December 6, 2016 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
By Heather Parker
As the rain beats on our windshield during our 14-hour journey home, I have time to reflect on Grands 2016. Somehow, I was very calm this year— almost detached. It gave me a chance to really watch, instead of being absorbed in my own emotions. After so many years in the sport, maybe our family has reached some sort of BMX nirvana, giving uncontrollable circumstances up to the great beyond. Is that the blessing that comes from years of riding the waves of triumph and heartache?
Friday evening at our hotel, I got in the elevator with a young racer and his mom. Never one to keep quiet I asked, “How’d it go at the ROC today?”. “Not good,” he said as he looked down at his feet. His mom quietly said, “You did just fine,” as she laid her hand gently on his head. I gave the usual cheery, possibly annoying, “Tomorrow’s another day!” speech, and wished him luck as we stepped off the elevator on our floor.
The vibe at Grands for amateurs on Saturday is always one of happy excitement, with everyone knowing there’s another shot if things go awry, first round. It’s a time for visiting with friends, and making plans to watch the evening’s Pro Spectacular.
I saw emotions well up in my son William as we watched Donny Robinson take his final lap in the third round of AA. It tugged at our hearts, and we were in awe watching Donny compete in the top class for the last time. This is clearly not the end for Donny, but a new beginning, as he continues to be a great ambassador for our sport— especially for our youth.
After third round of pros, Alise Post was surprised with a BMX bridal shower under the Dan’s tent, in celebration of her upcoming nuptials to Sam Willoughby. It’s a special time for her, and all of the ladies wanted her to feel loved.
Simultaneously at Dan’s, Justin Posey raised funds for the #Strengthfor91 fund by raffling off his bike and jersey in order to help out his friend Sam. JP raised $1100 for SW91. The Road2Recovery fund stands at $191,000 and change—96% to the $200,000 goal. All of these efforts on behalf of friends in the BMX Family have made a real difference in this cause.
When we returned to the hotel Saturday night, the same young boy and his mom were at the elevator again. I didn’t have to ask how his day went. He was wearing a hospital gown and a full arm cast. I wished him a speedy healing, and sent up a silent prayer for the safety of my own boys.
Looking around at different faces on Sunday, there were wide ranges of emotions. Anxiousness and determination, anguish and joy, and everything in between.
In the 13-14 girls cruiser main event, Mckenzie Gayheart crashed in the last turn, in an attempt to take the lead and win the national Girl Cruiser title. It wasn’t until the 14-girls main that I realized her bold move resulted in a fractured elbow. I felt sad watching her roll the gate, and ride with one arm strapped across her chest, knowing the disappointment she must be feeling. As she approached the finish, her dad Ricky was there to catch her and hug her, and it warmed my heart.
BMX News 2016 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp
In the 17-20 women’s main event, after gaining the lead on the third straight, Samantha Miller (Factory Powers Bike Shop) crashed just yards from the finish that would have earned her the title, along with Sophia Foresta and Kristen Long. Elida Beeman scooted around the wreck and took the win of the day, and the title for Answer/Rennen.
After watching Samantha succeed and stay focused all season, it was hard to watch her fall. I knew though that her team and her family, all so proud of her, would lift her up (pictured above in her semi).
Sometimes though, the stars align just-so, as they did for Jesse Welch (Haro/Promax) in 15x. Jesse led the race from start to finish, scored the National Amateur title, and accepted the plate from his teammate Kevin Pauls. Congratulations, Jesse!
Occasionally I dream of a traditional Thanksgiving weekend at home, with nothing but family, cooking and football. The truth is though, Grands weekend IS our traditional Thanksgiving. There will be joy, and there will be pain, but the beauty of it is, we’re all in it together.
Editor’s Note: Heather filed this story last Tuesday, after a long 14-hour drive back home. It came in just as my “Grands Flu” was hitting full effect, and it took several days before I had all the photo galleries ready to post. Thanks very much Heather! /MC
More Grands Coverage Coming This Week
- Podcast with Cruiser Champ, Drew Motley and National #1 Amateur, Jesse Welch
- Five big moments of the 2016 USA BMX Grands
Now, check out the BMX News Photo Galleries from the Grands
November 22, 2016 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
As BMXers from around the world converge on Tulsa, Pro Gate is getting set to set up at Expo Square for a big week of helping you get a great gate at the Greatest Race of Earth. As in previous years, their service gate will be set up for riders to warm up the warp engines before the big laps. It all works on a punch card system ($20 for 25 gates), and the card is good for the whole weekend.
On Thursday, punch card holders will be treated to free gate coaching from 11AM-3PM. Instructors “scheduled to appear” include Donny Robinson, Carley Young, Olijuwon Davis, Tyler Whitfield, Justin Richmond and Heather Collman. The coaching is included with your punch card.
For every punch card you buy, you’ll also get a raffle ticket for a drawing to be held on Sunday 11/27 at noon. Items that they’ll be pulling tickets for include Pro Gate t-shirts, Pro Gate fitted hats, number plates from various stops on the UCI BMX SX tour and some Rio swag.
Plus, it’s never too early to start thinking about your 2017 plan of attack. Pro Gate is on board to help in that regard with a sizzlin special on their super-popular Pro Gate Junior, and all supporting accessories. The full kit is on special for $2,500 at the race (includes the gate, ramp, air ram, controls, lights, speaker, FRL kit, air hoses and 1 year warranty). Haul it home in your rig after the race and save shipping and sales tax.
For more info on Pro Gate products, check the link below.
November 21, 2016 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Back on August 9, News reported the coming-to-market story of a new all-alloy mini fork from Yess BMX. Today, the fork family gets bigger by one, with the addition of a pro-size brother.
Like all the products in the Yess BMX line, their new aluminum pro fork is a thing of beauty, and gives burly BMXers a third choice between chromoly and carbon.
Here’s what Yess BMX VP, Renny Husada told News about the new blades.
As soon as we reintroduced our mini fork in August, there were numerous inquiries on when we would release an alloy Pro fork. There has been a lack of alloy forks in the marketplace when a majority of frames are still alloy.
The big brands have invested their efforts in promoting carbon as the material of choice for their fork offerings. We are excited to introduce a Pro Alloy fork. The development didn’t happen overnight, as we went through many different iterations in testing.
The fork above says #noglue because it is fully-welded 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum, which undergoes the same heat treatment process as all of our frames. We’ve seen too many failures where steer tubes and bonding sections fail, rendering the fork useless. Many of these failures occur on high end, high quality products.
This new design is equal to, or less than, the weight of carbon products available, while at the same time providing peace of mind to the rider that, in the event of beyond-the-scope conditions, any evidence of bending, cracking and/or stress marks will occur long before catastrophic failure.
The cost, the weight and the flexibility of colors will definitely help steer interested consumers back to Alloy.
All of our distributors and dealers will have access to these forks in the second quarter of 2017.
Until then, we are taking pre-orders at the Grands, so be the first in line when we start shipping them!
Sizes: 20″ and 24” (1-1/8 steer; no tapered-headtube option)
Weights: 20”: 617g 24”: 650g
We know that Renny and Bill have been laboring hard in their Vancouver-area workshop to dial-in all the details in time for the big face-to-face rollout next week in Tulsa. Be sure to stop by the Yess BMX pit to check them out in the proverbial flesh.
But Wait, There’s More!
Yess has been famous for showing a “concept” bike at the Grands in recent years. This year, it’s the “TypeX,” which is a concept-solution to the issue of a split-seatstay frame so a carbon belt can be slipped through. All-the-more reason to stop by the Yess BMX pit in Tulsa.