Bicycles are the center of focus for countless professional athletes, from clean-shaven Tour de France cyclists, to explosively aesthetic BMX riders.
Almost every kid in America had a chance to shred around on a BMX bike when growing up. Some picked up the desire and ability to perform tricks, while the majority simply connected with the machine as a means of transportation. Either way, few, if any, will debate the fact that those who make it to the professional circuit are individuals with an incredibly extensive set of skills and enviable lack of fear.
Canadian Drew Bezanson caught the bug early in middle school after visiting a local skate park, and his progression since then has been nothing short of amazing. 2010 Transworld BMX NORA Cup for Ramp Rider of the year, Toronto BMX Jam, the JoMoPro, plus a couple of Simple Session wins and notable X Games and Dew Tour performances.
I had the pleasure of seeing Drew compete at this year’s Dew Tour in San Francisco, where he not only tore it up for a sixth place finish in dirt, but fell just outside the podium with a fourth place in streetstyle. The dude is a beast on a bike, plain and simple.
You can watch countless videos of BMX riders pulling out all the stops to land technically ferocious tricks, but it really is a spectacular thing to witness in person. The cliché praises spoken from long-haired, ex-pro announcers can be a bit corny at times, but the physicality and skill shown in competitive BMX truly is some insane shit – it’s undeniable.
Taking this into account, it was great to speak with Drew on what it’s like to actually be one of the select few that can say they are a pro BMX rider, and all the shenanigans that go along with it.
Did your traumatic head injury in 2011 effect the way you have competed since then, and are there certain things you avoid entirely when riding?
At first, it was definitely scary, but when you have that much time off the bike and can assess everything… I could get hurt doing anything. BMX is what I love to do. But I am a little safer now by always wearing a helmet and mouth guard.
Such a small group of people actually break through and become a professional athlete. Does this ever lose its luster or are you super motivated most the time?
It’s definitely an emotional roller coaster, and it is the way I pay my bills, but what I liked about BMX when I started was that I could do it whenever, wherever and however. If I didn’t want to ride my bike, I didn’t have to, but now there are some times where you’re sore and beat up and would love to take a day off, but you have to ride. So it’s up and down. You do get burned out a little bit, but I still love it.