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Your Most Radical "Shakeup" Idea
MikeCarruth
post Jan 14 2019, 04:19 PM
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BMX Racing is nothing if not committed to its long-standing traditions.

Some of the golden oldies include:

- Awards at every race
- All proficiencies race nationals
- National points earned at nationals
- Local track operators taking a vow of poverty
- National riders not racing locals.

You get the drift.

So, my challenge is: Give the group here one (or more) "Radical" ideas that would shake up the status quo (without dropping the whole sport like a house of cards).

In other words, you can't just say "Age Class only at Nationals." Because that would tank entry fees by 2/3 and result in your patient dying on the table inside of 18 months. If that's your chosen problem, what is the workable solution that makes things come out equal or better?


Anxious to hear everyone's ideas.


Best,

M
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BS
post Jan 14 2019, 05:15 PM
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Striders ("balance bikes") for all ages.
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MikeCarruth
post Jan 14 2019, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (BS @ Jan 14 2019, 05:15 PM) *
Striders ("balance bikes") for all ages.



Could actually be kind of a fun way to get parents out there.

(Y)
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 14 2019, 08:36 PM
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Call out races.. I did it at a local and it was a blast
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 15 2019, 07:20 AM
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Stirders- hmm I challenge Mike to a adult strider race at south park LOL
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FaithBMX
post Jan 15 2019, 10:32 AM
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Every current rider, parent, or former racer that is still involved get one new member signed up.
Membership doubled instantly.
Not so radical.

I really can't think of anything radical.
I don't know anything that would encourage kids to race BMX versus play video games or other sports.
I mean, I know what makes BMX rad, but I don't know how to express that to the millions of kids in the USA.
When BMX was at its height I believe that it was just a cool thing to do and many members did it for a short time because it was a cool thing to do. That, and because it was a cool thing to do, many kids bought the BMX race bikes without ever getting a membership and racing.
For the life of me I don't know how that happened.
On Any Sunday?
CHiPS?
Word of mouth?
Newsstand magazines?
All of the above?

I had a Sears Free Spirit 20"; fairly BMX looking; mild steel frame/forks/bars.
I had no idea that BMX racing existed.
Two kids on my block had tricked out Mongooses.
They were just cool bikes and everybody wanted one.
We were jumping curbs.
A local shop had 20 or so Mongooses (Mongoose, Supergoose, Minigoose, etc) and some components.
I started buying replacement parts as I got money; some Oakley I grips, Excaliber seat clamp, Messenger seat, etc.
Then in September of 1980 I saw BMX Action magazine in the Safeway grocery store.
My mind was blown!!
I saw a Kuwahara in the magazine and then my mom spotted the same bike in a local bike shop.
Another local shop had a flyer for the local track.
The rest is history.

My point is that BMX bikes were cool.
That's got to be step number one.
Then you have to have access to bikes (much easier with the internet these days).
Then you have to know that BMX racing exists.
Then you have to know where a local track is.

It's like fire; you have to have three elements to have a fire; heat, fuel, oxygen.
Without any one of those elements you won't have fire.

Unfortunately, other than access to bike/parts sales on the internet we (BMX racing as a whole) is failing miserably.
I would also say that nobody is attacking all of these elements collectively.
Even if somebody puts a lot of time and money into one of the elements you need all of them to make fire.
I would say the most effective step is the first step. Making BMX racing cool would drive the train for the other elements.
I was liking what Mike C. was saying about figuring out how to get BMX racing inserted into movies, commercials, TV, etc.

Making BMX cool would result in increased bike sales that could help even if they didn't become racing members.
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BS
post Jan 15 2019, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE (FaithBMX @ Jan 15 2019, 08:32 AM) *
Then in September of 1980 I saw BMX Action magazine in the Safeway grocery store.
My mind was blown!!

My story is similar.

