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INTERVIEW: Nuclear Cowboyz motocross rider Nate Adams

cowboyz

Nuclear Cowboyz is at the Georgie Dome this weekend.

As Nate Adams and I talked on the phone, the 25-year-old motocross rider was waiting for a doctor to check out a ride-altering injury — a battered thumb.

“It’s a lingering injury. I dislocated my thumb and every time it comes out, I have to come get it treated,” he said. “It seems like such a  little injury, but you really can’t do anything without a thumb.”

Such is life on the road with Nuclear Cowboyz, the motocross show that comes to Philips Arena this weekend. He’s one of 16 “X Games-worthy” riders on stage during the two hour show, along with a lot of pyrotechnics and dancing women in skimpy clothes. This is a show aiming for the extreme — even with its spelling.

As Adams explains it, it’s the story of how freestyle riding grew, and became its own type of entertainment. (Here’s an interesting Associated Press story about whether motocross can become theater.)

“The show tells the story of how the tricks came up. We didn’t start out doing backflips and Supermans. It took time. It’s everything they’ve been seeing since the 1990s till last summer.”

His favorite part comes, naturally, toward the end of that story. The audience will see racing and the type of tricks these riders mastered as teens, but as their skills grow, they they can let loose in the air.

“Everything we can do right side up, we do upside down,” Adams says. “That’s when everybody gets out of their seats.”

Adams himself came from the racing tradition. He grew up in Arizona and his dad was into motocross. By the time he was 8, he was on a bike. But as the grew older, he developed along with the sport. Freestyle, he has learned, is more his style. By the time he was 17, he made his first X Games appearance.

“When I look back on it, it couldn’t have happened more perfectly,” he says. “As I was learning and figuring out the sport, it was growing. I came in at the perfect time.”

The stunts they do now are more technical and more dangerous, he said, but he’s gotten smarter as he’s gotten older.

“My riding is better than ever,” he said. “When I was younger, I would look at a jump and I wouldn’t even looking at the landing. I would just go for it. I was so stupid. I’m smarter, though. I get hurt less.”

Now, if he could just get that thumb worked out…

Want to go? Nuclear Cowboyz. Doors at 5 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Feb. 13. $15-$45, $20-$50 day of show. Georgia Dome, 1 Georgia Dome Drive, Atlanta. www.nuclearcowboyz.com.

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4 comments Add your comment

JJ

March 3rd, 2010
3:35 pm

Eye’s wide open, we’ll put you in the circus instead. This article is about FMX not the circus… Get a life!

Eye's wide open

February 13th, 2010
8:28 am

Parents, don’t take your families to the Circus this year.
For decades Ringling Bros Circus has fooled many parents into believing that their shows are wholesome family entertainment, but it is just illusion. In order to train every elephant they have, they use a bullhook to torture and beat those elephants to make them perform at their shows. Sammy Haddock was so ashamed of the part he played in training baby elephants for Ringling Bros Circus that he could not remain silent, so he decided to confess. Looking at the pictures He says it shows ropes used to pull a baby elephant off balance, while a bullhook is applied to its head, in order to train it to lie down on command. “The baby elephant is slammed to the ground,” Haddock says. “See its mouth is wide open. It’s screaming bloody murder. It doesn’t have its mouth open for a carrot.”
You can stop this abuse now; do not take your families to the Circus.
The human equivalent to a circus elephant’s life is putting a human infant on death row.

Brett

February 12th, 2010
8:24 am

The show must go on. It is not canceled.

Sherry Lewis

February 12th, 2010
7:37 am

Can someone please tell me if the Ringling Bros. circus is cancelled or postponed this morning due to the weather? We have purchased tickets for the 10:30 show and I can’t find any information. Please help!