WEIRTON - Showing off a series of flips, whips and other tricks, riders from the Monster Energy Freestylemx.com Worldwide Tour were in Weirton Friday to put on a motocross demonstration for area residents.
The tour features a variety of freestyle, motocross, supercross and BMX riders performing in free shows around the world.
Those riding Friday in Weirton were Bryce Hudson, of San Diego, Calif.; John Distler, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Dustin Miller, of Austin, Texas. They put on two shows in the parking lot of the Weirton Wal-Mart Supercenter on Three Springs Drive.
"They're all professional athletes," Brad Hoagland, regional manager for Monster Energy, said, noting many of the riders on the tour have competed in the X-Games, Gravity Games and on the Dew Tour.
The group was in Butler, Pa. Thursday, where they performed for approximately 1,000 onlookers, and was heading for Jackson, Mich., today for Rockapalooza 2012, with two stops scheduled in Kansas next week.
"This bus is going all over the Midwest," Hoagland said.
John Distler performs a mid-air grab trick during a show in Weirton Friday. the Monster Energy Freestylemx.com Worldwide Tour made a last-minute stop in the city while traveling through the region. -- Craig Howell
Hoagland explained the Weirton show was a last-minute addition after two performances in Pittsburgh fell through. As he works with many of the market managers for Wal-Mart in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, Hoagland was able to arrange for Friday's show.
"Wal-Mart is a huge supporter of Monster," he said, adding they arrange to hold many of their shows at Wal-Mart stores as a way to show their appreciation.
Hoagland said Monster Energy, the top energy drink in the country, often looks to alternative marketing methods for their products, which include getting involved in action sports shows.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Twitter @ChowellWDT)