Against All the Odds with John Buultjens

January 15, 2021

John Buultjens shares the powerful story of his journey from enduring childhood in an abusive home, to spending time in juvenile detention and foster care, to meeting and experiencing the love of his foster and adoptive parents, and to later finding purpose and joy in his passion for BMX riding. He also discusses the newly-released film, The Ride, and shares a preview of this inspirational movie based on the events of John’s own life.

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Key Quote:

"I felt [like I] belonged. I felt like I’ve been chosen . . . I was always abandoned, rejected. This was the first time I felt wanted and chosen, and I was actually part of a family . . . I never envisioned that. I never thought that was possible." - John Buultjens, Foster care alumni & Former BMX star

Meet Our Guest

John Buultjens

John is a former BMX star who is now the global brand manager at Haro Bikes. John’s life story is extraordinary enough to warrant a film and book, Ride: BMX Glory – Against All The Odds which has struck a chord with audiences across the world. The Ride film was recently released for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

John Craig was born March 1972 in a poor part of Glasgow to an abused woman and a violent alcoholic racist father. At the age of 7, John and his younger sister were placed in a children’s home by police and social workers. John continued to experience sexual, physical and emotional abuse for the next three years, until an academic couple, Eldridge and Marianna Buultjens, fostered John and his younger sister. John chose to stay with the Buultjens permanently, and as he began to experience normal family life and unconditional love, his violence and racism abated.

And then in 1982, there was another pivotal moment — his adoptive parents took him to see ET, and his love for BMX riding suddenly began. In 2012, Buultjens moved to southern California to work for Bob Haro, founder of the global Haro BMX freestyle brand and former stunt rider in ET. This job led to celebrity connections — and the movie, The Ride, which was released in November 2020. The rapper and actor Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges plays his adoptive father, with Buultjens himself playing his abusive biological father, who died in 1997, and with whom he never reconciled. The film is not set in Scotland, but has been relocated to California, and by Buultjens’ own admission, his BMX skills have been somewhat exaggerated, although not his incredible journey.