From the USA BMX: The American Bicycle Association website:
THE HISTORY OF BMX RACING
While it is arguable whether our sport was born in 1969 or the very early 70’s, the one undeniable thing is that BMX Racing all came together in Southern California. Some of the earliest documentation of kids on modified 20″ Schwinn Stingray bicycles racing around a vacant lot date back to 1972. Unbeknownst to these kids, who were only trying to imitate their motorcycle racing idols, they created a sport of their very own. Chances are, kids all around the country were doing the same thing in dirt lots of their own; converting their Schwinn Stingrays to MX machines. This same scene of youthful energy and American resourcefulness could have possibly been going on in Nebraska, Florida, Texas or New Jersey. But it was a particular California gathering of nameless pioneers who were first recorded on film by Bruce Brown`s cameras for the opening credits of his motorcycle film, ON ANY SUNDAY. In July of 1971, those first 4 minutes and 7 seconds of kids catchin’ air and wheelie’ing forever down the street, would spread the BMX word like a wildfire.
There was no stopping it now. A new sport created by kids for kids was born. At first, they called it Pedal-cross, but eventually they would settle on Bicycle Motocross. BMX, for short.
The kids got this right. BMX is an exciting and fun sport. There are 17 BMX tracks throughout Florida, and the City of Oldsmar just completed building out their track to become a Supercross track and designated as an official ABA USA BMX training site.
Big news? You bet! Enough to have the October 16th, 2015, ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the Mayor of Oldsmar, the entire City of Oldsmar City Council, Pinellas County Commissioners and US Congressman Gus Bilirakis.
Just another ribbon-cutting? Are you kidding? This is BMX! This ribbon-cutting is going to be FUN!! Directly after the ribbon-cutting, the City of Oldsmar Council suited up and participated in the official first race of the track by racing against each other.
This was exactly how the kids created it, exciting and fun! The spectators were treated to a not-often-seen political race on bicycles, and each Council member proudly completed the entire course without falling or walking – not too shabby for having never been on a BMX bike before or taking any practice laps prior to the race.
What can I say? The City of Oldsmar now has an Olympic BMX training facility and the Florida Bicycle Association calls Oldsmar home. To quote the USA BMX website one more time:
USA BMX racing is a sport of youthful achievement and the American family. While the young boy or girl BMX racer develops skills at an individual pace, they are learning about winning, losing and trying again. The racer`s family learns that time spent together in support of the racer and the individual achievements is quality time well spent. It is the duty of the ABA to establish the rules of racing that provide fair competition and fun family entertainment for all of its 70,000 plus members. This is a job that USA BMX: The American Bicycle Association and all of its employees are 100% dedicated.
Kudos to USA BMX and the City of Oldsmar for building and supporting this family sport. I may find myself out there when the track has open practice sessions. After all, who can say no to this kind of FUN?
Editor’s note: Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education for residents and visitors to the Sunshine “Bike-Ped” State. Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these bicycle educational efforts. What’s on your motor vehicle? Get the Share the Road license plate!
Did you know Rejjee is the only nation-wide multi-product registry and crowd sourced Lost & Found that includes discount product replacement offers on bicycles? Rejjee also supports Florida Bicycle Association and FBA supports Rejjee.
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org. Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here.
Not a member of FBA? Really?!?!? What are you waiting for? You belong with us – Join FBA Today!