InFocus - Jonathan Simek

InFocus - Jonathan Simek

For our latest InFocus feature, we dive into the world of Haro MTB rider Jonathan Simek. Born and raised in the coastal town of Encinitas, Jon is a true representation of Southern California’s spirit and action sports culture. Simek resides just a few miles from the Haro headquarters. He’s a true neighbor and has become a friend to the crew during his time on the Haro program. Being a So Cal native, Jonathan's love for both bikes and surfing has influenced his everyday lifestyle. We spoke with Jon as he was driving his van to Alpine, CA for a day of working on the trails. He shares what influences him, some local eateries, podcasts, his playlist, and more…

Hey Jon! Thanks for your time, how is your day going? 

Yo, doing great! I’m headed out to Kyle Strait’s house today. He needs help digging--I’m going out that way to throw some shovels till dark. His setup is so cool!

Jonathan Simek - Van


Photo @heather_young_

Sounds fun. Being an Encinitas local, a town with heavy action sports influence, how did you choose mountain biking as your main discipline?

I dabbled in all of it. I skated for a bit and I surfed heavily for years, but I wanted to ride moto as a kid. Basically, the cheapest option was to start with BMX racing. I raced for about two years, but I loved going to the tracks to hit all the jumps. From there, I got a dirt jumper to continue my love for that. All my friends ended up racing MTB as I continued to ride my dirt jumper. I liked flowing and sticking to the tricks I like: Spins and flips. Eventually, I started riding enduro. Speed & style was my perfect medium and I ended up competing in Crankworx! There is always that itch to ride and I can’t ever break away from it.

Jonathan Simek - Trail Riding Saguaro Haro Bikes
Steel Reserve Dirt Jumper

Photo @heather_young_ 

Since you grew up in an action sports mecca, do you find influence in So Cal culture?

Oh yeah, the lifestyle is cool, it influences the way I dress too. Ha, ha. I’m also really influenced by music from all the different surf, skate and bike videos. Surfing has really influenced my love for surf punk and skating, with the rap music. There’s a surfer, Noah Dean, he is in a band called the Skegss--that band pulled me in. He makes his own music for his video parts too. It’s so rad, check out my playlist for my current jams! 

You’re always out digging and have your own jumps. How does it feel giving back to your community and sharing a public space for everyone to ride?

Growing up in So Cal, we haven’t had the best support for bikes. I’ve always learned that you have to dig to ride. There’s a lot of open space near my house, so I found the opportunity to build something local to my area. Digging is something I must do since I don’t have any bike parks close by. It’s fulfilling, showing up to my slalom course or dirt jumps, and there are people there that I’ve never seen in my life. It’s so rad that kids have a place to ride. Without it, I wouldn’t have known these kids even exist. It’s super fulfilling seeing my hard work being utilized and bringing joy to the next generation.

Jonathan Simek - Digging Haro Steel Reserve

Photo @heather_young_ 

Amazing. Outside of the bicycle industry, what do you consume that brings you inspiration and joy?

Ha, ha, the movie Hot Rod is super cliché, but it’s one of my favorites.  I guess it’s just my sense of humor. I like quirky dumb humor--Stepbrothers too. I also watch a lot of The Office, it’s some levity that keeps things fun. I do listen to podcasts, mainly ones about athletes. I also listen to Dennis’ “Unclicked” podcast and “Gypsy Tales” to learn about moto athletes. For the most part, I like listening to people I know. I’m super inspired by my friends and colleagues. Most have interesting stories about becoming professional riders.

Lastly, what are some of your local spots that you can share? Beaches, eateries, pubs...?

Beaches are a hard one. I’m always switching it up every year, depending on different swells and whatnot. My go-to place is called Pipes Café for coffee and breakfast. I’m there at least once a week. I’m also supported by Best Pizza and Brew; they support a lot of local athletes. It’s great to have some detachment from bikes in general. My whole life is bikes, so it’s cool to step outside of that and be part of my local community!  

Jonathan Simek BLOG

 Photo's @heather_young_

Haro gear Jonathan is riding:

Haro Hard Tail - Saguaro 1 Size large 

Saguaro 1 - Jonathan Simek

Haro Dirt Jumper - Steel Reserve 3 Matte Black 

Steel Reserve 3

Haro MTB - Van Shirt

Haro Van Shirt 

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