Fort Worth on BMX Pro's Bridge Stunt: "The Arches ... Were Not Designed for that Purpose"

Categories: News

MatOlsonBridge.jpg
Mat Olson, the 26-year-old BMX daredevil who conquered the arches of the West 7th Street Bridge on Saturday, continued his victory tour on Monday morning with an appearance on News 8 Daybreak.

There, he offered a rebuttal to the haters out there who have suggested that his stunt was irresponsible and sends the wrong message to kids.

"There's a ton of wrong messages out there. There's messages, 'Hey play this video game. Hey, you know, go eat this fast food,'" he said. "I figure I'm outside doing something that's you know healthy and obviously beneficial for me and it's just something that I do, it's in my realm of work."

But wouldn't a "Don't try this at home, kids" disclaimer be in order? Olson wouldn't go that far. "At least wear your helmet." Nor did he really address the question of what he would tell drivers were he to fall from the arches and die: "I couldn't say much since I'd be on the ground."

See also: Watch Local BMX Biker Mat Olson Ride the Arches on Fort Worth's New 7th Street Bridge

OK, so thoughtful reflection on the moral implications of BMX stunt riding isn't Olson's strong suit, but there are plenty of other people wringing their hands for him. Like the city of Fort Worth, which has an obvious interest in keeping people from killing or maiming themselves on its new bridge.

Responding to Olson's stunt, city spokesman Bill Begley issued a statement reminding the public that, while the new West 7th Street bridge is a "modern engineering marvel," its arches "were not designed for that purpose, and climbing, walking or riding a bicycle or skateboard on them is a dangerous endeavor"

He continues: "It is a beautiful and safe structure when used properly and for its intended purpose. That said, we discourage residents to participate in risky behaviors like that of the BMX rider this weekend. ... We are studying ways to reinforce that message, but in the meantime we encourage residents to use and enjoy the new structure safely and in the method it was designed and built for."

In other words, enjoy the arches from the relative safety of your automobile.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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35 comments
AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

He should be prosecuted.  If he had fallen and hit a pedestrian or a motorist, lawsuits would have ensued.  If a motorist, distracted by the sight of a bicycle rider where one did not belong, caused an accident, lawsuits would have ensued.  If the bicycle rider had injured or killed himself during his foolish behavior, he or his family would have sued the city for failing to prevent people from mis-using the bridge.

kduble
kduble

If the arches had been designed for that purpose, it wouldn't have been a stunt.

brentdgardner
brentdgardner

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

bmarvel
bmarvel

I come down on the side of the archcycler and the police. I think they should forbid it and he should do it anyway. A little bit of anarchy and danger are good for the soul.

the.jessie.freeman
the.jessie.freeman

Where's the clip of this?  I want to see a downside whip on that monster

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

Is Fort Worth that place between Grand Prairie and Arlington?  It seems like I've heard of it (maybe in a history book or something)?

doublecheese
doublecheese

How is this bridge a "modern engineering marvel"?  It looks like any bridge all over Texas that is supported by concrete piers.  The arches appear to be completely cosmetic.

bobbyvdallas
bobbyvdallas

Dallas' bridge may be over the top, but that fort worth bridge just looks stupid.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Big Kitty is excited about an adventure at the bridge, too.  Maybe a mouse chase? 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Further proof Fort Worth's bridge is cooler than Dallas's designer bridge

Threeboys
Threeboys

If Ft. Worth was so against it, why didn't the police who witnessed his ride arrest him instead of giving him a "stern warning"?


They are loving this publicity.

MaestroJedi
MaestroJedi

Get over yourself Ft. Worth (eh hem...Mr. Begley)! He's a pro BMX rider. He does stuff like that for a living. A car wreck is more likely to happen on that bridge than the possibility of him falling off during such a stunt. There's risk in everything we do on a daily basis, but he's a professional risk takerYou're just pissed off he didn't ask your permission first...for which you would have most likely denied still. Suck it up, make some rule to keep people from ever doing it again without a permit, and move on. It's not that big of a deal.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

"were not designed for that purpose, and climbing, walking or riding a bicycle or skateboard on them is a dangerous endeavor"

Wasn't that kind of the point?


"You are very tall."
"It's a nice day."
"So this is it. We are going to die."

Cowtown
Cowtown

I guess now he will attempt the Margaret Hunt Hill arches...

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Next, skateboards!

usorthem3
usorthem3

@AdamsonScottYour whole argument is based on what if? What if a nuclear bomb had gone off while he was riding across? What if a May Day hail storm resulted from his actions? What if........................

usorthem3
usorthem3

@mcdallasSpoken like the true self important citizen of the city with the world known "Dallatude" which makes the city a laughing point for excess, greed, BIG HAIR, and the most shallow people I know.  Being from there, I know of what I say to be true.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

The sidewalk like proportions of the arches alone are enough to invite mischief like this, not to mention the proximity to pedestrian traffic.

I see unsightly guardrails in this bridge's future.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

I've dreamt of filming you and Big Klitty prancersizing across those arches.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I think it's time for a new year's resolution for the kat.  Maybe cut back on the cheeze a little this year?

kduble
kduble

@Sotiredofitall  Except it isn't. All one need do is look.

the.jessie.freeman
the.jessie.freeman

@Threeboys because it's not illegal... turns out cops can't just arrest you for doing something which isn't illegal.  Who knew?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Cowtown 

That would be a far more spectacular and entertaining endeavor to watch.

MaestroJedi
MaestroJedi

@mcdallas @MaestroJedi  Conjecture.  A car wreck is the responsibility of the drivers. If they are going pay attention to him rather than their driving, then they need to pull over to do so or just "miss out" on the cool thing that just happened. But then again, a lot of people are idiots and their curiosity always gets the better of them (insert relevant argument for texting while driving). Plus, yours is speculative question if I ever saw one. So...What if? We don't know what his timing/set up were for the stunt before he did it. According to spectators, some cops apparently knew what was about to happen. Did they stop him? No, they addressed it afterward.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@MaestroJedi @mcdallas Tell that to the people who wrecked at DFW Airport so many times that they had to take the signs down.

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