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Interviews

Mick Gough | Bulletproof Talent

Mick Gough is a mate of mine. No, that isn’t the reason that I have the task (or honour) of telling you all about him and how good he is on a bike…any bike for that matter. Mick is 44 years old and yet rides with the passion and commitment of the ‘next big thing’ that a lot of kids have, yet take for granted. The ‘Goughster’ isn’t a big man, in fact he’s kinda on the small side when it comes to the male physique (5’ 5.5” to be exact). Picture Peter Pan, but on a bike, the boy who never grew old or up, because when our Mick gets on a bicycle, pirates and pixies, ladies and gentleman, he can fly, he can fly, he can fly…

DIRT ISSUE 131 – JANUARY 2013

Words by Steve ‘the Butcher’ Walker. Photos by Thomas Gaffney

Yo Mick, how’s it going?

I’m smashin’ thanks mate, all good!

Where do you live?

Burntwood, Staffordshire.

We meet up a lot at BMX tracks. Do you think riding a 20” helps with other forms of bike riding?

I personally think that if you can ride a BMX at a good level you can ride most any other bike with not too much drama. The skills involved definitely transfer over to MTB without a doubt.

You race a lot of BMX. Have you ever thought of racing a similar discipline but on a mountain bike (like 4X)?

I haven’t yet, but I’d certainly give it a go. If you can lend me that Pivot 4X (in the photos) I’ll be at the next race for sure! Love that bike! I wouldn’t mind a bash at DH too.

When I watch you ride you always seem to be having so much fun. Is that what keeps you looking so young?!

Yeah that and Oil of Olay, plus I sleep in an oxygen tent for 10 hours a day. Oh and not forgetting the goat’s milk bath I have daily with my Swedish au pair. Oh yeah!

The fun factor thing, it’s because you ride flat pedals right?

I guess so. I’ve always run flat pedals since I was a nipper. I certainly have more fun on flats, I know I can bail if I get it wrong.

Most of the kids (including us old uns) are all running clips for BMX and mountain bikes, without the bike skills to back it up. What’s your opinion?

I see a lot of people young and old on clips and some scare the bejeezus out of me watching them. You can tell the riders who’ve gone straight to clips without serving their apprenticeship on flats. I think you should learn to ride well on flats and get your skills up to scratch before even thinking of clipping in otherwise you’re asking for trouble.

Have you ever clipped in yourself and did you enjoy riding the ‘Robot’ style?

Yeah I’ve tried it and it felt faster for sure, but I just couldn’t relax with them, so they’re gathering dust in the garage now. I’ll use them on my road bike if that ever comes out, but not for off–road. I tried, but it’s not for me.

I’ve seen you manual entire straights and then jump them, then manual/jump them, then jump into manual, into jump them. Your combos are mind boggling. How do you think them up?

I watch what the top guys do at tracks and watch vids and edits from time to time and think, ‘I’ll have a go at that’. Then I try and apply it to wherever I‘m riding. I love manulin’ straights, I get a kick out of it. It doesn’t always go to plan though. At Wolverhampton BMX track earlier this year I did a fantastic jump to manual…to tank slap…to casualty! Still got an ankle like a shire horses hoof from that one. If you wanna do the dance sometimes you’ve gotta pay da piper.>>

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