The great BMX odyssey of 2008: Day 1

As some of you know, I’m busy working on the definitive BMX how-to book. It’s coming along well, and I’m learning a lot from some of the best racers in the sport.

The way I see it, if I’m gonna write about BMX, I should RACE BMX! So …

Place: Dacono BMX, Dacono, CO

Bike: I’ve been riding my Intense BMX cruiser a lot and loving it. But I had a bad practice on it last Wednesday, and I decided to race the P.3. Run what you know, right? Wrong. What a wimp. I vow to ride the Intense all week and race it next time.

Focus: Historically I’ve had lazy starts, and I’ve been too passive in traffic. I know better — now it’s time to race better.

Gates: Jim, one of the 40+ cruiser studs, told me to watch the lights and go on red. “If you react on red, by the time you get going, the gate will be down.” Thanks to Jim and the book research, I was getting solid starts.

Diving inside: In Moto 1, I got a decent start and reached the first turn in second. One of the BMX cruiser dudes railed the main line. I dove waaayyyy inside, squared the turn and got out of there. It was all good except: 1) I didn’t actually get in his way. He maintained speed and caught me on the next straight. 2) He complained that I was “down in the soft stuff.” There was a hub-bub, and cones were placed on the inside of the turn. Sorry dude — I’m on a mountain bike; I can turn anywhere.

Watch out: After that moto, I was warned that this guy rides rough, and I shouldn’t let him get under me in a berm. I rode aggressively with him in Moto 2 and transferred to the final.

Final: I got a great start in Lane 8, but I reached the first turn on the outside of James Haulingballs and my new friend. James was leaving, and my new friend was coming up on me — hard. I out-powered him around the turn then corralled him against the white line. I didn’t want him reaching the second turn with speed or options. He backed off, but James was getting away. I chased — and gained — on the last two straights, but I ran out of track. James won. Good job, dude.

Ian: My boy and I have been working/riding together for three weeks (he missed two weeks for spring break), and he’s getting around the track very smoothly. He slipped a pedal in practice and hurt his wrist. He raced Moto 1, but that was it for the day. I need some 5.10 Impacts for his guy — but in size 14!

We both look forward to next Saturday. I’ll be rocking the Intense BMX cruiser and, hopefully, Ian will have better shoes.

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