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Photographs from Pol'And'Rock Festival in Poland

We wake up and plan the day for the motorcycle – interview with Freestyle Family

Aug 142018

Freestyle Family is one of the best FMX crews in Poland, having among them the first and most titled FMX rider in Poland, Bartek Ogłaza. The guys are united with their love to extreme sports and high flights. That is why they get along so well with Monster Energy. This year they warmed up the public at Pol’And’Rock Festival again. We used this opportunity to talk with them for a while.

now we are the best crew in Poland and we are still raising the bar

What is the origin of Freestyle Family? Are you really like a family?

Rafał Biały „Biały”: Freestyle Family is in fact a so called family. How did it start? I don’t know. We just decided to do it. We thought that by joining forces it would be easier to e.g. rebuild our own park. It gives us more motivation. It wasn’t XL at the beginning, but it developed gradually to this satisfying level and now everything works. But we still haven’t said the last word.

Most of you started as teenagers or even having several years.

Marcin Łukaszczyk „Szuki”: Maybe we weren’t that small, but when we were 15-16 years old we had our first motorcycles. I started with jumping from the ramp, Bartek was doing motocross in the Polish Championship and Rafał started from an MTB bike. Each of us had a different path, but we met and now we are the best crew in Poland and we are still raising the bar.

This was your second time at Pol’And’Rock Festival. How do you feel and what surprised you the most?

Bartek Ogłaza „Bart”: The festival is great. I’ve been here 7 times already and I’ve always dreamed of jumping near the main stage. Now we could at least present ourselves on the stage.

Biały: The crowd most of all. It’s great power. People here feel it. You can wave at someone and they wave you back with the same power. No matter what we present or have many of us jump the crowd winds it up. This crowd is the top.

Bart: There is no better place on Earth for shows.

Is FMX popular in Poland?

Szuki: Now definitely more than a few years ago. People are more aware of this sport. Everyone who sees our truck knows that it’s for motorcycle jumps. A lot of people come to see us and recognize us as freestyle riders.

How does Poland compare to other countries?

Biały: You cannot compare it. It’s hard to say. There are countries in Europe, which are weaker than Poland and have 2-3 riders. Even though this discipline is not widely popular in Poland we still have a good level and when we go to Europe we are not at the back of it.

It turns us on. We love this sport. We love to ride motorcycles and it makes us want to live

What were your stupidest ideas related to jumps?

Szuki: It was when I started. I jumped on my CZ on a wooden ramp, that collapsed after the first jump. Then I started to jump into branches, because I did not have a pool with sponges. I jumped to water. I had no idea about all of this and I just tried. I had some dumb ideas. Now it has passed, well a little bit.

Bart: I had one stupid idea. I only saw the sponge pools on movies, so we built one in Warsaw. We had 2 meters of dishwashing sponges. I jumped from a super kicker ramp, which was set for 10-11 meters. I didn’t know how to set it, so I did 14. You should jump from the first gear, I did it from the second and made a tsunami flip. The motorcycle sucked me into the sponges. I broke three vertebrae and the helmet. The level was increasing and I also wanted to do backflips. When you rush such weird things happen.

What about injuries?

Szuki: In general I had 13 broken bones. Every injury is weird. I broke two legs, two tibia at the same time, jaw in three places, forearm, both bones, two times my left wrist. Now it’s the fifth year without any injuries, so it’s okay.

Biały: I didn’t have any tragic injuries, but I had them when I started. Some joint injuries, I have torn ligaments in two knees and broke two collarbones.

Bart: Every injury has excluded me for 6-7 months. When I broke my knee I was out for 3 years and I stopped riding motocross. Right wrist, right leg, two times right collarbone, left collarbone, I broke my teeth, broke my nose twice, lost a kneecap, tibia. I think only my left arm was not broken.

If it’s so dangerous why do you do it?

Szuki: It turns us on. We love this sport. We love to ride motorcycles and it makes us want to live. It’s our life passion. I can’t imagine a life without a motorcycle. Even when I quit freestyle I want to have it for motocross or endure. When I turn 50 I will ride it just for fun.

Biały: It’s nonstop. We wake up and plan the day for the motorcycle. We go to sleep, think about our flights, we watch photographs, get up and plan. It’s and addiction.

What are your dreams?

Szuki: My dream is to reach the first final 6 of the Word Championship.

Biały: I just want it to last and increase my level, so that I can start in more prestigious events.

Bart: My dream is to ride as long as I can and to be healthy. I haven’t hit anything for 6 years, haven’t broken anything and I want to continue that. I want to be the oldest freestyler in Poland.

You will have the chance to see Freestyle Family soon!

They will be at Verva Street Racing supported by Monster Energy. See you in Cracow September 9th!