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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.

Anonymous
Word of mouth and usabmx.com

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.”

Anonymous
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.

Anonymous
Yes

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.

Anonymous
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.

Anonymous
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.

Anonymous
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.





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Rains, Planes and Automobiles

September 18, 2011 by · Comments Off 

JP on his way to a double in 17-18x

Story and Photos By Mike Carruth

Day Two of the 2011 ABA Hoosier nationals came all-too-early for this reporter. In fact, as I was racing out of Starbucks and onto I-294 breaking the bonds of the 312, the first gate of Sunday racing was on-course.

No biggie, really, because I despise shooting in the rain–refuse to, is more like it–so I would have been just another soggy spectator had I been up at 6AM, as was the plan.

My hysteria about being late subsided as text messages were returned telling of the damp conditions. It was then that it dawned on me that sleeping in my own bed, and heading back to day-two of a national is not a condition I am at all accustomed to…THAT was the “off” thing for me today. Normally, it’s a four-hour flight, or a 10+ hr drive, check in to a hotel and catch-as-catch can for any kind of vegan fare that can be conjured up. But today, it was all the comforts of home–including the alarm clock I have not yet figured out how to use after 16 years (why do laptops last 18 months, and alarm clocks last 18 years?).

Indeed, I have not been to a national within home-sleeping range since Itasca BMX in 1982 (it rained that day too). Oh there have been nats here–at The Hill, and even Imagination Glen, but not since I got back into it in 2008. Rockford is just far enough away–at 94 miles–that a hotel is mandatory on Fathers Day weekend.

DID YOU KNOW…there has not been a BMX race in the Chicago City Limits in 32 years? (“The Great Race” at the Chicago Amphitheater, on the 1979 NBA/Schwinn tour). We need a world-class track in the Windy City-proper!

I rolled up to a grey-but-dry Imagination Glen, just as Justin Posey was taking home a first round win in 17-18x. Seemed like a fair amount of “second-verse, same as the first” happening in the age classes–though that was by no means guaranteed to stick.

The pro class had a little post-haste pow-wow and decided that the threat of rain was…well…threatening, so decided to ditch motos two and three and run the main at the top of the order going into second round. Of course, having just arrived on-scene, I was not clued into that until I noticed no pros gated up for third round. Thus, the final feet of the second lap, when Justin Riddell put the mega move on Andres Holguin in the last turn to win it held a special significance. Jon Jon Rapp was on the right-step for the second day in a row…nice work for a new pro card holder.

In the semis-to-mains break in the action, attention turned to the finish line as ABA past-president Clayton John made a special appearance to honor Imagination Glen/Steel Wheels BMX Track Operator Jackie Altizer. If you go to a lot of nationals, you’ll recognize Jackie’s smiling face as you pick up the weekend’s T-Shirt at racewear in many cities. But we, in the Chicagoland scene, know her as our tireless TO who, along with an all-pro crew of dedicated volunteers, dodge-and-weave the Midwest weather from the outdoor to the indoor (sometimes in the same day :) ). Taking off my “business” bandanna, and putting on my BMX Dad hat for a moment, it really is a rare gift that we enjoy in the Tri-State (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin) area. Year-round racing, even when the lake-effect snow is measured in meters, and 20-ton snow plows are doing 360s on I-94 (as on “Young Guns Challenge” day in 010). We love you Jackie, Ken, et. al!

The rain held off in such a fashion that we were getting pretty cocky about the fact we were going to get the whole thing done in-the-dry…”glad that RAIN held off” was a common replacement for “what’s up?” around the fenceline. Well, the object lesson is “don’t tempt Mother Nature.” Literally, as the first main event gate dropped, the sky-drip started.

It wasn’t a torrent, but just enough to make shooting uncomfortable (poor me), and a few riders to ditch the fogged-up goggles on the hill. Somehow, we all soldiered on :)

The girls classes had some serious “it ain’t over til it’s over” finish line action. Brelyn Swendseid came a micro-knobby away from shoplifting 15G out of the clutches of Shay Glynn at the stripe, but Shay kept her at bay for the win. Then, in 16G, Courtney Purcell put the hurt on Sam Brown just as Dan Rumple made the call. And in the next gate, Tori Hopperdietzel applied the afterburners just in time to best Michele Patterson out of a double. The Grasshopper also doubled up in Cruiser on the weekend for Extreme Team.

One thing I love about National BMX Racing is the fact that from five and under to 41-over, there is riveting racing to revel in. Six expert was a great example of that today, as Liam Elo had a commanding lead from the gate to turn two, when the Jedi, Zak Miller, came a callin. Saturday’s third place was not allowed to repeat, as Miller took the lead just out of turn two, and went wee, wee, weeeee, all the way home (or whatever sound little ‘Monkeys make when they are going all the way home). Elo ended up with the deuce, and it was Texan Kiel Ross for the third.

