SW91 Challenge: You DID It!

November 9, 2016 by · Comments Off 

91 Challenge a BIG Success
Thousands of BMX News readers visited the article and listened to the Tyler Brown podcast we posted on November 4. Some of you jumped in to the “SW91 Challenge” auction or Chula Vista event, to participate, along with BMXers from around the world, to cap-off the three-event challenge, and raise an incredible sum of money for Sam Willoughby’s Road2Recovery fund.

All-told, the three-event series raised $48,295 for the fund—which is incredible, in-and-of-itself. BUT, the golden moment of Saturday’s event was when it became apparent that the fundraising efforts topped $30,000.

That moment triggered the “funds-matching challenge” offered by an anonymous donor, who pledged $30,000 in matching funds, during the month of November. WOW! What a moment that was. Suddenly, $48,295 became $78,295!

Tyler breaks it down for us:

Bellflower BMX
This was the kick off of the SW91 Challenge events. It was great to see the support from everyone right from the beginning. They had a ton of pros, and riders for their clinic, and lots of riders hanging out racing! Bellflower was able to raise $5,500 in their awesome efforts!

Worldwide Online Auction
The auction kicked off Saturday night after Bellflower. We had memorabilia from the world’s top BMX riders, Motocross superstars, country music stars, old school stuff…you name it, we had it! The worldwide auction brought in right around $27,000 in total!

Chula Vista BMX
Last, but not least, Chula Vista BMX is Sam’s home track. He is always there to lend a helping hand when needed, now this weekend it was our turn to help him out. We started off with a killer Pro clinic, followed by circus games in the parking lot while things on the BMX track were going off.

The pros hung around all day to sign autographs and for sure a highlight was the Pros racing on the kids “Fatboy” bikes! Talking about the pros, no one can forget the “pie the pro in the face” auction where highest bidder throws a pie in their favorite pro’s face ha-ha!

Editor’s Note: Pause a second, click the link below for a big ol’ belly-laugh (will open a new window)
Pie-a-Pro Video

We also had a killer silent auction, raffle and, oh yeah, an awesome double points BMX Race. We brought in an additional $15,295 to add to the total!

As we noted up-top, the three efforts, taken together, brought in a total of $48,295 (additional funds came in after the event to round-out the total raised on-site). Add the matching funds into the mix, and Sam’s Road2Recovery fund is plus $78,295, which will-more-than-double the current tote-board-total of $66,000+ as soon as those funds hit.

BIG props to Tyler and Kassie from Chula Vista BMX, who managed the auction and Chula event; Tammy from Bellflower BMX; the anonymous donor of $30,000 in matching funds, and all BMXers who opened up their hearts and wallets to make this happen.

—Mike Carruth

If you missed the auction, there is still time to donate to the fund, at the link below.


Sam Willoughby’s Page

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Podcast: Tyler Brown on SW91 Fundraisers

November 4, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Tyler Brown Podcast on SW91 Fundraisers

Following our Sam Willoughby update earlier this week, we had a last-minute opportunity to interview Tyler Brown, who is running this weekend’s fundraiser at his track, Chula Vista BMX, and is also the coordinator of the currently-running eBay auction that is drawing big attention from bidders around the world.

Tyler joins us on the Announcers Tower Podcast for a short episode that gives us some great inside information on how Sam is doing, the efforts that are making a BIG difference in the cause, and the two still-running events that will help YOU make a difference.

Listen Now
iOS users: paste the link below into your device’s browser to listen

Thanks to Tyler for taking time out of his preparations for the weekend to come on the show and update us on all of the backstory happening on these efforts.

We encourage all of you to take a look at the incredible items up for bid in the online auction or, if that’s not your speed, donating straightaway to Sam’s campaign (links for both, below).

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo Credits: Left photo by Jerry Landrum, right photo by Tyler Brown.


Sam Willoughby’s Page

Sam Willoughby Benefit Auction on eBay

Latest BMX Edits on, Presented by Yess BMX

Chula Vista Wreck Sends Sam to Hospital

September 10, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Sam Willoughby Evacuated to HospitalUPDATED Below During a routine practice session on the amateur track at Chula Vista BMX on Saturday, Sam Willoughby crashed hard on the third straight and was flown, by “Mercy Air” helicopter to an area hospital (above).

A witness on the scene told BMX News:

“He looped it on the third straight, and landed square on the middle of his back, on the peak of the roller, from how I could see it, which was pretty much directly from the side. He was moving his arms, clearly conscious, and they were very careful with him, eventually putting him in a helicopter…”

No word on Sam’s condition as of this writing, but we wanted to send out our support, thoughts and prayers to him on behalf of all BMX News readers. He’s as strong a they come, and we know we’ll see him back on the track soon.

We will update this page as additional details become available.

—Mike Carruth

UPDATE – 9/13/16, 2:15PM PDT: Alise released a statement updating fans and friends on Sam’s condition. Nothing as to his mobility status or other medical issues (which really are confidential and not for public discussion), but some good indications, as he was moved out of Intensive Care, and is in good spirits mentally. Click here to read the full update.

UPDATE – 9/12/16, 5:22AM PDT: This is an update to say there has not been any recent information released on Sam’s condition.

BMX Australia released statement, saying: “Upon arrival Willoughby underwent tests on his neck and back, where it was decided he would undergo surgery. Following surgery Willoughby was in a stable condition. No other information about his condition is available at this time. Willoughby’s parents have flown to the USA to be with their son and BMX Australia will provide all possible support to Willoughby and his family.”

UPDATE – 9/11/16, 8:34AM PDT: Sam is reportedly stable and resting in a San Diego area hospital under the observation of his medical team. Family and close friends are with him, and will keep us updated as appropriate.

I realize this is not much of an update, but these things take time. The best we all can do is to keep putting our prayers and positive vibes in his direction. /MC

Top photo courtesy of Mark Deadrick


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Legends Gate Up for Fun in Chula Vista

January 30, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Dale Holmes and Jamie Staff

Practice night at Chula Vista BMX has become part pro show, part family reunion and part BMX baptism, as new riders come to check out one of the top tracks in the US.

This week, Dale Holmes posted this shot on Facebook: a golden-hour sunset shot of he and US Olympic BMX director, Jamie Staff, gating up for some just-like-old-times practice gates.

Here’s what he said:

First got on the gate with @jamiestaff over 25 years ago and realized how strong he was. Back on the gate tonight at Chula Vista and he’s still pulling!! Fun to ride with Jamie again especially without it being so intense, as it used to be wanting to beat each other back then…

Awesome to see these two long-time BMX friends back some BMX fun.


Chase BMX Website

Chula Vista BMX

Donors Pave the Way for Chula Vista’s New Turns

January 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Chula Vista BMX gets paved turns

By Tyler Brown

What’s a BMX track without it’s locals? I mean let’s be honest, you can have the best BMX track in the world but if you don’t have the locals behind it, the track will never take off. That goes for every aspect of the track. From the volunteers who invest countless hours working to make sure the track is in top shape, to the local riders who make the track their “training home,” we all do it for one reason: TO HAVE FUN ON OUR BMX BIKES!

Chula Vista BMX wants to take a quick minute to thank all of our locals for an amazing 2013 season! It was one of the best years for the track and we can’t thank you all enough.

The most recent example of how great our locals are is the “track improvement” fundraiser we had back in November. We had a goal of raising $10,000 to asphalt our turns. We knew paving the turns would greatly improve the track, but would be a large goal to achieve. I must say, we knocked it out of the park!! We were able to raise that $10k in just one day!

We immediately went to work to get the asphalt ordered up, and scheduled. The project was done over the winter break, and we opened for practice on New Year’s Eve, to a full house! Nothing like spending a holiday with your BMX family, and enjoying a smooth, upgraded, track.

There is no way we could have raised that much money and got it all done without a few large donations, for which we are very, very grateful. We wanted to take the time to thank every local rider who supported us, all the local pros who came out to show their support and also those dedicated-few, who donated above and beyond to make this happen! Thank you again, and see you all on the gate!!

Thank You To Our Top Donors:
Sam Willoughby $5,000
Darryn Goodwin $2,000
Other large donations from the Anderson Family and Nielsen Family.

Thanks, as well, to the following companies who participated in the event.
Chula Vista Track Improvement program sponsors

Track Talk: No Clips For Novices in 2013

December 23, 2012 by · Comments Off 

New USA BMX Rule: No Clips For Novices

As in most years, the turn of 2013 brings some new rules for BMX Racers in North America. The 2013 USA BMX and BMX Canada Rulebooks will be released soon, and as a lead-in to that, we thought we would take a look at one rule that has a lot of parents and track operators saying “right on!”

Starting January 1, riders holding a Novice membership will need to race on flat pedals. This includes times when they are moved up to make a class, or in a mixed-open setting at nationals.

While not necessarily the official reason for the change, the “race” to clips tends to be a “keeping up with the Joneses” situation, in a class that is our sport’s “beginner” entry point. The novices who have had several months on the bike tend to clip in, because people next to them in the gate have done the same. This hurry-up scenario introduces an “advanced” tool, for riders who have not-yet mastered the fundamentals.

BMX News asked representatives from seven tracks across the country how the upcoming rule is playing within their local scene, and some other questions that shine a light on how it might work across the system.

