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Best Waffle House Locs to See the Solar Eclipse

August 12, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Best Waffle House Locations to Watch The Eclipse

On August 21, a total eclipse of the sun will occur. It is the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will be visible across the 48 contiguous United States (although the prime viewing will be in a corridor about 70-miles wide, stretching from Washington State to South Carolina).

The Twitterverse has been active in reporting to followers, the best places to view this important cosmic event. But the group of Tweets that attracted our interest, from a BMXer point of view, is the “Best Waffle House Locations” to view the Eclipse.

The most-prime Waffle House is at 2923 Fort Campbell Blvd, Hopkinsville, KY, at 1:25PM, US Central Time.

Hopkinsville is 81 miles North of Music City BMX in Nashville, and 89 miles South of Burdette Park in Evansville, IN.

Waffle House is a favored stop for raceday eats, and travel grub for BMXers in the Southern US.

If you’re not Waffle House-certified, they do not serve fries, but hash browns (shredded potatoes) instead, on the grill, along with eggs, burgers, steaks, and all the other goodness they serve-up (link to menu below).

There’s a Waffle House “code” on how to order your hash browns properly. String multiple designations together for full-customization.

Scattered (spread-out on the grill, for a crispier result)
Smothered (Onions)
Covered (with Melted Cheese)
Chunked (with Ham)
Topped (with Chili)
Diced (with Diced Tomatoes)
Peppered (with jalapeño peppers)
Country (with sausage gravy)
“All the way” (all of the above)

Let’s call All the Way “Eclipsed” for August 21 only, since all the toppings will fully-cover the hash browns.

We recommend the patty melt, with “smothered and covered” hash browns, except on 8/21, when we’re going “Eclipsed” for the full-effect.

Check the link to the NASA interactive map below to see the full-continental corridor of the eclipse, and the Waffle House website for their menu and locations nearest you.

BMX News will be working with USA BMX to figure out the best BMX tracks at which to view the eclipse. Watch for that, closer to Aug 21!

—Mike Carruth

Links

NASA-Interactive 2017 Solar Eclipse Map

Waffle House Website




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Deep-Cover iPhone Map Records Your Every Move

October 2, 2016 by · Comments Off 

iPhone Frequent Locations map

Smartphones have brought instant accessibility and invaluable tools to our lives in under a decade. No more does a manly man need to struggle to find a tough location, and fight with the missus over “pulling over” for directions. The Waze app takes care of that—in all-but the most remote locations in the US. Need to know which way that thunderstorm Read more

10 Things You Might Do Before The Grands

November 9, 2015 by · Comments Off 

10 Things You'll Do Before 2015 Grands
With 15 days until the BMX News wagon train pulls out of home base and heads to Tulsa Town, we have been making our list of all the things BMXers across North America (and more than a dozen countries in addition) are doing to get ready for the Greatest Race on Earth.

It’s an annual ritual, of course, and it never gets old. For those of you heading to the 918 for the first time, this will be a nice primer to prep your trip properly.

Feel free to add your own preps in the comments, or on our Facebook Page.

Call in Your Annual “Cannot Attend” for Thanksgiving Dinner at HomeBMX News - 2015 USA BMX BMX Grands PrepYour family probably already knows you’re a “no” on the invite list for the big Thanksgiving dinner but, being the manners-conscious person you are, you’ll put in the “we’ll be in Tulsa” call to Grandma, Aunt Grace or Uncle Sal. Style points: drop-off a dish for the family to enjoy, even though you won’t be there (might make it harder for them to talk about you–but probably not).

Mapquest the Route to Tulsa BMX News helps you prepare for the 2015 USA BMX GrandsWhether you’re flying or driving, you still need designs on a quick trip to the QuikTrip*, so you don’t miss one-drop of Grands Weekend! We could pretty-much drive that route in our sleep–and sometimes we do–but that doesn’t stop us from punching it up to see if it got any closer this year.
*OK, it’s not called the “QuikTrip Center” anymore, but we are slow-to-change when it comes to naming rights. #searstowerforever

Check the Hours at Cracker Barrel for Thursday Night15grands-cracker-barrelThe location at 8008 E. 31st Street is closest to the track (3.4 miles). Their hours on Thanksgiving (like every other day) are 6AM-10PM. For those wanting to head over and have a sit-down meal on Thanksgiving Day, word is it can be about an hour wait at the prime times–especially for large groups. They also offer their “Country Size Meal” catering spread which feeds six people for $64.99 (more info at the link below). If you want more upscale eats, Whole Foods is close by as well, and has a yummy holiday catering menu.

Download Movies For Your Trip15grands-minionsiTunes has about 20 titles added to the list for November (including Minions, above, on November 24). If you’re a wireless warrior who has WiFi worldwide, Netflix has another dozen-plus new releases for your Tulsa-trip viewing. Forgetting the new stuff, can we suggest some classic stoke-value screenings:
Rocky IV
Hoosiers
Karate Kid (Original)
Soul Surfer
Breaking Away

Download the USA BMX “Event Flyer”2015 USA BMX Grands Practice ScheduleThis is the “mission control” document of the whole weekend. It puts every minute into perspective for your Thursday-Sunday saga. Download it, print it, and have it at the ready for all the timing and event schedule questions that are coming your way.

Buy a new CameraBuy a new camera before the 2015 GrandsOK, so you are not likely to be out on the infield like News, but we know you still want to capture the moments of the 2015 Grands in grand fashion. If you haven’t pulled out the plastic for a new photo rig, there is still time to get down with a new DSLR to make your memories permanent.

Order Up a “Bleacher Cushion”Order a bleacher cushion before the 2015 USA BMX GrandsWhether it’s your first time, or you’re an old-salt at this, your backside will die a thousand deaths before Sunday’s final podiums–that is unless you have already gotten busy ordering a suh-weet seat cushion for the cold-hard reality of the Expo Square bleachers.

Convert your Change Jar to CashYour Change Jug before the 2015 USA BMX Grand NationalEveryone has one–that big jar/jug you toss your excess change into when you empty your pockets on laundry day. Now’s the time to take that to the bank, or CoinStar, and convert it to cash for your Grands trip. Dan’s Comp and J&R await with the coolest-of-the-cool in BMX parts, accessories and personal bling things to plus-up your Grands experience.

Start TrainingStart traiing for the USA BMX Grand NationalYes, you should have been on this three, six, nine months ago. But it’s never too late to start gettin on that training routine. Coach Greg Romero is just-out with his new “Race Day” DVD, and has bundle pricing on all four of his DVD titles, now available as digital downloads. Also, Pro Gate will be back in Tulsa this year with their service gate. $20 for 25 gates, all weekend long. From Noon to 4PM on Thursday, they will have guest coaches available to help you dial-in your snap before the big laps start. That coaching is free, with your paid gate card (12PM-4PM Thursday only).

Buy a Pit ScootBuy a hoverboard scooter before the 2015 USA BMX GrandsEvery year, there is a new “must-have” rideable for the pits. Two years ago, it was the “powerwing” scooter. Last year, it was the mini-fat bike. All are still available for your pit-cruising-pleasure. This year, a new addition will be the “self-balancing” scooter. Part Segue, part skateboard, all the way annoying–like any Grands pit-ride should be. USA BMX says there will be increased security around the house in Tulsa, especially near the ramp that leads from the pits to staging. For riders: be respectful of others and watch where you’re going. For everyone else: shin guards aren’t only for use on the track.

