Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Jo Oliphant Interview

I've ridden with Jo for as long as I can remember and he's come along way from the scrawny kid who used to always wear a helmet, not just in height but also in bike control and style. He doesnt really pay too much attention to what's hot and what's not in the BMX fashion world and you definitely won't catch him with his seat slammed to the top tube or wearing a New Era hat. Above all he's just a good lad who loves life and loves riding bikes.  - Mexican John

Name: Jo Oliphant

Age: 21

Star sign: virgo

Chinese year: Fire Tiger

Years riding : 7/8

Favourite tricks: Toboggan, 360's, Peg tricks.

Other interests: Smoking, drinking, drumming, driving.

Music: Metal, hardcore punk and Drum and Bass, hip hop and a bit of techno.

How did you get into riding?

My first school library had a sweet old 80's book about bmx racing which i used to read every time i had to do silent reading, i managed to get me mam to get us my first bmx; £20 second hand from the spanish city market it was fucking class it was some raleigh burner style derivative with a massive white 2.2 front tyre, i got ripped for it like, but it was a start. At about 13 I built a shady 5ft quarter in my garden, a grind box and a rail which was class word got out and being from Whitley bay it wasn't long before i met the locals John Bowman, Tom and Dan.

What is your most memorable session?

In Whitley bay on the site of the current mall there was a derelict bus station which was in the process of being demolished there was loads of timber and sheets of ply so we built a 15-20ft wide ghetto quarter against a building in the car park next to the site. It was there for a month or so it was really good, there was one evening when everyone was out, the south shields and sunderland riders were up. Marty, Will and english hop Hodas had just started riding. You cant beat a summers evening session.

Favourite spot: 

The Ferguson's banks in holystone, an old lorry depot with the best flat bank fence set up. We found the spot about five years ago but it was never unridable because the yard was always full of HGV's until recently.

Who are some of your favourite riders who have influenced the way you ride or just enjoy watching?

Matt Beringer is definitely one of my favourite riders, but you don't tend to see that much of him riding, more just pissing around with horse masks hoying his stomach through the nose holes. i like his off the cuff style and his pedal, crank, peg chink shenanigans, I'm definitely a fan of novel trickery.

Ruben is another favourite, simple yet ridiculous, the street reelie into a ten set off a ledge in Grounded and basically every video part he has done has been epic.

Aitkin - 5050 section.

There are loads of randoms: Sinisi, tiseo, martinez, hamilton.....

I think most of my influences come more from the people I'm riding with, rather than those I'm watching. I find watching bmx gives you the motivation to go out and ride, and riding with different people influences your individual style, or lack of it.

What kind of things do you look for to ride when you are out street riding?

I'm a peg man so mainly rails, ledges, sub box's, benches etc. My favourite set up would be a flat bank to jersey barrier set up. I also thrive on wall rides and (preferably) grass bank hips.

Do you pay much attention to the BMX media, magazines and videos etc?

I used to be a subscriber to all the mags but just got bit bored, i only ever bought it for the pictures anyway and I've sort of grown out of covering my walls in shite, you see them on the net anyway, which will probably be the downfall of the magazine world. Anyway no i don't read mags, there 4 quid a pop anyway, rather get an autotrader.

Videos is the way, mainly youtube / vimeo based but do purchase the odd one every now and then if its a good'n.

What do you think of the skatepark that is getting built a stone’s throw from your house? Do you think it will be good for the scene down on the coast?

Its been a long time coming, ever since i started riding there has been efforts to get a free outdoor park, especially with the closure of vertigo and fast eddies, not to mention skate city ( who didn't allow bikes but was subject to the odd rebel run now and again). I cant wait, I've been keeping up to date with the progress, its going to be so motivating just rolling down the park when ever i get some spare time.

The skate park is not the only thing happening in Whitley, it is part of a full regeneration project for the promenade and links area which, from the initial proposals, looks to be promising for street riding with all manner of modern architecture, ledges and stair set ups.....nice.

Riders wise the coast has lost a few to the likes of Heaton and Fenham but the scene was never that massive down here anyway, riding always involved a bit of travelling whether that be to Newcastle or South Shields but with a new park and summer coming there'll be plenty sweet late nights down the park . Roll on summer....


james rudd said...

Good interview! Need to ride that lorry depo thing, I recognise it but can't remember where it is. Any directions?

Mexican John said...

head up towards Asda in Benton and instead of following the bypass go through Holystone, you can't miss it

james rudd said...

cheers it looks like a class spot! sure i'll be riding whitley this summer, especially if the park gets finished, so will probs see ya out and about.