This is Jon Faure in the air aboard his Model C. He just built it up last week and is trying to sell off his other bike as we speak. I did an interview with him about getting his Model C and the switch to it from his MTB DJ. Plus there’s a special twist to the story. Read the interview after the break.
Name Jon Faure
Location San Diego California
Tell us about your riding background and history
Loved riding a bike as a kid. I go way back to the Schwinn Stingray days. Raced BMX for one year when I was 12 in the late 70’s. Moved on to racing motocross after that. Raced professionally from age 15 to 18. Quit after too many injuries. Haven’t even owned a motorcycle since. Surfed competitively until my daughter was born at age 27 and my son was born 15 months after that. Life changed at that point and I basically didn’t do anything except get fat and out of shape. Priorities had changed and it was time to invest in my family. When my son was 10 years old, he became interested in BMX. It had been 27 years since I even owned a bike! But, I couldn’t just sit there and watch my son ride so I decided to buy a BMX cruiser and we started racing together. We raced on and off for 3 or so years until my son kind of lost interested in the racing and was moving on to dirt jumping and park riding. Again, not wanting to sit on the sidelines I began to ride with him at the skate parks and the local dirt jumps. Now addicted to riding we have been riding consistently for about 3 years. I love the fact that my son and I have this common bond. My 16-year-old son and I truly love to ride together! It’s something I thank God for everyday!
So, how did you hear about the Model C?
I think it was watching the Interbike videos on vitalbmx and you mentioned it. Then went to your site and saw your promo video. I was so pumped after watching that, I thought, finally someone is thinking of me! Age 45, addicted to riding and trying to figure out how to keep riding and progressing in this sport.
What bike were you riding before this?
I have been searching for a bike that I can feel comfortable on for the last couple of years. Tried riding a 20” but just could never feel very comfortable on it and because of that I would have to ride really conservatively. Riding at age 45 is all about being confident and comfortable with the bike you’re riding. Tried riding a cruiser but the race geometry sucked for riding park. Finally settled for a hardtail MTB that I could set up to ride more like a BMX bike. Felt a little like and outcast hanging with all the BMXers but at least I felt comfortable and was able to push myself to progress. I have never even been mountain biking! I am a BMXer but yet I was stuck on a MTB.
Had you seen a Model C in person before you bought one?
Only saw it on your video but knew instantly that was the bike for me!
When you first built it up and before you rode it, what were your initial thoughts?
Wow! This actually looks cool. Maybe I won’t look like such a dork at the skate park!
Ok, so I imagine you rode it around the driveway when you first got it built, what were your thoughts then?
From my first couple of pedals on the street in front of my house, I knew my searching was over! I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but it is really true. Riding at age 45 is all about confidence. Finally I felt I might have a bike here that will keep me progressing well into my 50’s!
You said you took it to the skate park the first night, how did it feel riding ramps on it?
I have ridden so many different bikes and there has always been a learning curve. From my first manual, launch out of a quarter, riding fake to hitting the box jump, everything felt so good and comfortable. There was no time at all getting used to it. One week now of riding it and I feel like my riding has already improved.
Did it you constantly compare the differences between your MTB DJ and the Model C every time you took a run on it?
I stopped thinking about my MTB completely on day one. Posted it on craigslist after my first night at the skate park. Still haven’t found a buyer. Know anyone interested? Haha…
To you is it more MTB or more BMX?
Jim, I truly loved my MTB because it allowed me to progress in the sport. But, it was a MTB and not a BMX. The Model C is all BMX!
What were people’s reactions when you showed up on a Model C?
Not that this really matters to me at age 45 but everyone instantly loved it and made comments on how awesome it looked. Suddenly I felt cool and not so much like an outcast.
Did everyone want to try it out right away? Or were people somewhat hesitant and reluctant?
Funny you should ask. Everyone wanted to try it!!! Being the friendly guy I am, much of my first night riding was spent watching all the little guys kill it on my bike.
You said your son rode it and did ever trick he knows on it right away. What was his initial response to it? Then response after he rode it?
My son loved it! It was like the bike had an “Easy Button”. Everything he does on his 20 was almost easier on my bike. No warm up time, no getting used to it, so easy to ride.
When I give people my bike to ride and they start to realize that it does work like a 20″ BMX they usually get this smile that almost grows. You can actually see the understanding and realization. Could you see that on anyone who rode it?
So far the reaction has been the same with everyone. Everyone that has ridden it wants one. Realistically these kids will probably stay on their 20’s. But, it was amazing for me to watch these kids ride my bike. Tail whips, bar spins, 3’s, it’s all been done on my bike. It didn’t take any time at all for these kids to jump on my bike, chuck their favorite trick and pull it first time.
Any wrecks on it the first night? Where’s the first scratch?
Because I am 45, I don’t like to crash. Mainly because I really suck at it. I see kids falling left and right and getting right back up and they keep riding. Me, I don’t even have any scratches on my bar ends. Haha…But, my bike has more than a first scratch. One of the kids that I let ride my bike had a head on collision with another rider. Bent my front wheel and broke a spoke. Even though my front wheel is wobbling, I still feel more comfortable on this bike than any other bike I have ridden.
So before you mentioned that you could really see yourself riding into your 50’s, that is amazing! The first image of a BMXer is a teenager not a 50 year old man. How far into your 50’s do you think you can ride?
To be quite honest, I really don’t know. I have seen some really good riders in their early fortys. I haven’t yet run into anyone older than me that still rides park and dirt. All I know is, here I am at 45 years old, still improving and trying more each time I ride. I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. And, this Model C of yours has me more pumped than ever!
Do you think having older people riding will change how BMX is viewed?
I don’t know. I just really want to see more dads out there getting to experience the fun I have riding with my son. I have a blast riding but riding with my son I have twice the fun. Sure its fun to ride but when you get to experience seeing your own flesh and blood learning something new, doing well in a contest or pulling something you know is really hard, brings me a joy that I don’t think I would comprehend as much unless I rode myself.