Pic by Brian Barnhart
For those not familiar, can you tell us your name, where you are from originally and where you reside, ride and the like…
Hi! I’m Dani Lightningbolt. I’m originally from Upstate NY (Syracuse area). I currently reside in Austin, TX, but I like to be on the road as much as I can!
What kind of bike do you ride, and who helps you out with parts/ sponsorhsips etc…?
I ride an FBM Gypsy. Very fitting 🙂 FBM helps me out with frames/parts/gear and all around awesomeness. I also ride for DansComp, Shitluck and Nevasafe. Can’t thank all of them enough for helping me out and keeping the stoke high!
You seem to get out on the road a decent amount, any recent favorites, riding or otherwise you have visited this past year?
Austin is the best home base, despite being pretty far from everything haha. It takes like 8 hours just to get out of Texas from here. But that doesn’t deter me from wanting to be on the road! I drive to NY twice a year, so any trips under 26 hours are easy haha. A couple weeks ago we took a trip to New Mexico and Arizona. Got to ride some amazing parks and a badass pool and enjoy some incredible landscapes. That trip got me SUPER stoked, really lit a fire under my ass. Made a last minute decision to head up to Burlington, Iowa this weekend for Burly Jam. I hit up a few of my homies that are always down, even though they work 9-5 jobs. So 4 of us are gonna cruise up there, 15 hours each way, to be there for like 24 hours haha. But a trip like that is just as fun as 10 days of aimlessly driving around and stopping wherever!
Pic by Gervais Rosseau
The X games just happened, can you tell us about getting to ride the course and what that was about?
This past weekend was X-Games here in Austin. On Wednesday, 6 ladies had 2 hours to ride the park course. It was a blast. I’m so honored to have been a part of that. Nina B has been working her ass off for like 7 years to get a women’s class at X-Games and they aren’t really going for it. But she has been persistent and slowly she is making progress (last year only 4 of us could ride, and only on the street course, during men’s practice… this year it was 6 of us, and we had our own time and got to ride the park). So, definitely baby steps but hopefully things will continue in this direction, so one day it’ll happen for all the up and coming lady shredders!
I don’t consider myself a contest rider by any means, but I am down to help my friends however I can, and it was so much fun riding there!! I’m happiest doing trains haha. Pretty sure I didn’t stop smiling the entire time. And it was SO inspiring and motivating to ride with these badass chicks!!
Who are some of your favorite riders, and influences?
It’s hard for me to pick favorite riders because there are so many haha. But I guess if I had to throw some names out… Nina B, Joe Rich, BF, Simon Tabron, the Credence boys, all of my FBM homies, Paul Rad, Eddie Nicoletta, Chris Doyle, Chase Hawk, Crandall, Cyclone Jake :), Justin Inman, Mat Hoffman…. shit, all of my friends really. Everyone influences me/motivates me in different ways. Whether it’s to push myself, learn new things, overcome fear or just to remember to smile and have fun and be a good person! There are people whose riding is nothing like mine that I can just appreciate just for being fucking awesome, and people who I have similar style to that are really influential… but whatever the case, so many different people in BMX inspire me, on and off the bike.
Who is Buck Rogers?
Buck Rogers is a mothafuckin G!! He’s my main dude. Copilot on most of my trips. Once he ate 20 flour tortillas at a rest stop in Louisiana… I still owe Crandall a bag of tortillas. Buck loves to travel and adventure and ride bikes just as much as I do!
What does FBM mean to you?
FBM means so much to me, and only continues to mean more as time goes on. Being from Upsatate NY, FBM were the hometown heroes. They were my first real exposure to BMX. Everyone that I started riding with were all huge supporters/fans of FBM. And as soon as I saw some videos and went to some jams, I was too!
Now FBM is my family. This network of awesomeness and great people. A reminder to smile and have fun. To build pallet ramps and stick beer bottles inside blow up dolls. To wake up in your car in a skatepark parking lot after driving all night with your dog and your bike and ride all day. A reminder that anything is possible. To work hard and keep the dream alive. That there is no such thing as normal, and that life is too short to be unhappy or anything other than what you want it to be. It’s not always easy, but it’s simple. I will always support FBM and what they stand for!
Check out Dani’s team page here!