BMX was a neighborhood thing for me. Started with Stingrays, progressed to Webco, Schwinn Scrambler, etc. It was bike tag in the streets and riding around to places we wanted to go.

Then I saw a BMX Action at the local bike shop and realized this was a real thing that was going on state and nationwide. A friend went racing and came back and told me about it and then we were hooked. Built jumps down by the creek behind the school and then building jumps became a lifetime pursuit as well.

Last weekend I actually went and rode some jumps down by the river that have been neglected in recent years. There was a small pack of kids there on a mix of department store bikes and Taiwanese completes from the LBS and/or mailorder. One of the older kids asked me if I "raced bitd". He was able to recognize it by the way I rode, I guess. That and probably my "giant" chainring (44t). I didn't give much thought to how to get those kids to the track with membership and entry fee paid. There's a track that's open to the public 7 days a week in a park in the town just north of this town I was in. You'd think it'd be pretty easy. I rode out and a bunch of these kids were being picked up by their Grandad in a minivan. I'm guessing I'll see them again if I keep going down there to ride and maybe dig.

I think one element of your post though is that it's really tough for guys like you and I to "make anything cool" to this younger generation. I'm honestly pretty baffled by what kids find "cool" these days. Everything seems to exist inside our smart phones now and if it's not in there it doesn't exist. It's definitely not going to be a glossy mag on the shelf at a bike shop or a Safeway. It's probably not going to be Chips or On Any Sunday. Our more recent resurgences have been the result of old guys that used to ride taking their kids out to the track. I don't see the twenty and thirty-somethings that "used to race" being as dedicated as we were (the Rad! generation?) I'm not sure what the answer is but I do think that pump tracks in parks is a good move. I think the Beginner League is a good idea. I think the fact that our track is in a public park and open to the public is probably a good thing. I guess what it really takes is some kids that are into it sharing it with their friends. If some of them seem "cool" other kids will pick it up. Maybe...

Something else that came to mind: An instagram and/or Youtube push. These media are probably the magazine in the rack and Chips episode of our era.
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 15 2019, 06:24 PM
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I was exposed to BMX via Drag racing. Raceway park(RIP) in old bridge NJ had a bmx track. One night while going to the races I saw these guys on the hill. and said WOW, but my dad was kidna selfish and always wanted to go fishing. I purchased my first BMX mag years later, and was hooked. But rather than race I started riding flatland. Finally was gonna race and bam my bike got jacked so I stuck to flat land(but I followed the sport religiously and we rode our own "tracks"

Fast forward to 2004 and I am here with you now

As for radical ideas

I wear my BMX race jersey to to work and out and about (never know who will walk in or who you will meet)


My car has a BMX ACTION window sticker ( attracts attention)

I have gone to car shows with my bike and a BMX t shirt,

I basically am prepared to talk BMX to anyone at anytime

I also beleive if you can get 2 new racers out of 5 people you are doing something right


I also have a kid who I introduced to the track, who now looks up to me. (Yes this is true (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) ) His nick name is KDawg (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) he is now a 6 inter . I hope that the impression I made on him sticks in his mind and he repeats the process


I am also grateful to be a part of the staff after all these years. WE can make a difference
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K Robison
post Jan 16 2019, 05:47 AM
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Instead of trophies at every local for novice/intermediate, present them with a plaque for first win. Something like "Road to Intermediate". Then each win after they get a plate to add to plaque. When plaque is full, they know they move up. Makes moving up look and feel more like an achievement than a punishment.

Ken
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 16 2019, 07:42 AM
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QUOTE (K Robison @ Jan 16 2019, 11:47 AM) *
Instead of trophies at every local for novice/intermediate, present them with a plaque for first win. Something like "Road to Intermediate". Then each win after they get a plate to add to plaque. When plaque is full, they know they move up. Makes moving up look and feel more like an achievement than a punishment.

Ken


This is a rad idea -Road to intermediate-

I actually have a concept drawing in my head right now but stuck at work
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