Coming Next Week
Watch for our “Grands Survival Guide” next week. Inside, you’ll find tons of tasty tips on making it through your Tulsa trip like a champ.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Cracker Barrel 2 Go Website

November 2015 Additions to Netflix

November 2015 Additions to iTunes

2015 USA BMX Grands Event Schedule (PDF)

Coach Greg Romero BMX DVDs on BMXTRAINING.COM

Hoverboard Scooters on Amazon

Bleacher Seat Cushions on Amazon


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Hayden Robinson: My Night at JFK Airport

October 26, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hayden Robinson's night at JFK

Tell most 14-year old boys flying alone that their late-night connecting flight has left, so they are going to need to spend the night sleeping in New York’s JFK airport, and you are sure to set-off a serious panic in the stranded flyer.

But BMXers are different. BMXers pick up the way of the worldly traveler, often before they’re in middle school, so when this kind of thing happens once they are flying solo, it’s a shrug and a search for the comfiest place to set up camp for the night.

Such was the adventure of 14x Factory Ssquared ace, Hayden Robinson on his way back to upstate New York from Oldsmar a couple weeks back.

Was it a “Night at the Museum” experience, or something more hum-drum til the next morning’s schedule started up? We had to know, and hit-up Hayden to tell us the story, in his own words.

They say all good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This one begins with me lying face down in the dirt. I have to give John Sawyer props on the new Oldsmar track…that dirt is packed pretty darn good. It was like hitting a brick wall. That first jump had me screwed up all weekend and it took me until the 13-14 semi opens on Sunday to finally meet my enemy face-to-face—literally!

As the medics helped me off the track all I saw was RED! I was covered in blood head to toe. My jersey was red, my pants were red and my brand new helmet was red – sorry Jim Buchanan. I got checked out at the medic tent, my nose stopped bleeding and as Jim and I started walking back to the trailer, we realized I still had time to get back up there for my class semi. People were in dis-belief that I made it back up there after such an awful wreck. Everyone said how tough and strong I was to race that soon after the wreck but to me, I did what any good team member would do, I got back up there to do my job. I had to do what I could to help my team win. It wasn’t pretty but I made the main.

The middle of my story starts when Jim drops me off at the Tampa International Airport. We got checked in, plane was scheduled for an on-time departure, we said our goodbyes and I was off to my gate walking a little slower than normal because of my road-rashed knees. It was at that time I realized how much my nose hurt.

I thought to myself, “all I want to do is get home and take a hot shower.” That didn’t happen-at least not that day. My flight out of Tampa was delayed, and by the time I got to JFK my connecting flight had already left, despite my mom’s frantic calls to JetBlue representatives, they just couldn’t hold the plane for me any longer.

There I was, stuck for the night at JFK airport. The JetBlue representative said they could get me a cot, if you want to call it that. It was this hard plastic thing that was raised off the floor. I didn’t have a pillow or blanket so I used my sweatshirt to lay my head on. I really wasn’t mad, sad, afraid, nervous, or anything– it was just something that happened and I had to go with it. When things don’t go as smoothly as planned, our family motto is, “It’s all a part of the experience!” And that’s how I viewed this…just another experience.

Finally, the end of the story. Halfway through the night I ditched the cot and I ended up on the floor, not too different from how my story began – lying face down! I think I got, at the most, two hours of sleep. Around 4:00AM people starting coming into the terminal for their early flights. I got up, and man did my body ache all over! I started walking. I was looking for a place that was open to get something to eat. I finally found a pizzeria and ordered an egg and cheese Stromboli.

It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I went back to the terminal, my home away from home, and waited for my flight, thank goodness it was on time today. I made it to Rochester and I finally felt a little emotional when I saw my mom. Even though we still had a two hour drive, I felt like I was finally home. I slept most of the ride and the first thing I did when I got home was take that hot shower I had been dying for since the day before. I slept the rest of the afternoon and when my dad came home from work, he said, “You ready to do some sprints?” And just like that, we were back to our normal routine!

My parents keep telling me that I am wise beyond my fourteen years and that I am gaining so many skills and qualities through these experiences that I don’t even know I have: determination, self-discipline, responsibility, adaptability blah, blah, blah. I’m fourteen! All I know and care about right now is that I’m gaining great friends all around the country and the world and I am having the time of my life!

