The BMX Mania Interview With Mongoose Bikes, Pro Legend

Eric "Big Daddy" Rupe

Posted, October 18, 1998

Editor's Note - This interview has been a little long in getting posted. The content is relevant, but since this interview, Mongoose has let AA Pro, Robert McPherson go and hired Craig Reynolds. Eric is still with the team, so what he has to say here is still happenin'.

BMX Mania - So what's up with Mongoose racing these days?

Eric - We're sponsoring a good majority of the ABA Nationals this year. Mongoose really wanted to go big this year, we have Brunswick behind us, they're a good company, they just want to bring Mongoose to another level. They want to reach more kids, we're doing a lot of advertising, we have some TV commercials out, lots of ads in the BMX magazines, they're pushing really big.

BMX Mania - And they think that you're the man to take em to the next level, huh?

Eric - Well, between myself, Robert McPherson and Fuzzy Hall, I think that we can do it. Robert and I have been winning at the races and Fuzzy is doing really well at the jumping contests. We've got good products out there, Mongoose has the '98 bike line that is just fantastic. I have the 24 inch SGX that I've been riding all year, that thing is just fantastic. On my 20 inch, I'm riding a Robert McPherson signature bike, and that thing's working really good, and Fuzzy's got his own signature jump bike, so we have good product. Everything's working good.

BMX Mania - What's up with you personally on a racing level, have you been training real hard?

Eric - Well, fortunately, I've had the good fortune to have the time to train real hard, so I have been. I have been doing really good since my accident last year, I've had the chance to train and that's helped me a lot. And then you know, the better you do, your confidence goes up and the better you do! Right now, I'm doing really well so things keep on going well.

BMX Mania - You're ruling the Vet Pro class, does that get you psyched for other classes that you race?

Eric - Definitely, I've won 24 out of the last 26 Vet Pro races, so, a lot of people think that it's easy, but it's not. Just because I'm winning a lot doesn't mean that it's easy. The guys in that class are fast, I respect them all. I'm just so focused on winning that class right now, if any of the other guys want it as bad as I do, they can catch up to where I'm at, but, I want it pretty bad, so that's why I'm at where I'm at.

BMX Mania - And then you go out there and mix it up in the Pro Cruiser and A Pro classes, what's up with that?

Eric - I've won some Pro Cruiser races, and I'm right there in the hunt for the title, so it's been going pretty well, and that's what I really get motivated and psyched for.

BMX Mania - That's right, you're racing guys in Pro Cruiser who are racing AA Pro.

Eric - Yep, and I'm running right with em. It feels good to be ahead of em, let alone finish ahead of them. When I'm training and stuff, that's what I'm training for, Pro Cruiser. And every once in a while, if there's not enough for a Vet Pro class, I get out there and race A Pro, and I've been doing pretty well. Yesterday, I had the A Pro class in the bag and going into the last turn, I got passed by Chad Street, and still could have won, but old Goodman passed us both in the last straight.

BMX Mania - Yea, you're racing guys who are almost half your age!

Eric - That's right, Goodman is 17 and I'm 35, so, (laughter) we're out there mixing it up, and that's a lot of fun. And that's important, because it's hard to stay motivated and still have fun after all of these years. Next year will be my 25th anniversary of BMX racing, and I still have fun and still have the motivation to train, and as long as it's still fun and I can still do it, I'll be out here.

BMX Mania - What are your suggestions for young riders?

Eric - I believe I have, the uh, the uh.....

BMX Mania - The Thing!

Eric - The answer, the thing, the uh.....

BMX Mania - Yea, that uh, you know.....(Lots of laughter)

Eric - The Serum! For Success! Whew! Anyway, you have to keep your priorities in line, and you can't make winning races the only thing, it's great and all, but it's better to have fun, it's better to be thankful to be out here and be appreciative of the people who helped you get here and help you stay here.

BMX Mania - Well, thanks for the words, Eric, keep up the good work, and we'll see you at the races.

Eric - Thank you, Jerry.

Posted, October 18, 1998