Answering the questions are:

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX, Pottstown, PA
John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX, Oldsmar, FL
Justin Miller – Mankato BMX, Mankato, MN
Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX, Hobart/Portage, IN
George Colbert – The Hill BMX, Elgin, IL
Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX, Chula Vista CA

We also have one response from a track who asked not to be identified.

1). How have you spread the word among your local riders that this rule is coming down the pike, and will be enforced as of the new season?

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
Immediately after the announcement of the rule change, we made routine announcements at the track and spoke to individuals who are currently using clipless pedals. We informed them that, for 2013, they had two choices: turn Inter, or take the clips off till you move up.

John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX
A copy of rule changes will be handed out at all events coming up for a month or so.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
It has been posted on our Facebook page. Our Season starts in May, so I have been sending out letters in the mail to my rider base that contains information like schedule, plate numbers etc. I plan to include information on the rule changes.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
I have posted the rule change on a bulletin board at the track… And personally told most of the novice riders and/or parents of the novice riders of the rule change. Oddly enough, we have a bunch of novices…but not many with clips.

George Colbert – The Hill BMX
We have not officially spread the word outside of a Facebook post on the track Facebook page. (Season is currently over til spring)

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
I will be using our website, social media, and announcements at races to get the info out to the riders. Also I have been letting any kids I see that the rule would apply to and letting them know.

Word of mouth and

2). What has been the response among your current Novice riders to this change?

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
The response has been good. Riders and parents understand. We encourage the riders to set a goal if they want to have the pedals. (“if you practice and win races you will move up faster and then you will be able to use the pedals.”)

John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX
Not a great deal of noise about it either way here.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
I only know of one parent, so far, that is upset their novice cannot run clips.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
Most do not run clips as a novice, so it hasn’t been much at all. Mostly along the lines of “oh… OK.”

George Colbert – The Hill BMX
I have spoken to one local 12 yr old rider and father about the rule and how it will affect them. I took it as an opportunity to discuss with them their goals for next season and the options they have to pursue them. The fun part was laying out the option of moving up to intermediate or changing pedals to the 12 yr old, and having him decide.

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
So far, the responses have been neither good, nor bad. It has been more of an “ok thanks.”

No negative reactions yet, people seem more impartial to the new rule. Most novice riders who are riding clips are almost intermediate, so they said they will move up.

3). Do you feel it will compel existing novices to class-up in order to stay with their “comfortable” clips?

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
Yes, it has compelled them to do so. Again after explaining the rule changes, we told them that they had choices. There were a few riders who already moved themselves up to Inter.

John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX
I think a few will class up right-away, just due to peer pressure from the inters and experts but, I think a good number won’t bother with moving up before their time. At the end of the day, they know whether they can compete in a higher class or not and they want to win.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
I do not anticipate any moving up for that reason.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
I feel it will take the pressure off of novices if everyone is under the same rule… And the pressure to get clips will be diminished.

George Colbert – The Hill BMX
For the ones that do, they should probably move up anyway.

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
Right now at my track we don’t really have a lot of novice riders in clips, so I don’t think it will affect them to much.


4). How will you police the rule? In staging? Only if there is a protest? Etc…

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
At this point we are still looking into how we are going to enforce the rule. It will start with registration reminders, PA announcements prior to the race starting and finally observed in staging. We hope it does not need to be policed in the staging area, as the stager has enough to do and it would hold up the race at that point.

John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX
The Oldsmar “wristband police” will be watching for them at the gate. We will have all novices wear a different-colored wristband then all the rest for a few months.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
Staging is too busy. I announce, so I will watch for it and call them out right on the PA during the race. There will be big signs hanging up at registration. That, combined with the letter in the mail gives them plenty of notice. No excuses.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
By informing the riders as they sign up.. And talking to the rider… Also by observing and reiterating the rule change. Difficult on a busy night when classes are mixed with inters to check each pedal at the gate. If the rider insists, I plan to move him up to Inter.

George Colbert – The Hill BMX
Just like any other equipment related rule (helmets, long pants/knee pads, long sleeves elbow pads), we’ll keep our eyes out for infractions and do everything in our power to bring the rider into compliance by race time. For example, we regularly lend out extra team shirts for riders in short sleeves with no elbow pads.

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
That is going to be a hard one, and I want to be fair because the rules are the rules. I will do my best to get the word out and help the kids understand why. Also keep some extra pedals at the track for the first month or so until everyone gets it down.

Like all rules, our track officials will be aware of these new rules and make a call as needed. Same as if a 5+ yr old rider is being held in the gate, or impeding another rider within the first 30ft of the gate, or illegal move down the last straight, our track officials will make the call as they see it occur. We inform our riders/customers about rules as best as we can, but ultimately it is up to the rider and parent to know the rules.

5). Do you have any method in place to explain to parents and riders why this rule is necessary (both existing people and new people who ask why it is as it is)?

