Reader Awards 2015: Words From The Winners | Ride UK BMX

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Reader Awards 2015: Words From The Winners

Piss Up in a Brewery – Powered by Wistla

Just before Christmas we held our fifth annual Reader Awards. As ever, this meant getting a crowd of BMX riders and fans together for an awards ceremony and a big old party.

Watch the video above to get a taste of the vibe on the night, see who was there and how the results were announced, then see below for the words from the winners with photos from the party.

Thanks again to Wistla, London Fields Brewery and Sailor Jerry.

Be sure to follow Seb, Robin and John on the Wistla app – we sent out wistls for the Reader Awards guestlist and free skatepark sessions, and we’ll be wistling more jams, contests and giveaways through the app this year.





Well done Harry, you’ve done it again. You’ve obviously got a massive following online, how do you maintain it and keep them engaged in what you’re doing?

“Hey mate, thanks for the award guys. I just do it myself at the moment mate, in all honesty, if I think of an idea and it sounds good, I’ll go film it for YouTube. That’s it really to be honest. Guess kids just haven’t got bored yet.”

Have you had a strategy for your online presence, or have you just lucked out?

“Just consistency is key, that’s all really.”


Do you have plans for 2016? Maybe another HarryMania?

“Yeah, I have some huge news dropping January and that’ll mix things up a bit for sure.”


Finally, you and BatLad have never been seen in the same place together, what do you think to the rumours that you might be BatLad? LOL…

“I’ve actually met BatLad once before, what a legend he was.”





So, there were a few surprised faces when we announced you as the winner, but the results don’t lie, you got the votes. Did it concern you at all?

“Ha Ha, I think I was the most surprised! I didn’t see that one coming at all man. I’m honoured to have won street rider of the year man. I couldn’t care what people think to be honest. I love riding park, street, dirt, whatever. That’s BMX to me. I don’t understand how people can just stick to riding one thing like street or park.”

Did you see we got on Rodeo Peanut? 

“Ha Ha, yes I did. To be fully honest I think it’s great reading all the comments. People can say what they want but at the end of the day I’m just riding my bike and having so much fun. I think people see a lot more of me riding park than street but that’s only because of the weather here in Scotland. If I lived somewhere warm I would ride street and park and whatever else I could, day in, day out.”

It feels like you’re part of a dying breed, where BMXers rode BMX. How do you feel about the distinctive definitions between the disciplines these days?

“BMX hasn’t changed for me since I was a kid, but I find it crazy to see all the hate between street and park. If people rode a bit more of everything they would see how much fun it is. Just take a look at Dennis Enarson and Chase Hawk. So many dudes kill park and street and whatever you put in front of them. So for me that’s BMX!”

Do you see it as an advantage or disadvantage that you’re an all-rounder?

“Not really either to be honest. I just do what I love doing. I will always ride everything. I’m stoked to ride the things I ride.”

Thanks to anyone?

“Massive thanks to everyone who voted for me. I honestly can’t thank you guys enough! Thanks to Ride UK for an amazing night and keeping the scene alive! Huge thanks to Red Bull for making my dreams come true with Kaleidoscope! Thanks to BSD, Source, Sony, Nike, Red Bull, Fuse and Unit 23 for helping me live my dreams day in and day out. Love you guys!”








Congratulations dude, dirt rider of the year, how does it feel to win it again? You obviously have a lot of dedicated fans.

“Thanks, yeah it’s awesome, I can’t believe people voted for me, I didn’t expect it at all! It’s crazy.”

Do you consider yourself a dirt rider still, or do you think it’s just another part to your riding? 

“I’m just a rider who loves riding anything.” 

You’ve been plagued by injury this year, how is the recovery?

“Yeah, it’s been a pretty shit year, broke my ankle in May and it’s still healing. I’ve been cruising the race track a lot to build the strength back up, which has been fun, hopefully be back to 100% in 2016.”

It’s meant you’ve been getting stuck into Villa Road, how’s that going?

“Villa Road’s been so fun. I’m lucky to have such good mates and a rad scene we ride and hang out all the time, Villa Road’s just something everyone contributes to and keeps everyone motivated to have a good time, which is what it’s all about.”


Anyone you want to thank?

“Thanks to all my mates and family for the support this year when I smashed my foot, would have been so fucked without them. Thanks to everyone that voted, so stoked.”




Garrett is a difficult man to track down. We’re sure he’s honoured to have been awarded this award for the 2nd year in a row, but he’s busy out riding – that’s why he’s so damn good. Let’s just remind ourselves why he clinched the title again this year…




Another year, another win! Congratulations. How do you keep this level of support year on year?

