FAST & FURIOUS
Racing BMX an adrenaline rush for kids, adults
Two youngsters grinned from under their helmets and bumped fists.
A good, fast ride at the Colorado State BMX Championships on Sunday was well worth a fist bump.
As Roman Diaz and Braedon Mitchell smiled and talked about the thrills of their race, a lone rider coasted across the finish line after a crash.
Roman and Braedon went over to offer support and a pat on the back to the disappointed and banged-up rider.
That’s BMX racing.
The two 11-year-old Grand Junction riders love BMX and it shows in their riding, their words and their smiles.
“All my friends are here, it’s just fun to ride,” Braedon said.
He won his race and acknowledged yes, winning is a lot of fun.
“When you finish first, ahead of everyone else, you’re really happy and you just want to jump off your bike,” he said.
Roman summed up the best thing about racing BMX with the same description that most others have.
“The adrenaline rush,” he said, smiling.
Like all sports, it takes awhile to improve.
“Right now I’m expert (division) and it took about three years to get here,” Roman said.
No matter the age, gender or level of experience, everyone says the sport is fast, furious fun.
Close to 300 riders from around the state and region came to the Mesa County BMX facility over the weekend to compete, hang out with friends and make new racing friends.
Most of the youngsters took up the sport after watching Mom or Dad race, or being curious about the sport.
For Grand Junction’s Mikaylee Ramsey, 11, curiosity steered her to the Mesa County BMX track with her dad. That one trip was all it took, and she was off and BMXing shortly after.
“Just that one time and I liked it,” she said with a big smile. “I was like, ‘I want to try it.’ “
That was about three years ago and now BMX and Mikaylee fit together like Super Glue.
“I just love being out on the track and riding,” she said.
She also likes winning, and she wins a lot. On Sunday, she wrapped up the Colorado title in the 11-year-old girls expert division, and she also won a regional title in Texas earlier this year.
Even though she’s a fast BMX learner, like all new riders at first, winning took a little time. When she started winning, that upped the fun factor even more.
She still remembers that first-ever victory.
“I thought ‘Oh my gosh, I actually won’,” she said with another smile.
She takes the sport very seriously and says to be a champion, it takes more than riding on BMX tracks. Her training includes running stairs, sprints on her bike, running and more.
Justin Brunner sat on his bike catching his breath after a fast race.
The 37-year-old Windsor BMX racer has been riding and racing bicycles of all kinds since he was a kid.
He doesn’t plan on hanging up his BMX bike anytime soon.
“I like being on two wheels,” he said with a grin. “It’s my favorite thing to do. It’s fast-paced and you need a lot of power but a lot of finesse, too.
“The facility here is really nice and every time I come here the people are really nice, it’s just a great total atmosphere,” he said.
The BMX racing community is all about camaraderie and having fun. It doesn’t matter where a rider is from, there’s always support and the chance to make friends.
“Riding bikes is fun and you can come out and make friends, everyone is always so nice,” said 13-year-old Jordan Kimpson of Aurora.
Braedon’s BMX beginning was similar to Mikaylee’s start. It only took one trip to the BMX track and watching the fast, furious fun up close to fuel his excitement and get the adrenaline pumping.
“When me and my dad came out and saw it, I decided to try it out,” he said, “and I just fell in love with it.”