Possibly the best birthday present a nine year old could ever get was in the cards for Mike Day in 1993, when he gated up for the first time at Valencia BMX Raceway in Southern California. Mike was pointed toward BMX racing by his older brother, and quickly showed signs of being a “natural.”
Almost right away, Mike hit the road on the ABA and NBL national circuit, as well as becoming part of Burlin Harris’ traveling BMX Supercamp tour. Mike has some great memories of those days, showing campers the best lines and gate-to-stripe savvy, alongside his buddy, Bubba Harris.
Mike turned pro in 2002, while the ink was still drying on his high school diploma, and hit the overall podium for the NBL series that year. His tenth year in the sport, 2003, saw him in the X Games Downhill BMX main event, a precursor to modern-day BMX Supercross. Mike crossed the line in third at the Games, earning a bronze medal.
In 2005, the NBL pro series had Mike’s name on it, as he took the overall series title that year, and started making the moves that would ultimately bring him to Chula Vista.
The season-opener ABA Silver Dollar Nationals in Reno of 2007 would see Mike in GT/Red Bull colors for the first time. All the while, Mike was riding “365,” teaching clinics and developing experience coaching amateurs during the week, and beating fellow pros on race day.
On June 14, 2008 the entire BMX universe huddled near cell phones of friends, or waited for the grapevine-word of who won the very first US Olympic BMX trials (Facebook and Twitter were nonexistant in BMX circles at the time). Mike Day was the winning name being shouted over thousands of cell phones that Saturday afternoon, and in national headlines for days to come.
Mike showed up in Beijing ready to race, turning the fastest time in the August 20 qualifying round, ultimately making it through to the final on August 22, 2008, where he placed second and earned his Silver Medal.
After Beijing, 2008 wasn’t quite done with Mike Day just yet. He would go on to win the 2008 Ride BMX NORA Cup Racer Award (an honor he also won in 2005), as well as the ABA Golden Crank Award for Racer of the Year.
Mike punched the pause button on his racing career in 2010 to have back surgery—a proceedure that would take 18 months to fully heal.
In July of 2012, Mike became a partner in GSX Events, Inc– the company that promotes the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series. Mike’s was celebrated as a “strong advocate and spokesperson for BMX with a genuine passion for the sport,” in a GSX press release announcing his partnership.
Today, Mike maintains both a 20″ and a 26″ GT in his stable of race rides–most recently racing the 2014 Sea Otter Classic on the 26, and prepping his 20″ for a return to the USA BMX series in Salt Lake City this June.
The MDay365 training philosophy that brought him from his first local race in 1993 to co-found Pedals 2 Medals with Donny Robinson tells it straight:
“Everyone wants to hold up trophies or medals and stand on podiums, but real athletes think about the process it takes to get there instead of daydreaming about when it will happen. The hard work required to get to the top isn’t for everyone, and that’s why only a select few are champions. Enjoy the process.”
Trivia: Mike’s first race in 1993 was on a GT Interceptor. His current GT Speed Series Carbon is a 20-year-distant cousin of that model.