In an off-season packed with team swapping and free agent rumors, at Diamondback, we are thrilled with our latest addition to the team. Hailing from the Great White North, Mike Hopkins brings a whole lot of awesome -and a few entertaining quirks- to our team of super talented riders. Joining the current crew of Carson Storch, Eric Porter, and Simon Lawton, Hopkins is sure to up the ante when it comes to getting creative on the bike.
We sat down with Mike to chat about his move to Diamondback, his plans for 2015 and discovered just how Canadian he really is.
DB: What was behind the decision to move to Diamondback over other brands?
Mike: In short, the main factor that really separated Diamondback from everyone else was their drive to build a program that revolved around creative flexibility and telling captivating stories. Put it this way, when our first conversation hit the point of, "Let's get lost in the woods and come out with a hell of a story to tell," I was all ears. It's not everyday you get to sit down with a company and layout a dream program that allows the outlandish ideas in your head to become a reality. I don't care who you are, when an opportunity such as this presents itself, you take it and make things happen.
DB: How does the bike feel so far? What do you like about it?
Mike: Shooting this release video was actually my first day on the Mission Pro, and let's just say it didn't take long to shake off the winter riding rust. To give you an idea of how well the bike and I gelled, we'll go to my first day aboard: I hadn't ridden in over 2 months, we're on trails I've never seen, on a bike I am unfamiliar with, and yet, after only two laps I felt like I had been reunited with an old friend. Hitting triples, bombing through root and rock, railing corners... comfortable doesn't begin to explain it. Like meeting your dream girl for the first time, this bike made one serious first impression. You might say I'm pretty stoked!
DB: What are your goals for 2015 on your bike and with the brand?
Mike: As for DB and myself, our goal this year is to work on projects that will not only have appeal within the bike industry, but in broader audiences as well. I worked hard in the offseason in putting together trips, projects, and assignments that will hopefully attract attention/audiences of industries outside MTB, while still making waves within the bike world. A few years ago I picked up a camera and a pen, and I've been hooked ever since. This season I'll be working hard both on both sides of the camera to become more multifaceted. I found that I could use my "off the bike" strengths to re-enforce my life as an athlete, while at the same time, open the door to new opportunities.
DB: On a scale of 1-10 where do you rank your Canadianess?
Mike: Us Canadians are pretty modest... like maybe a 5 eh.
DB: How important is maple syrup to your diet?
Mike: Every athlete has a different dietary approach, but I've found the route to success lies within a balanced intake of: Maple syrup to balance blood sugar, bacon as a vital source of energy reserve, and poutine for no other reason than it's delicious.
DB: Will Canada ever get over Celine Dion?
Mike: She's a national treasure... so no.
DB: Why aren't you a hockey player? How did you get stuck with bikes?
Mike: To be clear, every Canadian is born a hockey player; it's just a matter of whether we choose to play.
DB: Does being somewhat ginger make you a better rider?
Mike: Fringe Ginge for the win (in a race without number plates, of course).
DB: Why don't you ever race?
Mike: Because I have been cursed by the number plate. Anytime you put one on my bike, expect to drag me out of the dirt.
DB: Describe your ideal bike adventure?
Mike: I am going to avoid this question mainly because it would without a doubt turn into a lengthy novel involving living bridges, icefalls in the Himalayas, yaks, Russian helicopters, the Auyantepui Mountains... it'd get a little outrageous.
DB: Any words of wisdom for the kids out there?
Mike: Be creative, do things for you, and don't eat yellow snow.
We’re looking forward to a fun and adventurous season with Mike! Stay tuned for more projects as Mike chases summer around the globe! You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @mikejhopkins