Troy is the kind of rider that has a style that will stick in your head. As soon as you see somebody do something similar to him, you tend to think of him. I’ve wanted to do an interview with him for quite some time, and finally things worked out. I’ve come to discover Troy is a real positive guy, and seems to be a real nice guy because of it. Not only that, he has had a bunch of stuff going on lately with the switch over to the Giant pro team and the always entertaining edits he has dropped the last few months. Check out what Troy has to say and leave him some love in the comments!
Name: Troy Merkle
Location: Dayton, OH
Years riding: 12
What was it that first got you into BMX? Any early memories come to mind when you think about that?
I remember I went to a GT air show in Ft. Wayne, Indiana back in 96-97 and was hooked. I bought a 1998 Haro Zippo and loved it. I was obsessed with Ryan Nyquist and Dave Mirra for awhile.
Alright, so let’s kick this off with Giant. It was announced about two weeks ago now. How are things going with them so far? Do you guys have any trips, signature goods, videos, or anything like that in the works that you can tell us about now that the news has broke?
I am stoked on my situation with Giant. Things are going great. I am teammates with one of my best friends,( Tony Cherry) and everyone else involved is good people. We are riding some of the new 2010 parts and they are looking great. We are gonna do a couple trips this year, not 100% where or when but were gonna make it happen.
What’s new with Hardcore Sportz? I know you had that edit drop for them not too long ago. Does Karl have any plans for trips this summer with the guys or anything like that?
I hope so, that would be great. Karl and Kyle over at HS are a good time. I’m sure they will be having events at the shop throughout the year, and they have there annual street jam every year which will be fun.
You have been holding down the NOS energy team by yourself for a while now. What’s Andrew got you doing these days with that? Anything in the works really, or just chugging energy?
I’ve been riding for NOS for almost a year now, And I’ve never really had any real responsibility’s other than just being stoked on NOS and having a kitchen full of it! It’s awesome talking to people about it and giving kids at the trails free energy drinks.I would love to start doing more with NOS., maybe start a NOS go-cart team? I will have to get Andrew on that!
It seems like you have really been blowing up lately. Do you feel like it has put a little pressure on your riding at all or have you just been having a lot more fun?
I never put pressure on my self, sometimes I might stress over a trick or move I want to get done.. I’ve always loved filming so it’s not a hassle for me to go out and work on projects. I’ve been just trying to have a good time and be on my bike as much as possible. I think this summer is going to be great.
You have been pretty notorious for producing some real good edits. Given you just had the Hardcore Sportz edit drop, have you been working on any new edits that people can expect out soon?
I’m filming right now, I believe its going to my first Giant edit. The weather is finally nice so we’ve been riding a lot more and having a good time. I’m sure there will be some rockin Giant edits from the team in the future.
Have you been working on filming any video parts at all?
Not any full sections for full length videos. I wish I was, I love filming for a video part. Hopefully in the future.
Maybe this is just me, but I feel like your riding style resembles Rat Boy’s a little with the peg manuals and everything. Did he ever influence your riding at all, or am I just crazy?
For sure, Ratboy is amazing.. He is definitely a free thinker when It comes to BMX. I don’t think he is the sole influence on me and my riding.. I think everyone I looked up to growing up and watching riding has influenced me each a little in there own way throughout the years.
Actually, where do you come up with half of the stuff you do?
It’s just a process of learning new things and progressing. I may be riding and learn something new and that will instantly open up new doors to that trick and other variations or links with other tricks. It’s BMX, there is always something new that can be done a bike.
Now that the weather has been finally starting to look up, what are some things you are looking forward to being able to ride that really wasn’t an option for you over the winter?
Trails. We spent all last fall working on our trails. We got them going super good and boom, winter hit. I can’t wait to go and start digging now thats it’s spring. The sooner we get back there and start working on them the sooner they will be shredable.
