Mark’s words on joining the Dan’s Comp team:
“Getting the opportunity to ride for Dan’s is definitely something I never thought I’d have. The team is so prestigious that it’s crazy to think that I’m now a part of it. Stoked for 2015 and moving forward with Dan’s Comp and everyone else!”
Mark on the cover of the Spring 2016 Dan’s Comp catalog (interview below).
Hey Mark, what is going on in your world? Quite a bit, actually. I graduate high school in 4 days time and then I’m off to Arizona for a few weeks. After that I have a bunch of trips throughout the rest of the year too. 2016 is going to be rad!
Welcome to the cover of the Dan’s Comp catalog. How do you feel about that? Ha ha man, I don’t even know what to say honestly. Every kid has been getting the Dan’s catalog since they found out what BMX was and to think that I’m gonna be on the face of it really is surreal.
Tell us about the photo. It was taken by your Sunday TM Walter Pieringer in Barcelona. What went on to get this done? We were just pedaling around BCN last April on a Sunday trip. The city is super crazy because you can just take the metro as far as you want and then pedal back to the apartment and seemingly never ride the same spot twice if you don’t want to. Luckily we had Kink™ Jay Roe to show us around and Simone Barraco was tagging along that day too. We stumbled upon that little launch randomly and rode it for like an hour. It’s just in the middle of a walking path in between two streets. It’s pretty unbelievable over there.
Speaking of Barcelona, you logged some miles in your first year as a pro BMX rider. Looking back, tell us how things have changed from a little over a year ago? Just my way of looking at spots has changed really. I used to go out and try to ride everything but now I kind of sit back and look at the spot a little harder to try and figure something out that I’ll actually be happy with. Just having so many dream setups and being able to see so many different spots last year helped me a lot with really figuring out what kind of riding I’m into, I think. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given.
You had your first major video part in the recently released Shadow What Could Go Wrong DVD. Tell us about filming for that project and how you feel about the final result? I started filming when I was 15 so my riding definitely changed drastically throughout the project. Like I was saying earlier, my outlook on riding spots has altered a bit but overall I’m so hyped on how it came together. Chadwick really killed it with finding my songs and making me look the best he could.
You’re still in school as well, correct? How do you balance riding and school? Well luckily I won’t have to for much longer but yeah that was always hard. My teachers didn’t really understand why I missed 40 days of school last year to be somewhere else just riding my bike in different cities. Luckily my principal is super cool and told me that I could miss as much as I wanted as long as I kept my grades up and he got a poster to hang in his office, ha ha.
You’ve been on the Sunday and Shadow pro teams for a year plus and now you’ve been bumped up to the Dan’s Comp pro team. How do you feel about it? It still doesn’t feel real. I never would have guessed that I would’ve been able to ride for such awesome brands, let alone stand out enough to them to be a part of their pro teams. It’s an honor.
You live in Upstate New York, which is known for brutal winters. How do you deal with these? A lot of layers, long trips to skateparks, and the heated tunnels at the local college.
You’ve had a signature colorway of a Sunday complete bike, which was well received. Do you have other signature projects in the works? Yeah, I have a bunch of things actually. I don’t know how much I can say about them but they start to come out really soon and I’m hyped on every one! I still can’t believe my name is on the bike parts I ride.
Do you have any advice for young riders in smaller towns like yours for helping to make a name for themselves in BMX or just get more out of the riding experience? If you’re like me, when you fall in love with something you can’t get enough of it. That’s how it was with bike riding. I didn’t know anything about sponsorships, web videos or even what kind of bike parts I should be riding, I just knew that all I wanted to do was be on my bike. My town has pretty much nothing to ride but we made do with what we had. You just can’t worry about riding for anyone or impressing anyone because then you’re putting too much effort into trying to sell yourself and not bettering yourself and your riding. Trust me when I say that the quiet shredder stands out way more than the kid who’s glaring at you after he lands a trick or asking if he’s good enough.
Big plans for 2016? A couple video parts, a lot of trips and more good times! Stoked to get back on the road with everyone soon.
Any shout outs? Everyone over at Sunday, Shadow, Vans, of course Dan’s Comp, all of my boys in the CYB crew, OSS clothes, the capital region, and most of all my Mom and Dad for always being down to drive me to the skatepark, buy me a bike part, help me with iPhone warranties, and everything else in the world. I guess my brother is pretty cool too. And, my cat Zipper. Thanks!
Mark rides for Sunday, Shadow, Van’s and Dan’s Comp.