Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Robinson’

This was not how I wanted to return to posting.  I was getting ready to write a post this weekend, and then I got the horrible news.  Yesterday, BMX legend and all-around awesome guy Kevin Robinson died from a stroke.

I’m gutted.  Not only am I still dealing with the  passing of Dave Mirra and more recently, Nicky Hayden (in additional to other losses), but I knew Kevin.  He was one of the first action sports athletes I met, and my brother and I followed his career diligently for the past 17 years since we saw him pull off the first no-handed flair at the 2000 Gravity Games.

In 2001, a BMX show took place near Fort Worth, and we begged my mom to take us and made posters.  Kevin Robinson was the biggest name there so my brother made a sign that said, “Texas wants to see a flair”.   I’m not sure if the photos my mom too are still around (I printed out a couple and saved the one below), but I’ll never forget my first action sports event.  Then we got Pat Miller’s autograph.  My mom saw Kevin talking to someone in the distance and actually yelled his name.  I will be eternally mortified (because my mom knows nothing about BMX and I didn’t want to bother him) and grateful.  He was super nice and even gave my brother advice on how to bunny hop.  It was one of the best days of my life.

kevin robinson

Throughout the years, my mom would still ask us about Kevin when we watched the X Games.  We cheered his record-breaking moments and victories and grew alarmed at his injuries.  I was sad to learn that he retired before I could see him ride again, but I had always hoped to catch him at X Games Austin.  Although that never happened, we did interact very briefly on social media a couple of times.  He liked my posts and responded to a suggestion I had for his anti-bullying program.

That brings me to one of the things I admired about him.  Kevin was a great role model and philanthropist.  He also was an advocate for traumatic brain injury research, having suffered many concussions and lost two friends (Junior Seau and Dave Mirra) to the tragic effects of chronic brain encephalitis.  My current career is in TBI research, and I’m going to keep working hard so that maybe there will be a breakthrough in how to help riders recover and how to make things safer.

My heart really goes out to his family.  His social media was often filled with praises for the various accomplishments of his kids and love for his wife.  I also feel for his BMX family, as he has mentored and inspired many riders.  He inspired me too.

kevin

Photo from Kyle Carlson (Instagram)

At X Games Austin 2016, he led a touching tribute to Dave Mirra.  I know we’ll be paying tribute to him in a similar way, but in the meantime, we’ll have to take time to process this tragic loss.  Ride in peace, K-Rob!

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Four days of X Games flew by so fast, and the last day brought a lot of chaos. I’ll be recapping the best moments soon, but in the meantime, here’s the final set of observations and comments.

BMX thoughts

  • It’s interesting to note that while Skateboard Big Air had a bunch of very young skaters, BMX Big Air mostly consists of veterans (mostly of vert).
  • There’s still an age gap which, according to announcer Dennis McCoy, is delineated by the willingness to run down the MegaRamp.
  • Anthony Napolitan, Morgan Wade, and Alan Cooke are the only non-vert riders to have ever competed in Big Air.
  • It was nice to see Morgan, Kevin Robinson, and Chad Kagy back in action.
  • Only on the MegaRamp is Simon Tabron considered a “rookie”. He actually had to attach brakes to his bike for the event.
  • Zack Warden’s first backflip bike flip with a triple tailwhip (oh the alliteration!) came in second to Morgan’s no-handed flip with an invert. Why? Morgan got more amplitude.
  • I learned two new terms from announcer Jimmy Coleman: “boo birds” and “speed wobbling”.
  • Morgan is wearing the same outfit from when he ruptured his spleen exactly one year ago. He must really love the T-shirt because he had to sew it back together.
    xgames_big_air_13, Photo by Ryan Fudger.  Transworld Ride BMX Photo by Ryan Fudger (Transworld BMX)
  • Apparently they don’t remove your ruptured spleen in Brazil.
  • Kevin has dislocated his shoulder five times in the past two year: three at X Games 2010, one while giving a motivational speech, and one after he got into a car wreck. He also mentioned that it kept popping out after X before his surgery.
  • Zack did improve on his score by going over the 64-foot gap.
  • However, on his last run (the last run of the night), Steve McCann defended his gold with a very clean no-handed double front flip with a double tailwhip over the big gap.

