48 Wide Open

If you are at a track and Matt van Galen is riding, you know he's riding.

I first learned who @m_vang_48 was one day when I was just minding my own business putting my bike on the trailer after a typical day dominating at the track ( Heavy Sarcasm ! ) . As I was blissfully reflecting on the ride I had just had and strapping down the bike while simultaneously daydreaming, a piercing sound flooded the car park, and snapped me out of my trans, some maniac was hitting the rev limiter like a fat kid hitting a pinata. The kid clearly didn't know that he was on a 450 and not a 50, I thought someone should tell him before it was too late. But it was already too late, he hit the main table top at mach speed, in the air it was a catastrophy, he was sideways and damn near upside-down, one leg off the bike like he was trying to kick someone, quite stylish though, what a way to die I thought. His engine smacked that rev limiter once again shattering my ears, and before my brain could comprehend the accident it was about to witness the kid had somehow straightened out and made a clean landing.

I was on the edge of being traumatised. Someone needs to tell this guy 2 things, 1, slow down before you kill youself, 2, you can change up a gear to save your engine and my ears.
The track exit is on the other side of the jump he just survived, so naturally after a moment like that I expected him to exit stage right, leave his bike at the car park and take up chess. But to my horror He was instead approaching one of the biggest jumps on the track, at an astronomical speed. I couldn't believe it, he was in the same position again, flying through the air sideways and hanging underneath his bike. It was almost starting to seem like he was doing this on purpose.

After picking my jaw up off the ground, I turned to a fellow next to me who seemed almost as shocked as I was at what we had just seen, and asked "Who the fuck was that?", "Matt van guhlee" he replied. I was still in mild shock so I hadn't heard him, "Who?" I asked again, "Matt van Galen" he said seemingly confused that I didn't already know.

Apparently Matt does this stuff on purpose, which blew my mind. So I decided to go upstairs to the bar to drink away my shattered ego, but the bar overlooks the track and this guy was going around lap after lap sideways, so no amount of alcohol was gonna make that happen. Not that I was having any success drinking anyway, because my jaw kept hitting the ground every time this show off came past.

Back at hope about a week later, my jaw was healing well and I was relaxing on the couch going through my instagram feed. When I see a black and orange KTM just like the one that dreadful human was riding. My heart skipped a beat, PTSD was kicking in, then before I could get my thumb to the 'Block User' button I had somehow clicked follow, almost like I was a fan but I obviously wasn't, after all he couldn't even jump straight, or change up a gear.

I scrolled through his instagram account and kept telling myself what a goon he was, doing such wreckless stuff with clearly no control, when a little red notification popped up, '@m_vang_48 followed you', what the hell, thats soo sick! I cheered, this pro just followed me! That makes me cool now. I immediately took back all the trash talk and embraced this guys riding style, suddenly calling it things like 'sick' and 'rad' instead of 'out of control' and 'wreckless'.

Thanks to instagram I had become a celebrity that pro riders followed, so I told myself if you can't beat em join em. I decided to learn how to close my eyes and send my bike sideways over 100ft jumps in 1st gear. But to learn this I needed footage to study. I sent Matt a DM like all the hip kids these days do, and persuaded him that I was infact a brilliant filmer and movie maker and he agreed to set aside a day to film.

He was gnarlier than I had remembered, sending whips and wheelies for 5 hours straight in gnarly heat and did everything I asked, almost like he was actually a good person and not a soul destroyer.
By the end of the day I had more footage than I knew what to do with and once again no hope for my own riding, so I kept my word and did my best to make a sick edit, maybe you can learn something from it. Anyway, I'm tired of making up a bullshit story, watch the video #lol
- Matt Pallet