Clearly, 5 minutes of just the medal rounds of BMX racing last night was less than what we were all hoping to see ... but, kudos to NBC for downloading video coverage of the semi-main events to their Olympic Cycling website.
We're encouraging you to check them out, if you haven't already, because it's presumable that the higher number of hits on the website may provide NBC with enough incentive to bring us continued prime time coverage of BMX in the Olympics ... and perhaps lead to something akin to the Dew Tour coverage that skaters and park riders have been enjoying for the past couple of years.
Clicking the image below should launch the player in a new window.
Thursday Gate Practice Cancelled: Those of you who raced last night are aware that we had a small issue with one of the gate hinges that was temporarily repaired. It is, however, a bandaid, and since we won't be able to get to a permanent fix until Saturday a.m. (before our single point race) - we have decided to cancel this Thursday's (August 21) gate practice.
We'll resume our normal practice and race schedule Saturday morning, August 23rd.
A Fond du Lac Invite: Fondy is running a single point race Sunday August 24th and would like to remind all Milwaukee BMX riders that they are indeed back open for business. We did a few "combined" weekends last fall with some nice success, increasing rider and moto counts at both tracks. Hopefully, we can rock that same situation out this weekend and into the fall.
Olympic Update: All of the American men riders have advanced through the field of 32 to the group of 16 heading into tonights semi-finals and Olympic medal race. Of the three, Mike Day looked the most solid, setting quick time during the time trial to "rank" the riders going into motos, and then pulling away from the field on each lap of his qualifying races. Donny Robinson also made it solidly in. Kyle Bennet looked to be in great shape until the lead rider in his third moto washed out right in front of him, causing a hard crash involving multiple riders, and leaving Bennet with a separated shoulder and multiple lacerations. This is BMX and the Olympics, however, and Bennet had his shoulder popped back into place (presumably under the direction of a physician) and plans to ride in the semi-finals tonight. Several Latvian riders and an Australian were also going fast. It should be exciting.
Olympic BMX Racing NBC Television Coverage Schedule:
Below are the airdates and times listed by NBC. We just wanted everyone to be aware of the dates and times so they don't miss out. Please forward this on to all your friends and family to spread the BMX word. GO TEAM USA!!
Aug. 19th 8:00-9:00pm, Primetime, Live ET/CT Men's BMX Cycling
Aug. 20th 12:30-2:00am Men's BMX Cycling Quarterfinals
Aug. 20th 2:00-5:00am Men's BMX Cycling, Primetime Replay
Aug. 20th 8:00-10:00pm, Primetime, Live ET/CT Mens and Womens BMX Cycling Finals
Aug. 21st 2:00-5:00am Mens and Womens BMX Cycling Finals, Primetime Replay
Nope, it's not the infamous "Sledgehammer" from Napoleon Dynamite -- it's Mike Day's sweet new Olympic racer, decked out in a sweet USA-1 paint scheme that would be sure to make Evel Kneevel proud. Though this bike is dripping with all the cool stuff ... make special note of the ultra cool Sun Ringle ENVY wheelset. You eagle eyed types are going to notice a whole lot of Olympian's bikes rolling on the new ENVY wheels. The set in this photo was probably laced up right here at the Hayes Cycle Group in Mequon, Wisconsin by our good friend -- and sometimes competitor -- Russel Jobs.
And, let's not forget that the GT brand is wholly owned by Pacific Bicycle Group, which is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Olympic BMX parts and bikes being rocked from America's Dairyland -- now that's awesome !!!
Below are a few of the many photos submitted by Sam Gillis, who spent his entire last weekend getting fried out in the sun, and fought off fatigue and "shutter finger fatigue" ... yes, Sam sent us like 500 photos from the weekend !!! We'll try and post up what we can soon.
Nick Campanelli with the old school style ... laying a little flattie for us ... Nick is a superb jumper and a fast young racer. He's definitely one of the young shredders to keep an eye on at Milwaukee BMX.
Brandon Ceslock gets his cruiser laid over and dialed down the second straight.
Although I wish I could claim it as my idea ... the single best thing the track crew did in revitalizing the track this past spring was to eliminate the wedge out of the last turn and turn the last straight table into a tall, but short and flowy double. We've got a ton of great photos from over the weekend and a few that I grabbed last night to share. Look for more to be added to this post very soon.
I know I've written about a million times about the level of competition in our 41-45 class at Milwaukee ... but, when you consider that Bryan Dickerson, Mike Froh and Ed Morris all solidly made their mains at Rockford this year ... which is arguably the strongest non West Coast national on the ABA national circuit ... well, that's about all the proof anybody really needs. When they aren't beating each other up on the track ... these guys really have a chance to showcase their skills. Here's 45 year old Ed Morris, a couple years closer to collecting social security than being a high school graduate, flowing along like it's 1982, when he was undoubtedly equally fearless at all of 19 years old.
42 year old Brian Woods has some fun stories about his years as an older expert (from late 1970's and early 1980's, jeez ...) along with his days as an A-pro in the early and mid 1980's. He ran laps with guys like Tim Judge, Eddie King, and Mike Paulson back then ... which would be roughly equivolent to gating up with Denzel Stein, Kris Fox and Joey Bradford today. A 20+ year break from the sport, lasting from the late 1980's to last year, obviously didn't slow him down much. This shot shows Brian's still got, as we used to say when we were kids, style for miles.
