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A COMMUNITY CELEBRATING STREET CULTURE WITH INDIVIDUALITY

TATTOOS FIXIES SKATE CAFE RACER

ISSUE 01

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LEVI'S

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A COMMUNITY CELEBRATING STREET CULTURE WITH INDIVIDUALITY

in partnership with

a one small seed initiative

www.cultofself.org


ISSUE 01

Cult of Self – in collaboration with Levi’s® – aims to cultivate a dialogue around identity, individuality and authenticity through encouraging interaction with our followers. Therefore, we chose to focus on subcultures that are connected to selfcelebrating ideals: tattoos, café racers, skateboards and fixies. We were attracted to these subcultures because their genesis was influenced by a desire to go against the grain and form an alternative to a system their early pioneers disapproved of. In today's world that idiosyncratic nature and individualityembracing spirit still stands up strong, which is why they've become the core of this visually-motivated concept. So, to keep this community growing and active, it’s important that we showcase #Yourcult. With the launch of each issue of Cult of Self Magazine, we’re going to introduce a new photography competition to inspire ‘street contributions’. In this issue, a R1000 tattoo voucher for a session with MTV Base ink master and old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer is up for grabs (turn to page 73 for competition guidelines). We’re also going to introduce you to two strong believers in 'self'. Levi’s® South Africa’s Buying and Merchandising Director Oliver Pywell speaks to us about pushing limits to get what you want and Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer explains how, with the rise of social media, we’re altering our perceptions of who we are. With this as a foundation, we hope that Cult of Self will grow into an evolving collaborative community. Grab a friend, grab a camera and shoot the cult that moves you. Express your inherent colours, patterns and rhythms because in the Cult of Self, the soul reigns. To start things off, you can find us on Twitter (@cultofselfmag), Pinterest and Facebook and, of course, you can conjure up the muses around you by indulging in the visual treasures of the following pages.

founder and editor-in-chief GIUSEPPE RUSSO assistant editor CHRISTINE HOGG


MILO ‘MR. LUCKY’ MARCER SOCIAL TATTOOS

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MTV ink master and old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer talks to Cult of Self about tattoos as identity documents, near-death experiences and why he used to get beaten with a broomstick.

LEVI’S® OLIVER PYWELL ‘HOW FAR CAN TOO FAR GO

BODIES OF WORK BRIAN CUMMINGS

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Brian Cummings photographs tattooed models with lighting techniques applied by Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens and Michelangelo.

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THE CUSTOM 500 ARTIST SERIES | KEEPING AN OLD SCHOOL HEAD

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Skratch and custom bike builder Roland Sands create 1954-style helmets that meet modern safety standards.

Levi’s® South Africa’s Buying and Merchandising Director tells us how, as a tattooed creative who never accepts the status quo, Levi’s® has been the perfect match for his limit-pushing 'self'.

CONCEPT 1865 THE PRESENT-DAY PENNY-FARTHING

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BASF and DING3000 create a road-safe high wheel with modern lightweight material.

MIRROR CAN DAGARSLANI /31

See what happens when photographer Can Dagarslani lets the subconscious take over.


contents

MINTFIXIES CUSTOMIZE YOUR BICYCLE ONLINE / 41

Build a fixie without getting your hands dirty.

O?’

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COMPETITION #YOURCULT – PART I SUBMISSION SHOWCASE

THE BLACK WIDOW LASER CUT SKATEBOARD

Our selection of entries from our first streetculture-inspired photography competition.

Pat Fox designs a limited edition skateboard for the launch of appollocollective.com.

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#YOURCULT – PART II WIN A TATTOO BY MILO ‘MR. LUCKY’ MARCER

/ 64 /73

Find out how to win a R1000 voucher for a tattoo by MTV Base ink master and old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer.

LEVI’S® SKATEBOARDING COLLECTION

/ 77

Levi’s® introduces their first complete global Skateboarding Collection.

CAPE TOWN SUPERMOTO: ‘YOU DO IT FOR THE THRILL’

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Cult of Self hung out with the gutsy members of Cape Town Super Moto.


