For the record, I don’t care about anything not related to BMX. When I say bike, it means BMX. And crazy doesn’t mean awesome; it doesn’t mean best, cool, trendy, or scary. The craziest thing ever done on a bike throws any responsibility in the trash, compacts it, and then puts it on it’s back and takes it along for the ride. These are my top five. Also known as my opinion. Feel free to share yours in the comments. —Ryan
1. Mat Hoffman’s 69-foot Air
It wasn’t 69 feet, but he was 50’6” in the air—26’6″ off a 24′ ramp. And he got pulled in by a motorcycle. It’s one thing to decide you’re going to go slide a rail that you’ve been looking at for years, but it’s another to spend months constructing a ramp that would eventually put you in a coma and stop your heart. There’s no doubt in a single person’s mind that Mat Hoffman is number one at everything that’s worth being number one…this includes being the craziest son of a bitch there’s ever been. Sorry K-Rob, yours doesn’t even compare.
2. Colin Winkleman’s World Record Distance Jump
From attempting double flips at a contest with 16 people there to landing chest first on a flair-to-rail attempt, he was one crazy SOB (pun intended). His world record distance jump is a testament to that—116 feet on a God-forsaken ramp-to-ramp jump on a BMX bike. To paraphrase Mat Hoffman, Colin took BMX horizontally where Mat took it vertically. And, as far as I’m concerned, no matter what some mountain biker on a ’72 Buick of a bike with full-suspension that’s engineered to jump further does, Colin is the champion in my book. May he rest in peace.
3. Rooftop’s Rail-to-Backflip
Even before Ian Schwartz de-legitimized jumping into grass, Mike Escamilla was welding together J-shaped rails and trying to backflip out of ‘em into cement banks. Add in the fact that Mike never even tried to slide the rail straight and then multiply it by the size of the 30’ cement bank that he set the rail against and you have yourself one horrible idea that ended up working out after three or so excruciating tries. If I could give a decade back to anyone within BMX, it’d be Rooftop…he’s always been willing to push what’s possible. We need more.
4. Dennis Enarson Tailwhip Gap
It may be the most recent of the top five, but I feel like it’s set to live on past every other tailwhip gap, well, ever. My first thought is of the consequence and my second thought is how firmly Dennis must have punched those consequences in the throat. My only reaffirmation of the fact that this belongs in the top five craziest things ever done is that at the Nike Writing On The Wall premiere, I went up to Dennis and said, I believe screaming at the top of my lungs, “That has to be one of the top five craziest things that’s ever been done! I swear to God!”
5. Rob-o’s Ditch Gap
I’m not sure how many times we can print this sequence before it actually disintegrates. I’m also not sure how strict I should be, since this was never technically “done” by anyone. But, ask anyone what’s the craziest thing ever done and they’ll eventually be like, “Oh, my, fuck, that sequence of Robbie Morales trying to clear that ditch gap. It’s like he thought he had wings.” Not trying to doubt Morales too hard, but really, he had some sort of outrageously huge balls to think he’d even survive running into that cement wall at full speed. Luckily, he only cased his downtube gusset…
Honorable mentions: Van Homan’s rail manual, Morgan Wade double-looping Reedsport and then looping Baldy, Jimmy Levan jumping the Austin Church Gap that was in Road Fools 1 and Dig and the even larger Odyssey Poster gap from Ride, Ruben’s Malibu wallride at the end of Etnies Grounded and cover of Ride, Jim Bauer’s Death gap from the 2007 Photo Issue of Ride.