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You should all be well aware of Lee Bertram. He's been riding for Descent-World and Royal Racing for the last 12 months and has lit up both the Senior and now Expert the category in 2005. His 1st ride on a DH bike was the 1st NPS at Ae Forest in Scotland in 2004 where he finished in 27th place in Seniors after 3 offs in his run (It was muddy and he only had dry tyres).

At the last NPS that same year at Caersws qualifying, there was only Gee Atherton who beat him, now that's progression and one steep learning curve. Want to know more about the UK’s very own "Shaun Palmer"? Read on..

SF - Of all the different sports you have taken part in what appeals to you in downhilling compared to the others?

LB - Downhill is a great sport, I’ve really enjoyed the last 16 months as much as when I was a whipper snapper, racing BMX. The people and friends I have made, the travelling, going to the World Cups, that's what's so similar and what I loved when I was young. Downhill is very different in another way as you don't race against other guys in a moto, your riding against the course, just you, your bike, and the track. I think that's why there's such a good atmosphere at the races, your racing other people but without the elbow bashing and T-boning! I save that for when I’m on my minibike, completely different but both f*cking brilliant.

SF - Question off Mr Pearson... Also used to be good at Motorcycle Trials, as my brother put it, "loads of natural talent, just didn't put the effort in"?

LB - Well, I was alright at trials and that was because of the amount of effort that I put in, I rode my trials bike heaps, you don't just get good, it's how much time you put in and how much you want it!. My dad put lots of effort in helping me with my BMX and Trials so I’ve him to thank for so much fun, that's like the foundation for the future sports I’ve done.

SF- Give us a quick run down of what sports you have competed in and how well you have done?

LB - First I raced BMX at 5years old until I was 13. I was British Champ a few times, can't remember how many exactly, I was quite young though!. I won the European champs in about 1990 and a 6th in the worlds the same year! I then rode motorbike Trials, I used to shit or bust all the time though, I used to clean the section or crash! Sounds a bit like me on the DH bike, if I stay on I put in a good time or I eat shit!, I finished second in the MCN rounds and third in the British Nationals one year, not on that stupid course our Dougie rides, on the other course that's not so stupid.

Jet ski I rode for two years, first year won the Brits in novice class and finished fourth in the worlds at Arizona, Lake Havasu! What an awesome place, not far from Vegas, you gotta go there some day! I finished fourth the following year in expert, bitch of a jet ski broke all the time, I should've won it!, I’m still pissed about that now! Ha-ha.

I haven't done anything in Downhill yet but want to and I’m putting some time in! Minibiking, so much fun, I pull Stu Hughes pants down all the time, I’m going to beat him on the 90cc Class every time!!

Flat Pedals and Flat Out! Lee Bertram on the gas!

SF - What's so good about being on the DW Team?

LB - All the free shit I get off you Si !!, no, seriously, it's cool cause Si hooked me up right from the start, so now it's nice chilling and taking the piss out of each other at the races, yeah getting the shit ripped out of you when he's commentating at all the races. Also having the best rubber on the weapon come race time! Does that sound rude? You know what I mean! Cheers Dude.

SF- What do you think of Shaun Palmer?

LB - Never heard of him, is he any good? Who the hell compared Shaun Palmer to me, I might be OK at a few different sports, but he's a living legend!, I've never met him though, but got loads of respect for him, like loads of other people, that say's quite a bit I think!

SF - What's the biggest fire you have ever started?

LB - Me and some mates set fire to a caravan once, accidentally, we were in it when the fire started! We were all pissed up one weekend, we were going to camp out, but come across this caravan in a field, it was open so we chilled in there for a bit swigging strawberry 20/20 and cider through a straw! Got a bit cold so we made a massive fire at the side of the caravan, a bit too close and she went up, that was the biggest, but there's been loads of others, I’m a bit of an arsonist! I can't help it!

SF - Of all the sports you do, what's been the biggest risk to you and why?

LB - You mean the most dangerous, well I’ve done sport almost all my life and it wasn't until I started downhill that things started to hurt really, I had only been riding about six months when I dislocated and fractured my shoulder that hurt quite a bit, but that's the thrill about going fast and you got to find your limits and keep pushing them, it's the speed, you don't seem to know how fast your going until you have an off. It does help having my very own private nurse though!

SF - How vicious is your dog ?

LB - Tia, she's not vicious, unless you attack Sara then you're in trouble, I found out the hard way when we were having a play fight and she had me, she thought we were fighting for real and she went for me and bit my ear, I’m lucky I’ve still got it, there was blood!.

