: “The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something.
You learn a lot about people when you travel in an RV with them. This was the case this past spring on the Rad Times Tour; it was the first time I had hung around with Wink for any extended period of time. He’s the kind of dude that you want on a trip like that, equally excited to get to the final destination as he is exploring the unknown on the way down. He’s definitely quiet, and it might be cliché to say, but he lets his riding do the talking. Wink’s quietly established himself as one of the most stylish riders in mountain biking, the fact is; contests seem to go a long way into determining ones reputation on the bike, but he’s managed to do this without the exposure that a big slope-style result brings.
Wink just relocated to North Vancouver from his hometown of Victoria; Ross Measures caught up with him in the basement suite that he shares with Reece Wallace. You grew up in Victoria, but you just recently moved to North Vancouver, why the change?
I didn’t really have much going on for me in Vic, just doing the same old stuff, you get stuck in a rut in Vic, and Reece (Wallace) moved down here. I have always wanted to come check out the scene on the Shore. I just love this city man; East Van, the shore, and a bunch of the homies live on Lonsdale. It’s a good scene over here, super hyped. A ton of your energy is focused primarily on producing video clips; you totally throw yourself into it, what goes into making a classic video segment?
Time. Effort. So many people these days are like “I gotta film an edit real quick,” and they’ll go to their dirt jump park, and bang it out in three days, you know? Yeah that’s dope if you can just get after it in a short amount of time, but I don’t know, Garrett (Reynolds) said something along the lines that filming’s tight because you can film stuff that is ahead of your riding (ability), stuff that you're not going to be able to do every time, like in a contest. There’s a handful of stuff in this video that I couldn’t do if you asked me to do it, you know? I like filming a lot more, just cause you can chip away at something, like a project as a whole, and have a goal at the end of it. People get it twisted, and just rush through it, they think oh, It’s just a web video, whatever. How long did it take to put this video together?
We started shooting while we were on the BR trip. So April.
So yeah, Seven months I guess. I tried to approach it like an actual video section. When people film for a skate movie, or a BMX movie, they take like a year or more. I wanted something to commit to, to work towards. What’s the hardest thing that you had to wrap your head around while working on it? Not the hardest trick per se, but the hardest thing mentally, or the trick you wanted the most?
I don’t know really, but I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get at certain spots, and I wanted to focus on not doing a lot of the same tricks. I didn’t want to repeat any tricks. I don’t know what the hardest thing would be, probably like, the first 3-whip at Bridge, that was the first one I had done in awhile, and it went really well. The switch truck was super scary, I hadn’t done one on dirt or mulch up until that point, definitely scary.Reece Wallace
Yeah, that wasn’t so much scary or hard, it took me like thirty tries to do that line; down-whip to 450-bar, I kept blowing it on the down-whip, or not getting the right spin on the 450, but it was worth it. Style is obviously a very important part of the way you ride, where do you draw from?
Um, If I could probably pinpoint it to one thing, it’d be the 2009 Post Office Jam, watching R-Dog ride, that was when I started getting back into riding, and I was just like Yo! That is sick! He’s just a prime example of someone that looks good riding a bike, you know? I was like oh shit, like, I want to be able to cruise through jumps and not do tricks and have people be like Yo! That looks like fun.
But, I don’t know, as far as inspiration for style and whatnot, I try not to mimic too much stuff like mountain bike videos. It’s kinda weird cause I run a mountain bike website, but I don’t watch a whole lot of mountain bike videos, mainly skateboarding. I watch a lot of skateboarding and try to draw stuff from it; it’s the sickest shit. I don’t know, I guess the people I ride with a lot influence me. Are you doing what you do, for yourself, or do you have aspirations to have a spot in the industry?
Well, I don’t know, it’d be a dream to get paid to ride your bike, but it’s a pipe dream dude, I’m not really one of those dudes, a gnarly contest rider who can go show up at a contest and... Be a robot?
Well, not even, but realistically, like where am I gonna practice to be able to podium at several events, to get to where companies will be like this kid deserves to get paid, you know? A friend of mine, a skateboarder, said something, that applies to where I am at; I’m not trying to go anywhere with Mountain Biking, but I’m trying to go somewhere on my Mountain bike. I’ve met so many cool people, just riding my bike, so many friends; I don’t care where I end up with it. I’ll probably end up working some shitty jobs for the rest of my life, but I’m totally ok with that. Rich in experience then?
Yeah, I mean shit, I definitely take it seriously and I work really hard, I try and be the best that I can be, but I’m trying to be realistic here. Dude the shit that people can do these days is so f*cked, I’m just trying to be real with myself, and I just want to be the best that I can be, to be the best for the companies that support me. At the end of the day you got to look at yourself in the mirror and be, is this going to happen bro? Cause there is a very high chance it won’t. Who does support you?
