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Friday, February 3, 2012
Run to the hills -- Wes Agee

Wes Agee might just be shooting for a new long distance backflip record in 2012.

In the recent Metal Mulisha film "Black Friday," 23-year-old Wes Agee backflipped a record distance of 190-feet on natural terrain, minus the help of a perfectly-sculpted manmade ramp. Agee credits these bike skills to his younger days on natural terrain, spending his formative years in the hills of Ocotillo Wells, Calif. Now a featured member of the Nucelar Cowboyz tour, Agee is focused on the tour at hand, but takes every chance he gets to head out to the local hill spot for a free ride session. In 2012, Agee plans to ride all of the major comps, and attempt a new long distance backflip record of 200+ feet. In between moving into a new house, I had a chance to catch up with Wes to discuss his 190ft. back flip and his plans for 2012. What have you been up to lately?
Agee: I'm currently on Nuclear Cowboyz for the next couple of months. Other than that I've just been freeriding, trying to have some fun on my dirt bike.

How is the Nuclear Cowboyz Tour going?
So far the tour is killer. There were a few good crashes during rehearsals but now it's running smoothly and the show is awesome. I'm stoked to be a part of it, it's a really good crew.

I know that tour has a pretty solid schedule of riding every weekend. Are you able to ride much during the week?
I try to ride as much as possible during the week when I'm home, but I just recently moved so I've been trying to unpack and get organized. But as soon as I'm done I'll be back on the bike every day.

Although his weekends are occupied by the Nuclear Cowboyz tour, Agee still makes time to get outside.

Speaking of riding during the week, is that the time when you like to go out and just have fun riding to keep it fresh?
Yes I get pretty burnt out just riding ramp to ramp every weekend, so I try to mix it up with Beaumont or Ocotillo -- those places always seem to get me fired up.

I know there's a lot of people that don't know you grew up riding in Ocotillo Wells. Tell us about that.
I've been going to Ocotillo to ride and off-road ever since I can remember, I think that it helped a lot with my freeriding because it's so technical. I can go to the hills and shovel up a lip or ramps and it's almost easy compared to Ocotillo.

Being known for having bike skills past riding ramps is definitely good for street credit, your shots in "Black Friday" prove that. How was flipping those long distance jumps on natural terrain?
Yes I'm stoked on all the good feedback I've been getting from the big flips. It is not easy. Just imagine clicking fourth gear on a 450 and pulling back for a flip. It's just as scary as it sounds -- if not worse -- but it is the best feeling when you stomp it.

Freeriding is freestyle as far as I'm concerned.

--Wes Agee

What is your take on freeriding? Do you feel it should have its place in the sport past just what you do after a rain?
Freeriding is freestyle as far as I'm concerned. People can hit the same jumps but have such different style. I think natural terrain riding is way more fun to watch and less repetitive compared to ramps.

What are your plans for 2012?
I want to hit all the contests that I possibly can to keep the sponsors happy, and keep filming natural terrain with all the boys. Maybe some more big flips who knows.