Mike Aitken's First Interview
This interview originally ran in issue #1 of the resurrected and unauthorized bastardized version of BMX Action and was probably conducted in late 1999 with a baby faced Mike Aitken.
Interview: John Paul Rogers
Photographs: Rich Caramadre
What’s your full name there, Mikey?
Michael Bernell Aitken.
How old are you now, 14?
Ha ha, that’s funny, 16.
When did you start riding?
When I was 11.
It seems like you’ve been going to contests forever.
Uh, I started like 2 years ago at a Reno contest. That was my first one.
How’d you do?
I thought I did good, but it wasn’t enough to cut it. It was good for me, but not enough to take a place.
Does that happen to you a lot?
Does that make you mad?
Mmm, sometimes. But you can’t really let it get to you because it’s just riding.
So you’re not to worried about contest finishes?
How did you get into riding?
This Mexican guy that knew my brother gave me a bike and I just started racing.
How did you meet Fuzzy and Berringer?
I knew Matt from racing and when I started dirt jumping a lot and just riding trails I met Fuzz just going up to his house all of the time.
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Six, three brothers and three sisters.
I heard there were 20 people living in your house at one point in time and you were the only one with their own room?
Yup, but there’s not that many.
How many people?
Do Mormon people just not leave the house?
My brothers are going through hard times and my mom won’t let them move in. I told her I’m not getting kicked out of my room ‘cause they can’t cut it.
Are you a little bit spoiled?
Uh, some might say.
Do you know who the Osmands are?
So you don’t follow the Mormon religion?
Not really, my parents do, but I don’t.
Do they get mad at you when you drink soda with caffeine?
No, but they get mad at me for drinking iced tea. They don’t care about soda and stuff.
It’s only the iced tea. So Mormons are taking a stand against iced tea? What else are Mormons taking a stand against?
I don’t know.
Do you know anything about Mormon religion?
Not much, just that they pay tithing.
They pay what?
Tithing, they pay 10% of their paycheck every month to the church.
So your brothers are living at your parent's house, but they have to pay 10% out of their earnings to the church?
Is that why you don’t want to follow the Mormon religion?
Yeah, that’s why.
What do you think of Ike Taylor?
I like him and stuff because I’ve known him for along time.
That’s no reason to like somebody.
I used to not like him, because he always said stuff to me and it seems like when I started to get bigger in riding, he liked me better and I didn’t really like that.
So you hate Ike Taylor?
I don’t hate him. I don’t like some of the things he does.
What about Fuzzy, do you not like him?
I don’t have any problems with Fuzzy. He’s perfect to me. He’s always been really good to me.
What about Berringer?
He’s really cool, too. He’s helped me out a lot in riding. He’s pushed me harder. So, yeah, I like Matt.
How come you don’t go to school?
When I went to school, I went to contests and stuff for like a week, and I like had good grades when I left and then when I came back, I like flunked.
So you went on the road for a week and got completely stupid?
No, all my grades went down.
Oh, okay. So you didn’t get dumb and then go back to school and forget everything?
Then we decided to do home school.
So basically, you don’t do any school work and you travel around all of the time.
What’s your deal with Mosh?
They’re cool. They’ve been helping me out a lot. Like, sending me places and being really good and doing a lot of stuff Bully wouldn’t. Helping me out totally.
What are the important things to you right now?
School? You don’t go to school.
I know, but I still do school work.
Do all Mormons get home taught?
No, some are against it.
Mormons are against home taught school and iced tea?
Most of them are. We’re not really hardcore Mormons.
Are you called Jack Mormons?
Where does that term come from?
I’ve only heard Fuzz say it.
So Fuzzy made that up? It’s Fuzzy’s own version of the Mormon religion?
Are Mormons allowed to have sex before they get married?
So what are you going to do?
Uhm, I don’t know. Try to obey it ‘cause that’s just the way I’ve been brought up.
So you’ll drink iced tea, but you won’t have sex. That’s where you draw the line is right after the tea?
Do you try to emulate anyone with your riding style?
Kris Bennett and Stauffer, they’re like my two favorite guys to watch.
Do you have any kooky tour stories? What happened when you went to Ithica?
They all went to this bar and I like got in and I was just sittin’ back, ‘cause I don’t drink or anything. And I’ve never been into one before and Robo was like totally drunk all over the place. And later that night I got punched by Josh Stricker.
Why did he punch you?
None of us have any idea, like he was really, really drunk and we were at Crandall’s house, he was saying goodbye to everyone and I was just leaning against this tree and when he walked by, he just punched me. Like, knocked the wind out of me and stuff. I don’t know why he just punches people.
Do you think drunk people are funny or stupid?
Uhm, a little of both.
In your travels, have you found there’s more cool people or stupid people in BMX?
Uhm, more cool people, like people I can relate to ‘cause all they do is ride like me. Like everyone I’ve met, I’ve liked pretty much.
Except for Josh Stricker?
I like Josh. I just thought that wasn’t very cool.
What did you think of that whole MTV thing at TJ’s?
Ridiculous, he’s a little too big for his own good, like he treats his friends like shit. Not Fuzz or course, ‘casue he’s like big, too. He used to be really cool to me and now he ignores me and stuff. It makes me not even want to talk to him.
Does it turn you off to one day maybe being big time?
I don’t think I really want to be big time like that. I’d rather be big time like, more like Joe Rich and Taj. You know what I mean? More like being respected and stuff.
Yeah, first of all my mom and dad and Mosh Bikes, Extreme Board Shop and of course all my friends.