The great Canadian winter usually means a break of several months for trials riders in Quebec... But for trials riders in Montreal, this winter "down-time" is a thing of the past! An enormous indoor complex dedicated to skate, BMX and trials was opened on the 28th of March: the TAZ park, which we presented at the start of last week: Montreal’s TAZ park.
Last weekend saw a massive gathering of trials riders, with top Atomz rider Thibaut Veuillet, who was actively involved in the project, in attendance. It was basically a mini-comp on Saturday which served to officially open the indoor area, followed by a big street ride the next day in Montreal.
Some of the best riders on the American continent turned up for the rendezvous, including top Meta Bikes riders James Barton (James Barton joins Meta Bikes) and Trevor Bodogh. Everyone who came fell in love with this amazing indoor spot.
A quick look at the sections, by Trevor...
Another look at the whole of the TAZ indoor area and some of the riders, by Fred Johnson, a 24 year old trials rider from Quebec who sent us a who has sent us a whole collection of photos from the weekend, which we will feature in an article soon...
Here’s what Trevor had to say after the street ride:
"What a great event! The most fun I’ve ever had at a comp or street ride in Canada!
Thanks to everyone who came, who took photos or videos and who helped to build the park and organise the weekend!
I’ll definitely be coming back to TAZ soon!"
Here’s an interview with Thibaut Veuillet on Tuesday evening, after he returned from his trip to Quebec, in which we ask him about the TAZ’s inaugural weekend and about his involvement in the project. There is also a video interview on his website: www.tiboveuillet.com.
Jébegood : So you got back OK? It’s a long trip for you isn’t it?
Tibo: Haha, yeah, I got back fine, I’m getting used to it now!
Jébegood: OK, so tell us about your Quebec love story, when and how did it start?
Tibo: Well... it all started about a year ago. We went to do a few shows with 2 Bikes Show (Sylvain and I) and it’s true, I became hooked on the country! After that, I spent the whole winter there and then I went back again later on. The mentality of the people there is really cool, the food is great and there are some great riding spots...
Jébegood: Yeah, but the only problem is that you could only ride in the summer... until the TAZ opened in Montreal that is! How did you come to be a part of the TAZ project?
Tibo: Yeah, it gets very cold from about November. It can get as low as -40° and there’s snow until the end of April, so its impossible to ride except in indoor skate parks, but they’re not really much good for trials... I got to know Mathieu Robichaud, a rider from over there, who is also a landscape gardener (www.bloompaysage.com) who specialises in designing skate parks and who was working on the TAZ project. We talked a lot about how to bring trials to TAZ, we met with the people behind it and things just went on from there!
Jébegood: It’s something most of us can only dream of! It looks like its going to be massive!
Tibo: Yeah, it’s big! Matt thought about everyone while he was designing the area, there’s something for riders of all levels, and all of the obstacles are moveable, which offers a million possibilities!
Jébegood: Yeah, it’s an excellent concept, having modular sections!
Tibo: Yes, it’s taken a lot of work designing and building all the obstacles; I worked on them for two weeks and Matt spent a month working on the indoor area!
Jébegood: Yeah, you really got your hands dirty, as they say! Do you think you’ll be making us a TAZ in France any time soon?
Tibo: Haha, the weather’s nice and hot in France, there’s no need an the moment! And there are riding spots everywhere! We’ll be working hard on the Montreal TAZ for a while, but we’ll see what happens in the future! The project is a big one and we’ve got a motivated team, so we should be able to do big things!
Tibo: There are a lot of riders in Quebec, but unfortunately, they all seem to stick to their local spots. They’re starting to travel to meet up a bit more now though, and at this weekend’s event it was great to see riders from all over Canada, including some of the top riders like James Barton or Trevor Bodogh!
Jébegood: Tell us about the weekend - the best riders in Canada, or even the American continent, were there weren’t they? There was a mini-comp on the Saturday wasn’t there?
Tibo: Yeah. Most of Canada’s riders were there, only the Vancouver boys didn’t make it, it’s a long trip for them (a six hour flight!)... Canada’s a big country! So we organised a mini-comp on the Saturday, as well as a few gap and high jump contests etc. But the important thing was that we were all there together, getting to know one another and finding out about the TAZ! It really was a great weekend of fun and riding, everyone had a different style and approach!
Jébegood: James Barton and the Meta boys were there, how was that? James was riding a 20"? Are the Canadians good riders?
Tibo: Yeah, they’re good, it’s great to watch! James is riding 20" now, you’re right, he’s riding a lot of BMX at the moment and it’s easier to make the crossover.
Jébegood: So he was riding freestyle then?
Tibo: Yeah, mostly, but we all tried each other’s styles, it was a really enriching experience!
Jébegood: What are the characteristics of their riding?
Jébegood: Sounds amazing!
Tibo: Quebec’s trials riders have a real thirst for learning!
Jébegood: And Sunday’s street ride, were there many people there?
Tibo: Yeah, everyone who was there on Saturday showed up, but we were all really tired!
Jébegood: Are you going back to Canada soon? There’s a lot of history between you and Quebec isn’t there?
Tibo: Yeah, I’ll be going back soon, I spend a lot of time there!
Jébegood: Do you think you’ll settle over there one of these days? No-one I know who’s gone over there has ever come back! You’ll start picking up the accent soon!
Tibo: I’m already picking up some expressions... Tabarnaaaak!! But for the moment I don’t intend to move over there, I’ve got some projects going with 2 Bikes Show over here and in Europe, and for the moment, I can still travel, so I do!
Jébegood: Cool! You were riding the Quark this weekend, have you jut received it? do you like it?
Tibo: Yeah, it’s the bomb! It’s really state-of-the-art, I love it!
Jébegood: Which model do you have??
Tibo: the short one.
Tibo: Disc, i had the Premier with double HS33 over the winter, I’ve gone a bit deaf as a result!
Jébegood: They can be a bit noisy!
Jébegood: Tell us about your shows...
Tibo: 2 Bikes Show is getting bigger! I started it with Sylvain Richou four years ago and it’s going really well! We were the first to bring trials to the cabaret stage, and its been an unforgettable experience! We’ve done shows like Juste Pour Rire (Just Fot Laughs) in Canada or Omar and Fred in France, it’s been great! Incroyable Talent (France’s equivalent to Britain/America’s Got Talent) really helped us to promote the shows and the sport!
Jébegood: Yeah, it was really good for the sport! What projects have you got over the coming weeks/months? Do you live 100% trials?
Tibo: Yes, with Sylvain, 200% even! We have achieved pro status and make a salary from it, it’s a dream to make a living from your passion! With 2 Bikes Show, we’ve got loads more demos planned. Despite the financial crisis, people are still booking plenty of shows! As for personal projects, I’m going to continue working on trials at TAZ with Matt...
Jébegood: Plenty to do then, great stuff! Good luck with it all, and keep us posted! Thanks very much for answering our questions, see you soon!
Tibo : Thank you! Bye
Soon to come, a series of photos of the three champions who were in attendance: Tibo’, James Barton and Trevor Bodogh, and a video of the event!