Eight years ago, I was driving to Brooklyn on the Jersey Turnpike and I was passed by two motorcycles. Normally not a big deal, but these motorcycles were going 80 miles per hour and popping wheelies.
Until that moment — aside from a few Ruff Ryders music videos — I had been ignorant of the subculture of stunt riding. After a bit of Internet research, I discovered the XDL, the only real governing body in the growing sport. So I reached out to series founder Randy Grube. At the time, I worked in development at ESPN and had big ideas about making stunt riding an event in the X Games or a reality series or whatever. Also at the time, I had no idea how to make such things actually, you know, happen.
Thanks to the Grantland Channel on YouTube, we now have the ability to bring you projects like this one while remaining terrible at navigating corporate structure. We don't pretend to be experts about this subculture, nor do we expect this series to be the final word on what it means that people do this — we just wanted to share our experience at an XDL event and the thoughts of some of the riders who were nice enough to talk to us. So enjoy this first video in a series featuring the lives, the sport, and the culture of the men and women who routinely risk their lives on motorcycles.
Special thanks to Randy Grube, the XDL staff, the riders, Trent Kamerman, and the Grantland Channel team for their help in making this happen.