Gas Monkey Energy BMX athlete, Morgan Wade, dropped by during the Gas Monkey Energy Mannequin Challenge and we discussed his 2016 season, toughing out injuries and how he’s been staying in shape for a brighter 2017 season.
GMG: How was 2016 for you? What events did you compete in?
Morgan: 2016 wasn’t the best year for events for me, specifically BMX Big Air. I’ve done a lot of other type of shows this year as a result, including the Nitro Circus North America tour and shows with Armed Forces Entertainment called Bikes over Baghdad. We go to bases overseas and put on the best BMX show there is for our troops!
GMG: So, what happened during the 2016 X Games, specifically the BMX Big Air Contest?
Morgan: There was a bit of wind this year at the X Games in Austin; more so than in previous years. The wind actually made us cut a few of our practice sessions completely which made a handful of the other riders not happy. At the end of the athlete meeting, it was decided to push the contest off to the next day. The problem was that they pushed it to the last possible time slot of the weekend. The wind got worse, we got no extra practice, and there was no room to push the contest back any further. ESPN ended up completely cancelling the contest on us. I was totally blindsided by it as were most of the other guys. It was definitely a bummer, but on the bright side it did shine a light on a big issue that us riders have had with that event for a long time. That issue being is the ramp and the contest belong inside a closed stadium! Thankfully next year they are moving the entire event into the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. It’s going to be a good event!
GMG: What’s your preferred event?
I’m actually more of a park rider than anything, but I also ride Dirt and Street. MegaRamp still seems new to me even though I’ve been competing on it since 2006. I have a ton of fun riding the Big Air ramp, but I’m a park rider at heart!
GMG: You’re known for being a really tough guy and continuing competitions despite crashing and losing teeth – what’s your best story of when you truly toughed it out despite the blood and existing pain?
Morgan: In 2009 the late great Dave Mirra held a contest in his personal ramp warehouse in Greenville, NC called the “Animal House Jam”. It was a fun idea; prelims were run as a “cash for tricks” so it was basically an all-out battle to do cool enough stuff in the allotted time to rack up a bunch of cash! Qualifying order was based on how much cash each rider had. In practice, right before qualifying, I managed to hang up on a quarter hard enough to get tossed over the bars right to my shoulder + head. I thought I had snapped my collarbone again, but it turned out all I did was re-separate my shoulder. I just taped it down as much as we could and I took some ibuprofen and ran it! I ended up qualifying 2nd in that one! Good times! Haha
GMG: How do you stay in shape?
Morgan: When I’m home I don’t ride as much as I do during the contest/show season so I do CrossFit 4 – 5 times a week to keep my cardio up. I’m also in a local Olympic Barbell Club called “Athleo”.
GMG: Does Cross-fit and Olympic weightlifting help prepare you for big air, hard landings and the occasional crash?
Morgan: I think being in shape and strong in general prepares your body to take slams better across the board. I do think both of those activities help me out, but more so than that I actually enjoy them and all the friends I’ve made in the process. It’s like having another family away from home and BMX.
GMG: Do you drink regular or light Gas Monkey Energy?
Morgan: I honestly prefer the Light Gas Monkey Energy Drink over the Regular. It has nothing to do with it being “Light”, and everything to do with the flavor.
GMG: What competitions do you look forward to in 2017?
Morgan: X Games is going to be big next year! I’ve got big plans for my runs on the BigAir ramp so be on the lookout! Every year holds something a little different, and we’ve already started planning the next Bikes over Baghdad tour in 2017. Hopefully I’ll be on the Nitro Circus tour again too so look out for your local listings. Those shows are bananas!