Speaking to professional BMX rider, Kayley Ashworth.
Talk us through your average day/week as a professional bmx rider.
Wow, I’ve never been asked that before haha, it’s really weird reading it, but I tell the taxman the same thing, so, yeah.
It’s difficult to answer you, i guess it depends what day/week, I can be spending a weekend in the Shetland Islands with a stunt team, sea kayaking, doing shows in front of hundreds of children, been part of a project to teach them how to fix their bike, how to see the fun in riding: then another weekend would be spent at home doing endless amounts of washing, the high life ey! Haha
How did you get into bmx and how did things progress to where you are now?
When I was 14, I used to walk home from high school through the local park which had a skatepark, I was dared to drop in a mini, I did, successfully, the bike however did continue across the volcano and the rest of the park haha. After that, I begged my dad for a BMX, which we purchased from eBay and it was painted pink and black
From then, I spent years at Rampworx, as I got to know people they would talk about Corby skatepark and how it had a foampit - that’s where I learnt to flip
Time went by, I found myself travelling around with Angie Marino, it was the end of a year at university and my student loan financed me around the country, we had our ups and downs, I learnt ALOT, but it will always be one of the best things I did, we went everywhere, skateparks I didn’t even know existed, jams, nights out in so many places; Hastings, Brighton, London, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Corby and I can’t remember where else (you get my point, right?) I met so many BMX’rs, it was unreal - that led us to painting the ramps at Nass Festival 2010, which had Goliath.
To me, Goliath was just a real big resi style ramp and I wanted to flip it, I actually attempted it and you know what I did? As soon as I saw the landing I thought I was wayyyyy closer than what I was, so I bailed. Seriously, I am awful with distances, my dad used to describe a distance to me, using the lengths of ironing boards - not my proudest moment.
Either way, I was approached by Superstar and Zeal for sponsorship, that, was insane.
I was given so many opportunities and my main aim was to have other girls at a skatepark with me, I’ve organised road trips, jams and sessions, I’ve driven to so many houses to take girls to a skatepark so I’m not alone. Some girls are so nervous about what other people think about them, others stick it out for a little while, either way, the sport is attracting more girls than ever and I love it. If I can get more girls to enjoy BMX, I will.
What’s your favourite trick to do?
I love t-bogs, as you may tell, it’s the only trick I’ve felt comfortable with since coming back from surgery, getting more into transfers and riding an entire skatepark, rather than just a jumpbox.
What’s the scariest trick you’ve done?
hat, would probably be the backflips, every single one of them haha. Take a look at part of my injury list since I last did a backflip:
2012: broke my right ulna and radius closest to my wrist, requiring 8 pins and 2 plates
2013: stayed off my bike for a while, rode for 2 months around Scotland doing shows infront a total of 2,000 children. Then had my pins removed later on in the year whilst still managing to split my chin open (for the 5th time) on a failed t-bog and gaining my first ever swell bow
2014: recovered from surgery, been over my bars several times, torn my skin several times too many, broke my hand, a rib and bruised my face
I’m 24 now, it’s getting old, I’d rather pretend to fly from a volcano to a box than throw myself around. I sound SO old haha!
What have you got planned next - is there anything you’re working on or training for at the moment?
Funny you should ask that, I’m actually putting a plan together for the last week in either October or November to have a girls session at a handful of skateparks, but as an experience - contact those near a chosen skatepark and simply let girls have a go, have a mini adventure, like a road trip. I’d love to get as many girls as possible, even those who just want to try it out and have no idea where to start or just to try something new (so calling all those mtb, race and all cycling girls!). I’d like to create that opportunity for those who cycle and those who haven’t for years! Let me know if you want to be involved.
I would also like to thank those who are already working to make this happen!