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mannequinforce
First off this is a praise thread. I love watching all Pro's. So let's just get that straight! This is going to be long winded. I apologize in advance!

I saw Mike C mention on twitter some props on Rusty Dial making semi's in his first Vet race. It got me thinking...

I think that Vet Pro is awesome to watch and I think it is great for all audiences.

Older Dudes: I know when I get older my goal will be to be a Vet Pro for at least a year. I can see that it would be rad to see dudes your age ripping it up and really put on a great show. Plus they are recognized for "Pro" status. They are some of the guys that are middle aged and still shredding. It's like if they didn't have a chance to be pro when they were younger or they recently found a love for racing they have an avenue! This isn't like the other sports where age plays a factor. These guys are getting faster every year and they are pushing their bodies harder to go faster at a time when you would think that they would be slowing down or maybe even on the other side of their physical peak. This class gets faster every year and the riding is progressing so much! It is great to see Father's racing as professionals and showing their kids great values like hardwork, determination and also HAVING FUN! These guys are serious but they seem to know that riding a bmx bike no matter what age we all want to go fast and have fun. But they get to race the best of the best in THEIR OWN age bracket. Not have to be a pro and race against hungry, nothing to lose 20 something year olds. I know that I want to be Vet one day just so I can say I put everything in against some of the fastest 30+ yr olds out there!

And that goes for saying a lot for the fast expert older age classes out there as well. They rip!

Teen to 20 somethings: It's rad to see them fast and shredding. I love watching them and knowing that even as I can not compete in the A Pro, AA pro ranks that if you still have a love for going fast and rubbing elbows that you will always have a class to race and still be a Pro. In all sports you hit your prime from 28-30ish. So after that it's all downhill. Not so in BMX, they have Pro practice and get to race in front of everybody. I think that is just the raddest thing. Because I know plenty of my friends who will be fast there whole lives and they might someday be one of those fast guys still riding their bike and loving it in Vet Pro.

Kids: Those pro's are some kids fathers. Who wouldn't love to see your dad still being a pro and telling your friends about it. I know that would be the coolest feeling to have that. I hope one day my child can see me and know that I race bicycles and I want to compete for the love and because you should always chase dreams and work as hard as possible to reach your dreams. I don't know I feel like it would have left a lasting impression on me as a child!

Wives: They probably hate it. LOL.

Disclaimer: I still have the utmost respect for the Older Age group experts 28 & over crowd. I think seeing them rubbing elbows and having fun at the end of the day is great. Seeing Gorgeous winning the cruiser crown was awesome and also hearing about how they wanted a 41 & over expert class and seeing it flourish and guys getting super stoked on having full racks of experts is awesome. It's also a great way to stay in shape and something to brag about with your friends.

But you know what I have the most respect for? Anybody who rides a bike and loves it. Kids, Moms, Daughters, etc. I think that BMX is the ultimate sport and it is great to see families proud of their racer whether it be young or old. We can all be proud of something that we can all hang out and have fun on our bikes with friends and family.

SHOOT! That was too much typing.

Cliff Notes: BMX is awesome.
joker75
QUOTE (mannequinforce @ Jan 15 2011, 11:26 PM) *
Cliff Notes: BMX is awesome.

Agreed 100%
I only started racing because I had 2 kids that love racing, and I figured that joining them would help me stay in shape and have a little fun too. In the last 2 years I have had more injuries, and spent more time in the hospital than I had in the previous 34 years of my life. Too many people around me think I'm totally insane for getting back on my bike after the injuries that I've sustained. I can't even try to explain it, but I just have so much fun racing against friends at the track. I enjoy pushing myself to get better and faster. I've only won 4 races since I started racing, but I am looking forward to getting a few more so I can race against those that moved out of the Novice class before me.

Also as a father, I couldn't be more proud of my kids as I watch them get faster and push themselves to get better at racing. They have both done very well, and continue to love racing just as much as I do. I doubt I'll ever be able to dedicate enough time to racing to be able to race Vet Pro. I'll be lucky to get past Intermediate. My son on the other hand is excelling in his class and seems to get faster every race. He has told me that he wants to race Pro some day, and if he continues to put in the effort that he has, I wouldn't be surprised to see him do it. Hopefully he continues to love racing and pursue his goals.