I am grateful for having the opportunity to travel because of BMX and the overnight in JFK was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life! I am on the best BMX factory team there is!

Go VOTE for SSquared for factory team and bike of the year, Tyler Whitfield for A-Pro of the year, and Justin Posey for Pro of the year for the 2015 Golden Crank Awards!!

—Hayden Robinson

This story is a great example of the life skills BMX Racing brings, off the track. Way to go, Hayden— thank you for taking the time to bring it to us. The good news is that the website sleepinginairports.net rates Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 as “The cleanest and most modern of all the terminals (at JFK).”

Links

Website: sleepinginairports.net

2015 Golden Crank Awards Voting

Ssquared Bicycles Website

The Road Goes on Forever…

March 3, 2015 by · Comments Off 

BMX Road Trips by Heather Parker
By Heather Parker
I often hear non-BMX moms talk about their travel woes. “Sigh… It’s baseball season. We’re always on the road. Never commit to a travel team. Just don’t do it. We have to go all the way to Gainesville this weekend.”

I smile warmly, give a solicitous nod. Read more

Back to School: BMXer Style

August 18, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Back to School: BMXer Style

By Heather Parker

While I completely value an education, I don’t like the hustle and bustle of school. All parenting manuals scream that kids thrive on a rigid schedule, but our family seems to survive on whim and spontaneity.

Friday was orientation. I let them sleep in until 10, feeling they needed their last dreams of summer.

One grumpy son asked, “Do we have to go to school? Like, is there a law or something?”

With the boys missing school like typical BMXers are wont to do, Vann and I are asked frequently, “Do you/Why don’t you homeschool?”

Anyone who really knows me would never ask. With school starting on Monday, I nagged them about their summer math and reading just this weekend, and honestly, I couldn’t care less. I never had summer reading. I loafed on the beach and played Monopoly. Besides, William is an 8th grader in Geometry. I think he could teach me a thing or two about the Pythagorean Theorem, and quite frankly, that ship has sailed.

So, how do we survive? I’ve learned a lot over the past eight years, and now we follow the same directive each school year. I hope these tips can help you as well.

For Parents

- Set expectations about school, and make them clear. In our household, our boys know that a “C” means they are staying home until the grade is brought up. It’s quite amazing how quickly that boost happens when they are faced with missing a national.

- Meet the teachers, explain what your child does, and that he/she will be missing school. I do this every year at orientation. I also let each teacher know that my boys will not miss school if they have a “C” in any subject. I want them to understand that even though we allow our kids to miss school, school is still our top priority.

- Send the attendance office/administrator an email the first week of school respectfully requesting excused absences for the dates your child will be missing. Copy each teacher on the email. Be specific. I always mention where we’re traveling. The teachers get a better grip on what the kids are doing, and sometimes they’ll tell us to eat at such and such restaurant or check out this or that. It gets them interested. I’ll send our email out in a few days, and it will look something like the example below.

- Remind your child to ask for their make up work in advance. The more they can do ahead of time, the better.

- The week of each race, send a reminder to the teachers.

- Reward your child. I don’t mean give them a $20 for every “A”, but a little praise goes a long way. I’ve seen my own kids struggle to keep up when they’re traveling extensively. Face it. School can be stressful enough without throwing BMX into the mix. Every report card day since kindergarten, we’ve celebrated grades with ice cream. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s a tradition we enjoy. Occasionally, when we see them working extra hard, we’ll slip them a $20, or buy them something they’ve been wanting; they’ve earned it.

Mostly, we just tell them we’re proud of their hard work.

Heather Parker with Back to School Tips for BMXers

Wyatt and William, Report Card Day Ice Cream, Spring 2014.

For Kids

- Put school before BMX. I know, I know…sounds lame, but trust me on this one.

