Shot by Nick Luvaul
Miles called me up one day last summer, and told me that he wanted to come up to NYC and shred. He asked me if he could stay at my crib and if I would be down with helping him snag clips. Id seen some of his edits and knew that he had his own thing going on, so I figured it would be sick to see what he would get down on when let loose in the jungle. Miles is still one of the younger dudes out there so of course I spoke with his pops and we got everything organized for him to get up here and cruise. After a day of hanging with him I knew that he would be a good dude to add to the family. After three days Miles had succeeded in getting completely loose on New York, becoming one of the newest Blood Fam members, as well as a solid friend of mine.
My name is Miles Mathia and I am seventeen years old I am from Shawnee Kansas, and currently living in Gainesville Florida.
What got you into this mess of fixed bikes, and how long have you been cruising?
When I was a young gun at the age of five my older brother influenced me with his bmx riding and since then I have not stopped pedaling bikes. At age of fourteen I used a road bike for transportation until I struck a vehicle the summer of 09. After my bike looked worse than some abstract art i built my friends old Schwinn frame up to some janky wheel set and some way too short riser bars, but getting loose and breaking parts was like a nightly thing. Here I am now after this short time of tremendous influence of fixed gear riding and its evolution.
You mess around with a lot of things surrounding “extreme sports”. Didn’t some skate shop or something back in Florida sponsor you? Do you still get loose on the deck every now and then?
I still surf and skate and ride bmx from time to time but my main focus is riding fixed gear and filming for my sponsors. When I was thirteen I rode skateboards just as serious as I ride bikes now and actually skated for a local shop called fluid, but after the owner parted with his shop my support in skating died off and my close friends gave it up but I never let myself take skating out of my life.
What was your first impression of NYC?
When I came to New York to stay with Torey for a few days the size and density of the city blew my mind. I never thought such a tightly packed city could run a smooth as I saw it. The spots that Torey took me to and the riders he introduced me to are some of my most influential, being introduced to the same bmx riders growing up and watching like "worm", and Edwin Delarosa, the owner of post bmx, made me feel like my efforts to push forward in riding was worth it. My few days there seemed like a vacation cruise you don’t forget, or some vivid dream you have. When you realize how small you are in the whole aspect of population its kind of eye opening to the opportunities that we have in life, so thank you Torey.
I remember going with you to this skater kids house in Williamsburg that you knew from Florida, when you were up here. It funny when we got there and all the dudes were so much older than you. Did you always grow up hanging with kids that were older? Do you think that has something to do with how you go about shredding today? Does age even fucking matter? Hahhaa.
When it comes to me skating I was one of the youngest around in Gainesville, but the older guys didn’t give me crap for being young, I think they were more worried about the progression. In my opinion it does not take a certain age to shred but it does take a certain age for some to realize the amount of time and dedication involved with getting better. An open mind allows anyone to create their goals and for my hommies back at the shop there minds were beyond open. So thanks Tyler D. Harry Smith, Bryan Reynolds, Dante Debose, Phil Hajal, Ol Dirty Al and the rest of the Gainesville crew.
Tell me one of the craziest stories that you can remember growing up.
One of the craziest stories I can remember as a kid was watching my brother huck himself off his buddies roof with some crazy heavy bmx bike, and managing not to break himself in two. After that day I realized riding could be anything that I wanted it to be, and seeing my fifteen year older brother getting gnar inspired me to do the same. For years i have looked back on that day and thought how crazy riding like his has been evolving also. Pretty nuts.
How is it living /growing up in Gainseville? Although the weather everywhere has been a little more chilly than usual, im guessing that you still get to ride more than a lot of people do in the wintertime up this way?
The weather in Florida is always perfect, being used to the snow in Kansas I never found it hard to get out and ride in Gainesville because of the covered spots and how close everything is to my house. I guess you could say I embrace this beautiful Florida weather and use it to my advantage despite me snapping both my wrist within the last year.
Who do you usually shred with locally?
Most kids who ride fixed in town are more into the coffee shop kind of scene and really just use their bikes as transportation but some of my close friends have been pushing their skill to higher levels of fixed freestyle, but like I said, an open mind is a hard thing to have these days.
So, I remember you telling me that you are really into math. Do you make really solid grades and stuff, and are you planning on focusing on math after high school?
