Tom: The days of doing 100+ days a year of bike shop shows with GT was a great time and I wouldn't take it back for anything, but I don't have any desire to do it again.
You've been entering vert comps, what made you decide to ride more vert?
Tom: I moved to Orlando in 2005 and There's a vert ramp ten minutes from my house that I can ride whenever I want. It's indoors and in the air conditioning. Florida is very hot- you can't ride outdoors during the day half the year, so I ended up riding a lot of vert with Rob Nolli and Dave Brumlow. Slowly I got better and it seemed logical to enter vert comps, too.
Is it hard getting good on vert?
Tom: Yes- it's a lot work and it's frightening. It took me so long to get comfortable with a vert pump- I still get scared sometimes, even on basic tricks.
What do you believe could be done to get more people into riding vert?
Tom: Smaller ramps for kids to start out on- a 14 foot tall ramp is very intimidating for young kids. I know woodward has a smaller vert ramp for the campers. Hopefully that will spark more interest.
Did you start off riding flatland?
Tom: From ages 10-16 I was strictly a flatlander. I was actually sponsored by Standard when I was 15 as a flatlander. I still ride it all the time when i'm healthy. It's a nice break from the fast pace of riding park and vert. I imagine I'll always ride flatland.
When did you start?
Tom: 1987 is when I started riding- mowed lawns all summer to buy a Diamond Back Hot Streak. It was lime green, had mags- the whole package.
With riding street, mini, flat and vert, do you think one discipline helps the other?
Tom: I think riding more disciplines helps with overall bike control, but being able to do a triple decade certainly isn't going to help your vert pump. Some tricks cross over- pinky squeaks are similar to tailwhip nosepicks for me.
If you would line up on a BMX starting gate with the following people, how would you do?
1. Dale Holmes
2. Koji Kraft
3. Sean Eggleston
4. Simon tabron
5. Rob Nolli
6. Mike Mancuso
7. Trevor Meyer
Tom: Dale Holmes would definitely be miles ahead of anyone on that list. Koji would be drinking chocolate milk and eating little debbies on the gate so count him out. Trevor would be too busy thinking of a complicated flatland link to be in the running. Nolli would ditch the race to do burn outs in the parking lot in his Monte Carlo. Mancuso would be discussing the purse and thus lose focus. So it's between myself, Tabron and Eggleston for second.
Have you raced BMX much?
Tom: Never been in an organized race. But have gone to tracks and pedaled around- I know how much work it takes to ride tracks. It is exhausting.
You've been out with an injury lately, how's that going?
Tom: Better now. The first 6 weeks I was told not to walk. Now I can walk and ride- though just for exercise. Though the bones are now healed, my ligament isn't all the way there, and if I do any actual riding and fall, the screws in my ankle would break and i'd have to start the healing process over again.
What did you do to kill time?
Tom: Before I could put weight on it, I caught up on my sleep, tv, and internet time. Now that I can walk and do distance riding, I work out all day to regain strength and ride my KHS Flite 300 road bike a couple hours a day.
When can we see you on the ramp again?
Tom: The screws come out in early December and then I'm back on the horse.
Any special plans for 2007?
Tom: Just continue hitting all the Dew Tour events, doing all the demos I have time for- hopefully be in Europe again for the LG tour. My year is about 6 months of travel for contests and demos and I plan on keeping that going.
Thanks you's: Free Agent for all their support and understanding with my injury, Snafu and UGP for all their help, as well as EVS and Osiris.