Pro-riders tour bowls
Auckland BMXrider Jaden Leeming is living theBMX dream.
The 21-year-old professional is a relative newbie on the international scene but has made his mark after a season in the United States at the end of last year.
Leeming hosted Corey Bohan (Australia), Kris Fox (US), and Mike ‘‘Hucker’’ Clarke (US) in Wanaka and Queenstown last week as part of a month-long Red Bull-supported campervan tour to promote the sport in the regions.
The international riders are idolised in the BMXscene and Leeming was helping them search for the best dirt parks and concrete skate sports the country can offer.
The 3,200 kilometre Tip To Tail tour will feature in six web video episodes to be released later this month.
Leeming told the Mirror last week the filming was ‘‘pretty much half and half a lifestyle and riding trip’’ that had included other activities such as white water rafting and riding Wanaka trails.
He felt privileged to show his BMX ‘‘inspirations and idols’’ around the country.
New Zealand’s dirt parks and concrete bowls ‘‘do not get the limelight they deserve’’ and although the tour had not attracted huge numbers, the reception from local riders had been good, Leeming said.
Leeming has been professional nearly two years but has been progressing to that goal since taking up the sport aged nine.
Park sports were growing in New Zealand and many people did not realise the small towns did ‘‘old school concrete bowls’’ really well.
One of the issues for Kiwi BMXers is there is not much else Professional
BMX rider Corey Bohan of
Australia in Wanaka’s skate park last week. but concrete bowls and small dirt parks in the regions.
While the country had a ‘‘great scene’’ there was scope for more indoor facilities similar to those in Australia, Leeming said.
‘‘There’s definitely room for a summer camp..’’
Indoor facilities allow athletes to practice tricks in safe environments that avoid or minimise injuries.
Many BMXers learn the hard way – and Leeming learned again when he knocked himself out while filming at Gorge Rd last week.
Leeming said the timing of the accident was okay because he had already planned time off sport for a Red Bull athlete summit.
He is looking forward to liaising with athletes from other sports, like multisport and sailing.
‘‘It is good for me to see what everyone else is up to,’’ he said.
firstname.lastname@example.org BMXdream: Jaden Leeming of Auckland in the Gorge Rd bike park last week.