Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December: Tracks closed. The rain up here in the hills keeps coming.

"NZ is the most exciting" !

Interview with Travis Pastrana

maddix park mx

www.mxlarge.com

American freestyle legend Travis Pastrana is anything but boring. The 32 year old former AMA Motocross champion, MXoN winner  and mutiple X-Games champion loves action. His Nitro Circus performances are everything a motorcycle fan should want to see, just for the experience of complete madness and organized chaos.

As a show you get more than your money’s worth at Nitro Circus as the best freestyle riders in the world do their thing. We got to sit down with Pastrana as he did his London press launch. As always he had some cool stuff to tell.

Mxlarge: Travis, first time I remember seeing your name you were jumping into the San Francisco bay. When was that?

Pastrana: That was 1999, I was 15 years old. Funny story to that actually. I couldn’t turn pro yet, I had just ridden my first race at Mammoth and in fact the only reason I was at the X-Games at San Francisco was to race Mammoth. The only way we could afford to go to Mammoth was to do X-Games. In fact the organizers of X-Games took my prizemoney (for jumping in San Francisco bay). They said they would also take my medal, fortunately they didn’t do that.

Mxlarge: From memory it was a stunt for a sponsor or something?

Pastrana: No, the opposite, everyone told me not to do it, but I had already won the medal in my first run and in my second run I didn’t need to do anything and I just wanted to do something big.

Mxlarge: What got you into doing the freestyle stuff? Who were your heroes?

Pastrana: My hero was Matt Hoffman for BMX stuff, but Guy Cooper was my hero and also Doug Henry, but for the jumps it was Guy Cooper, he was always throwing huge whips over all the jumps and he looked like he was having more fun than anyone on the track.

Mxlarge: Unlike Robbie Madison you are more into the shows than the one off big jumps. How is life for you at the moment with your shows and stuff?

Pastrana: Honestly we were doing more of that stuff with the television show. We did the Action Figures film last year, and that was fun. Lately we jumped a razer 120 feet over my dad’s house, and I was doing quadruple back flip on a BMX bike by my house and the same week Josh did a triple back flip on a motorcycle by my dad’s house. I was doing double back flip kiss of deaths and we did a lot of base jumping with Erik Roner before he passed away. It’s been a pretty busy period.

Nitro Circus Live in Prague, Czech Republic on 26th Novemeber 2012

Mxlarge: You are not getting any younger and there must be a time that you have to back it down?

Pastrana: We just were trying to get other people in the limelight instead of myself. I am not willing to take the risk as much anymore, I like making the ramps, but once we take away the safety pads, or move the foam, or air bags I am not willing to take that risk as often. With Nitro doing so well now I really want to work on it doing well and get it even better. Also make it as safe as I can. My wife is in Nitro, all my best friends are in Nitro and I want it to be as safe as possible. My kids are into moto and I want to make it safe for everyone.

Mxlarge: Do you enjoy the business side more than the jumping side now?

Pastrana: No, I am ADHD and I hate computers and airplanes, but I do like travelling and I love the destinations. Riding is my thing, if I go too long without riding or doing BMX I am difficult to be around. My wife likes me when I am riding.

Mxlarge: You are a family man now, how is that?

Pastrana: It is interesting. On tour is our best time as a family. My wife is super supportive, and she has such a glow when she is scatting on Nitro Circus, and I want our kids to see what a powerful woman she is, and doing what she loves to do. To be around all those amazing people, it’s nice for my wife and kids to be around those type of people.

Mxlarge: What countries are the most fun with the world tour?

Pastrana: Europe is fun, I enjoy the challenge. London, Glasgow, this area is good, but action sports is really small in Europe. Even in the states in some places it isn’t that big, I mean Tennessee, Georgia, and California are big. Canada we sell out in every show, or in South Africa we sell out, and Australia we can do four or five gigs in the same stadium night after night. For me New Zealand is the most exciting, just because everyone lives their lifestyle like we do.

Travis Pastrana, Lyn-Z Pastrana - Portrait

Mxlarge: Which audience get the most out of it?

Pastrana: The loudest audience is probably South Africa, but the French are also big. When I did Red Bull X-Fighters I though Mexico was our best, but with Nitro Circus we haven’t done Mexico yet. Japan was load, but Australia we have been there so much, but they keep coming back. It’s funny, because every crowd is different, in Arnhem the crowd was really quiet, but it was a good turn-out, but the stadium was a little spread out. We want to keep action sport that everyone can get close and get an autograph and get inspired from it. We want to put on a show that people get on their feet and get excited about it. People are so much on their mobiles or videogames or whatever and we would like to inspire them. You want your kids to be active.

Mxlarge: How is it being on tour? Travelling around in buses and being with a bus full of ADHD people?

Pastrana: Without a doubt, it makes you feel old. When we get done on a show we have two hours before we get on the buses and it’s kind of mayhem and chaos and some drink and some don’t. We have awesome catering and everyone might be eating ice cream or something, and we get on the bus at midnight and the whole bus is awake at 6am looking for stuff. Like where is the closest go-cart track, or Skate Park, or base jumpers are looking for something, and everyone scatters and is looking for something to do. It never stops. People ask what we do in our spare time, but we do the Nitro stuff 24/7. It is so inspiring, you have to be young again. Every day something new happens or some new trick is done and it’s pretty fun.

Mxlarge: You are a parent and that’s something that must be tough to juggle with your line of work?

Pastrana: Yes, I am a parent now, and I would like to be home more when my kids start school, but still be a part of Nitro and maybe do some car racing, but being a good father is my next chapter.  It is the most challenging, and I am always up for a challenge, but it is fun. I never had responsibility in my life. I still take risk, ride dirt bikes and do bas jumping. It is one thing (being a father) where I don’t want to fail.

 
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