Our second interview of the GTK interview series goes to Mike Schmitt. Who is Mike Schmitt? You’d have to have been living under a rock for the past 6 years to not know who Mike Schmitt is. Unorthodox FGFS killer, graphic designer, mastermind behind Turf Bikes, and a driving force behind FGFS as a whole since its beginnings. Get to know him below after the jump.
So what got you into FGFS and how long have you been riding boss man?
“Commuting to work in Orlando Florida in 2008 via a bicycle is what got me into riding fixed gear. I first started commuting on an old Schwinn that was too big for me, and when I built up a fixed gear conversion for transport I started really having fun with it. I’ve attached a photo of myself with that conversion bike – that was before the acronym “FGFS” was coined. I then went on to build an aluminum track frame that I rode for a while until eventually I got an MKE Bruiser prototype frame. The dude who got me into the freestyle part of fixed gear riding probably has no idea that he was the catalyst – I just remember he had a 26″ aerospoke on an NJS track frame and he could barspin and I wanted to ride like he did. He would kick it where the bike polo players were at the time. His name is Michael Blackshaw and now owns a bike shop in Florida called Ace Metric – /www.acemetric.com”
What are some interests outside of FGFS?
“Design – anything from doodles to videos to bike parts to dinners. I have a design mind and am constantly looking at things in a weirdly obsessive way. Also nature, I love disconnecting from the “real world” to get an actual connection with the real “real world”. And I like making shit.”
How have you been digging the transition from the Bay Area to Arizona? Seems like you guys got a solid scene out there.
“AZ is cool man, the spots out here are nuts. We barely ever get kicked out of places and there are obstacles that you don’t find in other necks of the woods. The scene here is dope because of the caliber of riding. Everyone who rides out here kills it.”
Mike doing a crook pop back in front of Ian, Elliott, Congo, and Wolf Drawn behind the lens
What’s a typical riding day consist of for you?
“Well, I usually ride once or twice a week if I am lucky. Most of the time when I ride I am going somewhere to document a trick via a photo or video. It’s not that I don’t “ride for fun” – It’s the opposite. Riding to document a trick or location is how I like to have fun on a bike.”
Photo | Wolf Drawn
What does a typical non-riding day consist of?
“I work from home as a graphic designer and brand manager for a downhill skateboard company that mimics the ride of a snowboard. Its called Freebord – so most weekdays I am in my home office doing that. I also do freelance design for random other jobs throughout the week. On a weekend I am usually camping or drinking margaritas.”
Favorite edits or full length videos of all time?
“Shredwell 2 – the full montage video has such a good feel and reminds me of a ton of great memories with great people.”
Edit or video part of yourself that you’re most proud of?
“Hmmm, I always feel like I try to progress when I put out parts – but I don’t put them out that often. Ive actually only came out with like 4 solo parts. MTS Fall Off 2011, Word Is Bond, Who Is Mike Schmitt and Twilight Zona. I guess I enjoy them all equally.”
Mike’s latest edit, “Twilight Zona”
Where do you get inspiration for the tricks you do? Cause you seem to do a bunch of stuff most people don’t really fuck with. (In a good way)
“Before FGFS my background consisted of rollerblading and snowboarding. So I guess I use my roots for inspiration. I really like to try to think outside of the box and to make a clip or photo about highlighting the spot more than the trick.”
Mike double pegging the top of this bent in fence during the Grime days
Music you’ve been digging lately?
“I’m just going to list you 5 songs that I like in no particular order.”
BKNY -Fat Tony
I Go To Sleep – Anika
Moonshiner – Bob Dylan
The Night before – Lee Hazelwood
Old English – Young Thug
Anything new in the works? (Edits, Turf Products, etc.)
“Yup! Some more soft goods are in the works with Turf as well as a new web video called Chain Gang. The video is pretty much a re-cap of the street riding that went down the week of the Prickly Pear Jam.
There is a slight chance that Turf will produce some parts made overseas soon – but don’t quote me on that.”
The Prickly Pear FGFS Jam is coming up (May 14th). What can we expect at the event?
“Well – the jam is over now so I probably should have answered these questions more promptly since today is the 24th. But you can expect an edit of the event, I am still going through the footage though.”
Any last words / shoutouts?
“Shout out to the Turf Mob, and anyone who is helping to promote having fun on fixed gear bikes. Also my woman and dog mean the world to me – so shout out to them too.
-Mike Schmitt ”