WILMINGTON – Jumps, tricks and a couple of backflips were on display Friday night during Wilmington’s Bike Fest Jump Jam.
Krusher was the main attraction for the event. The five-man professional BMX stunt team from Repentigny, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, was having some fun warming up in Wilmington’s bike park before the event started at 6 p.m.
“We’re going to do some spins, Supermans and backflips,” said Jeff Whaley, one of the performers.
After a crowd of about 200 had assembled inside the park, the riders began jumping over the nearly 4-foot-tall ramp at an adrenaline-pounding pace, making their tricks more complex and difficult the louder the audience got.
“The more noise you make, the higher they’ll go,” Dylan Vanier, Krusher’s manager and the event’s announcer said over a loud speaker.
At one point Vanier stood on top of the ramp, letting the riders jump over him while he crouched down. After four of the riders jumped over him, he stood up completely, and biker Hugo Larchelle jumped clean above him. However, Larchelle crashed during the landing, scraping his forearm on the pavement. Larchelle brushed it off and then gave a thumbs-up to the audience, which cheered loudly.
At one point, the stunt team was jumping alongside a hovering drone, which was not part of the act. A member of the audience was flying the aircraft above the bikers, taking pictures.
After the thrills and spills of the Krusher stunt team, the crowd watched Sam Perkins of Plattsburgh, Taylor Wright of Wilmington, Mike Houle of Quebec and Carsinn Wilson of Ottawa perform tricks on an obstacle course. Wright rode a unicycle.
The performers did special tricks over an obstacle course, which included a huge barrel, poles, rocks and a car. During the end of the show, Perkins popped a wheelie over his wife, Jessica, who was laying prone on the ground. Before that, Perkins jumped his bike over her.
Michelle Burns, operations manager of the Whiteface Visitors Bureau, said the annual event was special this year due to the hired talent.
“This is the first time we’ve brought in as many professional riders as we have,” Burns said.
And that difference showed, according to the audience.
“Very impressive,” Ed Orsi of Wilmington said of the Krusher stunt team. “My kid definitely got a kick out of it.”
Emmett Groves, 10, of Saranac Lake, was riding with his friends at the dirt track after the Jump Jam had finished.
“I liked it. It was cool,” Groves said. He said his favorite trick was the backflip.
Burns said the event is part of the bigger Bike Fest weekend and helps brand Wilmington as a place where all types of biking like BMX, mountain biking, downhill and road biking are embraced.
“Wilmington has become known as the biking capitol of the Adirondacks because we have every type of biking here,” Burns said.
Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston said the event was fantastic.
“It was a great show, a fantastic show,” Preston said. “We’re just trying to build the event up every year.”