You might remember seeing Matt Berridge in MBUK way back in March 2004. He's been riding trials for a few years now and has developed a style that's all his own - as you will have seen in any of his vids that are on the net. We caught up with him recently to see what he's up to.
Hi Matt, how are things?
Hello there! Yeah, things are pretty good thanks. Just kinda winding up ready for next year really.
What are you doing right now? Are you still at college or are you working or what?
Ha ha, I'm actually on a gap year before uni - which kinda puts me in the "bum" category I guess. I'd been hoping to have got a job and earn some cash to go ride in Canada next summer, but I haven't really got round to it yet.
You ride for Curtis and Gary's started doing a Matt Berridge signature frame. How did that come about?
We've been on about the whole 24-inch trials thing for a year or so now. I reckoned it'd suit my riding a whole load better and be great fun to ride. And if the frame has my name on it. well, you gotta be kidding, right!
You've redesigned the Curtis website recently (www.curtisbikes.co.uk) and you've got a few videos on the web too. Are you a bit of techno-geek at heart?
I'd like to think I was one of the cooler techno-geeks ha ha! Nah, I've always been into the whole internet/graphic/video thing right from when I started riding. Gary was talking about re-doing the site and that's that sort of stuff I'm gonna be doing at uni so I figure it's all good experience.
What are your favourite websites?
You ride a lot in Bristol. What's the city like for trials riding? Is there a good scene?
I'm so lucky to live here! I don't think there's a better place to ride street in the UK, besides perhaps London - but that's real busy and everyone gets pissy and throws you out real quick. Down here people are generally cool about you riding, which just makes it easier, especially as there's so much stuff to ride. I try and get out twice a week with at least a couple of other guys. But you can come down most days and there'll be people riding, often from not that close-by either! I'm not really into the whole "scene" thing but I guess when we ride we usually have a whole bunch of laughs!
How did you start out riding?
I was just the usual kid - "wow imagine if you could do tricks on your bike". My bro and a few of his mates were kinda into it then a few of my mates all decided we'd start riding - it kinda went from there. We all practiced together, some stayed with it and some gave up. In the town where I live, I'm the only person left - everyone else has either jacked it in for better things or moved!
You're best known for riding street trials. Do you ride competitions at all? Where do you see your riding going in the future?
The comp thing just doesn't do it for me. Obviously some people take up hobbies to be successful so their fathers can go "I'm so proud of my son" but as far as I'm concerned pulling stuff which puts a smile on my face gives me more satisfaction than 100 trophies ever would. I try and ride the NASS comps (though I'm not usually in the best condition!) cos they're a bit different and a bit more relaxed. Recently I've just tried to do my own thing and I reckon that's gonna be the way it goes. I guess I'll be the one who'll do something a bit different from the rest rather than training so I can get my bike up an inch higher wall than the week before.
Which riders do you look up to, both in the UK and internationally?
Martyn Ashton, Chris Akrigg and Edd Tongue - easily the most stylish riders around. They're so overlooked these days because they don't put their vids out all over the net so you hardly ever hear about them. But out of anyone it's gotta be Ryan Leech, he's got a kind of raw style which I can relate to and he's taking riding further and further in a different direction. I can look up to anyone who perhaps is breaking the norm and riding for themselves though. Also a bunch of BMX riders but this is MBUK right?
What other types of riding do you do? Do you ride trails or skateparks at all?
Sadly not! I've always thought about getting a BMX as I'm sure it would help my riding a bit, but I'd probably look a bit of a dick on one. I follow a load of other riding though - BMX, Dirt etc. You can find stuff out from other areas which you can adapt as a trials trick so this helps me no end. Next year I should hopefully have 2 bikes, 1 for "pure" trials and another 24-inch for the more street-trials stuff.
Got anything else to add?
Thanks to my sponsors Curtis, Howies, Globe Shoes, Howies, Profile, Tioga, Atomlab and ODI. I reckon I've probably bored you enough. but thanks and, see you around!