I'd heard the stories- Eric Hennessey interview

Back in August, I had the opportunity to spend about a week with Eric Hennessey. I'd heard the stories, but of course, couldn't understand this human anomaly until I was able to throw down some hours with him. The rumors are true, this dude is sweet.

I've tried to capture some of his personality in this interview below but it does not do him justice. You'll have to meet him, plain and simple.

Here's an intro by Vic Bettencourt and a little look into Hennessey's brain (Most of these questions were inspired by talks over a game of checkers in Dover, New Hampshire, at a coffee shop at 10 in the morning.)


Eric Hennesey is a man of mystery. Sometimes I think I have him figured out and sometimes he sends me for a whirl. At any given moment Henny will pull some ridiculous move out of his ass and be like, "ya thats what I wanted to do" or "I've never done that before." Whether it'd be living at his old trails (the wolf den), or riding his bike from Connecticut to Providence to just hang out for the night and sleep in my backyard (40 miles). Hennessey makes hilarious songs about myspace, mustaches and motocross with his 80s synth pop band, The Snake Hunters. He's always doing something that makes you think, where did this dude come from?

Eric Hennessy is one of my closest friends and I'm truly happy to say that. Maybe someday he will have the pleasure to meet you and you'll know what I mean when you meet him.

Vic B

1.What is your philosophy on life and riding?

Riding is about the friendships you create with people by doing it..not about riding...I don't care to go ride a great new spot if its gonna be filled with a bunch of kids wearing headphones ignoring one another..riding has shaped me into the person I am today...and its not because of the tricks I have landed or who was watching me when I did them...it was about the laughs and about the exhilarating feeling you get when your having so much fun without even having to do anything.

And as far as life goes..."Tao Te Ching"...read it

2.Tao Te Ching....what aspect of that book hit you the most? Can you pinpoint one, overall, idea?

There's no part of the book that impacted me more than another. I'm not the type of person that would judge someone by the way they live their life. Tao Te Ching, I feel is a reflection of how I want to live. It makes sense to me. There is good values taught in it. Fame or Integrity: which is more important? Money or Happiness: which is more valuable? Success or Failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

3. Does this apply to you being semi-nomadic? You're in the north for the summer for bmx, south for the winter to ride motocross....what ever makes you happy and gets you by? You plan on doing this for as long as possible?

BMX is sooo inviting to the nomadic lifestyle. The way I see it..if you wanna come ride my neck of the woods come on over. My closet is your closet..And it seems like a lot of people that ride bmx have a similar opinion about it. I know Tony (cardona) and Mark (mulville) have a similar attitude toward traveling and riding. I just do what I want to do. That should be priority over everything else in life..Fortunately I have a lot going for me if I ever want to settle down a bit.. have my electricians license, so if I ever wanna fall back on that I will always have a career to become successful in..The future might not come, so have fun and laugh now and then if it does come...laugh then too.

4.How did you end up hooking up with Vic and the Circuit guys? I remember him describing you as this wild dude from Ct. that he'd see at the Ramp Farm.

I remember the first time I saw Vic I was riding Providence skatepark with my friends and one of the kids there was like "that guy is sponsored by Profile". And I remember talking to him for a bit there and asking him if he rode for Profile and it was real awkward. It's pretty sad because I was probably like 21 at the time. I don't remember how but somehow I ended up riding at The Ramp Farm with Vic and his friends and I think I used to just jump in behind them in trains and stuff and they were nice to me so now they're stuck with me as a friend. When Vic started Circuit BMX he asked me if I wanted to ride for him. Everyone on the team I met through Vic..It seems like he knows so many people and its so good to be part of Circuit. I guess I gotta thank circuit and/or Vic for introducing me to a bunch of sweet dudes

5.I remember him mentioning the "Snake Hunters." What's the background to this musical phenomenon?

The Snake Hunters rule!!! I grew up racing motocross with my friend Billy Ainsworth. He always had a guitar and sang funny songs to really bad guitar strumming. He bought a crappy recording program for the computer and we started writing funny songs about ostriches, mustaches, dancing, sloths, and any other random things we could think of. We really didn't put any thought into naming our so-called band. We just used to hunt for snakes at the river by his house so we just called ourselves the Snake Hunters. All our friends at the races would ask us to play our songs for them so we made some cd's and shirts. We were going to use the money from selling that stuff to get a better recording setup but I think I was broke and ended up spending all of it on traveling or something. It's been hard to record songs lately because we are both pretty busy but everyone should check out The Snake Hunters on myspace ...we have got some hits up on there!!

6.That seems to be your viewing on riding as well....nothing serious, just making sure you and everyone around you has a good time. It's always a good session with you.

You still make it out regularly to the ramp farm? How did you meet up with Burger and all those dudes?

What Burger and his friends did in Chicopee, MA. was soo good for the BMX scene in New England. If you rode a bike and you were living anywhere in New England, you, at some point in time (if not every week), rode at the Ramp Farm. Thats where I met all of those guys. I (like everyone else from here) heard about a warehouse that guys in western mass. were renting out and built a skatepark in. I found out through word of mouth where it was. And without knowing anyone from that area, me and a few friends went out there for one of the jams they would have to raise money for the rent. That place stands for everything that BMX is or should be. You never saw anyone criticize anyone for their riding style or riding level or anything. And there was no tolerance for it. If you were mean you were kicked out and never went back..it wasn't a training facility for people to kill themselves to do the new hot trick, it was just a bunch of guys riding their bikes because it was fun. I started going there more and more and eventually got to be pretty good friends with Burger and all of his friends. Then, unfortunately some one bought the building and they had to move out and find a new space. I went to the new spot 2 times..I guess I liked the old spot so much that I couldn't get into the new spot. I think all those guys had the same problem because they are trying to find a new space and move outta there when the lease runs out. Burger is one of my 3 favorite people that I have ever ridden with. I wish he could ride more than he does now..But he's an old man so I guess he has responsibilities. He just turned 30 like a month ago!

7.Come on now...30 is the new 20. Didn't you read that Brian Foster Interview? That dude is living proof.

So what do you end up riding mostly, because your pretty much stuck in the middle of nowhere?

I'm just kidding around about the age thing...Vic is 30 and he has soo much drive to ride his bike...People make jokes about it saying that he's like a 15 year old that's in school just looking at the clock waiting for the bell to ring so he can run out and jump on his bike and hit some curbs...that's Vic at the shop.

A friend of mine named Tito and myself started building some trails right in town about 3 years ago. I had been riding there pretty much everyday for the last 3 years..right up until this past spring when we found out they were on someone's property and not town property. So we had to put a stop to that and that was right before summer...since then it has been harder to ride. We weren't about to start building a new set of trails in the hot summertime. So I have been toughing it out riding when I can at random parks around here and a few sets of trails. Just recently we started digging at a new location. Its awesome because we have permission to use the land and the dirt is pure clay. We should have a few lines running before the fall is over and that will be my new home for the next few years. Just working on getting a dialed spot to ride where I can go cook food with friends and have fun and laugh without having to worry about getting in anyone�s way or waiting for my turn to go...

Article id# 795 | Added Dec 9, 2008

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