- Never get a “zero”. Always, always turn in your assignments.

- Take responsibility. If you mess up, own up to it. Honesty goes a long way.

- Use your time wisely. Get up early to train before school. If you have a big project due the week after a national, get it finished before you go. Then your mind will be free to focus on racing!

- Have fun. See? It’s not all bad. Don’t forget about your school friends. Go to parties and school dances. Enjoy what’s in front of you.

I hope everyone had an amazing summer, and that the above helps take the sting out of the first day of school. Wishing you all a great school year!

—Heather

Example “Excused Absence” Letter

Dear Ms./Mr. ______________,

________________ will be racing in the following national BMX events. We are respectfully requesting excused absences for the following dates.

August 28-29, Louisville, Kentucky
October 23-24, Disney Cup, Orlando, FL
November 25, December 1, Grand Nationals, Tulsa, OK

We will only permit travel if they are maintaining As and Bs.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

_____________________

Editor’s Note: Later this week, we’ll be running a “Back To School Tips” for Homeschoolers.


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BMX Worlds: So Much More Than a Race

July 29, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Wyatt and WIlliam Parker in Rotterdam, Holland

As we were arm-chairing the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships last week–monitoring the massive flow of social media coming from friends, and friends of friends, one of the things that was abundantly clear was that BMX Racing sure creates some incredible opportunities for kids (of all ages) who work hard, apply themselves and have the mental toughness to fight through the “I can’t do it” voice in order to achieve the goal of competing on the world stage.

Regardless of how it went on raceday, just being there is an accomplishment, and the experience and memories written by such a trip are life-lasting. Next time someone says BMX racing does not afford its participants the “prime” opportunities that stick and ball sports provide, we hope you’ll take your riding glove off, and give ‘em a smack across both cheeks with it– then show them some of the racers taking in the cultural landmarks of Europe, or photos from a South African safari, or (insert your own experiences here).

BMX News contributor Heather Parker and her merry men (husband, Vann, and sons Wyatt and William) made the trip, and were obviously one of the “channels” we were watching with great interest as they made their way across the Atlantic, and throughout their trip.

Back home in Tallahasse, FL now, Heather filed the following report.

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land*

Eight years old, I’d lie on our sofa and beg my mom to play “Vincent” on our old upright Steinway. She’d play with her natural charisma, singing the lyrics passionately. I’d listen intently, and the words of the artist and his tortured soul would bring me to tears as I pictured a one-eared man painting in a Dutch field of sunflowers.

self-portrait-with-bandaged-ear
Admittedly, I was nearly as excited to visit the Van Gogh museum, as well as the former residence of Rembrandt Van Rijn, in Amsterdam as I was to watch my boys race in Rotterdam. Our train arrived last Sunday in Amsterdam, and I handed Vann a map and placed him in charge of navigation. We walked along admiring the canals and 17th century architecture, and suddenly found ourselves in a narrow alley. I heard William gasp, and it was then I noticed the scantily clad ladies serving as window dressings on either side of us. The prude in me belted out, “Look straight ahead boys!”

This incident was followed by further commentary.

They must really like coffee here. There sure are a lot of coffee shops. Is that man smoking pot? On the street?!?

Amsterdam is a city of teachable moments.

Rembrandt's Studio by Heather Parker
We arrived at Rembrandt’s door. Standing at the entrance of the home of the master of chiaroscuro, I felt my breath catch in my throat. I imagined his ghost there, following us from room to room, wondering if we were amazed. In his studio, staring too long at the empty stool by his easel where an unfinished canvas rested, I was overcome by the feeling that those who create must never really leave us at all…

We said farewell to Rembrandt, lunched al fresco, and began the long walk to the Van Gogh museum. Just as my shoe began cutting a blister in my left foot, we became detained by a massive Islamic protest of Israel. Knowing nothing could get between me and Vincent, my understanding husband hustled the boys and me safely around the melee.

