Howell: BMX Star Scotty Cranmer Returns From Paralysis

Source: Asbury Park Press

Scotty Cranmer, owner of SC Bicycles in Howell, loves BMX biking. So perhaps it’s fitting that his story took many life-altering twists and turns to get to where it’s led him today.

Growing up in Howell, Cranmer was fascinated with the world of bicycle motocross (BMX). At age 8, Cranmer got his first BMX bike at a the Bike World local bike shop and became obsessed with the sport. “After that, my life revolved around BMX, and there was nothing better than riding fast and jumping.”

From age 8 to 13, Cranmer raced as a nationally ranked rider and then transitioned into freestyle BMX. “My father opened a skate park in Lakewood for scooters, rollerblades, skateboards and bikes and I got really good at tricks,” Cranmer said. He went on to win the Dew Tour Championship in 2011; is tied for the most X Games medals in the sport of BMX Park, and launched a YouTube channel which has nearly 1.4 million subscribers to date. At the height of his influence on the sport of BMX, however, tragedy struck.

While in Las Vegas in October 2016 to participate in a BMX competition, “we were filming clips in a concrete drainage ditch for my YouTube channel, and I hit a hole that was hidden by a bush,” said Cranmer. His head-first fall broke his neck and triggered several brain bleeds, leaving him paralyzed and unlikely to never walk again: “my worst nightmare come true.”

But following 10 months of surgeries and arduous physical therapy at Kessler Rehabilitation, during which time he had to re-learn how to stand, walk and feed himself, Cranmer defied the odds by not only walking out of the hospital but ultimately riding his bike again.

Looking back at his grim prognosis two years ago, the 31-year-old Cranmer says “I had no sense of fear when it happened — I knew everything would be OK.” He’s continued to strengthen, practice bike tricks and return to a “normal” life. “I’m just so thankful for everything and have tried to make my situation as positive as possible and live my life to the fullest.”

Part of that commitment involves his devotion to the very Howell shop he frequented as a child: he and his parents purchased Bike World, now known as SC Bikes. “I spent every day there as a kid and always dreamed of owning the place,” said Cranmer, who seized the opportunity to partner with his parents when the shop went up for sale 11 years ago. The 7,000-square-foot shop houses 350 to 400 bikes ranging from $120 to over $3,000.

For Cranmer, the ride he’s on couldn’t be sweeter. “It’s amazing to call this place home,” he said of SC Bicycles. “I love to see kids getting their first BMX bike here, just like I did 23 years ago, and see that look on their face. Being able to be part of that moment never gets old.”

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