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Jones returns home to ride

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Pine Creek
Submitted Adam Jones is returning home to Pittsburgh to perform in front of his home crowd on Jan. 26 and 27 with the Nuclear Cowboyz at the Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins returned to the home ice at Consol Energy Center last night, but another hometown star will be grabbing the attention of his hometown this weekend.

Adam Jones and the Nuclear Cowboyz, a high-octane freestyle motocross team will invade Consol Energy Center on Saturday and Sunday for shows at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

“This show is somewhat like what we have done, but there are better tricks and the riders have progressed,” Jones said. “We have been killing it in practice with the new tricks. It's the level of riding that really makes it for me.”

Jones has been riding freestyle for 11 years and is in his fourth year with the Nuclear Cowboyz. His road schedule can be taxing at times, so it always is good to be home for a bit.

“It's great to see my family,” Jones said. “I don't get the same feeling as I do when I ride here at home. When you are doing OK for yourself you just get more recognition in your home town … it makes me feel way cooler than I am.”

The five-time X Games medalist is an innovator at his craft, inventing the Cordova flip, the Stripper flip, Shaolin flip and the Corpse flip. He will perform these and other stunts. The tricks are as thrilling as they sound — in fact, the only boring part of his life is the travel.

“The airports are a bummer,” he said. “(As far as riding), if you are bored with that, you just aren't pushing yourself. I am always trying to get better. That keeps it interesting, keeps it on the edge.”

Jones said that he sometimes he gets anxious as he thinks up the tricks in his mind but said once he gets on his bike to practice or perform, “There is no place for sweaty palms …”

Although he and the rest of the team make the tricks they perform look easy, Jones said it is something he and the other riders take their time on.

“You don't just warm up and go,” he said. “You warm up and then try a similar trick. It is a process, and takes time — you can't go out and do things like this right away.”

Jones makes his living on the edge, and at 28 years old, he would like to ride freestyle for another five to seven years.

“It's hard to say what your shelf life is, it's impossible,” Jones said. “You put your body on the line, you can get burnt out.”

With the high-flying tricks comes risk, and with the way the riders contort their bodies, Jones said that is easy to ruin a knee or shoulder.

Jones has endured his share of injuries and said there is not any one that was worse or better than another.

“I have been hurt, and it sucks,” he said. “But I have always been able to bounce back. I have been lucky. I have had some big injuries, but they have been big, clean ones.”

Ticket prices to see Jones and the Nuclear Cowboyz range from $35 to $85, with kids' tickets $10. Visit www.ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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