Travis Pastrana has been busy lately, jumping between Global Rallycross, the Red Bull Straight Rhythm, a launch of the new season of the Nitro Circus TV season. But that's not all. Earlier this week, he was also involved in the announcement of the Nitro Circus Live Tour (you can see more of that here), and he scored a part (with Doug Henry) in the new On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter.

We got a chance to chat with him about all this stuff, and he was as entertaining as usual.

Travis Pastrana. Photo: Michael Lindsay.

You're really doing this? Nitro Circus Live is happening again?

Yeah. The schedule is definitely growing. The rider roster's growing, the stunts, everything. giant ramps, we got front-flip kickers, we've got all kinds of stuff going in. It's getting cool.

What's new this year and what can people expect?


The scary part, and also the beauty behind Nitro, is that there's never a show that's the same. A lot of stuff we'll never try again and a lot of stuff we'll continue to try until perfected, and then once it's perfected… It's a group that loves to challenge themselves. So once something has been done, you don't really see that a lot more. We're always working on ramps, working on different stuff. For me personally, it's just continually building the ramps bigger, gnarlier, but also safer so we can try even crazier things. Honestly the warmup is the X Games final runs because we can change the lips and everything and the landings to exactly what these guys need to do stuff that you can't do in a normal setup.

With all that craziness that you have going on, how do you guys make it through a tour?


That is a great question. Get you tickets early, come to the early shows. (Laughs) What's really neat is with 50 something athletes on the tour, everybody pushes, but we have a great crew. I hate to say it this way but they're durable and they know how to crash. If you're in action sports and you get to the top, you know how to fall. It's tough because when we first did it I think there were 12 shows our first year, and we were like, how are we going to do 12? This is just ridiculous. And we had a few injuries, but now I think the biggest thing is working on the safety of the landings and the pads. We throw a lot of pads down and throw a lot of resis down. You still ride out of it. It's still the same trick. It still hurts, but you generally don't get broken off, so you live to fight another day kind of deal.

Travis Pastrana missed out on the premiere, but got to watch the movie on DVD. Photo: Michael Lindsay.

We missed you at the On Any Sunday premiere. Tell me about your part in there. That looked like a dream gig riding with Doug and being able to have some fun with him.

I tell you what, that was so cool. I just had the surgery on my ankle but I was like, dude, if Doug Henry's paralyzed and riding I kind of got to ride. He's one of the guys I've looked up to most of my life, and still continue to look up to. He comes up to the house, and he's seat belted in, he's got a roll cage behind him. I'm like, "You need to lean back, you need your weight off the back or you can't do a backflip." You can try it but you're not going to make it. Doug's like, "No, I got this." Second try he comes right around. Then he's like, "Hey, that's a front flip ramp over there, huh?" I'm like, "Yeah you can probably do it if you hit it…" And before I could even say that he was geared up and coming towards it. I'm like, "Hold up, look at how this works." He's like, "Well, will it work?" I was like, "Yeah." He's like, how fast? Second gear, fairly hard on it." He says, "Perfect, that's all I need." And he just hit it. I was like, man! The confidence in that guy is just something that I admire and respect and try to have half of what he does. How did you react after your big injury? He said, which one? And for me that was funny because being paralyzed wasn't more of an injury than breaking an ankle or breaking a wrist. He's like, we just found a way to get back on the bike. It took a little longer, but we did it.

Travis Pastrana's RM-Zilla (500cc two-stroke in a modern frame).

You've had a lot more two-wheel stuff going on lately. Mountain bikes, the RM-Zilla. You changed up your program a bunch.

This year's been a lot of fun, with Addy and Lyn-Z. Honestly the touring is where I can spend the most time with my family. I just basically said, "Look, I want to be home as much as possible or on tour or with them as much as I can, and if it's not something that they're actively involved in I want it to be really fun." I always wanted to go up to Crankworks and I always wanted to do the Mint 400, just some one-off events that, yeah, we were a little underprepared. Like the Straight Rhythm, I'm like, "Dude, I got to run that." Everyone gave me crap. They were like, "You've got to ride a four-stroke," ha ha! I was like, "No I don't. Watch me!" I tell you what, that 500 got up and went on the whoops. I haven't been riding a lot recently and to get back on the whoops in fourth gear on the 500, I was like, "Holy crap, we're going to die!" (Laughs) But it was cool.

The RM-Zilla was a handfull through the whoops.

Are we going to see that bike again or was that a one-off thing?

No, that was a one-off deal. Everyone's like, "You're coming back to motocross!" I'm like, "No, no. I never said I was retired, but I'm definitely no further out of retirement than I was." If anything, that event was so great because as injured as I am corners are actually what I have the hardest time with because my knees. With ACL or PCL in my knee and ankles are kind of shot so I can't really do ruts well without hurting my ankles, and I can't do turns without kind of blowing out my knee. And you don't have to be in great shape. Everyone's like, "Just do a one-off, do the Monster Cup, or do this." I'm like, "Dude, it takes four months of die-hard dedication." It's awesome; that's what makes motocross such a great sport. But I don't have four months. I would not stay healthy through the training to get there. And honestly these guys are so much quicker. I don't feel like I'm much slower than I was in 2003 but they're a lot faster. I didn't know how to scrub. (Laughs) There's a whole new era of quick that I don't have. But I love riding motorcycles, like On Any Sunday. The feeling of riding, I'll never stop riding a dirt bike.

Travis? Scrub?

Is there anything else we need to know for Nitro Circus Live? Where to get tickets?

Nitro Live, we just announced 14 stops in the US, and we're going to have 25 more stops here in the US shortly when we get everything worked. This tour, I've just been like, "How many people will like us, how many people really enjoy this?" No matter where we go and no matter what language… It's always evolving, but it's one that you have to see… everyone says that, "You've got to see it to believe it." It's not an act. There's new stuff all the time. But tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com. We're going to be in a lot of cities in the US so it should be pretty cool.

Are you hitting some new venues this time around?

It was awesome because in Florida, like half of our requests came in like, why aren't you in Florida? I grew up in a trailer park in Brooksville, so I've spent most of my life in Florida and Georgia. Everybody's down there, from Villopoto to Reed to Millsaps. It's been pretty cool. Ezra Lusk, we always rode with him and Carmichael was down there. So I'm excited. We got the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. We've never tried a stadium bigger than 40,000 people and this one holds double that. So, get your tickets.

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