Did your Long Island roots play a role in either you or Cult first noticing him?
Robbie: Definitely helped, I would see him at all the New York jams we were a part of, and noticed his riding and style immediately. Then I found out he was a Long Island boy and there is still plenty of LI pride with me haha.
How does it feel helping to bring up a rider who grew up in the same area as you?
Robbie: Its awesome. There are so many good riders from Long Island, it's crazy. They are so young most of 'em don't know I even lived there. Despite the harsh winters it's a cool place to grow up and keeps you searching for spots and the next session. So much respect for the riders who keep shredding and keep the scene alive. The trail scene is one of the best in the world period. With NYC so close the street riders are always progressing and there are a bunch of new parks popping up all over the Island. This creates some of the most well rounded riders in the game.
This isn't the first time you've sponsored someone from Long Island, right? Russ Barone comes to mind and I am sure there are others...
Robbie: Yea Russ, Justin Crofton and Shawn Garrett have always been down. It's great to see Russ coming into his own and traveling the world on his bike, he is such a good all around rider, shreds whatever is in his way. Been riding with Russ for over 20 years.
Do you see a young version of yourself in Grant at all?
Robbie: Yeah the Island will make you never give up. I definitely see the qualities it takes to succeed in Grant. He has the drive and determination to make it through the shitty winters. The desire to travel and keep progressing his riding. He knows when it is time to travel and experience more, Grant has that and cool parents who let him do his thing. It's crazy how young he is and how much he has accomplished.
How does the Long Island scene you remember differ from now?
Robbie: There are more places to ride, that's for sure. When I was coming up we really rode whatever we could find or build. The new generation has it better with more parks and opportunities for sessions. Also like I said before the trail scene is really strong and always has been, much respect to those guys keeping it going. I love going back each summer and reliving my youth. The older guys I grew up with, I shared some of the best times of my life with, even if we don't keep in touch as much as we should, we still had those times. Now it's time for Grant and his homies to create those memories, long live BMX.