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
Educating the volunteers with the information that USA BMX provides to us. All Information that they provide to us will be included on a handout highlighting the new 2013 rule changes.

John Sawyer – Oldsmar BMX
Yes. First, we will fully explain it to them. After that, if there is still a question, we will show them videos of kids falling over in the gate and other clip-troubles on the track. If there are still complaints about it, then I will show them some 9-12 year olds from the UK that rip, without clips, and can boost most anything and have more style than a lot of experts do here.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
I usually spend as much time with the new parents as possible when they come to the track and I already cover topics like bikes, helmets, gearing, rules and also bring up the topic of clips to them. I have very few intermediate riders clipping in, and even fewer novice riders. Folks are just not clip-crazy at my track. It could be how we teach them about learning the sport, or just by chance.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
Rules are rules…And I feel that the explanation provided by USA BMX is adequate. We do new rider and novice clinics all the time to help riders learn the fundamentals. It’s a good opportunity to work one-on-one with them, and explain what they should be doing, and how it’s done. We have plans to work with kids moving to clips in a practice session as well…kind of an “Intro to clips 101.”

George Colbert – The Hill BMX
It’s easy to explain the spirit of the rule. We think people will understand.

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
I think the new people will be easy, since it is all they will know. It’s the existing people that it will be harder to explain to. I think just making them understand it is not only better for the sport, but also for their younger rider, as far as safety, bike control, and overall fairness is concerned.

Not at the moment. Mainly just explaining to them there is no need to rush into clips, let the rider become comfortable with the bike first.

6). Any other comments or ideas on the topic, or tips for other tracks?

Glen Knapper – Trilogy Park BMX
Encourage new riders who express the want to have clips to earn them. Put in the work to get them.

Justin Miller – Mankato BMX
I think this is a good rule. People will have a hard time with it for the next year or two, and forget all about it. Remember the whole slingshot/random start debate? When was the last time someone brought up that subject? Seems like a million years ago now.

Jackie Altizer – Steel Wheels BMX and Imagination Glen BMX
Don’t make it a big deal. It’s a rule change not the end of the world. Be low key, and offer opportunities for beginner riders to master their skills through clinics, novice practices, “buddy” riders, etc. I really feel that if no other novices are on clips, novices won’t worry about clips.

Tyler Brown – Chula Vista BMX
I am new to this game so I will be the one TAKING advice, not trying to give it– haha.

There are some other new rules for 2013. As TOs, we should remember to keep a fun environment for the parents and riders. That’s what BMX is about! Fun and Family :)

BMX News is firmly-behind this rule, since it allows the most-junior-riders to get much-needed experience on the bike, before the arms-race to advanced equipment starts. There is plenty of time for clips, once riders turn inter and begin to expand their track skills to the next level, on their way to the Expert class in their age.

Pictured above:

Free Agent Mini Platform Pedals – $17.95 at J&R Bicycles

Vans Warner SPD Shoes – $84.95 at J&R Bicycles
*Editor’s Note: We included these, because, out of the box, they allow you to keep the flat-pedal tread in place. Then, when it’s time for clips, you can remove the cover and attach your favorite cleat. Naturally, one of the best things about this rule is that Novices can show up with any ol’ shoe and race on a relatively-even “footing” with the other riders in the class.

BMX News will have more coverage of the 2013 USA BMX rule changes within the next week or so.

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Podcast: Tyler Brown on His Track Operator Role

October 9, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Podcast with Tyler Brown on

Last week, we were stoked to see that Tyler Brown stepped up to be the new track operator at Future BMX, on the grounds of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Since Tyler assumed the TO role, they have officially changed the name to Chula Vista BMX, and have set about an organized campaign of talking to school groups. All in week one.

Tyler is a busy guy–training full time to race the round-the-world UCI SX circuit for Crupi, doing his TylerVision video series for Tioga, working on starting his own mail order business, and now adding Track Operator to his business card.

We sat down with Tyler for a fairly-quick interview (by Announcers Tower standards), to get his take on the local-scene landscape–both in Chula Vista, and around the country. Also, to hear about his plans for next year, and get a preview of what the next season of TylerVision might hold in store.

Tyler also talks about a special fundraising race the community is putting on for Stephen Murray…as a tribute for Stephen’s generosity to Danny Meadows (one of the core locals in San Diego, who now has MS, and is confined to a wheelchair).

Listen Now:

iOS users, paste the URL below into your device’s browser


Chula Vista BMX Track Site

Tyler Brown on Twitter

TylerVision on Tioga USA Vimeo

Crupi BMX Website

Above Photo: Tyler and girlfriend, Kasandra, overseeing details on Tyler’s first Saturday race night as TO. Stan Horton (right) attended a wedding in the afternoon, came to the track to announce the race, then went to the reception #dedication (via Facebook)


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