Without question, the majority of people attending the Ford Championship Weekend from Friday through Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway will be there for the high-octane NASCAR action.
But an event at the track garnering less fanfare but delivering no fewer thrills is the ASA Big Air Triples BMX Contest, featuring a star-studded entry list with action sports legends including multiple X-Games medalists Ryan Nyquist and Scotty Cranmer, plus Dew Cup Champions Kyle Baldock and Ryan Guettler, and many more top-ranked professionals.
Nyquist talked to Miami.com about the show, his best tricks, and how dangerous the sport is.
How did you get into BMX riding?
I always had a bike and always loved riding. It goes all the way back to the thrill of just jumping off the curb, things like that. And eventually it got to where I found some places to do dirt jumps, and then tricks. After that I just fell into it, riding ramps and competing.
What are some of your best tricks?
The thing I’m best known for is throwing a lot of bar spins and all kinds of different variations, whether it be back flips or 360s. Stuff that normally wouldn’t be done or thought could be done – that’s what I’ve kind of excelled in.
Bar spinning is where you jump into the air and spin the handlebars?
Yeah, and you can do that in 360s, where you spin the whole bike around when you spin the bars around, or where you’re doing a back flip and you spin the bars around. There’s all different combinations.
How dangerous is that? Have you ever been seriously hurt?
Yeah, injuries come and go, you know, like any sport, really. But we train pretty hard to do what we do – we learn the consequences, we learn how to crash and how to pull a trick. I’ve had my fair share of injuries, but no more than any football player or basketball player. It all comes with the territory – that’s why we wear the safety gear.
What can we expect from the show this weekend?
The Big Air Triples is always a really good event, because the jumps are perfect, which lends itself to some really and truly amazing riding. So what you’re probably gonna see there is some of the best riders in the world doing their best tricks. And what’s cool is that it’s head to head, so it’s not like you’re riding against the whole field – you’re literally paired up against one guy. And you’re going back and forth for a couple rounds, to see who can best each other. So it’s a pretty awesome format.
How high can you jump on your bike?
It depends on the ramp, and the speed. This event, you’ll see guys going easily 20 feet in the air, probably more off the jumps, so it’s a pretty spectacular thing. Not to mention when they’re also flipping and twisting and doing all kinds of stuff.
Are you a daredevil in other aspects of your life?
No, pretty much just riding bikes – that’s about it. I’m a father of two, so the kids are daredevil enough for me right now [laughs].
Does your wife give you any slack for doing this?
No, when I met her I was riding professionally, so she knew what she was getting into from Day 1.
Are you a NASCAR fan?
No, I don’t watch a lot of it, but I’ve met [Dale] Earnhardt Jr. and went to his house for a party, and he’s a super-cool guy. And it obviously takes a whole lot of talent to do what they do, so they get a lot of respect from me. What it takes to get to that level, I know there’s a lot of hard work behind it.
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