BMX isn’t okay. And that’s okay.
I’m sitting in my basement, filing some documents after one HELL of a morning. We’re new to this “distance” learning thing. It sucks. Someone remarked not long ago that since my kids miss a lot of school already for BMX, shouldn’t it just be like doing homework? Well it’s not. Not even freaking close. The technology aspect is completely wonky, the kids don’t respect me as Miss Teacherlady, and it certainly isn’t the same methods and manners they’ve been using to learn all year.
Add in one really big gaping hole - BMX. Our local tracks wouldn’t have been open yet, anyway, but they would be close. We would be hanging out at the pumptrack. We would be traveling. A lot. We’ve missed at least two, maybe three races from my kid’s national schedule already in the last 32 days. Our race calendar is filled with red slashes, races unraced, postponements questionable.
We are missing our travel, missing our cross country friends. My oldest especially is missing racing. He’s done countless “workouts” with buddies on FaceTime, and he’s been on his bike in the driveway as much as possible. ‘Even rode out to the trails for a bit. But it’s not the life we know.
We understand that this known life is changing.
And that’s scary. Unfortunately my big kid overheard the husband and I having a conversation about “If racing resumes this year,” and how that might look. I think he understands that all the best laid plans and calendars for the remaining calendar may end up in the trash at the USABMX HQ. It’s no one’s fault and no one to blame for the change of EVERYTHING in the calendar, but it’s so hard for the little ones to understand.
There’s so many racers who have yet to see a track this year. There’s many who have started out on what may be the best season of their careers. Even still there’s a small select few who’s horizons in the sport are closing fast - being left with the decisions of stay or go, as their professional longevity wanes.
A crashing economy means less money. Less money outside of the sport means even less inside the sport. The future will likely hold that only those with the deepest pockets will be able to fully follow the national series in the manner the same as the last decade. Not every team or shop will have the cash flow to support inventory and floorplans for the NET-30 payment plans, let alone keep up with rider support. Hell, the distributors are hurting.
Really, we all are.
No matter where you stand in this crazy slide, you’ve been affected in some manner. John David of USABMX made a great point in the BMX News podcast explaining how past adversities have brought the BMX family closer together. I personally hope this is the case. Reality, though, tells me that while the family may be come tighter knit, it won’t be because we are closer than six feet apart, but because many will simply choose to step away.
Over the last few weeks I’ve done my best to gather thoughts that might inspire and uplift the racing community. It’s been a loss. Frankly, I’m personally feeling grief for the season. I personally can’t figure out how we can go back to national racing, especially, in the year 2020. I’m so glad that I don’t have to make those decisions and am thankful for the people in place that will guide the ridership in the direction that will allow it growth.
As a midwestern kid I’ve frequently driven past plains of burnt prairie grass. I didn’t understand this process until I was in a biology class that best explained it. Strong, native plants have deep roots. Sometimes they are overtaken by invasive vegetation that suffocates the natural habitats of the prairie grasses. When a burn happens, the roots grow from a point deep underground, as over time they have been well vested into the soil - they have the strongest roots, and return with fervor.
BMX racing really isn’t OK right now. Maybe though, with time, the families and the racers with their hearts grounded the tightest will return and maybe even withstand the fire.