At Maple Shade Skate Park, surrounded by skateboarders, Van Homan of Pennsville, NJ stood out from the crowd.
Armed with a helmet and bicycle…he was the only one riding BMX.
New Jersey is home to a ton of talented athletes, and professional rider, Van Homan, is no exception. Born John Vandever Homan, aka Van, he started riding at age 12 just like any other kid who needed something fun to do with their free time.
By 19, he was sponsored by Schwinn, landed a feature in Ride BMX Magazine and was competing in the legendary X Games, where he took home both a silver and bronze medal.
For those who don’t know, BMX, short for Bicycle Motocross, is a sport involving stunts and competitions on bicycles, and for Homan, it’s safe to say what once started as his hobby, has now turned into a lifelong career.
Homan has now spent almost 20 years as a professional rider with several notable accomplishments under his belt. Despite a severe head injury in 2010, his love for riding has only grown stronger.
Along with the X Games, he won ESPN’s Action Sport & Music Award in 2008, was inducted into New Jersey’s Salem County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, and earned a NORA (Number One Rider Award) Cup for Street Rider of the Year, as well as another for his part in a video titled, “Holy Fit” by Fit Bike Co. Homan is cranking out an impressive resume with no intention of slowing down.
In his career, he has travelled to many different countries—Australia, Dubai, Ecuador and Brazil to name a few—and close to all 50 states. But he makes it known that the trail always leads home to the New Jersey/Philadelphia area.
Now at 37, Homan might not be riding competitively anymore, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t active on the bike scene. “I think being a professional BMX-er is more than just [being] a good rider. You have to be constantly active and interested in our industry and community,” says Homan.
He spends some of his time judging competitions and is always on the road. You can find him doing bike demonstrations in France or judging a local gig in the California desert.
Although he doesn’t quite lead a typical life, he does lead one that he loves. When asked for his advice for anyone interested in entering the industry, Homan responded that he “would tell beginners to just enjoy riding and don’t compare yourself to other riders. It sounds cheesy, but I’ve always thought of riding as a great combination between sport and art. It’s something you want to do your way and put your own signature on.”
Homan proudly rides for Fit Bike Co. and is supported by a several other companies such as Bell Helmets, Dan’s Comp, Duo Brand and G-Sport.
For more guidance follow Alexandra, NASM Certified Personal Trainer on Instagram at @TipsfromAFitChick