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Yeah, it’s crazy to think this is something that actually happens, if you know what I mean? Like, getting this trip paid for, Ian giving me money so I can come to this amazing country, just to do some smith hardways. I think ‘I do this stuff back in Hull, why would someone want to pay for me to come here to do it?’ It’s because you’re good Sandy! I think, ‘why me?’ I hope this is it now, I hope I have a good few years on my bike now. What happened when you were young, you didn’t finish school? It was all right for me, but I was a pain in the arse for my parents. I didn’t know until I got a bit older, but we always had truancy officers coming round the house, people from the education board. My dad told me later that they got in loads of shit over it, because they couldn’t see there was anything physically wrong with me, they’d get court summons and stuff like that. How old were you? This is way back in primary school. I had a year off for year five I think, but I got dragged back in for year six basically. A truancy officer came round and went ‘Do you like guinea pigs Tom, I’ve got some in my car, want to have a look?’ That classic one. That sounds a bit fucking weird Tom… Yeah, it was. I get in this car, look in this basket with books in and the next thing I know the doors being shut and I’m been driven to school. Some guinea pigs and being bundled into a car! That’d scare any kid. I know. I remember really clearly being dragged by my collar into the classroom and dumped in a chair. Everyone in the class just stared at me when I came in. I wasn’t in school uniform or anything like that. I stood out like a sore thumb… I was a right wreck as a kid. I wouldn’t leave my house at times, I had to have beta blockers, really strong drugs. They made you feel pissed, but you’re not. So at least I could leave the house, but you’d feel fucked. I went to school for six months in year seven and then got taken out. I was having panic attacks, not physically, it was all in my head, but it would make me ill. I got IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] because of it. I couldn’t leave the house because I always felt horrible, really ill. I had anxiety basically… Nath: The years after that, when you first started riding with us, you could only ride the local spots. Oh yeah, I wouldn’t get in a car or owt like that. What age were you then? 16, 17 maybe… When I started hanging out with the Sheffield lot, going on trips with them, that’s when I started to forget about it and get better. Riding cured you? Sounds a bit clichéd if you know what I mean, but it sounds like it was. Yeah, I reckon it was. Before that I’d have child psychologists coming round the house, I got hypnotized

as a kid. I’d go in a room and there’d be a mirrored wall with a camera behind it filming me. In the background to all this my parents were tearing their hair out. It was all in my head, a psychological problem, then something just switched. As soon as I got a bit more independence and wasn’t being forced into a classroom it clicked. For example, when I was younger I tried to play rugby for a bit and I hated that, but with riding I always loved it. I could set my own goals and even though I couldn’t travel into town, I could happily ride a carpark for hours on end. I think that was it, being able to take it at my own pace and focus on that. Does it ever come back? Not on a trip or anything like that. Sometimes, but it’s got to be proper bad. Never really… Nath: And with you, if something in your head is an issue, it can become a massive issue really easily. It would get to the point where I wouldn’t be able to function, until I’d worked out the problem in my head… That only lasted for about five years or something…

I DID MY KNEE AND I STARTED SEEING THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. IT REALLY KNOCKS YOUR CONFIDENCE

We’ve all been sat quietly listening to Tom, but when Tom says “five years,” it breaks the serious mood. Nath sarcastically says, “Only five years…” Everyone laughs, Coxie adds, “Just a casual five years.” I point out to Tom, somewhat obviously, “You’ve had it rough haven’t you?!” But look at me now, high and mighty! [laughs]. Everyone has rough patches don’t they? I just went through mine early, some kids have a smooth, nice childhood and break down when they’re 20, 30, 40 or whatever. Look at Carl Wood and The Don, they’re going through it now aren’t they? [laughs]. It’s like what you were saying earlier Benson, when you went ‘There’s a few fucking characters in your scene Sandy, you seem pretty normal.’ I was thinking ‘I wasn’t normal as a child Benson.’ [laughs] Carl’s who you started

riding with isn’t it? Yeah, he started riding a year before me. I got into mountain bikes as where we grew up is a village surrounded by loads of woodland. I kept breaking my mountain bike so I got a BMX. Nath: Carl used to have Tourette’s. James: Are you sure he didn’t just swear a lot? Nath: He’d be going mental at his mum, going ‘FUCK OFF, FUCK OFF’ and she’d be saying ‘I’m taking your bike off you’ and he’d be shouting ‘NO YOU’RE FUCKING NOT! FUCK FUCK FUCK DAD TELL HER TO PISS OFF’ Then Mrs Wood would come to the door and go ‘sorry Tom, Carl’s not playing out today.’ [laughs] James: That sounds nothing like Tourette’s! Nath: He couldn’t control his swearing for a while. Honestly. Oh Tom, remember when he asked for an Animal bag for Christmas and he got an ‘Animal’ bag, 75

The Albion Issue 6  

The Albion BMX Magazine Issue 6 Original release date February 1st 2012

The Albion Issue 6  

The Albion BMX Magazine Issue 6 Original release date February 1st 2012

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