“Give your mom some time in here,” I heard Vann tell the boys as we entered the museum. With each question they asked, I wished for my sister, who could turn my thoughts into words they would understand. When they tired of my less than lame art history lessons, they waited patiently until closing time.

Amsterdam by Heather Parker
Not ten minutes later, we were floating on the canal, watching history drift by us, as Miles Davis hummed softly through the speakers. If the boat had a champagne fountain, I would have stayed forever.

The following days were spent either practicing on the track, or sightseeing, spending valuable time together learning the history of a distant, yet not so distant culture. On one such day we visited the Rotterdam Maritime Museum, which our guidebook billed as a top pick for families. One exhibit was exclusively devoted to a sailor’s activities while on shore, and the medical treatments available for any resulting ailments. The Dutch don’t censor a thing.

Race day brought excitement, pride, and ultimately feelings of disappointment, and finally, realization. The realization being that sometimes, regardless of months of hard work and preparation, no matter how hard you ride, stuff happens beyond our control, and it’s over. That’s life.

Heather, Wyatt and WIlliam Parker in the Dutch Countryside
So instead of attending Friday’s challenge class awards ceremony, we rode bikes together through the Dutch countryside, where the boys collectively announced that it was the best day of the trip.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning we staggered at last through our door. On his way to bed, one son says, “Thank you for taking us mom. I’m sorry I didn’t do good.”

What?!? My boys. You’re so much more than good. You amaze me. Everyday. Thank YOU.

But I could’ve told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you*

*”Vincent” by Don McLean

Great story, Heather! And thanks to both Heather and Vann for the photos.

BMX News will have a race-action re-cap of the Elite classes posted Wednesday morning.





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Hotpoints: Midwest Nationals – Rockford

June 26, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Hotpoints: Rockford, IL

The BMX News crew is packing up and shipping out on another national weekend trip. This time, it’s a simple 82-mile hop to the USA BMX Midwest Nationals in Rockford, IL. Rockford is one of the old favorites on the national schedule, and we are packing our sunscreen and our rain ponchos, as it is all-but-certain both will be pulled from the tripod bag throughout the weekend.

News took the liberty of preparing this “Hotpoints” list of some of the details you’ll want to have at your fingertips for the coming weekend. After you have eaten Dominos in the room enough times, some hometown flavor is definitely appreciated, so we included some of our favorite local chow-down options.

We’ll see you on Safford this Saturday!

Track Address for your GPS:
5100 Safford Rd, Rockford, IL 61101
Phone: (815) 964-8657

Parking at the Track:
$10 per day/ $25 for the weekend
Motorhome: $50 for the weekend

Practice Schedule:
“A” Schedule (Download PDF with times)

Weekend Weather:
http://www.weather.com/weather/today/USIL1013:1

Pre-National Clinics:
Pro Gate has two free gate clinics on Friday (must pre-register)
Register Now

Last-Minute Hotels:
A check on Thursday morning found rooms at Days Inn Rockford ($69/nt), among others. The track is not very convenient to any hotels, and the “State Street” hotel area off I-90/I-39 is probably the best call, given its proximity to other amenities. The Days Inn is a down-market property, but it has a bed, a shower and Internet, so for a last-minute choice, it’ll do.

Getting to Rockford:
Driving up to Rockford, via Chicago, I-90 is perpetually under construction, and 2014 is no exception. If you’re flying into O’Hare you may have a long ride out to Rockford, depending on the time of day.

interstate 90 construction

Use the Google Maps app to monitor traffic. If it is super bad, you can look to IL 72 or US 20 as an alternate. Route 72 eventually intersects with Interstate 39, which you can take North over to the track or hotel. US 20 will take you directly into Rockford (with some twists and turns). These are, by and large, two-lane roads, but at least you’ll be moving.

