Hector Garcia hit us up with this dope interview he did with flatland legend Terry Adams and it’s definitely a great read! Hector has been promoting BMX through contests and festivals since the late 90s and he’s the man behind the Byke Project and the Houston based Byke Shop. Check out the whole thing after the jump and learn more about the one and only Terry Adams:
OH DAMN! TERRY ADAMS IS BACK! Interview by Hector Garcia
The first time that I met Terry Adams was at the first flatland event that I hosted in 2000, called the Houston Flatland Jam, which took place in a parking lot of what use to be Mobile One Car Audio in Houston,TX. Seeing him ride for the first time was definitely memorable and he stood out not only as a new athlete but also as a person, and I’ve enjoyed knowing him and watching him do amazing things for the sport since.
Several months ago, maybe longer, I took notice that Terry hadn’t been present at many of the staple flatland contests around the world, and this stood out to me only because I was so used to seeing his face in so much event coverage. Don’t be fooled though, Terry is busy 24/7 promoting the sport through social media, video, and appearances and RedBull demos and his absence from the contest scene made Voodoo Jam all the more special, as this would be the first time in quite a while that many would be able to see this ambassador for flatland throw down with all of his friends.
Seeing video and photos on Terry’s Instagram as he traveled to Canada for the FISE contest caused me to have a “Damn, is Terry back?” reaction and my question was confirmed and answered when I began receiving 1,000’s of text messages from Terry this week about the Azteca Jam in Mexico. Haha. Well, maybe just 2 – 3 texts at first.
So with all of this said, I had to personally ask Terry, “Are you back bro?” and rather than get a simple yes or no response I figured I’d ask him a lot more, and find out what he’s been up to and where he’s going. This is what Terry had to say:
Terry, what have you been up to lately? Where the hell have you been?
Good Question. I have been spending my time Riding at home, traveling for demos, some speaking engagements, investing a lot in my future, growing as a business person and more recently I just filmed for a Japanese TV show here in my hometown with a young rider named Minato. The TV show consisted of him traveling here to the U.S. to meet me, get some advise on what it takes to be a pro rider, and we even had a session together.
I also just filmed for the Documentary LifeAfterX. This will be a film that you will most likely be available on Netflix and it focuses on athletes and how their careers have changed after their contest and sponsor life and how they deal with those emotions physically and mentally. I was really happy to be involved in this project because I definitely felt flatland should be apart of something so special.
I also just finished working with Scott O’Brien and Red Bull to make sure that Voodoo Jam and our latest Flat Rhythm event was a success. After all that was over I decided to head over to Edmonton, Canada for the FISE contest. It was a blast and I am so happy I went.
Who (as in sponsors) has been keeping you busy the past few years?
Red Bull, Life Proof, Raising Canes, Tiger Balm, Profile Racing, Dans Comp, Deco, Fadded Days Sunglasses, and TTM lifestyle
Voodoo Jam allowed you to step back into the contest scene. How long had it been before that and what happened at Voodoo jam that sparked what I would like to refer to as “a comeback”?
Actually last year I rode in the BMX Masters in Germany, The NASS contest in England, and then a smaller comp in the Netherlands. I found myself on the contest floor but did not have the drive that’s burning inside me right now. After this year’s Voodoo Jam I realized that the contest floor is where I belong.
Can you expand further about this “drive” to get back into the contest game?
My drive to get back into the contest scene comes purely out of the emotion and passion I have for riding. Some of my best memories from flatland were spent in the middle of a contest floor and slamming down on the pedals after a combo. Those feelings are difficult to describe, but I want to have those moments again.
FISE looked like a fun event. How did that weekend/comp help reinforce this desire to get back out there to compete?
FISE was rad because it gave me a chance to reevaluate how I will prepare for the upcoming comps that I plan on attending. To be back on a contest floor with a packed house, all my homies there supporting each other, and just being able to be myself are just a few things that are fueling my desire to start competing again. Flatland is about being different from one another and I feel like my riding brings something very different to the table. I never forgot this, but FISE reminded me how important it is for me to be there, not only for myself but for Flatland.
I’m sure you’ve missed the contest scene, but what have you missed the most?
What I missed the most was the fact that we are all there representing BMX. We all ride 20-inch bikes, and I always believed that flatland should have the same level of media, attention, and respect as the other disciplines. Being at flatland events sometimes gets me so stoked because the bigger vision for me was to always show the world how marketable, awesome, and eye appealing flatland really is. There is always a way to make Flatland look rad.
The contest organizers that pay attention to detail are the ones that can walk away from their own events knowing they helped motivate the older riders and inspire the younger generation to keep going or to get involved. This is what I missed the most, and I love watching the other athletes walk away from a contest, no matter what placing they receive, understanding that they are a part of history and a part of where flatland is headed.
Describe to everyone where you’re at now in the BMX industry and how you’ve been able to successfully make a living doing what you love on your bike.
I learned early on that being a professional rider was much more than winning a contest, learning a sick trick, or landing a sponsor. For me it is about building relationships with the brands I work with, staying humble as a rider, having a positive attitude, pushing for what I wanted, and most importantly, it was understanding the business side of the industry.
I have put a lot of focus on understanding the value I can bring to each company that supports me. I have also put in a lot of time making sure these brands understand I am the rider/athlete that will go the extra mile to make sure I am putting as many eyeballs as possible on their product. I fell in love with this part of my career and it has really worked out for me. It was such a small sacrifice to run my game like a business and then I can go out and live my dream on a daily basis.
What’s your traveling schedule like for the next few months?
I’m headed to Austin,TX at the beginning of October for a Red Bull athlete summit, then headed to Mexico for the Azteca contest. As I’m answering these questions I heard that they just experienced a major earthquake near Mexico City, which is where this contest will be. My heart goes out to that city and hope that everyone is ok. After Mexico, I will make my way to Indianapolis for some demos at the Red Bull Air Race, and then off to Japan for the FlatArk contest in early November.
Do you remember riding in my VW Jetta back in the early 2000s at the Dallas ESPN comp to get fast food?
Haha. I have to be honest. I do not remember this. Haha
Do you have any new bomb tricks in the works that we might be seeing at comp soon?
I have some ideas and we will see how those play out. The awesome thing about flatland is that you can pick up your bike and come up with 100 tricks in an hour. The hard part is putting in the work to make these moves possible.
.What would you like to see happen with Flatland in the next few years?
I believe Flatland is in such a great spot right now. The riding looks incredible, the contests are presenting Flatland the way it needs to be, and there are some big things in the works. What I would like to see happen is a couple of training camps for younger riders that want to get involved in the USA. This is something that I will be working on with Scott O’Brien as we move towards the next Voodoo Jam in 2018.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in this sport?
Although I can not predict the future, I plan to keep riding with the sole purpose of inspiring others, to show them that anything is possible, on and off the bike. Flatland has taught me many things about life, but the most important thing was that if you really want something, you need to go after it. My plan is to keep reaching for the stars, knowing that I will at least hit the moon.
Any final words?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Following trends will set you back because you are put on earth to be different, so embrace the fact that you ride differently than everyone else. Remember that this is your biggest strength, being yourself and not listening to the outside noise will always set you apart from the rest.
Thanks to Hector Garcia for the interview and the photographers for providing the sweet pics! Follow: @hectorgarciahtx and @terryadamsbmx