In Focus: Terry Adams Red Bull College Tour

Adams, a 28-year-old professional flatland rider from Louisiana, is a pioneer and something of a legend in the sport. Friday, balanced on the back pegs of his bike with his front wheel in the air and spinning around seven or eight times in succession, he looked more like a fixture in Cirque du Soleil than a BMX rider.

Flatland, a little-acknowledged form of BMX, refers to freestyle BMX riding performed on flat surfaces. To some it’s akin to breakdancing on pedals, to others it seems more like a gymnastics routine. It’s probably this ambiguity and aversion to define itself that got the event removed from the X-Games in the early 2000’s, but it’s this same openness that has allowed its practitioners to push the envelope.

“Flatland is a very artistic form of BMX because the possibilities are pretty much endless, it’s kind of like painting a picture,” Adams said. “There are tricks being invented every day all over the world. It’s very infinite.”

Sixth college fifth year August Mao, a flatland enthusiast who got to ride alongside Adams, had nothing but good things to say about the flatland professional.

“We all follow Terry Adams because he pushes BMX into media in such a big way,” Mao said.

Having racked up a number of flatland awards since the start of his career in 2002, Adams continues to promote, push and shape the sport. 
        
“Nowadays the flatland demonstrations are like head-to-head battles and really more interesting for the crowd to watch,” Adams said. “They’re a little more like rock concerts and that’s why they are dope.”

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