Detroit native, BMX rider Tyler Fernengel explores Silverdome ruins

It's simultaneously poetic and pitiful. The Silverdome was once a shining beacon in Pontiac; the home of the Lions, Wrestlemania III, and World Cup games. But professional athletes haven't graced this building and field for years. Until now. 

Tyler Fernengel is a Detroit native so it's only fitting that the BMX rider is the last professional athlete inside the Pontiac Silverdome. 

The video of Tyler riding inside the Silverdome was uploaded to RedBull.com this week. It opens with shots of the dilapidated structure; from broken Honolulu Blue seats to the AstroTurf where only parts remain, the stadium is in shambles.

A poetic voice speaks for the once great arena leading into Tyler riding through. First stop the concourse where he rides through, performing multiple tricks. He works his way up to the suites, pausing to drink a Red Bull of course, before he continues his tricks.

The final trick may be the most beautiful. Jumping out of one of the boxes, he rides one ramp down, catches another ramp and lands a final trick at midfield. It wasn't easy, according to RedBull's site:

"I straight-jumped it, my feet blew off [the pedals], my tires went so flat and my bars moved — it was just so much more impact than I expected. I had called out the 360-barspin, but I wasn't even sure it was possible. ... I honestly started doubting myself, but like I said, I felt I had to at least try it and see what happens. 

It all happened so fast — I just remember slamming and rolling toward the chairs. ... I hit a metal upright with my ribs and just came to a complete stop. I started making that crazy noise when you get the wind knocked out of you, sounded like a zombie. I pretty much impaled myself on a metal upright, but I was all right — cut myself pretty good and bruised my ribs.

How did you get up and reapproach after such a scary crash?

Normally, I want to get right back up from a crash and try it again — but lunch came and I took about a 20-minute break, which is not the thing you'd normally want to do. When all the adrenaline is flowing, you gotta take advantage of it. So it took me awhile to build up the confidence to go for it again.

The second try, I landed perfect but the impact was so heavy. Both my feet blew off and smashed into the wood. I bruised my heels and my ankles were just done.

After that, I was just sick of it. I was like, "I have to do this." So I grabbed my bike and literally ran up and within five minutes just went for it. As you can see from the photo, my tires were compressed and I was hanging off the side of the bike. I barely pulled it. "

The spot where so many Detroit Lions once celebrated and 80,000+ cheered on Barry Sanders and the legacy that came before, now a shell of its former self.
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