Location: Maine – the way life should be!
Bike/s: half dozen S1000’s, a few F800GS’s, a couple G450X’s, Husky TC250, GasGas txt280, pimped out mini bike, SkiDoo mountain sled (gotta have the toys for every season)
Years stunting: over a dozen
Favorite stunt: Gettin’ some!
Favorite food: Any meat and potatoes
Favorite place on the earth: Maine and Northern California…very similar
Weirdest thing that has ever happen to you while riding: I can’t even come close to pinning this down, but probably getting arrested/ticketed for not even riding; although that’s not too weird really…and they wonder why no one runs plates.
Why do you stunt, in one word: Freedom
StuntBums: Sum up your "stunt history" in a paragraph - if that is possible!
Chris "Teach" McNeil: After always wanting a ‘crotch rocket’ as a kid, I finally bought one when I was 19 and promptly started my near death riding experience as a squid. I saw a video of the Starboyz and was blown away, but also uninterested. Then I ran across a group called DTE (Driving To Endanger) out of Boston on the internet during my first year as a teacher and thought, “I can do that”. I met up with the fellas, crashed, got up and kept doing highchair burnouts…they soon figured out that I wasn’t a cop and wasn’t an ordinary teacher; and we formed one of the early pioneering groups in the sport, and helped to really push the awareness and professionalism (minus the street antics) of this new ‘sport’.
Teams are a difficult thing to keep together and it soon became evident that it was really an individual sport. I’ve always just pursued my desire to get better on the bike, and to master the motorcycle instead of it mastering me. I never really tried to do anything or ride any other way than how I truly enjoyed, and I guess people thought I was good because I started getting free parts and bikes. I eventually started winning a lot of contests because that was what my focus– professional competition (through road racing, etc). Then BMW came along and truly allowed me to be a professional, and here we are today.
StuntBums: Top 5 accomplishments in your riding career.
Chris "Teach" McNeil:
- Being on the cover of Urban Street Bike Warriors and Super StreetBike during our Guantanamo Bay exploits and world travels (France, Poland, etc…basically all the great moments my man Drew Stone would mention)
- Earning a factory BMW ride
- Winning Stuntwars 2008
- Winning XDL East back to back
- Still being a top competitor/ambassador for the sport and seeing something that I helped start and foster turn into the success that the sport is today; and continuing to have a positive and relevant influence on a daily basis to many riders and industry people.
StuntBums: What do you feel contributes to your long career in the sport?
Chris "Teach" McNeil: My desire to do what I love in life keeps me motivated to always improve myself, both on and off the bike. While some aspects of a riding career are work, to me it is not a job, it is something I truly love to do and would be doing regardless of the attention, bikes, accolades, etc. This makes it easier to push through the difficult times, whether it is injuries, personal issues, outside work issues or whatever.
I’ll be riding bikes till I can’t hang on anymore, and I’m fortunate and blessed to be in the position I’m in. In some regards I feel like I’ve been riding freestyle for a few decades, but mostly I feel like I just started…the passion and excitement to RIDE is still very prevalent in my life and I find myself thinking about riding in general when I really should be focused on other things.
StuntBums: After recovering from your achilles injury you're back in action on the 450 with some ice training. Tell us about riding on the ice and how it keeps you ready to hit the throttle on the asphalt in the spring time.
Chris "Teach" McNeil: Riding on the ice is no different than riding anywhere else in the sense that the more you ride the better off you are; and more importantly the more you diversify your riding, the better you will be on the freestyle bike. I’ve had this philosophy for years and it has really broadened my skill set and always translates directly to freestyle in one way or another.
I like to think that I helped champion that idea from the early 2000’s when I was an expert club racer and avid off road rider – back then it was about proving to the industry that wheelies and freestyle riding in general were a skill set, and as stuntriders we could actually spin a few laps at speed. Diversifying also keeps things fresh and fun, which in turn allows you to maintain a high level of motivation.
Ice riding specifically, besides the fact that it’s one of the few two-wheeled things I can do during the winter, is much like dirt track except it’s not a lousy oval and I make the course myself - usually consisting of over 20 corners ranging in speed from first gear to 5th gear tapped, increasing/decreasing radius, and a plethora of challenges to keep my skills sharp.
I like to go fast and slide any bike around and the ice is a great place to learn and understand traction as well as increase your confidence in sliding both wheels – something I enjoy even more on the RR. The competition amongst my friends is pretty intense and most of the guys I ride with are either fast club experts or AMA pro’s, so I’m definitely not the fastest guy out there; but I have fun and learn a lot – the ice will make you feel like a hero on a bike because backing-it-in and ‘drifting’ are a necessary skill to go fast.
StuntBums: Will we see you at the Urban Street Bike Warriors party at StuntWars this year?
Chris "Teach" McNeil: I had plans to come down for the party and potentially compete at StuntWars, but due to the injury and some personal obligations, it didn’t make sense for me to spend the coin to ship the bike for really no reason.
I’m disappointed that I won’t be in attendance, but sometimes life comes before motorcycles and I have to do what’s best for me and my family. If you are in the area, you should definitely go because it’s a chance to see stunt history in the flesh, especially for a lot of the new guys who really don’t have a good grasp on where we came from as a sport and how we got where we are now.
I was quite honored to have been at the forefront of the Drew Stone movement and his mention in his StuntBums interview of all of his favorite moments was a proud moment for me because I was involved in all of those special times and they did a lot to help propel my career to the level it’s at now. Be sure to check out my new and improved website, www.TeachTrix.com and don’t forget to Get Some!