FROM an audience of one in Rankins Springs to tens of thousands in Beijing.
Welcome to Joel Brown’s reality.
Griffith’s very own freestyle motocross star is all set for his debut world championship appearance this weekend at Night of the Jumps, in front of a sold-out crowd that will be baying for thrills in the Chinese capital.
Fresh off a convincing win at the opening round of the Australian FMX Championships held at Coonabarabran, Brown is confident, but understandably nervous.
“The best riders in the world will be there,” he told The Area News before jetting off on Tuesday.
“It’s taken be a long time to get here and a lot of hard work, but it’s turned out fairly well.
“I’m a bit nervous but I’m feeling good on the bike.
“I’m hoping for a top-five finish but really, I’m just happy to be going there for the experience.
“You pick up so much stuff just watching the other guys.”
Brown has only been able to fit in a day and a half of training at home in the last week thanks to the recent wet weather, but is riding the high from taking the top honour in Coonabarabran last weekend.
Brown fended off stiff competition from Australian legend and team mate Matt Schubring, who he admits he has long looked up to.
He described the course there as “the biggest in Australia, if not the world.”
“It’s huge. There’s ramps from 75ft to 120ft, 100ft dirt ramps, there’s a quarter-pipe ... it’s really limitless what you can do out there,” he said.
“Going from 75 feet to 125 feet is clicking up to third gear and what I really wanted to do was flip a third gear jump.
“For me, that was my next step, and I got it done.
“I’m doing a couple of tricks that only a handful of guys in the world can do and promoters want that at their events.”
Not that Brown is daunted by the prospect of strutting his stuff at the Mastercard Arena, a former Olympic venue.
He’s performed in China before but only in demonstration shows, as opposed to an actual competition.
“The last time we were there I think it was 100,000 over two days,” Brown said. “It’s crazy, the amount of people. But they never see this stuff in China. The western world sees it all the time and it’s like, ‘oh yeah, you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a million times’.
“We’ve done quite a bit over there this year. It’s going to be interesting because at home, I’ve pretty much been training just in front of my girlfriend, and that’s it.
“The weather’s been crap but the day I did get back on the bike, I felt really good.”
Brown will be back in Griffith next week in time to prepare for the next round of the Australian FMX Championships.