Thanks for this thread Mannequin. It made me think alot about how much I enjoy racing and how much my kids and friends also enjoy racing.
ANT DOG 3:16
Post of the month.
Mike Fields
+1
tommy2x4
i was never a AA. i wanted to be one, don't get me wrong, but i came from a background where i was told that route lead to nowhere and that i better do something with my life. i enlisted in the navy and did two separate 4 year tours 90'-94' and 97'-01'.... in those last 3-4 years of riding/racing i realized that i could still get faster... after a broken arm i had a breakout race in NOVA that helped build my confidence to race against "main eventers" at that time, Roybal, Gomez, Gagnon, etc.

i started actually training, i.e. gym time in 2002 and incorporated sprints in 2010...that's right..i didn't do sprint training until last year..lol...well...except for wed. nights at the track...

i turn 40 in just a few weeks. i'm no physical specimen that would separate me from the next guy, nothing worse than having lane 7 sandwiched between Scott M. and Tome O.! i don't have GOD given talent like Bennett, Day, or Maris... it's takes 150% of my effort to other guys 90%...ever since i was a little boy, i wanted to be a pro bmx racer and as i've aged and learned about the "bigger picture" i've learned it's not about the number on your plate, but about the character you show. i seriously was about to reclass just last week, but i finally found a team that believes in me and is willing to put forth the effort to allow me to live my dream as a real pro. i've begged companies for the last 4 years to just give me a chance...it's easy to back reclassing AA pro's, because they carry that AA speed over to vet and will most likely make mains, etc., but as a "never was" AA, i have had to get faster and faster each year just to be competitive in motos and i can't thank SBC North East for that opportunity! bestides, with Matt and Javi along with Rusty coming into the class, why leave now when it just keeps getting deeper and deeper...it's about facing the challenge and not running away for me...

now that i'm a father of two daughters, i want to set the example that if you work hard, dedicate yourself to living a healthy life, you can do whatever it is you want. could i have stayed in the am ranks and had good competition...of course...there are guys in there just as capable of running vet pro too!

*CLIFF NOTE: BMX is AWESOME! you get out what you put in it!
MdubSTYLIE
Thanks for the vet pro love mann! I have always enjoyed your post but this one takes the cake. Respect! When I joined the class I kinda had the feeling that we would be treated kinda sub-par to the a's aa's and women pros. But thats not the case at all, the fans have really taking an interest in our class. And that makes it even more of a pleasure racing in this class.
Rich Coles
QUOTE
as i've aged and learned about the "bigger picture" i've learned it's not about the number on your plate, but about the character you show.


2 posts of the month within just a few hours! Great thread.

RC
protour77
Great post Larry!!!!

The vet pro class is great to watch and I have a ton of respect for those guys. It takes a lot of dedication to be competitive at that level and everyone I have met that runs in that class is a class act.

2 thumbs up to you guys! good2.gif

And Tommy, Thanks for not reclassing. LOL, we got enough way fast dudes in ex!!!
mxmug
What's the fascination with vet pro?

It's an opportunity to continue to watch a rider who has become a hero or even an icon of the sport compete instead of watching them disappear off into the sunset. It's like the golf senior tour. It will have an excellent long term effect on the sport of BMX.

Mx Mug
Kamikaze kid
Vet Pro became my fav class watch after we started going to Nationals cause I enjoyed names like Purse, Holmes, Rupe, Romero BITD.... More specifically, I was drawn to our local Vet, Bob "OG" O'Gorman. Bob trained his tuckuss off & was competitive wherever he went. Seeing how hard & smart OG trained I couldn't help but have an interest in how he did. In the process it opened my eyes to the great racing in this group comprised of legends in our sport from both the Pro & Am side.

I've loved the evolution of this class in the past 5 years. If I could change one thing; it would be that we hypnotize OG in his sleep & get him to hang the roadie up in rafters & bring down the Redline......
MeredithJL
QUOTE (MdubSTYLIE @ Jan 16 2011, 08:58 AM) *
Thanks for the vet pro love mann! I have always enjoyed your post but this one takes the cake. Respect! When I joined the class I kinda had the feeling that we would be treated kinda sub-par to the a's aa's and women pros. But thats not the case at all, the fans have really taking an interest in our class. And that makes it even more of a pleasure racing in this class.


