Spotlight: Julia Preuss

Sunday, June 24, 2012
Here's something we don't get to do often, feature a flatland rider! A competition with a girls class is rare, but a girl who rides flatlander is even rarer... is rarer a word? Anyways, I'm honoured to introduce to you, a fellow BMX sister, Julia Preuss.

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Hey, I'm Julia, 22, living in Berlin and I've been riding since 2004. Flatland took me all over Europe and even to the USA, which is the coolest part about being a BMX rider. Any sponsors? Def Shop hooked me up with a few clothes last year but the greatest thing was that Matti from Deep BMX (now Autum Bicycles) gave me a brand new Flatland frame just after my run at the BMX Masters 2011. I was so psyched about that! I entered a few contests the past few years, but I figured out that I am not made for it, so I will probably just enter the BMX Worlds this year and that's it.

Is the flatland scene big in Germany?
The Flatland scene in Germany is alright I think. Since Flatland isn't that popular like Park or Street you know most of the Flatland rider in person, which is pretty cool!

I understand that you have been to the BMX Masters/Worlds before, could you describe to me what the experience is like as a flatlander and how long have you been going?
I've been to the BMX Worlds once in 2009. I missed my run because they screwed up the timetable! The other 3 times it's been the BMX Masters. In 2008 my first experience was weird but great to see so many Flatland Girl riders there! I screwed up my run big time! Then after 2 years of practicing more I got 1st which was sweet. I got more confident each year, which helped allot! Other than that, it's always great to meet up with all the other riders from all over the world. It's always a great time and a fun trip to Cologne.

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Also, you mentioned theres only a small handful of female flatlanders every year… does the comp put you against guys or just girls?
The contest in Cologne always offers Girls Classes, which is pretty awesome. Too bad there are only a handful of female Flatlanders.

Looks like for this year, you are the only female flatlander, is this correct? Are you expecting any other girls to enter?
Well, right now we are 2! But it's a shame. I mean it's THE BMX WOLRDS! Common girls, get your skills, bikes and tickets ready to have such a great trip to Cologne. It's always fun!

Say a girl wanted to go to Germany to ride, is there a common spot where flatlanders go, or a competition they should not miss, besides BMX Worlds?
If there is the BMX Masters, go for it! There is also the Flatland World Circuit Final in Berlin (1st Dec. 12). You should definitely NOT miss any competition that are organised by Matti Rose. He puts a lot of effort in it and it always ends up to be a great competition. If you just wanna ride then you should go to Stuttgart, Cologne and of course Berlin, cause of this special underground spot!


People say that flatlanders in Europe and Asia are allot "better" than the ones in North America. Why do you think this is and do you believe this too?
They really say that? I only know a few riders in the US who have their unique style. Maybe it's because Europe and Asia (especially Japan) are tinier than the USA? I guess the scene is more homier there than in the states?! I don't really know.

Personally, I really enjoy watching your Flatland videos. I notice you wear large headphones, what are you listening to?
When I was in Paris I broke my headphones and the Flatland guys there said I should get one of those Wesc headphones. It's a shame that they don't last long. But they are great for awesome beats, electronic music and old school hip hop!

Lastly, do you train for a large competition like BMX Worlds, or do you just show up and hope for the best ?
Well, the past 2 years I always trained for my runs. But this year I haven't put any effort into training. I don't take the competition part serious anymore. It's about the fun part I guess, meeting new and old friends at contest and about having a great time. That's it. We all started cause of the fun part about BMX, isn't it?

Spotlight: Rayvionne French

Monday, June 11, 2012
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From time to time, I'll come across an ad from a big movie executive who would be looking for female riders in the Los Angeles area. It's usually for a movie, or show. The most recent ad I saw was for a Glee episode, they ended up hiring a few guys to wear blue wigs for a Katy Perry episode, not saying I watch the show or anything...
For a bit, I didn't think there were many girls who rode in Los Angeles, but there is at least one. Rayvionne is from LA and she's going to be competing at BMX Worlds.

What do you preferred to be called, Rayvionne or Le'Ray?
Well my name is pronounced "ray-vee-ahn". But most people remember the "Ray" part and fumble over the rest. So I help them by going by "Ray". Le'Ray France is just a silly play on my full name that I made up to avoid some people on facebook.

