If you haven’t heard of the infamous Team Pralex or their hipster founding fathers Prasheel Gopal and Alex Poirier, you either haven’t been hanging out at the swankiest of Ontario’s clubs, don’t ride flatland, or just don’t like cookies n cream. Your loss.
A duo of fashion-conscious kids from the streets of Ontario have been making headway in the world of flat bmx as well as the international club scene. When not downing Cuba Libre’s and Shirly Temples and grinding butts (not necessarily each others’) on the dancefloor, flatland homies Alex and Prasheel tear shit up on their flatland bikes and represent a rag-tag group of friends coined “Team Pralex.”
The warlords presiding over Team Pralex have agreed to an interview. It is time to clear up the mysteries of Team Pralex, brakeless riding, unorthodox dance moves, Pralex underwear, and much more.
Shayne Khajehnoori: How old are you guys, where do you live, occupations?
Alex Poirier: I am 23 years old, I live in Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, and I work at a GM dealership doing inventory stuff (aka, reading books, doing school work, surfing the internet).
Prasheel Gopal: Twenty seven. The small boring town of Brantford, Ontario. Mechanical engineer/product designer.
SK: During an average week, how many nights do you hit the clubs?
AP: On average its probably somewhere around 1.7 nights a week. Sometimes its two, and theres the odd long weekends that I go out three nights...When I am on vacation I try to go out every night, or at least get drunk everyday. Most of the time I go out on either Friday or Saturday and take the other day off. I work Monday-Friday 9-5 type job, so that keeps me busy during the week.
PG: Not as often as Alex. Just once every couple of weeks I guess, most usually when I meet up with Alex.
SK: Who is the better wing-man? Who is the pussy-repellant?
AP: I am definitely the better wing-man. I have never cared about picking up broads at the bar, while Prasheel has definitely concerned himself with this. If I ever needed Prasheel to be my wing-man he would be too busy in the corner wooing some girl talking her ear off. That being said we've both been known to scare girls off too.
PG: lol@ the truth in Alex's response. Although I do recall multiple times that Alex has yelled at me to stop talking to girls, once because he didn't want to have to cab home alone, because he didn't want to the cab driver to think he was a loser...good times.
SK: What is Team Pralex? Who is part of it? Do you have any weird initiation rites?
AP: My mom coined the word Pralex, and we jokingly made a FB page out of it and then it got way out of hand with the blog, clothes, and just us being idiots. We are definitely fully aware that it is dumb as hell. I don't even know who is apart of it now. The main guys are Prasheel, Mark Kuhlmann and myself. Bo Wade is involved(?) although we don't get to see him as often as we like. It's basically just guys we get along with really well, and love to party with. Anyone can be apart of team Pralex, just come party with us and we'll force to become apart of it.
PG: Basically everything Alex said. It's just us and a few others that we enjoy riding and partying with. No weird initiations or anything.
SK: What is up with Team Pralex underwear? Is it sold in stores? Are you kicked out of Team Pralex if you do not show off your underwear at contests?
AP: We made some underwear awhile ago, and to be honest, I think I am down to one pair, and rarely ever wear it at contest because I just never think of it. We kick people off and add people to the team so often, I can't keep track of our reasonings.
PG: I guess the underwear is just sort of the pinnacle of ridiculousness in terms of team branding/apparel. Every company has shirts (and there's some "bike companies" that all they do is make shitty shirts), so we thought we'd do something else, and also not make it readily available. I can't keep track of how many times Terry Adams has bugged me to get in some Pralex undies.
SK: What does fashion mean to you?
AP: Fashion means a lot to me actually. At contests and riding in general I definitely have a very “hipster” look, as its comfortable and I also like the way it looks. In everyday life I'm usually a little more dressed up, in button-down dress shirts and a blazer. I follow way more fashion blogs than flatland blogs, I regularly read GQ, Vogue, and really enjoy shopping. It goes a lot further then me looking like a hipster at contests. I'd also like to squash the fact that I did not copy Matthias wearing skinny jeans, I started wearing them before I even knew he existed. I straight up copied Travis Collier, haha.
PG: Not much, just whatever I'm comfortable in really. Like Alex, for work purposes, I'm generally a lot more dressed up than the cutoffs and (deep) v necks I wear while riding. That stuff just doesn't work in an office environment, although I do arrive to work in my spandex bike shorts.
SK: Why’d you take off the brakes, do you ever see them going back on?
AP: I HATE working on my bike, and I always have trouble setting up brakes. I've been brakeless for about two years now, and right now, I am planning on putting them back on this coming spring and I am really excited about it. My contest placings have suffered a lot ever since I took off my brakes, but I've had a lot of fun, and it helped me get away from doing the same old stuff. Now I feel like I'm stuck in a rut with no brakes, so I am going to put them on in the Spring, and see how I feel, but I predict I'll keep them on for at least 8 months or so.
PG: I took them off...8 or 9 years ago I think now. I was just stuck in a rut of squeakers and side squeaks and all that type of stuff, so I originally took them off to motivate myself to learn some rolling stuff. I did put them on again every year or so, but I usually couldn't deal with them for more than a week. Doubt I'll ever really how to use them.
SK: Who gets laid most?
AP: Prasheel and I are waiting for our marriage to get it on. We both still have our v-cards and don't want to upset Jesus with premarital sex, hopefully that makes up for the whole gay marriage thing.
PG: No comment?
SK: Who is the Lil Wayne fan?
AP: I liked Carter 3. Prasheel made me listen to 12 hours of Lil Wayne straight one time.
PG: Best. Rapper. Alive.
SK: Worst U.S. state visited?
AP: Ohio. Kentucky was pretty stupid too.
PG: Definitely Ohio. Although I don't remember visiting Kentucky, so maybe it was so bad that I blocked it out of my memory. But in Ohio, a bum threatened my life over a hot dog, so yeah, pretty bad.
AP: Hahaha, I don't really listen to much dubstep. I listen to way more electro-house, techno, disco-house, dancehall, moombahton. I like the occasional dubstep song, but two hours of it is far too much dubstep for me.
PG: All Weezy, all day.
SK: Will you come to Cali and smoke a blunt with the One Love Crew?
AP: I don't really smoke the marijuana, but I will get plastered. Honestly though I have been craving a road trip to Cali (will probably end up flying) but I really hope it happens in the next...Lets say 16 months. I would like to just add that the One Love Crew kills it on twitter, keep it up!
PG: I don't smoke, but will definitely try to come out to Cali when I can. I haven't been yet, and its on my to do list.
By the way, I just want to apologize to anyone that wasted their time reading this interview.