Motocross thoughts

  • Endurocross is the most diverse event with 12 countries represented.
  • I loved how the Sport Science clip included some biology (my specialty) with the physics.  I can’t believe riders reach up to 95% of their maximum heart rate.
  • The course builders spent the last 18 hours adding the enduro obstacles. A new one for this year is the “matrix” which consists of logs placed apart at the exact width of the bike.
  • The women’s course is a little different, but they still have to contend with water, rocks, and firewood.
  • The X Games official who helped Tara Geiger out of the rock pit looked very pleased with himself.
  • Patience appears to be key, as Maria Forsberg passed Louise Forsley on the second to last lap. She wound up leading by 15 seconds.
    MariaFireWood, Photo by Brown Dog Wilson.  Viceversamx.com Photo by Brown Dog Wilson (viceversamx.com)
  • Last year’s gold medalists in the Men’s race, Taddy Blazusiak, was undefeated the rest of the 2011 season.
  • Jeff Aaron rode a two-wheel drive bike (they tried to explain how it worked, but I didn’t understand).
  • Taddy said the pool was the deepest he had ever ridden through and that the “swim” during qualifiers was “refreshing”.
  • Apparently there is an X Games researcher named DJ Smith who gives announcer Cameron Steele all the facts. Can be an X Games researcher?
  • Advice for aspiring enduro riders: never wait in line to get past obstacles.
  • Mike Brown got the holeshot in the finals and held the lead, even with a last lap crash and Cody Webb hot on his tail.

Rally thoughts

  • The RallyCross course originally had a metal ramp jump similar to the one at the Global RallyCross race in Texas, but that was replaced with a table top after two horrific crashes in practice. Only one them involved the ramp, and that was Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen’s wreck (which was featured on Yahoo!). The other crash involved Marcus Grönholm hitting a light pole.
  • Here’s some commentary and science on what having a larger, all-metal means and why it’s got some rally fans upset.
  • You do not want Brian Deegan on your tail. He was relentless in chasing down Sverre Isachsen in his heat even though he already had a qualifying spot.
  • Poor Travis Pastrana just can’t get a break in rally this year. He got T-boned at the first GRC race, and then he dislocated his shoulder in Texas. At X, all the cars chased him down until he was driven into a wall and struck by Andy Scott. The damages were irreparable, and unlike at other races, he wasn’t allowed to use teammate Bryce Menzies’ car.
  • Andy got DQ’ed from the heat, but the judges determined that he didn’t hit Travis intentionally so they let him race the LCQ.
  • Ten guys in the final is just asking for carnage.
  • The OMSE team (Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, and David Binks) were strategizing so that one of them could win for Marcus and Topi.
  • The penalty for an early start is dropping back one car length. There were quite a few jumpy drivers.
  • Brian tried to argue with the X Games official about his early start, but camera replays don’t lie.
  • It gets up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit inside a car, and drivers experience 3Gs at the start (to compare, it’s about 7Gs on top the Hot Wheels loop or while somersaulting in fighter jet).
  • Even though Sébastien Loeb was called a “newcomer”, he’s an eight-time World Rally Champion.
  • Ken Block managed to hang onto second with a flat tire and Brian charging his way through the pack to third.

Skateboard thoughts

  • When I voted for Real Street Fan Favorite at the last minute (it was July 1 midnight central time), Collin Provost led against Manny Santiago by just 57%.
  • Nyjah Huston and Chaz Ortiz were both nursing injuries, but from a casual perspective, you couldn’t really tell by their skating. To me, Nyjah did look a bit off his game; Tony Hawk noted that he was favoring one knee.
  • Chaz is very deliberate in approaching rails. You can see him slow down.
  • Paul Rodriguez made switch tricks look easy.
  • There was only a point difference between the top three: Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, and Nyjah Huston.

Congratulations to the last batch of winners: Paul Rodriguez (Skateboard Street), Sébastien Loeb (RallyCross), Steve McCann (BMX Big Air), Nyjah Huston (Real Street), Collin Provost (Real Street Fan Favorite), Maria Forsberg (Women’s Enduro X), and Mike Brown (Men’s Enduro X).

Prediction Status: 6/15
Quote of the Day: “Missing the thingy” – Tony Hawk
Trick of the Day: Zack Warden’s Iron Lotus + triple tailwhip

Inspiration of the Day: Maria Forsberg – Electrician on the weekdays, endurocross champ on the weekends, this is one badass woman.
Question of the Day: Who did you vote for in the Real Street finals?