Mad Mike has beasted his way into the BMX limelight over the last few years (after being an underground legend for the last 15 or so), so I figured what better way to kick of this new interview series than to pick his brain about how he gets down in the streets. "...I’m always up before 5am, ain’t gonna get shit done sleeping in."

Mad Mike has beasted his way into the BMX limelight over the last few years (after being an underground legend for the last 15 or so), so I figured what better way to kick of this new interview series than to pick his brain about how he gets down in the streets.

Mad Mike puts his above average hops to the test in below freezing temps on a January morning in Reading, PA.
Photo: Pat Quinn

Alright Mike, lets start with some basics; name, age, sponsors, etc. My name’s Mike Guth, I’m 33, and ride for GT Bikes, Animal, and Base Brooklyn.

So let’s talk street riding, you wake up in the morning, planning to go out for a day of riding, what are you doing to get ready? Well normally if I plan on going out to ride the next day I get everything I need ready the night before or super early. I’m always up before 5am, ain’t gonna get shit done sleeping in, I make sure my wife and daughter are set for the day, I make my daughter breakfast and usually eat with her and then I’m out the door. That’s pretty normal for a weekend, I work Monday through Friday so after work sessions are a bit different. I work till 3:30 on weekdays so depending on where I’m gonna ride I’ll take my bike with me in the morning and go ride right after work .

This was the first spot of the day and Mike had no problem double pegging this sign post, after stretching of course.
Photo: Nilo Hodge

Do you like to watch videos before you ride? If so do you have one in particular that always gets you siked? Not really, I just get hyped on riding and being able to get out with the homies or even solo missions, that may not sound too motivating to some people but everyone has their own way to get motivated. Sometimes throughout the day I might check out a new edit that dropped online or look around YouTube at some older mid school videos.

You get to the first spot, out of the car what are you doing? Stretching? Trying to find a little warm up spot? Sending it right off the jump? Definitely stretching [laughs], my body’s a bit too beat up to jump right into it, but right after that it’s on. Whether it’s little shit, big shit, doesn’t matter, I always stretch. I’ve gotten hurt or pulled muscles way too many times, I like to get the blood flowing before I get the blood flowing.

It took Mike a couple tries to hook this ice-fakie, but thankfully the family living in the house didn’t mind the noise.
Photo: Nilo Hodge

What is your preferred size crew to hit the streets with? Some people prefer riding alone, some people like every session to be like a jam, where do you fall on that spectrum? It depends on if I’m working on something or I’m just going out to ride and chill. Personally I like a smaller crew of close friends but it’s always good to meet up with people along the way.

Are you conscious of what you eat before/during/after riding? I don’t fuck with fast food , but anything else is game on. I try to eat pretty healthy, nothing too crazy, I drink a shit ton of water.

Mike has the hippie hop dialed like no one I’ve ever seen
Photo: Jeff Z

In your opinion, what is the best temperature for outdoor sessions? That’s a tough one… I like all the seasons but I think the 40s and 50s gotta be my favorite temps to ride in. I like wearing a few extra clothes like a hoodie and jeans, kind of like extra padding, I think it’s easier to ride in the cool air compared to when it’s hot and humid as well.

Say it’s freezing, like ice cold, are you heading to the indoor park or bundling up and hitting the streets regardless? It depends what I wanna ride. If I’m set on riding street that day I’ll ride street. If I’m up in the air with what I wanna ride I’ll see who’s around and throw some ideas together, you can always put more clothes on if you’re cold, the cold does make it a bit more challenging, but I like it.

Mike has probably done a million dusters in his life, but this was his first one UP a rail.
Photo: Nilo Hodge

Do you prefer to pedal or drive from spot to spot? Which do you end up doing more often? I live in the mountains so normally I’ll drive town to town but if I’m in the city I’d rather pedal, it’s easier to pick spots out or you might stumble on a nice crusty find you’d miss in the car.

What’s in your bag when you go out riding? Do you carry tools? Tubes? Wax? I don’t like lugging a bag around but I’ve found carrying a small backpack is better than being stuck without tools or small essentials. I always have a 17mm socket and a 6mm Allen wrench cause normally no one else does…always keep a spoke wrench, tubes, to and a little hand pump on me too. I try to always have water, apples, bananas, and some protein on me as well.

Get this guy a banana!
Photo: Jeff Z

I know you usually ride two pegs but once in a while, all four. Do you keep those extras with you usually or are they back at home? No, I leave them at home. It’s not often I think of tricks with 4 pegs anymore, if it’s a switch side set up I’ll just think of a different trick to do. I try to keep it simple. I feel like with two pegs I can try to push myself to do more tricks instead of just grinds, Butcher would always be on me about not running 4 pegs [laughs] “Mike put 4 pegs on already!”

You get a flat, are you patching ‘er up or putting in a fresh tube? If I have a fresh tube it’s going in, but the patches they have nowadays are way easier to use compared to how it used to be, pick and stick. Thanks to you [Pat Quinn] for introducing me to modern patches [laughs], now I’m pretty set with tubes or patches.

Do you ever ride with headphones? Fuck no. I know that may sound harsh, but I can’t concentrate with them in. If I’m trying to put in work on a clip, or riding at all really, I can’t be bothered with music. Some people ask if cop car sirens or city noises bother me, but they don’t for some reason. I like hearing what’s going on around me.

Mike had to ride across/drop down three skinny ledges to get to the takeoff point for this 360. One take, of course.
Photo: Nilo Hodge

This wouldn’t be a fair assessment of how someone rides street without this question, do you like to partake in any extra curriculars while riding (smoking/drinking/etc.)? Welllll I don’t smoke weed anymore, but a cig and a couple shots loosen me up just as much as stretching [laughs], some liquid motivation… but for a more serious answer, I try to stay as sober as I can while riding, have to be able to focus on what I’m trying to do, but I’m down for a buzz every now and then…who isn’t?

Thanks for your time buddy, hope to catch a session soon.
Will do thank you much love

I’ve rode this spot a handful of times and never messed with the yellow rail because the run up is kind of wonky, but Mike had no problem grinding over the whole thing.
Photo: Jeff Z

Drop a comment below and let us know who you’d like to see interviewed next and be sure to check out Nilo’s website for more of his awesome photography.

Check out more P’s And Q’s interviews here…

2 thoughts on “P’s And Q’s – Street Riding Rituals With Mad Mike Guth

  1. I’d like to see more of this interview setup. Make it like a bike a check sort of thing. Sameish questions for every rider maybe a few rider specific questions, but hearing people’s take on carrying tools, session style, and riding habits is tight. It’s sort of like really getting to know a pro; like the closest thing to just actually riding with them.

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