Chat with Jamie Bestwick
On Monday at noon, BMX rider Jamie Bestwick will speak us just days before the Dew Tour Championships, held in Las Vegas October 14-17. Bestwick has continued his BMX vert domination with a recent win at the Salt Lake City Dew Tour in mid-September. That win marked his third consecutive victory of the 2010 season and his ninth straight win, spanning back to 2008.
The six-time X Games vert champion is currently ranked first in the Dew Tour BMX vert rankings, leading second place's Chad Kagy by 52 points. The BMX vert finals of the last stop of the Dew Tour take place on Sunday, October 17 from 12-3 p.m. Vegas time.
Send your questions now and join Bestwick here on Monday at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
ESPN.com (11:59 AM)
Hey all, Jamie's here and ready to go.
Eddie Fiola (Bellflower, California)
How is your body holding up? Any nagging injuries over the years? And what's your concussion count at?
ESPN.com (12:01 PM)
I just finished two and a half hours at the gym. Body's holding up pretty good. I have a herniated disc in the back but it hasn't stopped me riding all year. A few aches and pains, but I'm good to go. I'm fortunate. People who are legendary figures who are younger or older than me seem to be in a bit of disrepair. I get up and go running or cycling, and have fun with life.
ESPN.com (12:01 PM)
I don't think concussions are a trophy to brag about. I can count mine on one hand. If you can brag about it you've been doing something wrong.
Ed Koenning (San Antonio, Texas)
Have you ever done a handrail?
ESPN.com (12:02 PM)
I've done many handrails. BMX is about going out and riding everyting. I ride park, dirt, street, yeah I've done handrails. That's the beauty of BMX. knowing you can be competent wherever you go riding.
Bib Fortuna (Jabba's Palace, Tatooine)
How big is your Star Wars collection?
ESPN.com (12:03 PM)
It consumes my entire service room of my basement. But my five year old son is reliving me of my collection as we speak. I stopped a few years ago, I got a little bit over it. I wasn't into the toys, the new generation weren't that great. I don't really pitch my collection against anyone else's, but i enjoyed it for a while. Now my son is dipping his hand into large boxes of unopened toys.
Seamus Gillen (Jersey City, NJ)
You ever fooled around with 900s? How about double flairs?
ESPN.com (12:04 PM)
I've fooled around with all day yesterday. I've done 900s for years going back to early 90s. I did a 900 when I wasn't really sponsored. I've always done them, it's been hit or miss. sometimes i pull it sometimes i crash. I do double flares at Woodward most days, sooner or later I'm going to be doing one of the two tricks.
Dr. Von Nostrand (NY, NY)
is it true that you're not even doing your hardest tricks this season?
ESPN.com (12:06 PM)
[laughs] I don't think anyone goes to a contest and does their hardest tricks. that's what competitions are about. The face of ac ompetition can change with one guy's run, or the wind or the heat. It has so many variables, when an opportunity comes along to throw down one of your harder tricks it's a bonus. Tricks are dictated by the competition. It's whether it's going to happen on that day. Everything has to be right. We've seen guys for years go out and try their hardest tricks and paid the penalty. There's a time and a place. I go put down what is 100 percent for me that day.
Paul (Madison, WI)
People usually consider hoffman to be the best ever, but your riding's way more technical. Who do you think is the best ever?
ESPN.com (12:08 PM)
I don't think there is such a thing as the best ever. The best ever is constantly being superseded. years to come, some one will surpass my riding and then he'll be the best rider in the world. It's good to respect the riders who came before you. Like do with Blyther and Mike Dominguez. They were the pioneers, Fiola and Haro, they did great things to develop BMX as we know it. Keep passing the torch. As to their being a greatest ever, I don't think there is such a moniker. We should just respect the riders of their era. and welcome the new guy who comes through with his own style.
Steve McCann (Down Unda)
Can you please retire soon. Please. Thanks!
ESPN.com (12:08 PM)
That's interesting coming from Steve, because if I retired Steve would have nobody to get any ideas from. If I retire Steve's out of a job!
Rachel (Houston TX)
Are you a bigger star back home in the UK than you are in the States?
ESPN.com (12:10 PM)
The BMX community has always been a big supporter, but the media and sporting world in the UK, it's pretty tough to make an impact. because my riding and my whole outlook on riding BMX is to be postitive and be a good role model and ride at my best and be an ambassedor for my sport. Most iconic figures in the sporting world in England put themselves on the front page of the paper with either a lady of the night or they're out of their brains on drugs or getting in trouble with the law. English sport's gone to headlines for the wrong reasons and I'm trying for the right reasons. Just a British athlete in a positive light. I guess I'm probably more well known and respected in the States than in my own countru.
Over the years, who's provided you with the stiffest competition?
ESPN.com (12:12 PM)
there's been many guys i've competed against over the years. Mirra was always a good one. When Dave was in his prime he was a tough competitor. Along with Jay Miron, he was a strong personality who was interesting to ride against. But it changes every year. the biggest competitor is the usually yourself. At the end of the day, this isn't a team sport, we don't have coaches. It's on the rider. It's on the rider to perform that day. I've rode against the best and they've all been great.
Aldrin (Los Feliz)
Do you think BMX vert will ever evolve into vertical bowl riding the way a lot of skate vert has?
Daggers (San Bernadino)
Can you BMX dance like the guys in Rad?
