BMX Freestyle Rider
29 years old
Q: When did you start your sport?
I've been riding bikes since I was a little kid. When I was 15 years old I really got into freestyle BMX. I've been doing BMX freestyle flatland for 14 years. Flatland is doing tricks on the ground.
I really want to make the distinction right off the bat about BMX. There's BMX racing, which a lot of people have seen when riders race around a course, as opposed to freestyle, which is trick riding. They are really two different sports.
With BMX racing, you get a bunch of people side-by-side on a course, in a very competitive nature, on the track.
Freestyle riders aren't on the same course with other riders who are trying to take each other down. BMX freestyle is much more of an individualistic sport. When you're out at a freestyle contest, you're out there doing your best and everyone is rooting for each other.
Q: Where do you do most of your training?
I wouldn't call it training so much as going out and practicing and having fun. I'll go to the local elementary school, which has a really flat playground area that's fun to ride. I also go out and ride with my friends around the town for the local flavor.
Q: Is your sport expensive?
Start up costs are expensive. Better bikes run upwards of $500-$600 for a complete bike. When you really get into the sport and start buying parts, it starts getting expensive and could run you up to $1,500.
Q: Have you ever been injured?
Nothing that knocks me off my bike for too long. For ramp riding, there's a higher chance for injury. But flatland is not that dangerous overall. I sprained my ankle once really badly. When you look at a sport that I've been in for 14 years, that' s not too bad. But I always get some cuts on my legs.
Q: Any parting advice for young kids interested in BMX?
First decide whether you want to do tricks or whether you want to race, because they're two completely different types of riding. Get the most reasonable bike you can afford and ask a lot of questions.
Other things riders can do is take a look at my website which is set up for beginners.
Q: What makes a sport extreme?
I think the label "extreme sports" is more of a gimmick. I think people have been skydiving, riding bikes, and doing tricks off jumps forever. I kind of like the term "alternative sports."
Extreme depends on how you look at it. The better riders are definitely extreme but I think the same holds true no matter what your sport is. If you look at the better gymnasts or the better football players, they're just as extreme as any bike rider is.
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