And that was only the fifth age class gate to fall. Plenty of pushin the limits to come, as it would turn out.

Jump it a few classes, to 8x, and it was on like Donkey Kong between day one topper, Kiegen Perlberg on the Mike’s Bikes Redline ride, and Kohl Piluso in the Hyper colors. Piluso scooted in for a Saturday second, and was not looking to go home with a double deuce. Perlberg led it once again til the final feet, when Kohl mounted a charge and edged past at the stripe. Third and fourth was a deja vu, with Nate Coyman and The G-Man, Gavin Freewalt rounding out the top four. Speaking of “The President,” Coyman also doubled up in 8 Cruiser for the weekend.

Over in 9x and 9C, it was all about Young Gun, Nathan Davids, who scarfed up a Double Double (if you’ll excuse the West Coast caloric reference in this Midwest context).

Bringin’ the heat in 14x, Ryan Zinzow, once again jumped out to an early lead, but Justin Knapper was not about to leave it at that. Out of turn one, he was on-the-gas-to-pass Ryan, and thundered down the second straight with a stretched-out lead, which stuck.

Cooley and Ceslok battled in 15x, with DC getting the day one win, and Big B taking it wire to wire for the day two honors. Chalk up a double for B in 15C as well.

No fight to the front in 16x on Sunday, as Tyler Whitfield put a solid showing in and took it to em for the double-double. But the intrigue isn’t always at the front, as demonstrated by Layne Gainer in the last turn. Hootman was running second to TyWhit, and took the prime line–when on the high-side, Gainer scooped over him and into the two-spot. That was a manly move, considering the carnage seen in that turn through the semis in many-a-class.

Posey posted another win on Sunday in 17-18x. And as to the historical backstory we promised you from yesterday’s report…it was actually a national at The Hill in Elgin, IL about eight years ago that was the thing. It was the 9x main, and seems some joker took that opportunity to holler out “Justin…your tire’s flat” just as the cadence was started. JP did what any nine-year-old would do, and looked down to see what was up….SMACK! went the gate, and all the other guys got out with gusto. I guess that is the BMX equivalent of “Hey, your shoelaces are untied!”–which, of course, is something you only need to learn once. Notwithstanding lessons previously learned, all hecklers were silent on this trip to Chicagoland, and Justin did what Justin does.

If 16x was the nail-biter on Saturday, that designation was firmly held by the 19-27-exers on Sunday. Tony Favata was large and in charge, in true Wrecking Crew fashion down the first straight, and deep into the second…Egdorf was in tucked into the two-spot, if temporarily, and Chase Hines was scanning for some daylight in third. Max made a dramatic move to the outside entering the turn, and we could see a hi-low to glory from a mile away…but the “scanning” that Chase was doing was on radar-lock, and he made the move of the day, going from third to first to come out of turn two on top. For those following at home, mark your scorecards with Max in for the two and Tony for the tre.

The 404 crew was in full effect in 28-25x, and Charlie Hunt was not going to chill with Pats 605 flier Mike Weatherford doing a double on him. Great lap for the Morphine machine, and always good “english” on the bike, making for some prime photos.

Of course 404/ATL cannot be invoked without some due given to 36-40x. Doran Bradshaw doubled up in 36-40 Cruiser, but turned an off-podium fourth in class on day one. As different as the weather was between the two days, so, too, was DB100′s mojo in Sunday’s class main. Dude got it to the front and led it to a nothing-but-daylight trip for the 36-40 win. Long-time legend, Shan Hatfield scooted in for second, and Day One champ Pedro Brown was on the right step.

By the 41-over Ex main, the rain had stopped again, and the sun was making an effort to poke through the thick blanket of upper-strata-blah. Scott Moreland was, again, at max wattage to close it out with a Dan’s Comp double double…but not without an early challenge in Sunday’s class main by holeshotter, Jim Wahl. Wahl was second on Saturday and suffered a small serving of Sunday smackdown by Frank Nuccio who took the day-two-deuce.

(ok to exhale now…)

The crowd was out of the parking lot in a tidy three-hours-and-58-minutes, and headed to nearby MDW or ORD on the flyaway…and some to a local big-box store to snack-up for a double-digit Interstate date. “See you in Chula?” was the goodbye of the day (yes, by the way), and we were home and tuned in to the dreadful Bears game in time for the second half. A profound reminder of why it is so much more enjoyable to watch BMX Racing than mainstream sports. Each gate, you have a new opportunity to root for your favorite “player.” When will the world wake up?

Check out Sunday’s Photo Gallery!

A Dreamy Day of Racing at Imagination Glen

September 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Story and photos of ABA Hoosier Nationals Day One

Day one of the 2011 ABA Hoosier Nationals was everything a national should be: a fun, approachable track, solid “name-brand” competition in lots of classes, a moto count that easily passed the “Goldilocks Test” (not too high, not too low…just right), and a dynamite, in-the-high-60s, sunny fall day in Chicagoland.

