The Suburbanite
  • Bike rider thrills students with tricks, encourages healthy living

  • Mountain bike rider Chris Clark put on quite a show for the students at Spring Hill Junior High in two afternoon shows that emphasized messages of healthy living.

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  • Spring Hill student Paul Stubbs, did not expect, when he went to school April 26, that a professional stunt bike rider would be flying over him as he laid on the gymnasium floor.
    Then again, Tristan Thomas was not expecting to participate in a bike race – that involved riding as slow as he possibly could.
    But, that’s what happens when professional stunt biker, Chris Clark, does his show. Clark provided the action for the students at Spring Hill Junior High in two afternoon shows that emphasized messages of healthy living.
    “It is about health and wellness, to promote outdoor activities, bicycle safety and drug and alcohol avoidance,” Clark said of the show he does for schools around the country.
    Assistant Principal, Mary Meadows said the purpose of the program was two-fold.
    “It was to reward our students for working diligently on the Ohio Achievement Assessment and to provide a positive message about how important it is to make the right decisions on a daily basis,” she said.
    Clark began his cycling interest at the age of 12 when he participated in a cross-country race near his home in New Jersey. He realized that endurance racing was not for him, but loved the sport of stunt mountain biking.
    Clark told students he trained for months and entered his first trials competition.
    “I was surprised at the level of competition the beginners had and spent the winter practicing,” he said.
    Upon entering his first national event in Mount Snow, Vermont he won the beginner class and moved up to intermediate for the next competition and won it with a perfect score of zero errors. His goal was to show students what they can accomplish with hard work.
    On his 14th birthday, he began his professional career with a demonstration at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. He became the National Cycling Association’s youngest professional rider at the age of 15. Clark has competed in more than 50 professional events and was chosen to compete at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
    Clark spoke to the students about how he was able to turn his passion for cycling into a career that has taken him around the world. He expands by telling them how living a drug free lifestyle is crucial for meeting your potential. He encouraged the students to find a an active, healthy hobby which they are equally passionate about and align it with friends that support and encourage the healthy lifestyle.
    “Part of the reason I have been able to stay healthy riding is because I do not take unhealthy risks,” Clark told the students. “I started small and worked my way up to the stunts I do now.”
    He told students how he began taking one stunt at a time and working to perfect it. He would find those that were better skilled than him, become friends and had them teach him the different stunts.
    Page 2 of 2 - Now, he goes out a rides with his friends.
    “We have a great time, but it is not just all about having fun we work on specific techniques and try to get better,” Clark said. “Once you have one thing dialed in you build on it and don’t take any unnecessary risks.”
    His skills created a bicycle stunt show that allows for him to perform in front of thousands of people in places like Times Square New York City, the Gravity Games, the Olympic Games and many other venues.
    Clark’s mission for the show is to help students find an active and healthy passion and use their desire to constantly improve as a means to keep themselves focused, healthy and on a path to success.
    Principal, Michelle Warner wanted to bring Clark in for the students, but that took some doing with help from several organizations.
    “State Patrolman, Milan Milosevic and his wife Lois were instrumental in bringing in the FOP and the Highway Patrol,” said Meadows.
    The SpringLake FOP Lodge 157 and the Highway Patrol presented checks to help support the event during the show. Representing the FOP were President, Springfield officer, Billie Laurenti and Rick Poling and representing the Highway Patrol, Dave Bluebough.
    “We are very grateful that, due to the generosity of the outside groups, we were able to bring Chris Clark to Spring Hill,” Meadows said. “His stunt bike presentation grabbed the attention of our students and held that attention as an inspirational message was delivered.”
    Students can go on the Facebook page, Chris Clark bicycle stunt show, hit “like” and be entered into a drawing to win Clark’s bike at the end of the season. He also gives away helmets and shoes. The page is set up for students. Clark said it is a way to continually be engaging with the kids and promoting an active lifestyle.
    For those interested in booking his show or for more information visit www.chrisclarkbicyclestuntshow.com.

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