Sixteen years, 23 broken bones and countless world tours.
Steve Mini’s Nitro Circus journey has been a wild one.
His professional career officially started back in 2003 but Steve first jumped on a bike 30 years ago at his parent’s place just outside Mudgee.
Today, Steve’s gearing up for his last Nitro Circus tour around the US, before competing in the first Sydney-based X Games since 2003, set to run between October 19-21.
But 2018 hasn’t been smooth sailing for Mini as he’s been recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained performing for Nitro Circus in May.
“Three shows into the tour I crashed and pushed the humerus bone into the socket,” he said.
“I tore the rotator cuff but ended up getting away without having surgery. If I had the surgery, I wouldn’t be riding until next year.”
“I was about ready to retire and then got an invite to the X Games so that’s got me off the couch and back into training."
Steve leaves for America in two weeks for a ten-show tour, before flying home from Denver just five days out from his first day at the X Games where he’ll compete in the best whip competition.
While practicing at his parent’s property is beneficial, there’s no better way to get ready for a competition and get your confidence back than a few weeks of Nitro Circus touring.
“It’s the best practice I can have. I’ll be on the bike non stop for three weeks,” he said.
“I’ve been taking my time getting the shoulder better. It takes a while to get your confidence back.
The thing with doing freestyle motocross is most of it’s in your head. If you don’t have the confidence it messes with your head a lot.
I’ve been on the bike a fair bit and the more time you’re on the bike, the better it gets.”
At 35, Mini’s close to hanging up the boots and feels like the upcoming X Games tour is a last hurrah of sorts.
“It’ll definitely be my last competition. I’ve had a good run.” he said.
“I want to get out why while my head and body still works a little bit.
“I’m lucky to be able to say that I’ve done it for a job and had dirt bikes take me all over the world.”
“Next year I’ll do a few Nitro shows here and there. I’ve got a family now kids so it’s a bit hard being away months at a time.”
He might be getting off the bike, but you can’t keep Steve away from motorbikes and the Nitro Circus phenomenon. He’s already been offered a job as an athlete manager for the company and plans to transition into the role as soon as he retires.
“When I got injured I got offered a job as athlete manager for Nitro Circus so it’s working from home and heading to the head office in America every five or six weeks,” he said.
“We’re working full-time on a Vegas show and I’m in charge of organising that. It’s due to start in May. I love being in Mudgee so getting to work from home will be good.”