Martti Kuoppa and Jorge Gomez

     Interview: Martti Kuoppa and Jorge "Viki" Gomez

The reason for that interview is somehow the joining of Alex Jumelin into the KGB team. But at first there are some questions to Martti concerning riding.

Q: Letīs talk about flatland before we come to the business. Last time I saw you in Berlin you rode with a front brake. So I guess you still have one. Many good riders use no brakes, why have you decided to ride with one brake ? Ever thought about riding without ?

Name: Martti Kuoppa
Age: 26
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Started riding: 1991
Occupation: Ride my bike, take care of business
Mr. Kuoppa: If I take off my brakes I feel like Iīm limiting myself a bit. I know that most of the tricks are possible without brakes, which I usually do so, too. So then there is another set of tricks that are not possible without brakes and if I did not have brakes, I would not do those tricks. I just found riding a lot more interesting when I have a front brake on.

Q: How important is style ? What is more important for you, very hard tricks or smooth style ?

Mr. Kuoppa: Before I didn´t pay attention on the style that much, I just tried the hardest trick and so on, but I got bit frustrated on hard trick style and I decided to find a way to do stylish riding along with hard tricks. And it seems to be working better for me, I feel like I have a lot more flow in my riding. So now I feel like I have done a lot of hard tricks in my life, now I want to add more style into the way how I ride to please the big crowd, who don´t understand anything about flatland. And to all who thinks it is selling out, I´m just trying to get flatland attention so the upcoming kids who want to make living off don´t need to struggle...

Q: Are you sometimes burned out ?

Mr. Kuoppa: Yes. Especially when there is pressures and expectations on me. I have succeed, but I do feel that I´m as good as my last appearance in the eyes of people who follow what happens in flatland. So that pressure does make enjoyment of riding hard sometimes.

Q: Do you prefer riding alone or together with others ?

Mr. Kuoppa: When I practice, I prefer to ride on my own, but when I feel like I have practiced a lot lately I like to jam with people and so on.

Q: How long do you want to ride ?

Mr. Kuoppa: Till I´m motivated. I always want to be riding, but in future there will be a point that I need to give up on the level I´m at the moment and I know it will be hard to stay motivated for me if I don´t feel like I´m progressing. But at the moment I try not to be concern about it and I quit riding at this level when I feel like it. Staying at this level is not an easy game to play.

Q: Do you have any fad nobody knows ?

Mr. Kuoppa: I´m into poker machine at the moment. You throw in min.20 cents and you get to play pokerm sometimes I do win max.8 euros and sometimes I loose whatever I put into that machine.

Q: Since we have a new year another question came into my mind. What was the most impressive moment in 2004 for you ?

Mr. Kuoppa: I was stoked to release my never ending DVD project, Moments, for the public. That made me very happy. I had a good summer riding my bike. I really enjoyed going to Madrid to hang out with Viki earlier that year. And the sadest thing was what just happened in Asia.

Name: Jorge "Viki" Gomez
Age: 23
Location: Madrid, Spain
Started riding: 1997
Hobbies: Swiming, table tennis, music, hang out, designing bikes and parts ...
Q: How do you develop new parts ? Do you draw them and then the engineers tell if you if your idea is realisable ? Or how does it work ?

Mr. Gomez: My best friend,the guy who I start to ride with,te guy who have been motivating me for so long is an architect.So, same as we talk about new tricks,we also talk about how to make new better parts for flatland.

Q: Why is the frame called "Psychonnecta" ?

Mr. Gomez: First of all you need to be a psycho to understand this concept...but I ll try to explain: All about progression, changes, evolution, revolution, vision, control, uncontrol, positive, negative...etc... all of those concepts make your mind be in another level that we call psycho; The "conecta" means connexion,linking,union in spanish. Then the final meaning is the connexion of your psycho part of your mind with the tricks and so on with the bike.

Q: Which new parts can we expect in 2005 and when ?

Mr. Gomez: I could say from now: sprocket, 2 piece bar ,2 stems, seat clamp, new brake system, and pegs. I cannot tell for sure when cause it take some time for any innovation in the world.

Q: How important are team riders and the name "Kuoppa" "Gomez" Bikes for the company ?

Mr. Kuoppa: I would say that this kind of things are bringing the credibility for the company. We also want to improve flatland in general to the public and wnat to get more people start riding flatland, then you need to remember that we are not able to do it alone. There needs to be people who run different kind of businesses. Also that kind of people might not understand much of flatland, but they do understand when I show my contest results and mr.Gomez shows his contest results. Just one idea. Then we also think that we can be motivation for the younger kids out there, they need role models to stay motivated. We are a provement that with riding you can get through your life if you really put your self into it. Neither one of us went to schools for the future, basically everything is under one card, no turning back. If everythig fails, then me and Viki will end
up unemployment.

Q: Why joined Alex Jumelin the KGB team ? As far as I know he rode for Ares and they had some trouble ... maybe you can tell me a bit more about the background.

Mr. Kuoppa: I should not talk anything which is not my business so that is why I have no comments what happened with Alex and his ex-sponsor. We already talked about him joining us in future last year and the future came a lot faster than we planned. So now Alex is with us and he fits the team really good. I like his atitude and how he thinks about flatland in general. He also has good ideas how to improve flatland. He is stylish motherfucker! He has the experience doing a lot of contests and shows so there was no doubt when we did the agreement with him.

Q: Is low weight only a trend or the future of flatland parts ?

Mr. Gomez: Less weigth means just more union between your body and the bike. The weigth is what is making a difference between your body and the bike. So what we want is fell "ONE" when we ride.

Q: Whatīs your opinion concerning titanium parts ?

Mr. Kuoppa: I hate titanium and everything that comes with it. Heh. Just eat bit more beef and you´re able to handle your bike better. Just kidding...

Q: You said in another interview ( about a year ago ) that you are planning a flat contest ( or contest series ). Do you still want to do it ? Any news about it ?

Mr. Kuoppa: Yes. I ran flatstyles in Helsinki last summer which went out better than I thought. Viki will run "Madrid session" in few months in Madrid. So those small events are where we have to start to bring us some credibility as far as organizing events goes. So at the moment we don´t have any big plans for big events, just jam sessions. We have enough of work to get KGB up and running smooth and on top of it we need to stay on a certain level with flatland. But in future the story should be different.

Thanks Martti. Thanks Viki.

Photo sources: and

3rd of January 2005 - Martin Schulz