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Will Mongoose and Beginner Racing League "SAVE" BMX?, How will the Racing League and Mongoose impact BMX
GaryCraig
post Jan 30 2018, 10:19 AM
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I was at the Bluegrass this past weekend and got the chance to talk for an extended period of time from a few folks from Mongoose who were setup there. I have also been talking to Donny and with others about the new Beginner Racing League.

First, the Beginner Racing League: Initially when it was rolled out I was interested as to where it would go. Would it become its own entity totally isolated from USABMX or would it be incorporated into USABMX in some manner. The concept, a set 5 week season, a set schedule. A beginning and end of the season that parents can plan around are all very different to what we all know as BMX Racing, especially at the local level. As I processed it more, it made more and more sense to me that this could work. I love the open "at will" part about local racing but I get it that for lots of parents that is the total opposite of what they are looking for, and its not the 10 year old that is deciding what activities they get involved in, its the parents.
Now that it is partnering with USABMX I am starting to get the feeling it could be the start of the next wave. Perhaps how local racing looks and feels changes a bit with this influence, but like baseball has intro leagues, local little leagues, travel ball....etc I think BMX Racing could greatly benefit from a similar model. Race a 5 week season and be done, maybe race two or even three and be done. Or move on to regular "Open" racing (personally I hope we get a better name as Open means something different for a lot of us). Its up to the rider and the parent. The key here is that there are options. LOTS OF THEM! And the entry to the lowest level is very easy, not intimidating and conducive to easing the rider and parent into this crazy sport.

Now, on to Mongoose and what I really want to discuss: Like lots of you I was sad to see the name go where it went. Like with others before it, it was almost as if it was spoiling memories we had made over the years with that brand. It makes me ill to see Schwinn in a box store being raised at my dad's Schwinn bike shop in Niagara Falls. Same with Mongoose.
I was skeptical about the new line of bikes released late last year as just a box store junker trying to find additional market space. But seeing Al Cayne test and review it, then seeing it in person a couple of times I started to come around. When you factor in the starting price, $229 for expert on down and $249 for Pro and Cruiser, it gets really interesting. This means that for the cost of a DK, MCS, Chase, or few other brand complete, you can get a complete AND a helmet. Everything a new rider needs to start without having to shop for a used bike that may or may not be race ready, or spending about $500 for the same two necessary components needed to get started racing.
Now on to the really exciting part, at least for me as a TO. They will be offering these bikes at wholesale price to all tracks to build up their loaner bike fleet. I dont have actual prices but based on their retail, that is going to be a very attractive price. It will allow tracks to carry the right number of loaners needed to run the Beginner Racing League, and even provide the wiggle room to let tracks sell those loaners at super low prices, replacing with new stock keeping the fleet fresh, and letting new riders get a bike and a helmet for maybe under $250!!! THAT IS A MASSIVE GAME CHANGER in my mind.
And the bike is no slouch. A bike that can be a solid piece for an entire USABMX race season, then a platform for modest upgrades (cranks, wheels, forks) for the second USABMX season. After that its on to mid to top tier completes, lower end customs or even higher end used customs.

Between these two new developments I have more confidence that we are on the cusp of a growth spurt in our sport that will start at the local level and BOOM from there.
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Bumpy
post Jan 30 2018, 12:34 PM
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Beginner Racing League?
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GaryCraig
post Jan 30 2018, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (Bumpy @ Jan 30 2018, 02:34 PM) *
Beginner Racing League?


Yeah, sorry they are rebranding it to BMX Racing League. BMX Racing League
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Bumpy
post Jan 30 2018, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE (GaryCraig @ Jan 30 2018, 01:07 PM) *
Yeah, sorry they are rebranding it to BMX Racing League. BMX Racing League


It goes to one of the issues that I think needs to be well sorted sooner rather than later.

What exactly is it and how does it fit the existing structure? Like mentioned with the progression to "open" racing how is it different? Why is it different/separate?

BMXers can decipher what's gong on and how it all fits together. It might still look a bit confusing to outsiders. Maybe it's just that I haven't experienced the program in person.


I think it's a huge step in the right direction though. No question.
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GaryCraig
post Jan 30 2018, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Bumpy @ Jan 30 2018, 03:33 PM) *
It goes to one of the issues that I think needs to be well sorted sooner rather than later.

What exactly is it and how does it fit the existing structure? Like mentioned with the progression to "open" racing how is it different? Why is it different/separate?

BMXers can decipher what's gong on and how it all fits together. It might still look a bit confusing to outsiders. Maybe it's just that I haven't experienced the program in person.


I think it's a huge step in the right direction though. No question.


Donny Robinson and Mike Carruth built it, its still in its infancy. Lots more to be developed but it creates a space for brand new riders to come to the track, learn how to ride and race on the track without the confusion of a normal local race and without the overwhelming flood of expert riders in full kits on $2000 carbon fiber bikes. Really to me looks a lot like BMX in its early days.
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 30 2018, 04:50 PM
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Gary I will not lie, I am hoping USABMX does the right thing with this and does not mess it up.
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MFbmxdad
post Jan 30 2018, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE (GaryCraig @ Jan 30 2018, 01:07 PM) *
Yeah, sorry they are rebranding it to BMX Racing League. BMX Racing League


To me, changing the name from Beginner to BMX Racing League is step one in the wrong direction.

Hopefully, Mike can comment on this as I don't see this as a good deal.
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ANT DOG 3:16
post Jan 30 2018, 05:46 PM
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That was my first concern the re brand, leave it alone IMO
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bnd
post Jan 30 2018, 06:15 PM
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Guys, don't get me wrong and I'm not being flip, does bmx racing numbers suck that bad outside of my State? BMX needs to be saved?

I love that this is happening but I view 2 other things that happens with low numbers, narley tracks & lack of good, solid volunteers.

b.
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Bumpy
post Jan 30 2018, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE (bnd @ Jan 30 2018, 07:15 PM) *
BMX needs to be saved?


It doesn't need to be saved in the sense that it's death is imminent. Plenty of areas for improvement though.

I'd agree that one area is how new riders are introduced to the sport, which it sounds like the BMX Racing League has hit on something good. It needs to be integrated into USA BMX carefully though. Right now the idea of a parallel league and two paths for entry to the sport seems odd.

This post has been edited by Bumpy: Jan 30 2018, 07:36 PM
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