I first met Mike back in 2001 when I made the move from California to St.George Utah and at the time I was about 13 or 14. He was already in his 20’s so I was one of the younger guys blading along with my brother. As luck would have it Mike had a younger brother who was not only my age but also went to the same school as me and so that was a big help in being a regular part of the crew shortly after my move.At the time Mike was pretty much doing his own thing outside of being a celebrity blader but still got free product regularly and did some filming trips to California. While he wasn’t in the lime light I still viewed him as not only one of the best rollerbladers around but also a good friend. Being 14 around a guy who was kind of on edge at times, he pretty much always pushed us younger guys to skate at our best. Obviously Mike went from making some decent cash being a professional rollerblader to having to get a “normal” 9 to 5 job. At the time being a teenager I didn’t understand just how tough that would be for someone who had given so much to be left with so little doing something you love. As the years went on Mike went through a whole lot of life changes, from losing his younger brother to drugs, moving away from Utah to Las Vegas, almost dying from pneumonia, dealing with multiple injuries, getting divorced, getting married again, and of course being a dad to 5 girls which you know would be one hard job.
Mike has been through it all and even though he just turned 40 I strongly believe he loves rollerblading possibly more than he has ever before. I also believe he is skating better than he ever has before which is a testament to how important he is to our sport. After all these years of ups and downs, I can truly say Mike is still one of the best rollerbladers who has ever put on skates and we are lucky to have him around still. Mike has had an interesting history from being the 1996 vert champion beating out his idol, to making some of the most memorable street section with Senate, to being one of the first riders for Razor skates. As someone who you would think would be burnt out on doing something for so long you can just tell there is no stopping him anytime soon.
– Manuel Rodriguez