X Games Barcelona preview -- Jeremiah Smith
Full-time Woodward Camp resident Jeremiah Smith has competed in BMX Street at X Games for several years, but his quiet demeanor and understated riding style have kept him out of the spotlight and just off the podium. (Smith did win gold at X Games Asia in 2011.) This year, Smith returns to BMX Street in X Games Barcelona, with a new bike sponsor (GT) and a renewed take on competition.
Gap to tooth hanger
Originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Smith pursued park riding for quite some time, but prefers to ride street. He enjoys the camaraderie of the street class at X Games. "My favorite thing about X Games is being able to ride with everyone. It's like one big session that we all feed off each other," says Smith.
Smith often takes his park skills to streets, utilizing standard box jump maneuvers in unlikely places. He also picked up a new bike sponsor in the form of GT Bicycles earlier this year. "Riding for GT is the greatest thing ever. They have been around BMX since day one. I remember when I first starting riding, GT was the company to ride for, and now I can't believe that I am a part of a company with so much BMX history. It's really a dream come true," says Smith.
Even without brakes, Jeremiah Smith has been able to conquer the most difficult fufanus on modern street obstacles. "I don't ride with brakes because they never feel as good as I want them too," says Smith.
Pegless kinked rail
Where most would see limitations, Jeremiah Smith sees new opportunities to expand his riding. Smith now rides a four-peg setup, but he can clearly do it all.
Uprail to superman seatgrab
Smith's interests in BMX go far beyond just riding -- he's also an accomplished welder. "I went to school to learn how to weld because when I was younger, I thought it would be awesome to be able to make BMX bikes when I was older. I also like making things with my hands, seeing the finished product and being able to say that I made that," says Smith.
Smith moved to Woodward Camp near State College, Pa., to ride full time several years ago. "Living at Woodward has its ups and downs. It's the best place to ride in the summer. You have all the kids and other pros traveling through to ride with, plus I'm able to ride it whenever I want, which is amazing and I'm very thankful for that," says Smith.
Icepick to no-hander
Smith enjoys the new street additions to Woodward Camp almost daily, but he has his sights set on living in other X Games-friendly territory. "If I could live anywhere, it would be Barcelona or California," says Smith.
Tailwhip over rail
Smith recently returned from Brian Kachinsky's indoor street park in Chicago, dubbed The Bakery. "I recently rode the new Bakery and it's one of my favorite places ever -- it has a great vibe, amazing people, and it's in one of the coolest buildings I have ever been in. I also love how you can pretty much move anything around to make your own kind of setup," says Smith.
Living at Woodward Camp, Smith is surrounded by BMX Big Air competitors, including Steve McCann and Zack Warden, who he rides with daily. "Big Air at X Games is so gnarly and I have so much respect for the people that ride it, but you will never see me anywhere near it! That 28-foot quarterpipe is just too big for me," says Smith.
Switch ice grind
Smith is too close with every other competitor in BMX Street at X Games to discuss competition. "My biggest competitor at X Games Barcelona will be myself," he says.
Kinked ice grind
"Something most people don't know about me is that I am very OCD about keeping everything organized and clean," says Smith. That tendency carries over into his riding -- Smith refuses to walk away from a setup until the trick is pulled clean.
Leading up to X Games Barcelona, Smith avoids training sessions and prefers to keep his riding going at the level he usually rides. He's also spending time working on his Volkswagen. "They look amazing and they are great cars when you take care of them," says Smith. "In fact, today is a good day to work on my car," he adds.