SOCIAL TATTOOS

MILO ‘MR. LUCKY’ MARCER After realising that it can be more fruitful to tattoo clients at home – illegally during the tattoo ban in New York City and later after leaving Metal Machine in Cape Town – MTV Base ink master and old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer decided to open the Cape Town Tattoo Social Club in Woodstock. Through creating a ‘hang out studio’, he is encouraging a more intimate relationship with the client and is thus catering for a more thorough and personal experience. He also launched a men’s skincare brand called Greasers, bands play at the club regularly and – very recently – the team started hosting international tattoo artists as ‘guest workers’. Cult of Self went to check the spot out and Mr. Lucky told us about tattoos as identity documents, near-death experiences and how he used to get beaten with a broomstick when he fucked up a tattoo.


How did you get into tattooing and why did you focus on old school tattoos? I came to Cape Town to do my basic training for my military service. I was 17 at the time… I was born in Johannesburg to Italian parents. We went to a shop in Sir Lowry Road, I think it was called the Yellow Dragon, and we all got tattooed while we were drunk – and that was it for me! I got this little heart with a scroll that said mother. There were seven of us and he tattooed us all with the same needle and the same machine. Proper old school style. Well, dangerous old school style. He used beer bottle caps as ink caps. And he didn't even change those, he just used the same one on everybody. If I think about it now, it's a little bit scary but it was such a thrill. The experience stayed with me. So when I got back to Joburg after my military service, I really wanted to get into tattooing, but there was just no real opportunity so I studied Fine Arts at Wits Tech. What year was this?

I LEARNED WITH A BROOMSTICK BEHIND ME

This was ‘83, ‘84 and ‘85 I think... and then I left to go overseas. I was living in Italy with my family and went on holiday to Bardi. There was a tattoo studio there and I made a pest out of myself until the owner eventually said, 'Pick up the broom and start cleaning the shop'. I literally lived in the shop. I showered across the road on the beachfront and slept on the floor of the shop. I did this for about a year until he started to pay me something.


What did you practice on?

WE ALL GOT TATTOOED WHILE WE WERE DRUNK AND

THAT WAS IT FOR ME!

Well, at first on bits of orange peel but he wouldn't waste time letting me practice on stuff like that. I learned with a broomstick behind me. I would tattoo clients and if I fucked up he would beat me with a broomstick. So you didn't mess up very easily. I watched him and he was old school, he didn't mess around, but his lines were thick and chunky and mostly too deep in the skin – although he was no great tattoo artist he did give me my opportunity. So he inspired you to get better? Well, it wasn't so much that he inspired me to get better. After two years there he told me to get out of the shop. He said, 'You're fired, go! You've learned all you can learn here, you need to go and travel.' That's what I did. I went to Amsterdam for a couple of months but the weather got to me. Then I went to London and worked at Evil from the Needle for a couple of months but the weather was still horrible so I travelled to New York. I worked underground for about four to five months because tattooing was illegal in New York City in those days. It was only around 1996 that the ban was lifted. How did you get around not getting caught? You'd put up flyers and work from your apartment. Spider Webb, who is quite a famous tattoo artist, had flyers saying: ‘Tattoo. The blue door.’ So you walked down Canal Street and there was a blue door, you knocked and after they asked you a whole lot of questions they eventually let you in.


