TR exclusive: the James Patterson inteview
This time we got together with Australian rider James Patterson to find out more about the guy, what he's up to lately and for some tips on how to execute a good invert. James is killing it on the bike, behind the camera and seems to be a fun dude to have around. Hit the Read More link to jump to the interview!
Hometown: Lismore, Victoria
Current location: Melbourne, Victoria, living with my grandma!
Years riding: 6
Sponsors: Leaf Cycles, CTN Imports, Fox Suspension, Bossen Clothing.
Q: It feels a bit weird interviewing someone from the total opposite side of our planet, there is just so much stuff to ask. So let’s start with the basics, introduce yourself in a sentence or two.
A: G’day, my James Patterson, most people call me Patto and I like to ride bikes.
Q: How did you get into riding bikes at first?
A: I first got into bikes back when I was probably 14 or so... I saw a mate riding a crappy K-mart styled bike around the car park, hucking off gutters and what not and I thought it was pretty insane. From then on, bikes is all I wanted to know!
Q: What does bike riding mean to you? Why are you into it?
A: I’m in it for the money and the bitchez
Q: Do you take action in any other sports or hobbies aside from biking?
A: I do a lot of photography, mainly of bmx and mtb though, but that would be my main hobbie asides riding. I love photographing mates whilst out riding or looking for awesome spots to shoot, and just getting stoked on the results. Photography made me fall in love with riding even more!
Q: How is a day in the life of James Patterson?
A: Wake up, generally late, facebook updates whilst in bed. Breakfast, then either work (after checking facebook) or off for a ride for the rest of the day with friends, but if neither of the two, it would be back to sleep for the rest of the day. Most of the day though would be taken up by facebook. Riding and work are just breaks from my hard day of facebooking.
Q: For most people from North America, the only chance they got to see a little of Melbourne is by watching Jason Bourne run around the city... How is it to live there? Good biking scene?
A: Melbourne is amazing! The biking scene here is really strong. Not so much the hardtail mtb community, but the bmx scene is booming. Melbourne in the last couple of years has seen 6 indoor skate parks open their doors for business which has really boosted the scene. You just have to look at the likes of Mini, Matt Whyatt, Alex Swindel-Hurst and Shannon Farrugia to see the depth of riding that those places have generated.
Q: What is your bike setup? Anything special you like about it?
A: Currently I’m running a Leaf Cycles Concept DLX 570mm frame, Fox 831’s, Leaf cranks, bars, grips, stem, sprocket, seat and post, 24” wheelset (soon to be 26”(again)). I seem to switch between 20”/24”/26” more times than change my underwear (around about 3 times a year). I think the main special thing about it would be how ghetto and not dialled my bikes always are, but I suppose that’s how I like them. For instance, at the moment I’m running about 25 spokes in my back wheel and can put my leg through it. It still spins and works, so why fix it?! Everything feels amazing to me which counts.
Q: What is your favorite type of stuff to ride? What is your favorite ''spot''?
A: My favourite type of stuff to ride would definitely be trails and downhill. Though, the trails scene here is fairly small, but growing as it’s very difficult to get a good set of trails running well, unless they’re on private land. Since there are so many skate parks around here, no one really wants to dig anymore. Downhill is also too expensive to do frequently as good tracks are too far away. My favourite spot would have to be Alan Hepburn’s trails Hackham in South Australia. They are always different when we travel over to ride and amazing sessions always go down! Though, I always get flat tires from the freaking three corner jacks.
Q: Tell us something interesting about Australia. What do you really like about it and on the other hand, is there something you would change if you could?
A: Australia is amazing. This country has so much to offer and I’ve only got to see only a tiny bit of it so far, and I live here! I love how it is pretty much summer / spring all year round and that you can ride throughout the year without having to worry about snow. Though, this year and the last have been an exception, it has been ridiculously cold instead of the usual 40+ degree dry summers and has been raining consistently for way too long.
Q: Australian BMXers seem to be going crazy lately! From the Twix to the Triple Backflip, what is your opinion on the way Australian riders make BMX progress?
