Jake Whitney - Wilde BMX Ambassador Q&A
My name is Jake Whitney, I started today with my usual coffee, some eggs of some kind, and a whoopie pie…….what can I say?! They’re awesome! Anyway, I was born in Chicago, IL, and started riding BMX when I was just under 4 years old. Then moved to Milwaukee when I was around 9. From then on, riding never stopped. It became who I was, when asked if I played any sports, “I rode BMX”, what do I do in my free time, “I ride BMX”. I’ve met so many great people and learned so much from joining the BMX world, and I’m so happy I did.
Aside from BMX, in my other free time, I enjoy fitness of many kinds, cooking, and riding my bike some more, haha! I do love to travel and it’s something I look forward to doing more of in the future, overall I just love having fun!!!
Q1: If you had to choose 3 life essentials, what would they be?
A: My bike, my dog, my helmet! Wait, do I need to count pants too? Ahh I’ll take the bike instead!
Q2: How did you get started with BMX?
A: I was actually only 3 years old when I saw my neighbors riding their BMX bikes outside, that was when I told my mom “I wanna do that”. She told me I had to learn how to ride a bike. So I did! I fell once or twice but after that I was off! My mom took me to the skatepark at 4 years old and I kept it going ever since! It’s been my passion forever.
Q3: What keeps you hungry? What drives you to keep trying to up your game?
A: The one thing that will always keep me going is my own progress. Sure having someone to compete with is always good, competition helps a lot. Being your own competition is even better though, seeing yourself progress and get better will always motivate me to keep that progression going. When trying something new and I fall, or it takes time, once I land it, I’m so stoked it pushes me even more to keep going!
Q4: What was the most challenging moment in your career?
A: When I tore my ACL. I was 15, going into being 16 and fell doing a tailwhip. I planted my foot wrong when bailing and my knee buckled inward. I was off my bike for 8 months, had surgery, went to lots of physical therapy, and finally was able to start riding slowly but surely again. That 9 month total process was very hard to build strength back up, go through the most boring period of time in my life, and not be able to even touch my bike. Easily the most challenging moment for me mentally and physically! But definitely stronger in both ways on the other end!
Q5: What is your favorite/most fulfilling moment you had in your career?
A: It has to be teaching the younger generation any tricks and tips along the way. When I was growing up, so many older riders and pros helped me in so many ways. Being able to forward that help to kids that are in the same place I was years ago has been incredible. Seeing that kids face light up and the excitement they get when they land that trick you’re teaching them is so awesome! There’s nothing better!
Q6: What is your biggest dream that you have yet to accomplish?
A: Riding my bike for a living is the ultimate dream of mine. That is possible in so many ways now due to social media, contests and many other things. From wanting to ride in contests like the X-Games to touring with BMX friends, or promoting brands on my bike, that’s the end goal. Nothing sounds better to me!
Q7: How has your diet changed, if at all, as you’ve progressed through your BMX career?
A: It has actually changed a lot! Going back to my ACL injury, before that I was not eating healthy and I wasn’t working out. Because I had to workout for PT for my knee, I got interested in bettering myself physically. I continued to go to the gym and workout, started to cook at home so that I could eat healthy foods and I saw progress! I lost a decent amount of weight and built a lot of muscle and it has helped so much with my riding! Eating healthy is one of the best choices I made, I feel immensely better since doing so!
Q8: Why Wilde Chips as opposed to other chip brands?
A: There really aren’t many other brands like Wilde, they promote the lifestyle I want to live, provide a healthy and delicious product, it’s awesome! What other chip brand advertises living sick adventure filled lives and eating great healthy chips while doing it?
Q9: What is your favorite Wilde Chip flavor and why?
A: So far, Chile Lime! It’s that perfect combo of spice and citrus and just wow, soooo good!
Q10: At Wilde, our mantra is "Be Bold. Live Wilde-ly". What does live Wilde-ly mean to you?
A: Live Wilde-ly means to take on the challenge, go for all the dreams you have in life because you only have one shot! Have fun, set goals, crush them, live life to the max!! That’s how I see it!