. Through rain and shine,  they’ve been putting the work in consistently. 

Either in the streets or in the skatepark, the pair of them are nonstop. Continuously getting better and better, always working on themselves, on and off the bike. It has been a pleasure to witness, as a fellow rider, close friend and ally. 

I sat down with Zac and Mike to get some words from them on what it means to have the cover of the magazine, but to also be able to share the privilege with such a close friend.


Q&A with Mike Hullock & Zac Hirst

– Let’s start with the photo, how did the opportunity come about? Talk me through what happened on the day? 

Adam Lievesley mentioned the idea of the cover to me about a month or so before we went out to shoot it and told me to get thinking. Robin (Editor) had suggested the idea of doin some sort of wallride, with some sort of ‘Over & Under’ aspect to it. So we went to a big curved wall in Runcorn, but thanks to a few different things and after a few goes, we realised it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t working out.

But me and Zac were well aware of the big cobbled ‘quarter’ under the Runcorn bridge, so we flew down to have a look. I knew I wanted to flair it, and we knew that Zac had to go over the top of me, to keep with the over under idea that we really wanted to stick with. I bitched the flair a few times, and after a few failed attempts, I popped a flair, and Zac tucked the only T-Bog of the day, the stars aligned,  Adam told us ‘yeah we’re good’ and we were just stood there buzzin’, then just went straight to Greggs, haha.

“When I text Zac, I didn’t really give him any background at all, basically just: ‘Tomorrow, Runcorn, Ride UK Cover?’ And all I got back was: ‘Game’. Says it all if you ask me.” – Mike Hullock

I think Me and Mike were both equally nervous, he messaged me the night before asking if I was up for going out the next day to try and shoot the front cover for Ride UK with Adam. That’s the kind of offer that doesn’t come round often, so I was obviously up for it. I was just going with the flow, and after the first spot failed, I was thinking that maybe it wasn’t happening, or that only one of us would end up getting a good enough photo etc… It was both of our first times at that big quarter, Mike wanted to flair it, and as soon as the T-Bog was mentioned it was pretty obvious that that was where we were goin’. So yeah, after a few run ups and a few bitch attempts, the stars did indeed align and the photo was sorted, done & dusted.

– Obviously getting the front cover of a magazine is a huge deal for anyone. What does it mean to you both individually that your riding is on the cover of the magazine directly themed around all of the UK Crews?

It’s really hit home, it’s a completely different fuckin’ way of being recognised, and it’s splat bang on the front cover of the BMX magazine that represents the UK scene. I get more of a homely vibe from Ride UK, because you can relate to the stuff in the pages, the spots and the people are always familiar, it’s boss. It was sick to be able put ourselves under a bit of pressure, and show that we can do it properly and provide a result that were all proud of. There’s time for messin’ about with the boys obviously, but it was good to focus on something more important for once.

It’s very conclusive of my entire ‘riding bikes with the boys’ career, it’s a summary in a physical form. It’s not that recognition is my motivation in any way, but something like this has been many, many years in the making. So it’s nice to be able to get it done properly, finally applying a small bit of ‘professionalism,’ haha. It was a learning curve to ‘work’ with my mates, doin all the shit we normally do, with a clear goal in mind and still be able to produce something proper at the end of it . Obviously as well, with Adam being such a talented fella, I had a lot of faith that the end result was something that we would all be well pleased with.

Mike Hullock feeling out the flair

– As I have already mentioned, you are good mates who have ridden together for a long time. How sick is it that you both get to share the privilege of the magazine cover together as mates?

The fact I’m on the cover with someone I went to school with, from watching a lad rub his bollocks on the art teachers desk while we were both creased in the corner, to bein’ able to share the cover with him, it’s mad. Adam has been a friend of mine since I was 17 too so that’s a good 6/7 years on its own. When Adam asked me about the cover, there wasn’t really anyone else who sprung to mind. When I text Zac, I didn’t really give him any background at all, basically just: ‘Tomorrow, Runcorn, Ride UK Cover?’ And all I got back was, ‘Game’. Says it all if you ask me.

It’s a whole thing lad, Me and Mike were both getting injured at the same time in high school, both fuckin’ limpin’ round the corridors, and we’re literally still doin’ the same shit to this day. So to be able to share the cover together all these years later is a real privilege. I’m just really grateful to Mike for giving me a shout on that evening before, I can’t think of anyone more appropriate for a last minute job like that if I’m honest, Mike is one of a kind, haha.

