Riders of all ages expected for Nanaimo BMX opening weekend

By Dan Marshall
April 6, 2018 - 10:06am

Registration for the first Nanaimo BMX races of the season starts at 9:30 a.m. April 8 at the Marie Davidson Bike ParkDan Marshall

NANAIMO — The Marie Davidson BMX Park will be filled with riders for the first race of the season on Sunday.
There are going to be races every Sunday this month with practices slated for Monday evenings.
On Easter Monday there were about 30-40 young riders out on the course at Beban Park.


Registration for the race day is from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday with more information available at the Nanaimo BMX page on facebook or on their website.
It's expected there will be about 100 riders out to the opening race with the age range as young as two all the way up to 65.



Nanaimo BMX vice president Sara Paddock says riders are put in their own age group starting with five and under novice, all the way to when they're 19 years old - at that point the age ranges get much larger.
Paddock notes the top riders are seperated by the number of wins they have.
"After you win ten races you become an intermediate, so you're bumped up into the next proficiency. You need 20 wins to become what we call expert. Once you hit expert level there's nowhere to go except pro after that," said Paddock.

An overhead look at the Nanaimo BMX track:


There's a lot of interest from both boys and girls in getting involved in BMX.

Paddock says they do hold some specific clinics for girls, but admits there is a challenge in keeping girls active in the sport as they hit the ages of twelve or thirteen.

She says it's important to have female riders continuing on so they can act as role models for the younger girls.

Some of Nanaimo's top racers will be in attendance on Sunday including pro rider Hunter McGill.
A group of local pros won't be out for the first race of the season because of another event down in Oregon.

There's already anticipation building for the final week of this month with a double points race on Saturday the 28th, and the start of the Vancouver Island Challenge series on the 29th.

The series features races at the four tracks on Vancouver Island.

In addition to the back to back days of racing Nanaimo BMX will be holding a swap meet on April 29.

The Harbour City Nationals is the highest profile BMX weekend of the season and that happends July 27-29.

There will be riders from virtually every province and from the United States as well.

Paddock hopes the community will come out to enjoy the first races this weekend, whether that's to participate or just to watch.

Action from the starting gate at the Nanaimo BMX track during practice on Easter Monday:


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