“Thanks! I think we’re always constantly trying to improve and come up with new ways to give something back to BMX and offer a better service and better value to riders. I guess people appreciate what we do, which is amazing.”

Everyone is looking forward to the amazing new park and shop opening, how pressured has it been to continue the business whilst taking on a project of that magnitude? 

“It’s been pretty nuts. We approached our local council about converting the building 2-1/2 years ago, so we’ve had a lot of time to think about it and plan everything the best we can. From the start it had to be something that improved what we do, rather than have any negative impacts, and we’re certain that’s what’s happened. Having a new shop and skatepark on the way has enabled us to employ more riders and hold more stock, so our service is only going to get better, whilst the Source Park enables us to put more in and show off BMX positively to new riders. Apart from all the crazy hours we’ve put in and the stress at times, everything has been really positive! Plus, finally getting to ride the place after two years of working on it will outweigh any stress when we open.”

When you’re in and it’s open, will you take some time to relax then, or do you have more plans for 2016?

“That’s when the works starts!  From the beginning we said we needed to enjoy it so I think we’ll make time to sit back and look at it, but we have so much planned for 2016 that it’s going to be even crazier than this year. We’ll be announcing some big events in the New Year.”

You must have had some significant help with the project, anyone you’d like to thank?

“Yeah definitely. We need to thank Hastings Borough Council, the Foreshore Trust and East Sussex County Council for listening to us when we sent them a proposal to turn this crazy derelict building under Hastings seafront in to a skatepark. It would have been much easier (and cheaper) for them to ignore us but they went with it and have been amazing. Also, we need to thank all of our current staff for being incredible throughout and all the new staff for wanting to come and work for us and make the Source Park what it will be. Also, Ben, Fids, Piers and everyone else in the team who has worked on building the two skateparks, shop and cafe. And of course to all of our customers who are awesome to serve, thanks for voting for us!”





Rampworx is pretty much always in our top 3 parks for the Reader Awards. What do you do that continues to get you the votes?

“We have been doing this for 18 years now so we take a great deal of pride in our skatepark and brand. We have an amazing bunch of local riders and pros who help keep the BMX scene up in Liverpool alive. Even when the park is shut we constantly have riders in filming for videos or shooting photos. We spend a lot of time focusing on the grassroots market of the industry, running coaching classes for kids that have never been to a skatepark before or even rode a BMX! We even take BMX bikes to schools in the area to teach them to ride for free. Without the new kids getting into the industry BMX will slowly die out so we spend a lot of time trying to help this side grow.”


How much more difficult is it getting for you with so many new parks continuously cropping up?

“Skateparks come and go. Lots of new parks are popping up from people outside of the industry trying to make a quick quid, but they never last very long. It’s not a business model thats going to make anyone a millionaire anytime soon. When you’re paying a landlord £2,000 a week just for rent then your bills on top, thats a lot of £5 to take on the door. When skateparks are helping grow a scene and produce riders it is the best thing to help the industry grow, the more riders the better but when external money comes into play trying to bleed the industry dry and then leave after a year or two, that’s when you have a problem.”


How much do you consult with the riders and skaters at the park about what they want?

“We must receive 100 messages a week from riders asking for this and that to built. Obviously lots of suggestions are not realistic (fullpipes etc) but we read every single one. If a rider comes to us with a design or idea we will gladly listen and help them work on it, our door is always open. It’s a balancing act of what’s going to work for the main age range in the skatepark and what more elite riders want to ride and of course the big one, cost. The majority of people have no idea how expensive a ramp can be to build, it’s very easy to have a build end up costing tens of thousands if it’s not planned properly. You’re never going to please everyone but we try our best.”


Any big plans for 2016?

“Focus on the grass roots market, grow the scene, get kids on bikes. Build new ramps!”


Anyone you’d like to thank?

“Big shout out to Harry Main, Ben Lewis, Paul Ryan, Matty Lambert and the DUB boys. Huge thanks to all the readers at RideUK for voting for us, everyone that’s been to the skatepark, everyone that’s watched our videos, and everyone that’s supported us along the way.”




Kaleidoscope blew everyone away dude, how does it feel to have made an edit with that kind of impact on bike riding, not just BMX?

“Thanks man, it feels awesome to connect with other people outside of BMX. I couldn’t believe the feedback from everyone. It was just great to do something really different. It seemed to be accepted by everyone, so for me, that was the best outcome. BMX is whatever you want it to be and I had so much fun with this project.”

How did everything come about? Surely this is not something that’s dreamt up overnight? 

