Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Air in the Square

I love inadvertently stumbling across something that is completely blogalicious.  18 months ago, before I started this blog, I would have impatiently pushed past the throng of viewers in the middle of Times Square last Thursday and headed straight to my destination.  Now, partially because I am constantly in need of new subject matter for this blog and partially because (thanks to it) I have a renewed thirst for the adventurous, I stop and check things out.  Well, most of the time, anyway.  As I walked toward my new theatre of employ (the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 43rd), I ran straight into a looming wooden structure and equally-as-huge crowd.  I stopped to check out the hubbub and was pleasantly entertained and thrilled for the next half hour.

Last Thursday afternoon, if you didn't know, was Air In The Square, a Mega-ramp ASA Triples Event.  Don't know what that is?  Yeah, I didn't either.  So, I stopped and asked an official-looking man setting up barricades.  Turns out, it's a BMX competition.  In Times Square.  For free.  Mama like.  I scooted toward the front of the group of folks, googled, and waited for the activities to commence.  According to my trusty internet-capable phone, this series of ramps was 195 feet long and a scaled-down version of the ramp used in the X Games (and event I DID recognize).  This course, though, had an extra ramp and two 15-feet jump gaps.  Oh, and it was smooshed between 42nd and 43rd street on Broadway.  Okay, I thought, this was getting more and more interesting by the minute.

Soon, the blasted punk/alternative music began to swell and guys on too-small-looking bikes whizzed down the large ramp and did an assortment of tricks in the air over our heads.  It was, in a word, thrilling!  They soared above our heads and I was terrified when I saw one of the first contestants wipe out, but the crowd around me didn't seem too concerned.  I realized as I continued to watch that falling was a pretty normal occurrence and these guys pretty much knew how to take their spills injury-free.  A particular biker did a fabulous-looking move and I leaned toward the guy next to me and asked what it was called.  "A 360", he repiled.  Okay.  Well, it was appropriately named, anyway.  I stayed for as long as I could, ooh'ed and aah'ed along with the crowd, and reluctantly turned toward work.  I became aware that this was an experience most people would pay a lot of money for and here I was stumbling on it while heading to work.  BMX pros warming up the pavement I walk every day.  And this, folks, is one of the many reasons why I love New York.


Hiatt's blog said...

Oh, I wish I had seen that. I love BMX competitions. They're fun on skateboards and motorcycles, too!

Andrea said...

As always, love your blogs! =) I dated a guy in high school who competed BMX, he now owns his own shop down in Florida. If you're ever down there I'll hook you up with him to do some BMX stuff! Maybe he can teach you a trick! =)

Kimberly said...

So you'll probably be competing BMX within the year:)

Mark said...

Absolutely love the pictures. I heard about you from your father when visiting New River Community College. After hearing such reviews, I just had to follow your blog. I am looking forward to reading your blog and best of luck!