This coming Sunday, 23rd June, the PHD Dirt Jam is happening and we thought to ourselves….why not get to know Hannes Jansen a little bit better. He is one of the gents at PHD and he is amped for the comp this weekend. Here is what he had to say:
Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little bit of background on how you began riding BMX?
I’ve been rolling for about 8 years now, started when I was 14…. so how good is your maths? HAHAHA I got started because I saw my cousin jumping this ramp made out of wood and bricks in the road and wanted to try it out, i just never stopped.
What has influenced you over the years to keep pushing and progressing?
The classic old sob story of circumstances you had to live through with riding as your only escape. Most importantly though the people I’ve met through riding and always being able to push your own limits and proving to yourself you can do something that the average guy will never even think of doing.
What type of rider would you consider yourself as?
“Street, Street and more Street!!!”
I started on street with no brakes and pegs and I’ve never changed. Although I was completely absorbed in trails for a few years with a close friend Leeroy Wildshutt. We would pedal obscene distances every day after school (mostly skip school) just to go ride the old ‘hidden trails’ but I never lost my street vibe. I’m not one of those ‘street or nothing’ advocates, I still love to flow every now and then and I can even put up with a little bit of park, just because the friends I ride with can make anything amazing… but at the end of the day I’d rather do something off a drop from flat to flat then over a box.
What has you most excited about our local riders and how the sport is progressing to heights never seen before in South Africa?
I think anyone that knows the history of BMX in the last couple of years would agree that Greg Illingworth is the pioneer of the ‘Dream’ and a big reason for the recent change and growth in the sport. He changed riders mindsets from a state of “we’ll never make it” because of the situation in this country, to riders now pushing because they want what he has achieved. The other side of Greg’s success is that he had to leave the country to move onto bigger and better things, which sucks because we all loved riding with him. However, now nobody is waiting around for Greg to organize an event and make something happen. Now guys are starting to do their own thing to help keep the scene alive and hosting their own comps, point and case would be PHD BMX, Evals BMX, Not Another Zebra, Purple Haze BMX and a few others. This is more local to Jozi but I’m sure the affect has spread through the rest of the country.
To date, what has been your best achievement as a rider?
Answering these questions while my friends play riding videos in the backround hahaha… on the real though I’d have to say getting back on my bike and getting my riding back to standard after a long time out due to quite a bad injury that still haunts me today.
We hear that you are one of the members in PHD, are you excited for your 1st event and what can people expect from the Jam?
There has been speculation that I might be the king pin to such an organization (said sitting in the corner with a black coat on) haha. I’m extremely excited about the jam and the way its escalated. I’ve always wanted to throw a jam but the plan was just to have a “fun” little jam for everyone to mess around in where prizes or podium didn’t matter and then all of the sudden there were a few companies who wanted to be involved, prizes were a possibility and riders from all over the country were amped to pull through and have a sesh and hangout. So I think its safe to say that the jam has turned out to be way better than I expected. As for what people can expect from the Jam (as with all dirt jams) is allot of bails and carnage which makes for great entertainment hahaha, but with the level of riders expected to come it should be a great show and just all round fun.
We saw that epic skit you put together a few weeks ago, what was the aim of the video?
Well basically we just had some time to kill one day and made a mission to the jumps. Rico was still to injured to ride down with us so I gave him a proper old school ‘lift’ on the back of my bike but as we got to a downhill part that was too risky to go down with him on the back we decided to walk. At the bottom Rico wanted to see if he could ride and got on Alex’s bike. So long story short Alex was running next to us like the little athlete he is and Rico and I found it hilarious seeing his curly locks blowing in the wind and the idea was born. There was never any real aim other than hoping people would find it as funny as we found the image of Alex’s jog down the road. Needless to say it was one of the best marketing we could of ever done for the jam however unplanned it might have been.
You have been in the scene for many years, is there anyone that you wish to thank for what you have achieved thus far?
Yoh, this sounds like one of those questions the dude gets when he wins an Oscar hahaha. First of all most definitely one of my best friends Paul Soderlund for always pushing me and making me laugh no matter what. He always helped me out with his old parts without any thing wanted in return, a true gent! Greg Illingworth for hooking me up with THE RIOT and taking me on street missions where he would brainwash me into thinking I could do amazing things haha. My new sponsor whom I can’t mention yet but keep an eye out for the edit 😉 and of cause anyone who I’ve ever had a rad sesh with.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?
In terms of PHD, only time will tell but personally I will be travelling the world with friends and riding at any cost hahaha
Where can people follow you?
I guess they could always get behind me and try not to get lost??? But on the interwebs they could always add me on Facebook (Hann Jansen) or twitter @attillathehann , no such thing as to many friends but more importantly go like PHD BMX Always Rolling on facebook!!!
Lastly, if you could have a sesh with any 3 riders in the world, who would they be?
- Stevie Churchill, he is just too ridiculous!
- Sean Burns, the guy is just insane! I would love to see the things he does and the stories he has to tell.
- This would be a toss up between Garrett Reynolds for current street king and Edwin DeLaRosa for childhood hero.