The exclusive content here on Flatmattersonline keeps coming. Whilst I was out at the annual Battle in the Rockies contest a few weeks back, I caught up with some riders to ask them who they thought was the Rider of the Year as a prelude to the up and coming FM year and awards that will be open to vote from 17th December.
Ten Years of Flatmattersonline.
After much pondering, on the 27th November 2008 I walked out of a store on Albert Road here in Southsea and decided to start a website. I wanted something basic to begin with to learn online posting, something that was all new to me at the time…. the Flatmattersonline blogspot site was born, Flatmatters had out grown it’s monthly page in Ride UK and it was time for something new that would help the scene. Looking back the first month or so was pretty amazing, all exclusive content.
Ten years on, my first article “To Scuff or not?” is still one of my favourite articles I have done on the site and it’s especially interesting to see where it’s at right now in relation to that article. I wanted to have more writing and depth about flatland online and proud today ten years on today so stay I am contributing what I set out to do. Scroll down on the archives section on the right hand side of the site and have a read when you have a spare moment.
I think my most proudest achievement running the site, is that my initial ethos and theory behind why am I going to this site still runs true ten years on, and has grown over the years.
The initial idea was a simple one, I wanted to wake up everyday and have something for you to look at to motivate you the flatlander at home, no matter where you are in the world to get out riding that day, and I didn’t want to governed by anybody or any company.
Whilst I miss the qualities print has that the internet can never touch, you can’t deny that the internet has brought the world closer together. I can reach so many more people via FM then I ever could making a magazine.
I wanted to do something special to mark 10 years of Flatmattersonline, I realise the website is known for posting riding videos every day, but it’s not often I go behind the scenes and interview the people that inspire me.
So throughout the course of this week I reach out to riders and friends across the globe to ask them a couple of questions, in places some riders have gone on a tangent from what I asked. There are no rules here, I want to celebrate the site and feel pretty proud to be able to help inspire new riders, older riders, seasoned pros, help riders get sponsors, teach kids tricks, there’s always something new happening with the site its pretty mind-blowing to me and helps to grow and branch out in different ways.
I wanted to do something special to mark 10 years of Flatmattersonline, I realise the website is known for posting riding videos every day, but up until now I haven’t talked at all about the people that have inspired me on this journey. So these set of episodes attempts to focus purely on the people that have inspired me, not their riding which we all know every well.
After some brainstorming, I decided I wanted to go away from the riding (which I feature everyday) and dig beneath the surface of the site and ask my inspirations about their thoughts on FM. I reached out to a whole host of people who inspire me in so many different ways, most have responded and a couple not which is disappointing, but I kind of expected that to happen.
I asked the following questions:
What would you say over ten years is Flatmattersonline biggest contribution to the sport?
When you think of Flatmattersonline what do you think of?
What was your first memory of Flatmattersonline?
My next thought as I was sending emails out to riders, was to have exclusive content every day for an entire week. And go back to how I started FM ten years ago pretty much. Sometimes I feel I go away from that, with the daily demands of “edit, edit,”. It’s time for me to shut up, grab a cuppa and reflect on 10 years of running Flatmattersonline.
You all make flatmatters what it is, so I thank all of you who are tuning in. It’s been a lot of work keeping the site going, 15,490 posts later we are here celebrating our tenth anniversary!
Here’s to ten more, I hope you all enjoy the Ten Years of Flatmattersonline episodes…
Effraim Catlow / Ten Years of Flatmattersonline.
This week is seriously going so fast, it’s already time for Friday’s update as we head to the Battle in the Rockies an hour away in Denver, Colorado this morning. We woke up to sunny skies, and after getting the FM updates done it was time to wash the Slab before we started riding. As I started washing the floor, Bobby Burge showed up and helped lend a hand to get the riding spot ready for a session in the sunshine. It was time for the AFA pre jam at the Slab.
Interview: Todd Carter.
John Yull won three awards for the 2017 Flatmattersonline Year end awards, editorial and reader choice Most Progressive Rider and Line of the Year editorial for his Master of Creativity 2017. Being at the top, it is interesting to dig beneath and talk about the mindset riders are in to get to that level, this kind of level doesn’t just happen often and only a few make the sacrifice to achieve that level. John Yull is one of the chosen few, via some brainstorming with John and Todd Carter we came up with the following interview. Sit back grab a cuppa and show some love to John! Todd Carter caught up with John Yull during the AFA Texas weekend to talk all things Master of Creativity. Thanks a lot Todd for taking the time to interview John, this is a good one!
