Mike Escamilla, 34, is known for changing the face of BMX street riding, being a fearless stuntman… and for being a big talker. On a road trip to a BMX contest in 1994, pro rider Keith Treanor was so exhausted by Escamilla’s relentless chatter that he threatened to duct tape him to the roof of the car. Though he managed to avoid his duct-taped fate, the nickname “Rooftop” stuck.
Today, you can catch Escamilla at his “day job” on Fuel TV where he co-hosts “Strangers in Danger” along with BMX rider Zack “Catfish” Yankush. The pair travel the world taking part in strange rituals and bizarre stunts such as eating a live octopus, working as sewer divers in Mexico and occasionally breaking bottles on their foreheads.
The show isn’t Escamilla’s first appearance on-screen, however. He made his feature film debut in 2002, alongside Vin Diesel in “XXX” playing a ramp truck passenger. He’s also spent time doing stunt work for NBC’s “The Cape,” “Chuck” and “Outsourced.” Escamilla is also a regular on The Learning Channel’s (TLC) hit show, “LA Ink,”
Escamilla grew up in Southern California and started riding BMX at the age of 11. A local bike shop owner took notice of the then-14-year-old and contacted Ride Magazine. Shortly after his first photo shoot, he became a regular on the pages of magazines like Ride and BMX and took top honors at contests like the X-Games. He was named one of Ride Magazine’s most influential riders of the 1990s.
Escamilla went on to make his mark in BMX by breaking records like the world record for the longest BMX back flip—measuring 62 feet 2 inches— and the longest 360 performed on a BMX bike, both at X-Games 11 in August 2005 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He’s also no stranger to podium finishes, his competition results span winning first place in the 1996 ESPN X Trail Street Contest to a first place finish in the ’98 Hard Trick Contest at the Goodwill Games.
Though he’s no longer on the BMX competition circuit, today on or off camera you can find Escamilla jumping out of planes, snowboarding, diving with sharks, on fire, or on some other wild adventure. He resides in Studio City, Calif. You can check him out on Facebook, Twitter at @MikeEscamilla and at Team XYIENCE.