TIMBOON Demons premiership player Darcy Cashmore has ditched football for a dirt bike.
The 22-year-old is in Mackay preparing for his debut on the Australian Underground Freestyle Motocross Championship (AUFMX) amateur tour.
Flinging himself in the air off monstrous jumps has become Cashmore’s afternoon pastime as he polishes his skills for the two-day event later this month.
He has mastered most upright tricks but will be competing against top riders who can pull off backflip combinations.
Cashmore injured his neck a week before arriving in Mackay earlier this month but his commitment to the sport did not waiver.
“I came off my bike and pretty much landed on my head,” he told The Standard.
“But I am going to be training hard for the next couple of weeks.
“I’m just happy to be a part of it.
“It’s something new and not a lot of people can do it, especially from around Timboon.”
The electrician, who played the first two rounds for the Demons this season, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse by some friends in the Queensland city.
“I’d much rather be riding my bike,” Cashmore said.
“A couple of mates went up to Mackay and they’re right into bikes.
“They knew a guy who had a compound and they invited me up to have a crack.”
Cashmore will contest the qualifying round on Friday, May 25, hoping to secure a spot in the Sunday, May 27 competition, which will be in front of an AUFMX tour crowd.
He will ride a borrowed Yamaha YZ250 around a circuit which features about eight jumps, ranging in height from 20 metres to 30 metres.
Competitors have two minutes to perform as many quality tricks as possible, saving his best aerobatic manoeuvre for last.
“You’re jumping 75 feet (23 metres) into the air so you don’t want to come up short,” a matter-of-fact Cashmore said.
“A few blokes in it ride at a high standard.
“First prize gets $4000.”
Cashmore has only recently turned his serious attention to the sport, having previously ridden recreationally.
“I’ve always ridden bikes since I was a kid,” he said.
“My old man never wanted me to have a jump so I went and built one myself.”
Teaming up with good friend Tom Ludeman, the pair created a motocross park at Ludeman’s family property in Scotts Creek.
Cashmore will compete at the underground event later this month before flying to Perth for his next adventure the following week.