BMX high-flyer

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

YOU'RE only 18 years old, and you've been given the opportunity to travel overseas and get paid to do something you normally do for nothing - all day, every day.

This is the dream scenario that Toormina BMX rider Shane Conlon now finds himself in.

In June, "Flip" as Conlon is known, will be heading off to Saudi Arabia for six months, where he will be performing his wide array of tricks and stunts on a daily basis.

In front of Middle Eastern sheiks and princes, Conlon will be able to perform his best trick, a Turndown Flip.

Any trick that involves being upside down, is too much to handle for most people, but for Conlon, it's a buzz.

"To be honest, I'm hooked on the adrenaline," he said.

The young rider must be hooked, to do the amount of practice that he does.

"Basically, if I'm not working, I'm on my bike," Conlon explained.

"I'd do it all day if I could."

Conlon started riding BMX bikes at the age of four, and started doing tricks when he entered a dirt jumping competition at the age of 11.

He finished second-last in his debut performance, but has improved dramatically since his first foray into the world of tricks.

At the national BMX games three weeks ago, Conlon won the title for dirt jumping.

He says he got talking to a fellow rider who was going on the tour of Saudi Arabia and was told that the sponsors were looking for another rider.

Conlon had no hesitation in ringing the organisers, asking if he could join them.

Having told organisers of his exploits, 'Flip' was given a berth in the team.

Sponsoring the tour is Bison, which is an energy drink that is being heavily promoted in the Middle East.

The company is allowing the group some time off and Conlon says that the sponsors have organised a tour of the Great Pyramids in Egypt, which he can't wait to see.

Bison are covering most expenses and Conlon says all he needs to do in return is perform every day and wear their T-shirts.

While the BMX star is looking forward to his overseas tour, he admits the material return involved excites him.

"The best part is, I get a big pay cheque at the end of it," he said.

Are there any more riders in the area capable of being the next Shane Conlon?

According to Conlon, the answer is yes, but under certain conditions.

"We need a new skate park. It's currently holding the talent back."



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