BMX for Extremely Safe Ride

By Silverstein, Scott | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 14, 2001 | Go to article overview
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BMX for Extremely Safe Ride

Silverstein, Scott, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Remember those youthful days when you rode your bike around the neighborhood, finally settling for a venture through the woods behind the local elementary school? You always wound up staring at the large rusty pipe that led into the sewer drain, wondering if you could make the jump, imagining your peers' cheers as you sped away successfully. Of course, you also remember the day you actually tried it, fell on your butt and, bleeding, walked your bent Huffy home.

Finally, there's a way to jump that pipe - and plenty more - without needing 63 stitches and a soft cast. Acclaim's Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX for the PlayStation provides a surprisingly engaging tour of the extreme sport, from jumps to skids to pretty ugly spills (but no blood).

For anyone who doesn't know, freestyle BMX refers to those riders who haven't quite grown up doing crazy stunts on their dirt bikes and using words like "sick" and "gnarly" to describe their tricks. These competitions take place outside, in areas with fallen trees, hills, ramps, empty swimming pools, etc. Check out ESPN's X Games and you'll see these guys pull off outrageous things, such as a leaping off a ramp, doing a backflip and landing on another ramp before riding off to continue the routine (the intro to the game even provides footage).

"Games" boasts the ability to do 1,300 such tricks, but that's somewhat of an exaggeration. Realistically, there's probably only somewhere around 20 - with names like superman, can can and candy bar. Acclaim comes up with that number by adding grinds (basically sliding your bike across an edge of a surface at any angle except 90 degrees), stalls (balancing the bike on an edge at a 90-degree angle) and the ability to modify all of the above with combinations and modifiers. So there's nearly no end to the variety.

You also can choose from among 10 pro riders, including the spokesman for the game, 10-time world champion Dave "Miracle Boy" Mirra and his buddy, Ryan Nyquist. Once you progress in the game, you can unlock bikes and clothing to customize the riders.

The game has two basic locations: Greenville, N.C., where Mirra and Nyquist live and learned to ride, and Woodward, a Pennsylvania camp for BMXers.

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