Recruiting tour teams up BMX, National Guard

Melissa Dilley

Stars show off skills, teach students tricks

Ryan Jordan (left), 27, and Brett Walker (right), 23, jump over the spine set up in the middle of Risman Plaza as part of a 10-week tour sponsored by the National Guard. The two men come from Corona, Calif. Walker says BMX keeps him young. He has been bik

Credit: DKS Editors

Students attempted stunts on professional BMX bikes yesterday in Risman Plaza – but they were no comparison to the real stars of the event.

The National Guard BMX Freestyle Freedom Tour ’08 brought professional BMX riders Ryan Jordan and Brett Walker, who did jumps, spins and flips during four 15-minute shows throughout the six-hour event.

Between the shows, students had the opportunity to learn some tricks from the pros.

About a dozen students took the chance, including senior finance major Aaron Rabinowitz, who rides his bike to school daily. Rabinowitz said he signed the waiver to get on one of the BMX bikes because he thought it was going to be easy considering his experience.

“I could barely get my balance,” Rabinowitz said. “I would not be interested in pursuing BMX biking in the future, but maybe I will follow the sport now that I’ve met some of the riders.”

X Games riders Jordan and Walker said they joined the tour to show students what they have done and get them interested in BMX biking, but it is sometimes hard to adjust to biking in front of crowds.

“I’m not used to riding in front of crowds because I’m usually just riding in front of a camera guy,” Jordan said. “I really like being in front of a college crowd though because maybe they will become interested in the sport.”

Elena Martinez, who is in charge of promotions and marketing for the tour, said the National Guard teamed up with the riders and schools as a way to reach students who are interested in the military but may be hesitant to speak with a recruiter.

“This tour gives the students a way to be involved and learn about the National Guard,” Martinez said. “There are people here who can give information about the National Guard so students can talk to them without the pressure they might feel if they were to talk to a recruiter.”

The tour, which is traveling to 28 states this semester, gave free T-shirts or book bags to students who took surveys. Information about recruitment was also available at the local National Guard unit tent.

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Melissa Dilley at [email protected].