PROFILE: Mike Saavedra  

How do you make he transition from a local ripper to a pro traveling the world? There is no magic formula, but Southern California’s Mike Saavedra managed to pull it off. Mike has probably ridden in more states this year than you can name, and the year isn’t over yet. We got Mike to stay in one place long enough to get the following interview and footage that proves he deserves to be where he is.

 

 

 

You've been making quite a name for yourself the last few years. How did you go from being a local rider to being sponsored and flying around the country all the time?
Well let me start by saying thanks! It's funny how that kind of stuff works; I never planned for it to be that way. I gave up trying to get sponsored when I was 16 (laughs). I just rode my trails and the local parks all the time and started going to a few contest here and there. I guess things just fell into place for me after that.

Describe the typical types of shows you do.
Shows are something I do to get the bills paid. I feel that shows are secondary to just riding and progressing. I have fun doing them—it beats the heck out of working a full-time 9-to-5! Most of the time we do halftime shows and school shows. Both are easy money and a ton of fun to do with the right people!

Does riding in a show in front of tens of thousands of people get you nervous, or is it something you get used to?
It did at first, but then I figured out how to just block it all out. Now if I could only do the same at contests (laughs).

Mike Saavedra no-foot can-can How much time do you really spend traveling?
I spend most of the summer on the road doing shows and trying to make it to contests. Then when I do have free time I go up to Woodward West for a few weeks. I plan on trying to make it out to Woodward East this summer as well.

When you're doing a halftime show, who decides what trick you do? Is it all figured out beforehand?
This is funny—I always get yelled at because we work out what we’re going to do beforehand, but as I am cranking at the box jump I'll change my mind at the last second (laughs). The announcer hates that!

When you travel, do you get a chance to ride a lot of stuff outside of the doing the shows?
I try to ride as much as I can. Sometimes we have a ton of free time and other times we are on a tight schedule. I hate going to a new place and not getting to ride the local spots.

Are you planning on riding in any of the big contests this year?
I want to make it out to the Dew Tour this year. Maybe some King of Dirt’s as well.

You recently held your own contest. Why did you decide to do that and how did it go?
This was the third one I’ve done, but nothing ever to this scale. Vans put up a ton of cash for pro and to help buy wood to build ramps with to make the park flow better. A lot of people showed up to support the event. It’s just a feeling words can’t explain when you can look around a skatepark and know that you brought all of these people together for an awesome day of bike riding! I had a great time doing it and can’t wait to put on another.

How would you rather spend your time, traveling the world or riding your local park?
It doesn't get much better than having a good session with your best friends at your local park. But traveling and getting to see the world is something that can never get old. I would love to wake up and ride a new spot every day!

Mike Saavedra nosepick How do you pass the time when you're on the road?
iPod, iPod, iPod (laughs)! I do a lot of nothing when we’re on the road. I try to just go out and find something somewhere to ride. If it's a long drive I just try to sleep for very a long time. I’m really good at that!

Where the best place you get to visit? How about the worst?
New Zealand was amazing! I would love to go back there; it’s so beautiful and all the locals were super-cool people. I went there about two years ago for a week and had the time of my life!  

Do you see yourself riding and doing shows at this level for a long time?
Well at least another five years or so. I plan on going back to school soon. Riding is something I know I'll always do. I hope to show up at the park when I am 40 or 50 and just carve around!



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