00:48: In this day of age of everyone being online constantly, sharing almost everything they do on a daily basis. John made the decision to stay offline.
2:13: Not stacking clips and using a strategy but instead going in hard round to round right up until the deadline.
4:07: Which round of the MOC was John most happy with?
4:46: Which round did you not like as much?
5:56: Personal satisfaction, not being happy with clips.
7:13: Riding early morning in Japan before any riders were at Meriken park so no one would see what he’s trying.
7:52: The impact of the no handed decade on social media. Did he peek in to see what was going on online during this time period?
9:46: Thoughts on judging this year’s Master of Creativity contest?
10:53: The crash section John posted from his MOC entries was brutal, was the worst slam or at least most memorable?
15:04: Focus this year after competing in MOC for the last years? What can we expect this year?
16:06: MOC not being fun, and shouldn’t be fun.
17:20: Any advice for riders on the fence, should I enter MOC or not?
18:15: If you had to pick one trick from the MOC 2017 what would it be?
19:26: Thank you’s
Mates Tuček documented almost the entire trip of his first time out to the US for the 2017 Battle in the Rockies, check out these Part A and B which document the journey, riding and lifestyle we were living for the week in Colorado. Good vibes!
Photos: Effraim, Art Thomason.
Day 5 of the trip, it’s Friday. The build up to the contest is getting real, everyone is moving just that one step faster. We woke up to sunny skies again, and I wondered if I would get through this annual trip to Colorado without seeing the snow. James, Todd, Will Redd, and Bill Nitschke started to talk about making an edit for the week, of the best clips, but needed an intro. After much laughter, James started playing the Geto Boys “Damn it feels good to be a gangsta”, next thing the house and the cars outside made it feel like a movie set. It started the day off continuing the great vibe that’s been here all week in Monument.
Photos: Effraim, James McGraw.
Day 4 was the best day yet, I got the flatmatters daily updates done early and walked outside to sunny, but windy as hell conditions. I started washing the floor, which felt like it has become a daily operation. You gotta do what you gotta do to get the best out of riding spots, and James spot is literally perfect. Once his garden gets grassed, I would imagine this spot will stay for the large part dust free. Mates Tucek joined me and helped sweep the spot, I said to Mates I wanted to pull something new today and right as we started filming the winds picked up. Tumble weeds flying past us, and dry leaves smacking you in the face. It felt a little bit like this was a bad idea riding the spot today, but it passed and I really wanted to get back on the progression trail.
James McGraw invited me over to judge the Battle in the Rockies 2017, Round 5 in the 2017 AFA series who better to interview for the FM “Catching Up series than the man behind the BITR contest and the return of the AFA series than James McGraw. You definitely want to tune in and listen to this one, this is possibly my favourite catching up yet.
00:31: History on Battle in the Rockies, introducing the video contest as a chance to compete at the event no matter where you are in the word.
1:21: Has James original intention with organising BITR stayed the same four years on?
2:58: Bringing the AFA Back for the flatland scene, what was James intention in doing so?
6:07: What is a successful flatland contest for James?
9:16: How long has James competed for, and his fondest memories looking back over the years?
10:15: James was the first rider to do a backwards bar ride in a contest.
12:01: Moto Sasaki couldn’t make it to this years event after winning the free ticket last year, how did you arrive at inviting Mates Tucek to Colorado?
14:51: Plans for the AFA and BITR in 2018?
19:28: Behind every event there’s always a ton of people working to make the event happen, who are some of the people that help you out and deserve some recognition?
Day 3 of my annual trip to the Battle in the Rockies contest was awesome. We woke up to sunshine once again, bare in mind the past three years I have visited Colorado it has snowed and generally really cold. I started the day grabbing an early session in on the spot after I hosed down the spot whilst James headed to the airport to pick up Bill Nitschke, I thought I would film a fire hydrant flow line and as I started filming out came James and Mates, if you are on my social media you will have seen that and James’ scream. Sorry for your ears. It was a good start to the day, and today looks the same.
I dropped the 2016 Flatmattersonline year end awards just a few days ago, thank you to everyone who has already voted.Today I begin the task of going through the entire year and seeing what went down. In order to keep this as concise as possible, I will posting just what has happened in 2016. (In January there were a lot of edits posted from the previous year…)
Effraim Catlow/Flatmatters Online
2016 really kicked off with the Quest BMX Sponsor Me contest, with a whole load of quality entries form across the globe arriving, in the end Jeremy Brosset and Gurvan le’ Brok won the competition and place on the team. Refresh your memories and take a look at their entries right here: