Spark BMX Launches Training Group

January 14, 2019 by · Comments Off 

Spark BMX Training Group
Local teams are due for an innovative shakeup. There are some good ones out there, in the new style, that provide services other than discounts and/or free product. This can mean training, coaching, dedicated practices at a local track, and other such innovative methods. Read more

30-Day Suspension for Indiana “Ghostrider”

April 17, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Indiana Ghostrider

Steel Wheels BMX in Northwest Indiana held a State Qualifier on April 7. People from all over the Hoosier State, and surrounding states, turned out for an exciting evening of indoor BMX. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily newsworthy, though it is great to see so many people getting in Read more

Fly Racing Steel Wheels Pro Challenge

December 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Tyler Whitfield wins the 2014 Pro Challenge

The last race of 2014 for many Midwestern BMXers was capped-off with some big-time action last weekend as the “2014 Fly Racing Steel Wheels Pro Challenge” was folded in to a last-day double-pointer at Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart, IN.

The race, previously known as the “Future Pro Challenge” was presented by Dan’s Comp and local-hero wheelbuilder, Dragon Wheels turned out nearly three-dozen high-wattage shredders from neighboring states, and wowed the crowd with a peek at how the up & coming expert talent might measure up once they hit the age requirement to turn-up. Pro-Ams like this really are a rare glimpse into that world, and give the heavy-hitters of tomorrow a gauge on how fast they need to be to hang.

Promoter Gene Bedinger has run the race since its inception in 2004, and brings a level of professionalism and purpose to the program that serves as a great example for other regional Pro-Ams looking to create a “dynasty” event. That, of course, needs to be coupled with a Track Operator who sees the vision. Jackie Altizer and her Steel Wheels crew has been a great partner for the race over the years.

We asked Gene to give us a speedy-recap of the haps on Sunday afternoon, along with a video of the main event. Producer Kimberly Parkinson of 189 Productions is finishing-off a proper edit of the whole magilla, that News will bring you on Friday morning.

Here’s what Gene had to say:

2014 Steel Wheels Pro Challenge

Zack Rothfahn, Seth Michalowski and Joseph Gerhartz rock the roll into turn one of first round.

The top amateurs and A-Pros in the Midwest stopped into Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart, Indiana to battle for $1,000+ in cash and prizes at the 11th annual Fly Racing Steel Wheels Pro Challenge presented by Dan’s Comp and Dragon Wheels.

After putting-down their $15 entry fee ($20 for the pros), the top talent in the region waited with anticipation to see who they would be matched up with when motos were posted.

Would they have Doublecross star Olijuwon Davis next to them? Or 2012 podium-topper Tyler Whitfield for Ssquared Answer? Or Answer/Rennen Michigander Markwane Billingsley, fresh off a third in 14X at the Grands? Or maybe some “Midwest Muscle” in the gate, in the person of 15x Answer/Rennen shredder, Erik Meyer? The cool part: everyone was a threat against all the others, which made for some amazing racing all day long.

The three moto “pro scramble” format is so much fun because the fans get to see those riders doing battle in a lot of different combinations during the day.

It was Ssquared Answer’s Brandon Ceslok that set the tone early and won his first moto, taking the lead in the points. The very next gate, teammate T-Whit got his first win, and the race was on to see who could get a perfect score and be awarded an all-important inside gate for the semis. Round three was the first time they would face each other and the Rockford rocket got the perfect!

Olijuwon Davis made the cut easily and Eric Meyer was fourth in points. Local pro Corey Ross had good time in the motos with a 2-2-3 to get into his semi, fifth in points. Alienation/BMX Mania/Dan’s Comp maniac, Shannon Taylor, had some solid laps in to earn seventh and get lane 4.

Semi 1 had OD, Meyer, Tony Claar, Michael Noble, Nicholas Tanzymore, Billingsley, Seth Michalowski and Josef Gerhartz line-up, in that order. Seth slid out in turn one, and his day was done. OD went a little high, and Meyer “Midwest-Muscled” under him, and held the line into the second straight, and beyond, to go on for the win (which was an amazing accomplishment for a 15x, or any expert, really). Awesome as the 1-2 finish was, the racing behind them had the whole building on their feet, as Noble looked underneath Billingsley in the third turn, to make a 4th-to-3rd attempt and slid out. Markwane and Claar both ran him over and crashed. Boom! The world had changed just-that-quick. Survivors Tanzymore and Gerhartz made it in.

Semi 2 had T-Whit, Big B, Ross, Taylor, Justice King, Richard Maldonado, Jason McMullen and the second of the Tanzymore twins, Tyler, looking for four more spots to move on to the payday lap. Ceslok and Tyler got out first and moved over a little to get a better line in the first turn. Ross clipped Brandon’s back wheel and went down, taking King and McMullen with him, with such force that it took 10 minutes to get it all cleaned up. Taylor and Maldonado were able to get through, after Whitfield and Ceslok.

The video (below) will tell the story of the main event, but it went off clean, with nobody on the ground (the first time in years). Tyler Whitfield became the first rider at this event to take the trophy home with his name already-on-it from his 2012 win.

I can’t wait to see the action in Hobart next year. Thanks to Fly Racing, Dan’s Comp and Dragon Wheels for helping us on such a great show.

BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Here is the video of the main event.


Tyler Whitfield (center) – Ssquared Answer
Brandon Ceslok (left) – Ssquared Answer
Olijuwon Davis (right) – Doublecross Bikes
With race promoter Gene Bedinger

2014 Steel Wheels Pro Challenge Podium

Main Event Results
Tyler Whitfield – Ssquared Answer
Brandon Ceslok – Ssquared Answer
Olijuwon Davis – Doublecross Bikes
Eric Meyer – Answer/Rennen
Richard Maldonado – CCH
Shannon Taylor – Alienation / BMX Mania/ Dan’s Comp
Nicholas Tanzymore – Pit Stop / Tanzymanics
Josef Gerhartz – Star BMX Products

Check BMX News on Friday for the full-race edit. Meanwhile, here is the photo gallery of the full day’s racing.

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


Photo Gallery: Steel Wheels Pro Challenge and Double-Pointer

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Reader Letter: Does USA BMX Send Reminders?

June 2, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Reader Letter: Renewal Notices

It’s been a few weeks since we had a reader letter come in, then a flurry of them in just the past few days.
Lots of folks getting back to the track after having the winter off. And pulling the bike out of the rafters also means pulling the USA BMX card out from behind your christmas receipts Read more

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.

Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Photo Gallery: 2011 Young Guns Shootout

December 11, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Justin Richmond wins 2011 Young Guns Shootout
Our fourth trip to the Young Guns Shootout at Steel Wheels BMX had a lot of the earmarks of the first trip. Lots of 13 and under race action, an abundance of familiar faces and a house full of fans, families and photogs.

Rider count this year was 125, sorted into five classes: 7-Under Boys, 8-10 Boys, 11-13 Boys, 10-Under Girls and 11-13 Girls

Justin Richmond has been the most consistent and successful rider in the history of the Young Guns series, having never lost a lap in the four years of racing the event. He closed out his Young Guns career with absolute dominance in the 11-13 class, and was joined on the podium by two of his Snap Factory Teammates, Nick Deters and Tyshawn Carr. Nick just joined the Snap squad after the Grands, and is looking good in the new threads. The Snap guys have some new things afoot for 2012, showing some early signs via the corral of Ssquared frames in their pit, replacing the Redman rides. More to come on that.

In the 11-13 Girls Class, Rennen-Intense Michigander, Elida Beeman was up front in all the rounds and put the punctuation on a good season.

DK’s Ohio Express, Spencer Cole, brought the fight to the 8-10 boys class in a big way, winning the main by a beefy margin. Coletrain was rockin the new DK Magnesium frame, which we know lots of people are anxious to get their hands on in the new season.

We don’t have the official results yet, and will update this post when we do, but before we head back to Steel Wheels for today’s Future Pro Challenge, we wanted to get the photo gallery up for y’all.

Check out the Photo Gallery

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