Danny Way (Hawaii)
No Mega Ramp dude. C'mon!
Jamie (12:14 PM)
I'm going to go out to Woodward West and play on the new mega ramp they have out there. But I've always felt like it was too much of a rush to get ready for a pretty intense competition once a year. You only get a few days of practice before the event starts at the X Games. and I felt my time was better spent getting ready for Vert. I never pushed the issue, I support the riders who do it, but now that Woodward has a setup, I think I'll take a trip and see how it is to ride one of those things.
Muddy Waters (Missippi Delta)
What's your go to music to get you psyched?
Jamie (12:15 PM)
That changes daily. It can be AC/DC one day, I was listening to the White Stripes this morning. I bought an album by Sub Zero, some techno music that was pretty cool. It really varies. I know when I'm at a contest I love riding to Metallica, and some good Judas Priest.
simon stark (ny)
is vert alive and well in England or are you the last knight of the vertical realm there?
Jamie (12:17 PM)
They have a lot more vert ramps in England. There's a huge complex at Corby in the middle of England, they have a ramp with a resi -- there's a lot of guys who ride vert. I think the average person on a BMX bike these days is open to so much more than when we started. In the day, we rode flat land, raced, or rode quarterpipes. That's what led to vert. now kids turn up with tremendous skate parks, summer camps that will teach you, a lot of the time it's just the opportunity to learn tricks quicker by jumping on things smaller. They never really progress to the bigger ramps. They leave it to guys who have been around and grown up with the big ramps. There's a lot of vert ramps in England and guys riding them, but it's always a tough sell. But by us changing the way we format the contest, that's going to give people a bigger opportunity to join something that's a lot of fun.
I hear you're into motorcycles. What to you ride? Do you think being good on a regular bike makes you a better motorcycle rider?
Jamie (12:19 PM)
I am into motorcycles. I have three in my current collection. A YZS 250, Ducati 848, and GSXR 600 I recently acquired my racing licsense. I've been racing a bunch in Texas this year. After Salt Lake Dew Tour I did the Yamaha's Champions School. It's so different to what i do on the BMX bike. When you step out of your comfort zone like that, when you go back to the BMX bike it gives me an appreciation for what I do. It does make me better, I have so much more control. It really does help me out. It's a great thing to do.
Harrison B. (Cinci )
What is your favorite X Games moment?
Jamie (12:21 PM)
When Bucky Lasek was winning skate Vert and it came down to the last run of Bob Burnquist, i think it was 02 or 03 and Burnquist pulled it out at the death with a run that was hanging on for dear life. It stands out, it was really inspiring to watch somebody with that much pressure pulling out the win of the night. That was something else.
Orson Beans (Nyack, New York)
when the BMX vert field is basically just you, how do you keep yoruself motivated or are you just collecting checks at this point?
Jamie (12:22 PM)
For myself, 05 best trick, i did a flare double tail whip. It's one of the hardest tricks I've pulled to this day. It went so unnoticed because i landed it so perfectly, it was a huge highlight and i can't believe I landed it so well.
Jamie (12:23 PM)
I love BMX riding, I always have. That passion keeps me motivated. When I see new riders, new tricks, new ways for riding bikes, it just makes me want to better riding for myself. I love to learn some of the tricks the guys in the park or on dirt are doing. It's a constant challenge that will never get old. I can't find anything that inspires me as much as getting on a bike every day and exploring the ways a bike can be ridden.
Most of the older (30+) riders are big helmet/fitness advocates. Do you think it's strange that younger guys still think it's lame to take care of yourself? (I'm old enough to remember Jay Miron doing rails in a helmet 15 yrs ago)
Jamie (12:25 PM)
That's a fair assumption of the sport how it is right now. It's always been that way. When I was younger I never really looked at fitness as i didn't think it was beneficial. I rode few vert ramps without a helmet, I used to ride street with out a helmet or pads. It gets to a point in your career or age where you stop yourself and realize you can't keep smashing my shins or my head when I loop out on steps. After a while you smarten up. You know sooner or later one of the hits to the head, you're going to do something bad. When you do get broke off bad, you realize you have to put something in place to try and stop it from happening. It wasn't until i was in my 30s that I saw the benefits to working out and being more aware of my own safety.
Jamie (12:25 PM)
After a while, hitting your head wears thin. Believe me.
Big Worm (Phoenix)
Jamie, what's it feel like going into the last round of Dew Tour knowing that you have the championship wrapped up? Are you just going to ride for fun or are you going for the win?
Jamie (12:28 PM)
It's going to the last event, it's nice to know you have a good points lead. But realistically I know nothing's done until the final run has gone on Sunday afternoon. Right now I'm not going to Vegas thinking I've got this wrapped up. To walk into any competition and sit back and take it cautiously is the wrong attitude to have. I'm going there with as much fight as people will bring to me. I'll return it when I go up against them. I would like to win this last stop and by making the final, I will obtain the Dew Cup, but that's an afterthought. I go to any competition looking to win that event. I'm not focused on being a cautious rider, I've got the same attitude I have week in and week out.
Jamie (12:28 PM)
The way the Tour allocates the points this year, they've given the winner of the stop a 150 points where it used to be 100. They've added more points to the stop. It's not a done deal. I have to go out there and ride.
Jamie (12:29 PM)
Thanks everyone for the great questions!