10 Minutes with … Mike Cinqmars
10 Minutes with … Mike Cinqmars
by Eric Johnson - RacerX (http://www.racerxill.com)
Mike Cinqmars, one of the true pioneers of the sport of freestyle motocross, must have said the word “fun” more than 40 times in the 45 minutes that we were on the phone. During the past two years, things had gone quietly for the native of Apple Valley, California. After fracturing the L1 vertebra in his lower back in a practice crash on January 22, 2001, Cinq needed a long time to heal up and get back on a bike again. But he did, and now he’s having more fun than ever. Just off the highly successful Boob Boom Huck Jam tour, Cinqmars is now getting ready to begin dress rehearsals for the fast approaching Crusty Demons of Dirt World Tour, which will begin in Australia this spring.
Mike, we haven’t talked to you in a little while. How have you been doing?
I’ve been feeling good - really good. I’m glad to have a couple of tours going and stuff. That’s the main thing that I’ve been doing: focusing on my riding and getting back into having fun on the bike again. After the crash I wasn’t as gung ho to go out and prove myself with wild tricks. I think I’ve already proven myself in the past. Now I want to have fun with these tours.
Nobody can deny that you’re one of the legends of freestyle motocross….
Exactly. We were right there from the first contest. There’s so many kids coming up now, and we paved the way for them. I think we should be able to do what we want and what we enjoy now, because we started it all.
What have you been up to? We know you were out on the road for a while with the Boob Boom Huck Jam tour….
Yeah, definitely. The Tony Hawk tour was the first thing I’ve been paid for in a while [laughs]. Before that I went to Chile to do some dune riding for the new Crusty video. I rode in the sand dunes and just did my thing. It was there that I started to get back to riding good. I had been riding back in Southern California, but I hadn’t really been pushing it. In Chile I felt good and was doing this one section that had a 90-foot tabletop followed by a 160-foot table. I’d hit the first one in third gear and the second pinned in fourth gear.
So you feel like you’re back on it after your crash.
Yeah, I’ve been able to get my mind back into it. I do this because it’s fun. That’s why I got into motocross in the first place: because I love it. I mean, now that I’m older, this is my job - and I have to understand that. But I love to have fun. I like riding and performing. I don’t like the pressure of “what trick are you going to do next to win this contest?” Now I’m like, “Hey, I was out for a while. Let me get my wheels going again.” I’m not a contest guy. I want to do the tours, and stay in the magazines and videos. In fact, that Fox extreme sports show 5,4,3,2,1 is coming by to do a profile on me next week.
We were in Las Vegas with Carey Hart last summer right before the X Games, and his attitude toward freestyle motocross sounds almost identical to yours.
Yeah, it’s really weird. I recently went to Carey’s house and we went up to his foam pit. We rode around for a while and just had fun. I was riding smoothly and with style, and it almost felt like I was never away, you know?
Did you give the pit a try?
Yeah, I wanted to try it. So I attempted a backflip and pulled it perfectly the very first time. I did a perfect loop and landed in the foam right on the wheels. I know I do have the talent, but just like Carey, I want to have fun.
How was the Boom Boom Huck Jam tour?
Oh, man! The Hawk tour? Nothing compares to that tour. It was like being in Hollywood. There was not one thing that wasn’t perfect. We had a tour bus with a TV in each of our bunks. The bus was the closest thing to being at home without really being at home. We’d leave one town and go to the next, get off the bus, and the hotel keys would be waiting at the front desk under our names. It was so professional. Tony didn’t leave anything open. Hell, Tony had his own jet - Activision gave it to him - and we’d fly home to California in it. Tony knows how to do it. He’s been at the bottom and likes to do things for other people. Man, we had catered food in the dressing rooms. Hell, I ate the best I’ve ever eaten on that tour.
It sounds like a full-on rock and roll tour!
