Photography: Max Cassagne, Tom Sevisual, Stephane Bar.
I think of the phrase “Action speak louder than the words” when I see the riding of Matthieu Bonnecuelle, he chooses to do the hardest tricks that many thought impossible or simply have not thought of.
Whether we talk about his no handed whiplash at BMX Cologne in 2014, the double xft backwards whiplash he dropped last year (see his Axiom Leviathan edit below), the riding speaks volumes. This young ginger haired man from the south of France continues to paint a fresh picture with his flatland riding.
It’s time to interview this amazing talent that was voted by many of you as the Flatmattersonline Breakthrough Rider of the Year, without further a due, welcome to the Matthieu Bonnecuellle interview.
Firstly Matthieu, congratulations for winning the flatmattersonline award “Breakthrough Rider of the Year” Matthieu, what were were your first thoughts when you heard you had won this award?
Thank you. I thought of the medal I was going to have. I love medals.
You dropped some crazy tricks in 2015, the no comply hitchhiker move stands out to me, if you had to pick a move or direction you took last year, what would you choose?
Thank you for being receptive to the no comply hitchhiker (and calling it no comply, didn’t think of it and it fits perfectly!!) :).
Regarding riding itself, 2015 was a mess and somehow end of my whiplash era, and yeah the no comply/ fast plant/ stepping direction might be what got me more excited, thanks to Mr Grubinger for the fun and the inspiration.
Whereabouts in France do you live? Do you many spots accessible to you?
I live in 3 cities, one hour from each other: Toulouse, Albi and my hometown Onet le Château. I ride in the streets except in my hometown where I am lucky to have an indoor tennis court, where I can think.
What’s your philosophy for riding flatland, I noticed you don’t compete in so many events, do you prefer to stay home and work on your progression?
No more philosophy intended I guess, I just do what I want and I try to keep up with myself.
Describe your bike set up? I noticed you switched to longer TT, and you are quite short? What is your reason for this switch?
I’m average 1,80m actually; switching to a 20″ TT was what I needed for some times. I had to keep my Heresy 19″ to accomplish some weird dynamic moves more easily, but now my body fits my bike, I can ride at ease 3D environment, and move savagely in big cities. Also, 20″TT for 20″ wheels respects the sacred geometry.
What are your inspirations and motivations within riding?
Having fun. Making people laugh. Materialize ideas. Get endorphins. Fuck my shins. Mantra and Japa. Movement crafting. But also riding as a tool for expression (not as a finality). The wheel tends to be a perfect circle which is transcendent in itself.
Besides riding what else do you do?
Casual studies, videos, drawings, some sounds. Trying to keep up (with this wooorld).
How much do you think Alexis Desolneux has helped shaped your riding?
More than I know, I’d say, Alexis’s riding helped me to feel something else.
The interview of other riders (T. Fukuda, G. Manos…) that Alexis made helped me to understand the “flatland bmx” box I used to live in was really, really small.
And of course, with Heresy BMX, he puts me in contact with interesting people and allowed me to release some works. Thanks for all Gougoule.
What music are you into?
Everything, but special appeal with psychedelic freetekno and trap these days.
Your editing style is very experimental, what are you trying to communicate within your edits?
Gvkzjbealm. Errr. I forgot. Lost vision
It’s maybe kind of compositions with meanings everywhere. I follow blindly my personal epiphanies.
And was also pissing on “viby” edits who have nothing to say.
Maybe at the end, partly trying to show that riding is really unimportant.
Or maybe nothing to communicate, just shitting my brain out.
What are your plans for 2016?
Surprise for you and for me
But I would like to keep “communicating” more with my bike, especially with non-riders. And release videos.
Any final words?
To everyone I communicate regularly with: I love you.
Thank you Matthieu, look forward to seeing where your riding heads in the future.