Thursday, December 22, 2011

Martti Kuoppa Retires From His Bike

Dear flatlanders all over the world,

21 years ago I would not imagine where my little bike would take me and how many great people it takes me to meet. I would not understand that one day I am in a position that I have a lot of people backing me up and showing their support and respect just because I busted out with my bike!

It was year 1991 when I started riding. Now we are reaching end of 2011 and in few days it will be new year again, and for me it will be something new as well because I am going to quit riding for good. Yes, you heard me right – you won´t see me on my bike anymore because I reached my personal limits in progression and I have to be very honest to everyone and especially to myself that that was the reason why I kept riding this long anyways. Yes, progression kept me going all these years and now I feel inside of me that I am not able to get my level higher than I got during these last 2 years (21 yrs). Trust me, I tried my best with tears, sweat and blood – also got a sickness on my body that most likely will never cure. So I don´t want to get to that state of mind ever again. Don´t get me wrong, it is definetely a good state of mind BUT it got a very dark flipside to it.

And why did I do it? Good question. At the end of the day I felt that I was doing it for myself to check out how far I can take the game but when I started publishing these videos on youtube I felt that I am oblicated to motivate other riders and show them ”a better way”. It all got mixed up in my head and I was in a position that I could not relax at all because new tricks where haunting me moment after moment. I was just waiting the time to pass at work so I could go out and try the new trick – for next 4 hours as long as my hands started to shake and I was about to pass out.

I made people around me miserable as well because I wasn´t doing very good in my own life at that point. One reason was that I was working at a job that I didn´t like at all – during my free time I escaped to the world of progression with flatland and that made me forget all the bullsh*t at work but ended up bringing me different kind of bugs inside of my head.

So on so on so on. I could actually write a book about all this but I am going to save you from that story for now and end this nice and smooth with words: Thank you again for supporting, understanding and all the help! The biggest respect you can show me now is to understand my decision and don´t diss me for that (or call me a quitter even if I am haha). It is not the easiest thing for me to say and I actually do this because I love flatland from the bottom of my heart but flatland keeps hurting my heart everytime I keep doing it so I must separate from flatland now because otherwise it would eat me alive… I also felt that I have reached a position in our flatland community that I need to tell you all this in an open letter instead of just dissapearing for good as people usually do.

MK has left the building with a one way bus ticket in the pocket. (and hopefully that bus ticket will take me one day to a hobby called flatland freestyle)

Sincerely yours, Martti Kuoppa

p.s. You should keep riding. Have fun and if you learn new tricks that´s great, if not that´s great too!

ESPN Pays Tribute to Martti Kuoppa's Career

Thursday, December 15, 2011