“Yeah, it took a lot of planning and a lot of time having meetings about the whole project. It probably took the best part of a year to get everything in order then it was all down to the last 10 days to film the video. So I teamed up with Ben Scott, the director of the project, and together we sat down for week’s just designing ramps and set ups that I have always dreamed about, then we figured out how to make everything look a bit different. This project was like no other video I have ever made in my life. We had a film crew, which consisted of around 30 crew members. There was a lot of setting up and waiting around in-between but it was all worth it for the end result. It was a lot different from going on trips and filming with one filmer, but although it was different, I would do it all again tomorrow. The whole project was so much fun and it was amazing to get the chance to do something on this scale.”


How did you then figure out what was possible? Did you build everything and test it first? 

“We were a little bit behind schedule with the build. So I didn’t get to ride as much as I wanted beforehand. However, I got to hit a few things first and had to make a few tweaks here and there but everything was pretty much stuff that I knew was possible. For me, it was pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I wanted to make sure that I had done everything I wanted to. Thankfully I pretty much did everything I had in my head. The Vision ramp guys did such an amazing, job as always!”

Has it given a taste to take on a similar project again or was this a one off?

“I think I now have the bug to go bigger and do better things as a result. So hopefully I will get the chance again. Just need to wait and see what next I guess, although this will be a hard one to top.”

>> Watch Kaleidoscope again HERE <<





Another strong year for BSD, which resulted in our readers voting you their brand of the year again, how much does it mean for all the hard work to pay off and to get such positive feedback?

“It’s really amazing to get this award again, it’s a big honour that Ride readers take the time to vote for us and we couldn’t be more stoked.”


Your riders seem really dedicated and loyal to the brand, as the owner of the company, how do you maintain such a solid team?

“I think it’s just down to BSD being a good group of riders who are also mates who like riding together and having a laugh, it’s just BMX at the end of the day so that’s what it’s about.”


Any plans to expand the team in 2016 or is it about keeping it tight with what you have?

“The BSD team is currently stacked and we’re not currently looking for anyone else but honestly who knows what’s round the corner.”


What do BSD have in store for us for 2016?

“Well in between the usual edits we have been filming for a big project for quite a while now which will come out later this year, hopefully we’ll have more news on that soon.”


Anyone you’d like to thank?

“Everyone who works at BSD, Rachel, Dave and Cadge, the whole team and everyone who watches our videos, buys the products and takes the time to vote… Thanks to you all. BSD FOREVER!!”






This seems like it was well overdue Fids, you have had a lifetime of achievements! What moments of your career really stand out?

“The one that stands out the most is Texas toast and getting the MVP Award, that one totally blew my mind, it was an amazing contest and weekend, I loved it. And coming up to 21 years on S&M, that’s amazing 

The more I think about it, I’ve done a lot of things because of BMX and it’s all been amazing.”

You’re showing no signs of slowing down though and you’re still going strong, what’s the trick?

“I don’t know… I think I have way more fun riding these days, because I don’t really care as much as I did back in the day, that’s what’s good about getting old haha! And I think I have a bit more self-control than I did back in the day.

My knees are totally knackered, it sucks that when I’ve had a good session they ache so much, sometimes after I’ve been riding all day and then drive home, it’s hard to get out the van, Ha! But they still recover the next day so I’m just going to try and keep going.”



How did ‘The Fids’ first get into riding BMX?

“I was always trying to do wheelies and jump off the curbs on my hand-me-down rubbish bike trying to be Evil Knievel. BMX was just starting at this time, well for me anyway. And in 1981 when I was 11 years old, I got my first BMX for Christmas; it was a silver fox, from the catalogue. It didn’t last long before I’d broken it. Then one day, 82-83 ish, I went to Gillingham skatepark and could not believe what was there, and from that day on, it changed my life forever.”

Do you think it’s moulded your life?

“100%. I’m so thankful for it. I’ve got to meet every walk of life and travel so much from it, I’ve met all my best friends and continued to meet cool people and see amazing places.”

BMX is in a weird space right now, you must have seen many fashions, trends, ups and downs in BMX throughout your career, what advice can you offer the industry and young riders getting into it?

“Yeah, it’s like anything, as it gets older, it goes through changes for good and bad. I would say find what you like and just get on with it, if you’re having fun then you’re doing good.”

Do you have any people you’d like to thank?

“So many, too many. 

S&M, for 21 years of giving me splendid bikes and parts. 4down, Dan Brown and Ian Morris for always having my back and hooking me up. 

The Source for keeping it real and always putting back in to BMX, they have done soooo much for the local scene and even more now with new park. So many good things in the works.

Leland Thurman, hahaha. My best friend, we have done some crazy things and continue to do more.

Everyone at Epsom trails, a big thank you for creating the funniest place to ride and hang out and for always pushing me, I can safely say that I’ve had my best times there.

All my friends in Austin that always make my times there so much fun. And any one that’s let me ride at their spot, thank you so much.”


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