I like watching Vet Pro more than the other pro classes - not taking anything away from the younger pro's, but for me it's a gas to see guys closer to my age out there still tearing it up and going for broke. To be putting yourself (at an older age, and probably already working fulltime and raising a family, etc) through the rigors of training for racing at that level is something to be admired.

Michelle Cairns and I were talking yesterday about how cool it would be if someday there were a women's vet pro class, but the numbers just aren't there right now, I guess. Maybe in another twenty years biggrin.gif
ANT DOG 3:16
QUOTE
Michelle Cairns and I were talking yesterday
about how cool it would be if someday there were a women's vet pro
class, but the numbers just aren't there right now, I guess. Maybe in
another twenty years


You disappoint me, make it happen. biggrin.gif
Chris C.
QUOTE (tommy2x4 @ Jan 16 2011, 08:48 AM) *
i was never a AA. i wanted to be one, don't get me wrong, but i came from a background where i was told that route lead to nowhere and that i better do something with my life. i enlisted in the navy and did two separate 4 year tours 90'-94' and 97'-01'.... in those last 3-4 years of riding/racing i realized that i could still get faster... after a broken arm i had a breakout race in NOVA that helped build my confidence to race against "main eventers" at that time, Roybal, Gomez, Gagnon, etc.

i started actually training, i.e. gym time in 2002 and incorporated sprints in 2010...that's right..i didn't do sprint training until last year..lol...well...except for wed. nights at the track...

i turn 40 in just a few weeks. i'm no physical specimen that would separate me from the next guy, nothing worse than having lane 7 sandwiched between Scott M. and Tome O.! i don't have GOD given talent like Bennett, Day, or Maris... it's takes 150% of my effort to other guys 90%...ever since i was a little boy, i wanted to be a pro bmx racer and as i've aged and learned about the "bigger picture" i've learned it's not about the number on your plate, but about the character you show. i seriously was about to reclass just last week, but i finally found a team that believes in me and is willing to put forth the effort to allow me to live my dream as a real pro. i've begged companies for the last 4 years to just give me a chance...it's easy to back reclassing AA pro's, because they carry that AA speed over to vet and will most likely make mains, etc., but as a "never was" AA, i have had to get faster and faster each year just to be competitive in motos and i can't thank SBC North East for that opportunity! bestides, with Matt and Javi along with Rusty coming into the class, why leave now when it just keeps getting deeper and deeper...it's about facing the challenge and not running away for me...

now that i'm a father of two daughters, i want to set the example that if you work hard, dedicate yourself to living a healthy life, you can do whatever it is you want. could i have stayed in the am ranks and had good competition...of course...there are guys in there just as capable of running vet pro too!

*CLIFF NOTE: BMX is AWESOME! you get out what you put in it!


Major thumbs up and best of luck this season.
ANT DOG 3:16
QUOTE
as i've aged and learned about the "bigger picture" i've learned it's not about the number on your plate, but about the character you show.


Up until I read this I was saying to myself, I have to get top 25 this season becasue only they get a national number, but after reading this, I am now re focusuing, I still want it, but I am not going to be mad if I don't.
mannequinforce
Thanks for the Props guys. It was on my mind all night and I really just needed to get it out. I am glad I conveyed my message in a somewhat cohesive message!
Jeremy K.
Great thread Larry!

I love watching ALL pro's race. But, as a 46yr old I tend to be fascinated with the Vet Pro class. Anyone over 30 yrs old out there pushing it automatically has my respect from novice to vet pro.
protour77
QUOTE (mannequinforce @ Jan 16 2011, 02:16 PM) *
I am glad I conveyed my message in a somewhat cohesive message!


Good beer last night?? I know you have good taste in your beers. tongue.gif
chokeRACE69
the fascination with vet pro? since this style of race has only been around since '69 the vet pros are the only group of riders who have the potential to pave the way and see how far BMX racing can be taken.
dreamerproject
When I started debating coming back to BMX and saw there was a Vet Pro class, I was excited. I exactly ONE national as a pro before quitting. I thought "hey, this is a chance to do what I didnt get to fully realize".....until I ACTUALLY started riding again and realized I wouldnt have a snowball's chance in hell in Vet.

