168: Jon Taylor/MJT

MJT, November 2021. Photo: Tozer

Welcome to an absolute throwback of an interview in the finest Looking Sideways tradition. Yep, if you liked my recent chat with Ben Powell, for example, you’re going to enjoy this conversation with BMX legend ‘Mad’ Jon Taylor. For a start, it was face-to-face, which was such a laugh and something I’ve missed more than I’ve realised.

Secondly, there’s the fact that this is a riotous look at the life and times of one of the most beloved figures in UK action sports. Jon is a true living legend of the global BMX scene, somebody who has been there, seen it, done it and has the raucously entertaining anecdotes to prove it.

Jon in his element, shot by Nathan Moore at Peanut Butter BMX

British listeners not hugely familiar with the BMX scene may have seen Jon on the BBC’s coverage of the BMX events at the 2020 Tokyo Games, where he sat in alongside Ed Leigh and provided brilliant context to the mainstream audience. I’m not gonna go through the CV, as Jon does this during our conversation far more entertainingly than I’m able to here. But suffice to say this is a glorious trip through Jon’s life and times with one of the biggest characters in the game.

Photo: Tozer

I know some listeners have been crying out for this type of episode recently – like I say, it’s an instant LS classic in the truest sense of the word. Hope you enjoy our conversation!

Listen to episode below:

Connect with Jon

Show Notes

  • Brighton 
  • The importance of finding a spot
  • From skate to BMX
  • DIY
  • Heading to America 
  • Building a skatepark 
  • The currency of videos
  • Matt Hoffman 
  • Early career and collage 
  • Demos
  • Hoffman Bikes & Vans
  • Collaborating with Vans 
  • Giving back to the scene 
  • Change
  • Ed Leigh 
  • Jon’s Olympics experience
  • Relatability 
  • Positive exposure 
  • Doing the Olympics right
  • Riding now 
  • Management 
  • Emma and the production company
  • UK BMX Today
  • The influence of Charlotte Worthington 
  • Backyard Jams 
  • The Level
  • Funding
  • Looking back
  • A way of seeing the world 

Names Mentioned

  • Chris Moran
  • Johno Verity
  • Emma Reynolds
  • Sean Garth 
  • Pete Dossett
  • Neil Dans 
  • Andy Adams 
  • Buster Halterman 
  • Eric Steel
  • Ian Morris 
  • Matt Hoffman 
  • Owen Cleggy
  • Ally Wetton
  • Jamie Wetton
  • Geoff Rowley 
  • Tony Hawk
  • Jay Miron
  • Dave Mirra 
  • Bart Dijon 
  • JasperJones
  • Ed Leigh
  • Charlotte Worthington
  • Skye Brown 
  • Shauna Coxey 
  • Jamie Bestwick
  • Amy Fuller 
  • Declan Brooks
  • Billy Morgan
  • Jenny Jones
  • Tim Warwood 
  • Richie Green 

Places Mentioned

  • Hastings 
  • Brighton 
  • London
  • Chester 
  • Manchester 
  • Liverpool 
  • Hove
  • Brighton Centre 
  • The Dome 
  • Warrington 
  • Manchester Ardwick Centre 
  • Cheshire 
  • Goshen 
  • Shrewsbury 
  • Alfreton 
  • Rossendale
  • Sheffield 
  • Chingford 
  • Scotland 
  • America 
  • Oklahoma 
  • California 
  • Spiatfields Market
  • Tattenhall
  • Bolesworth Castle
  • Peckforton Castle 
  • Europe 
  • Sweden 
  • Amsterdam 
  • Wakefield Skatepark 
  • Glastonbury 
  • Black Pearl Skatepark 
  • The Level 
  • The Lagoon 
  • Bristol 

Companies, Organisations and Brands Mentioned

  • Instagram 
  • Sheffield Dryslope 
  • Hoffman BS Contest 
  • Nike 
  • Plan B
  • GT Bicycles
  • Harrow
  • Hoffman Bikes
  • Vans
  • Olympics 
  • Redbull 
  • BBC
  • Amazon 
  • Glastonbury Festival 
  • ASDA
  • The Wave