Over the years I've gotten to meet a lot of great riders from Colorado, and in their own way, they're all really great people -- often a lot more positive and upbeat about things than the rest. Brian "Yellow" Gavigan, Jay Eggleston, the Pusher Crew, AJ Anaya, Duncan Gore. For the most part, they're guys that like to have fun and do things their own way.
Shortly after I moved to Portland a few years ago, a kid from Colorado named Roman Tencza moved here. One day, a few of us went to the skatepark to cruise around, and I couldn't help but notice that Roman was killing it. Higher and faster than everyone else, with an excited smile on his face.
Roman is the kind of guy you could punch in the stomach, and he'd still be really stoked on you. Maybe it's all those energy drinks he shotguns. I don't know. But people like that are fun to be around, and when he's on his bike, you can easily just sit back and watch.
Oh yeah, Roman was a body double in a film called "Twilight." I think it went straight to DVD.
Name: Roman Samuel Tencza
Hometown: New Castle, Colo.
Sponsors: Verde Bikes, Goods BMX
How does a kid from Colorado end up in Portland?
I landed in the Rose City during a BMX trip in 2006. I really enjoyed seeing the sites and the people. I had kind of been looking for a change of scenery and a break from the snow. Basically, Oregon is Colorado with a coast. It has BMX, and all the other recreation I love. I also hit it off with a female at the time. That helped induce the move. After a taste of Portland, I went home to the Rockies, stacked up the Benjamins, and made the move a year later. I didn't have a great plan when I got to the city. I was basically thinking I would make it until summer. Ride for a while, then head home. A few months later I had a job and just kept trucking with the life stuff. It changed from a couple months stay to a couple years. Thank you to all the buddies for the help and good times.
Colorado has a lot of large, infamous cement parks, much like the Northwest. Did you grow up riding that kind of stuff?
When I began riding in 2000, New Castle had some dirt, a little street, and a tiny park. Luckily, I had a few BMX buds behind the wheel. Most of our weekends were spent in the city of Grand Junction. There are two solid concrete parks there. I've been dancing on the 'crete for many moons now.
Are all the riders from Colorado so darn friendly? I mean, McMurray's pretty tough, but he's kind of nice sometimes. Is it the fresh mountain air?
Oh the Rockies. The place is so beautiful; the sun, the air, snow, and recreation. People are stoked to be there. I don't know McMurray too well, though. He is tough, and he did hook it up with an Evolution frame. I'd say he's pretty damn nice. Thanks dude.
Who were some of your bike riding influences back home?
There could easily be a large list. I'll stick to the early influences. I spent a great deal of time in Grand Junction, Colo. These parks yielded some good sessions. Guys like Andy Sweet and Bruce Deppe ... those dudes have more style than GQ, and ride as smooth as glass. Justin Kappel and Eric Whitaker give 'er hell. Those two were pushing the trickery to new levels. They had every hot move wired, and would get you stoked to try some new moves. I definitely had a solid batch of motivation to keep ripping with a smile. The rest of Colorado kills it, and I'm glad to be a part of it. I miss you all.
You've done some acting, right? What sorts of projects have you been involved with like that outside of bike riding?
Yes, I've gotten to do a bit of acting since moving to Portland. I have always wanted to give it a try. I did background scenes as Dr. Cullen in a little flick called "Twilight." It was a heck of an experience! A big movie set was pretty intimidating. The construction of a movie is no joke. I thought actors had it easy. So many people, so much work ... A fun experience for sure. It's so cool to see how it all comes together. I highly recommend it.
How do you pass the rainy days here in the Northwest?
The rain can be a nuisance for sure. I fill a bunch of time with work as it is. I have a solid job at BlueHour, a restaurant. I wear a few hats there. When I'm not working, or biking, I'm usually doing some other sports. Surfing is awesome. I fake it, but I think I'm getting better. Surfing is a good outdoor choice because you're going to be wet anyway. The indoor soccer in Portland rules. I play on occasion. Coffee shops, and chilling with friends are always good. House-hold projects; ladies like a Mr. Fix it.
I know you do some valet parking there at BlueHour. Do you and your co-workers ever have "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" moments where someone pulls up a car that you can't resist taking for a joyride?
I wish! There are some hot cars that pull up.
How did you get hooked up with Verde Bikes?
Ryan Barrett hooked it up! Big thanks to Ryan and Verde. So stoked to be a part of it.
What's your favorite spot or park to ride in Portland?
Tigard Skatepark is so good. It's a great place to go if you want gravity to loosen its grip.
You can pick any five riders to go shred Portland parks with for the day. Who are they?
1. Jason Miles
2. Justin Kappel
3. Andy Sweet
4. Robert Campbell
5. AJ Anaya
To your knowledge, are you the only person to do a flair over Shad's [Shad Johnson, owner of Goods BMX Shop] front stairs without a shirt on?
I may have been the only one to flair the stairs, but I wasn't the only one to jump the stairs with flair. Or no shirt. It was so hot out that day.
You're a pretty serious car enthusiast, right? Describe your current set of wheels.
I'm an Eco-tuner for sure. I hope I just coined that. I currently own a 1989 Subaru Justy. It rips and sips, and only cost me three hundred dollars.
I heard you've got some plans to hit the Dew Tour Open Qualifiers this year? Have you been much of a contest guy in the past? Does that plan change your approach to bike riding, or is it just another day?
I would certainly like to give it a go. It seems fun. I get to shred with old and new. I've done my fair share of contests and traveling. I've been able to shred with some of the best out there. It's good times. I have changed some things about my riding, "Dew" to this choice. I have been training a bit. Nothing crazy, just basic fitness. I have been having some weird injuries here and there. I run, stretch and ride regularly. But I'm still going to do what I like out there on the course.