BMX rider Terry Adams came to KSU Friday Oct. 25 and performed flatland stunts on his bike for students to watch and be amazed. Although bitterly cold outside, Adams appeared in a positive and cheerful mood, and he was delighted to share his experience and perspective gained through BMX riding, among other things.
BMX is one of those sports that is different and unique, intriguing people by the way riders seemingly defy gravity. The riders perform stunts most untrained people would not dare to try, even on flatland.
Despite being a show of talent that most people do not fully understand, this sport is a form of creative expression for many of its performers. It is a physical art where they put their thoughts and emotions into their stunts.
When inquiring about his favorite type of stunt to perform, Adams replied, “Something I invented myself. With flatland, it is more of people inventing their own stunts than anything else.
It is almost like an art—like painting a picture with your bike.” He explained these are the stunts to be the most proud of because of the personal creativity put into them.
An example of one of these creations is symbolic for its powerful significance. “One stunt I am proud of is called the Katrina. I invented it during the era of the storm happening in New Orleans. It is from 2005, but it is memorable to people not only because of the trick but also because of the meaning behind it,” he said.
Adams was asked to describe the most difficult stunt attempted. “It is not really about the difficulty but more so about the longevity of time necessary to learn the stunt. The longest amount of time for me was probably about six months,” he said.
Nothing involves ramps or rails with flatland BMX riding, Adams explained. His performances remain fairly safe thanks to his experience and skill. He assured that he has not experienced any severe injuries since he was young. Adams began riding when he was 12 years old, so his experience is extensive in this artistic sport.
What inspired him to begin riding when he was so young? “As a kid it looked different and impossible, so being a kid, if something looks difficult you become intrigued by it. I was an imaginative kid so this drew me in and made me want to learn it,” Adams said.
When asked what his favorite place was to perform, he named Japan. “[BMX] is biggest over there. The bicycle in general is most accepted in Japanese society. People use bikes for transportation so over there it is more popular,” he said.
How has BMX riding affected Adams’ perspective on life? “Being able to experience different cultures and travel the world, meet different people… learning about their ways of life has transpired from BMX riding because it has allowed me to see different perspectives from so many different people,” Adams explained.
What was his most memorable moment of being a BMX rider? “In 2008, I was presented with the Rider of the Year Award, called the Nora Cup. It is an award where the other riders in the industry vote for who they thought did best that year. I was more stoked because my peers voted for me versus just readers of the magazine,” he said modestly.
Is there anything he would do differently throughout his travels and the path he has taken in his life? “When I was traveling at a younger age, I would try to stay longer on trips instead of rushing home so fast. I would enjoy being in all these different countries more than I did. If I could go back in time when I was 18 to 25 years old, I would try to get the most out of it and enjoy the opportunities like I do now,” he said.
When he is not performing visually mesmerizing stunts on his bike, Adams enjoys working in business and real estate. These fields have been intriguing to him for the past five years, and he has a few real estate businesses he has been working toward building.
Adams encourages fans to follow him on twitter at @terryadamsBMX.