Monday, March 17, 2008

Milwaukee BMX Braces for Total Chaos !!!

We received an e-mail today from Thomas O'Rourke -- a once-in-a-while Milwaukee BMX racer (40c) who's kids Mickayla (9g) and Wyatt (11n) are regulars at our track. O'Rourke wanted us to pass along word that he's formed up a brand new team called -- yeah, you guessed it -- Total Chaos BMX.

A lot of times, when these notifications come in, team rosters are pretty well set. But, being a brand new team, Total Chaos still has some roster spots to fill.

Because Total Chaos will be a family based team, it seems to us that fun is going to be the name of their game. Which is cool ... because everybody knows that we dig family fun at Milwaukee BMX.

To find out more about Total Chaos BMX, interested riders sould contact O'Rourke at

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Absolute God's Honest Truth About BMX ...

As I was rifling through one of the many junk drawers in our house recently, I stumbled onto the photograph that's attached to this article. A quick review shows just not a kid on a bike ... but a kid on a bike in a moment in time. That kid, as you might have figured, is me -- circa 1976 and looking like some sort of surreal mixture of bag lady meets Steve McQueen.

Honestly, I don't recall what my reference point for "cool" was back then ... but, the fact that I'm dudded up in my sweet gold windbreaker, which has the bonus monroe shocks stickers on each side of my chest, along with a helmet tells me that I must have had some racing reference point from which to draw the conclusion that ... heck yeah ... despite the rust colored tuff skins with the iron on patch, long undies peeking out just above my ankles, sporting red socks, and shoes that would look more appropriate on the set of a high school production of Oliver Twist ... I was definitely a cool kid.

The bike tells a story all its own. The remarkably large headlight tells me that maybe I was a bit more enduro than moto at that particular stage in my life. But, rest assured, the bold letters "MX" on the back of that well padded seat left little doubt as to where I'd one day be headed. I don't know where the heck my mind was at with that equally gargantuan horn -- I can only figure that it helped warn oncomers of my approach while I was barreling out of blind corner alleyways.

And, yeah, that crooked retaining wall is the foundation to the house that I grew up in. A roughly 800 s.f. cracker box that my mom bought in 1966 for $6,000 !!! ... and probably re-financed to pay for my cool bike.

See, this photo reminds me where I came from, in many ways ... and helps me understand why almost all of my bikes are assembled from secondhand parts, closeout stuff, or items I've been able to find "good guy" deals on. It also reminds me of why I'm okay with the beg, borrow and steal approach that we've used to cobble together the Milwaukee BMX operation.

Candy Karau once told me that when she and Jake took over the operation at Rockford ... which must be just more than 20 years ago now ... they employed the same strategy ... and, by the mid 1990's the track gained some backing from the Parks department in Rockford ... allowing it to truly flourish under the leadership of the Karaus. I believe the future holds much of the same promise for Milwaukee BMX.

The reward for all of the work on our end was seeing the many looks of determination and happiness that were on the faces of the kids and parents who participated in Milwaukee BMX. We're probably not going to send a lot of our racers out onto the national scene ... or, perhaps a career in BMX ... although that weedy Ben Kohls kid is sure doing his part to prove me wrong on that one ... but, we are providing a forum for individual growth ... and showing kids that there's value in work, persistence, and that no matter how much fun winning is ... losing isn't the end of the world ... life lessons.

Yeah, photographs like the one above are really important ... your kid grows up once ... you will never regret documenting as much of it as you can. In fact, I wonder where will your kids be when they stumble across old shots of them on a bike?

By the way ... even though it's too small ... I am wearing a Green Bay Packers helmet ... and riding a bike with #4 on it.

We can hardly wait to see you trackside again soon.

Kevin O'

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Milwaukee BMX Club - Meeting Notice:

When: Tomorrow Night - Wednesday, March 5th at 7 p.m.

Where: Benno's in West Allis - 7413 West GreenfieldWest Allis, Wisconsin 414-453-9094

Who Can Attend? Current volunteers and those interested in volunteers are encouraged to join -- and, pretty much anyone with an interest in BMX in Milwaukee is welcome to attend. Since Benno's is a pub ... if you are under the age of 18 you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

For More Information: John Mittelstadt - 414-429-3485