Every year we look forward to the USA BMX Winternationals. Some years it's pouring rain and a mud bog, other years it is a Zillion degrees and you feel like you are on the surface of the sun. But every year for some reason we get excited to go and have an absolute blast. It never seems to be a bad time at the Winter's. We may be zip tying our tires for mud traction, or dousing each other with water to stay cool, but it always works out. This year is no different, there was a buzz in the air as we were getting ready to head out to Black Mountain.
Leading up to Black Mountain we had Jerry at Fast Signs give the little Black Beast Trailer a facelift to match the new 2016 FLY Racing Gear, and the team was pretty happy with the way it came out.
Hard to believe we have over 100,000 BMX Miles on this little trailer since we got it. Everyone in the pits was joking about the 2006 ABA BMX Practice Schedule and all the race stickers on the inside closet door. This little trailer has been home away from home for many of our riders for over a dozen years.
The scary part of hauling the small Team Trailer is that when we have a full house, it gets a bit tight in the pits, but that's OK as it keeps things fun. And for Phoenix we had almost the full crew on hand.
( Now while we are talking about a full crew, Ken was supposed to head down this weekend, and ended up having a stroke on Thursday and ended up in the ICU. So while everyone was excited to be here, there was the constant worry about their team mate and everyone dedicated this weekend to Ken. We kept getting updates from Ken's fiance' Suzanne all weekend and we even got her on speaker phone at Dinner on Saturday night so everyone could give Ken well wishes as he was starting to respond.)
The Mitchell's had flown in from Hawaii and were hanging out with Justin Seitz and roadtripped out to Phoenix together, Bella had her mom drive her out from Apple Valley with her new ENVY BLK Expert, Gavin made the long trip from Oregon, Riley had it easy and only had to drive across town, Pocket Puckett had a long drive, but now that he has his license, he is enjoying the road trips a bit more getting behind the wheel. Anna convinced her Dad to fly in to make the trip a bit easier on her legs, and it looks like it worked with how well she did this weekend, Corey drove in from Cali as did Mikey B ( or as he is now known, that new Foreign guy ) Rachel is another local one along with Shannon and Kim, they along with House had the short drive for the weekend, while Kalvin drove down with his fiance and their two dogs, Zeus and Yoda, and last but not least, Swifty drove down for his debut in the Factory Supercross gear for the weekend. So as we were saying it was going to be a full house in the pits for the Winters!
So this was a new schedule for the USA BMX as it was the first 3 day National in Phoenix. Friday and Saturday were UCI Pro Days with UCI Worlds Qualifications on Friday as well as regular classes. And even though it was a Pro race, there was no A Pro, it was Pro Open, so Kalvin who missed Friday for Work and School still had both days of A Pro Racing and Rachel only raced Friday and Saturday and got to hang out and be team cheerleader on Sunday. There was so much good racing going on and Rachel was killing her moto's in Elite Women. Unfortunately she got caught up in the outside in her Semi and had to Battle with Saturday's Elite Women Winner Amanda Carr on Friday and neither of them made the main. But just because Rachel wasn't in the main doesn't mean she didn't turn heads and cause a few people to recognize she is a threat to the Elite Womens Class. Next weekend will be her first attempt at a UCI BMX Supercross Track in Oldsmar, and I can guarantee that the rest of the Elites will be keeping an eye on her.
In Pro Open, Mikey B, or now known as that new Foreign Guy, Mike Swearingen, made his long awaited appearance back to BMX, it was 5 years ago at Black Mountain where Mikey hung up his AA Pro racing career and finally decided it was time to return to what he loves, BMX. So he swung by the shop on his way out, built up a new ENVY BLK and we had to have a mad rush jersey made up for him and he went out and jumped back in the mix. Not only did Mikey jump in he made the main and took a 6th in his return to BMX.
On the Amateur front, we had a few riders racing the UCI Challenge Classes to qualify for the UCI Worlds, Bella and Anna both won their Challenge Classes, after the girls were done it was time for the Mini Ninja's to jump on the track, and all 3 of them qualified taking 2nd and 3rd in 13 Challenge Boys, and Tristan took a second in 14 boys Challenge. And Ryan wasn't feeling well but wanted to qualify and made the 17-24 Challenge main.