Annapolis native Travis Pastrana and several other members of the Nitro Circus Tour will be on hand Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the Navy-East Carolina football game (kickoff 3:30 PM) for an autograph session on the concourse in the North End Zone. The group will also set up a display of various bikes and equipment used on the tour.
Pastrana’s accomplishments are already legendary: world freestyle champion at age 14, five-time U.S. amateur motocross champion, youngest rider ever to represent the United States at the Motocross des Nations in France, 17-time X Games medalist and the first athlete to land a double backflip on a motorbike.
He’s pretty amazing on four wheels, too, as Pastrana has demonstrated with multiple championships in the Rally America Series. He has also raced on America’s NASCAR circuit.
Pastrana was born in Annapolis in 1983, and by age four he was riding a Honda one-speed. Although he excelled in mountain biking (placing first in dual slalom at U.S. Junior Nationals) and his studies (graduating high school three years early), the youngster found his calling in motocross, winning five Loretta Lynn National Amateur crowns beginning in 1992.
In 2001, Pastrana was awarded Motocross Rider of the Year at the ESPN Action Sports & Music Awards.
In 2006 at X Games XII, Pastrana redefined what was possible in FMX with his groundbreaking double backflip. ESPN highlighted the historic accomplishment in a 20th anniversary X Games celebration, and the city of Los Angeles named it one of the greatest moments in STAPLES Center history, alongside L.A. Lakers and Kings championships.
As the ringleader of Nitro Circus, Pastrana is also committed to the progression of action sports as a whole. His “Pastranaland” complex outside of Annapolis is a testing ground for new ramps and tricks. Athletes come from around world to push their limits. With Pastranaland, Pastrana is spearheading the use of new technology and techniques to both raise the level of the sport and to increase safety. In the spring of 2015 alone, two major world firsts occurred here: Josh Sheehan’s triple backflip on a motorbike and Jed Mildon’s quadruple backflip on a BMX bike.
Patrana is just as at home in front of the camera as he is on a bike or behind the wheel. Pastrana created the “Nitro Circus Live” global television phenomenon, which has gone on to air in over 60 countries worldwide, as well as starred in Nitro Circus: The Movie, which hit cinemas in 2012. His social media impact is huge. He has nearly six million “likes” on Facebook, reaches over one million fans on Instagram and more than 900,000 on Twitter — one of the biggest social media followings in all of sports and entertainment.
The Nitro Circus North American Tour starts on October 8 at the Verizon Center (nitrocircus.com).
Tickets are still available for the Navy-East Carolina football game, which will be the Mids’ first conference football game after 134 years of being an Independent. Tickets can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1ijNvNz or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY. Tickets will also be available on the day of the game at the ticket booth located in the North End of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.