Meet legend Matthias Dandois at home in Paris

Visit the BMXer at his home in the French capital and find out how he became a pro rider.
By Hadrien Picard

Home is not just somewhere to spend the down time between trips. It's the place where friends and family are; where you session some not-so good spots, but at the same time have some of the best sessions of your life. Home is where every rider's roots are. 

In the At Home series, we're not going to send the riders on trips to wild and crazy places, in fact quite the opposite: we're going to visit them at home to see where they come from and how they live.

Watch what happened above when French rider Matthias Dandois let us into his Parisian life, and scroll down for more on his story.

French BMX flatland rider Matthias Dandois in portrait at home in Paris
Matthias Dandois in Paris © Hadrien Picard

Born: Paris, May 6, 1989

Born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, Matthias Dandois has always been super active and really into sports. But it wasn't until he was 12 years old and saw a BMX bike on a TV show that he knew what he wanted to do.

BMX flatland rider Matthias Dandois in the backyard at his childhood home in the Paris suburbs
Matthias in his (not so big) backyard © Hadrien Picard

Practice space in the backyard

From running back home after school, to writing a trick list before going to bed, Dandois was definitely hooked. He never thought about being pro, he was just having fun on his "little kid's" bike. His parents saw that passion and decided to build a flat surface in the garden so he could always have a decent spot to ride.

Even if the wood has seen better days, Matthias’ backyard is still ride-able… at least for him. Cross foot wheelchair no hands.
The wood has seen better days but is rideable © Hadrien Picard

Moving into the city

After riding for a couple of high school years in his suburbs with friend Carlos Leal, Dandois moved into Paris and rode more and more with Alex Jumelin and Raphael Chiquet. He and Chiquet even lived for a while in what they used to call 'the smallest apartment ever.'

Bird view of BMX rider Matthias Dandios spinning a can-can near his parent's home, on a tennis court. Flatland riders love Tennis Playgrounds.
Flatland riders love tennis courts © Hadrien Picard

The life of a pro rider

Persistence, skills and his competitive spirit paid off and Dandois quickly became one of the best flatland riders in the world. He had started to travel more and more, going to contests, demos and on trips, so after a while he decided it was pointless to own a place where he would only live a couple of days each month.

BMX flatland rider Matthias Dandies performs a Spinning Lawnmower with Paris and La Seine spreading out in the background
Spinning lawnmower with Paris and La Seine behind © Hadrien Picard
BMX riders Matthias Dandois, Corey Martinez and Erik Elstran on the streets of Paris, France during the summer of 2015
Corey Martinez and Erik Elstran visited Matthias © Hadrien Picard

Home is where the heart is

Dandois' love for Paris never faded. All his family and his friends were, and still are, there. He stayed in turn at his parents place, with friends or with his grandmother... but recently, aged 25, he felt he needed a home again.
 He just moved into a new apartment early in the summer of 2015 – the perfect place for him. It's downtown Paris, near La Bastille, a place famous of its monument to the French Revolution.

Local boy Matthias Dandois riding BMX flatland at Las Bastille monument in Paris, France
La Bastille © Hadrien Picard

La Bastille

All Danois' friends and hangouts are close by, plus he has another important thing – a place where he can ride every day. And in Paris, finding a nice, quiet place to ride is not an easy task at all. There are more and more good street spots and plazas popping up all the time though, so La Bastille was definitely a wise choice... so good he even chose that name for his signature frame.

Matthias Dandois performs an upside down Lawnmower whilst riding BMX flatland at dusk in Paris, France
Upside down Lawnmower for the users of the Metro © Hadrien Picard

Always busy

Dandois does not like to chill at all, so Paris really is the perfect place for him: there's always something to do, somewhere to ride, and someone to welcome onto the couch.

Matthias Dandois outside Sciences Po, one of the most prestigious Political Schools in the world, in Paris, France
Matthias with a big half cab over a rail and bike © Hadrien Picard

Lucky to call Paris home

Dandois probably puts it best himself, "I've been to more than 50 countries so far. I feel super lucky to get the chance to see all these beautiful places and meet all these awesome people, but the more I travel, the more I feel I'm lucky to be French and to call Paris home."

See more of what Matthias gets up to in Paris by following him on Instagram @matthiasdandois.

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