Q&A – ‘Tailwhips’ and ‘truck drivers’

Jaron Turnbow says despite his mother's support for his love of bicycle motocross, also known as BMX, she's had her share of panic attacks when it comes to the accidents he's been in.

But for somebody who's been riding since 2005, Turnbow said the injuries come with the territory. The 20-year-old Portales resident said he got into the sport because he wasn't good on a skateboard.

He says he's been competitively riding for the past couple of years.

Here's a look into the life of a BMX rider:

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent

BMX rider Jaron Turnbow does a barspin trick on Mitchell Street in Clovis.

How old were you when you got your first bike?

I was 6. It was a red Huffy with training wheels and my mom ran over it.

What's the hardest trick you know and how do you do it?

There's two. The first one is a "tailwhip." The bike does a full 360 under you as you're holding onto the bars and you have to throw your feet back on the pedals once it gets back around from the rotation.

The second is a "truck driver." You're in the air, you do a full 360 on your bike but in the middle of the 360, you rotate the bars also.

What's the highest you've been in the air doing one trick?

At least over 12 feet guaranteed.

What was your most memorable competition?

Definitely the second Battle of the Dust Bowl in Amarillo because I got to meet pro BMX riders Corey Garmen of the Black Eye Bikes team and hanging out with Duke Dustman as well as hanging out with other riders.

If you could play any other sport, what would it be and why?

I'd want to be a professional wakeboarder because I love the water.

What does a BMX rider's diet consist of?

Rockstar energy drinks definitely, cheeseburgers and steak.

How many injuries have you endured riding?

I've broken my collar bone, I've broken my elbow, I've broken my leg and probably had more than 200 accidents.

What makes all those accidents worth it?

The freedom of riding and just letting everything go. That's why I'm as dedicated to it because if I have a problem, I would ride. It's just something to go to.

What people, either in or out of the BMX realm, inspire you?

  • Mike Aiken, a pro BMX rider.
  • Harry Main, a pro BMX rider.
  • Travis Pastrana, a pro supercross rider.
  • My mom, because she helped me with my bikes along the way and she's a nurse so she bandaged me up a lot.

What's the name of your bike?

Eleanor after former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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