I had seriously reached a point in my life where I wasn't scared of anything. Panic was replaced by awww, shit, how can I fix this before I hit the ground?
Childhood for Mat Hoffman was packed with hazardous behavior and a constant searching for a new rush: sliding down the laundry chute, blatantly misusing a trampoline, leaping off the roof holding an umbrella, executing a two-story bomb drop into a swimming pool on a bike, and more. After experimenting with his bike on a plywood ramp at age eleven, Mat found his true calling. He became addicted to aerials.
By the time he was fourteen years old, Mat had earned national notoriety with his ramp skills and landed a factory sponsorship from Skyway Recreation. He was consumed by a love of bike riding, a passion that took him around the globe and beyond the limits of what people said was possible. Always pushing for more height or another way to turn air into art, he's shattered world records, conventional wisdom, and his own body in a quest to experience all that life has to offer. The price? More than a dozen major surgeries, fifty broken bones, countless concussions and knockouts -- Mat's sacrifices are evident in a medical file that's 400 pages thick.
When the boom years of BMX freestyle bottomed out during a bike industry recession in the late 1980s, Mat's enthusiasm never wavered. To save his sport, he bought a semi truck when he was seventeen and became his own sponsor, spreading the word one demo at a time. He and his friends formed Hoffman Bikes and began running bike stunt contests. It was an era of progress for Mat as a rider, as he unveiled jawdropping tricks like the no-handed 540, backflip fakie, and flair, and became the first rider in action sports to pull a 900.
In The Ride of My Life, Mat takes readers on his humorous, hardcore, harrowing journey to the top as a bike stunt pioneer, ten-time world champion, video game superstar, X Games ambassador, recreational ninja, and the most innovative rider to ever hit a ramp. He shares stories of the wild experiences he's had while touring with some of the best riders around -- Dennis McCoy, Dave Mirra, Rick Thorne, Kevin Robinson, Mike "Rooftop" Escamilla, and many others.Spanning two decades of action sports history, as Mat crosses paths with high-risk heroes like Tony Hawk, Johnny Knoxville, and Evel Knievel, The Ride of My Life is the insane, true story of Mat Hoffman, the greatest bike rider of all time.
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Mat Hoffman divides his duties as a father, rider, action figure, and the H.M.F.I.C. of Hoffman Bikes. He continues to develop, promote, and organize BMX stunt riding events around the world. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and daughter. He still rides every day.From School Library Journal:
Adult/High School-It's no exaggeration to say that the sport of BMX freestyle couldn't exist as it does today without the efforts of Hoffman, the first rider to "pull a 900" (rotate the bike in the air two and a half times after escalating off the ramp). At age 17, he bought a semi truck and put together a touring team of trick riders. Two years later, he started Hoffman Bikes (it still exists) with a loan from the Small Business Administration, a few friends, and an immense amount of desire. He helped ESPN2 produce the early X Games. He's broken countless bones, had several concussions, and undergone an experimental ACL reconstruction without anesthesia. Hoffman tells his story from the time he dropped out of school to ride in BMX tournaments professionally until late 2002, when he was 30 and he, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and many other extreme sports superstars took the "Boom Boom Huck Jam" music and sports production on the road. Nearly every page of the book has at least one black-and-white photograph showing Hoffman in action; a few color photos are also included. An appendix defines the more complicated tricks. Though Hoffman's tale will be enjoyed mostly by extreme-sports enthusiasts, anyone could find inspiration from the success and pleasure he has gotten from hard work, passion, and desire.
Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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