Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are You Into BMX Bike Racing?

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the ABA BMX Midwest Nationals for BMX racing bikes. BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. The competition was held in my city, Rockford, Illinois.
Now, I’m embarrassed to say that the races have been held in Rockford for twenty-six years, but I never attended before this year.
Competition was held from Friday through Sunday and I went on the last afternoon of racing. I also went in hopes of meeting a friend from high school and College, Jerry Landrum.
Jerry raced in BMX during his younger years, and he’ll probably tell you he continued on in it beyond when he should have stopped.
On Sunday, I saw racers who were solidly into their 50’s. If there were older competitors, I didn’t hear the ages.
I asked around at the track, to see if Jerry was there on Sunday afternoon. Several officials and another professional photographer said he wasn't. The photographer told me, “No,” none of the big BMX photographers were there on Sunday. I found out later that Jerry was there. It’s just that he stayed high up in the stands for his shots that day, while I prowled around the grounds and the infield. Too bad. It would have been nice to see him.
Here’s a link to Jerry’s excellent web site, BMX Mania   Everything you could possibly want to know about BMX racing is on this site because Jerry is one of the top experts in the field.
Interesting, the starting gate used in all BMX racing in the world was made at a company here in Rockford, also.
Many former competitors in Rockford will be at the Olympics in London, so I hope you’ll watch for the BMX events in the days ahead. Jerry will be there, too, taking more of his stunning pictures.
At the weekend races here, 28 states were represented. More than 1,250 riders participated. I honestly couldn’t believe how gigantic this event actually was. The track is considered possibly the best in the country.
I also saw some pretty spectacular accidents where riders were hurt. Keep that in mind if you’re considering entering the sport.
And girls compete as well as the boys, men, and women. Each races in his or her own class, including pro.
My photographs don’t hold a candle to Jerry’s, but these are just a few examples of the competition anyway.

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