Mike floats a 360 from one end of the spine to the other. Photo: Scot

How old are you?
23.

Where are you from?
I’m from Whittier, California, but I live in Long Beach now.

Who are your sponsors?
Volume, Demolition, Etnies, Hurley, Arnette, Nixon, Jones Soda, and A-1 Bike Shop. I think that’s it.

I’ve heard that you’re getting married soon.
Yeah, I’m getting married in September if we can find a place to have it.

What’s that like?
It’s pretty wild. My life changed a lot. My fiance’ has a five-year-old daughter, so I’m a full-on dad now and my life revolves around that. Well, my life also revolves around bike riding, but it revolves around family because that’s more important. It’s not that I’m putting any one thing first, you just have to put things at different times. Instead of going to bed at three in the morning and waking up at eleven, now I’m in bed at ten and up at six every morning. But it’s good; it whips you into shape.

How long have you two been together?
About a year-and-a-half.

Does it affect your riding at all?
I don’t know if it affected my riding. My riding has always been the same; if I feel like riding, then I’m going to ride. If I don’t feel like riding this week and riding isn’t fun…Why would I want any memory of bike riding that I have to not be fun? So if I’m not feeling it, then I’m not riding. If that goes on for a month, then that goes on for a month. It rarely does though, despite the “alleged rumors.” Believe nothing you hear.

A view from below as Rooftop icepicks a subrail at the Volume warehouse. Photo: Scot

Speaking of the “alleged rumors,” do you still snowboard a lot?
I only got to snowboard maybe three times last year because I blew my knee out. This year I’ve gone about ten times, so not that much really. Not as much as I would like to, considering how much it’s snowed. It’s hard to get up to the mountains. I’ve got different responsibilities and I can’t just take off.

You just sealed the deal on your sponsorship with Volume, which a lot of people thought was going to happen. Why did it take so long?
I guess I always rode for Volume. It didn’t really matter, and it didn’t change anything. I was riding their bikes anyway so I didn’t see the rush, and it was kind of nice not having a sponsor. The K2 thing never even happened. A lot of people think I rode for them, but they never gave me anything. They said they were going to do something, and then that was it.

Haven’t you been riding for Demolition since the company’s beginnings?
Yeah, I think so, pretty soon after the company started. Another reason that I never rode for Volume in the beginning is because I didn’t want to ask Brian Castillo for anything.

You didn’t want to jeopardize the friendship?
Yeah, and Brian makes me nervous! laughter

So what’s your program with Volume?
Basically, I’m on the B-team; nah, I’m just kidding. I’m just on the team as much as anybody else is. I’ve got a bike coming out called “The Mexican.” It should be out in September.

What’s the bike going to be like?
It’s basically the bike I designed when I was going to do Citizen, but I’ve changed a few things. It’s just the bike that I want to ride.

You’ve been working on a movie for a while now. What’s that all about?
The movie is called “Outside the Game.” Hopefully, it should be done by the X Games. We’ve got a lot of stuff planned for it, so it all depends on whethewe can get it all done by then. We’ve got some stunts and antics planned.

So it’s not just a BMX movie?
Well it is, but I wanted to make it more than that. It’s not just a documentary about me either; it’s more of a documentary about our industry, why we ride bikes and have fun–that sort of thing. I just happen to be the main subject matter. We’re trying to do different stuff, and whether people will think it’s cool or not I don’t know, but it’s fun to do. We’re kind of doing it because I think it’s fun and it’s stuff that you wouldn’t normally get to do. I’ve hooked up with Four Leaf Productions and they’re willing to put the energy into doing it. I’m pretty psyched, and if anything, whether you like it or hate it, it should be pretty entertaining to watch.

