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New Riders Day at Miami South BMX attracted both first-timers and experienced pros.
“It’s the feeling you get when you clear a jump or win a race,” said Dylan Loy, 18. “It’s the thrill, it’s very rewarding.”
His dad, a longtime BMX track employee, described why his two kids love racing: “It’s the thrill of it,” he said. “It’s an individual-sport thing. Basically they’re on their own; they control their own destiny.”
The June 17 reacing event at Miami South BMX, 13050 SW 216th St., mainly targeted young children, to get them interested early in racing.
Miami South BMX has been around about 30 years, according to President Rudy Pineda.
“It all began down in Boystown with the first track they had,” he said. Eventually, Boystown track in South Dade closed and Miami South BMX (then known as Pine Ridge BMX) moved to Homestead, then it’s current location in the late 1980s.
As a USA BMX track, it holds races for riders from all over the world.
First-time riders aren’t charged. “Obviously, it’s an incentive for them to come out and try out the track,” Pineda said.
If riders join the track, their one-year memberships allow them to practice at any BMX track across the country and participate in races, as well. Racers accumulate points, which earn them membership rewards.
The Miami South BMX track also offers a summer camp program that trains younsters for BMX riding, including those just getting into the sport.
New Riders Day was an incentive for children who are interested to try out BMX for the first time.
“It’s an individual sport and it teaches you how to win and lose,” said Ralphie Reuter, 13, whose mother, Katie, works at Miami South BMX as a volunteer and board member. “And I like to go fast.”
Being a BMX rider isn’t easy.
“The biggest challenge would be just looking at the track itself and thinking ‘How am I going to get up these hills?’ [and] ‘How fast am I going to go?,’” said Dylan Loy’s dad, Brian.
Ralphie said he used to get nervous racing, “but now not as much.”
The first New Riders Day was held last November and Miami South BMX plans to hold additional newcomer events.
Last week, several BMX veterans also participated.
“They got a pretty good count … It’s good for the sport getting some new kids out here,” said Thomas Cane, a pro BMX racer who visits Miami South BMX regularly. “And hopefully they sign up and stay out here.”
Said Pineda: “I would say give it a chance, give it a try. It doesn’t hurt you to come out here. You’ll notice everyone is very helpful, the kids are very helpful, it’s a very laid-back and different atmosphere than the regular sports you’re used to. And, honestly, it’s something for everyone.”