Started in 1998-1999 by Brian Deegan and Larry Linkogle, the Metal Mulisha is known throughout the extreme sports world as one of the best freestyle motocross teams. Mulisha team members compete in various freestyle competitions, including the X Games, and demonstrate their skills at events such as Journeys Backyard BBQ, and the Rockstar Mayhem Festival.
At a current stop on the Mayhem tour in Denver, I had a chance to speak with Jimmy Fitzpatrick, who at 27 has been riding with the Metal Mulisha for about 8 years.
This is part one of a two-part interview.
Examiner: You’re currently going around the country doing the Mayhem tour. When you do shows like this day after day, several times a day, what motivates you to keep it going, and not have it turn stale?
Fitzpatrick: Anybody that rides freestyle motocross knows that it won’t ever get old, and if it does get old, then you’re not doing the gnarly tricks and you need to just step it up, and do the next bigger trick to make it happen.
Examiner: What do you do to prepare pre-show?
Fitzpatrick: When we’re doing a show, it’s pretty standard for us because we do these shows all the time. It’s pretty much our life, almost everyday we’re doing something, doing a show somewhere, someplace different. But as far as preparation goes, every one of us has a certain routine in how we gear up. As far as me, I always put on my left wrist…everything first, my left everything, left boot, left brace, left wristguards…you name it. You pretty much gear up, a little yoga stretch for about 10 minutes, hop on the bikes, warm the bikes up, make sure the bikes are all good, and then there are the ramps.
Examiner: Do you have a particular set list of tricks that you guys perform?
Fitzpatrick: Basically it depends on the setup, but if we have a good setup out there, everything’s good, ramp’s good, then we can do pretty good tricks. Anything from Kiss of Death Backflips to Heel Clicker Flips, No-Handed Flips, all the way to Whips. You name it, we can do it – it all depends on the setup.
Examiner: What’s your favorite trick to pull off?
Fitzpatrick: One of my favorite tricks is probably just doing like a flat whip or doing flips, you know, just kind of cruisin’, flipping upside-down. Cruising through the air upside-down is always a good one, so I don’t know, maybe like a K.O.D [Kiss of Death] flip.
Examiner: Backflips seem to be where the sport has gone. How do you feel now when you pull off a flip – do they still freak you out as much now as they did in the beginning?
Fitzpatrick: Nah, it’s pretty much second nature for all of us to flip. The only time we get scared to flip is when we’re out in the hills flipping 100+ foot jumps – that’s when it gets a little hairy.
Here’s Part 2!
Like freestyle motocross? Check out my slideshow from when the Metal Mulisha came to Denver!