Mike-pro-pie
10 Oct 2014

Going Pro In Prague

Flow, Pro, Vet, and the new guy all together on one WeThePeople trip to the home of suspect fashion, the Czech Republic...

wePeople

Intro by Paul Robinson Photos by Fred Murray

This PRO/AM thing then… It’s no secret that I mix my food, it’s the way I like it. If I have a curry then I throw in the rice and churn it all up. I don’t like segregation on my plate. I think its fair to let the different foods fuse into one, let them all get to know each other a little better I think. I know some people who hate this; they don’t believe in mixing, they don’t want to alter the flavors in anyway. Reading this first paragraph you already know what kind of person you are.

It’s never crossed my mind to do a trip with only the PRO team before, like my food I don’t really care for segregating my riders on a trip. I believe as a brand you should give everyone on the team a chance to shine at some point. Of course I understand the reasoning behind taking only the biggest names on a trip and that alone will reap the promotional benefits your marketing needs, but honestly you need to let the kids get in the van at some point and see what its all about. This is BMX after all.

The Czech out trip was like any other trip, a chance to choose a bunch of riders who all have something a little different to bring to the table (the same table where I mix all my food, yes that one) and go enjoy the east of Europe for a week. Max Gaertig (PRO/OG), a strong choice on any road trip as he usually goes in blazing and throwing hammers here and there till he’s literally saturating blood (Max had only two full days on this trip). What’s incredible about Max is that he walks into work the next day and starts crunching numbers in a suit with visible battle scars, reminds me of a certain Chuck Palahniuk book. Second in line was Ed Zunda (PRO), a guy that needs little introduction but at the same time needs more introductions. Seriously, he’s one of the good guys who are not afraid to put in the work each and every day. Mo Nussbaumer (AM) is most defiantly German; if he pulls the clip first time he might have to re-look at it and continue to have twenty-four more tries until everything is perfect. I like that. Filmers… not so much. Mike Curley (AM Now PRO) was the last of the chosen four and this trip would be his official inauguration to the PRO team and for that he would get a big fat cake in the face (and so would the rest of the room, mixed with champagne). Mike blows minds when he rides, if I was thirteen I would call him the balance master and I would hate him. - Paul Robinson

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DIG Presents... #CZECHOUT - WeThePeople in Prague

Ed Zunda, Mike Curley, Max Gaertig and Moritz Nussbaumer take on the stag-do capital of Europe, Prague... - More Info

THE VET - MAX GAERTIG

What do you think it means to be a 'pro' these days?

In my mind a pro is someone who is incredibly skilled at riding BMX, but also a person who loves BMX and has fun not only learning tricks or being consistent at doing them but also is a somewhat decent person who likes to have a positive influence on the BMX scene.

You work full-time for a bank - how do you go from handling the big-bucks, to coming on a trip for two days and doing one of the scariest tooth hangers i've ever seen? Is it difficult getting your head into that space?

Wow, thanks for calling the hanger scary, I take it as a compliment. Well, I don´t handle any cash at the bank, I do SAS programming and data analysis there. What this means for my answering the question is that I am in front of a computer almost all day writing nerdy code, so whenever work´s over and I get to ride BMX, especially on trips, I am all hyped up to ride as much as possible. I always expected BMX to take a backseat after starting to work a serious job, but the opposite happened: I love BMX more then ever and miss riding even more after 1-2 workdays without riding in between more than if these days would have been regular days. Don´t get me wrong, though, I really like my job, but riding turned out to simply be my perfect balancing activity in contrast to the desk job I do. Therefore, to get my head into riding or trying to grind bigger rails comes naturally. But man, I have to admit, I was scared shitless when I did that hanger though, haha.

Do you ever have to keep the young pups on WTP in check? Do you give them whisky taste training?

Hell yeah! I haven´t met anyone yet who enjoys a wide variety of whiskeys as much as me, but so far everyone liked the whisky and/or the stories about it I had to offer. 

How long have you been on WTP? How old were you?

I received my first package of free parts in 2003 when I was 18, that was a long time ago. On that day I was the happiest kid in the world, I still feel the same whenever I receive new parts from my sponsor. 

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As well as fine whiskey, another of Max's many passions is handrails. Big, small, weird, or tall, he loves them all.

How have things changed since then?

A lot, and that´s a good thing I guess. Change is always necessary company-wise or maybe WTP would´t exist today. There are always some upsides and downsides, but the main point is that the company goes in a good direction, bikes are awesome, trips are fun, teammates are cool and in the end that´s all that matters. As for me personally, there is just too much that has happened in the last 10 years to tell all the stories. But I want to say that BMX has taken me around the world quite a bit (and it still is), for which I will always be infinitely grateful.

