CENTRAL POINT — His right hand gripped the green handlebar of his bike while his left hand tightly clasped the front tire.

In one swift motion, Dave Nourie hoisted his legs over his head and held a handstand for several seconds.

"It's not the rider. It's the bike," Nourie said as his audience applauded.

For 25 minutes, Nourie swung, skimmed, balanced and twisted on the Hoffman Big Daddy bike he has been riding for 19 years during one of two shows Tuesday at the Jackson County Fair.

"Hello Again," "Pure Energy," "Red, Red Wine" and a variety of other '80s tunes played in the background.

"I have really enjoyed riding over the years," Nourie said. "It gives me a great sense of freedom and the outdoors. That is why I still have a passion for it."

About two dozen people gathered between the Olsrud and Compton arenas and endured 100-degree heat to watch Nourie's BMX stunts.

Nourie will perform again at 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. today and Saturday.

The fair continues through Sunday at the Jackson County Expo in Central Point. And as has been a fair tradition, temperatures are predicted to hover near triple digits all week long and reach 106 degrees by Sunday, said Mike Petrucelli, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

"The best thing to do is to stay hydrated," Petrucelli advised fairgoers. "... With these kind(s) of temperatures you may not sweat a lot but you're still losing fluids."

Nourie, 43, has been riding BMX bikes for 26 years. For about six years he rode professionally, performing across the United States, Europe, Japan and Brazil. Two weeks ago he appeared at BMX Worlds in Germany, where more than 4,000 fans cheered him on as he performed in an "old-school reunion show."

"The sport has taken a huge leap in the last 10 or 12 years," Nourie said. "It's really extreme what they can do now. I'm considered a pioneer, old-school rider."

Nourie's specialty is flatland riding — tricks that can be done in a parking lot. In all his years of biking, Nourie said he is fortunate he hasn't had any serious injuries.

"I've only twisted my knee once, in '87, and I've dislocated my shoulder a couple times," he said.

About 12 years ago, Nourie and his two sons, Blythe, 17, and Kellen, 12, moved from San Diego to Ashland to get away from the "big city atmosphere." Now, Nourie teaches at Stone Soup Family Playschool in Ashland. During the summer he teaches bicycle classes for kids 7 and up at The Grove, a youth center, and at the annual Bike It event at the ScienceWorks museum, both in Ashland.

"My performance is the vehicle through which I can educate and inspire," he said.

After impressing the crowd by moving his bike by walking up the bike tire, Nourie called for volunteers to try some of the stunt bikes he brought with him.

One bystander, Apple Shelide, pointed to her 10-year-old son, Miguel. Nourie nudged him out into the semicircle and helped him climb a "ghost bike." Miguel's feet stretched to find the pedals while Nourie held him on the bike and pushed him around in circles.

After his few minutes of fame, Miguel returned to stand by his mom.

"I ride bikes 24/7," Miguel said as he videotaped Nourie using his phone. "I might be putting this on YouTube."

Teresa Thomas is a Southern Oregon University graduate and intern at the Mail Tribune. Reach her at 776-4462 or at

Share This Story