Chris "Teach" McNeil: Superhero Stunter
Chris "Teach" McNeil is the Superman of the stunting world. He's a normal guy during the week, and a freestyle superstar on the weekends. Instead of showing up for work at The Daily Planet, though, Teach is, well, teaching. (Where else could a nickname like that come from?)
Teach influences the minds of sixth- through tenth-graders at a private school in New Hampshire, where he teaches Latin. He is also a factory-sponsored freestyle rider for BMW Motorrad, and can be seen on his BMW S1000RR at stunt competitions and shows around the country.
"To me, neither one of them are work," Teach says of his dual careers. "I guess the hardest part is the schedule. Teaching takes a significant chunk of my day, so when I'm doing that it's really hard to get anything else done."
He's not kidding about the scheduling: Teach spends approximately 150 days a year on the road, traveling to and from freestyle events. Add teaching, coaching basketball, dirt bikes and trials riding into the mix, and it's easy to see why Teach must have some kind of superhuman qualities.
"I get paid to do the things I love to do. I'm able to balance all those things most of the time, and it enables me to do what I want to do, which is ride motorcycles and be able to make a difference in kids' lives," says the 33-year-old.
He might have loves outside of freestyle, but Teach is quick to note that he's had a lifelong love of speed. He says, "Once I got my first streetbike at 19 or 20, I was pretty much acting like an idiot since day one. Then I saw the Starboyz on VHS, and hooked up with some local guys. Instead of riding the streets, I went to the industrial parks, I went to practice lots, and contests that started popping up. I started doing it for fun, and it's a career now."
That career has taken him all kinds of places, like to the World Superbike round at Miller Motorsports Park, where he and German freestyle legend Chris Pfeiffer ripped it up on behalf of BMW.
Teach's career has also landed him in the middle of nowhere on occasion. "Last year I was driving my 40-foot trailer and truck around by myself, and it was breaking down everywhere I went," he explains. "I've been stranded by myself at three a.m., literally in the middle of nowhere, a handful of times. Nothing good happens at three a.m., whether you're out partying, riding or driving. That's the time you should be sleeping!"
Still, the misadventures are worth it when they come paired with accomplishments like championships in both Stunt Wars and XDL.
When Teach signed on with BMW Motorrad, he knew there would be some challenges ahead. "When I went to BMW, it was a little bit of a rough start. I changed manufacturers, and I changed my style to fit the F800 inline twin. Now I'm on the 1000," he explains.
Now, though, Teach knows how to put the S1000RR through its paces. "I believe in BMW motorcycles, Galfer brakes, LeoVince pipes: I believe in the stuff that I use. I've got a sense of pride having that pipe on my bike, and making it sing when I ride," he says.
Like any good superhero, Teach does have a weakness. He says McDonald's is his guilty pleasure, "but I don't feel guilty about it! The only thing I feel guilty about is that sometimes I ride too much and don't spend enough time with my girlfriend. Luckily she understands me and my need to get a motor between my legs!
"Throughout all my years of riding, I've stayed true to myself and I've done the tricks I enjoy doing, and ridden how I enjoy riding. I don't care what anybody else is doing or what the rules are. I try to ride as hard, fast and reckless as I can, and have fun with it. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that has more fun on a motorcycle than I do."
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