Josh Betley is a rediculous dude on a bike. I have been meaning to get an interview with him for the longest time, then I got the random request and I figured it was time. I talked to with Kyle Carlson and we discussed some questions and Kyle sent me a bunch of photos he had of Josh. So all the photos in this interview the credit goes to Kyle. Enjoy the interview!
Joshua Charles Betley
Sunday! Bikes, Odyssey, Cerbae, Global Bike Shop, CarlsonCo
In the last year or two you have became a well known dude from your riding, how do you feel about that?
It’s pretty bizarre; I’m still waiting for the babes to recognize me.
What do you think the most unexpected thing is that happened to you in the last year because bikes?
Being in the Washington Post for bike riding when I was in London without a bike. Random and unexpected for sure.
You recently went over to Sunday, what was the reason for leaving Fit?
Fit is a bunch of good guys that make some of the best products in BMX, but it didn’t really work out. After the crew pretty much abandoned in LA with no car and no money, some random dude that worked in the warehouse let me know I need to be careful because it was my “last chance.” I don’t need anyone to do me any favors and I got the impression Fit felt like they were doing me a big favor by occasionally sending me parts and shirts. I guess I just didn’t Fit.
Are you still on good terms with Fit?
For sure; I still have a couple of good friends involved with Fit and recognize that they make awesome products. I work at a bike shop and continue to do a bunch of business with them. I talk to Sean McKinney at least once a week and he’s an awesome dude.
How are things going with Sunday?
Sunday is rad. I’m just on the flow team, but they’ve been good to me. With dudes like Jake Seeley and Alex Magellan on the flow team, it seems wilder than a lot of pro teams out there. They recently took me on a trip to Austin, TX and it was full of good times with some of the most fun people I’ve ever met. Also, the new frame is incredible.
Are you filming for a part in the new Sunday video?
That’s the goal; as I said, I’m only on the flow team so I’m not exactly sure how much they want from me. I’m also working on a couple of other video projects right now so I’m a busy man.
Word on the street is you have a split video with Drew Hosselton soon to hit VitalBMX, how long has that been in the works and where all was it filmed?
It was just an all-street weekend trip to Las Vegas. About two weeks ago, Drew and I were determined to get out there and ride some new street spots and film a quick section, but we both have shit-cars that aren’t exactly road trip friendly. We ended up sending it in my Volkswagon and got lucky. In the two days we were there we filmed a little section for Vital, played some Rock Band, ate at a mexican restaurant that didn’t ID Drew, and got loose on the strip. Kyle Carlson sent me over an early copy of the edit and I’m really stoked on how it turned out; it has a really good feel to it. Hopefully everyone else agrees when it’s out!
What are your plans for 08′, any big trips or contests planned?
Nothing too much contest-wise; SWBMX.com just put on the Phoenix Massacre Online Video Contest that me and some homies were going to film a section for, but it didn’t really work out. I ended up filming some clips in a few hours and that ended up being our entire teams section, hahaha! Soon I’m taking a vacation with my family to Hawaii and possibly joining some of the Sunday crew in Barcelona.
Where are some of your favorite places you have had the chance to travel to?
Austin, San Francisco, everywhere I’ve been in Europe (Netherlands, Poland, England, Germany, Czech Republic, France); there are so many crazy cities with so many differences.
Where are some places you would really like to go to that you haven’t been?
Australia and Japan.
If you could only ride one spot for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?
A good set of trails. That seems like the most beneficial.
If you could only do one trick for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Nose wheelie; every time you do a long one it’s an overwhelming joy you can only experience from that trick. It feels like you’re defying physics or something and you’ve unlocked the magic secret.
How in the hell do you do those hand jam things?
Very painfully. I tried doing a straight one of a 1/4 for like an hour and all I got was a bruised torso and one pulled I wasn’t super stoked on.
How do you hang five/nothing so well? What is the trick to those?
There was a time when no one in my area rode much so I just went out in my front yard and dialed ’em in. The key is a good connection with your ass on the seat and controlling it with your arms.
How do you feel about brakeless riding? Could you ever ride brakes again?
I don’t even think about being brakeless or not; it just feels natural to me. I could go back to it if there was a brakes trick I really wanted to do, but that seems unlikely. I’m not a crazy brakeless-nazi like some, I just prefer to not have them.
What was the first moment you knew you wanted to be riding bikes for as long as you can?
When I landed a 360 out of the flyout by my house. It was over at that point.
What is one trick that you cannot do for the life of you?
Barspin to Footjam. Fuck that trick.
What do you think you would be doing if you never picked up a bike?
Rockin’ out with some band.
What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next few years with riding?
I would like to keep riding, keep having fun, and somehow do a nose wheelie to tailwhip.
