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Morgan Hill
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September 26, 2022

Got Milk? Gravity Tour shows off high-flying moves

With every performance, they roared. Hundreds of onlookers
packed around a large halfpipe at the Garlic Festival during each
of the nine demos put on by the Got Milk? Gravity Tour last
weekend.
With every performance, they roared.

Hundreds of onlookers packed around a large halfpipe at the Garlic Festival during each of the nine demos put on by the Got Milk? Gravity Tour last weekend.

And after watching three bikers, a pair of skateboarders and a world-famous rollerblader, everybody in the crowd had the same reaction.

“Great,” said 53-year-old Robert Jones, a Florida native seeing the sport in person for the first time. “I like all of it.”

By the end, though, it was hard to tell which group of people – the spectators or the performers – left more impressed.

“I’m telling you, this crowd is amazing,” said flat-land BMX biker Gabe Weed, who dazzled the fans by using virtually every part of his bike to perform tricks.

Weed does around 250 shows a year and said this weekend’s crowds in Gilroy were not only bigger than last summer, but “were some of the loudest I’ve ever performed for.”

“We definitely feed off that energy,” Weed added. “If the crowd is kind of dead, we just don’t get into it as much.”

That wasn’t a problem at this event, which was a part of a tour to promote the milk industry on behalf of the 2,300 dairy families in California.

In fact, rollerblader Eito Yasutoko said the crowd was so enthusiastic that he and his fellow athletes broke with tradition by going all-out during practice.

They also signed autographs between each of the three daily shows, often right up until another practice was to begin.

“That’s one of the things I like most about this sport … good relations with the fans,” Weed said. “I’d just feel weird if I had to go and hide out somewhere after every session.”

Yasutoko, a three-time gold medalist at the X-Games, is originally from Kobe, Japan. Ever since he moved to the United States a year ago, he said places like Gilroy have reminded him of how popular the alternative sport has become.

“I met so many fans that said they know me from TV,” Yasutoko said. “It makes me happy, you know? That’s amazing for me.”

It’s also a thrill for kids like 11-year-old James Fransca, who said Yasutoko’s mid-air moves several feet above the half-pipe were his favorite part of the show.

“That was pretty cool,” said Fransca, who bikes, skates and rollerblades on a little ramp in his backyard.

But after meeting Yasutoko, getting plenty of autographs and watching Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. demos, it was time for he and his family to ride the bus back to their hometown of Fresno.

He wouldn’t be able to stay for the 4:30 p.m. show.

Said his mother, Stacy Fransca: “He’s not too happy about that.”

For the most part, though, there were smiles everywhere.

Rodeo-native Melanie Barrett, attending the Got Milk? event for the second straight year, said she loves the up-close access her two young, skater sons are able to obtain.

“People older than them – professional athletes for example – are too many times unavailable or just not on their level,” Barrett said. “It’s nice for them to see that these are just normal people.”

That kind of connectivity is the objective, said tour director Steven Perelman.

“It’s exciting on television, but we realize bringing it up close and personal makes it more special,” he said.

“That goes for both the fans and the performers.”

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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