By Bruce Mike
As I write this it’s the middle of summer and not my favorite time of year for motorcycle riding. So my most recent motorcycle activity was attending the X Games. I had never attended an extreme sports event so I didn’t really have any expectations. I liked the idea of watching in an air conditioned environment. I’m not a big fan of hot and humid.
My X Games experience started with a media orientation early in the week. We got a tour of U. S. Bank Stadium and got to see all of the ongoing construction for the event. They brought in hundreds of yards of concrete, thousands of yards of dirt and I have no idea how much lumber and steel. It was amazing. When it was over they had a week to break it all down.
My original plan for attending the event was to just go to the motorcycle related events. I’m glad I took in some of the other too. I was at the “Bank” Thursday afternoon and watched a bunch of BMX and skateboard practice as well as the Women’s Skateboard Street event. It was all pretty amazing. I’m not a young man but I did ride a skateboard in my late teens and I currently have a long board that I got from Aerostich that I’ve ridden a few times. We never did a whole lot of tricks on our skateboards, all we cared about was speed. I did have a pretty good crash being pulled behind a car once but I landed uninjured in the grass so I just thought it was cool.
The X Games started in 1995. I wish they would have started in 1975 because then maybe I could have got involved. I never had any interest in mainstream sports but the events I watched at this international competition would have been right up my alley. I spent a lot of time riding wheelies and jumping stuff on my Schwinn Stingray as well as small displacement motorcycles and dirt bikes. In fact, that’s still my favorite kind of off-road riding. Just screwing around with jumps, hill climbs and impromptu race tracks. I guess the older I get the more I revert back to my youth. I’m not nearly as fearless or reckless so maybe you do gain a little wisdom with age.
Thursday night I attended the flat track races at MOA and was not disappointed. The racing was great. The main event was won by a non-factory rider and that’s always nice. I’m guessing they didn’t expect the crowd they had because the food trucks ran out of food and there was a shortage of seats and porta-potties. Way to show up Minnesota! I’m sure ESPN will be better prepared next year.
My attendance plan for the X Games was altered when Friday turned out to be a rare 70 degree July day so I spent it riding Rustic Roads in Wisconsin.
Saturday night and Sunday I attended the motorcycle events and was blown away by these amazing athletes. The amount of time they spend having to practice the tricks they do is mind boggling. You can’t learn this stuff without your fair share of crashes. I know a lot of their practice is in foam pits but they still have to pull it off when the competition begins. I had way more fun than I thought I would.
I’m already stoked and pumped for next year when I’ll see even more sick tricks. I think I got that line right based on what I heard from the crowd.