Recall – Jimmy Levan and the Austin Church Gap

Back in the late 90s you were one of the first dudes to popularize jumping gaps. Most people probably don’t know, but you started out racing and riding trails. How did you get the idea to start sending yourself over huge ass gaps?
Well, my early days even before the racing days consisted of who could jump the biggest jump with the kids in my neighbor hood from ’82 – ’84!  All fun, no ego, but we were 10-13 year old kids putting plywood on bricks and pedaling our asses off. I guess it was just that. That over time grew into gaps I guess.

What kind of gaps have you done lately?
I’m sitting at Josh Stricker’s table in his kitchen in Austin, TX at the moment. It’s 3:15 am and I just finished a Duffs team Texas trip to Houston, TX. I did a roof gap that I was pretty stoked on! That flat landing shit took a bit to come back to due to the fake femur and stuff, but I’m riding closer to normal again.

With Dave Thompson looking on, a frizzed-out Jimmy paid a visit to the gap in early 2010.

Let’s go back to 1998 in Austin, TX and step a little through history from your perspective. It’s the morning of Day 11 and nearing the end of the first Road Fools, which has already been an insane trip. Later in the day you will hop the infamous Austin Church Gap, which you had heard about and had been wanting to do. What’s going through your mind the morning of Day 11?
Joe and Taj told me about this gap. I was friends with these dudes, as well as looked up to them. They told me about a gap I had to check out. I loved it! I told myself that I was jumping that fucker before I left Austin no matter what! Someone called it out that morning.

It’s now later in the day and we finally roll up to the Church Gap with the crew and cameras. Many of the people on the trip are seeing the gap in person for the 1st time. It’s nuts. What’s going through your mind?
Lets do this priest!!!!!

You’re at the top of the gap surveying the distance and run-up. People are starting to gather, and are picking out good spots to observe from. We’re all wondering if you will make it – and trying not to think about what will happen if you don’t. There’s a buzz of energy in the air as you do a couple run-ups wearing a tight long sleeved print shirt. You’re about to go for it. What are you thinking?
Funny thing about it is…the faster you go, the softer you land. Go fast as shit, do the Greg Hill tuck hop you’ve done forever and land. If you land hard you’ll only feel it for a split second if you just hold on!…ha ha!

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One Comment

  1. first in freestyle

    Jimmy, it’s so cool to see you’re back on your bike again…wish I had the guts to pull gaps like this….but no way….I am a sissy….(well I got style to make up for the cowardness…)..thx for pushing this sport and being an all true bmx-all-american guy!
    Steve from Germany

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