Not to be outdone by "old dudes", 17 year old show-off Ben Kohls, threw out some awfully rad stuff of his own, including this super-high full-tuck huck ... and, it's a dandy for sure.
... Okay, I think you are probably getting the idea here.
First to John Mencheski from Wisconsin Rapids, for his exceptionally generous donation of enough tarps to cover our entire track ... they have already been put to the test and really saved the day when the track took a short hard burst of rain late Saturday afternoon.
Holding those big beasties down were several hundred lbs. of sand bags generously donated, filled and loaded by the fine folks at Rivers Edge Farm Market and their staff strong men, Bryan Wendt and Ethan Gerhardt. Laura Kohls went to the trouble of trucking them from River's Edge in Jefferson to the track. AWESOME !!!
To Jon Engelhardt, a steady competitor in the 41-45 cruiser class, donated all the jersies that were raffled off on Saturday. Additionally, Jon sat out yesterday so that he could provide necessary medic services for the Redline Cup Qualifier.
to Ray Ekcert who must be in really good standing with his bosses at Waste Management -- for their super generous donation of the dumpsters we filled as a means to keep our track neat and tidy throughout the weekend.
And, to our friends at Sun Ringle who kicked in a the set of 20" Superstock Wheels for Saturday's raffle ... and a bunch of pairs of socks as well.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words If a picture is worth a thousand words, I probably won't have to write a single thing in this blog for the rest of the season ... just as soon as figure out just what to do with all the images we have from various sources that were captured throughout the weekend. With well over a thousand photos to review, even with me working the math, that's about a million words worth. In any event, we'll link 'em up as we post 'em up for sure.
The first group comes from Rosie Jankiewicz ... who has posted up more than 200 shots to her websitefor your viewing pleasure. The shots were captured at yesterday's Redline Cup Qualifier. We hope you enjoy 'em ... they are pretty doggone cool for sure.
Results and picture postings from Milwaukee BMX are coming ... but, please be patient ... with 69 groups of riders (37 Saturday and 32 Sunday) it's probably going to take us a little while to key in all the names.
Thanks again for a great-great weekend ... and we look forward to seeing all of you again soon.
37 motos ... more than 150 riders ... a great day and even more great racing. ANNNDDDD, we get to do it all again tomorrow !!! Thanks to everyone who making this weekend such a major success.
We did take a bit of rain late this afternoon ... but, it was the kind of helping rain that we actually really needed. I sat in the car to see what the track would be like ... after we tarped the first corner and second straight (Thanks John Mencheski - and there will be more on that soon)
Though it's certainly not going to interrupt anybody's daily dose of Brett Favre speculation, Tom Held at the Journal Sentinel was nice enough to put together this little piece on Milwaukee BMX which appeared in his "Off the Couch" blog at JSOnline.com today ... thanks for the ink, Tom. I definitely enjoyed our talk.
There are also a couple other great articles that were recently published that I wanted to share. First, is this lengthy piece from Bicycling Magazine "BMX GOING BIG". This article is such a great read ... and is exceptionally eye opening as to what phenomenal athletes the world's top BMX racers really are. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Finally, Tim Eiring, who competes with us from time to time, and also helped out on several volunteer days, including our 2008 New Rider Clinic, was recently featured in this cool article in the Small Business Times. We wonder how much Tim's corporate insurance rates have gone up as a result. Great article Tim !!!
Finally, some really depressing news came in from Linda Weimer at Fond du Lac BMX this afternoon. After a botched break in at their track building ... the would be vandal turned arsonist and burned the building down. Insurance is going to help out ... but, the long and the short is ... FondyBMX is temporarily out of commission. We at Milwaukee owe the Weimer's a lot as they provided a ton of support while we were in the process of getting started. We'll definitely do what we can to reciprocate in this time of need.
A thoughtful reader alerted me to the fact that my "directions to Crystal Ridge" link over at the right wasn't working properly ... and, that the address wasn't coming up with the link. So, without further ado -- below are the street adress and Yahoo maps location of Crystal Ridge Ski Area. The track location will be obvious when you make the turn into the driveway off Crystal Ridge drive.
Four leaf clovers, lucky rabits foot, race day socks that haven't been washed in three seasons ... whatever it is that brings you good fortune ... keep it nearby and cross your fingers that we don't take too much more rain tonight.
I was just to the track about an hour ago and it was drying nicely. The straights were mostly smooth and in race ready condition. The damage from the rain this morning was pretty minimal. The start hill remains nicely tucked in by the tarp that we put down on Thursday night, and there are additional tarps (Thanks Randy Olson) helping to protect the second straight. We do have some really minor wash areas ... but, all would be easily fixed by hand with minimal effort. The turns are holding up nicely as well.
Randy Olson, the Mittelstadt's, the Bratz's, the Kluth's, the Schmitt's all lent their hands and backs througout the week last week and over the weekend to get the track in what was perhaps the best condition it's ever been in. Todd Zimmerman was generous enough to once again lend his drag (a device he really ought to patent and sell to every other BMX track operator on earth -- it works that good!) and Bryan Dickerson picked it up at his house and delivered it to us. Huge help and we needed every bit of it. Thanks guys and gals !!!
We'll carefully monitor the weather and do what we can to keep our race program for tomorrow night in tact ... the rest is where the good luck comes in. (Now, where did I leave my lucky valve cap?)