November 24, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
40°F

BMX cyclists ride the skies at Medina County Fair

Tyler Sparr, 26, does a backflip during the BMX show at the Medina County Fair Wednesday. Sparr is a member of Solutions Action Sports, which tours the nation performing BMX shows. (ALEX SMITH / GAZETTE)

Tyler Sparr, 26, does a backflip during the BMX show at the Medina County Fair Wednesday. Sparr is a member of Solutions Action Sports, which tours the nation performing BMX shows. (ALEC SMITH / GAZETTE)

Freestyle BMX — the most spectacular version of bicycle motocross — achieved the peak of its popularity decades ago.

But the sport has found a way to continue to fly high at county fairs and community festivals.

Solutions Action Sports has been producing BMX and motocross shows for the past five years. This year they brought the action to the Medina County Fair.

Justin Hardin, the founder of Solutions Actions Sports, of Indiana, said his company was formed when the BMX contest scene was going downhill.

“I was looking for a way to keep my athletes getting paid,” he said. “And now we are the fastest growing action sports company in the world.

“Right now we are in the middle of a 90-stop tour.”

Tyler Sparr, 27, Vinnie Devera, 20, and Ben Eylander, 23, make up the team of riders performing at this week’s fair.

Each has their own bag of tricks that they pull out during daily shows at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. on the northwest side of the fairgrounds.

Sparr — who has been touring for five years — is a fan of big airs, he airs out over the ramp and pulls off huge tricks like the “Superman” where he throws his bike out in front of him and extends his body horizontally as if he were the superhero himself.

It is Devara’s first tour as a professional. He rides without brakes, making his tricks a bit more risky than the others.

Eylander rocks the crowd with huge inverted twists and flips.

Also riding this week is a 10-year-old from Medina named Grayden Schnieder. He has been riding bikes since the age of 4 and holds his own on ramps nearly twice his size.

“This kid is someone to watch,” Hardin said during the show Wednesday afternoon.

After the shows the crowd can meet the athletes and get their autographs.

Sparr said his favorite part about being a traveling action sports athlete is traveling.

“It is fun to see what each state has to offer,” he said. “We can ride anywhere, but it is the different areas that make it fun.”

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.