10 Questions with Mike Aitken

I’m beginning to believe that the day style was handed out, Mike Aitken had some serious connections.Either that, or he cut the line and stole it all for himself. No one oozes style on a bike like Mikey does--he can even make dork tricks like straight-legged ankle-grabbers look cool. Little bastard. While on the Square One demo tour I threw ten questions at him for your reading pleasure. Here you go...

 credit: Keith Mulligan

1. How do you manage to do things on your bike that no one else can?
I just ride my bike and let everything come; I don’t really push myself to learn new tricks. It just seems like when I try to learn stuff it doesn’t happen, but when I just let it flow that is when I do some of the things I am most proud of.

2. What’s your new house like?
I love it and it is a dream come true, but it is a lot of work. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a garage for the Trans Am, so it definitely suites me fine. One of the coolest parts about it is it’s in the middle of downtown (Salt Lake City) and the Sandy park.

3. If you had magic powers, what’s one thing that you would change in BMX and why?
I think I would change how many kids get told things that never happen from companies. It is just hard, I think, because there are so many good kids I would like to see take BMX somewhere.

4. What kinds of things scare you (both on and off of your bike)?
On my bike, I’d say, never being able to ride again. Off, I’d say, losing my family.

Sweet.  credit: Keith Mulligan

5. Have you done any work on your Trans Am lately? What have you done?
I have been saving to do more work, but with buying a house and all of the other things that come up in life it’s been hard to do what I really want to with the money. The last thing I did was rebuild the engine up with more horsepower.

6. What’s the story behind your new Square One signature shirt?
Kris Bennett hooked it all up with the guy who did GWAR’s artwork. He called me and asked me what I wanted on it. I was really happy with how it turned out.

7. Most people don’t know this, but you go to your local BMX track pretty often. What’s that all about?
I just like to try and keep a level head in remembering where I came from; it is also something I have always had fun doing.

8. You just turned down a big money offer to ride for GT. How did that come about and why did you say no?
The best way I can think to put it is, would you rather live with foster parents and have them pay you, or live with your real parents that you love? With most of my sponsors money isn’t an issue because I’m happy, and in the end isn’t that what really matters?

Mid-three over the spine at the Rye Airfield park in New Hampshire on the recent Square One tour.  credit: Keith Mulligan

9. What would you say are the five worst tricks in BMX?
1. The Indian air. 2. Catch-to-catch barspin tricks. 3. Manual 180s-to-nowhere. 4. Bowlegged anything. 5. Pull-up manuals.

10. What advice do you have for kids that look up to the pros, who want to make a living off of riding, and who want to live the lifestyle that you do?
I’d just say keep it simple and have fun; if you worry about sponsorships too much it seems like it just erases the good times you’ve had on your bike.