X-Games BMX medalist and the Dew Cup champion Anthony Napolitan has taken on a new challenge for 2020 with the hope to take on some of the Fest Series and even attend a couple of Crankworx events alongside his BMX commitments.
We caught up with Anthony to talk about what his plans for 2020 are and how he is mixing mountain bike riding in with BMX.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m originally from Youngstown Ohio. I lived in State College, PA for almost 10 years and I’m currently on year 8 of living in Costa Mesa, CA.
Who do you ride for?
I’m officially riding for YT. Through my BMX career, I have crossover sponsors like Maxxis, Profile Racing and Sun Ringle that are supporting me. I’m also getting support from Deity, Mucoff and The Cyclist bike shop here in Costa Mesa.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m usually up pretty early around 6:30-7. I’ll catch a morning MTB ride with friends in Laguna, Aliso or the Luge. By the time that’s over, I’ll grab some lunch at home and swap my MTB gear out for BMX gear and then head to the trails to dig and ride.
How did you get into mountain biking?
Over many years of traveling for BMX events, I’ve been able to dabble into MTB in places like Whistler and Queenstown. I truly didn’t get into MTB until the last 2-3 years. My younger brother started riding after he recovered from double knee surgery. I started getting demo bikes when I would visit him in PA. I ended up traveling to a Fest Series event in Oregon and I got hooked after riding Aggy's bike for a couple of hours. Eventually, Leigh Ramsdell at Mongoose was nice enough to send me a bike to start on. After that, I just started to become addicted to it.
What are your strengths?
A lot of my strengths come from BMX. Bike handling and jumping are for sure the crossover traits. I think that some of the strengths that I’ve gained since riding MTB are reaction time, climbing endurance and overall fitness. I actually love climbing.
What are your weaknesses?
Flat banked berms are for sure my weakness. There are so many amazing downhill trails in my area that just end in a flat bank turn with a cliff on the other side. I’m learning how to get through them better now but it’s still a learning curve.
What’s been the worse crash you've had?
Recently I was exiting a rock garden and clipped my bar-end on a tree. I got sent backwards down the trail and I was pretty beat up. I went to the chiropractor that day and had to get some adjustments. I was in some serious discomfort.
Do you have any big projects or trips planned for 2020?
Yeah, I actually do! I’d like to get to as many Fest events as I can. I love hanging and riding with all those dudes! I recently got 3rd in the expert class at the South Ridge Winter Series and I’ve also been considering speed and style and pump track at Crankworx. Kyle Strait has offered for me to come down to his compound and feel out what his line has going on to kind of prepare for something like that. I think Sea Otter is very likely as well as some of the local DH/enduro race series that we have here in SoCal. I have to do a lot of balancing between my BMX schedule and a potential MTB schedule.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
I was able to spend 6 months in Park City, Utah last year while building the new Woodward facility - there is so much to ride there. Being there for that long made me such a better rider than I was.
What bikes are you riding right now?
I’m currently on a 2020 YT Jefsy 27.5, Tues 27.5 and I have a Dirt Love 26.
Who or what inspires you?
I try to draw inspiration from everywhere. A lot of it comes from the people that I ride with every day. Watching more videos online for sure helps with inspiring new creativity.
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
As of right now, I’d say that bikes have pretty much taken over a lot of my spare time. I do enjoy surfing but I haven’t done that in a while. The current ocean temps aren’t exactly motivating for me haha! Over the last 4 years, I’ve been doing a lot of ramp building so that’s been going really well.
How do you find mixing MTB and BMX riding?
I find that the back and forth is pretty easy on the 27.5 or larger. I’m usually riding BMX and MTB on the same day and I have zero issues with it. I will say that I think the geo on the 26 DJ is so close to a BMX that it does make the transition back to BMX much more difficult.
How did you end up riding YT bikes?
Well, the first MTB that I ever bought was a YT Jeffsy. My buddy who used to work with my wife at Fox Racing worked for YT at the time. I think the stoke level was high on my side and his. Eventually, they reformatted their ambassador/rider programs and I found myself in a position to ride for them. It was so rad because I almost felt that it was coming together because of the way we worked together was super organic. Everyone at YT is so rad to hang out with and work with, on and off the bike.
What are your future plans for mountain biking?
I really believe that the sky is the limit. I’m just going to keep setting goals for myself and the companies that support me and try my best to achieve them. I want to make sure that I’m keeping all my BMX and MTB sponsors happy and continue climbing over to that next mountain peak.