BMX: Kids Sports; Think Outside the Box (Part 2)
BMX Racing (bicycle racing): What is it? Have you ever heard of it before? Probably not. Well, I am spotlighting this sport in part 2 of my kids sports series.
The “History of BMX”
BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California, drawing inspiration from the motocross superstars of the time. George E. Esser founded the National Bicycle League as a non-profit bicycle motocross sanctioning organization in 1974. After that, other sanctions (such as ABA and NPSA) came about in these early years as well.
If you are around my age, you might remember the BMX movie, RAD, that came out in 1986. It debuted in theatres locally in April, I remember because it was my birthday, and our whole BMX team went to go see it at the Bellair Plaza theatres in Ormond, dressed in our uniforms. It was (and is) a great movie, here is the trailer from it, and did you know that actress Lori Laughlin was in it (Full House):
And, it really IS a great movie, if you wanted to get yourself a copy:
This sport has come a long way since then, and, it’s now an Olympic Sport. My little brother and I raced BMX (yes, this is for girls too) when we were younger (mid-late 80’s), and we were 5 & 11 when we started. I raced until high school, when I then got in to dance/drill team and couldn’t travel on the weekends to races. My brother continued, and even my sister got involved. There are kids as young as 3 racing (you can start on the Strider balance bikes), girls, pros, and even grandparents too! It’s a great family sport.
Personally, I can tell you that is was a fun sport to be involved in. We practiced during the week, had local races, traveled to out of town races, and met tons a great friends, many whom we are still in touch (30 years later). We took it so seriously that we were always on our best behavior at school and home so that we could travel on the weekends (instead of being grounded). We found a sport we could excel in, become better athletes, learn about sportsmanship and teamwork, how to “dust yourself off and get back up”, and we never had to sit the bench or wait our turn.
Kids in BMX (video)
I don’t want to do all the writing about this sport, so, here’s some information from other moms who have kids in this sport:
My daughter is 5, and I think it’s a good sport for the kids because obviously it gets them out of the house & active, but they can advance in the sport at their own pace, ability and determination. They learn discipline by learning “the more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it”, so it’s up to each individual to put in the work. They learn sportsmanship with their peers; kids want to win everything, but you’re “most likely” going to lose more than you’re going to win so I think learning good sportsmanship is a really good thing to learn as a kid. They also learn a little bit about nutrition, like what to eat/drink & not to eat/drink before you ride/race that makes you perform better. – Monica Kelly, Orlando, FL
There are so many great things about being involved in BMX. My son started racing when he was 4, he is 9 now. Everybody can ride. No one has to sit on the bench. You can ride as little or as much as want from practice laps & races at your local track all the way to state, national, and even world championships.
Professionals ride on the same track you do. It’s nice to see them interacting with the amateurs and sharing their stories of how you can take BMX to the next level. Best of all — Having a kid that would much rather be outside and on his bike is perfect for me! – Becky Ogle-Reece, Ormond Beach, FL
Ashley started racing at 6 years old…mostly because Johnny and I wanted to start back. She is now 24 and loves it. She works out almost daily, so she can be at the top of her age group. I believe BMX builds confidence, strength, and most of all friendships that last forever. BMX gives kids the opportunity to have goals to accomplish. Which gives them the drive to be better. Giving them tools in life to be better than just average. – Kim Turner, Gainseville, FL
How to get started/involved?
Look up tracks in your area through these sites, or, do a search on facebook or google. Stop by, check it out, talk to other parents, etc.
Related Blog: Healthy Nutrition for Kids in Sports
Local Article featuring 8 Year-Old Austin Reece
Thanks for reading, and I hope I helped you learn something about a sport that not too many people really know about. Who knows, your child could be the next BMX Olympian!
I am just a busy mom of a 6 year old, trying to make healthier choices for my family, and to instill healthy habits early on. If any of this was useful to you, please “share” below, it just takes a couple minutes. Thank you! – Michelle