It was very rock and roll. In fact, there were people involved in the tour who came from the rock and roll business. Some of the crew guys told us the Huck Jam tour was the biggest thing they had ever put together. We’d be at one stop, and another group of crew people would already be at the other stop putting things together. The whole thing was cool. Our tour bus was all black, and it was Tony, Bucky Lasek, Dave Mirra, Carey Hart, Ronnie Faisst, and Clifford Adoptante riding on it. It was so much fun, man! I’d sit in the back with Dave Mirra and we’d play ATV Off-Road Fury every night.
Did everyone get along okay?
Oh, man, it was like a big family. There was not one scuffle. Nobody got upset about anything. On the tour, if we complained about something, it got fixed. At one stop, the lights on the takeoff ramp we were jumping didn’t go on. I was the first guy to jump and didn’t want to mess up the show, so I jumped. When I went around one of the corners, I yelled, “The lights are out!” By the time I got to the ramp again, they were on.
Did you get to hang out in ay of the towns the tour stopped at?
Definitely. Every couple of weeks, we’d get three days off. One night in New York, me, Faisst, Tony, and Clifford went out and blew the wheels off. Going around with Tony was like going around with Michael Jordan. We’d go into these underground places and these people would see Tony and set him up with a $500 table. And we thought we had pull! Another night in New York City, Tony and I went out to buy watches. We’re both watch freaks. I ended up buying my first Rolex. It had diamonds around the outside and on top of it and stuff. In all there were 80 diamonds on it.
image courtesy Motoworld.com
So you made a little money while touring the U.S, huh?
[Laughs] Oh, I made a good chunk. The tours are where it’s at.
When did the tour end?
The tour finished on November 17th in Miami.
Were you bummed it was over?
Actually, I was. Usually at the end of a tour, you’re ready to come home. At the end of this one, I didn’t want to. There was always something going on. We were never bored.
What do you have coming up next?
The Australia Crusty tour is coming up in April.
I heard all about that thing last year. I think it was Brian Deegan who told me they were treated like rock stars wherever they went….
[Laughs] It’s going to be good. We start rehearsing in February. It’s going to be a very big show and not all riding. There’s going to be some really cool stuff in it. People have all seen us ride - they want to see other things, too.
Who’ll be on the tour?
Me, Carey, Clifford, Faisst, Clowers, Seth [Enslow], Jones, and Deegan.
I know [laughs]. We’re going to take down Australia. The first tour will be three weeks long, and we’ll cross the entire country. Then we’ll go to New Zealand. Then if all goes well, on to Asia, Europe - everywhere. Same thing with Tony’s tour. A number of us could end up being on the road all year long.
And making a good living at it.
Exactly. If I won every IFMA contest, the X Games, the Gravity Games - everything - I’d make nowhere near the money I’ll make on these tours.
That’s great. It’s almost like you guys - the guys that started the whole thing - get to cash in.
I know. We started freestyle motocross and blew it out of the water. I mean, everyone has seen a superman seat grab or whatever. Now the backflip thing is going off. What’s next? I’ve put my time in. I’ve been hurt bad. I want to enjoy myself now. We want to have fun. We started riding motocross bikes because it was fun. Now we need to make some money. I don’t want to be pressured into doing tricks or contests. That’s not any fun to me anymore. Now I’m having fun. I took chances when I competed, and people won’t forget me. Now I just want to tour.
Micky Dymond told us at Anaheim that he just finished up building this incredible track for you.
That’s right. We sat down and designed a track in my parents’ yard. We just got done with it. It has a full supercross track on the inside and a full freestyle course on the outside. I also had a big landing ramp built, so if we want to push a takeoff ramp in front of it and jump, we can. Everything on it is there to help me keep my bike skills up. Anybody can jump off a ramp in an arena. You’ve seen those IFMA kids - they can’t ride. Now, I can ride one to two hours on my supercross track, then work on my jumping skills. The track is the best investment I’ve made yet. In fact, Jeremy McGrath is coming out pretty soon. He’s had so much going on that he hasn’t been able to enjoy himself. He wants to come up and ride for the reason we all got into this in the first place: to have fun.
The following image courtesy Motoworld.com
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- in 13 circles.
Wow, he has been a busy boy, its good to see him back on a bike after his huge crash, well done Mike, and thanks Insane for posting that story.
Excuse me while i kiss the sky.
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