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?
I'm from Los Angeles, California, 23-years old. I started riding in summer of 2009. So 3 years on and off. University and work so gets in the way of BMX. Haha. No but seriously, education/work/goals/backup planning is important. And I just graduated with a bachelor's degree. Feels so amazingly awesome!

Any sponsors?
Naw.

For those who don't know you, how would you describe your riding style. What might we expect from you?
Hm...my local cement parks tend to consist of bowls and street sections. Not many jump boxes in LA. I try to emulate the guys I ride with. So I think I've got a ok mix of street and park. You could definitely see a stopped tire grab, love those. Manuals, 360s, some grinds too. Working on learning new stuff.

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So being from Los Angeles, are there allot of places to ride?
LA is a big street spot. You rarely find park dogs here... unless you go way out to Da Compound in Lake Perris. But getting anywhere around here takes forever if you hit traffic. Park-wise, you can find some small prefab ramps in random places. But if you look around (socalskateparks.com) there's actually a small/medium cement park in most areas of Los Angeles. The issue is usually just the local skaters... There's Paramount, South Gate, Pasadena, everything. Chino is a big place too, and it's got plenty of web edit footy. Specifically, my "home" parks are:

Houghton skatepark in Long Beach. It's a huge cement tri-bowl, ledges, and an entire street section. You see that one a lot in web edits; it's painted blue with aquatic art and graffiti everywhere. There's a jam here every year (no girls class)



Paramount skatepark is real close to Houghton, small size, small quarters, small hip, small bowl, small small small... lol. It's a good place for warming up and tech stuff.

Hawthorne skatepark (aka "the Dirty") is actually closest to my house. Cement, 2 semi-bowls spined together (almost coping to coping), volcano, wedges on the opposite side, mani pad, and ledges. The tranny's real awkward if you're accustomed to a proper park. It's gated & monitored, need all your gear. Upside is it's never crowded.

Aside from yourself, are there actually allot of girls who ride in Los Angeles specifically, or do you find yourself having to travel out a little bit to meet up?
Psh... I think there's one, but she might have moved. I for certain Katy moved back to Virginia. *** ******* breeds half naked chicks on bikes in his backyard, so that doesn't count.... so um no, just me. I flew all the way to Scotland twice... just to ride with Ashley Armstrong (formerly Ashley Bird as of May 19th, but I call her "mum") and go to her wedding. Lmao, I'm setting next to her and not telling her I'm writing this! She's gonna slag me.

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So, BMX Worlds.. this is huge! Will this be your first competition?
Yup.

Are you nervous, pumped…or more concerned on putting together money for this trip?
Fudge. My mom's coming with and she's never seen me ride... I'm more wondering if she'll actually watch and whether she'll have a cow seeing me do what I do. But yea it is a little nerve racking. Been watching the contests these days and girls are hucking flips and whatnot.... I am terribly pumped to meet other girls tho! Always nice to know someone in another country or state.

How are you preparing for this trip, are you training, eating better or just going with the flow?
I'm trying to ride anything and everything before the competition. That's another reason why I came back to Scotland... sort of like a training trip. I'm avoiding soda, or trying. Not giving up cheesecake. I am generally out of shape from being worn down by university. So yea, my body's so angry at me right now. The box is going to be my worst enemy. There are no proper box jumps in LA. I'm trying to get used to them while I'm away in the UK. I'm really just going to focus on basics. When guys watch girls ride, it doesn't matter how many tricks we can do if we haven't got a good sense of style and bike control. Plus tricks come easier when you get that part down first. Watch a Kris Fox video and you'll see what I mean.

PS: Would you find it useful if we posted up any ads from shows or movies looking for female riders? If so, let us know in the comments below.

PPS: Best of luck at the Worlds Rayvionne!

Video : A Day Trip to Annecy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Video : Brooke Betancourt

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spotlight: Nikita Ducarroz

Sunday, June 3, 2012
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(Photo: Kenny Slusher)

Considerably one of the most promising new female riders to hit the scene, you may know our next interviewee from FDV clothing, but you most likely know her from the edit that was on The Come Up and Ride BMX. Only recently have we started to see tenured riders do 360's, bar spins, flairs and tail whips -to name a few tricks. This girl has only been riding for a little bit over a year and she's already got some of those down. Representing Nor Cal, say hello to Nikita Ducarroz.