Do you have any signature stuff coming from your sponsors?
CarlsonCo has a full line of signature JB items coming out.
How are things going with Carlson Co anyway’s?
Kyle and I talk on an almost daily basis and sometimes we discuss t-shirt designs or who’s getting dropped/picked up; a year or so has gone by and nothing has really happened, but it’s still the best company in BMX.
Outside of BMX what are some things you are into?
Eating mexican food, riding my fixed gear road bike, chillin’, random adventures, and any sort of fun activities. I’m a big fan of fun.
What is it with you and dating a stripper?
All girls are strippers, some just do it for money.
Aren’t you currently living with a stripper?
Yeah, my roommate’s girlfriend. There is so much bullshit with that; I don’t even want to touch that subject.
Have you ever had to perform a homemade abortion?
Wow, this could ruin me! I’m just going to lie and say no. Definitely not.
If you could spend the day with anybody alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Jesus. A lot of people like that dude, I want to see if he’s all he’s hyped up to be.
Who is Eli from France and are you guys still talking?
Eli is this random dude we met at the catacombs under Paris. His dad is the vice president of Gucci and he’s a flaming homosexual who sells coke. Kyle Carlson let him buy him lunch and drinks, but I was too creeped out. You meet some really interesting people when you travel. I haven’t spoken with Eli since that day, but I’m sure he’s kicking ass; selling blow and blowing dudes…… hahaha.
What are some of your favorite movies? Riding and Non-riding wise.
In no specific order: Donnie Darko, Joe Dirt, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ong-Bak, and Initial D.
What are some of your favorite tv shows?
Weeds, South Park, Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocolypse…
What are some bands you are into? Any you would recommend people to check out?
I’ve always been into The Mars Volta, The Decemberists, DJ Shadow, Modest Mouse, Deltron3030, The Arcade Fire, Vitalic, The White Stripes, Jethro Tull, David Bowie, and The Moving Units. I highly recommend you check out MGMT and Dear And The Headlights.
What are some of your favorite websites?
All the usual BMX sites (Vital, The Come Up, FatBMX, BMXOnline), Myspace, and excellentoral.edu is the site I plan on making one day.
What is your thoughts on marijuana use?
I think the band the streets put it best with their song “The irony of it all.”
You used to rock a mini van, what ever happened to that?
I bought it for $500, drove the living hell out of it, and sold it for $600. It was the most dialed vehicle ever. Now my boy Drew Hosselton has an even better van. Any neighboring Cities needs to watch their sisters, someone’s gonna get pregnant van-style.
Have you ever had a turbo in your car?
I did get this one really dumb girl believe to that the air conditioner controls in my ’92 piece of shit Corolla set off the turbo and the hazard lights were the N.O.S. I hit all the switches and she screamed louder than someone being tortured. It was one of the funniest experiences of my life.
If you could be sponsored by any company that is non BMX related, who or what would it be and why?
Some sort of good food place; I waste all of my money on food. If it was free, I’d be dialed.
Who or what are some of the biggest influences on your life?
The people close to me, my family, my friends, and other riders. Also, the dude Tony Jaa from that movie Ong-bak – Thai Warrior. You tube his name and have your mind blown.
If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Work less, ride more, party harder, slay sluts; you know, what any one of us would do.
Being a pretty popular dude, have you had any stalkers or creepers? Any good stories?
I did have a really creepy old dude come into my bike store and give off some stage five clinger vibes. Other than that I talk to lots of kids on myspace; they ask to how to barspin and hang five and stuff. Nothing creepy.
Word on the street is somebody is trying to murder you! what’s the story behind that?
Saturday morning I woke up early to go ride/film and when I went to load up, I walked out the front door and there was a dead fish hanging in my front yard and another in my backyard. It could be a prank or it could be something serious; either way I’m sort of concerned. If I go out soon, I just want to say thanks to everyone that rides bikes and tell all of my family and friends that I love them and send a last FUCK YOU to Akon. I hate Akon.
If you could change anything about BMX what would it be and why?
Less hate + more unity. We’re all in this together.
What kind of advice do you have for people just getting into BMX?
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
I’d like to thank the number 42, Odyssey for making the best bike parts and helping me out so much, Sunday!, Cerbae Clothing, Global Bikes for employing me for all of these years and letting me take off as much as I want and letting me do this interview on the clock, Mark Losey at Nike 6.0 for keeping my feet fresh, Jim Bauer, Will Stroud and Chad Shack at Nine to Five for being so awesome, All my friends, you guys kick ass, My family for always helping out and Kyle Carlson. He kicks my ass into shape constantly and goes way out of his way to help me out. Thanks buddy, I owe you some Blue moon. Oh, and Blue Moon beer.