Jackson Strong and 'The Snow Bike Project'
Welcome to the Jackson Strong Snow Bike Project
In the early days of the X Games, with a newly introduced winter event, FMX riders decided to test out their skills in the snow. FMX legend Brian Deegan was one of the first riders to sign up. Untested and on new ground, the riders set out to jump huge distance while throwing tricks down, but the new discipline didn't take off. Between dirt bikes not working well in the conditions and a huge crash from Deegan (it took him a year to recover from injuries), the territory went largely untouched until a new sub-genre of dirt bikes emerged, dubbed Snow Bikes. "You're better off on a Snow Bike," says Deegan. Jackson Strong (seen here) agrees.
Testing the limits
"I think freestyle is for sure going to be a possibility on this thing," says Jackson Strong of the Snow Bike. "If we can get it in the air, freestyle is possible."
Heavy machine operators
Initially, Strong traveled from Southern California to professional MTB rider Ethan Roberts house in Salt Lake City, Utah. The drive, halted by heavy snow, ended when Strong swerved off the road with his truck and trailer. After the snow stopped falling, the crew went to work retrieving Jackos vehicle.
Snow Bike Paradise
Jacko visited the Flying Iron Horse Ranch in Park City, Utah, a huge motocross track covered in snow throughout the winter, to test out the possibilities on his new Snow Bike. "I think it's a Snow Bike paradise," said Strong.
Until the wheels come off
"We rode the wheels off this thing," says Strong. He means that literally.
Pushing for change
Snow BikeCross was contested for the first time at X Games Aspen 2017, but freestyle was still nothing more than a dream. But Jackson Strong pushed to change that. On the final day of X Games Aspen 2017, Jackson Strong was scheduled to debut a freestyle demonstration on his Snow Bike, merging the race side of Snow Bikes with his freestyle roots.
Looking to the future
"It's pretty cool to see how well these bikes work for racing. In the future, these bikes are gonna be huge," says Strong.
"If we want any shot of getting Freestyle Snow Bike into X Games, we're going to have to flip them," says Strong. To achieve the flip, Strong went with some technical changes to the Snow Bike, including a shortened "wheel base."
A natural transition
"The freestyle demo with Jackson Strong really opened some eyes," says Joe Duncan, sport organizer for the X Games. "What's a natural transition after racing? Freestyle Snow Bikes."
Ready for X Games
"Overall, the new Timblersled design worked really well. We stomped a flip and showed that this is event is ready for X Games," says Strong.
Tune-in on ABC
The 'Jackson Strong Snow Bike Project' follows Strong's journey through mastering a second sport -- Snow Bike. Airing as part of ABC's "World of X Games," the 'Jackson Strong Snow Bike Project' airs on April 15 at 2 p.m. ET.