The Green Machine
5 September 2011 / Posted by Brett Phillips
Images: Courtesy of Dan Verity, Circa 2011.
So when you think about the colour green you probably think about all the warm and fuzzy stuff right? Like green tree frogs, fresh green grass or chlorophill! Or maybe emeralds? Spinach? Maybe the stars on the Syrian flag!? Its not often that you have the chance to associated green with one seriously cool and seriously fast gravity bike! Fresh from winning Dalby Forest in the UK, we took time out to have a chat to the green machine, gravity bike racer and builder extraordinaire Dan Verity!
GBHQ: Thanks for taking time out to do a interview Dan.
DV: No probs.
GBHQ: So how old are you Dan?
DV: I'm 38!
GBHQ: What part of the world do you live?
DV: I live in Norton, North Yorkshire, England
GBHQ: How did you first get into the gravity sports scene?
DV: First got into the gravity sports scene after looking for a motorcycle track day and finding a gravity festival at Cadwell park. Looked at it and thought, soapboxes, luge's, skateboards, all yes, and gravity bikes? What the....are gravity bikes. I made one with Gary Priestley and instantly thought "We can do much better"…so I found a bike frame in a skip and went to work making the first incarnation of the green machine!
GBHQ: What you were riding at the time?
DV: Was riding the aluminium framed green machine. I still don't know what make it is, only that it's a diamond shaped aluminium framed freestyle BMX.
GBHQ: What was the scene like at that time?
DV: The scene was almost non existent near us.
GBHQ: Who was pioneering things?
DV: Hard to say who was pioneering things. We just did our own thing on local hills really.
GBHQ: What have been some of the most memorable moments?
DV: First time me and Gary P bombed a hill. On our second run Gary got in front and crashed doing about 40 mph. Just saw his legs disappearing over the handlebars and a big cloud of dust, then his bike cartwheeling out of the cloud across the road. When the dust cleared he was sitting on the verge with his helmet twisted on his head and a conifer branch sticking out of it. Fantastic. Coming second out of 14 on my debut race at Cadwell last year and winning Dalby Forest (my local race) this year.
GBHQ: Who have been some of your greatest influences over the years?
DV: My family and friends are my main influences.
GBHQ: Did you feel that its important to promote the sport to the wider public?
DV: I think it is important to promote the sport and hopefully I am helping to do that over here. Just done an interview for AAL Media Scotland, who are making a film about gravity sports in the UK.
GBHQ: What do you think needs to happen to build the popularity of gravity sports and gravity bikes?
DV: People are not aware of what we are doing, so promotion is key. It is not easy for young people to get into the sport, If we had designated tracks and safety equipment for them to use as well as promotion, this would help lots.
GBHQ: Free ride or competition?
DV: Free ride is good, competition is better. Having a laugh is the main thing. Can't get too serious or the fun will go.
GBHQ: What do you love most about riding?
DV: Most like, hmmm, tipping it in to a corner at high speeds and hoping it sticks, No, slipstreaming, No, people you meet, All of it. I just love building bikes from scrap and riding them to the limit.
GBHQ: Do you have a favourite hill?
DV: No favourite hill as yet. Looking forward to trying the Cairngorms in Scotland next year.
GBHQ: Tell us a little bit about your new bike?
DV: Aluminium Mongoose frame donated by a student, fabrication and design by me. Tried a few different things on this one that have wo