No UCI racing at this one, but we had a rack of five A Pros, who raced hard and gave the fans four impressive efforts to hoot and holler about. Olijuwan Davis looked like he’d be the top money man heading out of the three moto rounds, having aced every trip, but it was Floridian, Justin Riddell (who recently signed with the DFR pro squad) that was in command wire to wire come main time. OD was in for the deuce, and Jon Jon Rapp was on the podium with a well-raced third.

I have to admit, there were some names at the Hoosiers that I did not expect to see. The winner of the “first seen” award goes to Carly Dyar, as she and dad Rinny were in my sights within five steps of the Newsmobile. Then, all of the sudden it was Shay Glynn, Justin Posey, Chase Hines, Max Egdorf, Ethan and Avery Moore from AZ, Jerry Bradford, with West Coast Hyper hotshoes Pistol Pete Choat and Kohl Piluso all close at hand.

Imagination Glen just underwent a full rebuild. Billy A and his heavy hardware did a great job laying things down. Local talent was called in to assist on three freshly-paved turns, which flowed well…except for some unfortunate potholes that showed themselves in turn one. Blame it on the weather, as the temp has yo-yoed from 100+ to the low 50s, and popped out some of the surface. Everyone seemed to take it pretty much in stride, as all 136 motos had to race the same course. Paving do-over to come!

With 26 riders, 8x was the deepest class of the day, and our only set of quarterfinals in Portage. The talent was tall among these little guys, with local hero Gavin Freewalt hosting main men Kiegen Perlberg from MN, Kohl Piluso (fresh off a second at the worlds), “The President” Nathan Coyman, and Nashville star, Zach Jacobs, among others. In the main, Piluso had his Hyper a wheel in from of Bam-Bam Perlberg’s Supercross at the first jump, with Coyman on the outside, and the G-Man on the inside. After that, though, Bam-Bam muscled to the front, and bounced on home for a strong win, with Piluso, Coyman and Freewalt in trail.

Rewinding the tape a bit for some “Girl Talk,” 15G had 13 in the chutes, and Shay Glynn gave our camera the best “Profile” possible, as she engaged the warp drive to ace the day’s two laps. Lots of miles traveled in this class, with Shay’s hop from So. Cal, second place Brelyn Swendseid (Team) Storming in from South Dakota, and podium pal, New Yorker Rochelle Wooding gettin Rennen-Intense there for third.

Fresh off her sweet 16, Sam Brown was in her home area code, and looking strong for Felt, but it was Courtney Purcell that would put the pressure on and score the day’s high-hardware, with Sam-Wow in second and the tall-and-talented Megan “The Major” Pritchard joining the podium pleasantries.

In 17-27G, it was 26 year old #24, Michele Patterson bringin the heat to the teens to ace the place. The always-fast Tori Hopperdietzel was there for second, and Crankin Carly Dyar rustlin her Redline in for third.

Back to the Boyz, we got to give props to local Badd boy, Liam Elo, who aced up on a seven helmet main event in 6x.

News just had a chat about Pistol Pete Choat at the Interbike show last week, and the skinny is he’s barely lost a lap all season in the black and orange Hyper colors. Indiana seemed to agree with him, with another 7x win. This little guy casts a tall shadow, and he came to do business.

Exactly who was on the winning Rennen-Intense Factory Team Sheet is a mystery to us, but chances are good Devon Yeager’s winning trip in 10x was probably on it…he toasted the baker’s-dozen-plus-one decaders.

In 12x, it was Midwest Muscle versus Dynamite when the gate dropped. Nic Deters exploded out with the most-excellent Erik Meyer all over his chainstay. 1-2 for Nic and Eric, with the Skydive city’s favorite son John Jilbert in for the tre.

Yaaaaawn! Justin Richmond char-broiled 13x per usual. Pulse-quickening pedaling at 110% intensity, but nobody laid a glove on the Juice…and that was that.

Justin Knapper has been demolishing the comp lately, and he must be on some kind of raw-red-meat diet, with that beastly pull he’s got goin on. He laid down a perfect weekend at the NBL Grands in 14x, and dispensed with Jr. Devo today in the same fashion. A first round transfer today in class…but come main time, rockin Rockford local, Ryan Zinzow got his RPM to the front, and held the lead to the stripe.

Great to see Dylan Cooley back in full effect for the All-Tow Wrecking Crew. A spiff new team rig rolled in from points East, and he had command–though not without ever-present pressure in the person of Snap Factory’s Big B, Brandon Ceslok on his left rail.

