Name: Lee Wilson
Age: I was 32 in December
Location: Leicester, UK
When did you start riding?
Well, I had a BMX as a kid but never saw anyone doing tricks, it wasn’t until I was older that I first saw proper BMX. I was 22 and my girlfriend at the time and my young son were in bed and I caught a BMX competition on TV late at night. It was vert; Dave Mirra and Mat Hoffman were competing in the Gravity Games?? Not sure which contest but I was hooked. I made some money whilst working as a door to door salesman for British Gas, and to treat myself I thought, I´m going to buy a BMX, just to mess about with at weekends. I was interested in learning some grinds and that (I didn’t know what flatland was at this time), by chance I bought a Ride UK issue, it had a king of concrete report, and had a sequence of Viki Gomez doing a link, and an interview with Kimmo Hakanna, the flatland photos blew my mind, so I bought Trickstars 1, and me and my brother Ross would watch it for hours and hours on end. About this time I was driving my car and I saw a kid on a chrome bike doing squeakers in the Mayflower pub car park - turns out it was Keelan Phillips. I didn’t speak to him till a few months later when I was riding my bike, he showed me all his squeaker links and I showed him a lame hang 5 thing, and I just mucked about trying tricks with my brother. I used to go out in the street behind my house for hours trying tricks, Keelan was young and progressed fast and I progressed slowly. It wasn’t till I moved to Markfield, then I started to ride everyday, about 2004??
How often do you ride?
Ride time depends on a lot of factors - in the summer I probably have 4 90 minute sessions a week, and probably 2 sessions a week in winter, sometimes less with work and fatherhood duties. Sometimes in the winter I just go out and do a few whiplashes and jugglers just so I don’t get too rusty!
Do you ride contests? What was your biggest success?
I ride contests sometimes. I think it’s important to support local events wherever they are in the UK, even if its 6 hrs to ride in a damp car park in Bexleyheath. Contest riding is part of flatland and a skill in itself, you probably ride in a contest 40% of your full skill level cos your nervous etc so you just go in do your easy stuff for the sake of consistency, but it’s just another part of the sport 1st place am ground roots in 2008 2nd place master level vibes 2009 2nd place am nass 08 2nd place expert ninja spin 06 And worst: Last place c group level vibes Stafford 03? Ha-ha I sucked
Where do you ride?
I ride at Markfield Community Centre car park most of the time, I learnt nearly all my tricks there and I know every slant and bump, plus it’s near the skatepark so u can give the ramp riders abuse and laugh at them when they try to hang 5. Plus Dawn leaves the lights on so I can ride all night if I want!
Can you tell us a bit about the riding scene in your town?
I suppose Leicester is quite good for riding in general, we’ve got, me, Keelan, my brother Ross sometimes, Morgan, James Kendrick, Musselwhite sometimes, even Sam Foakes when his girlfriend used to live near here. There’s also plenty of street and park riders, so there’s plenty of BMX in Leicester - plus some good nightspots, as you will see when u all come down to World BMX Battle!!
Imagine you could make a flatland world tour, which 5 places would you like to visit for riding and why?
1. Japan - just cos of all the riders and sights to see
2. Texas - they seem to have a good scene out there
3. Australia - the weather looks great and I’ve really wanted to visit
4. Brazil - Balu and zebu are crazy riders
5. New Orleans - just because voodoo looked such a laugh, unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will happen again.
Is there a goal you would like to reach concerning your riding?
I´ve got this image in my head of this smooth unobtainable controlled style - so I´m constantly striving for it, I´m nowhere near yet so I´m just trying to build on my style, link each trick up with every trick, adding more whiplashes mid link more g-turns around the worlds - and put it together to create something smooth and fluid.
Which trick/combo are you working on at the moment?
Just a couple of switches, hang 5 whip to opposite hitchhiker, Whiplash-hang 5 step over to crack packer, G-turn steam whip to cliff-hanger. I can do them all but I´m just hooking them up to longer combos
What kind of music do you like?
All kinds, rock and old rap/hip-hop mainly.
3 songs to ride to: Pusherman- Curtis Mayfield, Return the favour- Timbaland, On our own-Bobby Brown - I’m old! (You’re younger than me! – Morgan)
And remember smooth music makes you ride smoother!
Tell us 3 things you like and 3 things you don’t like.
3 things I like – curry, beer, good weather
3 things I don’t like – punctures, recession, bad weather
What is your job?
I’m a carpenter/partition fitter. Its hard work but I enjoy doing a physical job and I get job satisfaction from constructing something.
What are your hobbies besides flatland and do they influence your way of riding?
I’m currently renovating my house so that takes up most of my time, I also run (when I can’t ride!) I skate snowboard and draw when I get the chance .
Frame - Zion Lowkee proto
Fork – St Martin Champagne 07
Headset - Odyssey
Handlebar - KHE Cirrus 7.25 rise
Stem – Odyssey Flatware
Seat - KHE Watanabe
Seat Post - KHE Prismatic
Crank - Profile 165-with proto ti spindle
Pedals – Odyssey Twisted PC
Front wheel - 48 Primo rim, Eastern hub with new bearings!Rear wheel - 36 Alienation rim, KHE Geisha hub - had it since 06!
Tires – Frequency G steel bead front-Tioga Powerblock 1.60 rear
Thank you - first to my gorgeous girlfriend Georgina for her patience, to my sons Matthew and Dylan. Ross, Keelan and Paul Cartwright for all the support and shit talking, Ollie at Tobol racing for my wheels, all the Markfield locals, Dawn at the community centre for leaving the lights on for me, and all the UK flatheads at The Green Mile