Name: German Jesùs Gamarra
Age: 28 in the past, almost one today...
Location: I was born in the little city of Corrientes-Argentina, but I moved to Buenos Aires almost one year ago, and I’m currently living here.
When did you start riding? Why ride flatland above other forms of BMX?
I think I started to ride BMX in 1996 more or less; first it was just like a hobby. I remember that we use to be just five or six friends making small ramps everywhere to jump over them the whole day.
As the years went by, I discovered flatland through this group of friends too, and then I realized that it was really awesome to do just tricks without ramps or something similar. Sometimes I was really angry with my bike because at the beginning it was difficult to complete a trick...But on the next day I used to go ride again, get calm and start over... I remember riding non stop until I could get the trick in my pocket.
I think that makes me kind of addicted to the flat... The challenge you have in front of you...It’s just you, your bike and the graveyard... Between all that there is fun...So that’s what makes flat magic for me.
How often do you ride?
I used to ride almost every day. Now...sometimes two hours sometimes three, it depends a lot about how much energy I have that day... But If I don’t have energy at all I go ride!...That’s the way I charge it ha-ha... It keeps me pure...
Do you ride contests? If yes, what has been your biggest success? If not, why not? (It’s interesting to find out people’s views on competition…)
Yes I’ve been riding in contests almost every year since 2001. Since then I was riding just flatland. The first comp that was most relevant for me was the Latin-American X-games, which was held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2002. I was only 17 years old then, and I was riding near some of the best riders from South America and other foreign good riders, and I could get to know Mat Hoffman too... So, that huge contest was a big inspiration for me to keep riding hard.
The other contest, in which I think I had my best performance until now was the South American flat comp in Santiago de Chile in 2007. There we could get to know Viki Gomez; he was the judge of the comp. It was a really great experience, because the event got riders from all over Latino America and we all started a great friendship since then. I got the seventh place there, and I was the only rider from Argentina who could get in semi-finals. So it was really good for me. My biggest success in contest hasn’t come yet...ha-ha I’m training for that...
Where do you ride?
During the week I ride alone or sometimes with a friend (beginner rider), in a familiar square, surrounded by beautiful young moms and girls ha-ha… Also in a big park during weekends, in which we are usually like ten riders from different parts of Buenos Aires. It’s really weird because it’s a stressful place with a lot of crazy people in roller blades or skateboarding, and we get stressed riding in-between them, avoiding crashes, but we manage to ride anyway. It’s the unique day of the week in which all riders of the city are riding together, so are good times too…
What is the riding scene in your town like? Are there any other flatlanders?
In my hometown, flatland is like a ghost...no flatland riders left...There are some kids that usually appear and try to ride, but that isn’t very usual... There are a street-riders crew who all have a good level of riding, but that’s all.
In Buenos Aires we have the biggest flatland scene of Argentina, but still there is not much union between riders I think... In my opinion that’s normal because the city is huge and it’s difficult to ride all together every day, and to get to know each other a little bit more... Moreover times goes by too fast here, it’s like you have to make the most of it, so...
Besides that the level of riding here is high... A lot of new riders and others starting over are showing up... And that is good thing, because it makes emotion and motivation.
If you could take a flatland world tour, which 5 places would you like to visit for riding and why?
Nice question, actually I have a couple of places in mind... But first would be Germany, because I have family descendants from there, and I would like to know the deep-BMX crew too, it seems they have good vibes. Then Spain, there are such amazing places there. France, maybe the capital of the music in Austria, and China I think...too much culture there and things to see, and I could put my riding into another level.
Is there a goal you would like to reach concerning your riding?
Yes, I’d like to ride in the BMX MASTERS next year; in fact I’m working hard right now to make it come true. I not only want to be there, I want to make a difference with my riding once I get there. Moreover for us is really hard to save the necessary money to be there, I mean our money has five times less value than the Euro, so travelling to Europe is like the trip of our lives.
But part of the goal is in the previous question too. It’s not all about competition. I think we have to enjoy more, not only the riding, the sun, the fresh air, music... the whole elements around a flat session makes this so special
Which trick/combo are you working on at the moment?
I’m doing a new combo which is a kind of knot; it’s a junction of 7 tricks together in less than ten seconds... It’s fucking crazy but I’m almost there yeah ha-ha...
What kind of music do you like? What are your 3 favourite songs?
I like electronic music, trance, house, chill, I like punk too, and sometimes relaxing music like Morcheeba
My favourite’s songs today could be...
- Regenerate. Booka shade
- Love always remains, MGMT
- Great expectations, the gaslight anthem (best punk band today)
Tell us 3 things you like and 3 things you don’t like
Besides flat, I like: girls, music, partying
I don’t like: superficial people, bad mood, the word NO
Do you work or study?
Yes actually both...Nowadays I lead a very hectic life...
Apart from riding I’m a graphic designer, I have my own little clothing brand called Prevail (www.prevailclothing.blogspot.com). It is something I’m been doing for several years to support my trips to contests, and my bike because here is difficult to get a sponsor.
And now I’m doing the mag enelalmabmx-latinoamèrica too, but it is just starting and is a quarterly publication kind so is not an inconvenience for me, but it takes a lot of work anyway, because I’m doing everything by my own .so I hope to find some help soon.
Besides, I have a regular job as a bartender in a crazy club, and one day in the week I take time to learn German. I know it sounds crazy but if you adapt your timetable it is possible. I put everything in order just to ride. If I could get a sponsor maybe things would be easier... But this is how it is in this part of the globe... and I love the madness of my life anyway ha-ha...
Do you have any hobbies besides flatland and do they influence your way of riding? (For example music you listen to, another sport, whatever)
I like listening to music. That has influenced a lot my riding because I usually try to ride at the rhythm of what I’m listening. I enjoy running too.
I’m still making changes but this is now:
Handle Bar: National brand... (Soon the Escobar by Autum)
Brake lever: primo
Brake cable: odyssey
Fork: homemade (waiting for the St M. Mikado)
Front wheel: Rim: odyssey hazard; Hub: Primo; Spokes: odyssey
Tires: Odyssey Frequency G
Frame: KHE a-damn 2011.signature series
Cranks: Shimano with changes, not for flatland, only to get by.
Back wheel: Rim: Alex; Hub: Taska u-free; Spokes: odyssey
Chain: KMC colour
Pegs: Vaiko (national brand)
Have your say: This is the place for shoutouts, wise words or whatever you would like to tell the world!
Well I would like to say a lot of things not only for flatland riders, to people in general who maybe take time to read this interview...but I don’t want to be boring...so...I’m going to try to be brief…
At the beginning of this interview I put that I have 28 in my past-life and today almost one.....that is because last year I had an stupid accident...after that everything was very hard for me, because I couldn’t ride for long time for the recovery, and I almost stopped riding, but then I realized that it was just a stone in my way...a testing life time...so I kick it and star over, like a reborn...that is part of the reason why I decided to do the magazine, and express somehow in some articles how to fight when you are in a hard situation in your life,( the magazine name means: BMX in our soul) and is something that I though I had to do...I just felt it...and during this year a lot of god things happens concerning to my bike and things are slowly coming together...so my message would be: The darkest moment of the night is one second before sunrise... keeps pedalling...
Thanks global-flat friends!
German J. Gamarra
http://vimeo.com/33127777 (edit one)