When most of the neighborhood kids were just learning how to ride a bike, CJ at the age of 5 and Jordan at 4, began racing theirs. Following in their dad Clay Stark's footsteps, the two boys began competing in the BMX race circuit.
These Waynedale residents, who are 13 and 9 respectively, not only ride the trails along DeForest and the ravine off of South Anthony, but have competed in BMX and motocross events taking them as far away as Oasis Skateboard Park (near Tokheim) in Fort Wayne, Blindside in Elkhart, Xtreme Park in Louisville, Kentucky, and Camp Woodward Skatepark in Pennsylvania. CJ's most extreme race, so far, he said, was when he was 5. He came in second in the nation, winning the President's Cup in Columbus, Ohio and the Grand Nationals held in Louisville, Kentucky.
After a few years these Xtreme boys started getting bored with just racing around and around on a track, so they built a dirt ramp in their yard and just went from there. This five to six foot tall mound of dirt sits beside Clay and Lisa Stark's home on Alleghany Avenue. "It provides a practice area for the boys," said Lisa, a hairstylist for Waynedale Hair Salon. "If we had to travel to a BMX track the boys would miss the much needed practice time." "They practice everyday—-all day long—-riding fast and riding hard."
These two wild-eyed bikers currently participate in the hottest, most exciting, most extreme sport on the planet-Freestyle BMX.
During a Freestyle BMX event one rider at a time hits the course for a minute and a half, traveling through the air and doing insane tricks while in flight. The more tricks they do the better the score. "Instead of just pedaling around a track, you get to do tricks," said Jordan, now 9 years old and a student at Waynedale Elementary. "My favorite trick is the 360 and my brother's would be the backflip."
In competition, a few months ago, at the Oasis Skatepark a jam was held where CJ and Jordan competed. CJ won the 13-18 age division and Jordan won the 12 and under competition.
And their bikes --- not just for riding down the street. These bikes are built for the extreme! Jordan rides a DK and sometimes a Haro, and CJ has custom-made his own bike to fit his style of riding. "I needed a heavy-duty frame for my bike so I custom made my own with a Liberty frame," said CJ. "It's built by Nathan Francis who lives here in Waynedale. It keeps up with the style of riding that I now do."
These kids are good but sometimes it happens. You get hurt. "I wasn't on my own bike, so I didn't know this bike," CJ recalling his latest crash. "Just a week ago, I got a concussion riding down the road doing a bunny jump." "The handle bars came off and hit me—-Hit me hard." "I fixed the handle bars and gave the guy his bike back." Jordan said his worst crash was when his foot got caught doing an easy jump. "Just plain jumping. Trying to clear a jump, my foot got caught. I cut my leg all the way to the bone when the pedal trailed down my shin." "I wear my shin guards all the time now." BMX riders CJ and Jordan advise kids interested in freestyle riding. "Don't just grab a bike and head out to the boonies somewhere by yourself. Ride and race with someone, and in as many races, and at as many different tracks, as you can."
"The Best of the Best" in Xtreme sports will be here in Fort Wayne for the Three Rivers Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and10. This highest rated and most popular xtreme event of both the winter and summer X-games, will be part of the summer fun. Watch for these BMXer's in the parade on Saturday. For the first time in the Midwest they will be performing on a float. And then on Sunday, July 10 at 5pm and 7pm an Xtreme Stunt Show will be held at the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre in Franke Park. Admission is free. CJ and Jordan, the new heroes to the next generation will be there, along with Xtreme pro-rider Jody Donnely. These riders will also be on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures.