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Sietse van BerkelFlatland Pro, Netherlands

Sietse van Berkel
How did you get your first bike? And by who?

I’ve got my first bike when I was 15 y/o. A full chromoly 20kg bike with screw on pegs which I rode during that summer. Discovered different kind of tricks and styles I want to do: which were mostly flatland based. When I turned 16 I went with my dad to Pauls Boutique BMX shop to get my first flatland specific BMX: a WTP Pony. Still thankfull for that birthday present!

Who inspired you when you first started with BMX?

Of course I wanted to have a BMX bike because it looked cool, with no specific role-model. I noticed this www.eengoedidee.nl video-archive (pre- youtube era) I found the Simon O’Brien video with the Hiltop Hoods song (timeless), and some video’s of Dutchflatland riders like Bram Verhallen, James Alberto, Sytse Winkel, which got me stuck to flatland. With my first flatland bike, I’ve got a flatland video (FlatTV 4) as well. I’ve watched this video at least once a day for a year.

Where is your bike at night?

In my living room, duh.

What was your first trick?

Probably bunny hop of 2 cm which felt like 1 meter. First trick I’ve actually practiced on was a trackstand. That feeling of pulling / balancing it! Maybe that was what me got stuck to flatland.

What mindstate do you need to ride flatland?

Depends on what you want to do (freestyle riding, progression with specific tricks, getting stuff dialed) on which mindset you can start with. For me it always helped me to get in a specific mindset as well. When I have a good day and I go riding, it makes me feel good. When I have a shit day and I go riding, it makes my feel better.

What do you do when you don´t ride?

Way too much interests: I run a BMX show / workshop business as well to get more people stoked for freestyle, which take some time. As well I do some freelance consultancy for educational improvements, creating common mindset / vision / mission with groups of educational professionals. Like to do some house constructing, chilling / making music with friends, art house cinema visits, try to grow some plants, walking in my wooden shoes, etc.

What kind of bike accessories trends do you wish for BMX and Flatland?

Creating your own style and tricks. This is what me always get stoked about flatland. When I go to a jam or contest, most of the times 1 or 2 riders / styles / tricks I remember and get me stoked about. So bike accessories which help you to create this.

What equipment do I need to get started with Flatland?

BMX bike and a spot. There’s always a reason to not go out and ride. So mostly you need perseverance, discipline and of course a bit of know how is useful as well.

Why is the Motobicycles pedals so special?

For me: the griptape is so much more shin / leg friendly compared to ‘normal’ pedals. As well it’s possible to do some specific pedal tricks because they are flat, grippy, don’t keep rotating and you can pivot on them. For me it helped me with some tricks.

Any word that comes to your mind with moto pedals?

Action speaks louder than words.

What kind of pedals did you used to ride and was there anything that annoyed you?

Of course ripped shins when I was riding in short pants. But you will get used to that after a while. Kind of: you adapt the bike to your riding or you will adapt your riding to the bike needs. But I realized this after starting using Moto pedals. This feeling of ‘why didn’t I use this before?’ (for grip, shins, rotating, pivoting)

Sietse-van-Berkel-Moto-Bicycles-Athlete

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