SPEEDING around on a motorcycle inside a 14-foot sphere at 35 mph isn't everyone's idea of a good time. But stunt riders Brandon Landers, Preston Landers and Beau Gonzales love performing inside the Ball of Steel -- all together at the same time. We had a few questions for the twentysomething Texas daredevils, who are performing that and other crazy stunts at this weekend's Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach.
ARE YOU INSANE?
Preston: I don't think we're insane, but we love doing what we're doing, and we do crazy things.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE?
Preston: Just trial and error. Crashing and getting back up and doing it again. We videotaped ourselves practicing, so if we crashed we could watch what happened and learn from the mistake.
YOU PRACTICED FOR A YEAR BEFORE YOU STARTED DOING SHOWS BACK IN 1998. HOW LONG DID YOU RIDE IN THE BALL EACH DAY?
Brandon: As much as you could until you were worn out or too dizzy or sick to keep going.
DO YOU EVER GET SICK?
Preston: We don't get sick anymore doing it. But when you're learning, you get sick until your body gets used to it.
WHAT KIND OF SICK? THROW-UP SICK?
Preston: That's never happened. Feeling sick to your stomach and nauseated. That's about it.
Beau: When I was learning and went to bed, I would close my eyes and still feel that spinning sensation.
HOW LONG AT A STRETCH ARE YOU SPINNING IN THE BALL?
Beau: Each trick is about 30 revolutions; 35 mph is how fast we're going, and we usually do about 30 seconds per trick, which doesn't sound like very long, but it is.
I HOPE YOU'RE PAID WELL.
Brandon: We all make a good living doing this. It's all we do. None of us have regular jobs.
HAVE YOU EVER CRASHED INSIDE THE BALL?
Preston: Many, many times. We lost count. It's a stunt show, and it's gonna happen. We just wear our pads and try to be safe. . . . When we crash, everything goes down into the middle. It's the only place for it to go. Usually, we end up underneath the bikes and stuff. It always hurts.
IS THE BALL OF STEEL A GIRL MAGNET OR DOES IT JUST FREAK THE GIRLS OUT?
Preston: We aren't rock stars.
Beau: We usually go back to the hotel alone.
CYCLE WORLD INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE SHOW WHERE: Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach WHEN: 4-9 p.m. Fri., 9:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. PRICE: Adults, $13; children 6-11, $6; 5 and younger, free INFO: (800) 331-5706; www.motorcycleshows.com