Rim Native To Lead In Motocross Madness Fourth Of July Weekend

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Photo courtesy of Robyn Althoff

Tyler Polk, the son of Robyn Althoff and the grandson of Ken and Nancy Althoff, has made a life for himself in professional motocross and will be bringing a team to the Payson Fourth of July weekend motocross event.

A 30-year-old freestyle motocross rider with deep Rim Country roots returns to Payson July 2 and 3 with his company of riders, who will perform high flying thrills, spills and flips sure to excite fans at MoToX Madness.

Tyler Polk, who was born in Payson and calls it his hometown on his motocross Web site, will provide the FMX Freestyle Motocross exhibitions during performances that begin at 7 p.m. each evening at the Payson Event Center.

Polk’s mother, Robyn Althoff, lives in Payson, as do his grandparents, Ken and Nancy Althoff.

While Polk is a nationally known freestyle rider, he will not personally perform due to a broken collarbone that he suffered weeks ago doing a 75-foot backflip.

“I’m still about four weeks away (from returning),” he said.

Polk moved from Payson when he was just 3, graduated from Thunderbird High School and now lives in Surprise where he runs a motocross school and is a starring member of several riding groups including the Aerial Assault Freestyle Motocross Team.

The extreme motorcycle show group travels the United States drawing throngs of fans to their shows.

The group has also appeared on national television and has competed in several events including X-Games, Dew Action Sports tour and the Moto-X World Championships.

Among the tricks Payson spectators can expect to see is the backflip, which was at one time considered impossible, front flips as well as “Can-Cans,” “No Footers,” “Heel Clickers,” “One Handed Backflips,” “Dead Body” and “Kiss of Death.”

“Yes, my riders will be doing all those,” Polk said.

The aerial stunt demonstrations can be done two ways — ramp to ramp and ramp to dirt.

Polk’s mother says her son first began to show interest in motorcycles at 8 years of age when his family bought him a cycle at the Rye bike yard and he helped rebuild the engine.

Polk has considerable experience as a heavy equipment operator, which he uses to build dirt ramps at team performances.

“I started running heavy equipment at 16 (years of age) and became a finish blade man,” he said.

At 20 years of age he decided to turn to a career as a professional motocross performer, but continued doing heavy equipment work.

“I juggled the two of them until I was 25 and then decided to spend most of my time at motocross,” he said.

In addition to being on the Aerial Assault team, he is one of four riders on the All In FMX team that has made several appearances the past year in Texas and just recently returned from Elko, Nev. where it performed at a biker rally.

When not performing, he and team members practice at Speedworld FMX Park in Phoenix.

For the motocross at PEC, a track party during which fans can meet, greet and ask questions of riders begins each night at 5 p.m.

The gates open at 6 p.m. and the actual motocross an hour later.

Admission at the gate is $15.

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