Nate Adams was part of a select group to pioneer the dirt bike backflip in Travis Pastrana's backyard years ago. Now every motocross rider seems to have his or her own version. Adams, who has an X Games-record 19 medals in motocross events, has used many backflips to earn his hardware. And while he's only competing for best tailwhip in Minneapolis, he breaks down what you'll often see from other riders above.
Liftoff: "I'm just looking at the top of that dirt takeoff," Adams said. "Right when my front tire gets there, I'm [twisting the throttle] hard."
The flips: The motor does about 75 percent of the work, Adams figures as he leans back. "The other 25 percent is body weight and your strength."
Preparing to land: "A lot of what we do is just based on feel," Adams said. What he can't do at any point is touch the front brake. "If you hit that in the air, you're going to crash."
Landing: "I'm just looking at that spot, it's kind of like baseball or catching a football, don't take your eye off the ball or you'll miss it," Adams said. "I'm looking at right where I want to put my tires and if I need to manipulate the bike, I will."