That said, I think the analogy to golf is an accurate one. Heck, there are enough Vets now to have Vet and Senior Vet....but some dont like the idea. That's ok though. Looking at Saturday's podium in Reno....I could be wrong!

And yea..a Womens Vet Pro class needs to happen too. Is there enough interest? I would think so.

And yea...BMX is awesome.
MaddenBMX


Ya know for a long time I bantered on here touting the coming need for a Sr Vet class for guys in their 40's. The predominate opinions were basically 'take your lumps against 30 yr olds or reclass and shut up'. I've got no problem with the reclassing to 41 ex due to a) life responsibilities cool.gif staying closer to home and racing close by nationals c) age and ability d) the reality that there are a lot of former pros in the same boat and still want to be competitive and have fun.

But..............
I will also say that if there was a Sr Vet class, I'd re-class back up in a heart beat, whether I was in shape for it or not. Mainly because I do understand the 'Once Pro, always a pro' thing that some guys like to use as a reason to say its unfair that guys re-class like me, TP, Nilson, Goodall, Lehman, Ciancio, Bitinaitus, etc. (pros that are 40+ and realistically cannot compete with AA's in their 30's coming into the current Vet class). I give huge props to anyone approaching or in their 40's still trying to duke it out in Vet. Physically, its almost impossible to be legitimately competitive with someone just coming off their own peak years (28-32) racing in Vet, when all the training in the world cannot reverse 15 years of age. Their has been one or two guys that pushed the envelope into their mid forties. But now currently, the 'phenom of phenoms'- Eric Rupe, is facing this reality. With AA's coming in like Pohlkamp, Columbo and other recent ones like Holmes, Romero and Fallen, then the usuals like Street, Dinger, Murray, Owens, Tuttle and more than a few others in their low 30's........how realistic is it for someone as accomplished as Rupe or Domingos Lammoglia gonna be legitimately competitive anymore?

Please know that I am not taking anything away from guys like Rupe, Tennette, T Board, Lammoglia or Carnes (who is now in his upper 30's). All of these guys have my un-ending respect, but seriously......how many guys will it take to re-class before the idea of a Sr Vet class becomes do-able?
This is the same thing I had to grapple with. So did TP, so did Roebuck, so did anyone 40 + who used to race A pro or Vet. Legends like Leary, Hill, Loncarevich all had to re-class just to still have fun racing in a competitive, realistic class. How hard would it be to do a Sr Vet class? Would it to have the interest one day that Vet has? I still remember the haters that said the same thing before Vet Pro was done. Were they wrong then? Could they be wrong now?


Either way, I will race where I belong. As I see it right now, with my life circumstances, 41ex is my Sr Vet class. I get to race the guys I can be competitive with. TP, Goodall, Loncarevich, Nilson, Porter, Ciancio, Bitinaitus, Lehamn, Houston, Wahl, Harper, Dein, Pringle, and anyone else I did not mention that races in the 41+ classes.


I wonder how many of these guys would do a Sr Vet if offered?


-Madden
Deanna
Half the time we can barely pull a total point race. I would love to see a women's vet class but the women end up being care givers to the children while the men still get to go out and play.

There was no way in hell I could have pursued a Vet Pro Title when my son was young. We are the caregivers and I think that's why the numbers will never be there.

chokeRACE69
CoachG
And props for guys like Purse and Holmes who have won numerous of titles putting their own legacy on the line here to entertain. Without them we wouldn't have so many guys trying to step up in their wheel house trying to hit their fast ball.
MaddenBMX


+1

You guys all raised the bar so high in Vet the last few years, it will be hard to raise it at the same increase. Course, that may be proven wrong in a few years, huh?
chokeRACE69
i was gonna put up the FASCINATION STREET video by THE CURE... then i thought about the BOYS DONT CRY video.. you know, the one where the real band was behind the curtain and in the shadows while the kids were frontin up on the stage?...

but this cover by A Fire Inside seemed more appropriate considering the future. not to mention my personal fascination is in the dirt, where grass roots take seed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWuOzzgYZlg...feature=related
murrdog
As a kid I wanted to just earn a state number plate and never got the chance to. Nationals never happened and i don't recall there being states races back then, ABA. Never had the money to travel and race to chase such a dream. Raced at our local track for a couple of years until it closed. I lived at that track.

