We spent 3 days riding in the streets of Barcelona, Spain in June 2018 with Walter Mayerhofer to get to know him a bit more and talk about the street MTB scene, The Rise and Barcelona.
Who are you, where are you from and what do you do for a living?
My name is Walter, I’m 29 years old from Salzburg, Austria and I work an office job to pay the bills.
Do you live to work or work to live?
I use work as a tool to be able to live the lifestyle that I want at a certain moment of time. If I need money for a big trip or something like that, I try to work more, and if I feel like I need more time to do the things I like, I either work less or take some time off.
How did you start riding?
I got into riding when I was 14 because some of my friends stopped skateboarding and they got bikes. I stuck a bit longer with skateboarding but as the bike thing looked like fun, I wanted one as well.
Why did you decide to stick with street riding?
In the beginning, I was riding more dirt jumps because we had our own jumps in the woods, but they always broke down and fixing stuff was always a lot of work, so I enjoyed riding street more and more. For me, riding street is the easiest thing, all you need to do is go out with your bike, you don’t need a car, shovels, lift pass… Plus it’s the best way to explore new cities.
What do you think of the street MTB scene?
I love the scene, it’s so small that I feel like everyone kinda knows each other, and I’m always super stoked when I see new edits popping up on IG or YouTube. I just wish there were more jams or contests like the RedBull Bike Battle from back in the days.
Some people say that mountain bikes are meant to be ridden in the mountains, and not in the streets or skate parks, what would you tell them?
Running shoes are meant to be just for running, but people still rock them without running because they feel comfortable. If you feel comfortable on your bike, you can ride it anywhere. It doesn’t matter to me where you ride it and neither should matter to anyone else. (Laughs)
How do you deal with the people and stress of the streets when you are trying to ride a busy spot?
I don’t know… I still can’t deal with it. I usually try to wait or come back the next morning or evening.
Does it affect your riding when a camera is pointing at you, either for shooting video or photos?
I feel like I’m more motivated to try bigger stuff, but at the same time, I feel like once the camera is out, everything takes 20 more tries.
What goes into your mind when you can’t land a trick that you have been trying over and over again?
It’s super frustrating. Sometimes you have to give up, and that sucks, but I’m happy to still be motivated enough to put some work in after all these years of riding.
How did you end up riding for The Rise?
I met the guys before The Rise even existed, it was a blog called “It’s all about bikes”. I checked all their videos and Vincent Allard filmed a lot of that stuff, so we got in touch via Vimeo and started talking. One day he invited me to go over there, so I ended up spending a month and met all the boys. Thanks for that Vince, <3.
What do you like the most about it?
It’s all a group of friends that love to do the same thing and share the same passion.
Describe Plonka, JJ, Matt, Louis, Aidan and Croots in one word.
Plonka: Smooth / JJ: Based / Matt: Boss / Louis: 2.0 / Aidan: Barspin / Croots: Crooooz
Pick one funny or random story that you have had with TR.
There are too many. Every time we are together the energy level is just too high that so much funny and weird stuff happens. People just have to come and hang out with us, they will see for themselves.
From Austria to Catalonia, why?
I fell in love with this place back in 2006 when I came to ride in Barcelona for the first time. I knew back then that I wanted to live here one day.
What’s your favorite spot to ride?
I like to switch it up, but Parallel is fun, and the banks in Canyelles.
What’s the best and worst in Barcelona?
Best: weather, spots and all the people that ride and come to ride.
Worst: when people steal all your shit, that sucks.
Any tips for street riders that want to come ride?
Don’t leave your stuff anywhere, keep everything on you, get a T-10 metro pass, go to a random stop and get lost, I’m sure that you will find some good spots. Also, feel free to hit me up @volta_catkid if you want to go for a ride. Peace out.
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Photos by Héctor Saura
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