#55 John Buultjens - Author, Actor, Ambassador,

The first time BMX star John Buultjens wrote his story down on a piece of paper, no one believed him. Now, however, John’s story has been taken seriously as his autobiography Ride: BMX Glory, Against All The Odds has struck a chord with audiences across the world and there is even an adapted movie of his life-story starring rapper-turned-actor Ludacris, which is due for release in September. The book charts John’s humble beginnings in Glasgow. He grew up in Drumchapel with his brother and two sisters after the family moved from Whiteinch. His dad Thomas, who John plays in the movie, worked in the shipyards before he became unemployed. He was always angry and often turned on John or his wife Margaret. On one occasion, John was thrown in a fire by his father. John was eventually put into Glenrosa children’s home after he picked up a knife in a bid to stop his dad beating his mum. He was then adopted by biracial couple Eldridge and Marianna Buultjens, who today he considers his parents. He was introduced to a new way of life in Glasgow’s plush west end before the family settled in Dundee. He started on the path to becoming one of the biggest names in BMX after he got his first bike after watching ET at the cinema. His passion became a career which has allowed John to travel the world. His foray into writing, with Glasgow journalist Chris Sweeney, could be viewed as John’s ultimate achievement given he was asked to leave Harris Academy in Dundee because “they couldn’t teach him anything else”. His story has even inspired another well-known Scottish actor to take the plunge into writing an autobiography, which John learned when he received a call from the star. “It’s amazing, my story helping people open up from all walks of life.” Asked about his book he said “This book is really about leaving the past in the past – you can’t change it. “That is the message I want people to get from it.”