For Rio Americano freshmen Logan Connelly and Connor Stroud a weekend bike ride means getting dirty, risking injury and maybe taking home a trophy.
They both compete at BMX–short for bicycle motocross–racing over hills and through tight turns on a dirt track against seven other riders in each heat. Winning is nice, they agree, but the biggest thrill is just going fast around the track and the adrenaline that comes from putting it all out there.
Freshman Logan Connelly has been doing the sport for 10 years. “I started when I was four years old when my dad took me out to a track and I liked it and kept going back,” he said.
Connelly practices often, usually two to three times a week. However, he has to commute to practice since it is in Roseville at Oak Creek BMX.
“I usually practice the gate because you have to get out of it fast, and probably the rhythm because it is very technical,” said Connelly.
Connelly isn’t focused on the big tricks in a race. He tries to focus more on the speed, since it is a race, not a show. There are tracks and competitions in every state and country.
“There are nationals every week, but I prefer the closer tracks,” said Connelly. “The farthest I’ve gone is Oklahoma, which is the biggest race of the year and it’s at the end of the year.”
Connelly is currently fourth in the state. Connelly has inspired his friends to participate as well.
Freshman Connor Stroud has only been doing BMX racing for about 3 years, but has become passionate about the sport. “The adrenaline for it is more satisfying than any other sport,” said Stroud. “It works around my schedule and I get to travel a lot for it.”
In his short time
Similarly to Connelly, Stroud practices three to four time a week. During practices Stroud will usually practice running the track, but depending on if he is working with his coach he could be doing different drills.
Stroud’s attraction to the sport comes from racing different tracks. “No two tracks are the same, they all have different variations,” said Stroud.
Stroud’s favorite place he’s been so far has been Las Vegas. “I liked how you got to hangout at the hotel and chill before and after races,” said Stroud. In Vegas the track is underneath the hotel so it’s more convenient for the competitors. Competitors can also watch other races on tv’s in their rooms.
Although a few local people practice competitive BMX, meeting with others who practice the sport is one of the most one of his favorite facets of competing and travelling, explained Stroud. “I have two friends from Rio that ride, and two friends from Jesuit,” said Stroud.
Connelly and Stroud will be training alongside their peers, Nick Wackford, Nick Adams and Tyler Cacciola for their next meet in this Wednesday in Roseville.