When I first met Federal's Dan Lacey a few years ago, he was a quiet kid that constantly blasted music through his headphones and seriously put 150% effort into everything he did on his bike, from a simple footjam nosepick to a turndown off a curb. Clearly, Dan was ridiculously talented on a bike, but there was more to him than just skills. He was as nice as they come, appreciative of everything he received (from a simple magazine mention to a free bike part) and knowledgeable about the workings of this intricate world beyond his years. In the time since, I've watched Dan's skills progress to a ridiculous level, and to his credit, he hasn't let any of the attention go to his head. Recently we caught up with Dan to shoot a bike check and chat about recent developments in his life. Read on.
ESPN.com: So you're making the trip over to X Games 16, how did that come about and are you psyched? What are your plans around X Games? Coming early, staying late? Got any new tricks you're working on, or are you just winging it?
Dan: Yeah man, I seriously don't even know, I swear! I was chillin' at Chase Hawk's house the night before I flew back from Austin and I got a phone call from Stu Dawkins (owner of Federal) at 3 a.m., which was kinda strange. And he said they had an e-mail saying I got an invite! It's one of those things that just still hasn't quite sunk in yet. I swear I totally lost my mind when I found out. So psyched. I think I'm coming over early to chill, get over my jet lag and maybe get a few rebel runs in. I am so winging it!
You just spent some time stateside in Austin, Texas. How was that? And can you explain why you got an Austin tattoo?
I love Austin. Both times I've been there this year have been unreal. The people and riding scene is out of hand, nightlife, the weather. It's all I could ever ask for. Big shout out to Chase [Hawk], Devon [Hutchins] and Aaron [Ross] for letting me crash at their place for so long. I got the Texas state tattooed on my leg at Electric 13 the last week I was there. I feel like a local now. I wanna follow in Sandy Carson's footsteps and move to Austin for sure!
The Federal crew just released a series of new signature frames, and the team is rocking. Is there any chance of a Federal video in the works, or any other plans with Federal you can elaborate on?
Currently I'm filming for a few things. Every time I try and go film though, I end up doing myself in and not being able to ride for a while, so we'll see.
Can you explain what you did to your frame to make it a signature frame? Or what you like about you frame?
I literally sat down with [Federal designer] Chris Harrison for a good couple hours, running through different dimensions, sizes etc. I tested a prototype to see how it was and I loved it straight up. I steered well clear of low frames as I can't ride 'em. So that makes it my preference, right?
Any new developments on the shoe sponsor thing, or is that better left unsaid?
There really isn't much to be said. Chase [Hawk] sorted me out some Vans shoes while I was in Austin and they were real comfortable. Good ankle support and they felt amazing, so I rode in em.
Finally, can you explain what the deal is with everyone's bikes getting stolen except yours in Barcelona?
Well the apartment we (Federal) were staying in was on the top floor of our block, and the elevator was basically out of commission. So we had to lock the bikes up downstairs inside the front door. I went out one night to meet the Deadline crew and go for a cruise down to MACBA. I ended up staying out till real early in the morning. I went back to the apartment at around 5.30 a.m. to find the front window smashed. Mad Jon Taylor's lock had been cut and all five bikes had been stolen. What an absolute nightmare. Then I had the miserable task of waking everyone up and dropping the bombshell on 'em.