Photos/video/text: Kyle Carlson 

 

Josh Betley InterviewClick here to watch the Josh Betley video.

 

 

I always thought kids in Arizona had it rough. The hottest summers on the planet, indoor parks closing down, no public parks that allow bikes, and some of the most ruthless cops I've ever encountered to top it all off. It amazes me that even though Arizona throws so many obstacles in everyone's way, the state somehow still manages to produce a huge BMX scene and quite a few kids that are really talented at riding bikes. Josh Betley is one of those really talented kids.

Josh loves BMX and it pretty much runs his life. And if you can look past his lip ring, cut off girl's jeans, and all the kids crying and doing their hair at his apartment, you will see that Josh is a pretty good guy. He's always down to pack up his car and drive across the country just to ride bikes. As Arizona slowly begins to progress as a BMX-friendly state and Josh continues to progress as a bike rider, it looks like he has a bright future ahead of him in the BMX world. And if BMX doesn't work out, he could always start playing football.

State your name, age, and place of residence.
Joshua Charles Betley, 20 years old, currently living in Tempe, Arizona.

How long have you been riding bikes?
It’s been about six years now—a long time.

Where do you work?
I work at a sweet shop called Global Bikes. I'm the BMX manager.

Does working at a bike shop ever discourage you from spending time on your bike after work?
Well, I work ten-to-seven, so after nine hours of fixing bikes and hustlin' you naturally get tired. But with that said, I make myself try nose-wheelies every night. I'm still not getting any better but I'm only 20, I've got a few years left. Maybe it will happen

What happened to your van?
Oh man the van...R.I.P. That was the best vehicle ever. I had a '91 Dodge Caravan, so dialed. I bought it for $500 bucks and drove it into the ground. I mean, it would overheat constantly, not shift, make crazy noises, and things would always be falling off it. It became too undependable for me to go on trips so I sold it, for $600

Josh Betley on-hand nose whipWho are five of your favorite bike riders?
This is a tough one, but here it is. My top five and why; Eddie Cleveland—great tricks and style with the most basic bike. Corey Bohan—all the big tricks and amazing style. Van Homan—ever since I was a little guy I've looked up to him. Darrin Treanor—unheard of kid from Minnesota who shreds everybody. Sean Sexton—Arizona's best.

Who are five of your favorite people to ride with?
Anthoni Danowski, Drew Hosselton, Bryan Booye, Bink, and Rocky Canles.

What is the best spot you've ever ridden?
Freestone Skatepark, Minersville trails, or FDR. Too hard to choose, they're all so amazing.

Can you do front-flips?
Of course! Everybody can.

What is the riding scene like in Arizona?
It is getting way better. The last few years weren't so hot but we have new people and some parks getting made. It should be worth standing the heat.

Do you ever consider moving away?
Every time I leave it's hard to go back.

What kind of bike do you ride?
A Fit Series 3 with all the Fit goodies.

Are you getting hooked up by Fit now?
I got to meet and ride a bunch with Robbie Morales at Interbike this year and he sent me some stuff. It's such an honor for him to even consider helping me out. I've grown up riding Fits and always loved the team; hands down my favorite team/company in BMX.

How long have you been riding brakeless?
My first few years of riding I rode brakeless. I tried out brakes for a while, but it wasn't me. I took them off around Christmastime.

What made you take your brakes off?
My worthless emo roommate Bryan and I always make bets and dare each other to do things to our bikes. He bet I couldn't be brakeless for a month. I made the month and several more after.

How did you almost kill a cop when you were in Las Vegas for Interbike?
Well, I got a call from you [Kyle Carlson] at nine in the morning to meet up with you and Rob-o at the Anthem park. I was super-excited so I was driving way too fast. I had to change freeways and it was the kind of on ramp that was a full circle. I saw the speed limit sign said 45 so I thought, "I can easily double that." The turn got tighter so I leaned into it like I was a racer or something, and then all of a sudden a cop was stopped on the side of the road helping someone who had just crashed from going too fast in the turn. I saw him, freaked out, and my first reaction was to hit the brakes. I started doing some "Toyko Drift" kind of stunt and almost took him and his car out. He chased me down and wasn't very happy, but after calming him down a bit he let me off with a mild ticket.

Josh Betley chain hopWould you rather do well in a contest or film a good video part?
It would be a pretty good feeling to put together a run that I was stoked on, because most the stuff I would want to do wouldn't be stuff I can just pull out at any given time. But having a good part would be something you could always go watch again, more of a long-term effect.

What do you plan on doing ten years from now?
Doing the same thing I'm doing now; travel, ride, hang out.

What's next?
We get a bikes-allowed park in Chandler in January and I plan on moving into a BMX house within a mile from the park with a backyard ramp. That, and lots of filming

Any thanks?
I have to thank Kyle, I owe that buritto lover everything. Robbie Morales; thanks for making such an amazing company and helping me out. Ryan Fudger and everyone from San Diego, my boss Alan for being so understanding and helping me out so much, my friends and family, they mean everything to me.

 

 

 

Click here to watch the Josh Betley video.

 

 

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