I tried to get back into sport after high school but again not having any local tracks killed the dream. It just cost to much to try and live on my own and travel to bmx races.

I was lucky enough to have found bmx two years back when my daughter said she wanted to try it. This all came about because we moved from Cleveland Ohio to Florida and we just happen to CapeCoral FL and right down the street from the BMX track.

At the age of 42 I started racing BMX again abd caught the bug!!! My focus has been to catch the guys I was racing in cruiser and now expert. I had a great weekend at the Miami FL state qualifier winning both the 20 inch and cruiser on Saturday with almost perfects on both bikes. I lost one moto on Saturday. On Sunday I only raced the 20 inch. I was leading the main shooting for another perfect until I made a mistake and came unclipped.

This weekend meant more to me than winning the 41 novice title last year. Most of us have dreams and I am one of the lucky ones to get a second chance at earning a number plate in BMX all while pushing myself to do so. There have always been that dream from being a kid where I wanted to become a pro. I had two people joking of course, ask me after this past weekends performance when I was going to race vet pro. They now and I know that I do not have the track skills to do so but it was flattering to hear.

I'm with Bill Madden, if I can keep training and improving my skills and there was a 40 plus SR vet pro class I would love to give it a shot. Even if I didn't make the mains, I would do it. It would make me train harder. Just to chase that child hood dream.

For now I will continue to finish my schooling and try to race/train when I can and give both my all.
Gary Mason WWR
Had the honor of racing the vets for a few years along with pro-cruiser class and enjoyed the hell out of it. I like many quit bmx too early and never raced pro as a kid .So becoming vet was a desire that had to happen. It suprises me more older guys didnt step up when Tommy,Scott and a few others moved up.The need for the Sr.Vet is approaching and Im sure the sanctions will make it happen soon. If you can stay on the same straight as those guys, jump in because it will only make you faster and your confidence level will dramatically increase. The best thing for the sport is to keep all the racers coming back . Nobody wants to give up their passion until they are physically incapable of performing at a fun level. Congrats to all you fans of the vet class if you all hadnt shown interest you have ,who knows if the vets would still be at it. Word of advise for anyone stepping into pro ranks "wear goggles cause your gonna get roosted on"

Gary Mason 43x
alan726
I have a dream......
mannequinforce
What's the dream?
Jason F.
Dont we all want to be the old weathered warrior who has the battle scars to prove he was there and the smarts to not have been killed too early?

In the movies do we not cheer for the old nearly retired law man who finally snuffs out the bad guy who he has always just missed?

Do we all not hope in the nature shows that the old Lion can fend off the young one challenging his pride?

In Kung fu panda...dont you WANT to be the turtle?? I mean really...the turtle rocks...

Do we not THINK we are all or could someday be "the most intersting man in the world" ?



THAT is in essence what it means to be vet-pro..or want to cheer them on!
green hornet
QUOTE
now that i'm a father of two daughters, i want to set the example that if you work hard, dedicate yourself to living a healthy life, you can do whatever it is you want


Well said Tommy.

To me there is not a pro class I would like to watch other than Vet. Not to downgrade the other pros, it's just that the age realation is closer to me. I always enjoyed watching Tommy, Moreland, Dinger, Opincar ride and share a few gates with them. I used to get alittle star-struck when hitting gates with this set, but the best part is I just never felt that their was a seperation from the other"old guy" ranks. Did they know they were a ton faster than alot of us? YEP, but hey would always share a word with you at any time. With Board making his home at Derby City, I felt that was one of the best things that this track could have. We need more Vets! One at every track!!
captincaveman
QUOTE (chokeRACE69 @ Jan 16 2011, 08:26 PM) *



i didn't know batman was a BMX fan!
mannequinforce
I wish there was still BMX cartoons.
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