Just back from 10 crazy days competing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at an urban downhill and performing in front of 30,000 thousand spectators, Patrick Robinson is a rider on the up. We caught up with the Insync rider to talk inspiration, injuries, bikes, and what his parents thought about his chosen career.
Hi Patrick, so how was Mexico? Any other comps on the horizon?
Crazy! The course was really fun and so were the jumps for the freeride contest. Unfortunately I fell on the last jump to what would of being a winning run – Frontflip – backflip no hander – Frontflip no hander, I coudn’t get my hands on in time before landing on the frontflip no hander as my helmet moved and blocked my vision. I still managed 4th place.
My goal is to have as much fun as possible on two wheels, I don’t really care if I am riding downhill or cross country, the main thing is that I am having fun. My sponsor Insync bikes have just launched some cool xc bikes but with a really playful geometry so I hope to get out on that and possibly do a few xc / enduro races on it, maybe after that I will head to France for a film trip with some friends and then back to the UK to take part in the Street Velodrome series. I will also try to get to Hillbilly huckfest this year as the jumps look incredible! I hope to travel as much as possible with my bike, meeting new friends, making memories as well as capturing amazing pictures to inspire people to get out on a bike and have fun!
For any aspiring pro riders, who did you get into cycling?
I first got into cycling when I was around 14 years old. It started when me and some friends decided to spend the full summer building and riding dirt jumps. My friends and I would push each other to do jumps we had not done before. That summer is what got me hooked on cycling. A year or so later a skate park was built in my local park. I was starting college that same year so I chose the one closest to it which meant I was spending my lunch breaks riding and hanging out with friends. I was then lucky enough to get support from a shop called BMX asylum, which no longer exists but it certainly helped as I was able to get new bike parts at a discounted price from them.
My parents were never fond of me doing these “stupid tricks”. I tore my ligaments in my ankle trying to do a barspin into a foam pit (yes a foam pit…) which ended my football career, something I believe my dad wanted me to pursue. I remember the time I showed them a video of me doing a backflip and the response was something like “what are you doing that for, you will break your bloody neck!”.
After 4 years of college studying sport science and personal training I decided to move to London for university and to sign with a modelling agency. Riding BMX was tough down there. The skate parks were hard to get to and it was very hard to make friends as people already had a group of riding friends at their local park. I managed to save up some money to buy an old Santa Cruz Bronson, and had some mountain bike friends which made that much more fun than riding BMX on my own. I did a few enduro and downhill races, but soon enough realised I had the most fun when I was hitting the biggest jumps and sending tricks.
How do you find working for yourself in such a competitive industry?
For me cycling is all about having fun, I have made some amazing friends through it and got to travel to some fantastic places. Recently I have being attending the urban downhills, the buzz and energy around these events are like no other. So many positive emotions come from cycling which makes it easy to forget the harder times. I would work super hard doing various jobs, one day I could be doing labour work and the next I could be doing photo-shoots for Topman. All my money would go straight back into cycling and to travel to these competitions. A lot of my friends told me I would have to stop doing this but I knew it would be worth it in the long term.
Things got much easier when I started competing in Street Velodrome as well going into schools teaching children how to ride. I was able to ride and work in something I was super passionate about, this was during my final year of university.
How do you go about becoming a sponsored mountain biker?
At that time I was riding for Imprint Grips, which was a start up company. We both helped each other with social media posts and sharing our knowledge. I was lucky enough meet POC representatives when I was at Crankworx during the summer of 2017. They were happy to support me with products, not only does this help me financially but it was a massive boost to my confidence to be protected by POC, I have a lot respect for POC and what they stand for.
Early 2018 I started working with Hero Cycles as a brand ambassador, they are one of the worlds biggest bike manufacturers. I have been visiting their Global design centre in Manchester and closely working with them from brain storming sessions to testing the bikes and giving feedback as they set to launch a new brand – Insync Bikes. I liked their vision and brand values, creating excellent bikes at affordable prices. They are using the best software to create these bikes, we kept saying “it costs nothing to have a good geometry”.
Now that the full range of bikes have been launched, I will be using them to compete with as well as creating videos to show-case what the bikes are cable of. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and the future it holds. The cycling industry is a tough one with many ups and downs, there are so many incredible riders all fighting for sponsorship.