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Dusseau soars among the redwoods

What was once his area to explore as a child is now the grown-up Julian Dusseau's FMX playground. Todd Stewart

As a staple in the freestyle motocross community and respected OG of the sport, Julian Dusseau's FMX career is as alive as ever. Enjoying fatherhood and riding a one-of-a-kind location on the Pacific Crest Trail in Humboldt County, Calif., Dusseau is happy and loving life. His riding spot is set up at his mother's yard, nestled deep in old-growth redwood trees towering more than 200 feet tall, surrounded by luscious green foliage containing 4-foot ferns and small creeks; it could be a scene from a postcard and not a place for freestyle.

Up to 100 inches of rain falls every year, soaking the landscape and making conditions near Dusseau's mom's house saturated and wet. Even though such conditions aren't exactly desirable for FMX Dusseau makes do by using blue tarps to keep rain and moisture off the runway and by laying carpet down to gain more traction. Without such preparations tires become slippery, and losing traction before the ramp could be disastrous.

Dusseau is enjoying the fruits of hard work over the years. Getting onto the Metal Mulisha team, riding big tours such as Nuclear Cowboyz, Fmxonline tour, Rockstar/Metal Mulisha Mayhem Tour and riding demos in between these shows are just a few things that keep Dusseau's year jam packed.

We recently caught up with Julian Dusseau in his foggy and rainy hometown of McKinleyville, Calif., to discuss his past year and what's in store for 2013.

ESPN.com: What have you been up to this year?
Dusseau:
Trying to keep the dream alive! Been busy traveling, riding and spending all my extra time at home with my daughter.

How was it growing up in Humboldt?
Cold and wet … [laughs]

What's the deal with your mom's spot? It's located in old-growth redwoods? What's the set-up like out there? Do you have a lot of wet problems?
Yeah, the house I grew up in is on a one-acre clearing in the woods, surrounded by 200-foot old-growth redwoods. When I got into FMX my mom let me build a landing basically in her yard, so its a pretty cool set-up. Kinda sketchy but it gets the job done [laughs].

It rains almost half the year up there and when it's not, the property doesn't get much sun exposure because of all the trees. So it pretty much stays wet all year. There are only a few months that it's not too wet to ride.

What's the riding like? Are there natural trails?
Riding is super limited as far as MX tracks go. The local one got closed a few years back so now you have to drive like four hours to ride a public track, but there are some good private ones. Everything is so wooded there's not a lot of open freeride stuff, but we have lots of good trail riding, and sick private spots.

What events have you rode this year and how was it? Are you doing a lot of demos?
Started the year doing the fmxonline tour, then Rockstar/Metal Mulisha Mayhem Tour. I went overseas a couple times and did some other shows in between for Mulisha and Humboldt Nutrients as well as some shows for North Pacific promoters. Mayhem tour was definitely a standout in any shows or tours I've done. Riding alongside some of the best metal bands' mosh pits was a good time for sure.

So you switched from riding your trusty Yamaha YZ 250 to a new 2012 Honda CRF 450. How was the change?
Yeah, made the switch and love the 450s, The bikes are super fun to ride. I don't feel as good with my tricks yet as I did on my 250, but it's just a matter of time and actually practicing … [laughs]

You've been a father for 15 months now, How is it? Has it impacted your life and your riding?
Everyone tells you it's a life changing experience … and I believed them, but it is definitely better than I expected. Nothing better than watching your own kid learn and grow, it's a fun experience to say the least, and I'm enjoying every minute I can with her.

As far as impacting my riding I try to not let it get in the way, but also it's always in the back of my mind that I have a mouth to feed and try to make smart decisions. I'd say if anything it's changed my day-to-day life. Calmed me down a little and changed my priorities. Which is a good thing.

What are you up to for the remainder of the year and what do you have going on for 2013?
I was pretty much booked up every weekend for the first three-quarters of the year and now things have slowed down. I've been taking a little break, enjoying my time off. I have a couple shows before the end of the year and then start Nuclear Cowboyz the beginning of 2013. So just trying to get all my s--- on point and stay healthy till then.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thanks to all my friends, family and sponsors for the support. Metal Mulisha, Rockstar, Humboldt Nutrients, Alpinestars, Pro-Taper, Osiris, Cti, Dragon, Deft, FMF, Visual concepts, Shoei, Makita, Uni Filter, and Pacific Motorsports.