Name: Renaud Laspeyres
Hometown: Poitiers - France
When did you start riding?
I got my first BMX in 2001, but I started to ride flatland one year later when I met other flatlanders.
How often do you ride?
Today, I don´t ride at all. I´ve been injured 2 weeks ago at my leg (strained my calf), so for the moment, I´m looking videos and wait... Actually this year is important for my studies, and I really have to work a lot, so I don´t have so much free time, I usually ride between 3 and 5 times a week, it also depends on the weather... But at the end of this year, normally I will pass my exam; I think I will be able to ride like the previous years, that is to say almost every day.
Do you ride contests? If yes, what has been your biggest success?
Yes, I sometimes ride contests. My biggest success was the 3rd place in amateur at the Worlds, last summer. It was really good, I was proud to take part to the final with all the other good riders. I really had some good times at this contest! But for me contests are not very important, I think a good run depends of many circumstances (stress, pressure, physical preparation...). Sometimes you´re lucky, sometimes not; I mean even if you are well-prepared, you can do bullshit in your run... So, for me contests are just a game. The results are not also very significant. In a contest there is no one winner and one loser, there are different riders, with different styles, who are judged by riders who have different tastes, it´s too subjective to say the number one is ... and so on, so I just consider contests like a game.
Where do you ride?
I live in a small village near Poitiers. Most of time, I ride outside, on a big basketball ground which is approximately 100 meters of my house! This is my playground, the ground is perfect, and it’s my favourite spot, especially in summer. This winter, I rode in a big covered parking in Poitiers, at night time because it´s a bus park and it´s full in the day time. But the night, there is almost nobody and it´s well lit. Anyway, I´m at school all day long so it perfectly sticks on my timetable, I´m really lucky to have such a parking. Those are my 2 favourite spots; each one has a special atmosphere that I like.
Can you tell us a bit about the riding scene in your town?
In my town, you can meet many riders, (especially horse riders in fact). But I´m the only flatlander in my little village and also in Poitiers. There are some good street riders in Poitiers. Sometimes we ride together when I go to the skatepark, we exchange our bikes and I try some street tricks... the atmosphere is really cool. But it’s not a problem for me to ride by myself, actually I prefer it. I´m concentrate more on my riding and I ride better, even if sometimes it´s boring. I also like to ride with other guys sometimes, but it´s different... it´s cool to do jams but for practicing I prefer to ride by myself.
Imagine you could make a flatland world tour, which 5 places would you like to visit for riding and why?
1: USA, maybe because of all the good videos I´ve seen for years: Flatland Manifesto, or Intrikat Background for example and many more. It´s the American dream, practice on big car parks in California, it would be cool.
2: Eastern European countries (Hungary, Czech Republic...) because the scene seems to be big and relaxed, and the level is good.
3: Australia, for the good weather.
4: Canada, because I would like to visit this country, and I think there are nice spots.
5: Japan, yes last, the level is huge, for sure, but I´m not really fond of public places riding. I should go there to make my opinion on the subject, (and take me a kick in the ass at the same time).
Is there a goal you would like to reach concerning your riding?
Yes, sure. My goal would be to create my own riding style. I have a big admiration for all the guys who creates new styles, new trends, like Raphael, Jesse, Martti, Viki or Akira, just to mention some. Those guys build their own riding, their own sport in a way and it´s amazing. This is what I´m working on, try to disregard (forget) all the tricks already done and create my own moves, my switches, my riding style actually. But it´s hard, it´s a long work and I think that I am still in a phase of exploration. I work all the same classic tricks, the most important thing is to have fun I think, after, inspiration comes naturally...
Which trick/combo are you working on at the moment?
For now, I just try to get up from my chair with my fucking wooden leg! No, seriously I just took off my brakes few weeks ago so I try some new moves brakeless. I feel like trying some new tricks and I don´t need brakes for that, and until now it´s cool.
What kind of music do you like? Tell us your 3 favourite songs
I listen to several kinds of music, I can listen nearly everything except extreme songs (heavy metal, hardcore electro music or things like that).3 favourite songs:1: Fonky Family - La furie et la foi2: Sigur Ros - Njosnavelin3: Blondie - Heart of glass
Tell us 3 things you like and 3 things you don’t like
I like: my dog, travelling, having good times with my friendsI don´t like: people who look at me like an animal when I practice quietly, politics, to do nothing.
What is your job/what do you study?
I´m preparing for a 2 years exam in the sector of tourism, (yes, teachers often said me that I was a tourist at school, it was my destiny).
What are your hobbies besides flatland and do they influence your way of riding?
No, nothing influence my way of riding, except maybe, school, when you spend a full day sat on a fucking chair, you ride more hardcore than usually. About my hobbies, I like simple things like having good time with my friends; I enjoy so much Paris (the city of my heart), I lived there the last year, and I´ll go back there after my exam. I also like to watch good movies, western movies, I am sometimes going to run or ride bikes, I like candies too...
Frame: Felt Dreamcatcher
Front hub: St Martin
Front rim: Rhyno lyte
Back rim: Try All
Pegs: St Martin + Plastic KHE
Tires: Odyssey Frequency G
Last words: Ok, first of all, thanks to Martin from global for this interview. Then I say hello to all my friends (they will recognize themselves), from Opéra (I´ll be back soon); the friends of my village. Désir, Paul and Nico the guys with whom I rode at the very beginning; to all the guys I met on contests or other riders with whom I had good times; Big thanks also to all the Parisians who helped me last year when my bike was stolen, it was nice. And thanx to my dog for supporting me, thanx doggy. Peace, have fun on your bike.
Rider of the Month video: Renaud Laysperes