The professional BMX stunt riders of Wheels of Freestyle invaded Barnett Elementary with their off-the-hook, high energy stunts for the school’s inaugural Mother-Son Event. The riders also came with a series of positive messages for the boys.
“Let’s take that to the next level,” said event coordinator Kim Thornton. “We were fortunate enough to have a Barnett Elementary alum, not to mention an X Games silver medalist here performing at his alma mater. Mike Parenti was in sixth grade when Barnett opened its doors. He was part of the first graduating class ever to attend our school. How cool is that!”
Parenti went professional at age 16 and has not let up one bit, said Thornton.
“While his first professional performance came that year to some 23,000 screaming fans as part of a half-time show for a Chicago Bulls basketball game — oh yeah, Michael Jordan was on the court that night. Well, apparently Mike was not intimidated and has just kept on moving ‘onward and upward,’ as we say at Barnett.”
Also at Barnett for the mother-son event was David Holden, owner of the Wheels of Freestyle inspirational nationwide company. Holden was raised in Medford, Ore., a town much like Ramona, said Thornton. He attended college at Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego, where he played basketball.
After college, he got involved with stunt riding for some fun and now makes it a living.
“How is that for ‘love what you do, and do what you love?’” commented Thornton.
In 1996 Holden came up with a concept about inspiring young impressionable kids to make positive choices, stay in school, safety first, stay away from drugs, and they can have their dreams come true. At the time the popularity of extreme sports was in its infancy and he thought that just might just be the way to go. The kids would be interested in seeing a stunt show, so he put together the program.
“Keeping their interest will keep them listening to his powerful, positive messages,” said Thornton. “I can tell you after this experience your kids will definitely know that it is way cool to wear a helmet, stay in school and drug free and you will go far in life. I highly recommend this assembly to any of our schools here in Ramona. If we make enough noise, maybe we would be lucky enough to get this fantastic duo back here.”
Kirk’s Bike Shop in Ramona and Kali Protectives donated helmets and other gear for the event.
“Kali is considered some of the best protective gear you can get your grip on,” said Thornton.