BMX Beast: A chat with Drew Bezanson

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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.

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Mountain Dew Kickstart Adventure Starring BMX Pros Chad DeGroot and Mark Mulville

When Mountain Dew gave me the opportunity to head down to Orlando, Florida for two days to learn how to ride bikes with professional BMX riders Chad DeGroot and Mark Mulville, I couldn’t shirk off the responsibilities of fatherhood, home ownership and general employment fast enough.

Kickstart by Mountain Dew is a sparkling juice beverage made to kick-start your day and get your rear into gear. With just 80 calories per 16 oz serving and 92 milligrams of caffeine (roughly as much as one cup of coffee), Kickstart gets you moving without the bloated, heavy feeling supplied by most “energy drinks” on the market. Don’t think of this as an energy drink — think of it as Mountain Dew for breakfast! Didn’t we all go to school with someone who drank Mountain Dew for breakfast, anyway? My buddy Eric Hoffman drank so much in the ’90s he pisses Yellow #5 to this day, exclusively.

Want to kick ass at BMX? Try this PED. And, it will make you into a sexual tyrannosaurs.

Loaded with Vitamins B and C, plus 5% fruit juice, it’s a morning drink (not an energy drink) that gets your body and your mind higher than BMX pro/stunt cock Mark Mulville off a 10-foot wall at Orlando Skate Park!

Speaking of OSP, (which is what you call it, Brojam), getting there at roughly 7 AM was a serious thing of beauty. The sun had just began to rise, which gave everything a cherubic, surreal glow, and was accompanied by an endless chorus of early morning bird chirping action. It was like a bird mixtape that you made to impress a chick (when you used to do shit like that), except this was played against the backdrop of crisp morning air and the excitement of doing something you had never done before: riding a BMX bike.

Orlando Skate Park

When I first attempted to straddle the BMX, my first concern was for my nutsac. I’m all vasectomied up, so I wasn’t worried about reproductive function being compromised (spray and pray, baby); I was literally worried about crushing my nutsac on the pointy plastic seat. When I asked pro rider Chad DeGroot about the protruding seat, which could tear anal membrane or ball sac-age with equal ease, he said, “Well, you really don’t have to worry because you’re usually standing when you’re on the bike, anyway.”

And with that, I mounted the bike from behind, and rode it, in a rather wobbly way for about 10-15 feet. The bike was really small, my legs felt super long, and the safety of my ballsac was still floating through my mind. Maybe it’s because when I was 13 and playing little league I watched a kid in the on-deck circle take a well hit, yet foul, line drive directly to the nuts which resulted in one of his balls deflating, right there on the field. What a sound!

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