The other week, Fat Tony launched The Expansion Project podcasts where he interviews a handful of riders. The interviews started out on iTunes, now they’re on Youtube. We have all the BMX interviews that have been done featuring Daniel Dhers, Ben Hucke, Dustin Grice, Jamie Bestwick and Mike Spinner. These interviews are pretty interesting and you can learn a lot about each of these guys. The Mike Spinner one touches on his Twitter blowout that he had last week that I’m sure a bunch of you are wondering about. Check out all the interviews after the jump.
“This week I jumped on Skype with Daniel Dhers. If you follow BMX at all, you know who Daniel is, and if you don’t, let me fill you in a little… Daniel moved to the US from Venezuela in 2006 to be a full time professional bike rider and has gone on to win win five gold medals at X Games, 11 stops of the Dew Tour, four Dew Tour year end titles, and a long laundry list of other competitions along the way. In addition to having an incredible BMX career, Daniel has a really good head on his shoulders when it comes to business so we talked a lot about that and his newest venture, the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex, which is a giant skatepark in Holley Springs, North Carolina that serves as an investment for Daniel and his personal training facility.
Daniel really opened up and is allowing the world see a side of him that we rarely get to see from professional BMX riders. I got a ton out of this conversation, and I think you will too, so without rambling on too much longer, let’s jump right into it and get inside the mind of this world class athlete and professional shit talker.
The “Chime In” question this episode was, “What keeps you lying awake at night?””
“Today I talked with Ben Hucke who recently made the transition from being a professional BMX rider to a full-time artist. Ben is a single father from Portland who has a really cool story of deciding to leave behind the 9-5 grind to make it on his own riding BMX for a living. I’ve known Ben for several years and was actually his team manager at one of the companies that sponsored him and I’m really stoked to see how well he’s doing following his new passion, which is drawing.
We talked all about his career path and shared lots of insight and stories that I think you guys will find really interesting. I also shared a pretty wild story about the time I had a bunch of metal objects shoved into my ass and had hemorrhoid surgery.
I apologize in advance for the audio in some parts… We stated out the conversation on Skype, but it cut out a bit, so we got on the phone and had a little feedback for a minute. Please bear with it…I promise you’ll get some great content in this episode!
The “Chime In” question this episode was, “What was the worst physical pain you’ve ever felt?””
“Today I got on Skype with professional BMX rider, entrepreneur, and freelance web developer Dustin Grice. Dustin has been around the BMX industry for a long time and always has a ton of projects going on. I’ve hung out with Dustin many times over the years in various parts of the world, but until today I never fully knew how he designed his life in order to do the things he loves.
Some of the projects Dustin is involved with include a 24hr bike-only skatepark in his hometown, a BMX stunt team that he started, other stunt teams that he rides for, various Web sites and apps, and an event and video series documenting young BMX riders in various countries. Dustin juggles all these things as passion projects while traveling the world on his own dime, funded by his main job, which is freelance web development.
We had some hiccups with Skype, so there are a few spotty sections where I had to do some editing, but stick with it because there are a lot of valuable takeaways in this episode.
The Chime In question this week is, “What is your favorite app?””
“Today I was able to get on Skype with none other than Jamie Bestwick. Jamie is a fascinating person with so many layers to him. He’s a husband and father, he’s a business owner and entrepreneur, he has a foundation in his name, he races motorcycles and Baja trucks, he does long distance cycling, he’s an on-air sports analyst for NBC, and on top of that he’s the greatest BMX vert rider to ever live. I know that’s a bold statement, and although there’s nowhere to get an accurate fact check on it, I don’t think you’ll find many people within the BMX community who would disagree with it.
Jamie has a collection of X Games gold medals that runs 12 deep and has won every Dew Tour year end title since the event’s inception in 2005. When people watch Jamie drop into a vert ramp they can immediately tell that he is on a different level than other people. There’s really no two ways about it—he’s simply the best to ever do it.
Jamie was a little short on time today, so we skipped on catching up, we skipped the Chime In segment, and we skipped the Quick Hit questions and got straight into the good stuff. Although I’d love to talk to Jamie about business and all the other things he has going on in his life, that will have to wait until we can do a part two because this time around I focused the conversation on Jamie’s mindset and mental game when it comes to competing at such a high level. Sit back, relax, and soak up some knowledge from Mr. Jamie Bestwick!
Jamie on top of the vert ramp at X Games in Los Angeles. (July 31, 2009 – Photo by Fat)”
“This week’s guest is none other than Mike Spinner. Just a few years ago Mike was one of the top-ranked (and highest paid) BMX riders in the world with several Dew Tour wins and podiums under his belt and a grip of sponsors and endorsements that allowed him to buy a giant house, build a private skatepark in his backyard, and then retire early. Now Mike is having a blast while building a nutrition and supplement company, and even though he’s only had the brand up and running for a year and a half he’s already killing it.
We addressed the elephant in the room… Last week just before we recorded the interview Mike went on a Twitter rampage where he called out a bunch of people in the BMX industry and basically stirred the pot a bit and ruffled some feathers.
After letting Mike comment on the Tweet-beef, I attempted to break down his new business to learn how he built the company from the ground up. We discussed Mike’s strategy for cultivating great partnerships, his mindset when it comes to having an ego in business, and how he learned to manage his finances. I even got Mike to do something very few professional BMX riders ever do…he gave us some pretty specific numbers in terms of how much money he was making a sponsored BMX rider. And I have to say, even I was shocked at the numbers.
The Chime In question this episode is, “What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?””