Same goes for your way out of town. Some friends the past two years reported three hour trip times to O’Hare on Sunday. The best alternate is to take I-39 to I-88 East (Chicago). If you’re going to Indiana, Michigan or points East, you can hit 294 and you’re in the clear. If you’re flying out of Midway this would be a preferred route, and for O’Hare, it’s a little out of the way, but still may be a good alternate to a three-hour stop & go (no-traffic trip time should be about 90 mins at posted speeds).

Illinois Tollway I-90 construction overview

Local Food Recommendations:
We’re all pretty tired of the same-old-same-old national chains on the road. These are some great local choices, we have tried before and are mmmm-mmmm-good!

Chinese: Chen’s Cantonese 4722 N 2nd St, Loves Park, IL 61111 (Tyler Whitfield’s grandparents’ place)

Pizza/Italian: Giuseppi’s – 950 Halsted Rd, Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 877-3029

Sushi/Teppen: Shogun – 293 Executive Pkwy, Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 394-0007

Italian: Lino’s – 5611 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-2077

Raceday Provisions:
If you want a grocery store that has better-than-commercial stuff, check out Choices Natural Market for a full selection of organic produce and good-for-you-goodies. It’s as close as Rockford gets to a Whole Foods type establishment.

Choices Natural Market
6551 E. Riverside Blvd
Rockford, IL 61114
815-282-1861
Hours 9AM-7:30PM Thurs-Fri and 9AM-6PM Saturday

There are also a couple WalMarts in town, if you need the full selection of options (ice, rain ponchos and whatnot).

Near the “State Street” Hotels:
Walmart Supercenter
7219 Walton St
Rockford, IL 61108

Closest to the Track (2.5 miles)
Walmart Supercenter
3902 W Riverside Blvd
Rockford, IL 61101

BMX News “Essentials” (near the “State Street” hotels):

Chipotle
751 S Perryville Rd
Rockford, IL 61108

Starbucks
7474 E State St
Rockford, IL

Have a great weekend at the Midwest Nationals. For those not making the trip, don’t forget to follow @bmxnews on Twitter for as-they-happen updates from the infield and pits. Plus, check back here for story and photos!

For those sticking around in Chicago between Rockford and South Park, watch for our “Chicago Hotpoints” on Monday.

Links

Follow @BMXNEWS on Twitter

Tee-Up Your Takeoff With DK Golf

May 27, 2014 by · Comments Off 

The DK Golf Flight Bag in J&R Product Spotlight

The most stylish-yet-stealthy way to make sure your scoot slides right through the curbside check-in process, the DK “Golf” Flight bag is the choice of frequent flyers from Moscow to Monterrey.

By now, we’re sure you’re hip to the fact that it’s all in how you say it at the check in counter. A “bike” brings dollar signs to the eyes of overpaid airline execs, whereas a golf bag is just part of the executive travel game, and that means clubs fly free, since you’re a member of “the club.”

One day, someone at DK bikes said “you know what…” and from that point on, it was free-flying forevermore.

While embroidered with “DK Golf” right on the bag, there is no engraved guarantee of anything, and if asked directly, we never advocate saying other than the honest-to-Johnny-Appleseed truth…so it’s entirely up to you as to how you ply your trade. But we have found that a quick $10 bill slipped across the counter to the curbside skycap with your ID usually prevents any further questions, and often earns a tip of the hat for the generous tip.

The bag fits all 20″ bikes and most 24″ bikes (some disassembly required). Sized up to Pro size have been tested by DK. The bags are built for the long haul, and feature a retractable handle, skateboard-esque wheels, so you can glide quick, once you’re wheels-down in the next national city.

These go out of stock for months and months at a time, which is why we are re-featuring it now–since J&R just got a big shipment in–but we saw them gliding off the rack at the recent races, so better get in on one if you’re flying this summer.

The price is still the same, at $129.95. Use discount code JRSPOT15 for 15% off your order at checkout.

