NIMBY? To the contrary, says Travis Pastrana, who practices his big-air motocross moves very close to home
Most freestyle motocross riders, when they visualize a new stunt, have to pack up their bikes and test the move in foam pits set up at riding centers in Nevada or Texas. Travis Pastrana just runs out to his backyard.
The 21-year-old Pastrana, who turned pro in 1999, has put together an impressive collection of foam pits, trampolines and dirt trails on the 20 acres behind his two-story brick house in Annapolis. The training ground is more than a little convenient for the three-time Summer X Games gold medalist. "It can be eight at night, and I can just jump on my bike and see if [a new move] works," Pastrana says.
The path to a new stunt often includes detours to the hospital, but thanks to his home foam, none of Pastrana's recent injuries--just this year, he has dislocated his left wrist, blown out his right knee and separated his right shoulder--have come on his backyard track.
Still, when the backyard gets crowded with riders (he plans to have a who's who of action sports stars on hand for an outing on Aug. 9-11), the casualties can mount quickly. In the course of one memorable day, while Pastrana and pals were shooting a DVD, two helicopters and an ambulance were summoned to deal with injured riders. "It was great footage but a bad day," Pastrana says, laughing.
While injuries have prevented him from perfecting a double backflip in time for the X Games, you'll almost certainly see him attempt that trick in the future, after some test runs at home. "I'm 100 percent self-contained," Pastrana says. "I learn everything, fix everything and try everything in my backyard."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
STEPHAN LEGRAND (2)
IT'S THE PITS
For Pastrana (airborne above, and right) there's no place like foam.