What is going to be in the movie other than BMX?
Well, there’s going to be some skateboarding in it because there’s a lot of tour footage from last year’s Tony Hawk skatepark tour. There’s a little skit, and a short film we shot for it. The short film has security guards and fight scenes in wind tunnels; we rented wire harnesses from the same people that did The Matrix.Hopefully we’re doing the “freeze,” which is the shot they did in The Matrixwhere the camera spins around you when you’re frozen. There’s a whole section where I’m on fire; we had to get stuntmen and coordinators and all sorts of stuff. Hopefully we’re going to build a few weird ramps, but other than that it’s just a lot of footage.

I’ve always heard that you want to be a stuntman. Is that still one of your dreams?
I don’t know about it being one of my dreams. It kind of just seems like I’ve done a few stunts for a few shows, and the stunt coordinators that have helped out with “Outside the Game” kind of offered me a job. The wire guys were super-psyched because they told me that it was kind of hard to get the hang of it, and Mike Vallely Pro skater and I got the hang of it pretty quick. So those guys were psyched and so were the guys that did the fire-burn. We’ve done one day so far, we’ll probably have to do a couple more, but that day we did like ten burns in about two hours; usually they only do a few a day. So they were pretty psyched that I was still riding around. Plus, I’m in a movie that starts filming next month. My character has a fight scene, so it should be pretty good.

What’s the name of the movie?
I’m not sure. They haven’t finished the script yet. It’s an independent film, but it will be going to all the festivals. The guy who is directing it worked on “The Fast and The Furious,” so it should be pretty good.

You mentioned that Pro skateboarder Mike Vallely was going to be in “Outside the Game.” How did you hook up with him?
He rides for Etnies and Hurley, and I’ve known him forever. He’s the security guard in the movie, so he beats me up a bunch, and then I beat him up some.

Mike just decided to build a subrail the day before the photoshoot. I’d say he adapted rather quickly. Tailtap-to-icepick. Photo: Scot

Speaking of Etnies, your Pro model shoe just came out. You, Taj, and Joe have the first BMX Pro models to be released from one of the “core” skate shoe companies. Are you pretty stoked?
Yeah, I’m psyched on it, but it’s weird because I’ve been wearing the shoes for almost a year and they just came out. In fact, we’re about to get the samples for our second shoe. The shoes are awesome; all the shoes are different to suit everyone’s tastes.

Where are kids going to be able to get them?
Bike shops and mail order.

For the last couple of years you’ve been pretty mellow on the contest scene, but earlier today you mentioned that you were planning on going to some of the CFB and BS contests this year. Is that something that you want to get back into?
I don’t know if I want to get back into the contest thing, but I want to ride in the X Games at least. I just hope that I can get to the comps. I hadn’t planned on going to the comps because I didn’t have a sponsor, so I’m just going to do the ones I can get to and try to qualify for the X Games. But as soon as I qualify for the X Games I’m not going to go to anymore contests. I’m going to be busy this summer. I’m doing the European leg of the Tony Hawk tour, and I’m going to be doing a 20-day leg of the U.S. tour. That ends up being somewhere between 34 and 45 days of traveling.

You did the Tony Hawk tour last year. How was that?
That was rad. No one can imagine the impact that it had. It’s crazy. Kids come up to me at amusement parks and grocery stores. As soon as the Mirra Tour starts, whoever is on that tour is going to get recognized in a lot more places than BMX.

and BS contests this year. Is that something that you want to get back into?
I don’t know if I want to get back into the contest thing, but I want to ride in the X Games at least. I just hope that I can get to the comps. I hadn’t planned on going to the comps because I didn’t have a sponsor, so I’m just going to do the ones I can get to and try to qualify for the X Games. But as soon as I qualify for the X Games I’m not going to go to anymore contests. I’m going to be busy this summer. I’m doing the European leg of the Tony Hawk tour, and I’m going to be doing a 20-day leg of the U.S. tour. That ends up being somewhere between 34 and 45 days of traveling.

You did the Tony Hawk tour last year. How was that?
That was rad. No one can imagine the impact that it had. It’s crazy. Kids come up to me at amusement parks and grocery stores. As soon as the Mirra Tour starts, whoever is on that tour is going to get recognized in a lot more places than BMX.