TR exclusive: the Michael Gray interview
Photo by Harry Matias Silegren
Mike is one of those dudes that progressed so much in the last year or so. He dropped a bunch of really good videos, placed 4th at the 2010 Pepsi Pro-Am in Montreal, and he's an awesome dude to have around. We catched up with him to see how he is doing these days and to find out more about the guy. Click the Read More link to read his interview!
Name: Michael Gray
d.o.b: November 10th, 1992
Hometown: Parksville, BC
Current location: Newmarket, Ontario
Years riding: 5
Sponsors:Core BMX shop
Q: Tell us a bit about your story. What got you into riding bikes in the first place?
A: When I was young me and my brother would always set up little jumps out on the street and see how far we could go, from there I got a real bike and started jumping more and more with friends,bigger and bigger. And seeing awesome riders at the park always was inspiring to keep riding and having fun. I rode Mountain bikes for a really long time, learned a lot in mountain bikes, but BMX took over for me, and now I cant get enough of it! My best buddies are still Mountain bikers and I love riding with Mountain bikes!
Q: What are you up to these days? School? Work? How is a day in the life of Mike Gray?
A: I graduated last year so this year is pretty chillin' so far... I work a little bit, but mainly just try and ride everyday. at this point I kind of need to ride everyday, if I dont it feels like something was missing from my day and its definitely the best part of my day. Addicted! When I'm not riding I'm usually hanging out with friends chillin' or gettin' rowdy!
Q: For how long have you been riding bikes?
A: Well I've been riding for a long time since I was young but I guess about 5 years I've been super hooked on it. About 2 or 3 years MTB and 2 or 3 years BMX.
Q: How is it ridingwise in your area? Where do you like to ride the most locally?
A: I live in newmarket Ontario, a couple years ago there was so many people who rode and it was simple to get a session going in town. Now theres just a few people who ride and most of the people who do can't ride a lot there usually busy, so a lot of the time I am at joyride150, cause there's always a session there and its winter for like 8 months of the year and at least 2 more months of the year its raining outside lol. But if there's a nice day no doubt I'll be outside at the local park, Richmond Green, or wherever there is an outdoor sesssion, or my backyard ramp!
Q: What would you be into if biking never showed up to you?
A: Fuuuccckk man! I would probably be going to college or university and live a girlfriend/work/school based life haha, definitely soo happy I'm into biking but if I wasn't I know I would still have a lot of fun, cause I got some awesome friends!
Q: Who do you ride with on a regular basis?
A: Well there's a bunch of locals at Joyride that I see all the time, but my main homies of course are Matt Macduff, Ryan Kor, Brett Rheeder(all mtb's), Ori F.S, PJ, and soooo many more people that are all fuckin' awesome.
Q: What is your bike setup at the moment? Is there anything particular that you like on your bike? Any mods?
A: I'm riding a DK Team frame, Demolition Enarson Bars, Profile Cranks, demo back wheel, everything else is pretty random. My bike is usually in pretty rough shape, have to fix at least one thing on it a day lol but I still love it, would be nice if it was a bit smoother tho.
Q: You have obviously progressed a lot lately. What is your motivation to ride your bike like you do?
A: Rap, Dennis Enarson, a bunch of other amazing riders, and the fact that the funnest part of riding for me is progressing. Like the days that you learn something new are always the funnest days. Also a lot of people dont understand biking and think its a waste of time. Obviously it doesnt matter what they think but it would be nice to show and prove to those people that you can do something with it.
Q: Do you get injured a lot? What is your worst injury so far?
A: I broke my leg (both bones) 2 years ago, that was pretty shitty. I definitely fall daily, but try and stay safe by taking things step by step and not just hucking myself.
Q: It seems like the Toronto area has a pretty solid riding scene, and with the help of Joyride, the level of progression is quite impressive around there. What do you think about all this?
A: Stoked on all of it, Joyride was Toronto's answer to put our city on the map, and there is so many kids now that are amazing at riding and who are progressing faster than ever with the help of joyride. And being local there, theres so many kids and people that you see there everyday, It's a pretty sick community.
Photo by Steve Hayes
Q: I remember about 3 years ago you were riding a 26 incher and learning flyout barspins. It would be interesting to have your opinion on the hate about wheel diameter that sometimes occurs in this world.
A: Well I will always respect mountain biking, I think its awesome and the people that ride them I would say are the most humble people on bikes no doubt, but BMX is just so much faster and funner to progress on cause the bike is smaller and just easier and nicer to boot around. I find if you learn something on a BMX it is easier to go do it on a Mountain bike rather then learning it on a mountain bike. I do think park is funner on a BMX tho now that I ride pegs, and I will never take them off.
Q: What is your opinion about the BMX scene right now? Would you change something about it?
A: The only thing I would change would be to bring it into Canada more. I think Canadian BMX has so much to offer, and it could be seen more but besides that Its the best sport in the world no doubt!
Q: Do you have any other hobbies beside BMX?
A: Hanging out with friends, and living life lol.
Q: What kind of music do you enjoy? Do you listen to other artists than Lil Wayne?
A: Haha Weezy definitely gives me motivation, lots of rap, Cudi, Wiz, mainly but I definitely like listening to some rock and every genre of music from time to time.
Q: Is there a trick that you try to do for a long time but just can't figure out?
A: Welll I would say barspins are constantly hard to figure out, like I'll learn a variation with it but there is endless progression with the trick and there is always something to try with it.
Photo by Richard Desaulniers Jr.
Q: Why do ontarian people say ''pop'' instead of soda?
A: Because "pop" is gang.
Q: Do you travel a lot? Any trips planned?
A: Travel quite a bit, there is always weekend getaways planned to skateparks either in the states or quebec. Got a big trip planned driving across Canada and maybe down into Cali with Ori and Ryan Eles two shredders who are ma boy's! lots of edits planned for that trip.
Q: How would you like your life to be in 5 years? Any goals or projects?
A: In 5 years I definitely hope to still be riding, but definitely having a steady income and lots of freedom! always lots of goals and projects day to day.
Q: If you could choose 3 BMX riders and mix them together to create the ultimate BMXer, who would you choose and why?
A: Dennis Enarson, Garret Reynolds, Drew Bezanson most likely, It would be the flowiest, street, ramp riding machine and it would probably be impossible to beat, you could probably call it 21st centuries Matt Hoffmann.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone out there riding a bike?
A: Do you, have fun, be yourself, do what you want on a bike.
Q: Anything you would like to add?
A: Thank my mom and Dad for supporting me, and thanks to all my friends and Ridaz that make BMX as awesome and fun as it is!
Here is Mike's latest web video in case you didn't see it: