Dave was born in central New York on april 4th, 1974 to his mother Linda and his father Michael. Dave grew up in Chittenango, N.Y. In this small town of 4,855, where some of the sidewalks are actually painted yellow, Mirra got his start.
|early years||4 YEARS OLD.
Dave began riding when he was just 4, the same age his parents divorced. His folks remained friends, living close to one another. Dave and his brother, Tim, started by hopping curbs and tearing over dirt ramps.
The Albion #13, april 2013: The first competitive BMX events he entered were on a racetrack when he was ten years old. Out of the two races he went to he got a first and a second. And why does he think he did so well on his debut, A lot of people went to the track but they didnt ride like we did. Back then my passion for BMX was already for life, not just for a few weeks. His mum and dad divorced when he was young and, although he found racing fun, he couldnt get to the track as often as hed have liked, so he settled for riding BMX around the neighbourhood: from the minute they got out of school until it was too dark to see. Dave lived with his dad who was a VCR repair man, he didnt have a curfew back then, or much supervision in general, My dad wasnt strict, hed just say, Listen guys, you can do what you want, but if you do something wrong, then its you whos gonna deal with the consequences, not me. So make your choice. So I wouldnt get grounded if I did anything wrong, he just put the ultimatum out there, and it made you think twice. And it also gave me a lot of time to ride. The pioneering pros of the day, Ron Wilkerson and Dennis McCoy were who Dave looked up to and hed spend his days riding his bike, reading magazines and dreaming of some day riding like his idols. But even with all the admiration he had for his favourite pros, at no point did Dave Mirra ever set out to be a professional rider, I never said I wanted to be anything. I just loved it and did it every day and looked up to those guys.
FIRST FREESTYLE BIKE.
Dave Mirra: My first freestyle bike was a Haro FST.
Balancing in Edwin Street, Chittenango. Dave started out riding flatland but then a few years later moved on to the ramps.
Dave going for a one hander a few feet below the lip back around 1986.
Dave Mirra: I was about 13 when I start getting into ramps but it was just as a secondary thing because flatland was my main thing. I just did ramps for overall wins.
The Albion #13, april 2013: In 87 General Bikes came past his town on tour. Fred Blood, the Team Manager, was impressed by young Daves skill level at such a young age and small size. Fred offered him a co-sponsorship deal with the local shop, Lindys Bike Loft. But that first deal for discounts on General Bikes wasnt to last for long.
Dave Mirra: In april, the General Bikes team came to Lindy's Bike Loft in North Syracuse to do a show. Before the show started, I was riding flatland in the bike store's parking lot when one of the General pros, Fred Blood, noticed my riding. Even though I was only thirteen, I was pretty advanced at flatland and was pulling double decades. Not too many riders in the country were pulling that trick off at the time, so Fred was pretty surprised to see me, a five-foot-tall kid from Chittenango, pull one. Later that day, Fred introduced me to the shop owners and helped me work out my first sponsorship deal: discounts on the parts sold in the shop in exchange for riding in shows. General also agreed to cosponsor me, wich meant I got a discount on a General bike that was way too big for me. But the size of the bike didn't matter; I was now sponsored.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Back then Haro had what is arguably the most coveted and influential BMX team ever assembled, and a few months after General, his idols stopped by on tour at another shop nearby, Waynes Bike Shop. On board that tour where Ron Wilkerson, Brian Blyther and Dave Nourie, at the time they were a selection of the best riders in the world. When they pulled in to that demo, out the window of the van, all three of them saw a tiny 13 year old kid fire out a perfect double decade a trick that none of them had done yet. That kid was, of course, Dave Mirra. They couldnt believe their eyes and hooked Dave up on the spot. A week later, not one, but two bikes showed up at his house. Dave and his friends were blown away, in a short space of time hed gone from getting cheap bikes, to getting two free bikes from his all-time heroes. As hes keen to stress, pulling that double decade at that precise place in time, was a defining moment in Daves rise to the top, Man, I think about this all the time what if I hadnt have pulled it? It wasnt a consistent trick for me. What if Id just done one decade and flailed off to the side? Who knows where Id be?
Dave Mirra: I got sponsored by Haro the first time in august 1987 when Ron Wilkerson, Brian Blyther and Dave Nourie came to town (Liverpool NY) on tour. It was a flow deal, they gave me a few bikes and some parts and would pay for my food and lodging at the contests if I got there. I was stoked at that young age.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Getting hooked up on Haro was his big break, of that there is no doubt. But even if he was just a little kid with a double decade back then, it wouldnt be long before he stepped onto the contest ladder and started ticking off rungs. That same year Dave entered his first freestyle event, an AFA contest in Columbus Ohio. His dad drove him there and Haro paid for his entry and accommodation he came second-to-last. It may not have been the most explosive debut the BMX world had ever seen, in fact it was probably the joint second worst, but that didnt matter to Dave, I didnt care about where I placed, I got to hang out with all my heroes from the magazines, thats all that mattered to me. I remember in the hotel room, I saw all of Dennis Adidas shoes lined up and I was blown away. I used to look up to him and I tried to dress just like him.
Dave Mirra: My first competition was in Ohio in september 1987, it was the AFA Masters Series. Back then I was sponsored by Haro and it was a flow deal, they gave me a few bikes and some parts and would pay for my food and lodging at the contests if I got there. For a 13-year-old that was awesome. I was so nervous and excited that I was about to explode. I entered the 13 and under expert flatland class, but during my sixty-second routine, anxiety got the best of me and I fell apart. I didn't pull a lot of my tricks, wich left me in eleventh place out of twelve riders.
|1988||DROPPED FROM HARO.
Dave Mirra: In 1988, the freestyle industry as a whole was starting to feel financial hard times. Freestyle bikes sales had tapered off and riders were getting dropped from teams left and right. Eventually, even Haro was forced to make budget cutbacks, and taht translated into my getting dropped from the team.
AFA MASTERS ROUND 1.
4th place 13 and under flatland and 3rd place 13 and under ramp @ AFA Masters round 1.
AFA MASTERS ROUND 5 WAYNE.
1st place 14 expert flatland and ramp @ AFA Masters round 5, Wayne, New Jersey, august 27-28, 1988.
Jeff R., october 2010: Dave Mirra came out riding like Dennis McCoy jr. and killed it, then did it again in the finals, triple whiplash, lots of fast moves and even some combos.
The Albion #13, april 2013: When Dave entered this contest in Wayne, New Jersey, he was without a sponsor, and with a less-than-impressive track record. But while on paper he may not have been worth a poke, in the time between his first contest, Dave Mirra had been riding hard. He pulled out a flawless run in Flatland, and an equally flawless run in Ramp he got first in both in 14 Expert and he walked away with the first trophies in a cache that would go on to be the biggest collection of BMX silverware in history.
AFA MASTERS ROUND 6 COLOMBUS.
1st place 14 expert flatland and 1st place 14 expert ramp @ 1988 AFA Masters round 6, September 24-25, 1988, Colombus, Ohio.
CONTEST IN LEVITTOWN PA.
The Albion #13, april 2013: At Charlies in PA Dave got a first and a first. He was introduced to the Plywood Hoods, a talented group of riders who were the vanguard of flatland progression.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Impressed by Daves skills he was invited to stay and ride for a week, and at just 14 years old and over five hours away from his home, he took them up on the offer and spent his time there filming and riding with the likes of Kevin Jones and Mark Eaton. The resulting footage came out in Dorkin 2 the second instalment of the infamous Dorkin In York series as his first ever video part. And as the self-perpetuating cycle of media exposure goes, that video was another stepping stone en route to bigger things.
La video Dorkin 2 nous fait découvrir un petit jeune jusqu'alors inconnu: Dave Mirra. Si nous pouvons y admirer ses premiers aerials, son niveau en flat est lui aussi impressionant: 10 whiplash, squeakerson to backward decade, ect.
Dave Mirra: When I was fourteen years old, I was really into flatland. Mark eaton was one of the best amateurs in the sport and very respected for his originality. I met Mark at a small contest in Pennsylvania, and he invited me to come ride with the infamous Plywood Hoods. Mark also produced a video called Dorkin' in York, and when Dorkin' 2 came out, I had a section in the video. It was my first video part ever.
Dave Mirra: Toward the end of 1988, I was developing a serious ramp fetish. Riding flatland was fun, but there was something about ramps: I couldn't get enough.
missOneday333, www.youtube.com, january 2011: Dave Mirra's flatland run from the AFA Masters comp. round 6 in Columbus, OH on Sept. 24th 1988. He was in the 14 expert class at the time and got 1st place at this comp. In his younger days he was all about flatland.
8th place experts @ Woodward, Pennsylvania 2hip KOV, summer 1989.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Daves riding took a shift skyward. Excited by where the likes of Wilkerson and Hoffman were taking vert riding, he monged off his Gut Levers and Pinky Squeaks and started getting radical. After spending the winter riding his friends eight foot by eight foot barn ramp, still aged just 15 and resembling a midget whod stolen a cruiser, he entered his very first vert contest, the 1989 2Hip King Of Vert at Woodward PA. Despite there being no age groups and despite weighing in at less than a single Vision Street Wear sticker (and subsequently having to pedal across the flat-bottom to maintain any kind of momentum) he qualified for the finals and ended up eighth. That was his entry to the big league, from there he started travelling more and meet more people.
Dave Mirra: Since there were no ages divisions for amateurs in King of Vert events, I had to compete against riders in their twenties even though I was only fifteen. I wound up getting eighth out of the twenty-five experts who entered. I was starting to get a reputation as a kid who could have a big future in riding.
KOV ROUND 4 NEW YORK.
Dyno picked up the 15 year old Dave Mirra after seeing him ride at the New York King of Vert contest in september 1989.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Through a good word put in from Dino Deluca, he got hooked up by GT, I had a dishwasher job at a restaurant, and on my first day at work I rode down to a payphone and I talked to the GT Team Manager, Ken Boyle. He was all like, Whadya need kid? And I let him know sizes and everything and man, the stuff I got from GT was insane bikes in boxes, cranks, leathers, jerseys, everything there was no money, but all the product, and theyd fly me to all the contests.
Dave Mirra: Dino DeLuca, who was a top pro at the time was reallypsyched on the way I was riding and told me that he wanted me on his team. He rode for Dyno and after he told his team manager about me, I got an offer to be a full-on member of the team. (...) I got free bikes and free travel and that was enough for me.
KOV round 4, New York.
7th place Expert class @ 1989 KOV finals, Newport, january 1990. Dave Mirra was proving to be Dyno's new dynamo performing a menu of tricks and, we must add, he rages !
The Albion #13, april 2013: (...) King Of Vert in Irvine, California, where he got to spend a few memorable nights in the infamous POW House. That house has a lot to answer for playing home to a eclectic mix of drug addicts, pissheads and professional BMXers the POW house acted as the first drip on a Petri dish. And from there the sordid, sweaty, poverty stricken, awesomeness that is The BMX House, spread like wildfire the world over.
Although now riding for GT, at this point Dave still lived at home with his Dad and worked a job washing dishes. But while he didnt get paid by his sponsor, they kindly gave him the Benjamins to build his own vert ramp. And again, with that facility on his doorstep, he jumped up the progression ladder like a cat on fireworks night.
Dave Mirra: I did GT shows back in the day from 1990-1991, toured the whole US, that was pretty hectic.
Dave Mirra: I tried a 900 at Louisville. I actually started spinning really good but then I just jumped off.
1st place expert @ 1990 2hip KOV finals, Trasherland, Glendale, Arizona.
BMX Plus! may 1991: Dave Mirra is growing up in the amateur ranks faster than most people thought. A couple of years ago, Ron Wilkerson tried to get the mighty-mite sponsored by Haro for his incredible flatland riding. Then, as he started to excel on halfpipes also, the Dyno dudes gave him a full-factory sponsorship. At the finals he proved his ramping abilities to all. Dyno-mite Dave ruled-first place. He pulled one footed x-ups, no handers, tailwhip airs to the pedals, 540s, no footers, lookdowns, manuals and noseplants.
KOV finals, january 1990.
|1991||1991 GT INTERNATIONAL TOUR.
Dave Mirra, www.harobikes.com: I got rear-ended by a drunk driver on the GT tour in 91' when I was driving the rig. The idiot totaled his car and smashed his face through the windshield.
Interview in Go december 1991.
He's young and he's restless, and it is this volatile combination that keeps Dyno's Dave Mirra fired up on riding at all times. He's good, too, able to bust massive airs with variations, 540's, and tailwhips as well as any lip trick out there, fast and smooth. The immediate goals of this 17-year-old New Yorker include turning Pro (he's more than ready) and getting an ad for GT/Dyno ("Bill Neuman just got on GT and he gets in an ad right away. Me, I've been on Dyno for two years and I'm STILL not in one. Man... .). Give the boy time.
Dave Mirra: I'm now pretty much a ramp rider exclusively. I ride flatland in shows and we screw around at my house sometimes, but I'm not really serious about it anymore."
The Albion #13, april 2013: As his airs got higher and smoother he upgraded from a neon bum-bag, to a full on Lifes A Beach backpack of tricks. He was still looking up in lustful admiration to Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy, Joe Johnson and Mike Dominguez, and he was so hell-bent on riding like them, in a calculated and methodical manner, not dissimilar to Dr Frankenstein, he studied videos of his heroes and dissected their riding to create his own utopian hybrid style. And by Jove, it worked. By analysing videos of them and himself he meticulously fine-tuned his riding until he was happy with his creation. His self-inflicted experiment in social engineering worked a charm and the outcome was a style of riding that would ultimately go on to supersede all that had come before him.
The Albion #13, april 2013: In 1992, Dave took the last formal step to becoming one of the best riders in the world: he turned pro. A little while before the contest, Mat Hoffman had invited him out to his house in Oklahoma to hang out and ride. He was made up, I looked up to Mat so much, this was the guy Id read in the magazines was The Best Bike Rider In The World. This is back when Mat changed the sport. He came in and just crushed it. He took what the guys did before him and he built a whole new way to ride. When pushed to explain in his own words, just how exactly, Mat had changed the sport, he goes on, He had such an aggressive style. He went super high and he stretched things out so far. Then he started putting multiple tricks in one air, I think that was a big contribution. And then obviously there was the flip fakie and then the flair, that was just huge. Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan came along in that same era and I used to compare Mat Hoffman to those guys, between the three of them they changed boxing, they changed basketball and they changed BMX. Just to be at his house was immense, but then he said to me Hey, Im starting a new bike company, do you want to ride for us? I was honoured and said yes and he flew me to the Jeff Philips contest and thats where I turned pro.
BS ROUND 1 TEXAS.
3rd place stuntmen mini/street @ 1992 BS round 1 "Chainwheel massacre", January 26-27, 1992, Jeff Phillips Skatepark, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Dave Mirra nosepicked on the extension and on the spine, did a nose pick 180 over the spine and jumped high tabletops over the lower spine for third.
2nd place stuntmen vert. Dave Mirra was one rider who made it up to the 11ft high banners. He rides a Hoffman bike as well and has been living with Matt lately. Switch-handed 540's, no footed cancans and other streched variations t 9ft, tailwhips at 7ft and everything back to back. If he does some backflips here and there in the near future he might be a serious threat for Matt Hoffman
BS ROUND 2 ARIZONA.
4th place stuntmen vert and 4th place stuntmen mini @ 1992 BS round 2 "Death in the Desert", march 28-29, 1992, Thrasherland Skatepark, Arizona.
Condor at the 1992 BS round 2 on the cover of Invert june 1992
BS ROUND 3 LAKE OWEN.
3rd place stuntmen vert and 2nd place stuntmen mini @ 1992 BS round 3, Lake Owen.
Jim Cooke, www.davemirra.com: Dave Mirra and I loaded into his '87 Dodge Daytona and made the long road trip from Chittenango, NY to northern Wisconsin. When we arrived some 18 hours later we had blown a water pump and were starting to overheat. Oh well, we made it. Lake Owen is a bmx/gymnastics camp in the middle of nowhere. After seeing 8 bears in 3 days, I believe they out-numbered the people. Everyone stayed on site in some cozy little cabins. There were four big pros on hand to ride and quite few amateurs in the mix as well. Along with Dave(a rookie) was Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy and Jay Miron. All four tore it up on vert and the mini/spine comp. Rick Moliterno and his Standard posse were doing some serious work on the mini/spine ramp as well. A young Taj Mihelich showed signs of his well known style even back then.
Jim Cooke, www.davemirra.com: Around this time there was nothing to ride in Chittenango. Our halfpipe had just been torn down...wrongly I might add. Whenever Dave would get to a comp or we would visit someplace to ride, he would just go off. He would learn tons of tricks and be dialed in no time. Dennis McCoy picked up on this trend and called Dave "trick horny." Trick horny indeed...check out the videos and see what it was like back in the day. Small time events didn't necessarily translate into laid back events. This comp was intense... lots of innovation was going on at this time and lots of people were hucking themselves as well. Some things never change.
BS ROUND 4 SAN JOSE.
3rd place stuntmen vert @ 1992 BS round 4, july 25-26, 1992, San Jose, California. Dave Mirra said he was nervous going into the vert contest. That didn't stop him from pulling high tailwhips, manual, grinds, high 540's and a barspin tailwhip attempt.
3rd place stuntmen street. Dave Mirra started off pulling a sick tailwhip barspin and a no footed 360 over the spine. He has the ability to be the #1 pro someday.
Interview in BMX Plus! july 1992
Sponsors ? Hoffman Bikes, Airwalk, Homeless, Standard Bikes.
Bike ? Hoffman Condor.
Tricks invented ? Framestand peg-pick, barspin tailwhip, backside weasel.
I went pro in 1992 because I just knew it was time and I just felt like I would fit in so I just went for it.
Motto ? Quit school.
BS FINALS CHICAGO.
1st place stuntmen ramp @ 1992 BS finals, november 21-22, 1992, SCRAP Chicago, IL. Dave Mirra pulled a switch handed 540. His 540's were near thee roof, his airs went past that, and his first backflip ever on vert sent a shock wave through the ramp.
1st place stuntmen street. Early in practice, people knew something was up when Dave Mirra effortlessly sailed six feet over the jumpbox in a perfect backflip. This turned out to be only a warm-up loop for his run: Flawless flips, no-footed cancan 360s, nothings, no-footed flip, eight feet high and a bevy of advanced tricks thrown together in three polished runs. No one was surprised when Dave was announced the ruler of Stuntmen Street.
2nd place mini. Dave Mirra did all thee usual. No footed 360's, rocket x-up 360's, grind transfers over the spine, and airs so high over the spine he was almost hitting his head on some sort of air ventway above the spine. A big second for Dave.
Invert june 1992
BMX Plus! july 1992
|1993||1993 BS ROUND 1 ARIZONA.
4th place stuntmen mini and 4th place stuntmen vert @ BS 1993 round 1 "Death in the Desert 2", january 23-24, 1993, Thrasherland Skatepark, Glendale, Arizona.
1993 BS ROUND 2 SHIMERVILLE.
2nd place stuntmen mini/street @ 1993 BS round 2, april 17-18, 1993, Recreation center, Shimerville, Pennsylvania.
Dave Mirra was shredding. Tailtap to nosepick to smith back to noseblunt to no-footer on the railing, a clean flip from the mini to the box, and the biggest transfer of the day: a flip from the street course to the vert ramp. He was a good ten feet away from the transitions when he landed on the flat bottom [zany]. 2nd place.
3rd place stuntmen vert. Dave Mirra was on his game, as usual. No handers almost touching the ceiling, 540s a couple of feet lower, backwards icepick grinds, and a flip attempt. 3rd place.
1993 BMX FREESTYLE WORLDS IN FRANCE.
BMX Freestyle Worlds, Limoges, France.
2nd place stuntmen vert and 2nd place stuntmen street @ 1993 BS round 3, september 24-25, 1993, new Hoffman Bike Park, Oklahoma City.
1st place stuntmen street, 1st place stuntmen mini and 3rd place stuntmen vert @ 1993 BS finals, november 19-21, 1993, SCRAP Chicago, IL.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Jay was riding for GT back then, kicking ass, right off the bat, when mentioning Jay, there was an obvious tone of respect in his voice he got on GT right after I left and then he got on Hoffman a year after me, in 1993, and then shit started getting crazy. Jay and Dave were two of the most dedicated, fearless and talented gladiators BMX will ever know. Throwing in everything they had, and pushing each other to the limits and beyond. By the mid nineties stories of their battles on the vert ramp and street course would become that of folklore. Some of their on-deck experiences were so heated that the winner would simply be the one who could still walk when the contest was over. Back in the days of those early BS events, the pro contests reached a point where they were more like medieval duels than displays of bicycle prowess. The bikes were big, envelopes were being pushed and the safety gear was being put through its paces. With only four pros consistently taking part in pro vert comps, the mood on the deck was tight but hostile. With such a concentrated crew of motivated athletes, there was no other way for it to be, and it was only a matter of time before tensions would boil over. Back then Mat Hoffman was taking BMX to the masses, hitting the road with a portable ramp and his show team of hot-headed and progressive riders: The Sprocket Jockeys. The ramp was made of metal and had zero flex, a point reinforced when Dave went through six wheels in two days, that ramp was stiff as fuck, if you hung up an inch it would blow your wheel clean out. Whether you were a BMX rider or just some Tom, Dick or Harry from Hicksville USA, watching a Sprocket Jockey show back then when freestyle BMX was still being formed and new progressions were happening on a daily basis must have been an awesome sight to behold. None of the Hoffman riders got paid a wage at the time and riding in the shows paid $100 per day, we used to really go for it, wed push each other, and Jay especially would be renown for laying it all on the line. Just in a normal show, out of nowhere, hed fire out the biggest flairs, straight up, BOOM! And that was back when no one really had them dialled. In 1993, the Sprocket Jockeys vert team consistent of the same four riders who would be battling it out for the top four spots at the BS contest, Jay Miron, Dennis McCoy, Mat Hoffman and Dave. Through living, travelling, riding and competing together, to say the relationships between that quartet became strained would be like saying Dave Mirras house is quite big. And it was at a rained out show at the Dallas State Fair, that Jay Miron and Dave Mirra had their first fight, It was at the end of 93. Me and Jay Miron were getting in to a bit of a head-to-head battle and things were getting weird around that. When Jay joined the team he moved to Oklahoma City with Mat, and they became better friends, and it got to the point where I wasnt really getting the benefit of the doubt. It was at a rained out demo, and I just said, Why are we putting our shorts on? Its a rained out show, why are we dressing up? and Jay just didnt like that. Wed gone head-to-head enough before that, so it was just at boiling point. It didnt matter what it was, it was just time to vent it out. Jay hit me a couple of times, and he was my friend for a long time before that, so I wasnt gonna hit him back. I just picked up my things and drove home from Texas. I just said Im outta here. And although he would stay on and ride the last contest of the year with a Hoffman shirt on, driving away from that show signalled the end to Daves time riding for Hoffman Bikes.
STRUCK BY A CAR.
The Albion #13, april 2013: On December 19th 1993, while he was still thinking the deal through, he was cut down by a cruel twist of fate. While crossing the street one day, he was hit by a drunk driver going 45mph. Left with a fractured skull, a blood clot on the brain and a fractured shoulder, it was the shattering of not just his bones, it was the shattering of his dream. He thought his career was over. It looked unlikely hed ever ride again. Dave got an ultimatum from his previous sponsor, GT. Woody Itson, the team manager at the time, told Dave that if he was willing to move out to California then theyd give him a paid spot on the team. Then, on December 19th 1993, while he was still thinking the deal through, he was cut down by a cruel twist of fate. While crossing the street one day, he was hit by a drunk driver going 45mph. Left with a fractured skull, a blood clot on the brain and a fractured shoulder, it was the shattering of not just his bones, it was the shattering of his dream. He thought his career was over. It looked unlikely hed ever ride again. He was in hospital for two weeks with the doctors keeping a close eye on his brain, hoping the blood clot would go down. If it did he would make a fully recovery, but the doctors warned him, if he was to hit his head again after that, then next time he wouldnt be so lucky.
1993 BS round2
Barspin tailwhip during 1993 KOC. Photo by Armen Djerrahian.
The Albion #13, april 2013: The clot did eventually dissolve and Dave started a long road to recovery, but with his being the steeliest determination in the whole of BMX, it was just six months before he was feeling good and back on his bike. Initially he was eager to pick up where hed left off, moving out to California and riding for GT. He defied the doctors and made the drive out west with his girlfriend of the time. She stayed for two weeks and then, as Dave was due to go on tour for the summer, she went back home to New York. But the situation was far from rosy, She went home and I just didnt feel good about it. I was like Man, shes cheating on me with her ex-boyfriend. And it messed me up. She was my childhood sweetheart from high school, the girl you just always loved. So I couldnt get into it and I didnt want to be out in California, so I left Huntington Beach and drove 45 hours straight back to Syracuse in my GT50 with no AC. It was to be the start of a downward spiral that would see Dave question where he was heading in life, between head injuries and girl troubles I just wasnt into it. I was off my bike for six months and over that time you begin to change your thinking if you dont do something for long enough then youre not really gonna miss it. There was no one riding in Syracuse, and contests were still rare. I moved into an apartment with a friend and I started drinking a lot. I gained 30lbs. I was really confused at that time. I didnt think Id be riding any more.
Ride BMX US october 1994: After looking like a sure thing that Dave Mirra was going to ride for GT, he surprised everyone and signed with Haro. Dave's deal with GT would have required him to live in California and do shows, wich he wasn't too into. The Haro deal allows Dave to live at home in New York and only requires him to go to the BS contests for a reputed $30,000 per year. Haro is also helping Dave get a vert ramp built to practice on, so he should be in top form when he starts competing again.
BS FINALS CHICAGO.
1st place stuntmen street @ 1994 Bicycle Stunts round 4 and finals, november 18-19, 1994, SCRAP Chicago, Illinois. This was the third year in a row that the Finals have been held in Chicago and it was also the third year in a row that Dave Mirra took the win in Stunt Men Street. By watching Dave ride in practice, you could tell that there was no way he was going to let anyone beat him. Mirra lofted huge transfers, pulled a flip twist, went for a tailwhip flip, carved a tailwhip air about seven feet up and 5 feet across between two street ramps and wasted two wheels on his way to first place.
3rd place stuntmen vert. Dave Mirra was going as high as he usually does on vert around 11 feet), but some of his runs lacked variations, which brought him in at third.
Mirra has been in Greenville since 1995. His older brother, Tim, arrived in '94, spurring Mirra to pack his bags when his apartment lease in Syracuse, N.Y., expired. Tim, 30, moved here with his then-girlfriend and her family. Her father had transferred for work.
Dave Mirra: I moved to Greenville in March of 95 to kind of be closer to my brother.
The Albion #13, april 2013: At a low ebb and at a loss of what to do, this certainly wasnt the future he once dreamed of. Then he got a call from his brother. Tim had recently moved from New York down to Greenville, North Carolina, with his then girlfriend. He told Dave about a public skatepark they had down there with a sweet spined mini ramp. It was the kind of phone call hed been waiting for. Sensing the chance to turn things around and drag himself out of the dreary quagmire hed got himself in, he rented a truck, packed up his things, and drove south. His girlfriend initially made the move with him, but after just two short weeks he realised he hadnt quite ridden himself of all the lead weight that was weighing him down. So he told her in far more polite terms, to sling yer hook, ya dirty wench!
Interview in Props #6 january 1995.
BMX PLUS! INTERVIEW.
Interview in BMX Plus! march 1995.
2nd place stuntmen vert and 5th place stuntmen street @ 1995 BS round 2, july 8-9, 1995, Hampton, Virginia.
ESPN X-Games vert silver medal. The network started the X Games in 1995, introducing the sport to wider audiences. Mirra picked up a silver medal in the vert that year.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Finally free from the encroaching darkness and with a refreshed perspective on life, the first thing he did was pick up his bike, and the second was to shift his beer belly. And after having been dealt such a rotten hand over the last couple of years, it was welcome news when he heard about a big new contest that ESPN were putting on that year. The year was 1995, and that contest was the Xtreme Games. With big bucks up for grabs, only two disciplines and being run by men in suits, the first X Games was a strange affair and was about as far removed from the rider run BS series that preceded it as darkness is from dawn. Vert and Street were the two events and with their fragmented runs and long on deck interludes back then neither were the prettiest to watch: neither in person or on TV. And thats where Dave stepped in to lend a hand. Everyone was questioning the ethics behind the corporate nature of the X Games and the men in suits who called the shots, but unlike the majority of others, rather than turning hostile and putting up barriers, he embraced what they were about and sought to work with them to better represent the sport to the masses and in doing so he not only changed the way contests were ridden but he earned himself the coveted title of the most decorated tree in the BMX forest.
1st place pro vert @ 1995 KOC, august 26-27, 1995, Southsea, Hampshire, UK.
Haro Candy video.
RIDE BMX UK COVER.
Fufanu at the Virginia BS contest on the cover of Ride BMX UK #20 december 1995.
The Albion #13, april 2013: Back then BMX was a bit of a huckfest. Granted the airs were monstrous and the tricks were burly, but with plentiful crashes and lots of time spent sat on the deck catching ones breath it was awkward to watch at best. So in a similar approach to that of studying videos of himself and dissecting his riding, Dave took a step back and looked at what he could do to improve both his own runs and the presentation of the sport in general. And his conclusion was thus: flawless non-stop runs. I asked myself, if I was watching this on TV, would I want to watch someone sitting on the deck catching their breath or pedalling on the flat to get back up going, Hold on, wait a minute, I gotta get my breath I said Nah, Im not into that I said You know what, Im not sure where this is going to go, but Im going to take it serious and Im going to do flawless and continuous runs. I didnt want to stop and rest. I wanted to look like an athlete. And at the beginning of the next year, with his newly discovered tactic employed, he began winning every street contest he entered. Dave set the precedent and it soon became apparent that if anyone wanted a shot at a gold medal they were going to have to follow suit. And follow suit they did in droves. Rather than just airing up and down, back and forth they followed Mirras lead and started introducing opposite airs and alley-oops into their run so they were flowing the ramp and using the full width. And as a consequence, in the space of a few short years, vert went from looking scary and awkward to majestic and artistic.
World Champion - pro vert
Dave Mirra is no longer riding for Airwalk and has signed with Boks (Reebok).
1st place street and 2nd place vert @ 1996 X-Games, Newport, Rhode Island.
BS series champion street, 2nd vert.
BMX PLUS! COVER.
Dave Mirra nosepick to full barspin at Destination Extreme in Seal Beach (BS round 2) on the cover of BMX Plus! december 1996.
Dave Mirra has taken the trick to a different level. He does a nosepick, then gets on the front peg, grabs the seat and puts the bike in a steamroller position, stalls for a second and goes back into the ramp canadian nosepick style.
X-Games street gold medal.
X-Games vert gold medal.
X-Games vert doubles gold medal.
RIDE BMX US COVER.
Dave Mirra at the X-Games on the cover of Ride BMX US october 1997. Photo by Steve Buddendeck.
Interview in BMXup #12.
Street gold medal @ 1998 X-Games, San Diego, California. The competition for first place was really close, but Dave Mirra bagged it with tricks like huge indian 360, opposite side rail, multiple barspins, the biggest transfers and the biggest style. Mirra's week had begun.
Vert gold medal. Dave flew around the ramp going opposite, alley-oop, and regular, looking smooth and fast. He just kept hitting tricks in all directions, did the biggest flairs, switch-handed 540, suicide double- barspin, and just didn't stop until the buzzer went.
Dave Mirra a signé avec Fox un contrat de trois ans.
FOX Expendable Youth video.
Haro Fantasy video.
Interview in Ride BMX US april 1999.
1st place vert and 4th place park@ 1999 FISE, Palavas, France.
1st place street @ 1999 X-Games, San Francisco, California, june 25-july 3, 1999.
Mirra's first run, in which he pulled out some new tricks, set the crowd into a frenzy. He performed a flurry of tricks including an X-up on the vert wall, a no-handed 360, and an amazing one-footed X-up backflip that lead to a final score of 92.9 and yet another gold medal. "My first run went exactly how I wanted," Mirra said. "That one-footed X-up back flip, I was pretty psyched about landing that one." In his second run, despite coming close to crashing on a 360 transfer, Mirra continued to dazzle the crowd. He managed to land a tailwhip 360, a truckdriver and a no-handed to no-footed back flip. But afterwards, he was still psyched about his first-round performance. "That first run, I couldn't top it again if I tried," he says.
1st place vert. Someday, someone else beside Dave Mirra will win X Games gold in bicycle vert. It just won't be in the 90's. Mirra closed out the decade the way Matt Hoffman started it, which seemed only appropriate since Hoffman was Tuesday night's competition. Connecting tricks flawlessly as only he can, Mirra won his third straight X Games vert title and eighth gold medal overall. Mirra has won four straight street golds and combined with Dennis McCoy to win last year's X Games vert doubles. Mirra earned an average score of 91.90 and twice landed his trademark spinning flair toward the end of his runs. His only noticeable flaw came on a high-risk backflip nobody was able to land to end his first run. Mirra over-rotated the trick just a bit and tumbled to the bottom of the halfpipe unharmed. His second run was flawless. Mirra started the run with one-handed, no-handed and X-out aerials. He then did a few bar-spin moves before launching into a 540 X-out. Then came Mirra's work on the coping -- both front-side and back-side -- before pulling out a tail whip and another flair to end his run. "I didn't feel like I rode my best, but I guess the judges did, so I'm happy," Mirra said. "I guess I shouldn't stress out so much and just ride my best and try not to worry so much about competition. It's just natural, as a human, when you are in a contest like this you have to do in that minute-thirty, you don't have another chance, you can't take another run. You got to do it." Consistency counted at the end, as Mirra won in part to his two runs over 90.
Gravity games street gold medal.
THE LATE SHOW.
Dave Mirra appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman Monday, July 19th, 1999.
Dave: Being on Letterman was just a whole other level. Just the fact that he has one of the most important talk shows and is so popular. It was crazy, it felt as good as winning the X-Games!
Dave Mirra signed a deal with Imperial Toy company and will have a six-inch action figure modeled after him.
Dave Mirra at the X-Trials in Virginia on the cover of Chase magazine #3 autumn 1999. Photo by Josh Root.
RIDE BMX US COVER.
Superman seatgrab during the '99 X-Games on the cover of Ride BMX US november 1999.
Dave Mirra bubble gum come out in april and cereal coming out in june.
10th place stuntmen dirt @ 2000 CFB ound 3, july 6-9, 2000, Woodward, PA.
1st place vert and 14th place street @ 2000 Gravity Games, july 18-23, 2000, Providence, RI. Dave Mirra seemed pretty determined that tonight was his night while somehow appearing relaxed and laid back at the same time. His first trick was a massively carved superman seat grab Indian air followed by a stretched no hander, a no foot can can and a perfect one handed tailwhip. After more fast and flowing tricks he ended his run with back to back flairs, trading in the ball and chain for a gold medal.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX for the PlayStation® game console hit retailers on september 14th, 2000.
FOX Expendable 2 video.
Almost all the footage of Dave Mirra is from the various ESPN/BS comps.
In 2000, Mirra was one of two alternative sports athletes to be recognized as a notable sports icon in all of mainstream sports with his media exposure alone reaching an approximate $2.5 million value.
Mirra left Adidas and signed a 3 years deal with DC.
Mark Losey, www.ridebmx.com: When I was in Greenville years ago Dave Mirra said he wanted to tailtap a ladder on top of his vert ramp. Nothing came of it for a while, but when I was in town for the Greenville scene report in issue 58, he had a ladder nailed to the top of the ramp and was ready to get it done. The ladder was super-wobbly, so Allan Cooke volunteered to help brace it. After trying the trick a few times and eating shit super-hard, Dave said he wasn't sure if he could pull it off, but it wasn't long before he nailed it. Usually a tailtap wouldn't scare a rider like Dave, but when the trick requires an eight-foot set-up air on a 12-foot vert ramp, it's a different story. After he pulled the trick he was so psyched that he threw his bike off the ramp, and came within a few feet of taking out his girlfriend.
6th place park @ 2001 X-Games, august 17-23, 2001, Philadelphia, PA. Five-time Park champion Dave Mirra was going big but after casing two double backflips attempts, he finished sixth. In his final run, he went for a no-handed 360 and then came up short on his second Double Backflip attempt of the Games.
1st place vert. Not having the best luck in street, Dave Mirra made things work for him here in vert. Simply put, Dave is just incredible on the vert ramp. He uses every inch of it. Put in a no-handed 540, flairs both ways, big opposite airs, tailwhips, no-footed can-can to tailwhip, bar spin to no-hander and so many other rad things you'll get a gold medal winner. And that's exactly what we got, Dave Mirra won vert.
MIRACLE BOY AND NYQUIST.
Dog on a bike Miracle Boy and Nyquist video.
DAVE MIRRA'S SUPER TOUR.
Mark Losey, www.ridebmx.com: The night before the Dave Mirra Super Tour started, Ryan Nyquist's ramp saw one of the most incredible sessions ever. Dave, Nyquist, Osato, Darden, McCoy, Mackay, Laird-so many people were going nuts. The highlight, however, had to be Mirra doing a giant carving alley-oop 360 over the spine while Ryan did a double-peg over and back on the spine underneath them.
Dog on a bike Miracle Boy and Nyquist video trailer.
|2002||ROAD FOOLS 9.
Props Road Fools 9 starting january 4th, 2002 from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tout au long de la vidéo Mirra et Moliterno qui se connaissent depuis des milliards d'années se fightent serieux à coup de tricks mais aussi en vrai. C'est vrai que l'alcool aidant, ça devient vite de la boucherie, et Mirra n'a pas risqué sa vie uniquement sur son vélo, sa sortie bourré sans casque du bus Props un peu aidé par Moliterno est un grand moment.. En vélo ça va pour lui merci: au park Primo, Dave ne trouve rien de mieux pour s'échauffer qu'un fufanu sur la rambarde du sub box, un peu violent comme étirement...
BMX PLUS! COVER.
Icepick on the cover of BMX Plus! march 2002.
RIDE BMX US COVER.
360 tailwhip over a spine on the cover of Ride BMX US june 2002.
FOX Expendable 3 video.
1st place park and 2nd place vert @ 2002 Gravity Games, july 27-august 4, 2002, Cleveland Ohio
On park, Dave Mirra put in an outstanding last run to take first place in the final Gravity Games event. With a storm blowing in, Mirra kicked into high gear and proved he still has what it takes to bring home a gold medal. Sitting in fourth place going into his last run, Mirra set the tone by opening with a 720. From there the show continued: tailwhip 360, tailwhip 180 to revert to a Decade air. Mirra ended his run with a victory lap and went for a 540 blindside tire-tap on the wall.
Dave Mirra, www.fatbmx.com, 2003: I've been doing a lot of opposite stuff. I try to go as big as I possibly can with the opposite stuff. If nobody else does it that's fine, it's really fun to me, it's a total change of riding and it's interesting.
Dave Mirra vient de resigner chez Haro jusqu'en 2005. Les termes financiers du contrat n'ont pas été révélés.
2nd place vert and 3rd place park @ 2003 X-Games, august 14-18, 2003, Los Angeles, CA.
October 2003: Dave has just been awarded the NORA Cup Ramp Rider of The Year. That is the third year in a row for Dave and he had this to say, "I'm really psyched to win this award again. Awards like this let me know that my riding gets appreciated by a lot of people and that makes me feel really good." Congratulations Dave!
Mirra Images: Dave Mirra's book.
Dave Mirra celebrated his 30th birthday recently with what he thought would be a calm dinner with family and a couple of friends. After a friend arranged a birthday party with Mirra and some of his friends on April 3, the BMX champ had little reason to believe the rumors he had heard about a surprise party in his honor. A quiet dinner at Chefs 505 was supposed to be the plan for the following night which was actually Mirra's birthday. Afterward, though, he was blindfolded and taken to Mesh Cafe where he was greeted at the door by more than 100 friends and family from around the country who had made the trip to wish the Miracle Boy a happy birthday. Dennis McCoy attended with a few other old favorites from the sport, such as Gary Pollack and Joe Johnson. Mirra used to emulate McCoy's style on and off the bike when he was first starting out and the two have since become good friends.
Most of the local pros attended the party also. Among the faces in the crowd were Ryan Nyquist, Scott Wirch, Mike Mancuso, Allan Cooke, Jeremy Fanberg, Josh Harrington, Rob Darden, Steven Lilley and Dave's brother, Tim Mirra. Guests were treated to a full bar and an extensive spread of great food that included a birthday cake for Mirra. Parmalee, a local favorite, entertained the crowd with live music.
Dave is living in Greenville with Jennifer, his girlfriend of five years, and their two cats, J.J. and Simba.
COVER OF RIDE BMX UK.
Dave Mirra pulling a large wall tap over friends on the cover of Ride BMX UK #76, may 2004. Interview.
Double gold at X Games X, august 4th-8th, 2004, Los Angeles, CA.
Mirra, who took golds in Bike Stunt Park and Bike Stunt Vert, became the most decorated athlete in the history of the X Games with 18 medals in his collection. His 13 gold medals are also more than that of any other athlete in the history of the games.
Dave Mirra: I was psyched to win the golds because I wasn't really sure what to expect this year. In Vert I thought it was Jamie's contest to lose, and I had Ryan winning in Street so I just said I would go out and try some things I've been working on and fortunately it worked out for me.
Dave broke a bone in his hand during LG Action Sports Championships in Pomona, California. The injury, which is expected to keep Mirra off his bike for approximately six weeks, occurred during his first run of the Bike Stunt Street contest at the event. The first and only run for Mirra in Pomona didn't take too long, as he performed a whip transfer and launched into a big flair after bombing onto the course. He found himself too far over the deck during the flair, however, and crashed, falling to the ground and breaking his hand. The injury prevented Mirra from doing a second run, which dropped him to 10th in the contest.
I've just got a broken bone in my hand, but I'm really doing great other than that. It is kind of disappointing that there's no way that I'll be able to compete at Gravity. I'm kind of bummed but at least I had X Games and I did well there," Mirra said. "That and Gravity are your two biggest events so I'm glad I was able to do what I did at X. Now I'm just going to put the bike up for a little while and enjoy myself doing other things.
|2005||FOX Drama video.
7th place vert @ 2005 X-Games, August 4th - 7th, 2005, Los Angeles, CA.
Mirra showed up blingin' with a 24k gold-plated bike that looked pretty damn cool. He did everything was he was supposed to do (both ways), until he was setting himself up for something big... where he crossed the channel and simply went down... landed awkward and the gold handlebars stuck him straight in the chest... he was out. He was out ? That was it for Mirra...
1st place park. Before dropping in for his first run, Mirra had not even taken a full run on the course. He was taking it easy after suffering a concussion in Vert on Thursday. "I had no run planned," said Mirra. "I hadn't even looked at the course until a half hour before the contest." He dropped in and delivered a stunner. His 24-karat-gold bike gleaming in the California sun, Mirra demonstrated precisely why he is the reigning Park champ. Big transfers and creative lines like his 360 tailwhip backward over the box jump straight into standard incredible Mirra moves like a big flair on the quarter to a double tailwhip on the box to a flipwhip over the spine sealed him a score of 89.33 points. "I had no expectations," said Mirra. "I planned that run in my head. I hadn't even had the chance to ride the course. I can't believe that nobody beat my first run because there were some solid second runs. I'll take it, though. After what happened in Vert the other day, I'm happy."
Press release, Jan 02, 2006 Carlsbad, CA.: Jim Ford, former President and CEO of Haro Bicycle Corporation announced today that he has joined MirraCo, a newly formed company created by Dave Mirra, BMX freestyles most accomplished athlete as well as its most recognized personality. Ford will retain his previous title of President and CEO as well a significant ownership position in the new company. Mirras ten plus years with Haro will conclude on December 31st. In describing the situation, Mirra had this to say, I had originally intended to finish my career with Haro, but considering how far apart we were in negotiating a new deal, I figured I could do better on my own. Mirra did however acknowledge that his career with Haro was both fun and rewarding and that he intends to honor his contractual commitments with the company through the end of the year. Dave is an incredible athlete, but Ive also learned he is quite a salesman commented Ford. He was relentless in his efforts to get me involved in his new venture once I left Haro, despite the concerns I had with starting from scratch with a new company. Ironically, after playing key roles in making Haro the dominant brand in the BMX/Freestyle segment of the market, Mirra and Fords new company will be the industrys newest rider-owned brand trying to chip away at Haros significant market share. Im looking forward to some aggressive but friendly competition with our friends at Haro. It will certainly be challenging given Haros dominance in the category, but the times I enjoyed the most during my career at Haro were when we were the underdog fighting to grow the business. This will be a lot of fun and Im looking forward to it stated Ford. Theres a lot work to do in short period of time, but the company intends to have bikes in shops by early summer. Details of the companys plans for sales and distribution were not available at the time of this release, but Ford did indicate that the company will be based in Carlsbad and the process of hiring a Product Manager, Art Director, and other key positions will begin immediately.
Dave married Lauren Blackwell on February 18th in Napa California. Congratulations to Dave and Lauren Mirra!
2006 X-Games, August 3-6, 2006, Los Angeles, CA.
BMX rider Dave Mirra, the most decorated athlete in X Games history, lacerated his liver during practice and missed the event.
Dave and Lauren welcomed their first child Madison Michael Mirra in September 2006.
Dave Mirra Secret Warehouse Session. Craziness!
10th place pro park @ FISE 2007, Montpellier, France, may 16-20, 2007.
Dave Mirra, www.mirrabikeco.com, may 2007: The fise contest this year was amazing. Not only was the riding just ridiculous but the crowd was the enormous. The event was held on the water while all the people sat on the river banks that were like 25 ft. tall overlooking the ramps. Did I mention there were thousands of screaming fans? Words cant really explain the energy in Montpellier this weekend. Every event was slammed packed with fans and the level of riding just blew my mind. Mark Webb, Ben Wallace, Daniel Dhers, Ben Hennon, Mike Spinner, Mike Miller, Mike Laird, Alessandro, and many more were the stars of the show. Sometimes too much traveling can really burn you out and before I got to France I was like man if I could stay home this weekend Id be psyched. Well, in the end I am so glad I got to witness what went down at Fise 07 and the crowd was just unbelievable. The support for bmx was amazing. Looking back, I wouldnt miss it for anything and I recommend making it to France in 08.
www.mirrabikeco.com: There is a new BMX magazine in town: Session. The premiere issue came just off the press and features Dave Mirra on the cover riding at his private warehouse in Greenville. Team rider Ryan Guettler shot the photo
Adam, thecomeupbmx.net, january 2012: Mirra doesnt really ride BMX that much anymore from what I can tell, so you probably could have seen this one coming.