This week we sat down with BMBA's Treasurer and MTB enthusiast Mike Blinne to see what makes this crazy biking pilot tick. Mike is one of the trails OG's (Original Gangsta's) and not only rips but digs a lot too. We're sure you've either seen him on the trail or will soon. Now that you know him as well as we do be sure to give him a hello next time you see him!
Who is Mike B?
The tall smiling bald guy (when seen without helmet) known by some as Big Mike. Usually identified as Father Husband, "The Pilot." I’m always busy and always late because I’m always trying to squeeze too much in. I am the BMBA Treasurer and big fan of our club! I love to ride!
Where are you from?
Somerset, New Jersey.
What do you do for a living?
Airline Pilot for ExpressJet Airlines. I Fly Regional jets as United Express in US Canada and Mexico. We are based in Newark NJ.
How long have you been riding?
On two-wheels since about 5 years old on garage sale banana seat bike. Call it 38 yrs – OUCH getting old. Was hitting wood ramps on bricks soon after. Broke my first frame, a Schwinn, jumping at 7.
Are you sponsored?
No. Ride for BOBS Bike Shop at Annual 12 hours of Santos.
What's your current ride(s)?
A 2015 Trek Fuel 9.8, a 2014 Intense Uzzi, a 2010 Jamis Dakar XAM, and a 1997 GT Riccochet. When I lived in NJ I had a Diamondback Topanga, and old Trek 700 road bike. I also have a few motorcycles - a 2007 Yamaha R6, a 1990 KX 125, and a 1992 XR 200.
What are some of your favorite trails?
My all-time Favorite is Downhill at Trestle CO Cruel and Unusual. Been to the amazing Whistler, Mt. Creek and Snowshoe. XC Dupont! NJ Six Mile Run. I’ve also had a great time in many of the popular FL trails.
What is your favorite feature at the GFT?
I love the Pro-Line Option drop, and the Monty drop and Table. The Zebra drop, and the step-up-through Rattlesnake Ridge. OK - the whole trail.
Do you have a most Memorable time on your bike?
Riding in AZ near Phoenix and earning my descent - 14 miles out to a long gradual descent back to the start. The sound of the tires on the gravel then silence as you hit a rain bar and flew low and far for a second or two. The cycle of sound and silence was amazing. I could go on forever with all the amazing times just being out on the trail with my family and friends.
What is your worst crash?
I’ve been good at knowing my limits and staying mostly within them so I value not crashing! A memorable wreck, though, was at Mt. Creek (a large double at the end of the world cup course). After eyeing it all day I finally went for it on the last run but cased it with a hard hit, broke derailleur off the rental. Felt that one for a while.
What is your luckiest escape?
Cruel and Unusual at Trestle. The last feature is a big wood kicker gap off a boardwalk. The marker says drop and its blind landing so I set up for drop and let the bike "fall away." It was a gap with a long steep lander not a drop! I nose cased and rode a nose wheelie for like 20 ft. I finally got my weight down and back sat on the frame and rolled another 50 ft or so before I got back on the pedals. So, lucky was a long straight after that jump. If there was a turn I would have been eating bark and rocks ha.
Do you have a favorite rider?
No pros. Would have to say every rider I have been lucky enough to share a ride with.
What's on your ride playlist?
Usually just enjoy the sound of the trail ... especially downhill ... when you start haulin' and the wind whips through the full-face.
What are you watching on TV these days?
I’m a movie addict (with huge movie collection) more than TV but I like Ridiculousness on Netflix, Stranger Things, an American Horror Story, and Gotham.
When you're not riding what are you doing?
I love all things outside. Time with family and friends - especially going out to eat is great. Traveling. When I can't have my bike, I will settle for a run. It’s a great way to get exercise and see the many cities I travel to at the same time.