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Ride: Against All the Odds (Book Review)

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ride lays bare the harrowing beginnings and the tough life lessons learned by Scottish superstar John Buultjens on his rise to BMX Glory, Against All the Odds.

Raised by his poor family on Glasgow’s Drumchapel estate, he slept rough to escape his violent father’s beatings. Placed in a children’s home by his mother, he was then adopted by a biracial couple. After conquering his own racism, life turned around, and the blockbuster movie E.T. inspired a love of BMX. Although spurred by bitterness, John’s emigration to Australia saw him take his sporting enthusiasm to new levels, becoming one of BMX’s biggest names.

Then came the call from California to lead the most famous BMX brand of them all, Haro. As their global brand manager, he now backs and sponsors riders across the globe. In Ride, John reveals inner secrets including family murders, hatred, sexual abuse – and how his white-knuckle ride has taken him to the top against all the odds.

Hollywood has now turned John Buultjens’ unbelievable journey into a movie, set for release in 2018, starring Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges from The Fast and the Furious franchise, Emmy winner Bryan Craig and NCIS star Sasha Alexander.

Read Ride and discover:

  • Why John was seconds away from ending his own life on the Hume Highway and was saved by his daughter Mackenzie
  • What happened when pop star Pink and her husband Carey Hart called John looking for a new bike for their daughter
  • What happened when Steven Spielberg admitted he was blown away by John’s rollercoaster life, in the same way John had been affected by E.T.
  • How John raced star Holly Valance from the Neighbours set back into Melbourne city centre
  • What happened when John struck up an unlikely rapport with Ron Jeremy and was given the secret of becoming a male porn star
  • What happened when a young John was cheekily groped by Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister
  • Why John ate mouldy biscuits from a maggot-infested bin near his home in Glasgow’s Drumchapel
  • How John convinced the US government to finally grant him a visa to take a top job with BMX’s most prestigious brand, Haro
  • Why John’s biggest concern when his marriage ended was to save his famous collection of Haro BMX bikes
  • How John refused to attend his dad’s funeral and rejected what was left to him in his estate
  • Why John feels BMX and action sport athletes are given too many drugs by doctors and how Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a smokescreen
  • How John smoked joints with chart-toppers The Prodigy and then rode home on his BMX
  • Why John used to have Neighbours producers in stitches at his choice of controversial on-screen T-shirts.
  • How John made his TV debut as a teenager on You’ve Been Framed after a BMX jump went badly wrong
  • Why John took a job selling gutter protection door to door, at the same time as owning his successful and globally respected BMX brand, Pilgrim
  • How some of rock band Blink 182’s guitars have been designed to look like John’s bike colour schemes
  • Why John put a three-month sex ban on himself after meeting his future wife
  • How John nearly died in a terrifying crash and discovered he’d suffered three previous undetected skull fractures which he never sought medical attention for
  • What happened when John was told he didn’t sound Scottish enough by an Australian dog food company

John Buultjens has collaborated with journalist and features writer Chris Sweeney to tell his life story. Chris has written for many of Britain’s national newspapers as well as for magazines and several international titles. He has previously conducted revealing interviews with the likes of P Diddy, Amy Winehouse, Mick Fleetwood, and Jon Bon Jovi.

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