BMX/Garrett WC=840 The sound of metal to metal pierces the air as junior Brian Garner slides down on the PLU campus. But this isn’t anything new for him or the rest of the people who ride BMX bikes. Just another day of riding bikes. "I think BMX is getting too big. ESPN has put money into this sport and now it is getting too big and in a few years it will just die out again like it did ten years ago. Just wasted money is what it is," said Garner. With ESPN cashing in on today’s "X-treme" sports, it’s easy for people to want to buy the equipment and try it all out. "I hear of kids having their parents buy them bikes, then go out to the local YMCA skate park and try tricks only riders who have been riding for years should try. more Add 1 "They are just hurting themselves," said senior Terry Stevens. But parents seem to only enjoy paying money for their kids to ride bikes. But usually it is not always the bikes they are paying for. BMX’ers are constantly coming home with cuts, gashes, bruises, and other assorted injuries. They only ask for the bill. "I got 14 stitches in my leg last summer after falling from a 12 foot drop off of the roof of a building. My mom just asked me to put the doctor bill on the counter and was wondering if my bike was all right," said Bill Goodfellow. Other people aren’t so happy about all of the BMX hype. With the "sport" becoming so popular, store owners, pedestrians, and other people seem to get madder every day. "It seems every day I am telling those kids to leave, they just don’t understand how much money it would cost the company if one of them sued me or how much it cost’s to replace the paint on curbs and handrails and the cost to hire and landscaper to replace the shrubs," said Peter Hammond, Jack in the Box manager. Most BMX’ers have found ways to combat this. If they are yelled at, they will either go back later in the night and ride or they will seek out new places to ride and re-visit the previous spots later. Usually riders ride at night to there is not a lot of traffic and people to hit. "Last night I was out until three in the morning," said Stevens. With all of this time spent riding, some of the riders are becoming extremely good. Constantly coming up with new tricks and styles. Today’s top riders have some sponsorships you wouldn’t believe. more Add 2 Troy McMurray is sponsored by Calvin Klien, TJ Lavin has Mountain Dew, the entire Haro team gets free deodorant. This is only the beginning to who has sponsorships. If you ask almost any BMX rider they will tell you that they love their bike than almost anything in the world and don’t mess with their bike, because if you do you will probably be in a lot of pain. "I usually ride my bike about 30 hours a week on my bike. During the summer I probably ride more near 60 hours or more," said Garner. With all of the time on bikes you would think they did nothing but ride, but most of them must go to school or a job in the morning. "Since I am up so late, it is tough for me to finish my homework all of the time. Now my grades are getting lower and lower," said Garner. It seems as if these riders don’t care about school that much. When Stevens was asked if he did anything besides school he said he has a job but that was only to pay for car insurance and new bike parts. Most riders need jobs to supports this addicting habit. With so much money going through the "sport," parts are costing a lot of money. A riders bike could cost anywhere from 500 dollars on up to over 2000 dollars. Unless your parents are millionaires, you need to have a job to buy new parts when something breaks. "Just the other day I bent my rim on a huge gap. A new rim is going to cost me almost 80 bucks to order and put back on my bike," said Goodfellow. more Add 3 But this doesn’t mean the parts are being cheaply made. Parts are becoming more and more strong, as the riders become more and more aggressive. Company’s are continually coming out with new parts or just making the old ones better. "I bought new cranks that cost 200 bucks and two months later a new set were out that were twice as strong and only cost 50 bucks more," said Jesse Hanson. After all is said and done, most of you can see that riders are not out to hurt and or destroy everything in sight. They are just out to have fun and stay healthy. SO the next time you see someone riding, wave and say hello. -30-
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