Bike show popularity still growing

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Defying gravity with flips and tricks is not a bad way to spend a weekend.
That is the life of freestyle motocross riders Stuart Ewing and Andrew Jackson, of Gore, who are part of the Freestyle Motocross New Zealand team based in Palmerston North.
With two other riders, the Gore pair do shows throughout New Zealand as sideshows to bigger events.
This Sunday they will give a show as part of the Winter Festival in Queenstown.
‘‘We are hired to go along with our 75ft [23m] ramp to do tricks and jumps and all that sort of thing and put a show on,’’ Ewing said.
Ewing said he and Jackson began doing shows together three years ago when they were teenagers.
‘‘We started off on about seven shows a year but now we are doing about 14 to 15 shows all over the country,’’ he said.
This winter they have had some downtime, with this weekend’s event the first since the Royal Easter show in Auckland, where they performed in front of more than 162,000 people during the weekend.
The show season is set to pick up again in September.
Biking has been a hobby for Ewing ever since he moved to Gore from Ashburton as a 6-year-old.
By the time he was 7, he and Jackson had started motocross, beginning with small jumps on Jackson’s father’s farm on Old Coach Rd between Mataura and Clinton.
‘‘His old man gave us a paddock which we call the compound and have turned it into a bit of a stomping ground where we have created jumps and tracks,’’ Ewing said.
He said they used some of Jackson’s father’s machinery to make tracks and jumps, and they were also helped by sponsors Advance Quip NZ Ltd.
They said they were always looking for riders to join them. With demand for shows growing, they were keen to help other riders join the sport.