10-Year-Old Ben Holman Has Become a Sensation Doing Tricks on His Bike

Ben Holman on his bike
Ten-year-old Ben Holman practices doing his favorite trick on his bike. Photo courtesy: The Holmans

As 10-year-old Ben Holman rides his bike and launches into the air to do another amazing trick, he feels the excitement, the adrenaline rush.

Olympia Federal Savings LogoAs a thrill seeker with a commitment to get better at doing tricks on a bike, this is his home away from home.

Four or five times a week, one of Ben’s parents, either his father, Troy, or his mother, Melissa, drive him to a bike and skateboard park where he can practice doing his leaps into the air while riding his bike.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Ben said. “I love it.”

It’s not a commitment or a talent most bike riders have – young or old. But at the young age of 10, Ben has shown this uncanny – and his parents admit, unnerving – skill to do amazing tricks on a bike. So far this year, Ben has placed second or third in three regional junior open competitions.

Earlier this spring, Ben traveled with his parents to Huntington Beach, California, to compete in the Hot Wheels Junior Open Series. He put together three good runs and placed second in the junior class in April. It was the largest bowl that he had ridden in to that point. It was just his second BMX competition.

“He adapted very quickly to the big stage,” Troy said.

The risks, the chance of taking a spill, landing hard on the concrete, are all part of the thrill for this youngster. That risk is part of the excitement. He’s a thrill seeker.

In early May, Ben took another second out of a field of about 20 riders in a BMX competition in Spokane. The following week, Ben placed third in a Hot Wheels Junior Open competition in Phoenix.

Ben Holman
Ben Holman practices doing another flying trick on his bike. Photo courtesy: The Holmans

Ben, who lives in Tenino, has developed his skills at various parks in the area, including at Rotary Park in Centralia. His parents also take him to riding parks in Lacey, Olympia, and Yelm. His parents’ commitment to letting their son practicing riding runs deep.

“It’s something he likes to do,” Troy said. “He loves it.”

There’s no question that Ben loves riding his bike, but there’s some risk to it, so his parents also have had to be willing to say “go for it.” That permission, that go-ahead mentality, has come as Ben has proven his skill for flying on a bike.

“We have watched him progress from jumping on 2 by 4s in our driveway to hitting bigger ramps,” Troy said.

It wasn’t like one day he was riding and the next day he was flying through the air. It was a progression. Those jumps gradually got bigger and bigger.

“Maybe it’s numbed us a little bit to what he actually does,” Troy said. “We’ve watched him grow as he gets bigger.”

Ben’s journey to flying bikes and placing high at regional competitions got an early start. Ben, who has an older brother and an older sister, saw his siblings riding a bike and he wanted to join them. So, at the tender age of 20 months, Ben was riding a bike with training wheels. By the time he was 5, he was doing jumps in his yard. Troy, who rides mountain bikes, was impressed by his young son’s talent riding a bike early on.

“This is all him,” Troy said. “I did some mountain biking, but by the time he was 5, he was a better biker than when I was in my 20s. He loves it. It’s all he wants to do. It’s his favorite thing to do. Can I go ride my bike? He’s always asking that. If he doesn’t get to go ride his bike, then he starts to freak out because he needs to get that energy release. He looks forward to it.”

But Ben, who is a fourth grader at Grand Mound Elementary, wasn’t content with just riding his bike around the block on a flat sidewalk. It wasn’t long before he was going airborne off rocks in their yard, and putting down long 2 by 4s and riding his bike along them. Practicing at home began to get unsafe.

“Finally, he was hitting things so big and so fast at home that I’m like we need to take him some place where there are jumps that are set up for him to land safely,” Troy said. “It sounds funny, but sometimes if you go bigger and the jump is designed correctly then the landing is safer. So we needed to find a place that was going to have safer takeoffs and landings for him.”

Ben Holman
Ben Holman takes his hands and feet off his bike as he practices another trick. Photo courtesy: The Holman family

At 5, Troy and Melissa started to take Ben to the bike park in Centralia. And their young want-to-be-a-pilot son couldn’t get enough of it.

Now, Ben is riding his bike practicing tricks almost daily. And four to five times a week, his parents bring him to a park. In the third week of May and because of several days of rain, Ben’s grandparents drove him to Portland where he could practice doing his tricks indoors.

“He’s riding big stuff probably at least four, sometimes six or seven days a week,” Troy said. “It depends on the weather and what’s going on.”

Ben’s success riding a bike hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s received some local sponsorship, including support from Joy Ride Bicycles in Lacey.

In the last couple of years, Troy has made sure Ben has tried a few other sports. Ben has played baseball, wrestled, and played soccer. But Ben’s love for bike riding always gets in the way. He’d rather ride his bike.

“It’s not that he’s been bad in those other sports,” Troy said. “He just got bored.”

“We don’t want to make it unfun,” Melissa said. “Or something that we push him to do. It’s something he wants to do. When he gets tired of it, then we won’t do it anymore. At this point, he’s always the one who asks to go for a ride.”

Naturally, Ben has had a couple of scuffed elbows, a couple bruised knees, but he’s never broken anything. And Ben’s focus is more on completing the jump, rather than tumbling and falling. His focus is always on having fun and making friends.

“He’s learned about friendship,” Melissa said. “He’s made a lot of friends. He’s learned how to be a good sportsman with other competitors and how to become good friends with them. It’s a fun family activity. We meet people and make friends with them, too.”

You can follow Ben Holman on Instagram @energizer_benny

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