Dustin Grice and his crew of BMX riders provided excitement for fair goers who wished to see some extreme sports.
The crew brought with what they call the Mega Jump, a self-made jump trailer that is portable and provides a five foot-high jump that spans nearly six feet for their riders to scale and do tricks.
This crew and another that was in Willmar at the Kandiyohi County Fair last weekend will do 57 shows in all this summer. Grice said the number of shows they do has doubled every year since beginning in 2010.
“It is just crazy, we never expected anything like this,” Grice said. “It’s a good overall vibe, and everyone rides a bike, so anyone can somewhat relate to it.”
Grice and riders Tristan Sagastume, Jacob Walker, Kyle Heaser, A.J. Haines, Reed Bleymeyer and Alex Hiltunen hauled the mega jump up from The Fantasy Factory, a warehouse-turned-practice facility for BMX racers in Minneapolis.
He said they have tons of jumps of all sizes, a ramp that goes into a foam pit and they do lessons on the weekends. A dedicated few are always there trying to keep the place running according to Grice.
“There is nothing around Minnesota like that for bikes,” Grice said. “We’d like to keep paying the rent, so it stays open.”
The reason behind traveling throughout the state is to try and earn some rent money to keep the Factory open Grice said.
And to entertain the crowd of course.
For those who did not stop to see the show while it was at the fair, the show is done to heart-pumping music and includes riders of all skill levels and ages. The youngest at the fair this past weekend was eight-year-old Bleymeyer. Heaser, who is 28-years-old was the oldest in the show. Grice said that age doesn’t matter when it comes to riding though.
“We had a 47-year old flip this one time, which is pretty crazy,” Grice said. “If you think you’re too old, we’ll prove you wrong.”
Riders perform several tricks including no handers, bar spins, tail whips and the infamous back flip. Audience members were encouraged to cheer and instagram pictures that they capture on their phones.
The Mega Jump was set up in the southeast corner of the fairgrounds near the bingo tent on the grass, which Grice said was a first for them.
“It was definitely not the worst, but ideally we’d like pavement, but we were in a nice spot,” Grice said.
The riders had to ride over about 50 yards of lumber on their way to the mega jump before performing tricks.
Perhaps the biggest trick was when one rider jumped three others who sat on their bikes on top of the ramp. The trick drew some gasps from the crowd, but it was landed and all were OK.
The Mega Jump show was performed at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday they did two final shows.