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Interview with Blake "Bilko" Williams

Interview by Tobias Hannig

He is one of the shootingstars in the global FMX scene and got invited to the X-Games 2006 in Los Angeles. We are talking about Blake Bilko Williams from Australia. He is one of the FMX Trick innovators of the year doing a Cliffhanger Backflip on dirt. We talked with Bilko about his plans and the upcoming X-Games event in summer ...

First of all, tell the guys out there some basics about you - where do you come from, how old are you and what is your mission?
Well my real names Blake Williams, but forget that cause no one calls me that, i’m 21, i live in a small town called Baxter and my mission is to get top the top of FMX and just be recognised as a good rider and a nice guy.

Blake Williams
Everytime in a good mood - BILKO!

Tell us something about the Australian FMX scene.
How many Pro riders and amateurs are riding there?
Well theres about 10 pro’s that come to mind i guess, Myself, Robbie Maddison, Matt Schuebring, Cam Sinclair, Joel Balchi, Steve mini, Matty Mac, Chucky Norris, the Coles, umm hope i don't piss anyone off for not listing them, anyways there heaps of amateurs out there till with a lot of potential too, but its hard to get recognised as there’s not many comps, bout 2 or 3 a year and most of the time the promoter puts it on the same time as a crusty show so it takes out about 6 of us.

Are in Australia any locations to freeride?
Not really, there’s a few but none near were i live, the best place was were Maddo held the Red Bull X ray event were we had 5 freestylers, 5 racers and 5 juniors riding together for a week on natural hits up to 160ft. Schuie has a couple of spots near his house but lives about 20 hours drive from me.

Are there also some national contests in Australia or a kind of FMX series?
Sort of, they have they FMX nationals but they always clash with other events. Also the governing body of motorcycles, Motorcycling Australia banned backflips a few years ago, now you have to be approved to flip and can only do it in a demo and not a comp. That is if its an MA event which there was only one last year. There is talk of a series later in the year but who knows, they’d need to get that rule changed.

What do you think the Australian FMX scene needs to get itself into better shape?
A good series with some good prize money, there is talk of that happening towards the end of the year so i can’t wait.

Blake Williams
Blake also does standard tricks like an extended Dead Body

Do you have your own FMX compound?
Yeah i’ve got a 2 way downramp with a Standard ramp each way and a super kicker aswell, both the standard ramps have concrete run ups cause the ground stays realy wet here in winter. The downramp is pretty crappy but does the job, no saftey deck but just dont case it. There is also a really small SX track with a dirt hit onto the freestyle downramp.

Let’s talk about the Flip. How did you learn the Flip?
Bout 2 years ago, my buddy Sincs (Cam sinclair) wanted to try one, he tried a few times but didn’t pull it. I hadn’t ridden a big bike for 6 months as i broke both my arms racing SX, but i went along to watch and took my gear cause i was keen to have a go. Anyways it was a jacked up standard ramp at about 45 feet. I saddled up, done about 40 test jumps and then reefed back. I pulled 4 in a row and packed it up, then Sincs nailed one as well.

Do you think, that the people hype the Backflip to much and the judges are score them to overpriced?
Yes and no, if you do to many backflips in a run though its not good, you have to have the whole package. It's a touchy one.

You are doing different Flips combos. Did you already work on the 360 lately?
Yeah i’m really keen to do a 360 soon. I’ve been doing a few into the pit but don’t hit one that often so its hard.

Blake Williams
Blake practising the 360 into the foampit

How do you prepare yourself during the cold wintertime?
It dosen’t get that cold down here in the winter time. Well it gets cold but no snow were i live. It can rain a bunch but i still ride moto or in the gym when its too wet to ride.

You got invited to ride the X Games - what are your plans to do there?
Well most likely a cliffhanger flip, but i want to have something else aswell but don’t know what that is. I have to have knee surgery after so that sucks. If i do good there then fly home and have surgery everyone will be like he’s just a one trick wonder and forget about cause i’ll be out for a few months. I’m off the bike now and my knee won’t be 100% but i’m not missing X.

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