Mike Mancuso and Protown BMX get clinical
Greenville, N.C. pro BMXer Mike Mancuso is working with area youth to foster young BMX talent in Greenville and surrounding areas. As the founder of Greenville area demo and clinic team Protown BMX, Mancuso and his team are instructing inner-city youth the basics of BMX skatepark riding.
Working in conjunction with the Greenville Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Greenville Recreation and Parks Department (GRPD), Mancuso and the Protown BMX team, including a revolving cast of local BMX pro talent such as Darren Bouldin, Marcus Tooker, Will Love, Josh Harrington, Craig Mast, Scott Wirch, Todd Meyn and Vince Byron, have hosted the clinics at the Jaycee Park in Greenville, N.C., and the number of participants continues to climb.
"Over twenty kids came out for the last clinic, but they only had four or five bike between them. But we help them out, get bikes together for them and bring the pros out to instruct them," says 32-year-old Mancuso, a Greenville BMX local and active BMX pro since 2000.
Throughout the three-hour clinic, aspiring BMXers are offered the chance to ride three separate portions of the Jaycee Park, including the main BMX course, the skatepark section and street hockey rink. "We just show them the basics. Most of them had never touched a ramp, and by the end of the day, they're flying out over the box jump, doing some pretty amazing stuff for their first day of riding. It's awesome to see," Mancuso adds.
Through Protown BMX, Mancuso also holds for-profit clinics as well. The seven-week clinic is open to all ages and abilities, and includes instruction on BMX basics, games of skill and a contest at the end of the course. "Some are go-getters. Anything you tell them to try, they'll go for it. This year, we've have some pretty amazing kids. But it was great just to be able to enhance some of their skills, even some of the basics," says Mancuso.
But Mancuso isn't hanging up his pro status just yet. At the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas in mid-October, Mancuso placed ninth in pro vert. "It was the first finals I made this year. I pretty much had one of the best runs I've ever had in prelims, and one of the worst runs I've ever had in the finals. It was great to end the year on such a positive note though. I finished 11th in 2010 Dew Tour rankings for the year," says Mancuso.
The Protown BMX stunt team returns to demos this weekend, though Mancuso is grateful for the interaction received through the clinics. "If it weren't for the parents and the awesome crew of pros that love to give back and help the kids, it wouldn't be possible," says Mancuso.