Every weekend at the races is a gathering of the industry. Everyone from the track personal to the sponsor representatives to the athletes help make this amazing sport go round, and one person you’re sure to recognize is Mikey Ojeda. Mikey works as the Athlete Manager for Troy Lee Designs, so you can catch him at all of the races supplying every one of the TLD athletes with gear including Honda HRC’s Cole Seely. Mikey’s job goes a lot deeper than just delivering gear though, so we caught up with the TLD gear man to see what goes on away from the races.
Tell us what it is that you do at Troy Lee Designs.
I am the Athlete Manager at Troy Lee designs, so my job is to take care of our race team when it comes to gear. We have four riders for 2017 and I keep them supplied with everything from helmets to pants. I work alongside everyone at our Corona, CA office during the week to get everything done for each race weekend. I go to all of the races throughout the year and even a few autograph signings with the riders. In a nutshell, my job is to coordinate and make sure the riders are supplied with gear. Also, we have our 450 rider Cole Seely who will again be riding for us through 2018 during his time at Honda HRC. I take care of Cole the same way I do our own riders. I’m really looking forward to another good year with all of these guys.
During the week when you’re not at the races, are you still working alongside the riders as much as you do on the weekends?
During the week everything revolves around the upcoming race weekend. I’ll fly home Sunday from the race and head to the office on Monday. For us, we like to plan everything in advance, so I will sit down and plan out what the riders will be wearing each weekend. I also work alongside the paint department and the jersey department to further coordinate the riders outfits for the weekends. Every Friday that I fly out, I’m taking bringing along three sets of gear for each rider and multiple helmets for everyone, as well.
So before the weekend even arrives everyone knows exactly what they’re wearing? It’s not a surprise for them or anything?
(Laughs) Right, but it still comes as a surprise to the riders because they sometimes don’t see the gear schedule. We’re now in December, but we’ve had a gear schedule laid out since August for the 2017 Supercross season. That even includes all of the themed races like San Diego SX and the Red Bud National.
During the week are you primarily in-house at Troy Lee?
Yeah, pretty much Monday, Tuesday and Thursday you can catch me at the office.I typically try to take Wednesday off if it’s during the racing season since I’m gone every weekend.
Do you find yourself busier during the racing season or the off-season?
I would say that I am definitely busier during the racing season only because I’m gone every weekend. There might actually be more work to do during the off-season, but I feel busier during the racing season with all of the traveling.