Like getting into illegal clubs? Yes it was very much like that. You walk down this dark passage, went upstairs and then down another passage until you eventually got to a door and the studio was there. We're not that different, if you look at our studio now, it pretty much has that vibe! In the period shortly after the American revolution sailors got tattoos so it was easier to identify as American citizens and avoid impressment by the British navy. And because the governmentissued protection papers were so easily manipulated, sailors liked to get unique tattoos and requested a description of them – often in the form of a drawing – on the official certificates to make them more specific. That's not an uncommon thing. This concept is prevalent even in Maori culture. When the chieftains would sign, they wouldn't sign their name, they would draw their Ta Moko – the facial design that was on the chieftains. Their tattooed face would be their signature. Do you think that individuality and identity – something tattoos have been about in the past – still stand up today? Absolutely. I think we've seen a hyperbole. People are doing major scarification and putting ink into their eyeballs. They need to be so far out there, so far beyond everybody else. People still find their identity in tattooing, not so much in the actual tattooing process, but in the images that they're tattooing on themselves. The way they’re altering their own perception of self. I think it's very interesting in the context of your magazine Cult of Self. I think we've very much become aware of ourselves in society, and I think social media has really brought it to the fore. People now see themselves as a brand. They set themselves up – whether true or untrue. They’re advertising their soul. Exactly. And at what point is the reality of your identity and what you make up all one anyway? Personally I think it's blurred. I think it's blurred all the time. For me it's blurred, ‘Mr. Lucky’ almost is me. It's a nickname that stuck with me because I was tragically unlucky – or


For bookings go to: capetowntattoo.com

lucky depending on your point of view. What happened? I had three near-death experiences. The last one was in 2006 when I was hit by a car. I was in intensive care for a month. You are Mr. Lucky! People think it's a name I chose but I earned that one unfortunately. I also won a lot of money – I just have been lucky. It's almost developed into a persona who has a life of its own. People say things, do things and attach things to it – and I don't know where half of it comes from.

People think it's a name I chose but I earned that one UNFORTUNATELY

So your identity is established because you're part of a group that creates it for you. It's not just yourself. Yeah, it's not generated by me. Is it a persona who you strive to be? Well – does it matter?

For this issue’s #Yourcult photography competition we’re giving away a voucher worth R1000 to get tattooed by Mr. Lucky. Turn to page 73 to find out how to win.


BODIES OF WORK

THE SKIN AS BAROQUE CANVAS Within recent history our bodies have become diaries, which our souls take notes on – often in the form of tattoos. Throughout life, stories, memories and emotions are etched into our skin as realistic lines, nostalgic styles or cultural iconography. Ultimately, this turns us into a breathing canvas and it seems natural to study inked bodies as art. In commercial photographer Brian Cummings’ Bodies of Work Series, tattooed subjects are portrayed with lighting techniques applied by Baroque masters Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens and Michelangelo. Through, for example, giving his subjects a half-eclipsed face – a technique Rembrandt famously used in his portraits – he is indeed converting the body into a canvas. Available from briancummings.com Images: Brian Cummings


THE CUSTOM 500 ARTIST SERIES

KEEPING AN OLD SCHOOL HEAD If we’re doing retro, we’d better do retro properly. Better still, let’s do original. The Custom 500 Artist Series – a joint project by pinstripe artist/master fabricator Skratch and custom bike builder Roland Sands – meets modern safety standards yet looks as neat as the 1954 original 500 helmet made out of fiberglass by Bell founder Roy Richter. These guys’ skills in creating the flat black ‘Bonneville’ with a hand-painted look (Skratch) or the black and orange ‘Freedom Machine’ (Sands) for example, helped to save our café racers’ old school credibility from being debased by alienhead-shaped brain armour. Available from bellhelmets.com


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LEVI’S OLIVER PYWELL ®

Levi’s® has since its inception in 1865 embraced the spirit of rebellion and independent thinking. Associated with greasers, mods and rockers from the 1950s onwards, it is still a brand driven by limit-pushing subcultures – recently noticeable, for example, in the Levi’s® Commuter Series and Skateboarding Collection. It thus seemed natural for Cult of Self to team up with the ‘cult experts’ to bring you a visual dialogue around skateboarding, café racers, fixies and tattoos. In this interview Oliver Pywell, Levi’s® South Africa’s Buying and Merchandising Director, tells us how – as a tattooed creative who never accepts the status quo – the innovative brand has been the perfect match for his limitpushing sense of self.

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‘HOW FAR CAN TOO FAR GO?’


