BMX Grand Nationals Race Into Tulsa

Thursday, November 27th 2008, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

By Margaret Stokes, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The BMX Grand Nationals are underway at the QuikTrip Center.

Many families from around the globe chose dirt and pizza over a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

This holiday it's all BMX racing for some and although it might not be traditional, it's a typical thanksgiving for many families.

"We get a chance to get to spend a lot of time with our kids. I mean here we are traveling across the country to spend the weekend together instead of sitting around, ones playing outside, ones doing this, we're together. It's great it's what brings us into the sport," said Kevin Riedemann, BMX dad.

Kevin's traveled all the way from Minnesota for the competition, his son Duilan say's it's easy, he should know, at 12 he's been riding for six years.

"Well you basically just got to learn how to ride a two wheel bike and from there you just have to practice and practice and then you just get better," said Duilan.

And not to mention he likes the attention.

This is a huge event, out of the 26 national BMX races a year; it all comes down to Friday.

For these guys Thanksgiving Day in Tulsa is like the Super Bowl of BMX.

From 4-year-old champions to 50-year-old adults, it's serious competition. BMX was just added to the Olympics. Organizers hope now it will get the recognition this sport deserves.

"These are professional athletes out here that work just as hard as NFL and Major League Baseball players. The guys that are making a living at it are true athletes," said Track Director Greg Leasure.

It's not always smooth sailing.

"I've never broke anything, but I've had some pretty bad ones," said Duilan.

It's clear that it's not just the kids grabbing the handlebars, it's parents, too.

"Here your dad can ride with you or your mom can it's a big family atmosphere and I think that keeps people in it for a long time," said Leasure.