Australian BMX rider Steve McCann's level of riding has been about as high as the mega ramp over the past year. After taking second overall in BMX vert in the full Dew Tour last season, he repeated his X Games gold in L.A. this year when he landed a no-handed double front flip into a 16-foot double tailwhip in the mega ramp.
Originally starting as a multi-talented park and dirt rider when he went pro in 2000, McCann has geared his focused towards vert and mega in recent years. The Melbourne native also helped Mongoose launch it's first jam competition this past summer, integrating amateurs into a pro competition. He took some time to speak with us about what it's been like making the transition to the different events, how BMX has changed over the years, and what it's like with packs of hungry youngins comin' for the vets' necks.
Interview by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko)
What has your successful past year been like for you?
It’s been pretty exciting. It’s pretty cool what happens and what unfolds, just the confidence that it gives you going into each event. I guess I’ve been here for quite a few years now and it’s fun to start winning and consistently being a contender.
What was it like making the transition from park to vert?
It wasn’t too bad. I definitely had to put in some work. It’s a different type of contest compared to the park events. I enjoyed it, but it’s all bike riding to me. It’s just a new aspect and something that gives you a new draw into what you want to do in the future.
Did you have to take different approaches preparing for competitions?
It’s just a different type of event. You have to change the way you ride a little bit, which has been a big learning curve in my overall riding. It’s also helped me out a lot in mega ramp and mini-mega, the mega 2.0 at the Dew Tour, so it’s been a lot of fun.
What was it like being a part of the first Mongoose event this year?
They are one of my sponsors, so I was one of the team captains in that event. We chose five other guys to ride with us, and it was a team event. I thought it was a really rad and unique idea to import an amateur into the pro contest. That was pretty cool and an awesome experience for somebody that had never been in a pro contest and actually have a proper part. That rider's placing went towards our overall placing, too, so I thought that was cool.
Next year, I’m pretty sure they’ll do it again. It will have a lot more momentum with more people knowing about how it works. People were pretty excited about how it went this year, and they’ve got some big plans for it next year.
What type of bigger plans?
Just a different venue, some different guys and maybe one other event to add to the mix.
What was it like riding with the amateurs?
A lot of those amateurs were really stoked to be a part of that event, so they definitely looked up to some of the big-name guys we had riding there. I think after a while, they got used to us and it was just like riding with the guys.