On Levi’s® and getting involved: From the beginning, Levi’s® has tried to do things differently. All the big projects they’ve worked on have been – almost anti-establishment – or anti the norm at least. I think that’s what kind of hit home for me. I don’t rebel against things just for the sake of doing it, there has to be a purpose. I won’t go with the status quo, don’t give me the normal 9-5, give me a scenario where I can work on my own time, to my own deadlines and take ownership of things – that’s one thing that Levi’s® really gave me.

On the early Durban days: I think it probably all started growing up in Durban – it was a fucking shithole to be honest. At that time, in the late ’70s into the ’80s, Durban was part of the old South Africa. It was closed off, you had nothing at your disposal and everything you did, you had to do on your own. So be it playing in bands, BMXing or being the crazy surfer kid – you went out, forged and made it happen yourself. There were no clubs. There were no things that catered for that, so everything we did was on our own. That’s where the pioneering spirit came from. Look at the amount of successful people in the creative fields in Cape Town. How many of those people come from the old Durban background? The early ’80s to late ’90s were like a melting pot for creativity because there was NOTHING going on on the surface. Everything we did was subculture – from starting clubs, to being in rock‘n’roll and punk bands to anything that we wanted to do. We went out and did it ourselves. That’s what made me who I am and got me into having an alternative point of view.


On rock ‘n’ culture:

I DON’T REBEL AGAINST THINGS JUST FOR THE SAKE OF DOING IT, THERE HAS TO BE A PURPOSE.

This was a time when there was no fucking music – every bit of music we listened to we got via friends going to London. We were listening to bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Cramps – our parents thought we were fucking Satan worshippers because it was so foreign to what everybody else knew. But we thought it was amazing! It was an opportunity to release. I remember finding old Rolling Stones or Jimi Hendrix records in my dad’s vinyl collection. I listened to Jimi Hendrix for the first time when I was an 11-year-old kid and I thought it was fucking amazing. A lot of my creative spirit has come from music culture – rock‘n’roll and anti-establishment culture. You’re never going to create change without a revolution and alternative music makes people think differently. It’s thinking bands, not punk rock’s pure rebellion screaming attitude that creates change. It was 'the thinking man’s rebellion’ that encouraged me.


Levi’s® X The Cult of Self – what are you views on this? When I read the descriptive brief and understood the direction it was taking I saw it was an opportunity to represent people with a strong attitude and ‘belief in self’. As I said earlier, everything that has been achieved is because of one’s self-belief – the drive within yourself is what gets you to where you need to go. I think that’s what I saw Cult of Self embodied – it showcases alternative culture, subculture and a different way of thinking – breaking away from the norm. I think you did it from the start with one small seed, like you said, it might not have been the big bread-winner but in this marketplace it was unique. It was new, challenging and thought-provoking.

Sub-cultures that you were/are a part of? As a kid anything with wheels just got me excited. I started at about 11 years old with BMXing. It was always about pushing oneself and I think that’s why I loved the vibe of Cult of Self. ‘How far can too far go?’ was the attitude. I was the kid who didn’t care how many times he broke his arm or dislocated his shoulder. We just wanted to ride bikes – and anything that moved just gave us freedom. Suddenly the road was ours. We used to ride up the concrete bank at the old canals in Durban. We felt like we were in LA or somewhere similar. That was escapism. If it had wheels, it got me going. We used to skateboard, I used to race BMX semi professionally and we were part of clubs. It was always about pushing oneself to be the best that one could. I also got into downhill mountain biking and I had a motocross jump bike when I was 18 – it was that thing about having wheels.


IT WAS 'THE THINKING MAN’S REBELLION’ THAT ENCOURAGED ME.

A message for our future readers? The most important thing about Cult of Self is being true to oneself and sticking to your beliefs – sticking to your guns and going for it. Don’t be afraid of the haters or people who are going to hold you back or talk you out of something. If you’ve got a passion, go for it, simple. But don’t ever hold back.


