Open Mic: The Josh Hansen Interview.

If you came here to find out who this Josh Hansen fella' is, hopefully this will shed some light. I met up with him almost a year ago at Jomopro where he made a big impression on me, by riding extremely well in the jam circle outside of the contest. I saw a lot of flavor and depth in his riding, as well as consistency. and yeah,  I felt the same way you may be feeling right now - "who the hell is this guy?!" As I see it, he's a good rider on the rise, and you will no doubt be seeing more from him in the future. Let's get this puppy going!

first question, who are you and what brought you here?

My name is Josh Hansen, I am 23 years young, and I live in Champaign, IL. I grew up in a small town called Two Rivers, WI and moved to IL in 2009. I was summoned by Jm McKay for this interview.

a question that's asked a lot is 'what made you want to ride flatland?’ -

I had an accident riding ramps in 2008, I was doing an ice pick and missed the transition of the ramp completely and fell to the pavement shattering my elbow. I couldn't ride for awhile and was kinda shook up after the fall. I could do hang 5s and bar hops before I made flat an all time thing. I always had an interest in flat riding by riding with my two good friends Clancy Burke and Andy Musil. I also rode with Mark Hilson (of Baco and Jerry Springer fame) who did some weird flat shit while riding ramps. In the middle of 2009 I started focusing more on flat and riding a little less street and ramps. I still love and ride street and ramps but flat is on the top of riding priorities.

what keeps you from quitting?

I guess its the fact the I have a strive to want to learn new things and meet people. Its something that is always there, and will always be there. People need things like that.

do you have a favorite color?

Purple is pretty legit. Black and White is pretty legit too.

if a doctor told you that you had, at best, one month to live, what things would you need to do to feel like you fully lived your life?

Keep doing what i've always been doing. Also learn hitchhiker kickflips.

i ran into you last year at the Jomopro contest there in Joplin, MO. what did you think of it? have you been to other contests? if so, how does it rate?

Contests are a good time I have been to quite a few and they are always a great time. The Indy contests have always been my favorite. I enjoy competing even if I ride like shit or ride awesome. I guess I really just like being part of it all. However, I never "train" for contests. I hate that word. If you are gonna train, don't train for a contest, train for life, train to do things all the time, not one particualr event.

Overall though the Am circuit, despite some of its flaws are a really good time and guys like Steve Lapsley are trying to make something that works. If all works out I will be at most of the AMFLT contests this year, Jomopro and the Anderson In contest. I am most likely not going to be at voodoo, due to cost. (sadface)

some riders primarily tailor and develop their riding for themselves, some push for web edits, documenting new ideas without the constraints of time, pressure and live audience, and others ride so that they perform well at contests and events. what do you ride for?

Progression, and see how much I can meld some of my street stuff with my flat stuff, and really just trying to see and develop new ideas and concepts. I love making edits as well, despite not making too many. There will be a really nice edit or two coming out in the future, so stay tuned on that.

at Jomopro i couldn't help but notice that you ride a PiR frame, made by master craftsman Malo. Can you say a few words about it?

Malo did a wonderful job on my frame. Basically I wanted to have the frame 19.5 (im tall 6"2), low top tube (6.15 standover),12.9 rearend, double diamond (no bends for me) 75ht/71st, high BB and some other features like the closed dropouts. I really love the frame, Ive been on it for a year and have no desire to ride anything else. You want something good, go with PiR.

when i watch you ride, i can't help but notice a heavy street-ish influence. how long have you been riding street or other genres of bmx?

I started riding BMX in 2003 and I really rode alot more park then street up until i started riding flat in mid 2009. I rode alot of stuff like banks and miniramps, doing coping tech and stuff like that.. I also enjoy alot of freecoaster fakie style stuff.

how do you stay sane during these long winters when there is snow everywhere and the weather is inhospitable?

In Wisconsin you paid money to ride skateparks or you pissed and moaned how much the winter sucks. But since I live in Illinois now, I am lucky because I have a warm indoor parking garage I can ride and I know people who have their own indoor spots too.

your favorite web edit or flatland video?

Akira Okamura - Soul 53# is my fav. The atmosphere of that particular edit is pretty close to me just riding around random places and doing whatever.

favorite food?

Spicy food. and seafood

do you have any hobbies outside of riding?

I don't have hobbies, I have interests. Hobbies cost money. Mostly I just work and go to school and ride. Pretty much just chill when I am not riding.

do you have a girlfriend, wife?

I have a wife actually.

would you accept a sponsorship from a company if they approached you? if yes, top 3 companies (or types of companies) and why.

I would take a sponsorship from any company who I can represent and they can represent me.Also Any Shoes, Tires or Clothing company I will take with open arms haha.

where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully riding and having a job that makes good money.

if modern flatland was a song, what song would it be?

I know it wouldn't be a dubstep song.

do you have a favorite rider?

Akira Okamura, Travis Collier, Marrti Kouppa are my top 3.

do you watch sports on tv?

I watch NFL football, and Pro Wrestling is pretty entertaining at times.

vegetarian or omnivore?

Meat eating Vegetarian.

what is the next new trend in flatland?

Hopefully jumping tricks. Most people say more street influenced flat riding, but that has been going on longer than people think.

nicki minaj: tramp or too cool?

too much of a tramp to be cool.

we touched on your custom frame earlier, but are there any other special things about your bike?

I have a modified Nankai Bamboo convered to female axle with bluesix ti bolts and ti lock nuts. I also have a counterbored colony stem and a custom made Bottom bracket spacer. All made in the USA by Zodiac Eng. It also weighs 19.6 pounds.

are there any parts you ride that you will want to stay with till the end?

Hopefully all my parts will last. My coaster and my frame I defiantly have a soft spot for however.

favorite band?

I listen to alot of music, so its hard to pick a favorite, but I enjoy Opeth,The New Pornographers,and Autechre as of late. Quite the sporadic list.

favorite snack?

Anything spicy.

how would you describe the ultimate flatland jam? we've talked about doing it here in austin, but for the uninitiated, your thoughts:

The Super Happy Fun Austin Mega BMX Flatland Jam of the Eternal Riders World United Jam will hopefully happen someday. Seems like a good time.


(try and post a jpeg image of the long facebook discussion we had on this im sure people will laugh at it) fs: i would if i could, but it is simply too long- between 100-150 comments if i recall.

at this point i'd like to just thank you for putting up with this random onslaught of questions. now the mic is all yours.
shoutouts, thoughts, anything at all you'd like to add:

-Clancy Burke and Andy Musil for getting me hooked on flatland.
-Mark Hilson for all the fun sessions, hope all is well wherever your at.
-Wisconsin riders who have been good to me over the years.
-Malo @ PiR Products for making the best frames ever. [pir.bmx@gmail.com]
-Ken @ Zodiac Eng for making me some nice parts.
-The nice people at 217bmx.com for all the great edits and trips.
-Chris, Paul,Jake (Indy crew)
-Chicago area riders
-Chad and Brandon @ juggahoe bikes/milwaukee flatland crew
-And My family for their love and support with this unusual hobby.

Well shit, now it sounds like im giving a speech. Time for some cheap plugs.
Go get a something made by PiR products, Go buy something from Zodiaceng, check out 217bmx.com, watch all the great videos on flatstyle. add me on twitter @hashcab217. stalk me on facebook. And ride your bike.

well said. 
here's some clips of Josh riding his bike. enjoy!


  1. Nice interview. Josh has got a lotta tricks for riding flat for so little time. He does the street+flat approach well.

  2. Wow used to watch this cat take on bmx back in the day; Good to see hes still got the skills. Hell yeah man keep at it n show em how its done!