Photo: Berta Sanchez
While on a break from an even worse than usual UK winter in the Barcelona sunshine I met Joan during an evening session at La Poma. Like the other locals he was super friendly and clearly having a great time pushing himself, but he stood out in the way he rode. Joan wasn’t just doing tricks, he was doing them with style and pulling some of the most dumped threes I’ve seen in person. When he messaged me, stoked on his new Welcome to Leaf cycles edit, it only seemed right to mark the occasion with this getabmx interview you’re about to enjoy.
Living in: Riells i Viabrea - a little and beautiful village in Catalonia (Near Barcelona)
Years riding: Five years dirt jumping, but I’ve ridden DH, XC and BMX before that.
Sponsors: LeafCycles, Fouriers and Galfer.
Bike set-up: LeafCycles Ruler frame with Leaf parts and Marzocchi DJ1 fork - strong, light and perfect geometry.
Best thing about riding? The sensation of adrenaline and feeling the fear in your body.
Worst thing about riding? Injuries
Food: Escudella Catalana (soup), pizza, kebabs.
Music: All kinds of music, but I don’t need to listen to music all the time, only in some moments.
Style or tricks? The two things, because tricks without style are shit and style without tricks - it’s like something is missing.
Riding style: I have no idea! I guess stylish and on occasions hard. I like to do a big tricks but always with style.
Favourite riders? Andreu Lacondeguy, Brandon Semenuk, Cam Mccaul and Darren Berrecloth
motto: If you want you can! And always gas!
Favourite place to ride:
In my secret trails in the woods and in contests.
Why do you ride? Because it is the best sensation in this world!
“For me MTB gives you more options and allows me to ride in the woods on rough ground, which is where I love to ride.”
Photo: David Ulloa
Hi Joan, welcome to getabmx! How’s it going?
Super well! I am so happy to be doing my first interview!
So how did you get into riding?
Thanks to Issam, an old friend of mine from school, because one day he introduced me to MTB dirt jumping.
What made you choose to ride a MTB rather than a BMX?
I like the feel of front suspension and big wheels, but most importantly for me MTB gives you more options and allows me to ride in the woods on rough ground, which is where I love to ride. On a MTB you can ride everything: DH, freeride, dirt jumps, slopestyle, street, park, XC, all of which I like. So for me riding a MTB makes sense. Nothing against BMX though of course!
You’ve recently been hooked up with LeafCycles. How did that happen and how do you feel about it? Do you have any plans with Leaf?
It happened thanks to Antonio at Klae Bikes (LeafCycles distributer in Spain) and I feel very happy to be part of LeafCycles. I want to do some good videos for my sponsors, especially for LeafCycles, and give some good ideas in the development of new parts.
Tell me about your new frame you have been testing.
The LeafCycles Ruler is amazing! It is light, strong and has perfect geometry for all my tricks! I feel really good with this new frame and I am happy to ride it. I have no other words for it other than it is perfect for me.
Does being sponsored have an effect on your riding?
Yes of course, you ride with more enthusiasm when you know you ride for brands like LeafCycles, Fouriers and Galfer. Compared to before, being sponsored has given me a bigger urge to progress.
Photo: Georgina Clopés
“Tricks without style are shit and style without tricks - it’s like something is missing.”
Where do you usually ride?
I usually ride the trails in my village (Ricircus Trails) and my secret spots in the forest, which are key in my progression of tricks. And La Poma Bike Park for sure haha.
How important is La Poma to the scene in Barcelona?
Very important! Because a lot of riders around the world come here to ride La Poma.
Do you think there would be as many local riders if it wasn’t there?
No if La Poma wasn't here, in such close proximity to Barcelona, there wouldn’t be as many locals for sure. It is very important for the progression of local riders because it is a perfect training ground - you can learn to ride big jumps, 4X, dual and dial in new tricks with the foam pit and trick jumps. If you are pro or amateur La Poma is perfect for your progression.
I had a lot of fun riding with yourself and the other locals at La Poma. One thing I noticed was how happy and friendly everyone was. It was great to see people look so stoked to be riding! (people are way more reserved in the UK). Are people only like that at La Poma or is this just how riders are in Spain?
Spanish riders are happy with everyone, but also maybe La Poma helps us to feel good because it is a perfect place to ride.
A lot of pro riders come to La Poma to ride and train for competitions. Who have you enjoyed meeting the most?
Maybe Jakub Vencl because as well as being a pro rider who is awesome to watch he is friendly and a nice guy to speak to.
What is the craziest thing you have ever seen there?
I have seen double backflips, 720 bars, cash rolls, and a lot of crazy tricks that you can’t even imagine.
Photo: Happy Ride Weekend
“If La Poma wasn't here, in such close proximity to Barcelona, there wouldn’t be as many locals for sure. It is very important for the progression of local riders because it is a perfect training ground.”
Are there any places you dream of riding and hope to travel to over the next few years?
Whistler, California and big contests. Whistler bike park for sure and Woodward is my big dream! I would also like to travel to the UK and ride in competitions like Spank Dirt Wars, and of course to ride some indoor skateparks and good trails!
My dream is to compete at Crankworx Slopestyle and all the big events of the FMB world tour. I know... I have a lot of dreams! Haha! But dream big and maybe one day your dreams will become real!
The great thing about living in Spain as a rider is that you can ride jumps all year round. But in summer it must be difficult when it’s so hot. How do you cope with the summer heat?
Yeah! It is so good that I can ride every day of the year, but in summer you can only ride in the mornings and evenings.
Does it make you ride in different places like in woods where it’s not so hot?
Yes. It Is perfect to ride in the woods when it’s summer. For this reason now during the winter I build new spots in the woods to ride in the summer.
What are your goals and plans for 2014?
I am going to try and get good results in some competitions, do new videos, travel to some good places to ride and generally have fun on my bike.
What competitions will you ride in?
Some Competitions in Spain and If I can get out of Spain then international ones too. Big competitions I’m planning on riding in are O'marisquiño Vigo (FMB World Tour) Fise Andorra and Fise Montpellier, as well as smaller competitions in Spain and Catalonia.
Are there any new tricks you want to learn and aspects of your riding you want to work on?
Yeah I want to learn new tricks like double rotations and learn to do tricks off drops, bonner logs and step downs.
And do you have any travel plans?
Yes of course! I want travel to France, Andorra and some trails in other parts of Spain.
Dave Camus questions:
How do you get your threes so dumped?
Hahaha good question Dave. I’ve worked so much on this trick! It is my favorite trick and I only got them like this after a lot of practice. I am happy when someone appreciates how difficult it is to get 360s like this, so thanks Milan and Dave!
Favourite La Poma local?
Andreu Lacondeguy, Sherwy and Bienve.
What’s the biggest trick and scariest/biggest thing you have done on your bike?
My biggest tricks maybe are big 360 Flatspins and 360 Superman. Biggest or scariest jump... When you hit a new jump for the first time and realise you’re going to land on your head. hahah!
Thanks very much for the interview. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Yes! Thank you very much to all my sponsors for trusting in me and for giving me these amazing opportunities; LeafCycles, Fouriers Bike Components, Galfer Bike and Klae Bikes. My family, especially my parents, Ricircus team because they are my best mates in the world, all my Friends and thanks to you for giving me this amazing interview!