No, I never met Tom Kilcoyne, but luckily I had a chance to chat with him for this interview. I had never heard of him before so I wasn’t really ready for this interview, so I did the obvious, I checked his Instagram, as everybody would do these days. From there I figured, Tom is living the MTB life and it was clear to me why he joined the ELITE PSBMX team. Jep, I said it, we are an elite squad…hahaha.
After we had our first chat, a lot of interesting things came up, like, what’s the connection between Tom and Steve Peat, how to get free shoes, is Vlogging a thing today and more. Enjoy the story we put together for you and check out the amazing photos Tom send us. – Leo
1. We always start with the basics, but actually, people got your name from the title, then I can tell them that you are from Sheffield, but I don’t know if you are old enough to Jump over Steve Peat’s (your co-citizen) kids, so are you?
Tom Kilcoyne: Haha, so yeah, I grew up in Sheffield, surrounded by some of the most beautiful countrysides, and also home to THE Steve Peat. I was part of a bike demonstration (for Onboard Skatepark) at a climbing festival in Sheffield. We needed volunteers from the crowd to jump over, two kids volunteered and became part of the demo. After, I said well done to the kids and the towering figure of Steve Peat was behind them haha. Lovely guy and a strange little claim to fame to jump his kids haha.
2. Most of your time you spend on the streets with your 26’’ weapon, who are the people you ride with, and what is your approach when you come to a new spot?
Tom Kilcoyne: At the moment I’m living in Paris, so I’m riding with a lot of the French locals who are showing me spots! The little flying Frenchman Robin Bourhis, Dmitri Ivanov, Matthias Dandois when he’s in town. Flatland rider Melvyn Masson and Usman Malik to name a few and all the boys from La Crémerie!
When I get to a new spot, there are a million things going through my head. How does it look to film? Any different possibilities for angles etc? Is there any way I can make a line with the surrounding obstacles, and am I able to do something creative on it, maybe something others wouldn’t think of. I think it’s important to try to find something you can do that is unique to the spot.
3. Your riding style is pretty unique, which riders do you look up to now and who did you look up when you just started riding?
Tom Kilcoyne: Thanks, man, that’s the biggest compliment! I look up to a lot of bmxer’s if I’m honest, guys like Simone Barraco and Courage Adams are pretty inspiring with their trick selection and spot usage. In the MTB world, guys from The Rise, Menduni, Walter, Aidan, Plonka especially are pushing street riding on 26’s and Serj from Pridestreet too.
4. I can understand why you moved to Paris. I mean the baguettes, the Eiffel tower, the language, the cheese OMG…hahaha, but what did you found in Paris that took you by surprise and got you more excited about your stay.
Tom Kilcoyne: Hahaha, oh la la! I legit ate camembert and a baguette on the grass in front of the Eiffel tower yesterday – such a cliché, but damn nice! Yeah, I’m living with my girlfriend at the moment which is pretty sweet! The Parisian people get a bad rep for being unfriendly and rude, but seriously I’ve met some of the friendliest people here man. Through the simple connection of riding bikes, people go out of there way to help you. It’s real nice, even though my French is terrible. The spots in and around Paris are incredible too. I’ve spent a lot of time riding all over this city now and keep finding new things. It’s awesome.
5. Is there any special reason why you started filming?
Tom Kilcoyne: I think riding bikes and filming are intrinsically linked, like it can look so beautiful and it should be documented. Filming provides motivation to learn new things and go explore new locations.
6. When filming your edits, what do you always keep in mind?
Tom Kilcoyne: First and foremost you want to do the rider justice that you’re filming. I think I have a vision in my head of how things should look, and its just a matter of translating that into a film. You never want the film to get boring, and ideally, you don’t want it to look like what everyone else is putting out. It keeps you thinking of new ideas, and it makes you watch edits and even films in a different way. You start to notice camera angles and editing techniques and then it’s a matter of working out how this can be used in an MTB edit.
7. Can you tell me your best most recent bike memory?
Tom Kilcoyne: Oh man, a couple of weeks ago I had some friends come visit my here, we met up with Matthias (Dandois) and rode through the streets filming little bits and enjoying the feeling of riding through the city. Street, beers and bikes aha, it couldn’t be better!
8. Let’s say I need a free pair of shoes, what would you suggest me to do?
Tom Kilcoyne: Aha, well… a trick that I don’t really fuck with is barspins – so me and my buddy Tom Peters, who I grew up riding with in Sheffield had a bet where we both had to learn barspins by the end of the month (this was in March). And if one learned them and the other didn’t then they had to buy them a pair of shoes. This served as motivation and I managed to learn them! He didn’t get one by the end of the month so hopefully, I’ll have some shoes coming my way at some point 😉 haha
8. In case you became a bike brand team manager, who is on your team and where do you do your first trip?
Tom Kilcoyne: Oh man, hard question! I’m just going to say a few people who’d I think it’d be insane to watch ride together. So, I’d get Garret Reynolds, Brandon Semenuk, and Drew Bezanson on a trip to Europe together. Take them to a mix of street and freeride spots, imagine seeing Garret approach a slopestyle course haha, could be interesting for sure! But in reality, I’d just end up hooking up my close friends and keep a core of good riders with a good vibe.
9. Are you following any Vlogs and would you ever start your own?
Tom Kilcoyne: Not following any Vlogs if I’m honest, all seems diluted content and would take a lot of time to keep up with them daily. It seems people just want the instant gratification of views and shit, instead of working on making something proper. Behind the scenes stuff can be good, just not going selfie mode.
11. You is your favorite dirt jumper and why?
Tom Kilcoyne: Brandon Semenuk, his style is incredible. Makes everything look so good, and is creative in the way in which he rides.
12. Do you have any sponsors and is there any team out there you would like to be a part of?
Tom Kilcoyne: I’m supported by Clique Mtb, but other than that no! I’m looking forward to new opportunities and seeing what’s going happen next! It’d be cool to be part of a team that thinks the same way I do and shares that passion for riding bikes.
13. Oh shit, I almost forgot, so you are part of PSBMX now, fuck yeah. Welcome to the team man and tell me what are you looking forward to and where can people follow your work on PlusSizeBMX?
Tom Kilcoyne: Thanks, dude!! Yeah, I’m stoked to be involved! At the moment I’m helping out with the Instagram page, but soon I’ll be posting on the site. I’m looking forward to contributing more!
14. Before we are done, here is your chance to give a shout out to people you care about.
Tom Kilcoyne: Shout out to all the French dudes for making me feel at home in Paris, thanks to Claire for putting up with me and everyone I ride with back in England, miss you guys! And thanks to you and Plussizebmx for the interview!
The photos in this interview are a courtesy of Kieran Cooper, George Markomichelakis, Giannos Zouras, Melvyn Masson.
Thank you for doing the interview Tom, and I’m looking forward to riding with you soon. – Leo