| Dave Sowerby (or 'T Dave' as he's also known)
makes up a whole 50% of the pro riders in Scotland (the other half
being his not-so-wee brother, Drew). Dave's one of those people
that always makes me feel lazy since he always seems to be making
a video/designing a new website/digging trails/building his on ramps
or just ripping it up on his bike. Dave rules and if he was to leave
the Scottish BMX scene, we'd all be a lot worse off. It's high time
he got an interview somewhere, so here he is:
Intro! Name, age, location etc.
Dave Sowerby, 28, sitting in my office in Eskbank, live in Edinburgh.
How long have you been riding a BMX bike?
Since about '92 I suppose.
How did you get into it?
I got burnt out on skating after about 4 years of doing nothing
else and after a while needed something to do so I dug out an old
BMX I had when I was a kid and started messing about on some grass
hills near my house.
Who were the riders that you looked up to when you first started
At first there weren't any riders. I didn't know a thing about BMX
really. I was just messing around. Eventually I came across Ride
magazine in a newsagent and found out that people were actually
into this. I scanned every inch of those magazines so I guess whoever
was in there were the first people I looked up to. Then after a
while me and Drew bumped into Keith, who was still riding, and he
showed us so much so I'd probably rate him as the biggest influence
any one person has had on me as a rider. He lent me and my brother
Hoffman's Head First and some other videos and they were a real
eye opener. I was hooked from then on.
What kind of thing did you ride when you first
Kerbs! Then the main place was the local high school where there
were some grass banks that could be used as fly-out jumps, some
stairs and other stuff. I learned pretty much everything I can do
on a dirt jump there!
What was your first bike/decent bike?
My first BMX was an old Raleigh I had when I was a kid. I think
it was a Styler. I went through tons of those, and Universals and
Emmelles that you could buy from people for next to nothing. People
used to give them away because they were just cluttering up the
shed and they'd ask "do people still ride these things?"
Most people thought BMX had completely died back then. I'm not sure
how decent it was but my first bike that wasn't second-hand rubbish
was a complete Dyno Compe. 2 brakes, 4 pegs, platform, gyro.
You've often said that you first got into BMX
when it was probably the most unfashionable thing to be doing. Why
do you feel it was looked on so unfavourably and do you often shun
I wouldn't say BMX was unfashionable then. It's just the public
perception was that BMX had died so people were surprised to see
guys in their late teens/twenties riding about on them. They still
thought they were kids' bikes. There was no BMX on satellite TV,
no BMX being used in TV ads or in music videos back then. It's not
something the public was exposed to at all so they just didn't get
As for shunning fashion, I don't think I do. I fully admit to embracing
fashion and I think that anyone who rides BMX is influenced by fashion
to some extent. I mean, it's not mainstream fashion, it's a subculture
but generally riders use the popular parts, agree on what are the
best bike videos, the most influential riders, etc. It's a case
of what is most popular becomes fashionable. There is nothing wrong
with that. It pisses me off when you here people slagging someone
for being influenced by BMX fashion because I think everyone is
to some extent.
Who is the most fashionable BMXer in Scotland?
What was the scene like when you started riding?
Pretty good when me, Keith and Drew hooked up with the Team Sano
guys. We had a close-knit group of riders that met at Livi or at
the Field or in Glasgow for street a few times every week and that
was fun. Lots of piss-taking and trips to the pub after summer riding
sessions. I miss that scene.
How has it changed?
Well, as BMX has got more popular the overall Scottish scene has
grown with that. There are so many parks now and there are good
riders springing up all over the place. It's great to be able to
visit a park now in Scotland and not only meet riders you've never
met before but be blown away by how good they are.
How would you change it now?
I'd have this ******* Edinburgh park built. I've always gone out
of my way to ride places and always had to travel to parks to ride.
I'm not complaining about that because it's good to get out and
about and experience a variety of spots but it would be nice to
have a local park. There are a lot of riders in Edinburgh, a lot
of good riders too, but they would all benefit so much from a park
in the city. I mean, you can only do so much at the Potterrow banks!