My mathematical direction in school has helped me develop a common understanding of mechanics and geometry, and with my biking involved I have been coming up with dream specs for future bikes. I put my knowledge of those aspects towards riding and developing frames so I almost feel like I slid into place of applying math to my future.
You have a way humble attitude unlike a lot of riders with a skill level similar to your own. Have you always been pretty laid back in that sense, and what do you think about mouthy dudes who know/think they are way sick wit it?
Similarly I have noticed that you are really thankful for whatever you get. I remember you telling me that you had been riding the same pair of Burro straps for months and that they were completely falling apart, but you didn’t really want to get anything else due to the fact that you were sort of on flow for those dudes. Also until recently you were rocking the same Vamp Glider T that I gave you this summer, since I hadn’t gotten around to hooking you up with your full package, yet you still rep WRAHW like you were born with it. What makes you so stoked on some of the simplest things that a lot of riders often overlook?
I have been raised by great parents who have taught me to appreciate what I have and to be really understanding of people’s life situations. One thing I do not understand about cocky people in general is why they think their smudged attitude is going to get them anywhere. Riding is riding whether it be on the weekends or a few days a month. I respect riders because of their passion to advance, and when it comes to being a representative of a company, a totally grounded person is going to view their contributions as a gift, as a chance to feel completely average with an even excessive passion. Torey tells me I’m a humble guy and I appreciate that because he is a completely average guy extending his gratitude to another. I love feeling productive in the fixed gear freestyle industry but the truth is I am just another rider. As far as my appreciation goes for WRAHW I feel like these are honest people doing WRAHW things, and I am grateful that I was considered to be sworn into this humble family.
I remember you getting bummed out after that lady kicked us out of Battery Park at that 9 stair. You started getting way down on yourself, and then we found that sick gap in Chinatown. Do you gets bummed out often when you are filming or does it just depend on the situation?
I get bummed when I feel my timidness has interfered with my riding. That day at the park I felt the need to go out and shred as hard as I could because I had never experienced such an opportunity to ride with the people I respect and look up to; not to mention the desire to stack clips within my last few hours in New York while riding.
You were laying low on the food when you were up here, im guessing due to your excitement. What’s your favorite food and drink, to partake in digesting?
My favorite food in the world is cereal, I could be coo coo for coco puffs or crazy for honey combs for all I know, but the last day we ate at that china take out place and to tell you the truth that was one of the most comforting meals I had while being in New York.
I don’t really know what music you listen to, haha. What are you into lately Miles?
My musical taste ranges from 90's hip hop to heavy metal to folk music to dub step, but my favorite thing to listen to while I ride is the instrumentals of the band flying lotus. It mixes experimental voice loops and subtle jazz and hip hop beats to compose some of my favorite tunes, but as far as music goes I am open to anyone’s creativity.
You working on any new video projects or edits besides filming for the WRAHW video?
I recently started to just collect any and every clip of footage I get to kind of build up some diversity in my riding, I film as much as I can and just assume that I will use the footage. As long as I don’t sit on the footage feeling satisfied with myself I will normally go out again and again to keep getting sicker footage.
You have a decently large trick vocabulary and you only did a few grinds in your WRAHW edit, although it would have been sick even if they weren’t there. What are your thoughts on pegs and obsessive grinding? Are you going to rock pegs anytime soon?
My bike riding style is a convoluted mess of integrating carefree style of my riding to show other viewers and riders my progression as it progresses. I contemplated riding pegs for the longest time but I also see the creative nature of riding pegless. I tried a hand rail without pegs thinking my bike would glide down the rail but I was pitched over the bars while stuck in my straps and landed face first, so recently my grinding tricks are more about big ledges or weird spots that uses the creativity of the most simple bike to express a new form of riding.
It’s always cool to see people riding new terrain thats out of their norm. Are you going to be traveling more this up and coming summer?
Hopefully with me finishing up my last year high school will allow me to travel more frequently than in the past, but who knows what lies ahead.
What other supporters are you working with these days my man? You got any shout outs?
I want to give a big shout out to my sponsor and homie Alexis Dold from Villin cycle works who helped me so greatly within the last two years, WRAHW family, Velocity rims with their great support, the hommies at Burro for doing it themselves, Paul and the crew at bikes and more, and Neil Westfall and Nicholas Lavaul from elevated engineering with all their efforts to help me in life. Thanks to all the Gainesville goons, and my overly supportive family. I could not think of words to explain my appreciation and respect for all these people. Thank you.