As you may already know, the latest issue of Ride is the interview issue, and as promised in the Eli Platt interview, here is what we ran out of space to print.

So you’re going to college and living with a few roommates, including Ian Schwartz and Steven Hamilton, what is that like?
Unfortunately, as of just recently that is no longer the living situation. Steven left a few months ago to travel all over the place, which is awesome for him. It’s good to see him enjoying what BMX has given him. And Ian just moved out at the beginning of the month. But while it lasted, which was nearly two years, it was definitely cool living with those two guys. Right now it’s my roommates Pete, Jimmy, Darth Vader, and myself holding down the fort on Maynard Street.

How is your relationship with those guys and how often do you ride together?
I consider both of those guys good friends, and I hope they consider me to be the same. As far as riding goes, Steven and I would cruise around every so often, but Ian and I rode and still ride together quite a bit. It’s pretty cool, because despite the fact that we all have fairly different styles, since we were constantly riding the same spots together we still influenced each other. I won’t presume that I have impacted them in any way because I definitely think, (just as I’m sure everyone else that has ever seen them ride does), that those two guys are creating their own path from the ground up, but I can say that I constantly benefit from riding with them.

Tiny dirt lip-to-super tall disaster only a few blocks away from the Maynard house.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

Prior to your sponsored ride, your bike looked like a collection of hand me down parts, which is the exact opposite of most bike shop employees. Do you care about having a dialed bike or the latest parts?
I did the whole perfect bike thing for a while, but I am definitely over it. For one thing, I like a broken-in bike, but more importantly I cannot stand spending money on stuff I don’t absolutely need. I don’t really like to work because it’s really just hours of my time at a place I don’t want to be, so it only makes sense that I don’t spend money on stuff I can do without. This results in threads showing through the tires, grips falling off, and some hand me down parts (thanks Ian), but that doesn’t bother me at all if I can spend even just one less hour at work. Fortunately, thanks to the help of those who support me, my bike is looking a bit better. As for having the latest parts and stuff, I care only to a certain extent. I suppose that just like everyone else that has ever ridden, I want something light and strong. Thankfully, that is exactly what I have now and I am pumped about it.

Don’t you work in a bike shop with Ian, too? How can you guys stand living, working, and riding together?
Due to my school schedule, we actually work together very little. In fact, we don’t see each other as much as you might expect two people who share so much of our daily routines in common places. But even if we did I can confidently say there wouldn’t be any problem-we get along fine for sure.

You’re studying Philosophy in college, what made you choose that as your major?
I was raised as a Christian and went to a Christian school up through 8th grade. Going to a public high school was like walking outside for the first time; I was exposed to so many new ideas and finally realizing them made me seriously question any certainty I had placed in my existing beliefs. So my interest in philosophy began as a teenage-angst-driven effort to refute religion. I slowly realized the futility of my project, but by that timee I had read enough and I had been exposed to much more than just the religious philosophy I began with, so I was hooked.

Curved ledge manual in Atlanta, Georgia.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

What’s the job market like in the Philosophy field?
It’s not exactly bursting with opportunity. If you want to do philosophy for a living, you pretty much have to teach it. Although, that doesn’t bother me, because I would really like to do just that. The only problem is that to do so requires a ton of hard work. I don’t doubt my ability to handle the workload, I only doubt my ability do such work well at the highest level. Academic success was something unknown to me until reaching college, so I’m still not so confident in my intellectual capabilities. Success in philosophy is an all or nothing affair, or so it seems to me right now, and that can be scary at times. But then I think about the real world, where most people have jobs that make them absolutely miserable, and I realize that is even worse. So there is nothing to do but go for everything.

You’ve made it quite clear that you’re the man on street, but do you dabble with ramps or trails?
Yeah, I actually ride ramps quite a bit. During the winter they’re usually the only thing I will really ride for a few months. I also ride Dodge Park all the time, which is an old, snake-run style park from the seventies (I believe). For a period of something like two years straight I would seriously ride there five or six days a week, many times more than once a day. I love it. Parks like that, with character, are so much fun. As for trails, there has never really been too big of a trail scene in Columbus. One of my roommates, Jimmy, is the man at trails, and whenever we go on trips we always try to hit some up. So I get to ride some good ones occasionally that way. I certainly enjoy them; the vibe at trails is a good one.