With the start of the BMX competition season just around the corner, we sat down with X Games multi-medalist Anthony Napolitan to talk about Big Air, Dew Tour, his birthday, and even the nasty gash on his chin, which he sustained while riding Lot 8 at Camp Woodward.
How does your chin feel, and most importantly, did it hurt?
I was doing this turndown transfer out of a quarter up into this step-up spin-type thing. I didn't pull back hard enough and landed flat. The front wheel impact turned my handlebars sideways, basically trapping my arms under them. If you've had this happen, you know the rest.
The impact was so hard that my whole chin just went numb; I didn’t really feel any of the pain. I’m not really that bummed about it; my doctor did such an amazing job with the stitching that I hardly notice the pain anymore or the cut. I hit so hard that the skin split open super clean, which is why I think it’s already healing up so nicely.
I ended up with three stitches on the inside and 15 on the outside. It was a pretty big hole and I was one layer away from my chin bone being exposed.
You just turned 25 the other day; do you feel old right now? Did you do anything special for it? What did you get?
Thank you! No, I don't feel old at all. Seth Klinger told me I was a quarter century old the other day. That made me feel a little old, but I'm 25 years young!
Ronnie Napolitan, Seth, Zack Warden and Brandon Dosch got me a sweet ice cream cake! That's a good present. I gave myself 18 stitches to the chin so I'm not doing too shabby I suppose, haha.
You just got back from another wild trip with the Bikes Over Baghdad team in the Middle East. How was that this time around and what was the most fun thing you did?
This trip was way more relaxing because we were only there for like three and a half days, and we were not at a base where war was an issue so the rules for being on base were less harsh; we could pretty much go anywhere without having a military escort.
We got to check out some B-1 bomber planes this time around. That was really cool! Even got to sign a 1,000-pound bomb mounted under the plane!
You’ve got a bunch of traveling coming up; what’s on your schedule at the moment?
Well, I just landed in Austin, Texas. I'm just here to ride and have fun. I'm meeting up with Drew Bezanson and Brian Hunt, they both invited me to come. I'm hoping to run into Aaron Ross, Bas Keep and Joe Rich at some point, too. It's been a while since I've been to Austin and rode with those guys.
Which do you like riding more, the mini-mega ramps or the Big Air ramp at X Games?
I like the Big Air one at X Games in the USA (pictured above), because the smaller one doesn't really feel right to me. Plus it's called mini-mega. Come on now…
What do you think about Buckworth pulling the first ever double frontflip no-hander and a superman double front flip on the Nitro Circus tour recently?
I'm going to come out and say I did the double no-hander before he did, but that superman one was pretty legit - if he had pulled it.
You are always so busy, how do you find time to ride any Big Air ramps? Do you get to practice much for it?
That's the thing; I don't have time to ride the big air ramps. I pretty much ride the ramp when I get to X Games. Riding vert doesn't actually help me at all because it's nothing like the big quarter on the mega ramp. Maybe I'll get out to Woodward West this summer before XG.
Are you working on any heavy tricks for Big Air this year at XG? Are you planning on bringing the heat? What are your predictions for tricks that you think we might see from everyone?
Well, if it's anything like last year, half the riders will learn whatever I've been working on and the other half will continue being original riders and come up with their own unique runs. I'm not actually working on anything at the moment, but I've got some ideas in mind.
Have you gotten any more tattoo work done lately?
I started a chest piece in the winter of 2009/10, so I finished that whole thing up before 2011 rolled around. That's about it though.
Lastly, what’s your ultimate goal for 2011?
Stay healthy, have no stress, have fun on and off my bike and appreciate all the wonderful people and things that surround my life.