It’s been more than twenty years since 8-time X Games medalist Mike Mason started his freestyle motocross career, but in two decades he hasn’t lost that lovin’ feeling he first grabbed hold of when hopping on a dirt bike at the age of four.
His most prized medal is the first bronze he won at the X Games as an underdog. Now, Mason continues to impress as a supreme talent and a current member of an elite team of professional stars that have been wowing crowds all across North America in the Nitro Circus You Got This tour, making stops at some of the coolest outdoor venues around.
Lucky for Rhode Islanders, he and the rest of the Nitro team soar into McCoy Stadium on Saturday, May 25, 2019.
“We have been in football stadiums and baseball stadiums and all kinds of places,” Mason said. “If the crowd is good it really hits home for us.”
The show starts at 7:00pm and literally every moment filled with something cool. Whereas other sports shows might have some downtime built in for bathroom breaks or trips to concessions, with Nitro, every second grabs your gaze and keeps you glued to the show.
You’ll feel like you’re missing something if you look away for a moment, and that instinct will probably be right.
“Nitro is unique in that we have so much going on that you are paying attention to the whole show,” Mason said. “Before you know it, it’s over because you have been watching so much stuff go on.”
Nitro’s setup is pretty sweet so you’ll want to grab hold of your seat and stay there.
There’s the freestyle motocross on one side where FMX riders will be gliding through the air at 75 feet, and on the other side, a Giganta ramp that propels BMX riders five stories high.
Every member of the talented team makes this stuff look easy.
“When the Giganta kids are going, we’re waiting, and then we kind of keep rotating side to side,” Mason said. “During certain parts of the show, we’re all riding at once and all back flipping at once.”
Nitro Circus is unlike anything else – it’s intense, it’s jam-packed with the coolest bike stunts ever – and its cast of characters all have interesting and unique stories of their own.
Like his co-stars, Mason has his own story beyond his talented motocross tricks. He golfs and plays guitar. As a toddler, he thought long and hard about becoming a mailman and even had his own plan for delivering letters in his neighborhood. Instead, he was fated to bring joy to fans through a stunt package that includes his favorite move – the Holy Grab.
Mason comes off the ramp to let go of his bike completely, then floats through the air like Superman until he’s almost down to the landing. He grabs onto the little cutouts in the back of his bike and pulls himself through the bars. Superheroes are great but can any of them stick that?
“It really feels cool because you’re literally flying through the air on nothing, but your bike is under you.” Mason said.
If his professional career had an anthem Mason could rock out to on his own guitar, it would be the Top Gun theme song. It’s hard to say if he and his colleagues joke with one another about how they feel the need for speed like motocross versions of Maverick and Goose prior to cruising down the ramp.
We can definitely speculate how their backstage banter is just as entertaining and slick as the movie, though, and their tricks are even better in person.
“The Nitro crew is probably the tightest crew because we travel around together and average 40-50 shows per year,” Mason said. “We all have the same kind of personality, the same vision and same passion.”
Now, members of the Nitro Team who once had wide eyes for mimicking the pros in their driveways are inspiring and impressing future generations.
“I have always given the advice to keep it fun,” Mason said. “I never once thought I was going to be a pro. I just looked up to all of the pros and always wanted to ride.”
If he has any advice for kids that want to do what he does – he said to keep it fun. That’s what riding is all about.
Nitro Circus will be at McCoy Stadium on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 7pm. Tickets are currently on sale with prices starting at $29.00 (plus applicable service charges). For more information about the show and how to purchase tickets, go to nitrocircus.com.