Where the Rubber Leaves the Road...

...and flesh sometimes meets the pavement, stunt bikers look to go legit

But Barnes and Blue Goose Carla have bigger plans, hoping to promote a series of sanctioned events that will give the sport the kick-start it needs to gather real momentum. Point of Balance will be host team at the Lone Star Biker Bash, billed as "the biggest biker rally ever to hit the state of Texas." Booked into the Texas Motor Speedway in September, it will attract stunt groups from across the country to compete for $25,000 in prize money.

Barnes says he doesn't drink or do drugs ("I always got my fix by seeing how high I could jump and how fast I could go"). And despite a fondness for telling old traffic stories that would make him a hero at any Sonic bike night, he is searching for ways to make stunting more family-oriented. "We are trying to do something a grandmother will take her grandson to," he says. "We don't want to offend. We just want to amaze."

Thursday bike night at a Sonic Drive-In is a diverse meet-and-greet for local sport bike riders, some of whom have been tagged as "hooligans" because of their extreme street antics. Patrick Stephens, below, is widely considered one of the top five professional stunters in the country.
Top photos: Peter Calvin
Thursday bike night at a Sonic Drive-In is a diverse meet-and-greet for local sport bike riders, some of whom have been tagged as "hooligans" because of their extreme street antics. Patrick Stephens, below, is widely considered one of the top five professional stunters in the country.
Tim Barnes, president of Point of Balance, lower left, without helmet, hopes to promote a more positive image for stunters, elevating the street spectacle to a fully sanctioned extreme sport. Point of Balance member Phillip Smith, top, does a circle burnout, a big crowd-pleaser among the growing stunt-show audience.
Photos this page: Mark Graham
Tim Barnes, president of Point of Balance, lower left, without helmet, hopes to promote a more positive image for stunters, elevating the street spectacle to a fully sanctioned extreme sport. Point of Balance member Phillip Smith, top, does a circle burnout, a big crowd-pleaser among the growing stunt-show audience.

Although Point of Balance might set a positive example to convince some young riders to do their "freestyle" at the track, the street is still damn seductive and the stunter's high too tied to the taint of illegality. "Keep in mind that for every person who is willing to go to a sanctioned show at a drag strip," says author Mike Seate, "there are other people who think that putting rules around stunting is ruining the purity of the sport. They want to keep it real. They want to keep it in the streets."

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