- Van Buren, AR (USA)
- Bonzai BMX
A "Legacy" BMXer I began racing 20 inch starting at 12 years old in 1979. I raced between 1979 - 1984 (NBL) just when the sport exploded in popularity. I am that "Average Joe" from that era. Itasca BMX , my local track (Itasca, Illinois), was 50 to 70 motos for local races. My age class was huge. To win a local race meant you were better than 20 - 40 kids your exact age, and classification. My bicycle at my first race was a 30 + lb mag wheeled coaster brake setup, on a PK Ripper frame and Schwinn Stingray (Tornado) fork. I improved my race bike from individual parts, one at a time. I bought those from skipped school lunches and chore money. Some gates at the other local tracks were still wood in 1979, and "hand dropped" with the starter giving the cadence. ("riders ready, pedals set!") Courses were 100% dirt, rough, dusty, and had some flat dirt turns etc.. We raced in the mud, and I loved it. I never cared about titles or points chasing. I was in it for the fun and the personal challenge. I raced for a little bike shop called 'Double L'. 1988 - 1990 I returned to racing (ABA). This was still "flat pedal" racing. I did not seek anything but physical fitness and a chance to build on 5 previous years of skills. The tracks still had flat dirt turns (I miss those), and still raced in the mud occasionally. Tracks at that time in my area had obstacles no fast rider could ever "pump" or "speed jump". Riders were forced to jump some obstacles if expected to win. I loved this period of racing the most because I was a jumper. My favorite race was winning a "State Championship" event in my class. I did not win a plate by points, because I did not travel. But I beat the guys that had those small numbers. I placed top 3 in several other big events. I started racing again briefly in 2002 (ABA) on a 20 year old Race Inc cruiser frame and fork. This 3 event stint ended very quickly with a crash and injury. I did not think I would race ever again. I thought then that I was "too old for the risk". I returned to racing a 20 inch October of 2014 at 47 years old to "get back into shape". I have a totally new philosophy about racing. When it comes to the NEW tracks, I am a Novice. If BMX had an old man's "softball league", I think that would describe my level of interest, caution, and participation. I am racing an older 2007 PK Ripper/Landing gear fork combo. I am having the time of my life. I love meeting other racers. Revisiting and redeploying all of the "old skills" is what I enjoy most. When I ride today, I am celebrating the sport I loved as a kid, just like any athelete loves to revisit skills of old in their favorite sport. I am about precisely 1/2 of the racer I used to be, and I accept that. I am way-passed the idea of being expert fast in the "new era". I will never put on "clips" to gain the "push-pull" edge. I call it "Old Man BMX". At the end of the day no matter the finish, I believe BMX is all about having fun on a bike. And as an "old man", its about doing it within safety limits. I hope to see more of the "Legacy" guys on the track :) It really makes my day to race other "Average Joes" at the National races who started in the '70s.
Rob "The Beast" McCauley * Racing 46 & Over Intermediate/46-50 Cruiser for Liberty BMX. * Liberty BMX - Team Vice President * Owner - FatDad BMX Plates
Ian E-Man McCauley - Racing 13 Cruiser and 13 Expert out of Arkansas (AR-01) for the Liberty BMX Bike Shop Team. Like me on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/emanmccauley