MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
An excited crowd pressed against the Bourke Street fence at Victory Field as the sound of screaming motorcycle engines and smell of hot rubber signified the first of the six stunt shows taking place April 26, 2008.
Motocross stunt teams performed free stunt shows for Combat Center patrons and guests at Victory Field.
The event, which was hosted by Marine Corps Community Services, featured a freestyle street bike stunt show complete with headstands, wheelies and acrobatic routines, as well as dirt bike stunt performances.
Although a street bike show took place during a safety stand down for proper riding techniques in November, this is the team’s first official stunt show performed on base, said Jef Groff, a professional freestyle rider of three years and the stunt coordinator for the event.
“This event is basically a spin off of what we did last November, but this time we don’t have most of the limitations,” he said.
Groff added he and the other riders heard about the great reaction they received from their performance last year and didn’t hesitate when the base called them back for another one.
“This is a way for us to give back to them in a worldly entertainment sort of way,” he said about military service members. “This is a demonstration of skilled stunt riding and shows what you can do if you are also safe.”
As a word of precaution, the street bikes used in the performances have been modified to make it possible to perform most of the stunts and would not work on a standard bike, said Heidi Hydar, representative of H6 promotions, a motorcycle event planning company.
After the street bike performance, the crowd migrated to the center of the field, where two large ramps occupied the middle of a fenced-off area. This is where the Freestyle Motocross team Riders for Christ, or R4C, awed the audience with flips, twists and other airborne acts.
Between the shows, crowds gathered in front of smoky barbecue pits, refreshment booths, clothing stands and booths where the riders gave away autographed posters.
Riders also brought their street bikes onto the field, giving the public a chance to ask questions about their bikes, gear and skills.
“I thought it was pretty cool how well they handled their bikes,” said Lance Cpl. Caleb Williams, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “Safety is really important on bikes. And I’m sure everyone here really appreciates them taking time out of their busy schedule to entertain us. It shows people out there still support the troops.”
Pvt. Justin Symmes, Bravo Company, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, agreed.
“I loved the festivities today,” said the Anderson, Ind. native. “I liked the freestyle show more because maybe that’s some stuff I could learn how to do some day.”
The riders belong to multiplue teams and information can be found on their individual Web sites at http://www.jefgroff.com, http://www.edub32.com and http://www.alexstunts.com.