Ian and Julian at Chromag, they’ve supported me since Reece (Wallace) got me hooked up with them, they have been nothing but amazing, it’s just really – really – really rad, riding for a company where you get to deal with the owner, everyone there is rad. It’s not some rep, or team manager from some huge corporate company, that you have never even met face to face, you know? It’s real. There’s no bullshit with those dudes. I can’t thank those guys enough for all the things they’ve done for me over the years.
Obviously Oak Bay Bikes, they hooked me up since I was 12, ever since square one, even when I quit riding and then came back they were just still down with me. Past that, obviously you over at Bicycle Rockers.. Ha ha, yes, paying you in T-Shirts.
Ha ha, yes, paid in T-Shirts. But, Um, also Brandon (Semenuk), I mean he gave me a f*ckin’ bike dude, literally the best bike I’ve ever owned. And he just gave it to me. It’s kind of a trip, I kind of wanna just not be a shit-head when I’m on that thing, I don’t want him to be associated with some dick, some joey, frame casing jumps or something like that. I’m obligated, I’m like damn, I’ve gotta be on it at all times. You dedicated the clip to your grandma, is family a big thing for you?
Yeah definitely, I started out riding when I was 10, and I was super into other, more normal sports like baseball and basketball, and it was my older brother who actually got me into riding. I thought it was so much sicker just cruising around town with my older brother and his friends. Then it started to conflict with baseball, basketball, soccer, that kinda shit. My dad, and my grandparents did not get it all, they were so content on me being a baseball player, getting some scholarship, going to college, and I just got over it so fast. It got to the point where my dad was like “no, you can’t ride, you’ll get hurt, and it’s baseball season.
The whole family thing, they’ve done a complete 180 over the last few years, and before my grandma passed, they saw the first Chromag clip that I did, and they changed their tune, they became proud of me. It was really cool to see them come full 180 and be supportive of what I do. It was hard to try and pursue something that you love without the support from the people you really care about. It might be why I stopped riding for 4 years. Everyone kind of wanted me to stop, so I was like f*ck it. What drew you back to riding?
I was lying in bed every other night, thinking about quitting whatever I was doing and moving to Whistler for the summer to just kill it. You know what I’m saying? I had no outlet, no way of expressing myself, I got into trouble, did a bunch of bad shit that I didn’t need to get myself into. I needed another outlet, some way of sticking out; it just drew me back to riding. And it was f*cked, as soon as I started riding, I got so over all the other stuff I was doing, I didn’t need it at all, I started dressing differently, acting differently, hanging out with all the people I actually wanted to hang out with, and I stopped hanging around with the people I always got into shit with. It was literally a weekend of riding and I was back to normal. Who did you grow up riding with?
Like I said, I grew up riding with my brother, and his friends, and then one homie, man, his name is Johnny V, he was two years older than me, in like grade 8, I was some Joe riding in sweat pants, a grom obviously, for whatever reason he was psyched, he was the shit. He introduced me to “Ride to the Hills
,” Jesse Roberts is the shit, and he introduced me to BR. He taught me how to J-hop manual. He was the first dude to be like “yo, your no footers are sick and all that, but you look like an idiot when you are in the air.
” I was like oh shit, I guess there is more to this than doing tricks. He would be blasting, mad pop, and just steeze one handers, and I would be like, but dude no footers are way sicker, what’s up with that? He’d be like “nah bro check this,
” and just would just steeze them, he was the shit; seriously, he put me onto where I am today. Like riding in little posses and riding street on mountain bikes, even though I think that’s pretty wack these days. I can't say enough good things about that dude, I still talk to him a fair amount, but that’s the one dude that when I was younger, really put me in the right direction at a young age.
|Thanks for taking the time to read what I've had to say. Shouts to everyone filming videos and getting after it on a regular basis. Most importantly shouts to all the kids on janky hardtails with hand-me-down parts. Everyone who's supported me or motivated me along the way it's been much appreciated. I couldn't have done it without the help from my mom for hookin' up my travel budget from time to time and my pops for feeding me and keeping me on. Jarrett, Carl, Luke, Boss all the island homies I see you. Tony and Chris at Superior Pizza located in the James Bay square 425 Simcoe. Q, veed, G, jonboy, witloc, haredog, Rupdog, Jesse, Zinger, all you fools. Rob at Cariboo, you know who you are, My bro, my grandparents, yoda's grove, haro. Tons of people I forgot, so forgive me. At the end of the day if you can look yourself in the mirror and be true to yourself that's all that matters. Do you. - Wink Grant|
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