MILLICENT freestyle motocross rider Josh Burdon will again take to the international stage when he makes the trip to China to begin a six month riding contract in the city of Shenzhen next Monday.
The foundations for the opportunity originated last year, when Burdon was contacted by a friend living in the area who was in need of some riders for the company he works for.
“We got a phone call last year from a mate who was over there – I went to school with him,” Burdon said.
“He approached my company Factory FMX and asked if I could provide a couple of riders for him.
“Last year we spent about three or four weeks over there and that was sort of the introduction.
“Then this year we got the invite to come back again, except this time its a six month stint – so a bit longer and a bit more involved.”
With two shows every day for the duration of his stay, Burdon said it is an exciting concept, but also one that has been playing on his nerves.
“I am a bit nervous more than anything – excited definitely – but nervous,” he said.
“It is a big commitment – six months is a long time being in a different country.
“The contract is two shows a day.
“The company over there run a stunt car show every night and we are part of that show.
“We come out and do the freestyle motocross for 20 minutes each night.
“We don’t have to be at the venue until 7pm, but two shows every day – over six months you are looking at 360 odd performances to do.”
Despite the weight of what is asked of Burdon and his riders, the opportunity came at the perfect time.
With winter a quiet time for business, the trip will see Burdon take advantage of China’s summer period, while returning to Australia in December for the busier time of year.
“This is our down-time here for winter, over there it is their summer, so it works out perfect,” Burdon said.
“It is good because of everything that comes with it – other opportunities, exposure and the time on the bike.”
Burdon has had a number of opportunities throughout his career and when asked about the high points, he said the real highlights are the experiences he has been exposed to and the people he has met through the industry.
“I wouldn’t say there is one specific highlight,” he said.
“There has been a lot of things that have happened.
“So many moments – people I have been associated with in the industry.
“And it is like-minded people who are working at the top end of their career.
“We were in Horsham earlier this year and one of the riders I used, he did stunt work for Vin Diesel in Hollywood.
“And there has been times when I hung out with Pink’s husband, Carey Hart, at different events.
“It is great to be working with these kind of people because they are trying to push so hard and achieve things in their own career.”
Burdon said the support from his sponsors has been valuable as he continues to make his dream a reality and although some riders may take the lifestyle for granted, it still has not quite sunk in for him that “a little Milli boy” could make it this far in the difficult industry.
“I have been lucky enough to ride in all the entertainment centres in Australia,” he said.
“And then with my own business, building my own portable ramps, it is just great.
“It has opened up endless doors.
“It is not easy – it’s hard work – but it’s a good thing.
“Some people would probably take it for granted – other riders – whereas I sort of take all those little pieces.
“Being paid to ride a bike, I think that is a huge achievement in itself.”