Fort William

SF - After your first race at Ae Forest last year, when did you realise that you could podium or even win a NPS?

LB - I had no idea that I could win at the second NPS, I was so happy. I didn't really know anyone then, it was really cool because there was no pressure, it came completely out the blue for me, I didn't stop smiling for a week.

SF - Where was your first World Cup Race? How did you get on?

LB - My first world cup was Livingo, Italy the last round 04, I got my points and I couldn't wait. It was everything I expected it to be, what an awesome course, and mint weather as well. I had a good qualifier 27th, I put every thing in to that run, I’ve never tried so hard. I was so happy to qualify, I can remember at the top shitting myself and just before I had my run, Peaty and Warner getting me revved up, that was so cool. I think I come home in 38th?

SF - How old is Alan Blood?

LB - Bloodspeed, he's knocking on a bit now, but he's still a fast old dog. I like Bloodspeed, I got respect for him, well most of the time anyway. I heard he's a bit tight with money and that's why he brings Chopper with him to the races...I heard he just got himself a minibike, well in Bloodspeed!.

SF - There's been a lot of rumours about a certain incident and what went on recently abroad. What can you tell us?

LB - It wasn't me! But i know who it was! The buggers!

SF - What's your day job?

LB - I’m a bricky.

SF - What was your first DH bike?

LB - Orange 223.

SF - Any brothers or sisters? Do they do anything out of the ordinary?

LB - I got a step-brother he does loads of stuff out of the ordinary, but I can’t tell you what, he would kill me!

SF - As you are fairly new to DH you will have watched how riders take on courses and race, who would you say you looked up to most and who is your favourite rider to watch and why?

LB - The person I look up to the most would be Peaty, you can't not look up to him he's so freckin’ fast its unreal, it's amazing to me how someone can ride that fast, when you think back to your race run absolutely flat out holding on for your life then Steve comes down and takes 30 seconds out of you time and that's if your going well. The person I most like to watch the most is Sam Hill, he has a mint style and flats, cool as foook. For a slightly different reason Mark Weightman, I love watching mark ride he's always letting it hang out 110% on the big old Brooklyn .

SF - Mini Bikes, what's your current set up and where do you ride the beast?

LB - 90cc Honda CRF the most fun you can have on two wheels, I ride her every where, my local woods are really cool and some old BMX tracks near to me, its mostly Fast 50 stuff that I bolt on to her, check out for all them goodies.

SF - You have done many other sports, why have you changed so much? Do you intend to stick at this one and see what you can make of it?

LB - The only reasons that I gave up Jet skiing was because I was sick of all the little rich kids and there jacked up parents killing it, when you get to a certain level in a lot of motorised sport, to win you need the best kit, you can be a better rider and still get beat because someone has a faster boat. That pisses you right off. In downhill as long as your on a "descent" bike and your the better rider you can still do the business, so I’m going to see what I can do!

Vigo World Cup 2005 [foto Jane Braithwaite]

SF - What's your current mode of transport?

LB - VW Transporter

SF - How do you find mountain biking compared to the other sports you have done? Have you found it easier or harder to master?

LB - I found it quite easy to pick up because of the sports I have done in the past, I think Trials and BMX helped a lot but I defiantly haven't mastered it yet, that's the hard bit, but I’m enjoying myself and that's what it's all about for me for now.

SF - Ever owned a track suit?

LB - Yep, I was a right townie when I was younger!

SF - Who's the two fit birds that are with you at the races?

LB - Well one's Tia my Boxer dog and the other is Sara, my misses.

SF - In a street fight, who on the DH race seen would you want with you as back up?

LB - Either Rennie or Kris Kovarick that dude is scary when he's pissed! Both of them I think would be best if there was a few of them to sort out!

SF - Do you reckon your success in all these different sports is because of your mentality more than your skill? i.e. do you just know that you have to go fast and think foook it or have you just ridden all the time and developed your skills to a high level in a exceptionally short time?

LB - I don't know someone told me once that I was mental, I probably am a bit, but I would like to think that I have good skills but mentally if you are strong it can help you a whole lot. I Just think foook it and hope what skill you have can keep you on your bike. That's until you get sick of crashing and then you've got to change something or slow down!

SF - SPD's, what do you know?

LB - Just say NO, check out the Aussies they don't need them, get yourself some Burgtecs and stay foot out, flat out! Berty!

May thanks to Lee for answering the above, we all wish him well in the 2005 season as an expert rider, come 2006 the Pro Elite had better watch out!

Descent-Gears special offer this week. Super Innovative Concepts (SIC) Direct Mount Stems for Boxxers @ £60.00

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