Interview: Bram Verhallen

     Interview: Bram Verhallen


Bram Verhallen just signed a contract with Red Bull and has it´s own KHE signature frame. Seems like 2006 is a good year for Bram. Time to ask him some questions ..

Name: Bram Verhallen
Age: 18
Location: near Eindhoven, Netherlands
Started riding: February 2002
Occupation: School, doing my workouts, my sweet girlfriend Tess and riding once a while
Website: dutchflatland.com

Part I - Some general questions

Q: Feel free to introduce yourself with the usual infos.

Bram: Well, my name is Bram Verhallen. I live in a small town near Eindhoven in the Netherlands and turned 18 last december. I am riding flatland for just over 4 years if i´m right. Started riding around flatground 2, so do the math yourself.


Q: What´s your favourite food?

Bram: My favourite food gotta be unhealty hehe. I like candy the most hehe. It aint real food, though i eat it as food. Oh, and fries are great. Just like lots of other fancy things of these days hehe.

Q: What´s your favourite movie?

Bram: My favourite movie changes alot, because when i have seen some new movies they are in my head and i like them more than what i’ve seen before. At least if it’s any good. Just because it’s fresh in my mind. The last movie i have seen which i think is brilliant is Snatch. The vibe is just perfect. Music used in the movie perfectly fits and the different stories are perfectly expressed by the actors. Must see for sure! Though its a little hard to keep up with when you see it the first time hehe.

Q: Do you watch sports besides flatland?

Bram: Sometimes i do. I have been watching lots of K1 on eurosports. That’s just so enjoyable to watch. When i’m watching eurosports or so, and i´m checking out other sports i’m able to clear my mind and dream like i’m one of the kickboxers or whatever i´m watching. It just feels great not to be a flatlander all the time hehe.

Q: What type of music do you listen to?

Bram: Actually in everyday life i´m listening to all kinds of music, from Beatles to 50 cent to Prodigy. About everything that comes on my way. At the moment i’m listening a lot to ol´dirty basterd ... he was just the shit. When i’m riding it´s more hiphop based aswell as Prodigy or other sounds i’m able to ride on.


Bram at the Battle in da Club in Munich, Germany

Q:
Who are your heroes?

Bram: Whatsoever, it’s not a flatlander! Nor a bmx rider. I think real heroes are people who risk their lives for others, like firemen or so. Of course superman is a hero too hehe.

Q: How many brothers or sisters do you have?

Bram: None. I wish i had a twin brother, that would have been dope. Though i don’t want him to look like me. Can’t do that to him hehe.


Photo by: Bastiaan Aalbersberg

Q: Do you like school?

Hehehe that´s a good one. Well, i am far from the perfect student i guess. Though i really wanna make the best out of it. It’s not that i hate it or love it. I’ll have to do it, else i would feel shit about it later. I know myself too good for that hehe.

Q: If you could be any animal what would you be & why?

Bram: Sure i would be a strong animal. Not that i’m that big or so. Just because my mentality is like, learn it the hard way. I’m not a pussy like many others of my age. If i’ll compary myself to my classmates i’m a whole lot stronger than most of them.

Part II - Riding

Q: Why do you ride brakeless?

Bram: Because i wanna learn it the hard way. I’m convinced that everything is possible without brakes. So why put brakes on ? And i planned to be on my bike as long as Jesse is keeping it up. So there’s no hurry for me yet. I ride cause i enjoy it and all the extras are cool. If i rode just for the money i would have put my brakes on.

Q: How many hours a day do you usually ride?

Bram: Uhhh oeps. Well i haven’t been riding a lot this winter to be honest. Like an hour and a half, 3 – 4 times a week. I know it’s far from how long i should be riding but things changed. This summer i hope to be on my bike for 2 – 3 hours every day. But i guess that’s just a dream hehe.

Q: You have a very smooth rolling & spinning style, how do you think the quality & condition of the places you ride influences your riding style/quality of practice time & your rate of progression ?

Bram: Well, sure a bumpy spot won’t help your progression. Though if you are used not to ride on a perfect spot it’s easier to ride a perfect spot. I notice that in the winter times, when i ride in the shopping mall you see me riding most vids. I am used to the perfect surface and it’s shitty to ride asphalt when summer starts again.

Q: What do you think can be done to promote flatland & which arenas do you think best represent you as a rider ?

Bram: TV all the way. If the kids see bmx on tv and later they see you riding at your spot they will be like : Hey, let’s check it out. The more kids see it, the more kids buy a bike. That way it is able to grow. Contests and shows are a good way to get bmx on TV.


Photo by: Martin Schulz

Q: How important is it for you to do new, hard tricks ?

Bram: Well, that’s all i ride for. I don’t like doing tricks that have been done before, simply because it’s not a challenge. Most of the tricks i do have been done before. But you need the basic to create new stuff. I like pushing it to the limits. If half a kickflip is possible, then i see it as a challenge to do full. It’s not totally original or so. Just that it is pushing what has been done before. Wanna take it to the next level.

Q: Do you care about contest results ? (your own placing)

Bram: Well i wish i would not care. Of course i care a bit. It makes me feel good if i place good at a contest. And it makes me feel shit if i do bad at a comp. We all wanna be happy so i guess that’s the same for everybody. But i don’t care too much about contest. I ride because i like it, not for the money. And besides, i don’t have to live off pricemoney so there is no such a pressure for me.


Q: A lot of people saw the photos of your room altered to a flatland spot. Do you really ride in there ?

Bram: Hahahaha hell yeah. Just check out the next impaqued vid. I got a video part in there. About 10 combos in my room and they are not my easiest combos hehe. Oh, i got a webcam since a couple a days. So if you wanna see me riding in my room hehehe .

