BMX Dirt biking Paradise in Downtown Chicago

BMX course

On a recent vacation to Vancouver, British Columbia I was pleasantly taken aback by how the city immediately juxtaposes the urban with mother nature. I’ve seen no other place on Earth that integrates these two potentially conflicting entities so well; without the mundane banality of the suburbs in between.

On Saturday June 12, 2010. Chicago got a taste of just how scenic the nature-meets-city aesthetic can be at Red Bull Stomping Ground, a BMX freestyle competition that transformed an abandoned, River West neighborhood factory lot into the ultimate dirt playground. The course, located at Augusta and Elston was designed by Tim “Fuzzy Hall,” who’s sort of like the Larry Bird of BMX.

Now I know about as much about BMX as I do about women’s shoes (being a heterosexual male, I know absolutely nothing about women’s shoes), but that didn’t stop me from appreciating the event on numerous levels. The course itself is the star; with exciting bike jumps and flips the dazzling co-star. These aerial maneuvers are even more exciting when occurring with the city’s beautiful skyline as the backdrop.

By Paul M. Banks

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