Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: December 4, 5:01 PM ET
S. African visits U.S. to make connections
For South African native Dallan Goldman FMX has always been on the horizon. Living some 10,400 miles away from the heartland of freestyle motocross, the 19-year-old has been on a bike since he was 4. Going on his fifth year of FMX, he is looking to bridge some connections between his hometown of Johannesburg and the United States.
Living in Johannesburg has raised certain issues for Goldman. For one only a dozen or so riders are around to practice with and though he has his own park to practice on, not having a large pool of FMX riders can make it difficult to become more competitive. Though he is doing exceptionally well for such a young age, Goldman is looking to increase his -- so far -- short amount of FMX experience.
|Dallan Goldman checks the time on his 9 o'clock nacs while riding one of Southern California's exclusive compounds.|
With FMX being relatively small down in the southern tip of Africa, Goldman has relied heavily on the Internet to stay up to date on what's happening in all things- FMX. Looking at FMX from outside the box, figuratively speaking, to now being directly in the epicenter of FMX [Temecula, Calif.], Goldman says, "It's pretty gnarly. It's just cool to make friends overseas. I'm having an awesome time so far and it's just the beginning."
Thankful toward and greatly appreciative of his friends, family, and sponsors who have helped support him, Goldman is looking to establish himself as an up-and-coming FMX star.
During some down time while he was getting his suspension set up for FMX I grabbed lunch with Goldman recently to talk about his plans for the future and what it's like to ride FMX in South Africa.
ESPN.com: How long have you been doing FMX?
Goldman: Going on my fifth year of riding freestyle soon.
What's it like growing up in South Africa riding FMX?
It's pretty cool, just unfortunately the riding scene is a bit smaller than over here (United States). The enduro, MX scene is about 10 times bigger than the FMX scene. We only have about 10 solid freestyle riders out of the whole area. Mike Oyston and Scotty Billett are South Africa's up-and-coming riders.
So it's probably pretty hard to stay competitive and push yourselves when there are only a dozen or so FMX riders all together?
Pretty much, yeah, at a top level definitely. We only have two riders constantly flipping in South Africa.
Are there very many contests for you guys to showcase yourselves in South Africa?
Not really. I normally host an open day at the Jungle Rush FMX Park once a year and last year there was a Masters of Dirt qualifier we hosted there as well. But other than that we don't have any competitions, it's just mainly shows.
Have you just done shows in South Africa or have you had the opportunity to travel elsewhere?
I've done shows in Oman for the Mountain Dew Tour Expo, in Tanzania I did a Christian festival as well.
You said you had your own park, tell me about that.
Yeah, Jungle Rush FMX compound, it's the main place that everyone practices at. We will have some of the U.S. riders coming out soon.
How does the moto industry out there view FMX?
I think a lot people here look at the ramps and probably say, "Hell, no!" thinking MX is safer. But MX is pretty gnarly because you have 22 guys pinning it and trying to take you out to get into the top spot where in FMX it's more about expressing yourself and having fun.
Is this your first trip to America?
Yeah, this is my first trip out here. [I'm] hoping to make it out here next year as well.
What made you want to venture so far at such a young age all by yourself?
|Stretching out his double grab Hart attack, Dallan Goldman shows that being tall has its advantages when it comes to super-extended tricks.|
Well, my friend Hilton Wamback said he could help me out with a bike if I got over here. And I wanted to see if I could make some connections over here and get a chance to jump into a foam pit, get that flip dialed.
Did you have any support from your sponsors to come over here?
Yeah, DC Shoes of South Africa paid half my plane ticket, which was awesome. And then my dad and myself run Jungle Rush FMX back home so I got help from there, and my Uncle Craig from VMS technologies helped me out a lot as well.
So how has the trip been so far?
It's been pretty awesome and I'm grateful to have met the people I have; Cal Vallone, Jacob Shwank have helped me out a lot. It's just cool to make friends overseas. I'm having an awesome time so far and it's just the beginning.
Who have you got a chance to ride with so far while you've been out here?
Cal Vallone, Jacob Shwank, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Destin Cantrell, Nik Pratt and Cory Williams.
What's it like looking at FMX from outside the box being in South Africa?
It's pretty gnarly [laughs]. So many riders here are busting, it's good to see.
I'm sure the only way to really stay connected to FMX is through the Internet and now that you're here in the heartland of FMX does it seem surreal?
Yeah pretty much. I pretty much rely on Twitter to make connections over here actually I rely on it a lot, Facebook as well. I always hit up FMXnews.com, I always head over there to check out what's going on in the world.
What are your goals with FMX?
Pretty much try to get a name going for myself, I want to go back to South Africa with the flip dialed. And then coming back next year, hopefully building my name up bigger and learning some flip variations.
Anyone you'd like to thank?
Jungle Rush, VMS Technologies, DC Shoes thanks to Ryan at Thor from Parts Unlimited, Yamaha Dirtnurse of South Africa, Shoei Helmets. And Call Vallone, Jacob Shwank for helping me out, I'm grateful for everything they've done and can't wait to return the favor in South Africa. Hilton Warmback for everything he has done for me! My friends and family missing me back home …