THE PRESENTDAY PENNYFARTHING CONCEPT 1865

What would have happened if the creators of the first machines categorised as bicycles had contemporary state-of-the-art equipment at hand? The penny-farthing might have turned out like the E-velocipede ‘Concept 1865’ design by BASF and DING3000. Made almost entirely out of modern lightweight material, the new-fashioned frontwheel fixie’s only birthright – apart from its shape of course – is its metal brakes, axles and motor. More importantly, it is actually road safe, has an electric drive and looks like it’s more comfortable than the same-size wheelers we ride today. Website: basf.com


CAN DAGARSLANI

MIRROR


Can Dagarslani, an Istanbul-based photographer, started taking pictures while studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Art, Istanbul. Never having studied photography, he realised while taking landscape shots of cities to study their ‘architectural plan’ that firing the shutter gives him goosebumps. Later on, he put aside his digital camera and started shooting analogue – which truly triggered his photographic inclination. With Mirror – shot on film with the use of scanned negatives – he plays with the emotional intensity that occurs when two different characters come together. His advice being ‘to let the subconscious take over’ when he shoots, the subjects are – for the most part – left alone by the camera’s gaze. Merely in the opening shot does the viewer intrude while the models stare back at the camera, but for the rest of the series it seems as though they let loose without being seen.


MINTFIXIES CUSTOMIZE YOUR BICYCLE ...online


‘We want you to be the artist and life to be your canvas,‘ is the motto of the creators of mintfixies.com – an online store that allows you to create your own customized fixie without having to go through the tedious process of actually finding the right parts. You can design it from your couch, send them the order and they’ll get their hands dirty for you. Better still, the application lets you be as detailed as selecting different colours for various parts of the bicycle, adjusting the wheel size and choosing between three handlebar options. Lack of technical skill – we’re afraid – is no longer an excuse, so let’s ‘fixiepaint’ our grey-tarred streets colourful! Available from mintfixies.com


A COMMUNITY CELEBRATING STREET CULTURE WITH INDIVIDUALITY

in partnership with


PART 1. the winners, the entries... To initiate Cult of Self, we launched #Yourcult, a streetculture-inspired photography competition. Participants were encouraged to show us what subculture they felt most closely aligned to through taking photographs related to skateboarding, café racers, fixies and tattoos. Images were submitted on our Facebook page, Twitter (@cultofselfmag) and onesmallseed.net with the hashtag #Yourcult. Although it was a tough decision, we're proud to announce that the winner of the Canon 1100D is Ntsane Thabo Monaheng. Matthew Warely, Luke Daniel, Aidan Thomas and Charlene Schnelle came close, so they will receive some gear from Levi’s®. We were pleased to receive lots of entries so – in addition to the runners-up – we have selected some of our favourites that we feel deserve to be showcased. If you'd like to see further entries, you can go to our submission gallery on cultofself.org. If your photograph isn’t featured it might be because it wasn’t relevant to the respective subcultures, so please stay inspired – we’re going to be launching a competition in every issue of Cult of Self Magazine. Turn to page 73 to find out how to win a R1000 voucher for a tattoo session with legendary old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer.


WINNER: NTSANE THABO MONAHENG ‘LINDA HLONGWAN’

Ntsane Thabo Monaheng is a 24 year-old photography enthusiast from Soweto, who loves the outdoors and taking portraits. He got interested in the art while he was at high school, so he completed a course at The Market Photo Workshop. When a friend told him about the #Yourcult competition, the perfect subject sprung to mind instantly. The person agreed to have his picture taken, and the result was a powerful image that quickly draws the viewer into the subject's realm. Website: justntsane.tumblr.com/


MATTHEW WARELY


LUKE DANIEL Luke Daniel is a Cape Townborn and bred photographer, who specialises in social documentary photography. He likes to get lost on South Africa’s dirt roads and find communities living outside of modern and civilised society. His submission is a photograph of Josh Watson taking a smoke break while getting a tattoo by Dave Chaston of Cape Electric Tattoos. Website: lukedanielphotography.com


Aidan Thomas realised that he could make a living from photography after he documented everything on his gap year in the US. He grew up with a love for hearing the shutter fire, even if there’s no film in the camera. Today he captures everything he loves – a lot of skateboarding and fashion. ‘Noseblunt’ is a shot of his friend Luc Veermeer, who was sliding off a railing when he hit the shutter-release button – luckily for real – on his D7000 with a 18-105 mm lens.

