by Luke Voogt
When people told BMX stuntman Scott Hone he “couldn’t ride backwards” he refused to listen.
“Every time I tried I got a little bit further and now I can ride backwards as far as I want,” he told the Indy.
“I could have been a high school teacher but I chose to do something different and what a ride it’s been!
“All because I asked if there was another way.”
Now, after almost a decade of travelling Australia and the World to perform tricks for kids and adults alike, Hone is pedalling into Geelong.
The long-time BMX rider wheels into Geelong Arts Centre next Tuesday for Poppykettle Children’s Festival.
“I’ve been looking forward to this since last year,” he said.
The father-of-two started doing tricks on his bike at age 13 and “never really stopped”.
“It was something that I always loved,” he said.
“I did the X Games twice in 1999 and 2000 but I was never good at competitions.”
Hone joined Circus Oz in 2002 learning trapeze, acrobatics and juggling.
After studying mathematics at university, the “kookiness” and “strangeness” of the big top drew him in, he explained.
“When all circus performers come together they can create something amazing,” he said.
“Although I never thought of the bike as being a circus thing.”
When he juggled or performed acrobatics the circus directors said they had ‘seen that, done that’, he said.
But when a fellow acrobat asked him to demonstrate some BMX moves it caught their attention.
“The artistic director walked past and I said, ‘hey Mike, check this trick out’,” he said.
“They saw me ride a bike and they said, ‘hey, we want that!’”
The gig would see him travel across the UK, US, Austria, Germany, Canada and New Zealand.
He left the circus after the birth of his eldest child but got back into performing as his kids grew older.
“Just recently I’ve come off a cruise for the Pacific Explorer,” he said.
In his Geelong show he will invite a few lucky kids onstage to take part “in the best trick in the world”.
Hone used to perform the trick in the circus with 10 acrobats on the bike at once.
“It was so heavy!” he said.
He performs as part of Poppykettle Festival, which celebrates a 1980 children’s book about the voyage of a group of “hairy Peruvians”.
The book, Voyage of Poppykettle, references the Geelong Keys, which a worker found at Limeburner’s Point in 1847.