If you missed on tonight's Live Chat with ASA FMX World Champion Mike Mason, fear not, we've got a recap of some of the discussion highlights. But as you can see, you won't want to miss this next time around. It's an easy way to interact with your favorite riders, and get the answers you've been looking for. The questions in bold are from users. The normal text is Mike's response.
How long have you been riding motocross?
I've been riding for 24 years. I started on a bike when I was like 4 or 5. I started racing when I was like 10 or 11 on minibikes. I started freestyle when I was 23. I did all the racing stuff when I was little and then did some pro races and had a couple of injuries that took me out of wanting to race so I turned to freestyle.
Is it better to start out on a race track to learn?
Yeah, I think that starting out on a track is cool. You learn how to ride a bike really well and then adding your tricks is a little easier.
Would I get more control starting out racing?
Yes, for sure you get more control.
How come you live in Nevada over California where a lot of the guys live? Are you a gambling man?
Naw, I'm not a gambling man. When I go to Vegas, I'm like a tourist and I don't gamble at all.
Have you had any serious injuries that held you down riding motocross?
I've never had like real serious injuries, but I had 3 knee surgeries that took me down or a bit. I had both knees done at once in 2007 and was in a wheel chair for 8 weeks. I had to have my ACL repaired in my left leg and broke the tip of my femur on my right leg, that's why I was in a wheelchair for 8 weeks.
Do you do shows around the country or just contests like X Games and stuff.
I do shows everywhere, all around the world. I'm one of those guys who tries to stay really busy. Got to make that money while it's here.
Do you like shows more?
Yeah, I like shows. They're more laid back. All the riders get to have fun together. At the contests it's each man for himself.
What do you think about tricks like double backflips... with Cam Sinclair getting hurt on one, it's clear that they are a make or break type trick. Are things going to keep going in that dangerous direction?
I don't know. I hope not. Cam's proof. He did 20 of those things perfectly and then one time he misses. I think that should be more like a best trick thing, not for all competitions.
What does your family think of you riding? Did your parents try to steer you away from riding?
They're actually the ones that got me started. They got me my first bike when I was 4. Mom get's a little scared though, but Dad, he can handle it.
Your dad rides too?
Yeah, my dad rode or a long time. He rode a lot when I was little and gave it up a little bit ago. He's still really involved in what I do.
What's the best way to start getting to bigger jumps... just work my way up?
Yeah, for sure. Start small and then go up. You don't want to get hurt on something big.
Do you guys have mechanics that work on your bikes for you? Do contests provide them or do you bring your own?
I've always had a mechanic. The guy I have now did all my stuff when I was racing. I like to have that peace of mind, knowing he knows what to do.
How do you get your motorcycle to contests in other countries?
In other countries they supply us with bikes. We bring our handlebars and the suspension to kind of make it feel like our bike at home.
Are there any real rivalries that extend off the bike, or is everyone friendly with each other off the course?
I think we're all pretty much friends. Freestyle are just a little family. You don't want to be mad at anyone or anything. I think that Twitch and Nate have a little thing, but I think they're still friendly.
Are there any good places to learn freestyle aside from a backyard or land if you don't have it? Places you can go to ride freestyle.
I don't really know of any that are open to the public because it's so dangerous. LIke all of us just started behind out houses in little dirt piles.
What are your favorite tricks to do?
My favorite tricks are like the flip whip that I did at the ASA Championships, the cliffhanger and holy grabs.
So you're not a guy that likes to flip every jump right? You like a combination of stuff.
Yeah, but I thought I was cool to do a lot of stuff. I watch BMX a lot and you don't see them flip all the time. I like variety. It's better for the crowd. But, it seems like the judges like the flips more because the guy who does usually gets a higher score.
I'm Mika from Japan!I love your style! One of tricks I love is you did on ASA which is like underflip like 360 like whip flip!!! Could you tell me the trick name and how did you do that? And was it you who did the trick on the US OPEN FMX SHOW?
I call it a flip whip. It's basically just like doing a back flip and you just kind of lean off the side of your bike as you come off the ramp.
Have you tried 360s at all? Those seem like a different ballgame.
Yeah, I've never messed with those. I tried them on a bicycle and couldn't do them, so I am not going to try them on my motorcycle.
A lot of the riders from Nevada, like Dustin, seem like they do the tricks they want to rather than the tricks they think they have to for the judges.. is that how you guys look at it? It seems like you guys are more mellow about it.
Yeah for sure. I think we treat this more like having fun on a motorcycle instead of like our livelihood. The Nevada guys just seem more laid back and the California guys are more competitive.
Mandy's question is a good one.. How did people feel about Dew essentially dropping you guys?
None of the riders liked it. They basically got it easy because we're doing demos and lots of fans are coming out to see us. We're not pulling our best tricks because it's a demo. If it was for prize money it would be different.