AIDAN THOMAS ‘NOSEBLUNT’


CHARLENE SCHNELLE ‘MASTER AND SERVANT’

Charlene Schnelle is an interior designer, who has been fascinated with photography since she witnessed her dad develop photographs in his darkroom. Not owning a camera herself, she ends up being in front of the camera more than behind it. When she saw an opportunity to present her cult – her ink, her cat Sinh and her love for architecture – she set up the scene and got her photographer friend Alright Dave to shoot it for her. Website: behance.net/caschnelle


DANIEL MAGIDI


BRUCE GEILS


CATHRIN SCHULZ


'CHRISTOPHER STARR ' BY CAROLINE MACKINTOSH


HYLTON ARENDSE


ROSS CHARNCOCK


JONO FERREIRA


SARAH ADAMS


PATRICK RYAN


NATASHA NOVA


cultofself.org

new competition PART II


#Yourcult – Part II Win a Tattoo by Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer For our second competition, we’d like to see your ink. The best photographs of tattoos that are interesting, creative or in some way aesthetically alluring will win. A voucher worth R1000 to get tattooed at the Cape Town Tattoo Social Club by MTV Base ink master and old school tattoo specialist Milo ‘Mr. Lucky’ Marcer is up for grabs, runners-up will receive Levi’s® gear and the best shots will be featured in Issue 02 of Cult of Self Magazine. So get out there, find a tattooed friend or even take a nice selfie and give us something to look at! Guidelines: To give non-professional photographers a chance as well, we’re limiting this competition to mobile phones, smart phones and tablets – no SLRs this time! Once you’ve got the shot, you’ll be allowed to use any software or app to edit the photographs in post-production. Since we have just started this street community activation, it will be imperative for you to like our Facebook page, and if possible follow us on Twitter (@cultofselfmag), Pinterest and Instagram to increase your chances of being involved. Don’t be shy to spread the word! Deadline is the 15 January 2014. The pictures will be regularly updated on our Pinterest, Facebook page and cultofself.org. We’ll be posting some of our own inspirations on the Cult of Self Facebook page, which’ll give a good indication of what direction to follow for your own submission. IMPORTANT: Your submission/s MUST follow the brief; images must be subculture related, *specifically*: tattoos. If you don’t see your image featured in the Submission Gallery, it is more than likely because the content is not subject-relevant. Pop us a mail – cultofselfmag@gmail.com if you have any queries. Good luck!


THE BLACK WIDOW Starting off designing merchandise for bands you’ve probably never heard of, Australian designer Pat Fox has managed to, at least in his home country, mark his territory with his streetwise designs. Down under his artworks are found in music venues, record stores and magazines. We particularly like his limited edition laser cut skateboard design ‘The Black Widow’, which he created for the launch of his website appollocollective.com. There are only five of them available, so get yours now because once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. Available from apollocollective.bigcartel.com Image: Pat Fox

LASER CUT SKATEBOARD


LEVI’S ®

SKATEBOARDING COLLECTION Skateboarders define themselves. They do not conform to rules, and there is no standard uniform. However, almost anyone who has ever stepped on a skateboard has worn Levi’s® jeans. The Levi’s® brand is excited to introduce their first complete global Levi’s® Skateboarding Collection, which launched beginning of August 2013.


The Levi’s® Skateboarding Collection is a reimagined assortment of timeless basics that were designed and constructed to match the demands of today’s skateboarding needs. Designed, developed and tested by skateboarders, for skateboarding, each piece has a purposeful design matched with superior construction. The lifestyle collection includes denim pants, non-denim pants, shirts and outerwear. Featuring timeless design and meticulous craftsmanship, Levi’s® jeans have been offering classic American style for more than 140 years – and Levi’s® Skateboarding Collection is the latest in Levi’s product innovation. Focusing on performance details that offer skateboarders of any level greater comfort through mobility, breathability, strength & protection, the Levi’s® Skateboarding Collection is intended to withstand the harsh punishment skateboarders endure.