Outside of anything with your sponsors, do you have any trips or plans for this year that you are looking forward to? Where are some places you would really like to ride that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
There are thousands of places I would love to go. I’d really like to spend some time out in California again this year. I would love to do some international travel. I haven’t been outside the country a whole lot in my life. And thats something I feel would be even more amazing when BMX is involved.
Who are some of the guys you are usually riding with these days? Any up and comers you think people should be keeping an eye out for?
I ride almost everyday with Tony Cherry and Gremlin here in Dayton. Gremlin is back riding after taking some time off from a wrist operation he had, and he’s been killing it. Also, my friend Ben Stalets has been doing some impressive stuff.. I think you will be seeing some good stuff from them two in the future.
Do you ever find yourself getting burned out on riding at all? What are some of the things that you do to keep things fresh for you?
Honestly I don’t think so. Riding has always been that thing I’m always in the mood for. If I wake up and its nice outside, it’s instantly the first thing that pops up in my head. And there will always be new things to learn. I love to just put on the headphones and ride flatland. I’m not very good at it but I love how hard it is. I may spend an hour trying the same trick and pull it once, and it feels like it did when I was 12 trying to learn how to basic tricks.
What do you think you would be up to if you never got involved with BMX?
I think about this a lot. And I know things would not be so good for me if I had not found BMX. Not like BMX saved my life or anything because I grew up in the middle of nowhere far from any negative influence. But being involved with BMX really shaped me into the person I am now during my adolescents. I think my path would have been paved a different direction thats for sure. I absolutely wouldn’t be half as happy.
What are you usually up to when you aren’t riding?
Hanging out with people. Girlfriend, Friends, Family, and my animals. I like to make things, but I seem to be slacking on that lately.
You’re a pretty dialed photographer if I remember right. How long have you been shooting for?
I got into photography early in high school around 2001-2002. Basically it was something that interested me that I wanted to learn.
What kind of cameras are you working with these days? What’s your dream setup to be working with?
I have a Nikon D90, D80, vivitar 35mm dslr, couple Holgas, an old canon rangefinder, and some other toy cameras. There are a few pieces of equipment I wish I could get my hands on but for the most part I am happy with what I have. I’d love to get my darkroom set back up again. but I don’t have the time or money for that right now.
You went to college for photography didn’t you? Where did you go? How necessary do you feel college is for people?
Yeah, I graduated from the OIPT (Ohio Institute of Photography) in 2007. As far as photography goes I don’t feel its very important. Because I have a couple friends who are way better photographers than me and have had no formal training. But for me it was important to go and work hard and accomplish what I wanted to do. Working hard and finishing college helped me evolve and mature up.
Where can people check out some of your photo work?
I have a blog I update fairlty often troymerkle.tumblr.com also a flickr account.
What are some of the most important things in your life, or things you couldn’t live without?
My family, no matter what I am up to they are always behind me 100%
Do you go out and party much? What makes for a good night out for you?
Yeah, I am always down to party, I enjoy going out with friends and having a good time. That’s what life is all about, having a good time.
What’s the last song you heard, movie you watched, and website you visited?
Last song was Modest Mouse “King Rat”, movie was “Shutter Island” and website was ffffound.com
What’s the first thing you would blow some cash on if you found a couple grand in a brown bag?
Dinner, pet food, a trip, and maybe a new computer.
Do you have any tattoos or anything? Any meaning behind them or plans on getting one or more?
I don’t have any tattoos, yet. I have been wanting to get this tattoo for a long time now. Maybe this summer I will make it happen
What is something about you that even some of your closer friends probably don’t know about you?
I fear a lot of things.
Where do you see yourself in a couple years?
Hopefully similar to how I’m living right now.
What’s the best advice you have ever come across?
Don’t be in a hurry to grow up
Do you have any shout outs or thanks?
Thanks to my parents and family for everything. Thanks to Chris at Giant, Karl and Kyle at Hardcore Sportz, Andrew at NOS energy, Ed Subias, Bud D,and everyone out there who has ever been nice to me.
Anything else you want to say?
Have fun, be kind to animals, and listen to Gil Mantera’s Party Dream.