Introduce yourself!
My name is Nikita, I am 15 years old, and I live in Northern California.

How did you get into BMX and how long have you been riding?
I have always loved jumping my bike off anything I could find ever since I was little, and one day when I was about 13 I was watching some BMX videos and decided to save up and get one for myself. Once I had a BMX bike, I would ride around in the driveway all the time, but only started riding ramps and taking it seriously as something I wanted to go somewhere with when I was 14, so a little over a year ago.

I see you have already entered a few comps, could you tell us more?
I just started competing this year and have entered two contests so far. I used to think I would only compete against girls, but there aren't very many comps with girl classes in my area so I realized I would just have to compete against boys, and I'm loving it! In the first one I got 1st place in beginner box, and 3rd in beginner bowl, and then 1st in overall box at a jam in Escondido that I happened to be at coming back from my cousins wedding. I'm super stoked on contests because I just have so much fun, meet a ton of new people, and I seem to ride really well under pressure, because the past two comps I've landed some things I was never able to land before.

Any plans on heading to Fise or Toronto Jam next year or any other competitions?
Unfortunately I can't go to any competitions like FISE or the Toronto jam, although I would love to. I do plan on entering as many of the local competitions as I can though, and maybe in the future I will be able to go to FISE and those contests.

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(Photo: Vividphotography by Wayne)

For someone who has only been riding for a year, you sure have allot of supporters!
I have a lot of supporters. My biggest ones are my parents. Ever since I was born they have been supporting me in whatever I have chosen to do. They drive me to all the parks, contests, and are always there for me. Novik Gloves, Ramp Rats Indoor Park, Swamp Rails, and G-Form also support me, and I really appreciate all they have done for me and I can't forget all the amazing guys that I ride with who continually inspire and support me. There are so many of you that have made such a huge impact in my life and probably don't even know it. I just want to thank anyone who has ever ridden with me and supported me.

Among your many supporters, you also created FDV, can you tell us more about it?
I started my clothing company, FDV Clothing in 2010 when I was just started to get more into BMX. It really came out of boredom. I had nothing to do, and just decided it would be a fun project to take on. From there, it just started getting bigger. My mission is just to keep the BMX community alive, and create a family that represent my company and just have a good time on our bikes. Right now we have a team of 7 riders, and some photographers, and we just have a blast doing what we love. We just all happen to be wearing the same T-Shirt. It's not about making money, it's just about riding, and creating designs while were at it. All the money I make for the company goes right back in so we can order more shirts, or buy supplies. It's just one big fun time, all the time.

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(Photo: Nicole Ducarroz)

Now, lets talk about that video! How long did it take you to put all the edit together?
I worked on my latest edit throughout the month of May, just putting clips in whenever I got them, and then finalized it over the weekend.

So from this point, what are you learning to do next?
I really want to learn better bike control. I'm going to start going to the local racetrack so I can learn to ride smoother. I also really want to learn tailwhips, no footed cans, backflips, and so much more! The list goes on forever, and that's why I love BMX.

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(Photo: Kenny Slusher)

I'm sure you will get those tricks down, no problem! How was it to see your video on Ride?
I am beyond stoked. I was just checking it and saw my video on there. I was pretty much speechless. It makes me super proud that my video can be up there for other girls to see, and hopefully become inspired to ride. I'm pretty much still in shock and can't believe it's on there LOL.

I really look forward to see how you progress in the next few years. I just need to ask as well, how many pairs of red pants do you own, would you like to be sponsored by a red pant company one day?
I owned two pairs of red pants, because I started going through a pair almost ever week so we went to Ross and found the cheapest ones we could fine. They just happened to be red, and fit over my knee pads. I actually sort of hate red ha. ha. But I ripped my last pair so I'm on to whatever the next color Ross has for the cheapest. I think my mom would really appreciate a pant sponsor LOL, it would save her a ton of money.

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(Photo: Vividphotography by Wayne)

Video : Kathrine Diaz

Friday, June 1, 2012

Video : FISE 2012