Tyson how’s life man? What have you been up to?
Not bad mate – just got back from a hefty trip up to see the folks for the Christmas holidays, which is a round trip of over 3000kms. Got to ride a few parks, swim in the ocean. It was a good break from a hectic year.
How’s the virus effected life in Australia?
I’m sure most know, it’s affected just about every facet of everyday life – although in Aus we’ve been lucky, and especially where I’m from in Canberra. There’s been a lot of social distancing and the initial lockdown, but in Canberra the lockdown was less severe. We could go out and exercise, but the skateparks were closed. From a BMX perspective, we were mainly in the trails anyhow - so we weren’t seeing anyone, anyway [laughter].
You’re riding on some fresh wheels for 2021? Can you explain how the Wethepeople gig came about?
Yeah, frothin on the fresh rig! During the initial COVID lockdown, I was doing a lot of reflecting and I just felt it was time for a change, so I made the decision to leave my previous sponsor. I’m always on the phone to Scott Shepherd, who heads up one of the major distros here in Aus, BMX International. We’ve been mates and doing business for fifteen years with the shop and were just chin wagging. I told him I left my old sponsor & was probably going to buy an S&M or something. I hadn’t ridden a different frame for almost 10 years, so even that in itself was exciting.
Scott suggested that he’d help me out a Wethepeople Patrol and that he’d be keen to pass along my details to the main Wethepeople crew in Germany, but whatever I felt like doing he (Scott) would be supportive of. The more I thought about it, the more it excited me. So I said ‘sounds good!’.
Literally later that night I was speaking on the phone to Dave Paterson, who is the product manager and team manager at Wethepeople, and that pretty much cemented it! It was exciting to speak to someone who is so enthusiastic about BMX and who has an open mind. He also liked that I was a 33 (now 34) year old rider who has been riding for 20+ years and has found what they like riding - pretty much just rode trails and bowls – I wasn’t about to conform to a different style of riding just to be sponsored [laughter].
Wethepeople isn’t the first name you think of when you think of ‘trail and bowl riding’ - and that’s what I liked about it. WTP are renowned for making some of the best quality stuff in BMX. Their Patrol frame is pretty close to spot on, geometry wise. So it was exciting to think that I might bring some ideas to help influence an expansion of trail/bowl related products.