Five Reasons to Do the Pre-National Clinic

July 26, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Five Reasons to do the Pre-National Clinic
By Donny Robinson
BMX Racing clinics are widely used to help riders develop their on-track skills by incorporating highly specific exercises that will fast-track the learning process. The majority of our success at any race is determined by the amount of work we do in the weeks leading up to an event, but when a pre-national clinic is offered, on the actual track you’re going to be racing on that weekend, there are serious advantages to signing up.

In this Pro Gate Training and Coaching section article, I have laid out five important reasons why, if done properly, the teachers at a pre-race clinic can offer your rider the best investment you’d be able to make in ensuring they walk away with the results they’re striving for.

Track Time
With nationals becoming larger-scale events, riders are often limited to just a few laps during their small window of age group practice. The pre-national clinic is a great way to learn the intricacies of a new track–without the time constraints of the practice schedule. Parents are spending big to attend the race, anyway – this is an excellent way to help get the most out of your trip!

Everyone Likes Secrets
All tracks are different. From the gate, to the jumps and turns, all the way down to the prime passing lines, if you can get insider tips on every advantage that a seasoned racer knows about a particular facility, wouldn’t you want to hear that advice? Afterall, most of us teaching the pre-national clinics have been racing these tracks for a loooong time. Naturally, you could learn from trial-and-error on your own, but when the chance arises to learn the tricks-of-the-trade from a trusted advisor, jump on it, whether you’re a local to the track or coming in from another state.

It’s All Mental
The level of performance for national BMX Racing continues to rise; from Novice riders all the way through to the Professionals, racers are becoming more similar in their bike skills and overall physical fitness among their peers. So, then, why do some riders continue to perform far below their potential? It’s all mental, son – you should know that! Many of us train day-in and day-out, working on our bike handling and physical conditioning, but how much of our time is devoted to mental preparation? No amount of strength or speed will overcome a poor attitude or lack of confidence. It’s time to get your mind right. Nothing…and I mean NOTHING…is more important while at the race than your attitude and outlook! Find a place or a person that will help you achieve your full potential – on and off the track. The pre-national clinic has that going on in a big way.

*Parents, I know you can use a helping hand getting your riders to listen to the motivational words you’re likely already sharing with them.

BMX News Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate
BMX Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate

Beat The Nerves!
How many times have I lost the opportunity to qualify for a final simply because I could not get comfortable with my nerves or the race atmosphere before it was too late? Far too many. It’s the same at every level. Most of the time, we show up (likely to a new track), get a limited amount of practice, and are then expected to perform at the top of our ability in the first rounds of qualifying – sometimes it takes longer! The more laps we can get, the more we’re surrounded by other racers, the more we can get comfortable with all the surroundings, the more we can relax when race time comes and focus on the very specific list of tasks we need to complete to transfer through qualifiers and into the main event.

Make The Most Out Of Your Trip
Bottom line is, you need to make sure every box is checked before attending a national event. Are you ready to have fun? Have you dedicated yourself to your training? Well then, what else could you do to make sure all of the hard-earned money you’ve already spent, will not go to waste? Do pre-national clinics cost money? Yes. But in the grand scheme of funds being invested, it’s a drop in the bucket, compared to the difference a proper clinic will provide (and the awkward ride home on Sunday when you have nine hours to ponder the one that got away). We often look at things and ask, “Do we really need this?” My answer is, do what you feel is right, but don’t regret not doing everything you possibly can to help yourself achieve your goals.

Editor’s Note
I asked Donny to write this article after talking with some parents in Rockford last weekend, and getting a sense of how they greet a strange (to them) track, which has big-name national riders who know the track like the back of their hand. The same is true, of course, at any level. One dad said “we really should have done the Redline clinic.” The implication was that his rider could have used some extra track time, tips on the terrain, and a solid coaching-up experience before the big day.

Since dR is doing the pre-national clinic for the next race: the Steel City Nationals in South Park, I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear about his take on pre-national clinics, in general, and maybe get some insight into how he runs his show.

As a thanks to Donny for the above wisdom, please give a click to the link below for more info on his South Park clinic.

