Marshall native's hobby turns into high-flying career
Adam Jones doesn't fly — but does he float for a second on his Yamaha YZ250.
He's one of the X Games medalist riders in the Nuclear Cowboyz FMX production, which will bring another show to Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center this weekend.
Before and after the show, Jones, 28, will return home to Marshall Township. The son of Dave and Diana Jones, he grew up in Marshall. Jones lives in Reno, Nev., with his wife and their two children. He graduated from North Allegheny High School in 2002.
“I barely made it out of high school,” he said. “I was too busy riding my bike.”
His childhood hobby of riding dirt bikes — and jumping them — at local tracks turned into a career.
“I was not a daredevil as a child,” Jones said. “In fact, I was scared of everything when I was real little.”
He was always jumping “at the end of the day and at the biggest jump,” he said, to a chorus of disapproving shouts from his parents.
At age 10, he decided to make bikes a permanent part of his life.
“Through dedication and a lot of luck, it worked out,” Jones said.
He understands an audience member's wonder as bikes and riders reach new heights.
“Everything we're doing now used to be impossible,” he said.“On a 250- to 300-pound bike, are you kidding me? Now, we do it 10 times a night.”
One of his signature tricks — his own invention — is the Cordova flip. This is where the rider with both hands on the grips brings his feet up under the bars and contorts his back, so he is looking upside-down.
“Some tricks have been a breeze,” he said. “Some, I immediately have them dialed.”
It's a matter of practice.
Jared Beek, 29, is a friend and rider, although he never went the professional route.
“Adam is an unbelievably talented rider. He doesn't make mistakes. He's naturally smooth, and he makes you think you can do it,” Beek said.
They both attended North Allegheny Middle School and High School.
“I had seen and heard his name on the riding circuit,” said Beek, who now sports a RIDE tattoo in honor of his passion. Out on the track, “he'd lead the way, and we'd follow.”
Beek's twin brother also is a bike enthusiast. The brothers still ride once or twice a week, and they attend the shows whenever Jones comes to town or performs in a neighboring state. That's when they get the backstage passes and do all of the VIP fun stuff, he said.
But out in the spotlight, Jones keeps the crowds pleased.
“I'm pretty focused doing a trick and concentrating on what I'm doing,” he said. “I'm more conscious of the audience as I land it.”
For that 10-year-old who's interested in motocross as a career, Jones cautions: “Stay in school and pay attention.”
It's good advice, but there's an underlying motive.
“I'm eliminating competition here, so at 70 years old, I can still be doing this.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Project to put iPad minis in hands of Shaler middle schools students
- Northern Tier librarian discusses life, pursuits
- New position brings uniformed officer into Shaler Area buildings
- Students’ efforts breathe life into Pine-Richland school newspaper
- New AP courses considered at Hampton
- North Hills residents continue to fight proposed sale of elementary
- North Hills Middle School posts 5th-best improved score
- Proposed fitness center in Hampton would be open 24/7
- Ingomar MOPS offers discussions, videos, social time
- 7 North Allegheny schools see dip in state scores
- Pine-Richland High School tops county in state performance profile