First of all – THANK YOU people for standing behind me on this one.. I am very surprised to see you instead of being / showing dissapoinment you stand behind me on my decission!! That is something special / amazing to be honest with you… Did not excpect that one when I wrote the letter yesterday!
However, some of you are wondering and speculating what will happen to Jungle Rider.. So here is the deal:
I will still continue with it and try my best (when my time allows) to push it further and give the support back to flatland/ers. I will continue giving free parts to riders on our team and in some cases to some other riders too. Flatland gave me so much and without it I would not be at the life situation (work etc.) that I am today, and yes, I am having a great job on 9to5 base and I need to thank flatland for that. I learn´t so much from people and industry that there is no way to get these lessons at a business school, heh. That´s why I tell everyone if they ask about my school background that I am from university of flatland..
I am taking 1 year off from Ground Tactics project because it is bit too much to handle at the moment + I wasn´t able to get enough income on Jungle Rider to give some price money but I promise that year after if the frames and other products are moving I will give most of the profits back to flatland – either to riders or through Ground Tactics. I don´t need extra cash at the moment as my day job is paying me enough to get my life stable.
Someone mentioned me being burnt out… Naah, I have been burnt out twice already because of riding and that feeling is messed up, hard to get up from bed and hard to sleep and nothing feels good etc. There is a big line between being burnt out and not able to have flatland as a hobby. Right now depression is not involved at all and I am actually quite happy/balanced every morning when I wake up. Just the feeling that my “mission is complete” made me do this decission. And I don´t want to turn that feeling into burn out if you know what I mean… I am leaving flatland as a happy man and without any regrets!
AND again, all good letters need to have good ending. I am willing to give you all my knowledge, tips, feedback etc. what I have learn´t from flatland. I have nothing to hold back if you know what I´m saying. BUT, I won´t do it through e mails because that might be bit too heavy to handle. So, let´s go back to the day in the early 90´s when I didn´t speak english. I admired (still do) Kevin Jones. So much that I felt that I need to tell him about it in a letter, yes, back then internet did not exist. What I did was that I sent a letter to Kevin using Finnish/English dictionary for every word. Good old hand written letter. I had to find a way to find his mailing address as well so it wasn´t an easy task for a kid aged of 11. But I managed it somehow, not sure if Kevin ever received that letter but I surealy hope he did! That´s how you can stay in touch with me, hand written letters are the only way I am going to communicate for now. You can get my mailing address somehow if not you can e mail to jungle rider and perhaps my partner will give it to you.
Hope these things cleared out the situation a bit. Merry xmas to all of you!
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 bullshit 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!
p.p.s. I got some other business to take care now:
Thank you for understanding! Thank you for support!
Check it out!!! Great clip and congrats Flatmattersonline.com!
I will give out 1 signed flatland 2012 calendar & poster to the one who comes up with a slogan for Jungle Rider.
Examples of slogans:
Nokia “Connecting people”
Nike “Just do it”
Adidas “Impossible is nothing”
Terminator “hasta la vista baby”
You can send in your answers to Martti Kuoppa Facebook.