Freestyle Motocross streaks into Huntington CenterWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Toledoans have the chance to watch a group of daredevils perform flips and tricks at the 2012 Freestyle Motocross events Feb. 17-18 at Huntington Center.
Nick Dunne of Redding, Calif. has won the last three stops of the series. Dunne has been riding bikes since age 4.
“My dad bought me my first bike and kinda bought it so we could go out, have a few beers and ride dirt bikes together,” he laughed. Dunne raced bikes until age 14 when he started freestyling.
“I was always doing, well, my parents would say stupid little stunts, anything that would get the adrenaline going,” the 24-year-old said.
Dunne, who turned pro in 2006, has had his fair share of injuries during his career. He broke his back two years ago and shattered his foot last year. His back was easier to get over, he “still kinda has problems” with his foot.
“But when I’m on my bike, I can’t feel it so I’m good to go,” he said.
Dunne’s favorite trick is a no-handed candy bar where “it looks like I’m gonna fly off my bike.” He counts learning a back flip as one of his biggest accomplishments.
This fearlessness paid off when he joined the Metal Mulisha, a well-known motocross team, about two years ago.
“It’s been my dream my whole life to be on that team,” he said. His other sponsors include ROCKSTAR Energy, ProTaper, Pro Circuit, Maxxis Tires and Race Tech Suspension.
In his little free time, Dunne likes to snowboard, hunt and fish. But, most of the time, his life is dedicated to freestyle.
Despite his long career, his mom still has her concerns. “My mom’s always worried about it. Every show, she wants a phone call to let her know I made it through the night. Even when I’m not riding, she’s worried because I’m an off-the-wall kid,” Dunne said.
When asked if he ever gets scared, he replied, “That’s why we do it, that nervous feeling. You get all anxious and get your heart pumping. That’s the feeling [riders are] probably looking for. It’s like a fun scare.”
The rider lineup also features Drake McElroy (Fernley, Nev.), Jimmie McGuire (Lawton, Okla.), Julian Dusseau (Humboldt County, Calif.), Keith Sayers (Butte, Mont.), Kenny Bell (Reno, Nev.), Derek Burlew (Cliffwood Beach, N.J.) and Gabriel Villegas (Chile).
Riders compete against each other by performing as many tricks as possible in a minute during a qualifying segment. The four winners then do the same in 90 seconds.
“We’re all really, really good friends. We have fun, but down deep we all hate each other,” Dunne joked of his fellow riders. “You put the helmet on, you’re no longer friends, but 90 seconds later, you take it off and you’re back to smiling at each other.”
The Huntington Center events mark Dunne’s first time in Toledo. His next stop is Sacramento, Calif., about two hours away from his hometown.
After the show, fans can attend an autograph session and meet their favorites riders.
The 5050 BMX Crew and Cody Elkins will also perform.