Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Did It and It Was Fun

So Jared asked randomly out of the blue if I would like to go check out the local BMX race scene. Sure, why not. So last week we went out to the local BMX track (Electric City BMX) to see what it was all about.

Fun. That's what it's all about. The participants were mostly kids 15 and under. They even had a few "motto's" (check out my lingo!- mottos are groups of riders based on age and ability) for kids under 5. The two year olds on strider bikes?

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 So. Stinking. Cute.

Anyway, as anyone who knows Jared can guess, he doesn't just want to be a spectator, so this was a scouting mission to see if we would fit in with the BMX crowd. I mean, come on, his all time favorite movie is Rad.

Turns out we do fit in with the BMX crowd. Like I said, mostly kids (mostly of the male variety), but there was a motto specifically for women (there were only 3 riders I think, one of them a 14 year old girl) and a few different mottos for the older guys. Electric City BMX really wants to increase the number of woman riders, so the night we were there, they were really pushing to get more women riders.

Jared asked, "What do you think, want to give it a try?"

What the heck, why not. The worst that can happen is, well, lets not think about that.

Thursday of last week was our scouting mission. Races are held every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer, and Tuesdays during the school year. As Jared is a bike snob and wouldn't be caught dead using his MOUNTAIN bike for BMX (actually he would have), we dipped into our savings and ordered him a shiny new bike. Only problem is it won't be in until this coming Thursday. What does that mean for Tuesday's races?

I got to steal the spotlight!

Let me tell you, I was nervous. When Jared got home from work, I almost said forget it. After all, I haven't been on my bike since sometime last summer. I think. For whatever reason though, I got all excited about giving it a try once he was home. We rushed through supper, then made a mad scramble to get everything ready.

Dig the helmet out of the dust closet. Check.
Find appropriate long pants. Check.
Socks and shoes. Check.
Long sleeve jersey (from Jared's paintball days). Check.
Lots of water. Check.
A backpack for Emma with snacks, water, bug spray, and something to do. Check.
Camera. Check.
Bike minus the kick stand. Check.

Once everything was gathered, we hit the road. We thought we were getting there late, but as we pulled in, there was a line of cars behind us, so I relaxed a bit.

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Before the races started

The group of people that run the show out there are fantastic. As I was wandering aimlessly around, one of the main organizers (I think) came over and asked if I would like to do a ride through on the track with him.

Um, absolutely. Your my hero.

So, he explained how to get set up in the starting gate.

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Race #2- I'm the farthest rider

He explained a few things about peddling, pumping, and stuff that I already forgot about. But it was really nice having someone go through and ride that first lap with me.

It was still scary though. No one can explain to you what it feels like when you come up over a roller (I'm so cool with my lingo- a roller is basically those hills you see in the BMX tracks) and your front tire looses contact with the ground for a split second.

Also, going through the berms (big tall corners) is really only something you'll be comfortable with after practicing it a lot.

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Some will tell you it's fun (those that have practiced them) bur for newbies, those berms are straight up scary. The scare factor is amplified (a lot) if someone is riding near you while you go through said berms.

The good news is that I've actually listened to Jared over the last year or two when he talked about proper form, techniques and such. Turns out I listen really well.

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That is pretty good form according to Jared. 

I practiced going through the track a few times, but my legs were already turning to jello, so I rested and watched a bit.

Finally it was race time. The way it works is that the different mottos take turns doing one lap at a time, with each motto doing a total of 3 laps. So, motto 1 does one lap, motto 2 does one lap, etc.

My last lap (my worst lap, but hey). In video.

No matter how tired my legs got, every time I crossed that finish line, I felt good.

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Did you try anything new this week?


  1. You held my attention with this one!!!!!!!!!!! So, Emma, how long until we see you out there riding? Indianola has a new track like this one. Noticed it when I was riding around (car) with a friend of Mary's. She had never seen it before, asked her hubby and he told her what it was. Have lots of fun with this adventure. But don't let it keep you from visiting us...I can't wait to see you all. I NEED hugs from all 3. Love, M/G


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