Local man’s Guinness World Record certifiedWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, Toledo resident Aaron Taylor received his official certificate from Guinness World Records for a world record he set on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this year.
An avid BMX bike enthusiast since childhood, the 27-year-old Taylor set a new world record for “Most Consecutive Bicycle Back Wheel Pogo Hops.” He successfully completed 129 consecutive back wheel hops on his everyday bike at Woodville Skatepark 2, breaking the previous record of 128 consecutive pogo hops set by Oliver Rege.
“It means a lot to me because I have a passion for the sport,” said Taylor, a welder and fabricator who grew up in Sylvania. “And even though it’s not necessarily a normal part of the riding, it was something that had to do with it and it was just fun.”
Though Taylor’s record has since been broken by Max-Christian Schrom, who successfully did 180 consecutive back wheel pogo hops in Germany on May 15, both Schrom and Rege used modified bikes when they set the record. Each used bikes with handlebars that were set out further than a regular BMX bike, which makes it easier to get a better center of gravity, Taylor said.
After Guinness World Records notified Taylor with a letter that there was a new world record when they sent him the certificate for his record last month, he emailed them about the bike differences.
“They basically said back that if they did subcategories for everything, there’d be a million different subcategories and everything,” Taylor said. “So they just bunch it into one group.”
Still, having a certificate proving that you held a Guinness World Record at one time is a unique accomplishment, especially given what Taylor had to overcome prior to setting his.
Five years ago, Taylor was going through a divorce in addition to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic depression.
“That started the whole downward spiral,” Taylor said. “I ended up being divorced at the age of 23 and didn’t actually start getting on my path of recouping from having bipolar [disorder] until within the last two years.”
One of the people that helped Taylor get back on his feet was Tropic Bombs’ vocalist Ryan Wayton, who reached out to him when Taylor created a Facebook account. The pair attended Southview together, and Taylor has followed Wayton’s musical projects since he was a teenager.
“He’s one of the only people that I can say that I still see today that was at our very first show in our very first band back in 2002, so he’s been supporting our music,” Wayton said. “He’s also the first person that ever kind of came out and said, ‘Dude, your music has done something for me,’ which was to me, of course, that was amazing.”
Having also gone through a tough breakup, Wayton’s advice helped rejuvenate Taylor.
“He was one of the major, major sources of motivation and just someone to turn to when I needed to talk to [somebody] that wouldn’t hold judgment against me, and just kind of understood what I was going through and wanted to help me through it,” Taylor said of Wayton. “Like everybody says, he’s just a really nice, super down-to-earth, caring person.”
When Taylor set a new world record at Woodville Skatepark 2 on St. Patty’s Day, Wayton, Tropic Bombs’ guitarist Jon Hammond and other mutual friends were there to support him.
“I think he reached out to people because he wasn’t sure of himself, and he wanted someone else to give him some confidence,” Wayton said. “As teachers—because that’s what I’m in my last year of school to be—you try to take the potential that you see in somebody and give them the confidence to go and do it themselves.”
Nowadays, Taylor’s confidence is much better. He’s the leader of Tropic Bombs’ street team—the “Tropic Bombs Army”—and is even eyeing another world record. He wants to try going the longest distance ridden backwards on a bike.
“Aaron’s going to realize that what he’s doing is inspiring other people,” Wayton said. “And I know Aaron, and I know that that’s going to mean the world to him.”