—Mike Carruth


Pre-National Clinic: 2016 Steel City Nationals

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12 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Clinic

March 30, 2016 by · Comments Off 

12 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Clinic
By Donny Robinson

Thousands of BMX racers each year sign up for clinics to help improve their riding and raceday prep. Some are led by the track coach, some by local experts and/or pros, and others by fly-in pros or on-the-road factory teams. Each has their own unique appeal Read more

Get Some Gate Coaching at Pro Gate

November 24, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Coaching at the 2015 Grands

Thursdays in Tulsa are famous for a few things. BMX friends meetin’ up for the first time in a month or two, thanksgiving-dinner-ala-pit-space, and fine tuning your gate start game at Pro Gate. This year, they’re changing things up a bit, with free coaching from Noon-4PM, offered alongside your Pro Gate punch card.

Here is the schedule of coaches waiting to help you out on Thursday:

Noon to 1PM: Donny Robinson and Carley Young
1PM-2PM: Olijuwon Davis and Tyler Whitfield
2PM-3PM: Justin Travis and Justin Richmond
3PM-4PM: Heather Collman and Zach Alexander

No need to sign up for anything, just show up at the Pro Gate area on Thursday, purchase a punch card ($20 for 25 gates), and watch the magic happen. The coaching will be underway continuously from Noon-4PM, so they’re rollin as long as you’re snappin.

And, of course once the coaching is over, the Pro Gate area will still be open til deep into Sunday afternoon, so you can stay sharp and ready to rip some major holeshots when it’s for real.


Donny Robinson’s Pedals 2 Medals Website

Carley Young on Instagram

Olijuwon Davis on Instagram

Tyler Whitfield on Instagram

Ohio Dreams Website

Justin Richmond on Instagram

Heather Collman on Instagram

Zach Alexander on Instagram

Pro Gate Website

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#WinningWednesdays Calls it Final

October 28, 2015 by · Comments Off 

WinningWednesdays Final

Over the past 77 weeks, Mike Day and Donny Robinson have been writing the weekly #WinningWednesdays email newsletter. In that time, they have brought readers the most authoritative, insider tips to BMXers all over the globe. And they have engaged thousands of BMXers who have the next win in their sights.

Today’s edition, entitled “#WinningWednesdays, The Final Chapter” ends the first phase of their work. Here’s what they sent out to readers:

Where Oh Where, has the time gone? 

It’s been 77 weeks since we first started this little journey. Do you remember where you were when you first heard of Pedals 2 Medals? It’s likely hard to fathom how you survived as the person you were back then. Just like your wedding day and the birth of your first child, the Pedals 2 Medals press release, was an instance in your life you won’t ever forget.

It started with a name – Pedals 2 Medals – but it needed more; a purpose; a following. We knew there was a path that led us to this point in the sport, and life, and as our competitive careers were beginning to wind down, what good would it have done to keep all our knowledge to ourselves? Why not spare the future generation(s) the learning curve and share what has taken us decades to figure out? It was then, that #WinningWednesdays was born. 

Honestly, as we look back, we could have never imagined coming up with 76 different topics to speak on. But, every book needs an end, and we feel this chapter is perfect to end on. Speaking of looking back…
The very first #WinningWednesdays entry had Mike share with you the need for a training notebook. We hope you’ve gone through a few of them by now. By writing down your goals and your executed workload, you’ll hold yourself more accountable and create a better work ethic. 

In week #3, Mike shared his “pre-gate” routine – covering how he prepares mentally and physically before he steps on the gate.

Episode 10 saw Donny pointing-out the need to be smart about your health and recovery following crashes.
So, while this is the last of this #WinningWednesdays series, what’s good isn’t always lost; sequels happen regularly, and we hope you’ll stick around for the next phase of what we’re working on at Pedals 2 Medals–something that will make the success of future generations even moreso than our own. 

For a limited time we are making the full, 76-week collection of #WinningWednesdays available for download as a convenient and searchable PDF.  For readers who purchased the first-22-episode PDF, we are offering episodes 23-76 as a separate PDF, so you can complete your collection.

Click to order the PDF of your choice

Thank you for reading #WinningWednesdays each week.  We hope we have helped you take your racing to a new level. Stay tuned for the next phase.

—Donny and Mike

The full collection is a great resource for anyone who wants to take their racing to the next level, and we hope you’ll give it a click, just to check it out. They have a PDF posted with the full Table of Contents, so you can see how each of the 76 articles is set up.

Meanwhile, we wish Mike and Donny all the best in whatever is next for the Pedals 2 Medals program.

—Mike Carruth


Order the #WinningWednesdays PDF

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Yess BMX Sprint Stand

September 21, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Yess BMX Sprint Stand

Your sprint sessions just got orders-of-magnitude easier, thanks to Yess BMX and the Yess Sprint Stand. It folds down for backpack transport to your secret sprint spot, then offers adjustable height and fold-out legs for rock-solid support as you’re settin’ up for repeated rock & roll, at maximum warp.

On raceday, bring it with to display the bike with the factory-fresh flav of a winner, in every way, who knows how to showcase for maximum sponsor recognition.

If you’re not doing regular sprint sessions now, you should be. And to demonstrate why, we called upon a big friend-of-News, Olympic Silver Medalist, Mike Day, to walk you through the why-and-how of it all. See the link below for the PDF.

The article in the PDF is plucked from the Pedals 2 Medals “#WinningWednesdays” series, a free e-newsletter Mike and Donny Robinson send out every week to set up your stoke for the next big race. A subscribe link is also below.

Meanwhile, order up the Yess Sprint Stand from J&R today. The MSRP is $74.95, but with the magic J&R Bicycles Product Spotlight discount code, you can get 15% off on this, plus any other non-sale items in your cart when you use JRSPOT15 during checkout.


Yess BMX Sprint Stand on J&R Bicycles

“Take the Hint: Do Those Box Sprints” PDF

WinningWednesdays E-Book Weeks 01-22

WinningWednesdays Sign-Up Form (at bottom)

Product Spotlight is Presented by: Product Spotlight, Presented by J&R Bicycles

The Skill to Chill After a Concussion Discussion

March 26, 2015 by · Comments Off 

William Parker recovering from Rock Hill
By Heather Parker

“I’m FINE, Mom.” William rolled his eyes at me as I dragged him off to the medical tent during practice in Rock Hill last Saturday. He cased the jump into the second turn, leaving his weenus* on the asphalt. The wound was too big for me to sufficiently clean and wrap, so we took advantage of the excellent medical staff from Novant Health. As he sat there getting cleaned up, we both realized that it was the first time he had ever visited the medical tent at a national.

The crash was a bit nasty, and no doubt painful, and left William with a bit of hesitancy going into first round. He knew he needed to hit that jump, but felt uneasy. He sailed through cruiser without incident, but without attempting the jump. He geared himself up to hit it in his expert round.

I watched intently, as William, with a strong lead, hit the second straight. He looked clean as he took the first two jumps, but as he approached the third he faltered…

I have a dear friend whose young son is going blind. She explained to me that his vision is like a curtain slowly closing, his visual field becoming narrower. In that odd moment I thought of this. As the world closed around me, my visual field contained only my child, my son, flying through the air and landing on the side of his head.

We’ve seen our boys crash countless times. There have been broken bones and dislocations, but nothing ever looked quite like this. It seemed like an eternity before the medics were able to get him on his feet, and walk him, pale and disoriented, back to the tent where he had his elbow wrapped an hour earlier.

After thorough assessment it was determined that William had suffered a concussion. His Fly helmet was toast, but did its job well. William’s visible wounds were cleaned and dressed. We were given strict instructions: no electronics for 72 hours, and NO BIKE for six days. To his dad and me, that was a no brainer (no pun intended).

As we left the tent and slowly made our way back to the Crupi pit, William asked, “So, can I race tomorrow?” He wanted to. There was no doubt. Many people stopped to check on him, and asked the same question. Our answer? “Absolutely not.”

It made me realize the importance of riders and friends looking out for each other. Who stops the pros and older experts? Donny Robinson touched on this subject in his #WinningWednesdays article “Pull the Trigger, or Pull the Plug?” Donny stresses the importance of self-assessment after a crash, saying “…being aware of yourself as well as others. Adrenaline is what helps us reach that extra level of performance and after a big crash, it’s often not possible for us, as riders, to accurately diagnose our situation. Never take a rider’s adrenaline-rushed-answer of ‘I’m OK’ as gospel.”

William, disappointed, but also knowing that he was due to be back on the track in Desoto six days later, followed orders and started his period of rest. Our friend Karen had sound, simple advice: “Take it easy and take care of that head, you never know when you might need it…”

Heather Parker found a four-leaf clover
While out with our dog this morning, something caught my eye amidst the new spring grass. It’s only the second one I’ve ever seen. I placed it gently in my son’s suitcase, and put him on a plane to DFW.

Many thanks to everyone who extended their well wishes to William, and to the thorough and competent medics in the tent that day.


*Wyatt got in the car after school recently and proclaimed, “Mom! Your weenus is showing!” According to Urban Dictionary, “weenus” is defined as the skin on your elbows.


Download Donny Robinson’s #WinningWednesdays article “Pull The Trigger or Pull the Plug,” which is an excerpt from the Pedals 2 Medals back-issues e-book.

Download the PDF Now

For more on concussions in BMX Racing, check out:


Podcast: Jay Fraga and Donny Robinson on “Riding Hurt”

Pedals 2 Medals Website

The Knockout Project Website

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Free Download: Pedals 2 Medals E-Book Sample

November 7, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Pedals 2 Medals WinningWednesdays E-Book

Mike Day and Donny Robinson have been doing a weekly email message called #WinningWednesdays since founding their virtual BMX coaching company, Pedals 2 Medals, six months ago. As the list of people receiving the weekly email grows, they had been receiving more and more requests to bundle all the back issues into one place, which they have now done, in the form of a PDF e-book.

Mike and Donny have granted BMX News special permission to take four articles and offer a sample of the full e-book to BMX News readers, as a free digital download.

The full e-book, available on the Pedals2Medals website for $9.95 (link below) has all 22 articles, which provide some great tips and insight based on Mike & Donny’s own 20+ years apiece in the sport. The table of contents for the full book is in the free download, so you can get an idea of what’s inside.

Meanwhile the weekly #WinningWednesdays emails are free to receive in your inbox, and you can sign up for the list while you’re purchasing the first 22 bundled-up back issues.

Be sure to check out Donny’s Pro Gate clinic at the Grands (details coming next week).

Big props to Mike & Donny on the e-book. We always look forward to reading the newest nuggets every Wednesday. Thanks for giving us this special freebie-peek.

When there’s no doubt, share it out! If you enjoyed this article, we would appreciate if you would share it with your friends:


Download the Free #WinningWednesdays E-book Sample

Order an instant-download of the full e-book

Pedals 2 Medals Launches Video Critique

October 7, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Pedals 2 Medals launches Video Critiquea

Back On May 11 of this year, the BMX News Anouncers Tower Podcast welcomed US Olympians Mike Day and Donny Robinson to the show. They were here to talk about their new venture–Pedals 2 Medals, a virtual coaching service which will bring subscription-based video tutorials, as well some other services to BMXers around the world.

The guys have been busy developing the project, and have since written 21 consecutive weekly #WinningWednesdays email messages to their free email list.

Today marks the official launch of the first in the Pedals 2 Medals suite of products and services– personal video critique.

Mike and Donny have developed an easy-to-use method for you to upload video of your rider (on the gate, in a race, sprinting, or other on-track scenario), and receive a personal review by Mike or Donny.

You can also use videos upoaded to video sharing services like YouTube, Photobucket or Flickr.

Rather than an endless stream of back & forth emails, they are using a project management tool called “Basecamp” to hold all communication in a private, central location. Basecamp is used by tens of thousands of big companies for online collaboration and is rock-solid reliable. Plus, it’s “Made in Chicago!”

The standard critique service has a turnaround time of 48 hours and is priced, for an introductory period, at $49. This includes two responses on the same issue (your initial question about what you want reviewed, their answer, and a follow up to that response, and another answer).

There are also two levels of faster service: a 24-hour “Expedited” response for $69, and a 12-hour “Rush” service for $79. Donny tells News that the Rush service is in place for times when riders may need critique/feedback on a practice lap, or day-one main event at a national. The Rush service will get the critique moving in time for you to make use of it in the next day’s race. HUGE advantage, right there.

Over the past two months, a select few beta testers have been using the service, and have reported very positively, one saying “I would pay to use this service in the future!”

Donny told news:

Mike and I were very pleased with how smoothly the initial Pedals 2 Medals video critique tests went. As long as the submission clearly indicates the rider to study, along with adequate angles and clarity of the video footage, I truly believe this is the fastest and most efficient way to optimize any rider’s gate / track technique or bike setup, whether on a practice night or a crucial race weekend.

Mike expanded on what Donny said:

As we continue to work on the site, it feels good to get the video critique up and running! The Basecamp project management system makes it super-easy for us to go back and forth with the riders (and/or parents) to help achieve the results they are looking to achieve.

The key is for the rider/parent to come in with a clear idea of what they want out of the critique, and to get clear, steady video, shot from the right angle. I guess I am repeating some of what Donny just said, but it bears mentioning twice, since it is SO important for us to do the critique.

We can definitely see how this service will help riders and their parent/coach keep the program moving forward in a positive direction. It’s pretty awesome that Joe racer can make a small investment and have his race/training evaluated by an Olympic Medalist to make sure the money s/he is spending on race day isn’t wasted. Check the links below for more on the Pedals 2 Medals Video Critique, and how to join their #WinningWednesdays list (next message goes out tomorrow).

There are more headlines coming from these two, so we’ll keep the com-link to Pedals 2 Medals HQ open so we can bring scoop to you as it happens.

If you enjoyed this article, we would appreciate if you would share it with your friends:


Pedals 2 Medals Video Critique page

Pedals 2 Medals Website (Join #WinningWednesdays at bottom)

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Podcast: “Riding Hurt” with Robinson and Fraga

July 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Donny Robinson and jay Fraga Podcast

Over the past month or so, we have seen an unusually high number of “trip to the ER” posts on social media, as well as some friends suffer career-ending injuries–just in the past 30-45 days. One of the topics that comes up for discussion alongside a weekend of racing is “how hurt is hurt?” How hurt to do you have to be to pull out of the rest of the weekend’s races?

Donny Robinson took up this topic in a #winningwednesdays email he will send out today to subscribers of the Pedals 2 Medals free email list. They have had some really good topics the past few weeks, and I encourage you to go to the site (link below) and join the list.

I thought this topic would make a great Podcast, so invited Donny to expand on his WinningWednesdays article and come on the Announcers Tower program. Joining Donny is Jay Fraga, founder of The Knockout Project–a nonprofit founded by the former BMXer in 2012 to advocate and serve as an information source for head injuries suffered by athletes of every stripe.

In the podcast, Donny and Jay both share their deep knowledge of this subject, and tell some very moving stores of their own experiences of injuries, and how the after effects of those injuries have shaped their current selves.

“People told me ‘you need to hang it up…you need to retire.’ That’s not the way I wanted to go out”
—Donny Robinson

Listen Now

iPhone users: paste the following link in your device's browser -

A big thanks to Donny and Jay for sharing their insights on this most-important topic. We encourage you to share this out to friends you care about, regardless of whether they race BMX, moto, play hockey or football.

Sign up for the weekly #winningwednesdays email list that Mike Day and Donny take turns writing for their new venture Pedals 2 Medals (link below). It’s free to join.


Pedals 2 Medals Website

The Knockout Project Website


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Mike Day on Race Day Pressure

July 2, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Over the past two months, Mike Day and Donny Robinson have been sending out a weekly “pro-tip” email called #WinningWednesdays to promote their forthcoming virtual coaching service, Pedals 2 Medals. There have been some really great messages, giving insights into the heart and soul of Mike and Donny’s Read more

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