The 16x main had us breathing into a brown paper bag to keep from passing out. Off-track pals Jacob Hootman and Tyler Whitfield were all business as they were grip-to-grip into turn one. Hootie was on the inside, and drifted a little high on Tyler, buzzing his back tire in the process, and high-siding into the asphalt. The rest of the pack was farther back, but in chase, and slammed into him at full power, all-but clearing the decks. David “Superman” Lujan used his magic powers to avoid the carnage, and get in for a second behind TyWhit.

Justin Posey was a green blur in 17-18x, and served up a heapin helpin of Southern Hospitality, Dan’s Comp style, at the Hoosiers. Word is JP has some history here in Portage, dating back to his days as a nine-year old, so we’ll get you the backstory on that in tomorrow’s report. Jake Sherbno and Jeremy Smith joined JP on the proverbial podium.

As staging was thinning out for the day, 36-40x was on-track. Some major thunder in this one, as Pedro Brown, SE Factory Boy, Shan Hatfield, Snap senior shredder E-Dub Elliott and smilin Doran Bradshaw hit hyper-sonic speeds down the first straight. Elliott blew up over the first jump, but was OK…as Brown and Hatfield continued the feud into the first turn. By the stripe, it was Pedro’s Star Products jersey on the top step, with Shan in for two and Kovachi killa, Jon Irvin in for the third.

The final gate had just as much wattage as the first, with Scott Moreland, Cornhusker Jim Wahl and local legend Frank Nuccio inking a solid podium in 41-over ex.

So, cool-runnings on Day One, with an out-of-the-parking-lot time of 3:25PM. Gotta love that ABA efficiency! First gate drops at the command of Bill Morris at 8AM sharp, where Rennen-Intense will take the parade lap as Factory Team winner, with Mike’s Bikes close behind as today’s Bike Shop Team winner. Keep it here on BMXNEWS tomorrow night for the final word…and follow BMXNOW on Twitter for as-they-happen updates from the infield.

—Mike Carruth

Check out the 150+ Photo Gallery from Saturday’s Race

On to Sunday’s Race Re-Cap and Photos!

P.S. As usual, a BIG thanks to Bill Curtin and the ABA backstage crew for getting us the results, post-haste. Without their help, you’d be staring at a blank page.

Lightning Round of BMX News

June 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

No, those are not the starting gate tones you’re hearing…they’re off-in-the-distance Wedding Bells for ESPN BMX Racing beat reporter Pat Nugent and his fiance Casey Multan. The weekend before last, Pat popped the question while the two were on a stroll through the Bronx Zoo. At the appropriate time and place–in front of Tiger Mountain, a silent shoutout to their “fine orange tiger” at home. Casey was floored, and say “yes” (natch!). The big day is likely to occur in the fall of 2012.

BMX News obtained the above spy photos of the actual moment the proposal took place, via a New York-based paparazzi with ties to the BMX scene.

No official word on where they’re registered, but we’d have to assume Bloomingales, Bed, Bath and Beyond, B&H Photo and Dan’s Comp. :D Congrats to the Happy Couple!

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Connor Fields tweeted that he “Cleaned (his) room, did laundry, emails, booked a few flights…” Could this mean we’ll see the Con-Man in the gate at a National or SX race near you. Anxious to see that Chase BMX ride out in the lead for the first time.

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After a seven-year pause on her Pro Card, Michelle Cairns is back among the Elites. She made her return to the stage at the recent ABA Music City Nationals in Nashville. Michelle says “at the age of 35, racing elite women BMX is pretty darn cool. I plan to put in the work to be competitive and see where it takes me.” She also added: “Rusty Dial has also had a big part of my return to the pro class. I had a lot of positive feedback in Nashville and that helps keep me going. My famliy and friends here in Florida are behind me 100 percent and most of all I believe in myself again for the first time in along time.”

Way to go, Michelle, we’ll be keepin an eye out for you in the viewfinder.

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Speaking of Rusty, You gotta check out this video clip he posted on You Tube last week. Offering a tongue-in-cheek response to some of the guys on Vintage calling him and Tony Hoffman “Jesus Freaks.” Good stuff!

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Work continues in earnest this week to finish the Greater Madison BMX Track in Wisconsin. Early photos of the in-progress build show some amazing potential, and News is ready to rock, Batman style, the second the NewsPhone rings with opening day details. Check out the photos

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Speaking of BMX Tracks we love and the people who love them, the “from-flat-ground” rebuild of Imagination Glen BMX in Portage, IN is also coming to completeness. ABA track maestro Billy Allen was on-scene to pilot the Cats, and Dexter “Dragon Wheels” Pritchard has been keeping us locals in the loop about how it’s going. And, like most things that are oh-so-Newsworthy, the IG rebuild has its own Vintage thread–so get on over there for the latest. Watch for the ABA Hoosier Nationals and Supercamp coming to the newly-reawesomed track!

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