|ESPN.com: BMX||[Print without images]|
Because you can't ever have too much Mike Aitken, I decided to one-up yesterday's photo gallery by getting Mike on the phone to talk about his part in "Anthem ll" and the road to recovery following his 2008 head injury. His latest video part premieres tonight at the T-1 ramp in Austin, Texas. And knowing Mike, I can assure you that it won't be his last. Here's Mike Aitken, BMX trooper, true influence and a swell dude.
ESPN.com: Have you seen your Anthem part yet?
Aitken: I haven't seen the part yet, but Stew was out here and he asked me to help him sort through the clips I wanted to use. So I helped with that.
How long is it?
I think it's about four minutes.
Is it mostly trails or street?
There's clips of street that we filmed here in the Utah area. There's some actual footage from like, 2005 and 2006, when Stew first started talking about the follow-up, that we filmed while Stew was on a Coalition trip here.
Can you bring us up to date about where you're at as far as your recovery from your accident goes?
I'm still trying to get a little bit of my muscle tone back. It takes a long time to get back, since it was atrophied. I'm obviously not a gym head, so it's been tough to get motivated to go to the gym. It's been a lot to handle; all the hospital stuff, and all the rehab that I've had going on. And being back on the bike has been hard. It's been hard to be in one place with riding, and then to go back to ground zero in what felt like a day. But I'm starting to get a handle on it. My muscle tone is about 90% back now, and muscle memory takes a long time to get back. My coordination isn't quite back yet either. But spending time back on the bike helps with it. I go to the gym three times a week and spend as much time on the bike as I can.
|Classic Mike Aitken one-footed invert.|
How does it feel to be a part of "Anthem ll'?
It feels amazing. From when I was 13 to 18, I watched the first "Anthem" video all the time. The first time I found out I was going to Pennsylvania for a jumping contest at South Park, I thought that maybe I would get to ride Push. I didn't know at the time, but it had been plowed. I used to put "Anthem" in though, cause it was my favorite video, and I'd watch it all the time before I went to the trails. The riding Chris Stauffer was doing blew me away. One of the reasons I am where I am today is because "Anthem" helped push me in that direction. Videos like that, the "Push" videos, "Tweakers," "1201," all the old ones are the best videos to me. But "Anthem" plays a big part in who I am today.
What's your favorite clips in "Anthem ll"?
I guess it would be my favorite line at Posh. The line by the fence, I forget what it's called, but it's a left hip and then a right hip. My memory took a digger. I can't point out a single line that I'm most psyched on, but riding in general for the video was a big honor.