ON THE RIDE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM LANGDON
Jack Mould has had a successful start to the year and hopes to pursue his career further as a professional BMX rider. But who is Jack? Who is the person behind the constant laugh and a life revolving around bikes, skateparks and video making?
I’ve made my way to Shenfield to find out. To anyone on the outside, he appears to be a simple teenager who has a hobby which is obvious from the first time you see him; but something told me, there’s more than meets the eye about this kid.
I am standing at Stratford station when I notice the train approaching; messaging Jack to say “I’ll be there shortly”, to my idiocy, I missed the train.
Infuriated at missing my train from Stratford, when I arrive at Shenfield I climb into Jack’s Astra, with the both of us cracking up at my reason for being late.
En route Costa, he pulls out his Canon G7X to record a vlog, to which I was completely startled. After spending five minutes with the guy, I realise he is really down to earth and genuinely a nice fellow. I was keenly interested in what he had to say about his hobby turned career. He sits back, cappuccino in hand with a smile throughout our entire meeting.
You spent much of 2016 being injured.
Jack smiles broadly, “Yeah I broke my finger and I had pins in it. I literally did a flair, I got up and I thought it was alright, I thought I just pulled a ligament at the time until I went to hospital and they told me they wanted to operate whilst I was awake. I was like ‘f*** that!’ They tried numbing me and I could still feel it, I just turned to them and said please just put me to sleep.”
Because of all that time missed, is there anything you want to do this year?
Jack smiles broadly again. “Just hoping to not really injure myself. Last year I missed out on a lot.”
What made you interested in BMX in the first place?
“When I first started riding, I just used to ride a trials bike and I rode that for about two years. Most of my friends rode BMX and I slowly started going to a place down the road from me which had a foam pit and a load of other stuff. I took both bikes and I just ended up riding more BMX, almost every day since I was about 12.”
You have a YouTube channel that is starting be quite successful. Is it something that you hope to grow much bigger as well as just your name?
“Yeah I do hope to get it a lot bigger. I try and make videos whenever I’m out but its so hard.” He says while smiling. “I’ve done a video every single day for this year but yeah its so hard. Just before Christmas, I met some guys with bigger channels and that helped it grow. I know people in America, one of my mates, Adam LZ has over 1 million subscribers so I would just go out over there and make videos with him.”
Can we have a game of BIKE?
Just before this question, Jack takes a sip of his cappuccino and almost spits it back out upon hearing it. He lets out a massive laugh as if to say are you serious? He decides to let out a little “if you want”.
I see it all the time and I’d love to do that.
Jack continues to laugh at the fact that me a clueless amateur, has just challenged him. I’ll never learn.
Correct me if I am wrong but were you homeschooled or did not go to college or school; could you explain that situation a little bit more?
“I didn’t go to school much nah. When I first went to school, I didn’t get along with many people and I got excluded one day and then I was put into a group of people who didn’t belong in classes and I stayed in that for about two years but after that they gave me a choice in year 10 to go to college early. So I did that. I dropped out of school and I went to college 5 days a week. By the end of the year, I told them I just want to go and focus on BMX full time and they pretty much said it was fine. They believed that I had a good chance so they told me to go do it, they were alright with it.”
So at what age did you officially leave?
“16 and I’ve pretty much been doing BMX full time since then.”
I know you participated in the Mongoose Jam in 2014. Do you plan to do it again or think of going to any other events this year?
“Yeah hopefully. I think it was last year I did Battle of Hastings, it was a massive competition and I came 2nd in the qualifiers. They paid for everything to go do a competition with all of the professional riders. That was pretty sick. I did a competition in France, the first day I was there I lost my wallet! I was on my way to a dominos.”
By this point I’m already laughing loudly and say to myself ‘oh bloody hell’.
“After losing my wallet, I fell off, I scraped my knee. I was so tired from the travelling, I had to get up at 3am with the plane at 7 and from the airport, we went straight to the skate park, luckily that was just the practice. The next day was the qualifiers and I got in, I came 7th and after we just chilled back at the villa.
Then the finals came, 5 minutes before my chain snapped, I fixed it then it snapped again! I ran the first run chainless and the second run I was on a friends bike. It was completely different, I couldn’t do anything so I came last. I still got €50 for it, so it was alright. But yeah for this year, definitely more videos and more competitions hopefully.”
Any in particular?
“I wanna do Fise which is every couple of months. There’s some in Croatia, France and other places.”
That reminds me, what were you doing in California?
“Yeah, I was there for a whole week. I went there just to film an edit at Woodward. This was in November, I went with my dad and he filmed the whole thing and I got someone to edit it. The first day I went to Clairemont Skatepark, it was a mile away from our hotel. I was so tired, I just kept falling off. I scraped my hands and I couldn’t grip the bars properly the whole time we was out there. I had to tape my hands up to grip them which was kind of annoying but I got through it.”
At this point, Jack took out his Canon G7X only to later find out he doesn’t upload any of this footage. AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH, JACK?
“I went to Parlour skatepark which was in the middle of nowhere; there was a baseball park next to it and then nothing else, just trees. We filmed there for the whole day before going back to Clairemont. After that we had a four-hour drive to Woodward.”
You drove four hours to ride somewhere?
With a wry smile. “To stay there for a couple of days, we left on the Friday with two days left. It was such a good trip”.
What are your interests besides BMX?
Pondering on the question, Jack looks to the ceiling with the only coming out of his mouth “erm”.
I looked to spark some conversation out of this guy, surely he could talk about something else than BMX…
You go to the gym, right?
“Yeah, that’s true, I go to the gym on the weekdays but if I miss it I go on the weekends. It’s just a good feeling and it keeps you fit. Apart from BMX, I don’t really do much. I don’t want to get too big, just toned, otherwise it will affect my riding.”
What is your overall goal?
“I plan to see myself as pro this year. It’s just hard trying to get noticed. Sponsors are interested in how many followers you’ve got, they want you to promote their company rather than just you be really good. I was sponsored a few years ago by RAD BMX for a year and half. Unfortunately, they closed down because they weren’t making enough money. They tried speaking to other sponsors to help me out but it fell through. The best way for me to get noticed is to do competitions and edits uploaded online. I did an edit recently which is at 6,000 views and I plan to do a lot more reaching bigger numbers.”
Please do not injure yourself before the photoshoot.
He tilts his head back letting out a brief laugh before he says “Yeah, I know, it’ll be alright”.