More Info/Order

DK Golf Bike Flight Bag at J&R BMX Superstore


Product Spotlight is Presented by:

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Closer Look: USA BMX “Stay To Save” Program

December 17, 2013 by · Comments Off 

USA BMX Stay to Save Program

Most of the time, interpretation of the news comes down to how the viewer/reader/listener hears it. It’s like the story of the newly-ordained priest, who asks his monsignor: “May I eat while praying?” (permission denied). He then asks: “Well, then may I pray while eating?” (permission granted).

No difference, of course (or is there?).

This week, USA BMX announced their “Stay To Save” Program. The program is designed to bring more BMXers to official host hotels by offering a $5 per class and cruiser discount on your pre-registration entry fee; when you book into one of the official host hotels for your national weekend stay.

This discount replaces the traditional $5 per entry pre-registration discount (opens did not receive a pre-reg discount, thus will not receive a Stay to Save discount).

So, is there peanut butter in your chocolate, or chocolate in your peanut butter? Some Vintage members asked “did the entry fee just go up $5?, or are we getting a discount?” Well, depends how you travel, and who you ask.

Yes, the $5 pre-registration discount, as we knew it, has been eliminated, so that is an entry fee bump to many. However, the convenience of pre-registration is still available, even without a hotel stay, for those wishing to handle their details before leaving the driveway. These planners will avoid what are now likely to be much longer registration lines on race day (at least at first). If you are going to be paying full-fare at the window anyway, why not get it out of the way beforehand, right?

If you patronize the hotels who choose to work with BMXers, you get a $5 discount per entry (to a max of eight) for that loyalty. The discount is good for up to four racers staying in each room. Here’s how it was explained to us:

Since most hotels have policies in place that include 4 people per room, our procedures for implementing the Stay to Save discount will include up to 4 people staying in a room. So, if someone is racing two bikes Saturday and Sunday, their Stay to Save savings would be $10 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. The same would hold true for, say, a spouse and two children in the same room. So, essentially, 4 riders, two bikes = $80 entry fee savings.

Room rates, of course, vary wildly from town to town, property to property and even day to day (Vegas: $26 one night $114 the next). USA BMX has negotiated as sweetheart-a-deal as possible, but it is highly likely that if you look hard enough, you can find a room deal for less than the host hotel. $80 for the weekend less? Probably not, so Stay and Save is saving you money when you stay with the host hotel.

Quick Check: The “Stay to Save” rate for the Grand Sierra in Reno is currently listed at $62. Checking Priceline’s regular booking site (not “Name Your Own Price”), the rate is $74. So, if you are racing one bike for the two days, you save $34 by booking with the new system (better rate, plus $10 in entry fee savings).

Additionally, the following is one aspect to all this we find very compelling, and may even cause us to stay at the host even if it is a bit higher than our usual stellar rate-sniffing skills can find.

From the “Stay to Save” Online FAQ:

By increasing the amount of room nights actually used for the purpose of attending our events, USA BMX is able to prove to the host cities the positive impact of BMX on their local economy. By doing so, the impact is profound for the sport of BMX, especially for the local tracks, which host national events. The positive economic impact is often the reason why municipalities will invest in creating new tracks or improve an existing track.

Additionally, by increasing the amount of room nights actually used for the purpose of attending our events, USA BMX is able to prove to the host cities our positive impact on their local economy, thus building stronger relationships. By doing so the impact is profound not only for the sport of BMX but especially for the local tracks, which host national events. The positive economic impact is often the reason why municipalities will invest in their existing BMX track, or create a new BMX track

There is a list of “what ifs” as long as Nashville’s first straight to all this (What if the host hotel is sold out, what if I am a camper, what if I require a hotel that features aroma therapy bath gel, etc., etc.). The bottom line is: book the host hotel, or pay the regular entry fee.

A spirited discussion is underway on Vintage, so come join the fun. Meanwhile, see ya at the Grand Sierra on Jan 8!

Links

“Stay to Save” Discussion on VintageBMX.com





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