“I popped a flair, and Zac tucked the only T-Bog of the day, the stars aligned,  Adam told us, ‘Yeah we’re good’, and we were just stood there buzzin’, then went straight to Greggs, haha.”

– You’ve been riding within the same group of mates for pretty much the entire time you have both been riding, how important is it for you both to share a good solid ‘Crew’ of riders?

A lot of the lads our age have flaked out over the years, as they do. But the main backbone has been the same for a long time now. Always the same people keen to go on trips, and the same people riding every day, just as committed as always, with some boss new up an’ comers coming through now as well.

For me, I think that the reassurance that comes with bein’ part of a crew is the main thing, to show that its alright to slam, no-one is gonna laugh at you if you’re trying shit, it goes a long way. Especially with the younger riders that are comin’ through, the sooner you can feel comfortable in your environment, the sooner you’re not arsed about slamming and learning shit.

Skateparks can be daunting places for anyone. I can only speak for myself, but I never wanted to do anything stupid and it can actually take ages to get over this feeling. But being able to pull up with a group of your mates, can actually take a fat weight off your shoulders. Sitting an’ chatting shit with the boys has taught me a lot over the years and I think that this has played a massive part in my riding career. The Clip Crew has a mad spectrum of people and a mad spectrum of ability too, and I think that the benefits can be felt by all of those involved.

Early testers

– You both have two distinctively different styles with Mike upside down, in a helmet, gloves on, 2 plastic pegs, and Zac tucked up in some baggy chinos, a five panel cap and 4 steel pegs. But it’s being used here to demonstrate the ‘togetherness’ that’s present throughout the UK scene, any thoughts?

It’s annoying that it gets separated like this really, whether it’s a fat clicked turndown over some dirt jumps, a lengthy technical combo street line, or even a triple flair it’s all the same shit. I hate how clique-y its become recently, people need to recognise that all of it is sick, every aspect. Nothing beats any other thing, its all just sick because its all just bikes. You’re not catching me doing a 1080 rocket manny flatland manoeuvre, so how can I ever throw salt at something I can’t do?

Everyone’s here for the same thing, to get away from a shitty world, and maybe get a shinner in the process”

Regardless of your avenue it’s refining it that’s the special part, innit, and if you can refine whatever it is you choose to then that’s sick to me. You wanna be able to see that they’ve spent the time and committed themselves to it, whatever it may be. We can all agree that peg chings are common ground, they make sparks and they’re fuckin’ sick. Everyone’s here for the same thing, to get away from a shitty world, and maybe get a shinner in the process.

– Lastly, just to follow tradition, is there anyone you would each like to thank for the support so far? 

I have to thank Adam for coming to me with the opportunity. Without him approaching me it would never have even been a thought. But I really owe a lot to Rampworx Skatepark, without them giving me a place for me to focus on my riding, whether it was open or closed, at the time when I really needed it, I just wouldn’t be the rider I am today. My parents as well, they have been so understanding of what I’ve been trying to do since such an early age, they were always cool with me bailing school and college, I’ve been in and out of hospital countless times but they’ve always been so supportive. I’m appreciative they’ve made the effort to understand the process and they have always just let me do my own thing. To top it off, everyone from the bowl who’s been there since day one, to the newer faces who’ve shown up more recently, everyone deserves a shoutout, but you all know who you are, cheers for the good times boys.

Of course I have to thank Mike for giving me a shout, getting me involved and both Adam and Mike for being so relaxed and easy going on the day. Mainly though, I can’t stress enough how much the boys down the local have had a part in what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. Always keen for a session, rain or shine, whether we’re goin’
out for an actual session or just a quiet spliff somewhere, there’s always someone down to get out locally and that’s what really matters. More specifically though, Jack Dub of DUB BMX has sorted me out a lot recently, from a wardrobe full of fresh clobber to having a full section in Highlife last year, it’s done bits for me, and he does a lot, for a lot of the local riders all round the North West and beyond. Boneyard Skatepark needs a mention too, the last couple years of after hours sessions have been an absolute god send. Nice one fellas.


Personally, I still can’t really wrap my head around it. Not too sound too dramatic, but to be able to see two of my lifelong mates sharing the cover of the magazine I’ve been reading since I was 12 years old, is a real privilege. It’s a credit to the last 10 years of their lives that these two lads have spent dedicated to the culture. Through some seriously murky, moody winters, to glorious, sun-shining days, such as the one pictured here. I can’t wait to see whats coming up for them both, though I’m convinced that it’s gonna be another decade to remember.

Buy Issue 200 Here


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