Pro BMX rider Terry Adams rolls through WKU’s campus

Red Bull National Athlete Terry Adams, a professional flatland BMX rider, preforms tricks on Wednesday afternoon near South Lawn. WKU is one of the stops for Adams’ 30-state 2011 summer tour.

Michael McKay

In front of Pearce Ford Tower on Wednesday, three students laid on the sidewalk next to each other, arms by their side.

Despite what it may have looked like, the three weren’t participating in a group planking event but rather waiting to see if a pro BMX rider could successfully clear a jump over them.

Red Bull National Athlete Terry Adams, a professional flatland BMX rider, made WKU one of the stops for his 30-state 2011 summer tour. Adams’ appearance on campus was mainly a promotion for Red Bull, but he said the marketing isn’t in your face.

Adams performed tricks by the Academic Complex, Pearce Ford Tower and briefly inside of Downing University Center before being asked to leave by DUC staff.

“I’m just pedaling around campus,” Adams said. “If students want to watch, they watch. If they want to know why we’re here, I tell them. But for the most part, a lot of hanging out and chilling with you guys.”

Adams’ skill in flatland riding earned him a gold medal at the 2005 X Games and the Number One Rider Award given by Ride BMX magazine in 2005 and again in 2008.

Flatland BMX involves riding on a smooth surface and performing tricks by balancing and jumping with the bike. Adams said flatland is a very artistic form of cycling.

“BMX is broken into a ton of different types of riding. There’s the ramp riding, there’s dirt jumps, there’s the BMX racing and then there’s flatland,” Adams said. “And so flatland is more of the artsy type of thing. It is a very infinite art form. It’s almost like painting a picture with your bike.”

Adams’ ride coincided with sessions for M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan students, but he was still able to draw an audience for most of the time he spent on campus. Students posed behind Adams for pictures and clapped in between tricks.

Nashville junior Anton Calvin was impressed enough about Adams riding to wish it was a bigger event, adding that student organizations should look into hosting people like Adams.

“This stuff would be good for Western,” Calvin said.