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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Bucky Lasek Shreds the Dew Tour and Gets Gold in Munich X Games

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The underside of a very large rock would be the assumed living place of someone not familiar with the name Bucky Lasek. As far as action sports go, his notoriety has reached mammoth proportions, spreading out year after year thanks to consistent success in competitive skateboarding, car racing and an ability to foster a hearty presence in popular culture due to his affable personality.

What is that, you say? I’m missing one of his most crucial qualifications? Yeah, I guess I should respect the fact that he had one of the best characters in “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.”

Dew Tour 2013

Last weekend, the Dew Tour kicked off another year with a more streamlined contest schedule — Beach Championships in Ocean City, MD, June 20-23; City Championships in San Francisco, CA, October 10-13; Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, CO, December 12-15 — less events, yet each one bigger and better than ever before possible. The competition in Ocean City was steep, yet Bucky ripped it up and showed his native state fans one hell of a time.

In the Skate Vert semis on Thursday, he went on to finish just behind Pierre-Luc Gagnon for second place, staking a claim right off the bat that X Games gold wasn’t enough to satisfy his 2013 craving for victory. The following day, he was able to stand atop the number one spot and take first in the skate bowl semi-final.

The Skate Vert finals saw Bucky continue to pour on the goods, snatching up the victory from Gagnon and reinforcing his reputation as a continued, proven success in the Dew Tour. The final day in Ocean City included two final rounds in the Skate Bowl. After exciting runs from each competitor, the degree of talent was made apparent as Bucky was forced to take the second spot to winner Pedro Barros.

Gold in X Games Munich

Keeping up his already searing momentum for 2013, Bucky clinched overall victory during the Skateboard Vert in yesterday’s X Games after rocketing to the top following some less than favorable first few rounds. He was able to overtake Gagnon and a whole other slew of young and veteran riders by implementing some more risky maneuvers into his final run.

Age? What is this age you speak of?

When you brush over this guy’s accolades, it’s almost shocking to remember that he is 40 years old. Not 40 years old and running a monthly 10K, but 40 years old and crushing dudes half his age in an extreme sport that requires incredible talent and ruthless guts. It’s almost the norm to associate such longevity with a decline, regardless of how steep the pitch, but glossing over the aforementioned results, coupled with his gold in this year’s X Games, really makes associating Bucky with any sort of downturn a nonsensical notion.

How does skating stack up to car racing? What was it like playing as himself for the first time in the video game “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”? Get inside the mind of a ridiculously cool dude and read on for the exclusive Bullz-Eye interview:

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