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While I’ve never really delved into so-called ‘extreme sports’ (for lack of a better term), I often find myself mesmerized by what some people can achieve by pushing their physical limits. But just this past Saturday night in the basement of the Anza Club I had a conversation over a beer with a good friend about a past-time we enjoyed as young teenagers in Langley – what we referred to as lake-jumping.
Lake jumping is pretty much as it sounds – riding a BMX bike, you build up speed in the approach to a jump that is set up at the water’s edge (or if you were lucky, and had a real lake unlike us, the ramp might be at the end of a dock). Once you hit the jump, you could try almost any move you wanted, knowing that landing in a body of water is much more forgiving than landing on concrete. I once saw a segment of the Rick Mercer show where the same principle is applied to freestyle ski-jumping training. Sure, we had to rebuild our bikes and repack the water-logged bearings quite often, but it was good, clean fun. I’m sure the local construction sites barely missed the scraps and offcuts necessary in the construction of the ramp.
But that is where the jumping ended for all of us; none of us translated it into any serious on-land tricks. Not like the subject of the photograph below from Canadian Veggie, anyway. Taken at the MEC Bikefest 2011 at the Athlete’s village this past weekend, this rider appears to be enjoying 20 – 25′ of air, joyous air – pulling off a move in a photograph that Canadian Veggie has titled Olympic Superman.
*kids, please don’t try this at home. And if you are going to lake-jump, first make sure the water is sufficiently deep – and it never hurts to put a flotation device on yourself and on your bike!