- Bike Checks
Homepage image by Brandon Means
First off, how have you been? I know you haven't been in the states much lately.
Yeah, I've been in Europe since March. Everything has been alright, some ups and downs, a few changes, but you have to take the good with the bad and keep going forward.
What countries have you been to in the past year and what were some of the more interesting things you saw?
This year I actually slowed down with traveling unlike the previous years because now that I am getting older different things interest me and certain people keep me coming back to places which I never thought i would have. As for this year, I've been to Spain, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Turkey and Hungary. There's not one main attraction for those places but they're just fun to be in and if you have time, they're places you should check out.
Where is one place that you haven't traveled to, but would like to?
There isn't one place but about 25 more places I'd like to go, starting with Venezuela and Guatemala, which I will go later this year and probably Kazakhstan when it gets warm. I think if I didn't go back to the same places so many times i could have seen every place in the world that i wanted to already.
I noticed from your Facebook posts that you have picked up Polish (and I know you also speak Spanish), are you working on learning any other languages?
Yeah I've been coming to Poland for the past 5 years and every time I came here I never learned anything and this time I said whatever I'm going start learning this language, so I took a 2 month long hour-a-day private lesson course and got down the basics. I have a lot of good friends here and we've been speaking English for the past 5 years, so this time I said It's my turn to speak your language and I have been for the past 5 months. As for the next language, I will probably start learning Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. I want to be pretty fluent in 6 or 7 languages by the time I'm 30.
Now for the BMX side of things. I'm sure not too many people were suprised that you left Alienation since you recently joined Merritt, but how exactly did things with Merritt come about?
Mike Brennan is one of my closest friends, I've known him since I was 18. He hit me up out of the blue about it and I didn't know what to think at first but then a few weeks went by and he messaged me again and told me what the team was going to be and showed me product pics and I was sold.
Do you have any plans with Merritt to work on any signature parts?
Yeah, I have some signature bars coming out that i'm excited about.
What are your plans for the rest of 2012?
As for the rest of 2012 I'm going to try and put out 2 new videos before the year is out. I have a video that will be coming out really soon. Also spend a little time with the family during the holidays and adventure on another trip.
Anything set in stone for 2013?
As for 2013, I have a hard time planning that far ahead so who knows what's in store for next year, hopefully bigger and better opportunities.
Did joining Merritt influence your decision to leave Alienation?
I was dropped because of Merritt. I was riding Alienation rims for the past 2 years and they were cool with that, but when the Merritt deal came along it wasn't alright anymore and they wanted me to run all Alienation parts so it ended there.
What are some of your favorite memories from riding for Alienation (whether it be specific trips, events, etc)?
Well, I didn't go on any team trips or whatnot, but hangin' out with Rob Morgan was the best. One night we were out watchin' the Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley fight at the Tilted Kilt, but to make a long story short, he got me so drunk that he pretty much had to carry me back to the truck and I had a 6 am flight the next morning that I don't know how I managed to make.
Any final words?
Thanks to Vital for the interview and anyone and everyone who has helped me out.