Meet the Athlete: Pete Anderson

3 weeks ago | Words: Grant O'Brien, Pete Anderson | Photos: Grant O’Brien

The sport of freestyle motocross unearths all types of characters. Some love centre stage, their ego in full bloom soaking up the spotlight at any given opportunity. Then you’ve got the serious type, the laugh-a-minute type, the angry, the super-talented, the workhorse, and guys like Pete Anderson, who love nothing more than riding their dirt bike and busting out death-defying tricks every opportunity they get. Pete’s a big fella but quiet and humble. He’s a top bloke, a big achiever, very positive, has style on a bike, and he has found the perfect balance in life between work and play. To find out more about this character, we fired a few questions at him. Here’s what he had to say…

NAME: Pete Anderson
AGE: 33
BIKE: Honda CRF450
WEIGHT/HEIGHT: 83kg/183cm
KIDS: Not yet!
MUSIC: Bit of a mixture, but a lot of EDM lately
MY CREW: Joey Sheppard, The Showtime FMX crew. All of the legends at Oppy Compound – Emma McFerran, Toppy, Harry Bink, Luke Davey, Tyler Wakeford, Callum Shaw, Jarrod Petrie … too many to list.

My day job away from FMX is…
General Manager at MXstore. I’ve juggled both for the past six years. Being GM means I work on the operational side of the business and have a lot to do with our staff. Being involved with MXstore since the beginning, I have dabbled in every role. I don’t know a lot about anything, but I know a little about a lot of things.

Three things people don’t know about me are…

  1. I’m a bit OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
  2. I hate talking in front of groups of people.
  3. I’ve used a foam pit a total of four times ever.

The best thing about being an FMX rider is…
Getting to travel. Doing Backflips. Scaring yourself makes you feel alive!

My most memorable event/demo/trip was, and why…
There have been so many amazing trips. Norfolk Island is always great, but my first Nitro Circus trip to India really stands out. Just the feeling of being asked to ride for them after all these years; the nice hotel and the entire experience made me really happy. I feel like I rode solid too, so I was pumped.

The FMX rider I look up to most is, and why…
There are a lot of top-level riders I really respect for a lot of reasons. There are so many riders who put it all on the line for their sport and come out on top, which I get really pumped on. Guys like Harry Bink and Pat Bowden have blown everyone away the past few years. As far as riding style goes, my two favourite riders to watch are Levi Sherwood and Adam Jones.

If I was an event promoter, the first thing I’d do is…
I would take a broader look at the entertainment industry to see what areas are growing rapidly. FMX is now a sport that can be brought to more people so it’s a matter of working out where the opportunities are to bring it to more people who are willing to pay for it. Different kinds of shows with more of a storyline and more choreographed than just a simple ‘trick’ show.

Has FMX evolution stalled, or is it still progressing…
I think it is evolving. Like what I said in my last answer, I feel the athletes and set-ups can be brought to more people with more than just a show full of FMX tricks. The growth in the future will go to the people who are at the front of that change. There will always be your ‘blue collar’ FMX shows at annual country shows, but the premium stuff is definitely changing.

My worst accident was…
Not my worst injury, but my worst crash, was at the start of 2016 when I ejected off the bike doing a Cordova Flip. I got tired and blew my hand off mid-flip. I ended up breaking my leg, ankle and foot in four places and had bone fragments go all through my ankle. It definitely rattled my confidence for a while.

My favourite trick is…
I’d have to say when you do a big Ruler. They just feel so good.

A funny story about one of my freestyle mates is…
When Morgan Gilks was getting back into riding, he sent me a text message one night saying, “Oi, which one do I put in the fuel and which one goes in the motor?” He sent me a photo of two bottles of oil, one saying ‘Gear Oil’ and the other saying ‘2-Stroke Oil’. Poor Morgs hadn’t ridden a two-stroke since being a Junior and got a little overwhelmed with the oil options presented to him.

I’m obsessed about…
I’m obsessed about MXstore, and about my health and fitness. Probably because I’m a little OCD, but I really appreciate the feeling of being fit, healthy and waking up with a clear head. It’s a bit boring, but one of my favourite things on a weekend is to buy healthy food and get myself set up for the week.

Don’t even start me talking about…
Public speaking. It is the single most terrifying and frustrating thing for me. I don’t mind if I have my helmet on and I have to talk to a crowd about making more noise at an FMX show. But ask me to talk to a big group of people at work and I run out of words in about three seconds. I hate it.

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