BMX in Tampa Bay
BMX in Tampa Bay is now one of the most popular sports for kids. BMX was THE sport in the 1980’s with movies like Rad, popular teams like Eagle Snacks and bike companies making tons of bikes with pegs. I remember watching trick riders and racers at my elementary schoolyard back in the day and thinking they were so cool. Then, one day the entire industry just seemed to vanish. BMX is back with a vengeance. It is the new cool team sport, but team sport in an independent way. And, with more variety than soccer or baseball. In BMX the ages vary, the skills vary and it is done that way on purpose. There are no boy teams or girl teams and there are no team moms. Everyone is welcome and all parents are welcome. There are tons of practices and all parents stand around and chat. No one is vying for the All-Star position because each athlete competes against his/her own teammates and the athletes of other teams. Practices can be held with or without your team, around your neighborhood or at a track. It is really the sport of the future because it is so flexible.
The sport began back in the 1960’s when Schwinn created the Stingray bike. With this new Stingray bike, kids could emulate Motocross racers (some even put playing cards in their spokes to make the motor sound). Almost instinctively BMX was born. Now, with the NBA and NBL governing races– the sport is beginning to take on a more legitimate homogenized reputation and more teams are cropping up across the area.
BMX is an equal opportunity sport; since bikes are the great gender equalizer, more girls are getting involved. A girl’s powerhouse is from her abs to her knees. Since that is the majority of what a cyclist uses, a girl rider can easily compete with her male counterparts for some time. For girls that do not want to compete with boys, there are enough girl riders for most ages and levels of accomplishment to compete girl on girl, too.
Tired of doing time on the soccer field and traveling every single Saturday? BMX has regular practices but the races are not as time consuming as soccer or football, because races are not attended weekly, bi-weekly or even bi-monthly. The races are on a circuit and you can decide when and where your child races, even when on a team. The child not only competes as a team, but on a personal level. Each BMX rider is scored independently of the team and ranked independently for the state.
So, how do you get started? Before going out and buying a whole kit– take your child to the closest track and let him/her roll around to see if it is something they will like. Most tracks will even let you rent a bike and helmet for a nominal fee before you even need to invest in a bike. Moms even roll around the tracks on bikes, myself included. Dads love BMX because whether you grew up in an athletic family or not, most boys rode bikes around and raced them with friends or on a track. You will find that BMX is a real family sport with tailgating, sponsors, vendors, quality time together and tons of fun for your family. Why am I such a huge supporter of BMX? My daughter competes, and wins. Yes, sometimes when she beats a boy he will sit in the grass and cry.
BMX in Tampa Bay
Looking for a great team for your new cyclist? PAL Speedsters is now recruiting for their team. They are looking for girls and boys of all talent levels and experience. Private message the PAL Speedsters Facebook page for information.
The local track is the hub of all that is good in the BMX world. The local track is where you gain experience, technique and even a few friends. The local track is where you hang out, show support and have a great time. The best in the area are Oldsmar and Tampa.
Oldsmar BMX-closed right now for reconstruction. Look forward for some great surprises and amazing track.
Tampa BMX-A long-term staple in BMX culture.