Street bike stunt rider Aaron Colton will kick off his summer military tour Tuesday at Fort Drum.
When street bike stunt riding started in the early 1990s, it was mostly confined to the inner cities and surrounding freeways. Enthusiasts pushed the limits of what began as third-gear wheelies and nose stoppies by adding 12 o’clock bars and oil pickups. A rebellious attitude and instant adrenaline rush fueled the stunt riding craze as it grew increasingly popular.
Then in 2005, rumors started circulating around the stunt riding scene of a tenacious 13-year-old from the Midwest who was stunt riding with a competition level of competence. Later that year, people watched in awe as young Aaron Colton took on the Stunt Life Shootout and Stuntoberfest on a Honda F4i. Accounts of his riding ability rippled across the U.S. as he continued to hone his dynamic style and ability.
Despite his explosive success in street bike freestyle over the last few years, the 19-year-old is diversifying. In 2007, Colton began pursuing a career in motorcycle road racing and has been finishing in the top-three in almost all of the regional races he has entered.
“I use road racing as a cross-training tool,” he said. “The freestyle helps the road racing and the road racing helps the freestyle. I also do trials and moto.”
Colton said he has no plans to leave street bike freestyle, but he considers himself an all-around motorsport athlete.
“A lot of other guys do multiple sports to stay on their toes. … That’s what I do, too,” he said.
In recent years, street bike freestyle has started undergoing a facelift of sorts, trading in its bad-boy image to become a legitimate sport and competition that hosts a more professional showcase. The sport’s premier competitions in the United States attract fans, riders and media from around the world.
Colton has been one of the biggest catalysts for this change. He said his biggest accomplishment isn’t any one of the many trophies he has won. Instead, it’s “bringing a clean image to the sport of street bike freestyle (or freestyle street extreme). I’ve been able to put a clean face with strong younger image on this sport.” In doing so, he has helped to open doors wide for the sport to become more mainstream, something that thrills his sponsors and many fans.
Meanwhile, Colton said he looks forward to his visit to Fort Drum next week.
“I always enjoy the shows on base, as it allows me to come out and entertain the troops,” he said. “The military shows are always packed with energy and excitement!
Meet athlete Aaron Colton and see him demonstrate his gravity-defying freestyle skills from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot adjacent to the Fort Drum Post Exchange. Admission is free to all.
Fort Drum Post Exchange