@ Your Ally Pally
In the first of our exclusive Ally Pally inside interviews we catch up in the Bar & Kitchen with BMX star Kye Forte, creator of Empire of Dirt
Former BMX world champ and X Games finalist Kye started his event Empire of Dirt on a friend’s farm inDevonand is regarded as one of the world’s top names in the sport. From being involved with London 2012 to running his store and online procycle.com, he is passionate about keeping BMX in the spotlight. Empire of Dirt is now back with vengeance at your Ally Pally,Londonwith Red Bull and some of the best riders in the world.
AP: So Kye, where did the name come from?
KF: NewtonAbbott, my parents? Seriously, Empire of Dirt was from an old Johnny Cash song, which may not sound too hard core, but it’s on my i-pod along with Joy Division.
AP: What inspired you to become a BMX rider ?
KF: That actually was my dad! He has always been a big moto cross and trials participant and he encouraged me and my brothers Leo and Toby. We are all now pro riders, it’s been quite a ride since we were back as kids digging up the back garden to make jumps.
AP: Empire of Dirt looks pretty dangerous, is BMX something to encourage your kids into?
KF: Absolutely. This event is a pro event to showcase some of the world’s best in slopestyle. Which means go bigger, go higher, look better. But BMX and all cycling sports have a whole range of disciplines. You could enjoy BMX it in a skate park or out on a trail. It’s also about the freedom and lifestyle, plus it’s fun, it’s healthy!
AP: What does it take to get started and then be a pro?
KF: Passion and commitment. Don’t think you can just turn up somewhere and ride. A grom (grommet – young rider) should be part of their local scene and that means looking after a course, doing a bit of digging. Literally putting in the groundwork! At the pro end, you have to thank sponsors like Red Bull, DC’s and Oakley who help you keep doing what you love.
AP: BMX is a real sport isn’t it?
KF: Absolutely. It’s an Olympic event don’t forget. And Empire of Dirt will be taking place against the backdrop of the whole London 2012 Olympic skyline. But BMX is not all about today’s cool kids. Having a bmx is something that is a classic and always remains with you – no matter how old you are. Whenever we ride out people still shout “it’s the kids from ET!” That film and it’s famous bmx moments are over 30 years old!.
AP: What can our visitors expect to see over the weekend?
KF: Watch out for some of the top names in the world such as Cory Hohan, Brian Foster, Drew Bananzon, Gary Young (and myself!). In terms of tricks? Well you want to see big jumps and showmanship really. This event is designed to wow the crowd. My signature? It’s called the table top, I think that one might be easy for people to spot.
AP: Good luck with the comp this weekend Kye
KF: Thanks Ally Pally for letting Red Bull and the riders bring Empire of Dirt to your awesome garden !