Jonas Mikolayunus Interview | Endtroducing
Jonas Mikolayunus has one of those jobs which none of us here quite understand how he gets done.
Jonas Mikolayunus has one of those jobs which none of us here quite understand how he gets done. If he was working for one of the big guns in the industry then there’d be a massive list of people responsible for what he does, but instead Jonas is a one man whirlwind who takes on the entire worldwide demand for e.thirteen products. Every time we contact him he seems to be in another country on yet another mission, but then every time we meet up he seems just as full of life and passion as someone who’s just started their first day at a new job. I think his secret to maintaining that aura is partly down to his obvious passion for what he does, but then after reading his answers here it’s also become apparent that a large part of it is probably also down to his love for his bed! Anyway, here’s the whirlwind’s endtroducing...
WHO IS JONAS MIKOLAYUNAS?
Just another bike slut.
THAT’S ONE HELL OF A SURNAME, WHAT ARE ITS ORIGINS?
Lithuanian. Grandpa was Lithuanian and grandma was Polish. Lithuanians and Poles don’t dig each other too much and the family on both sides opposed the marriage so theoretically I shouldn’t exist.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
A lovely little town outside of Boston called Wusta.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Worldwide Sales Coordinator (amongst other things).
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Mostly I handle all sales related things – OEM, distributor, and aftermarket. But, I also take out the trash and water the office plants when they turn brown.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR E.THIRTEEN?
I just hit the five year mark. Doesn’t five years qualify me for a Purple Heart or something?
HOW DID YOU LAND THE JOB?
A riding buddy of mine had an ex-girlfriend who had an ex-boyfriend who was part of a small company called Evil Bikes/e.thirteen components. They needed a tech support guy and the suckers hired me.
WHAT’S THE WORST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Working the nets on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic. I’ve gotta tell you that monkfish are probably the ugliest creature on this planet. And you have to watch out for airborne jellyfish because they’ll burn your face off. It’s physically some of the toughest work you could ever do. I have a lot of respect for those guys.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?
My bed. It should be ‘A’ listed on Google Earth. Other than that almost anywhere in Europe. You can smell the history in the air over there. It doesn’t smell like that in the U.S. We’re not old enough to have a smell.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO RIDE?
I think ‘favourite’ is a little too definitive. I like to think I can appreciate the best qualities of what any trail has to offer, but I’m probably not that sophisticated though. I like earning my downhill so any ride with a solid climb and a screaming descent will do just fine.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
Strangely enough, when I can’t remember most of a ride. I’ll go full throttle for 2-3 hours and all I can do is react to the trail. No thinking, no worries - just reacting – everything goes by in a blur and the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Sometimes when riding alone I actually laugh out loud at how ridiculously blissful the moment is. Endorphins are one a hell of a drug!
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
Being breathed on by someone who smells like an ashtray.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Good friends + a great ride + pizza + beer = happy.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
“Help the other fellow".
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?
I’m not qualified to give advice, but if I were then refer to the above.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXTRAVAGANCES?
My Suzuki SV650. I modified it to carry my mountain bike and riding gear. I put a lot of miles in on my motorcycle so it’s nice not having to give up riding my mountain bike because of it. One of my favourite things to do is to load it up and take off to the mountains of New England for the weekend.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?
People who can take the world’s crap in their stride.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE?
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER THROW AWAY?
My workshop full of tools – auto, moto, bicycle, woodworking – I can’t live without ‘em.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Getting a finger chopped off by a brake rotor.
WHAT WAS YOUR LUCKIEST ESCAPE?
Only getting a finger half chopped off by a brake rotor.
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING?
Hit the snooze button.
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO AT NIGHT?
Make sure the snooze button works.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM MEAL?
Pretty much anything that isn’t looking at me or still moving.
WHAT THINGS DO YOU ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU?
Water, food, tools, and game-face.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
Sure, but they’re useless.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON THAT YOU’VE LEARNT?
Jesus, I’m still learning them.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE (DEAD OR ALIVE) WHO WOULD THEY BE?
Chaz Darwin, Mr. Pope, and George Carlin. That would be one hell of a dinner conversation.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE RIDER?
The smooth riders who make it look so effortless. Vouilloz, Hill, Simmons.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
The little ‘Power-Link’ in SRAM chains.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOTTO OR SAYING?
“Ya gotta pin it to win it".
WHAT SAYING DO YOU USE TOO MUCH?
“Dude...!" (When I get all excited I can’t help myself. It’s sad.)
WHAT BIKE ARE YOU RIDING AT THE MOMENT?
Either an Iron Horse Sunday or a MK III. I love ‘em both but it’s time to move on I think. Those Pivot’s sure are sexy...
WHAT WAS THE LAST MAGAZINE YOU READ?
Working on three right now; Wired, Dirt, and Decline.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
De La Soul.
WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Let me get back to you on that...
WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
My bed. Did I mention to you that my down pillow is pretty much custom tuned?
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
Hopefully many more years in this industry. There are a lot of good people in this industry and they’re in it for all the right reasons. Not many industries are driven by so much passion. Lord knows no one is in it to get rich.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING?
Lots of 5-7" rigs with all sorts of on-the-fly adjustments. One bike that can do it all is where we’ve been heading. I see that being the focus for a lot of products. Most riders can only afford a single high end bike, if at all, and they want it to be as versatile as possible. There are a lot of good products coming out to help satisfy that demand.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
As long as it’s not “That Mikolayunas guy was a schmuk", I’ll be content.[series]