- to track online our current location, see instructions on the Ride the Nation Route plan page
- also, follow us on Twitter, search “ridethenation”
- check out our Monday blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here. (Fyi, sometimes our Monday blog doesn’t appear until Wednesday … so check back often)
Sorry for the late posting of this Monday blog; should be back on track tonight.
I naively believed that today’s lunch was going to be about catching up with what’s going on with our kids, our lives, etc. And to an extent, it was. But, Ellie came with a plan. She reminded me that she’s been reading my blogs every day since day one; that she’s known me longer than any of my BMX family of friends. And … she’s seen a change in my writing in the last few weeks. She told me how the focus had shifted; how I’d gotten more focused on the percs of hotel rooms and meals out. She was ready to put my head back in the right place.
Mullica Hill BMX always had a good turnout of riders and a close knit group of families who also raced at Egg Harbor Township BMX, Central Jersey and Flemington. Ellie, Mike and their two sons embraced the Beast’s newfound interest in BMX and encouraged her to try it all. For a time, the Beast had a major “crush” on Ellie’s oldest, Jesse.
I also KNOW that BMX people are the toughest and strongest and most resourceful people I know. Find the people at your track who have the balls to contact the local newspaper time and time again until a sports writer comes out and covers your track’s events. If you have to write your own article and submit it, do it.
Learn from what the other tracks are doing, too. The most successful and longest standing tracks have a common thread: they have involved their track in their community. If there’s a local parade for Christmas, 4th of July, etc. … enter your track’s riders into it and distribute candy and flyers. Know the mayor’s name but don’t really know the mayor? Invite her or him again and again until they know you and your track on a first name basis. Mayors love photo ops … USE THAT! Do you have a kid at your track who placed well at the Grands? Invite the mayor to pose with them for a newspaper article upon their return and let the community know that Olympic potentials are being nurtured right here in their hometown. Contact your local hospital and find out who’s job it is to promote healthy lifestyles in the community and ask them how you and your riders can help them meet their goals. I know that Trilogy Park has benefitted time and again from it’s connection to their local Health and Wellness foundation.
Get Creative. Notice a regular parent who always shows up at the track but just never really found their way to a volunteer position? Maybe they’re more “behind the scenes” personality types; USE THAT! Talk to each other and pull on each other’s strengths. Celebrate your successes and boost each other back up when efforts fail. Remember, you’ve been fortunate to find your way to the best family sport in the world; it is your responsibility and it’s an honor to move BMX forward. Complain if it makes you feel better; but don’t be a fool and let it end there. Life has taught all of us that no one wants to hear someone rant over and over again without being part of the change.
So, as Memorial Day winds to an end, it’s important that we, too, keep our sport’s history in mind. We are one of the strongest family sports ever but we don’t have a strong family image. We are misunderstood and misrepresented by people who don’t care to really know or understand BMX. We risk losing our tracks and our support if we don’t keep them in the forefront of our communities. We never thought Mullica Hill BMX track would close.
… ‘lest we forget.”