The latest Federal Bikes video has hit the web and it is not to be missed. Scroll to the bottom of this interview to watch the video.
Featuring 3 x of their well known pros as well as a couple amateurs, the boys took a week ‘off’ in-between milestone European events to bask in the historic brilliance of Brussels. Shot and cut by distinguished videographer Rich Forne, the project is laced with the highest quality riding, incredible spots and enmeshed with the luster of a genuine team atmosphere.
One of the aforementioned riders is LUXBMXs own, Boyd Hilder. After big-time blowing out a knee, handling COVID travel restrictions and managing multiple BMX related obligations, Boyd is having one of the best years of his riding life. Taking the international BMX community to ransom with his signature ability of harnessing the most difficult line, the most formidable spot, the most intense moment and applying a serene sense of effortlessness. Boyd will do nothing less than instill a memorable impression upon those lucky enough to observe his grace of presence.
After watching the Federal x Brussels video on repeat, my jaw scraping the floor each time, I wanted to emphasise this particular project in that it warrants the recognition. To do this task justice, as well as offer an interesting ‘behind-the-scenes’ perspective, I took to the video with a fine-toothed comb and sought comments and thoughts from Boyd himself. Let us delay the forthcoming delights of a combined visual and literary smorgasbord no longer. Like the diamonds rich within the metropolis of Antwerp, let the polish and toughness of the Federal Bikes crew lure you to a state of astonished immobility.
Passer la nuit à l’amigo
M: I understand the week long trip was arranged in between Simple Session in Estonia and the Street Station jam in Lyon. I’ve been on plenty of trips before and coming back with 20 minutes of A+ footage is not an easy task. Difficulties also arise in avoiding injuries and overwhelm on the bike. Given that you dominated the video with a fine selection of deranged clips, I was wondering if you wanted to comment on how you maintain physical fitness as well as the levels of motivation required to go so hard for so long, while travelling all around the world?
(Brussels was the start of the trip! Followed by Simple Session then Lyon filming trip and Street Station following that).
B: This was the first trip since the rona so I was so pumped to see the boys and hit some fresh spots again. I feel like that energy was the same for everyone there, the motivation came along easy with all of us just buzzing to be there. As for the fitness side of things I had to learn how to train and rebuild muscle from my knee injury in 2020. I carried on training from then and it’s just been a must ever since. Leading into a trip I try to ride as much as I can but also get in a few gym sessions because once I’m on the road I know I won’t be haha. Whilst on the trip I just maintain with some stretches and maybe the odd set of push ups if I didn’t have too many beers the night before.
M: The crew was largely packed with heavy hitters, however there were a couple dudes with less notoriety, one being your fellow Australian Jacman Hinns. The dude goes hard and similarly to yourself, the video was peppered with heavy clips pulled with seeming deftness. Talk to me about the rise of Jacman and what it was like having a bud on this trip?
B: It’s unreal having Hinsy on the team, we’ve been mates for years and done many trips together but this was one of the best for sure. Flying out from Sydney together and basically not leaving each other’s side for the following 5 weeks sounds like a lot but he’s so easy going it was a breeze, I was probably the annoying one. Riding wise it was good for us both because we know each other’s riding so well, we can bounce clips and trick ideas off each other. As well as the banter, being super comfortable with someone you can push each other into bigger scarier stuff and it’s not weird. That makes sense right? Haha.
M: For those geographically challenged, Brussels is the capital of Belgium and sits roughly 300km to the north east of Paris. The video unveiled a reel of amazing spots, not unexpected of a large European city. Typically on trips like this, there is always a local host to guide the dudes to the best spots, best bars and generally act as tour guide. How did you guys manoeuvre through Brussels and what was it like basking in the culture of Belgium?
B: Stijn! The local mahd rider was the guy showing us everything he knew. The dude is super fit and would lead the charge, pedal the city everyday, usually riding a minimal 30km a day up and down the hills. Was rad having him around as he has a similar riding style to myself. He would always pedal over to me and and say “dude you’re gonna love the next spot it’s right up your alley” those little words get you fired up on the pedal there.
Another crazy thing was we would show up to a set up and we would ask Stijn “what’s been done here?” 90% of the time he had already done the wildest move that no one wanted to touch haha. For example the escalator spot we pulled up to it and he mentions “I’ve done the tailwhip drop in but everything else is open to do”.
M: Further to the above, there is a section of the video at approximately 12 minutes where you boys are riding an amazing looking street quarter, which almost appears to be part of a construction site. What was it like getting to ride that spot in particular and moreso, can you describe what the spots were like in Brussels and how hard they were to find and ride?
B: That quarter vert wall was epic but hard to blast, once it hit vert there is a step outwards. Made it cool in its own way but over all that spot would most likely be gone by now, right place right time for that one.
M: There is a security fiasco at roughly 6 minutes, I assume due to Stijn wall 180ing and somewhat warping the building facade. The hostilities appear to ramp up later in the scene with Lacey taking offense to the main guy. Can you describe your experience on the day as well as comment on what the security situation was like more broadly on the trip? Other than this scene, it looked like you boys had a pretty stress free time.
B: We had such a good run at that spot, been there 2 days in a row to warm up and never had a problem. Honestly no one seemed to care about us riding there until Rich filmed the seccy walk past. Once he noticed him filming he started getting fired up asking to delete the clip and it attracted a bunch of other workers/security. Was just a bunch of yelling and bullshit, Lacey just had enough and told them all off. Other than that we got moved on from spots here and there.
M: Beyond the riding and cityscape footage, what garners my interest in watching trip videos is feeling a sense of connection to the crew, you know, surveying the camaraderie and mateship. With the Federal crew, how do you guys all get along and what was it like on this particular trip? You get a sense that things were kept lighthearted through the personality of Joe Jarvis and perhaps even the keenness of Jacman.
B: I was hyped how the video turned out in the end. Rich did so well with the editing, kinda raw but still layered out to tell a bit of a story. All the crew gets along but at the same time everyone butts heads haha always constant banter I think it shows in the video, heaps of attitude.
M: My god, the pump track gap at 9 minutes 30. I love how Rich included the run-in which works to keep you engaged knowing that something is about to happen and then out of nowhere, you launch to the sky and perfectly navigate a landing. Talk me through this spot and how that clip came about?
B: That was at the end of a day out and we hit one last area before calling it. Ended up being a few spots and across the street was the pump track. Stijn sent me in there and I started cutting laps, after a couple laps I noticed the berm to berm gap. The way it all lined up I had to go super fast and go over the start of the wall and catch the middle where it was mellower. Scary, but it was the only way to do it. I don’t think any of the crew actually knew where I was gonna land so once I landed it they all lit up! The reaction is too good.
M: Similarly, the travelator spot and the bar in to 360 off at 14 minutes 53. So, so wild. In the video timeline at least, Stijn almost dies jumping into the thing then you casually handle business, although your face after successfully riding away from the 360 suggests otherwise. Please tell me that was scary for you? Furthermore, what motivates you to send big, difficult moves like this? For me, being on a trip like this (i.e. killer crew, media lords and a new city to explore) would have provided the extra mojo to push the envelope.
B: Man I was going up and in the easier way, Stijn is so wild for going fast and gapping into the bank. As for the sending it business, I think it’s a mix of the crew, filming and the epic spots. Big one off transition type spots get me the most excited and when all 3 of them line up I can’t help myself haha.