For some guys, Nuclear Cowboyz motocross show is heaven on wheels

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comJanuary 2, 2014 

  • IF YOU GO

    Nuclear Cowboyz

    When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4; and 2 p.m. Jan. 5

    Where: Rupp Arena, 430 W. Vine St.

    Tickets: $25-$45 in advance, $30-$50 day of show. $90 VIP tickets available for Jan. 4 show. Available at (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.

With scantily clad women, towers of fire, lasers, a cyborg army, loud music and even louder motorcycles, the Nuclear Cowboyz freestyle motocross tour might just be man heaven.

The pretense of the show is that teams of stunt riders are in a battle against evil legions directed by a villainous woman — but, really, it's all about the bikes.

Motorcycles and four-wheelers fly through the air as riders stretch, leap and contort above them in an athletic, gasoline-powered ballet that makes them appear suspended, weightless, for an instant.

"It's part X Games and part circus," rider Mike Mason said.

Mason and the other riders, all veterans of the motocross world, perform hundreds of freestyle tricks in a fast-paced adrenaline parade to a soundtrack of heavy metal, electronic dubstep and hip-hop. And don't forget the weapon-wielding "kung fu warriors."

Mason, who has won seven medals in the X Games extreme sports competition, said he thinks the warriors might be real monks. But he's not sure. They don't speak English, and he doesn't speak Chinese. But, he said, "they are a bunch of little Asian dudes ripping around with swords and stuff."

The warriors are an addition to the 2014 tour, which debuts in Lexington before heading to at least 15 more cities through April.

"It's been a crazy couple of weeks for us," said Mason, 32, whose laid-back vibe is in keeping with his bio of a guitar-strumming guy who likes to have a few beers with his buds.

Mason said he has been on a bike almost since he could walk. His entire family was into motocross. He never imagined that he'd do it for a living, much less find a gig after he finished competing. The freestyle moves he does along with the other riders have been perfected over years of practice.

"It is all like baby steps," he said. Feats like "the cliffhanger," which consists of the rider locking his feet on the bike's handlebars and standing up in mid-air, are "just like second nature."

Motocross is known for being hard on the body. "There are always going to be trips to the hospital," Mason said, but he has stayed pretty healthy, with only a few surgeries.

He said that after years as a solo competitor, working with the show has helped him relish the team effort needed to pull off the highly choreographed routines. "It is not all about me anymore," he said.

Between shows, he said, it's not unusual for the cast to gather for guitar jam sessions in the locker room.

"I tell everyone all the time that my life is perfect," he said. "I get to see cool stuff. We bring guitars into the locker. It is awesome."

He figures he has three or four years of motocross left before he needs to move onto something else. What would that be?

"I have no idea," he said. "Maybe a band. A Metallica cover band."


IF YOU GO

Nuclear Cowboyz

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4; and 2 p.m. Jan. 5

Where: Rupp Arena, 430 W. Vine St.

Tickets: $25-$45 in advance, $30-$50 day of show. $90 VIP tickets available for Jan. 4 show. Available at (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service