Salutations Vurb Off-roaders,
While i hate to do the standard introduction that everyone does in these columns, the truth is that the sports that i chose to pursue are more than just relatively unknown in the U.S., they are nearly completely unknown. So, therefore, here's a little background on why i am "qualified" to write this and why you should even bother reading it.
I grew up on a farm in Southeastern Wisconsin with parents who met at a motocross track, a bunch of rediculously talented siblings, and a goat who could do backflips. I got into motocross from my older brother David, who i chased after until he headed north of the boarder for some Canadian Nationals. My dad soon pushed my younger brother, Pat, and myself into trials riding as he saw the danger and monetary cost of Motocross. Pat picked it up instantly while i struggled to shake my moto roots and learn to slow down. Fast forward a decade and Pat is the 5 time National MotoTrials Champion and im still trying to learn that the throttle isn't always the best way out of every situation.
Of course it is a tough pill to swallow having to live in the younger brothers' shadows in the Trials world. For years we would battle and swap positions at local Wisconsin Trials events. However, as the years passed, he stayed focused on his goal of being National Champion and rode throughout the winter, while i followed my other passion of snowskating (skateboarding on the snow). After each winter i would get back on the bike and he'd be a bit better than me than the year before. It quickly got to a point where i gave up all hope of ever beating him at a trials event again. This fact became easier to deal with when he started beating everyone and won his first national title at just 17, the youngest rider to ever do so. It was also more bearable when i started reaping the benefits of my many nights spent freezing in the snow filming tricks when i reached the professional level in Snowskating and got to design my first Pro Model board. The board, of course, featured me doing a trick over our trickster goat, Wilbur.
Now to get into some of the more recent happenings in my "Smagical Adventure", and possibly a reason to why my name may sound familiar (at least to your grandmother). Last summer Pat and i had the "pleasure" of participating on the NBC TV show Americas Got Talent. We managed to make it all the way to the Finals and a place in the top 10 on the show. There were certainly times when we just wanted to get out of LA and get back to the farm to ride. It felt like we were back in grade school again, being held hostage in a room and raising your hand to go to the bathroom. While the other acts got to practice their routine, we were forced to sit in the room and wait for them to build our obstacles. Most of the time they would finish our set the day before our live performance only to find out that they built it without realizing that we were riding motorcycles and they were actually heavy, forcing them back to the drawing board to reinforce everything. There were many times that our first time actually riding any of the props was up on stage, cameras rolling. Although there were many downfalls and negative aspects of our time in hollywood, the bigger picture was the positive light it brought to motorcycling as a whole. We managed to erase many of the general populations' stereotypical views of motorcyclists being nothing but tattooed-up, trouble causing outlaws. In todays news all you hear about is negative press about motorcycle related gangs, deaths, and pollution, so it was a good feeling to give the average American something positive to think about our community.
So there you have it, a quick summary of what the heck it is that I do if you've never heard of MotoTrials or Snowskating. Hopefully it gives you some insight as to wether you'd like to continue reading this column. And if you choose that you don't feel like reading the mass of verbal vomit that i spew out each entry, i'll be sure to include lots of pictures and video clips each time to keep things entertaining. Thanks for checking it out. I hope everyone is having a great season of riding!