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BMX riders tell students to dream big

Wheels of Freestyle program touches down at Rocklin schools
By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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Nothing gets students going on a Monday better than an action-packed professional BMX thrill show.
That’s what got Rock Creek Elementary and Valley View Elementary students riled up this week.
BMX performers Casey Shelton and Steve Woodward endured the heat and showed off some of the two-wheeled tricks both on the ground and in the air.
Their visit was part of Wheels of Freestyle, a traveling tour of professional BMX bike riders, currently on a month-long tour across the nation visiting schools and getting the message out, encouraging kids to dream big.
“We encourage you to go big,” kids were told at the beginning of the show.
The almost hour-long show packed stunts like the tailwhip, where the rider makes the bike spin 360 degrees and hopes the bike goes back under the rider’s body, Shelton said, an ET-like trick where the rider pedals in a mid-air jump, and a Superman, where the rider makes a Superman-like pose in the air.
The duo encouraged cheers, as noise equals more energy and tricks, Shelton said.
In the midst of the bike tricks, Shelton pointed out the Wheels of Freestyle five-point bike safety check: checking the tire pressure, handle bars, seat, chain and breaks. Shelton took reign of the microphone to tell students the importance of bike maintenance and safety and encouraged helmet wearing.
The theme of the show, the go-big stunt show, gave students a glimpse into career paths they may never have imagined.
Shelton shared his experience as a fourth-grader witnessing a BMX stunt show and said right then and there he knew it was the career path for him.
“We’ve all got dreams, don’t we?” he asked the crowd. “Whatever your goals are, whatever your dreams are, you guys are going to have to give 100 percent.”
Shelton said he visits schools across the country to motivate and help “find out what you love to do.”
Following bike safety and air tricks, Shelton and Woodward showed some of the trickier stunts, many of them with legs or arms leaving the petals or handles in the air during a jump.
Adrenaline-pumping songs filled the speakers, playing songs like “Who Let the Dogs Out?” that got the kids clapping and excited for the next trick.
The finale was what stood out most to some students, where four teachers laid face down on the ground, while Woodward first jumped over the group on foot, then jumped over while carrying his bike. Next, Shelton gathered two other Rock Creek teachers and Principal Dorothy Sutter to join the bunch, while Shelton and Woodward, individually, made the jump on their bikes over the seven staff members.
“They love it,” Sutter said after the assembly.
And the kids continue to enjoy it – this year’s show was the second time Wheels of Freestyle has come to Rock Creek, Sutter said.
But for kindergarteners, this was their first experience witnessing the aerial tricks.
“I like when he flipped (in the air),” said Aubrey Murray, a kindergartener at Rock Creek.
Murray’s fellow student Juliana Seltzer also had a favorite part, “when he was jumping over the teachers,” she said.
Placer Herald’s Lauren Weber can be reached at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.

For more photos: Pro BMX riders show stunts at Rocklin schools