While many of us have probably seen or at least heard of BMX, it is safe to say that very few of us, myself included, know of flatland BMX. On Sept. 24, students had a chance to experience the emerging sport firsthand when professional flatland BMX rider Terry Adams visited Pomona College’s campus.
Unlike traditional BMX, there are no ramps, jumps or rails in flatland BMX. Instead, the riders rely solely on the flat pavement beneath them for all of their tricks. Flatland BMX is all about style. Riders try to do different moves, such as spinning the bike around the front wheel or riding backwards while standing in front of the front wheel, all while their bike moves across the flat ground. Adams’s artful connection of moves and tricks seems almost like a dance.
Adams was born near New Orleans and got into flatland BMX at the age of 12. He fell in love with the sport and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a professional rider at the age of 16. Since then, Adams has entered numerous competitions and has become known as one of the leading flatland riders. Adams won a gold medal at the 2005 X Games and in 2008 received Ride BMX Magazine’s Number One Rider Award, the most prestigious award in the sport. As the “Ambassador for Flatland BMX,” he wants to use his popularity and recognition to help the sport he loves grow into a popular option for young adults and students.
In an effort to bring flatland BMX to the masses, Adams, sponsored by Red Bull, began a tour of college campuses across the nation, doing demos to show the students what the sport is all about.
Adams is also interested in the the sport behind the scenes, especially sponsorships. Riders like Adams rely heavily on sponsors to make a living. Getting a sponsorship is one of the most important steps in becoming a professional rider and is an important step to entering the flatland BMX scene.
If you want to learn more about flatland BMX or about Adams’s story, you can visit his site at http://www.terryadamsbmx.com, and you can find videos of his many college visits on YouTube.