CAPE TOWN SUPERMOTO


‘YOU DO IT FOR THE THRILL’

One sweltering Sunday morning, Cult of Self hung out with the guys of Cape Town Supermoto – a group of supermotard enthusiasts. Content with the spectator role and not having to sweat into full-body leather suits while on a steaming engine, we were treated to stunts you’d normally pay to see. No matter how heated the

situation, the tension that arises when a supermotard ‘wheels’ down the fiery tar is part of the rider’s thrill – the muse of most biking activity. Wherefore we asked Juan Oelofse – a member of the adrenalin pack – what attracted him to supermotards, whether the police troubles him and how close he goes to ‘the edge’.


When did you get into supermotards? Well, ever since I was a kid I’ve always been into all kinds of alternative sports – I wasn’t the usual rugby and soccer kind of guy I guess. When I was about eight or nine years old I started liking motocross. I really liked the sound and – as weird as it may sound – the smell of the bikes racing. I didn’t get the chance to take it up as a sport though so I eventually moved onto the next best thing for me... BMX. I raced BMX on a provincial level for a few years and that eventually faded into freestyle BMXing and a bit of mountain biking and so on… My first form of transport in high school was a motorbike and my first bike was a little 250cc motard. I chose a motard because I thought it looked sick! It reminded me of a motocross because that’s pretty much what a motard is... a motocross bike with road wheels and tires, and a slightly different suspension set up for better handling on the road. To put it simply: super versatile bikes… buzzing around from place to place having a blast.

I CHOSE A MOTARD BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT LOOKED SICK!


Would you say that the police target motorcyclists more than other road users? I guess so... I think most people who don’t ride a bike might look at bikers in a different light. It also depends on how you ride your bike. Us guys on motards generally cause a bit of eyeballing when we’re I shredding around town on our back wheels and smoking up the tires at a red light and so on… Risks do get taken but they are generally calculated and controlled risks. There have been a couple of instances in the group where 'the pigs’ have tried their luck, but most of the time we end up getting away.

T’S JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS, YOU DO IT FOR THE THRILL.

‘The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.’ - Hunter S. Thompson. What do you think of this quote? How close to the edge do you go? I do agree with that statement 100 percent! I’ve for sure learnt that it’s true from BMXing… I’ve heard scary stories but I’ve been fortunate enough to not have been involved in a serious accident on my motorbike. Although I have been very close to the point where I may just have left a little brown mark on my seat but made it out by fractions… I do know of a couple of people who have not been so lucky... but it’s just one of those things, you do it for the thrill.


How often do you replace your tires/modify your bike? It depends on the amount of burnouts we do and how often the bikes get ridden. I don’t ride my bike every day – mostly only weekends – and I’ll change tires twice maybe three times in a year. Like I said, it comes down to how often you ride, what tires you're riding and how hard you ride those tires. I don’t modify my bike often at all, maybe a new sticker or two and a new ‘shiny’ bit here and there but besides the regular service intervals nothing mechanical. There are loads of modifications that can be done, it just comes down to personal preference and how big your wallet is.


What’s more important? Rider skill or machine performance? A bit of both but it definitely comes down to the skill and experience of the rider more than the performance of the bike. A guy with a lot of skill can climb onto any bike and make it look crazy. It’s all about how comfortable you are on your bike. Shout out to the crew, you guys know who you are!

Photography by Chelsea Patterson


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Profile for CULT OF SELF - MAGAZINE

CULT OF SELF #1  

A community celebrating street culture with individuality. Cult of Self is a celebration of individuality and authenticity. Focussing on va...

CULT OF SELF #1  

A community celebrating street culture with individuality. Cult of Self is a celebration of individuality and authenticity. Focussing on va...

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