The Weather Men

Been a pretty hectic tour this month for both buses on the Monster Energy FreestyleMX.com Worldwide Tour presented by SMP Clothing with 26 stops in 20 cities in only 31 days!  That means lots of hard work, lots of different faces but the same weather all the time.  Same weather?  Wind and rain have followed both buses this month and it may make the drought plagued locals happy, but has given us a few ulcers!

If you are new to FMX, rain is always a deal killer.  The steel ramps get wet and slick making it impossible to jump the complete distance and it soaks the run-up and shut down areas preventing the riders from starting and stopping safely.  Luckily, we only missed a couple demos from the wet stuff, but the road crew has to work that much harder to get everything ready.  Wind- that brings a whole new set of problems.

A head or tail wind is doable to a point when you have some of the best riders in the world riding for you.  These guys are jumping a 75 foot industry standard gap and need to hit the ramp at about 30 mph give or take. When it starts to blow, the jumpers need to adjust their speed a little bit and that is tough to do with no speedometers or radar guns in place-it’s done by feel and experience which is something lesser riders tend to fail to deal with.  Crosswinds are ridiculous.  A ten knot cross can push a 240 pound dirtbike seven to eight feet sideways as they fly through the air and the lander is about 16 feet wide.  Do the math, gasp and continue reading!  We have had wind at EVERY SINGLE STOP this month to deal with and I really want to thank our riders for sacking up, being safe gladiators of the sky and putting in the shows.  John Distler now in his 14th year as a FMX pro said “If we looked out, saw this wind and there were no fans out there, we wouldn’t even get off the bus.”  That is why the Monster Energy crew is the best in the business!

Since I last checked in we have been to Columbus Speedway in Ohio where we did our best to convert the track to a Monster Energy venue from another brand that rhymes with “cramp”.  The crowd was huge and autographs took nearly an hour to do!  We packed up and headed straight to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and got clearance from the tower to do two days worth of aerial antics.  Pretty sure it was the best thing the service members had seen since the Air Force Thunderbird Aerobatic crew was in town.  The night prior we were hit by a micro-burst at the venue which pushed our 1000 pound take off ramp 25 feet across the parking lot!  Inside the bus we all pretty much thought we were goner’s as the 40 foot Tornado Magnet rocked violently side to side and made some sickening noises!  We made it with minimal damage to the unit, but a telephone pole was snapped in half 100 yards away and the vent top on the bus was lost for good.

Next the crew trekked on up to Indian River, Michigan for three days of shows.  Indian River is the hometown of Monster Energy owner Mark Hall, so we knew we had to really be on our toes and kick some serious ass.  Wind and rain followed us here too- but the road crew made sure the riders had everything they needed to show the fans a good time.  Gotta give mad props to Indian River and it’s people.  We were treated like rock stars by everyone there and the crowds were louder and had more energy than anywhere we had been so far.  If you need a place to go on vacation-check this place out.  Beautiful rivers and lakes, lots of trees and awesome people are why this place is my new favorite place on the planet. A very, very special thanks go out to Indian River Sports Center for getting parts for the riders bikes, treating us to dinners, boat rides and being ambassadors to their community.  BC Pizza kept the crew fed all week long too with awesome food and thanks for the breakfast!  The Summer Store had all the toys for river and lake fun and supplied the entire crew with Native sunglasses for free while Dairy Mart provided the ice cream and milkshakes for desserts.  No one wanted to leave, but we had to move on down the road to Lake Delton, Wisconsin.

We got here the day before yesterday for two days of shows at Monk’s at the Wilderness sports bar and grill.  Yesterday we braved more rain and wind in front of lots of vacationers to the Wisconsin Dells (home of like ten people and 100 water parks-lol) and as I write this today- I am seeing small children getting yarded by the wind and flying by the bus windows!  We have some shows here today, and even though the winds are too high for anyone to safely jump, we are going to wait it out.  We never give up until it’s dark!

Next stops are at the end of the week in Shakopee Minnesota at the speedway on Friday night, then two days at Mills Fleet and Farm in Carver, MN.  Make sure you come on by and say hi to the crew and who knows, you may get stoked out with some Monster Energy gear!

-Cory Stem

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