Bike Stunt Champion Teaches Kids Life Skills

August 12, 2016

 

by Jay Hobson

Bicycle stunt World Champion Chris Poulos performed amazing stunts on a BMX bicycle while sharing life lessons of respect, obedience and getting along with others to the children and parents in attendance at the Windham High School gymnasium last Thursday.

The 45 year old from Narragansett, R.I., said that he had been doing stunts since the age of six and had won awards while performing gravity-defying tricks with his bicycle.

“When I was two my parents bought me a tricycle and I rode it all around the house, I couldn’t put the thing down,” Poulos said.  “When I was 2 1/2 I snuck out of the yard with my tricycle and my parents thought I’d been kidnapped and called the police.  The police found me an hour later riding my tricycle on Route 95.”

At 6 years old, Poulos performed his first bike stunt in front of his parents that involved riding past them with his leg extended out to the side.

So began Poulos’ career taking risks on non-motorized wheels.

Poulos said that his parents decided that he needed a hobby to keep him occupied, and, instead of sports and other activities, his hobby was bicycling.

“People ask me how did I learn all the stunts that I do and I tell them –by practicing, thousands of hours of practicing,” Poulos said.

Along with teaching the importance that practicing and dedication played in mastering the skills that he desired, Poulos also shared the importance of respect.

“I spend every day of my life trying to earn respect.  I’m honest, and I do what I say I’m going to do.  When you’ve got respect, people want you around,” Poulos said.

He told the children that the easiest way for them to get respect is to be nice to people.

“Part of being nice is being polite; you say ‘excuse me’ if someone’s in your way, you don’t yell at them.  Use the word ‘please’ when asking for something.  It helps people want to help you,” Poulos said.

Between lessons on how to gain respect Poulos gained admiration with his skills on a bicycle.

One stunt had Poulos riding along while standing on the handlebars another saw him resting his chest on the handlebars with his feet in the air while propelling the bike by pushing the front wheel with his hand.

His last stunt could be said to teach the concept of trust as three adult volunteers lay on the floor while Poulos took a fast rolling start and jumped, without using a ramp to launch with, over their prone bodies to the amazement of the audience.