Sunday, January 19

New film depicts soaring feats of motocross stars


"˜Global Addiction' premieres tonight at the Key Club in Hollywood

  Godfrey Films "Mad" Mike Jones fearlessly jumps into the
Grand Canyon.

By Beverly Braga
Daily Bruin Contributor

Everyone dreams of flying, but for motocross junkies, they
don’t ask for wings ““ just a decent bike.

“Mad” Mike Jones belongs to the world of motocross,
otherwise known as MX. This is the place dirt and mud are
considered the polish that shines a rider’s bike, where
““ with enough guts ““ anyone can soar like Superman.

“Yeah, (Superman) is a move,” Jones said during a
telephone interview. “It’s where you hold onto the
handle bars while the rest of your body is just straight up over
the bike.”

This, as well as other freestyle motocross tricks, can be seen
in “Global Addiction,” the latest project by Godfrey
Films, a film company that focuses on creating extreme riding
movies. Godfrey Films collaborated with first-time producers OGIO,
a leading sport bag designer and manufacturer based in Utah, in
producing the film, which is being premiered at the Key Club in
Hollywood tonight.

“Motocross movies in general are opportunities for fans to
see their favorite motocross stars pulling the most outrageous
tricks ever seen,” said Kelly Mooney, president of This Just
In, Inc., the agency of record for OGIO.

Typically, these types of movies tend to play like the highlight
reels of various riders spliced together. But with “Global
Addiction,” there is a small subplot. The film follows the
traveling ways of Jones and other motocross luminaries as they
wreck freestyle havoc in places such as the dunes of Little Sahara,
Utah, to the meadows of British Columbia, Canada. When the film
reaches its pinnacle, it is truly one that involves taking a leap
of faith.

“It culminates with Travis Pastrana’s leap into the
Grand Canyon,” said Mooney. “That is the climax.
It’s never been done before. Nothing like this has ever been
done before.”

Many of the stunts done in the hour-long adrenaline-rushed film
do seem impossible. From gravity-defying jumps to acrobatic
contortions, one would have to be a madman to even consider giving
the sport a try.

“I’m just crazy,” said Jones, referring to how
he obtained the nickname “Mad” Mike. “I do crazy
stuff ““ whatever it takes to put on a show when I’m
riding.”

The two-time Winter X Games medalist is a showman who takes
pride in his work. Winning a gold medal in the first-ever motocross
event at a Winter X Games in 2001 and a silver earlier this year,
Jones is known for his skill and his lack of sanity.

“I’ve flipped over the handle bars on purpose before
and just hurled the bike,” said Jones. “I’m the
first guy ever to land (with) no hands.”

Calling the no-hands landing “The Whip,” Jones
considers it his most maniacal move in “Global
Addiction.”

“My Whip is pretty wild,” Jones added.

Pastrana’s feat is pretty wild in its own right. With his
daredevil vault off the Arizona gorge, the fresh-faced 18-year-old
simply defies all logic.

“He’s nuts,” Mooney said. “He’s
also the nicest guy in the world and the most clean-cut one
you’ll ever meet. He is the antithesis of what most people
think of when they think motocross. But he is completely
fearless.”

Being unrelentingly bold is one key facet in this sport, but
safety comes right alongside it. As visually stunning as these
maneuvers are, they are extremely dangerous for both rider and
bike. In Pastrana’s stunt, he freefalls for nearly 1500 feet
before pulling his parachute out at the last conceivable minute. At
the same time, he has to be wary of his own motorcycle possibly
falling on top of him. As Jones knows, even with years of
experience, there is never an excuse to letting your guard
down.

“I’ve landed without my bike plenty of times,”
said Jones. “I broke my neck in August 1999. The bike stalled
in the air, and I went over the bars and landed on my head from
about 70 feet up. I had a metal plate, some screws and wires put
into my neck.”

And still, Jones just rides all night. His bikes take beatings
too, but replaced handle bars and fenders will never compare to
replaced necks.

Making an appearance at tonight’s event, Jones anticipates
a capacity crowd.

“I think they’re going to sell out as far as the
venue goes,” said Jones. “I think it’s a very
popular area for motocross and freestyle.”

Motocross freestyling is a sport for the uninhibited. When asked
if he had any fears left in him, Jones’ reply comes as no
surprise.

“Nope,” said Jones. “Not really.”

“Global Addiction” premieres tonight at the Key
Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd. (310) 274-5800. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
with the event running until 2 a.m. Tickets are $15 and available
through Ticketmaster or at the door.

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