A: Firstly, the Triple Back Flip is New Zealand’s claim to fame. Jed is a down right freak, but spono’d by an Australian company, so we’ll claim it haha! The scene here is super strong, has an amazing vibe and everyone is just super keen on progressing. You just have to look at the strength of our Downhill riders on the World Circuit. Sam Hill = GOD... There is definitely a special factor. I reckon it’s how Australia breeds men that have to battle with poisonous spiders, deadly snakes and man eating sharks on a day to day basis just to the feed the family that make us god like.
Q: What inspires your to keep riding bikes and why?
A: It’s all I know... Riding is like a drug, it’s so hard to give up as it’s such an amazing feeing and experience, but detrimental to your body. I reckon I’d be pretty lost without bikes... Probably become a washed up hero, addicted to crack, sleeping on a newspaper on the cold pavement of the city if I was to quit.
Q: You obviously have some amazing invert skills. If you were to do a ''how-to'' in a sentence or two, how would it sound?
A: Just pull back, put your knee over the top tube, snap it around then pull it back. Simple as that!
Q: What are you into aside from biking? Any school or work going on?
A: I was at Uni... But I quit, because I’m pretty damn lazy... Now I’m just labouring for a friend as a sort of short term fix... Really should find something more long term! Haha
Q: What kind of music are you into? Is there any particular bands or artists you would recommend?
A: My music taste is really diverse... I can listen to something along the lines of Sigur Ros, but then straight away switch to something like Job For A Cowboy... Bit silly really! A band I’m really digging lately would definitely be The Amity Affliction. I went and saw them twice on a weekend, soooo amazing!
Q: How is the beer in Australia? Is there any brands you enjoy that you would like to share with us?
A: The beer is pretty good! Pure Blondes goes alright, VB and Carlton’s dominate. But my taste buds crave the flavour of Passion Pop and Goon more so. How can you pass up 2 for $11 (more than enough for a night) and a chance to win free rent for 2 months! BIWINNING!
Q: Tell us something about you that would surprise us.
A: I ride a Kangaroo to work every day. His name is Paul and he has 3 fingers.
Q: Do you travel a lot to ride bikes? Any good trip memories?
A: Definitely last Easter’s trip with Riding Way. That was a wild weekend, and some rare stuff went down. Mixing a 20% extra deal on a 4L cask of Goon for $9 and a big group of rowdy bmx riders, you know something is going to happen! Haha, I woke up 3 doors down from where I was meant to stay in a bed with two girls I didn’t know and massive headache. Good times!
Q: Where would you like to travel and why?
A: I really really want to travel to Whistler, all my friends are going or are already there, and I’m getting left behind! The scene over there looks amazing and I just want to go and see what the all the fuss is about.
Q: What is your opinion on the biking scene around the world right now? Would you change something about it?
A: The scene is looking amazing lately! The amount of competitions around the world now is great and the scene is definitely growing and heading in the right direction! The only thing I would change is Slopestyle... Make it more flowy and not so fuck off big!!
Q: Do you have any projects or plans for the upcoming years? How do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: No plans really, I’m pretty lost on that front... Think I might go back and study, but not really sure! In 5 to 10 years I hope to have found what I really want to do and be still shredding bikes!!!!
Q: Any shout outs or thanks?
A: Thanks to Matt at CTN Imports for helping me out, Frank at Leaf Cycles, Greg at Fox for helping me with my constant fork troubles and also Kurt at Bossen for killer stuff! All you guys are amazing! Also a big shout out to Alex Swindel-Hurst for letting me raid his fridge for dinner and poach his internet so I could get this done, you’re a douche mate, but I love you ♥♥ Big thanks to you guys at The Rise also, The Rise ROCKS!
Q: Thanks a lot for answering this. We wish you loads of fun and success on and off the bike in the future!
A: Cheers guys!! I better head off and throw another shrimp on the barby and go play my didgeridoo for couple of hours!