Part III - The R.I.P. Frame

Q: How does the first self-designed frame feel ?

Bram: Well, it turned out 100 times better than i could have dreamed man. I knew what i wanted from the frame so i knew a bit about how the angles should be. Though i never ridden a 74 Head angle. I did not know before if it would turn out well. But all turned out super nice. There are a few details to improve for the production model. But they are just small changes.

R.I.P. Frame

Name: R.I.P.
Company: KHE
Design: Bram Verhallen

Specifications:

Weight: around 2100g
Top Tube Length:
18.8"
Chain Stay Length:
12.8"
Head Angle:
74°
Post Angle:
71.5°
Color:
metallic black with graphics in paint

Q: Can you explain the name ?

Bram: The frame is called RIP which means « Rest in Pieces ». It’s not the kinda frame you buy and replace by a newer fancy frame. It’s here for the hardcore riders that ride their bike until it’s really broken in half, just like i do. Also RIP because it’s a bit a ripoff of all the frames. I mean almost everything in the frame such as bended tubes, crosses tubes, internal headset, butted seattube are not new. It’s just the combination of it that makes it special. Almost all of it has been done. But none of the frame is like mine. I wanted to make it to the next level.

Q: How did the design process went on your new frame ? Were you sat in the studio with Mr Göring, pen (tablet?) in hand, ´saying - yes, the downtube needs maybe an 80 degree bend about here - the seat tube shoud be this long...´ or did you brainstorm your best ideas with the designers/ engineers to arrive at the final solution?

Bram: Well, i actually had this design for over a year. The Eq frame brought me on the idea to cross the tubes and some other frames inspired me aswell. Then i sat there at school drawing frames all the time hehe. Just puzzling. Until half a year before i contacted KHE about the frame i had my drawings as far as done. I was just searching for someone to make it. When i was working it out with KHE i just sent them the digital drawings, got back the drawings they made in Taiwan and i fixed those again until they made it exactly like i wanted. Some story on the bars i just received !

R.I.P. Bar

Weight: around 650g
Height:
7"
Width:
24.8"
Sweep:

Color:
black only

Click here for more photos

Q: Does the result match the expectation you had when you designed the frame?

Bram: Yeah it’s exactly like i had in mind. Because i kept changing the drawings i got back from Taiwan until they were exaclty like i wanted.

Q: How does it feel if another rider rips you up in a contest with your frame ? Do you somehow think: he can only ride that hard because I did that cool design ?

Bram: Well i could care less. I am happy for the one riding my frame. At least he got a good frame hehe. I am the one with the signature frame, not the one who is riding my frame. And that’s the reason. I am not like a machine. I am human just like all of us. So some days i got a bad day and i don’t do good at comps. Circle Cow and Battle in da Club sure were shitty days for me. So Matthias kicked my ass. And i am happy for him. He works hiss ass off for it. And i know how it feels for him becuase i was in exactly the same position a couple of years ago.

Q: When is the frame going to be available and at which price ?

Bram: The frame is going to be available in the summer. Don’t exactly know when. Don’t wanna make empty promises. But i hope it will be available around july. About the price, i have no idea. Don’t have to pay for it hehe. Just kidding. I guess they will be close to the price of the other KHE frames such as Jesse’s frame.

Part IV - Future and Sponsoring

Q: I heard you have a sponsoring contract with Red Bull. How came that about ? Have you been searching for a sponsor or have they contacted you ?

Bram: Well, just got lucky. They were searching for the next generation kids they told us. That’s how they came to me and a friend of mine who rides street. Nothing special. Just got lucky. I remain the same Bram, just with a sponsor more. It’s cool and i like redbull a lot. So i am happy – just like i was before!

Q: We have seen your riding in such videos as flattv, can we expect to see in any new dvd sections soon & where else can ppl see your riding on dvd ? Any solo DVD projects planned ?

Bram: Well of course i will be in the next flattv again. I got a video part in there and i am happy how it turned out. Totally different from what i had in mind. But i think it shows some different riding than what most people have seen so far. I got a part in the new impaqued aswell. Also different from what you have seen so far. Lots of different tricks. Not just my usual style. Jess also wants me in one of the Vibe vids so i might show up in one of his vids. We will see.
About the Solo Vid thing. Sure i am able to fill up a good dvd with lots of unseen tricks. But why should i give away all of it. It’s a bit too early for that.

Q: Where do you see yourself at the age of 20 ?

Bram: At age 20 i hope to see myself being with my girlfriend happy. That’s all. For riding we will see where it goes. I will probably be riding the same spot when i am 20 hehe.

Part V - The Web

Q: Will there be a website called www.bramverhallen.com ?

Bram: Well, i was thinking about that too. Maybe when i got some time i’ll fix it with a friend of mine. I only want a website if it’s more special than what’s there so far. Don’t really see the need of making a website which got nothing to add. So we will see. Sure it will be a god damn good looking website. Else it’s not coming online.

Q: You were doing www.dutchflatland.com for some time. There were no updates for some time and now there is a totally new site. Are you still responsible for the site ?

Bram: Yeah together with my friend Jordy. It’s all in dutch now because i thought it had nothing to add to the world wide web. But this way sure it will add something to the durch wide web hehe. That’s my intention. I started the website to add something to the dutch scene and it worked out super ! Then i tried to add something to the world wide web. It worked for a while but i am not a computer nerd !!! I am a rider. So i found this the best solution. Hope y’all happy with it ... peace !

 

30th of March 2006 - Questions by Lisa Schüßler, Anthony Lim, Carl Bourne, Jon Davis, and Martin Schulz

2006-03-30

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