Patrick Butler, the young gun race from Sydney, Australia is a rider with a great future in the sport. This year, I have been capturing his antics for a video series called 'The Butterfly Saga' with a view to introducing Matt to a larger audience and to showcase his abilities. Looking onto next year Pat is aiming for big things in the sport with the hope to make it onto the world stage...
Bikes are my escape and enjoyment in this world. There is so much pointless crap going on like violence and terrorism, and for no reason... I like to ride my bike to keep away from those things and have a good time. Bikes have been with me for my whole life now and I couldn't imagine it any other way as it's been engraved into my lifestyle as something that is necessary to enjoy myself. I haven't travelled the world... yet, but that is the plan as I grow up and grow through the ranks of racing. I want to race on the world stage and push my hardest to achieve whatever is possible while having a great time with good people in amazing places. - Patrick Butler
Who are you? My name is Patrick Butler, I'm 15-years of age and I live in Newcastle, Australia. I live just around the corner from one of Australia's best downhill track, Awaba and next year it is finally returning to the National Series, and I couldn't be happier!
How long have you been racing bikes? I've been racing downhill for a total of four years now. I started out racing BMX when I was seven years old and it progressed from there. BMX helped me to learn the vital skills that then sent me into a short but sweet stint of cross country to get the basics of offroad riding and not long after that I progressed onto the big bikes and the gnarly terrain of downhill racing.
Why do you ride? That's simple... I ride my bike because it's just what I enjoy doing. I've been riding for as long a I can remember, and it's what makes me happy. I love how bikes have been able to take me all around the country and to the places that not everyone else gets to see, just as much as I love the competitive aspect. These things with two wheels are what I truly enjoy doing with my time!
What influenced you to start riding? My Dad. Without him I would not be anywhere near where I am today. He was quite a good rider himself back in his day and he influenced me to start riding all kinds of bikes. When I was one year's old, he made me a tricycle and says that it was my absolute favourite thing ever... I was never without it. When I eventually outgrow that he got me a 12 inch at the age of three and I have just gotten bigger and better bikes since then.
What have you achieved through riding? Achievements aren't all about winning. I struggle with the flatter more pedally tracks but I balance that out by smashing it when the terrain gets steeper and more technical. I have achieved a lot though my riding, but a highlight would have to be this past season... I took out the National Series Overall and backed up my Under 17 National Championship for the second year running.
Here a few of Pat's achievements:
2016 U17 Downhill National Champion 2015/16 U17 Downhill National Series Overall winner 2015 U17 Downhill National Champion 2015 Cannonball Festival - Downhill U17 winner - Flow - 2nd U17 - Pumptrack U17 winner
- Whip Off winner 2015 Thredbo Downhill State Round - 1st (chainless) 2015 Downhill State Champion 2015 Downhill State Series Overall winner 2015 East Coast Titles - Downhill winner (chainless) - Whip Off winner
What problems have you faced in your racing career and how did you overcome them? For me, I am quite lucky. I haven't really faced any problems so far and I hope that I don't have to in the future. I've had a pretty good career so far...
Who do you ride for? I'm am currently riding for the Lusty/Maxxis/MTB Team headed by Lusty Industries who distribute Santa Cruz Bicycles, Troy Lee Designs, Five Ten, ODI, Maxxis, Yakima, Gamut, OGIO, Crankbrothers, and Maxima Racing Oils.
What's your best memory from riding bikes? My most exciting memory is fairly recent... It was in late March at the 2016 Australian National Championships where I crossed the finish line in my race run. Having taken out seeding by seventeen seconds, it gave me a little bit of room to breathe and I managed to take off another 11-seconds. There's no doubt that it is my best memory because after having taken out the series overall a few weeks prior, I was so happy to win Champs aswell, especially as it was my second consecutive year. It was the best feeling ever!
Who do you look up to? Stevie Smith and Ratboy are my biggest inspirations because they are the loosest and some of the best riders in the world. Ratboy is one of the best people around, just having the time of his life, enjoying himself, having a good time and always making you laugh. I look up to Stevie because he was one of the kindest riders on the circuit - he was never out to make others lose, he just wanted to do his best and succeed with others. He never let the fame and achievements get to his head and he was still such a down to earth person that was happy to talk to anyone in the pits. That's what I hope to be like! #LongLiveChainsaw!
What are your goals for the future? I never want to lose, but competition is simply that, you can never always be number one all of the time but I would love to change that. My goal is to become a World Champion one day soon... It's the ultimate dream!
Sponsors: Lusty Industries, Maxxis Tires, Troy Lee Designs, Santa Cruz Bicycles, RockShox, Crankbrothers, Sram, ODI, Maxima Racing Oils, Five Ten, ODI, Yakima, Gamut, and OGIO. Instagram:@paddibutler@mattstaggsvisuals