BMX Grand Nationals are in Tulsa this weekend

Wednesday, November 24th 2004, 10:11 am
By: News On 6

The wheels are in motion for the annual BMX Grand Nationals in Tulsa. It's the biggest and most prestigious BMX bicycle race in the country and it happens this weekend at Tulsa's Expo Center.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says 400 truckloads of dirt are inside the Expo building as they bring the outdoors, indoors.

It’s a dirty job. "Oh, we've been for the last 3 days doing 14, 15 hours each day." Bill Morris with the American Bicycle Association says with such an important event, they want to get everything just right. "We use the same dirt each year. We store it on the fairgrounds each year."

"Super Bowl, World Series, this is the Grand Nationals of BMX." American Bicycle Association Vice-President B.A. Anderson says the 4,000 best riders in the country will be competing here over the weekend.

Coming from all parts of the country and from all age groups. They range from 2 to 55 and over. The oldest is 72. "Well, you can definitely get a good look at him because he is going rather slow, but he has a good time doing it." Anderson says membership and the popularity of BMX racing are growing every year. “Just with the emergence of the X-games and things like that, kids are more adapted to the extreme sports."

They'll have to adapt quickly to the track. Officials say with an indoor track, nobody has a home field advantage as it were, because it's made from scratch.

Aside from a tape measure, Morris says there's no special tools involved to get the angle and the slope just right, he says he just eyeballs it. "And just experience, y'know, done it for 15 years. So I've got everything in my head basically."

And next week, a track better than a lot of permanent ones will be gone. “You'd like to just hand it somebody to just put on your property, but yeah, it's a shame to tear it down after we put so much work into it."