Freestyle Motocross is the toughest of sports. One moment you can be riding high with adrenalin running through your veins and celebrating the good times that come with success. The next you can be caught in a world of pain reflecting on what the hell went wrong. For Metal Mulisha rider Rob Adelberg, one tap on his gear shifter at the wrong moment sent him crashing out of the 2010 season … In a big way!
It was a big blow for Rob, who had experienced many highs before his accident at the Dew Tour in Salt Lake City, including a fifth place in Freestyle at X Games 16, wins in the FIM FMX World Championship series, appearances on the Nitro Circus Tour with Travis Pastrana, and not forgetting the birth of his first son Cayden. Rob also received invites to compete at rounds of the prestigious Red Bull X-Fighters series, but unfortunately like the Dew Tour small mishaps stopped him from showing the world what he is truly capable of.
Now, back in Australia, as Rob slowly recovers and gathers his strength, confidence, and focus for the 2011 season he talks about what he learned from the past season and how he plans to return for the next even more determined to ride the highs more so than the lows.
Looking back the 2010 season was massive and besides some low points I’m still pretty pumped with how it all went. Right now as I sit at home with my family and recover from my last accident I have plenty of time to reflect on the season. I’m working hard on clearing any negative thoughts from my mind so I can focus 100 per cent on the 2011 season.
The accident at the Dew Tour was brutal, and like a few other ones I had during the year it was a silly mistake, but this time the consequences were high. I qualified equal first in qualifying with Todd Potter, and then in the head-to-head against Ronnie Faisst I went down in the Double Double section after jumping a bit long over the first set and I accidentally tapped my gear lever into neutral. I didn’t realize until I went to pin it for the next hit, which caused me to loose momentum into the second and I came up way short. I knew I was not going to make it so I jumped over the front landing feet first. I broke my Fib and Tib – left leg, shattered my left ankle, fractured my right heel and broke my wrist, which was a massive blow! Looking back now X Games was the highest point of 2010, even though I went into the event unprepared.
I didn’t have high expectations and the run I put together, that consisted of all the tricks I was very comfortable with at the time, worked in my favor as I was consistent throughout the event, and to finish in fifth place was awesome. At events like X-Fighters and the Dew Tour afterwards I went in thinking I could place high so arranged my runs with too many complicated tricks and ended up making mistakes. I put this down to a lack of experience riding big courses, and since I don’t have any to train on close by it’s something I’ll have to work on for the 2011 season.
Hitting neutral through a Double Double line isn’t the best feeling, and I’ve been working on ways to avoid it happening again. I’ve talked with my Dad about it and he’d like to make a new lever that sits in a different place, but for me, I think any event I go to where there’s only second gear jumps I’ll take the gear shifter off, and any event where there’s a third gear ramp I’ll run the shifter down really low so there’s less chance of me tapping it down into neutral.
Fatherhood has been a great experience. I felt down after my accident, but what it gave me is some quality time with my new son Cayden. I’ve been able to watch all the little changes he’s gone through, all the cool things he gets up to each week, which has been awesome. It hasn’t been easy on Stacey though as when I first came back from hospital I was stuck in a wheel chair with a broken wrist.
I couldn’t even wheel myself around, so she had to look after both Cayden and myself. We also moved house in that period so there’s been a lot going on. She’s handling it all well though. She loves the good times and knows she has to stick around during the bad times! (Laughs)
It’s great to be a part of the Metal Mulisha, like at X Games they had the big semi set-up that I could park under with the whole team and use to my full advantage. And having Brian Deegan’s compound I can access at any time is awesome. It’s one of the best around and the perfect place to train while I’m in the States. That’s one of the best things about being a Mulisha member, it’s not just about the clothing and money, it’s everything that comes with it from the help at events, opportunities to ride demos, and the top guys in the sport backing you all the way. I am healing fast and have plans to train harder in the coming weeks. My main goal for now is to start out the 2011 season with a solid few week sessions at Jacko Strong’s place early in the new year. He has a great compound, which has a Double Double set-up and several dirt hits, and ramps. He also has a really big foam pit that will enable me to learn some new tricks like a Varial or something new, as I’d like to get a shot at Best Trick in X Games 2011. I’d also like to bring a trick like that into my run so I’d really need to get it dialed. I’ve learned a lot from this season and know I can improve in the areas that let me down this year, which I hope will make the difference in me getting some good results at the big events in 2011.