If you had one piece of advice for the youth, what would it be?

First: Love BMX for whatever it means to you, don´t let anyone change that.

Second: If you have the chance to get a good education and/or nice job outside of BMX, take it. It does have advantages over getting a job in the BMX industry (although I do not want to downplay a fact: jobs in the BMX industry can be super fun). Once you don´t have to worry about a salary or the course of an industry that is heavily influenced by the taste of 14 year olds and energy drink sponsors, enjoying carefree riding might be easier on you.

What do you prefer, bank life or trying to make money from BMX?

Well, I have done both of these things and they are both fun. However, I love BMX so much, I would rather not want to depend on it for a salary. BMX to me is the freedom to do anything I want on my bike anywhere and off my bike if I am around the BMX scene. If I depended solely on BMX for my sustenance I would be afraid to get sick of seeing it 24/7 or to find out that working with some people in the BMX industry might be really difficult. Also I might have to do stuff that I normally wouldn't want to do…

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Max is way too dialled. Work a full-time job nerding out on code for a bank and then take your two days off and throw yourself down a terrifying rail? I mean, look at where that lamp post is...

"Love BMX for whatever it means to you, don´t let anyone change that."

- Max Gaertig

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THE NEWLY-TURNED PRO - MIKE CURLEY

You turned pro on the trip to Prague. What did Paul (Team Manager) plan for the occasion?

Well, he surprised me with a big cream pie and a couple of bottles of champagne, which ended up being thrown all over my face with quite some force! Thanks Mo!

What do you think it means to be a 'pro' these days?

That is a hard question; I think there's a few different ways you can be a pro. There are the pros who put an edit out once or twice a year and that's them done and then there's the guys you see popping up here there and everywhere. The ones that are always filming and getting to comps and always in the magazines and you see they work hard because they love it and I think that's what it's about - getting involved and doing stuff .

If you didn't ride bikes for a living, what would you like to be doing?

I have no idea...

Does it make you nervous knowing that when you ride professionally you have to stay at a certain level to keep the pay checks coming?

Not really, it's obviously in the back of my mind though. But the way I ride has got me here and if I continue to do what I've been doing hopefully people will still be into it and that's what matters.

Do girls give you more attention now?

Haha, I don't think so but I don't think my girlfriend would be too impressed if they did.

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Mike Curley, bars manual to no-hander, in between looking out for flying cream pies.

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"He surprised me with a big cream pie and a couple of bottles of champagne, which ended up being thrown all over my face..."
- Mike Curley
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THE NEW PRO TEAM MEMBER - ED ZUNDA

What's it like being the new guy on a team trip? Did you find it difficult?

Actually it was really easy going! I've hung out with most of the guys before and everyone was down to earth, so there was no trouble at all!

How much of a factor did your new teammates play in your decision to move to Wethepeople?

I rode for the same team as Dan before and I met the TM even before he moved over to WTP and as I mentioned, we hang out at events etc. so I kind of knew what I was getting into! It's always good to be around people you can have fun with doing what you do.

Does it make you nervous knowing that when you ride professionally you have to stay at a certain level to keep the pay checks coming?

I try don't think about it that way, but as most people may know you always try to push yourself in a certain way; that's BMX.

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Precision ice to bars from WTP newest team member.

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"It's always good to be around people you can have fun with doing what you do."
- Ed Zunda
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Classic Zunda - over pegs hard 180

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Gap pegs nose bars while a fat irate man paced back and forth with disapproval.

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THE AM - MORITZ NUSSBAUMER

Did it feel good smacking Mike in the face with a cream pie?

Yes, who wouldn't like to smack a cake into someone's face? Haha.

Do you work? If so, what do you do?

I did an internship last winter which ended in April. Ever since then it's been nothing but riding luckily. I do all the Instagram posts for Sport Import BMX (German WTP and Odyssey distro) which is no real job or work I guess.

Would you, at some point, like to bump up to pro?

Sure, there are a lot of good things and trips to come with WTP and I would love to be even more part of the brand.

Does it make you nervous knowing that you would have to keep riding at such a high level?

No, not at all! Even if I would not turn pro I would always try to do as good as I can on my bike.

What are the perks of being on the flow team?

Getting to go on trips with all these good people. There's no big difference between us and the guys on pro, besides the money.

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Big Mo coming through with the ice hard before going to the shops in his boxers and tshirt.

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This spot got murdered on the #Czechout trip - Moritz lays down his own marks.

"There's no big difference between us and the guys on pro, besides the money."
- Moritz Nussbaumer
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​See Mo driving his German whip.

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