BMX keeps Miller family on the track
Growing up as a teenager in Long Beach, Calif., Jason Miller never imagined that he would still be racing BMX by the time that he hit 40. But on Sunday, Miller, who now lives in Olathe, was racing in the finals for the 36-40-year-old age division at the ABA State Championship Finals at Mesa County Fairgrounds.
Although Miller gave up racing as a teenager when he learned to drive, the reason for his return to the sport ended up being his family, specifically the curiosity of his 9-year-old son, Nicholas.
“At first I was playing soccer, then I went to baseball,” Nicholas said. “Then when I was going to go to the corn festival park in Olathe, I saw a BMX track and I was like ‘Hey dad, can we go race there?’ ”
Nicholas’ first race was in September 2007, and two years later, BMX racing has become a consistent event for the Miller family, with Jason, Nicholas and brother Zachary, 6, all riding in events throughout the country.
“We know every week we’ve got a race together somewhere,” Jason said “Whether it’s Olathe, Montrose, Junction, where ever, we’re going to go traveling and do it together.”
Besides the trips around the Western Slope, the family has also been to several places outside of the state. The family’s first national race was in Bakersfield, Calif., and they’ve also raced in Albequerque. One of their next big trips will be to Tulsa, Okla., for the ABA Grand Nationals in November, which is the final ABA event of the year.
As a parent, the consistent schedule that BMX has is plus.
“I try to keep Nick and Zach into (BMX) so they’re not out messing around,” Jason said. “It just keeps them focused on what they’re doing out here, which has helped them in school.”
Jason also said that racing is something the three can all look forward to.
“I’m going, ‘what are we going to do this weekend?’ They know what we’re going to go racing,” Jason said.
One issue that Jason noticed when getting on the bike again was the effects that age have on the body. Some of the injuries he’s faced since his return include blowing out a knee and breaking a wrist.
“You don’t realize the older you get, how much you’ve lost and how much it hurts when you break things,” Jason said. “The older you get, (your body) just doesn’t heal as quick.”
Jason said that the family has been lucky so far with the boys, neither of whom have suffered a major injury at this point.
Nicholas finished third in the races for both the 9-and-under cruiser and expert division main events at Sunday’s races and Jason finished fourth in the 36-40 novice main event.
Also Sunday, 7-year-old Morgan “The Monkey” Zimmerman was able to get the points to secure her the number one place in the state despite, finishing second in her final race.