I competed at the 2017 BMX World Championships

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I don't remember much from the week I spent in Rock Hill, SC ... but the UCI wrist band is still on my wrist, so I'm pretty sure I did compete at worlds.

Leading up to worlds, I was training my butt off (well actually, it was more like I was putting muscle on my butt), doing everything I could to be in my best personal shape for the event. I drove down to SC with an amazing family, it was a long drive but we managed to get there in one piece - which is pretty impressive considering the amount of abandon cars we saw along PA and VA.

A couple days in, we had a team meeting at the Wyndham, where we also picked up our jerseys and plates. With over 300 Canadian riders competing and family members watching, it felt like a graduation. I remember sweating like crazy in the heat as we were listening to the organizers run through the race format. It was a unique experience to be surrounded by such passionate people. After the meet, most of us went downtown to enjoy the food trucks and live entertainment. Downtown was packed with racers from all over the world, the core was shutdown just to celebrate worlds being in town.

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Practice day came around, I was nervous, unsure what the track would feel like. Well... the track was amazing, maybe the best track I've ever ridden. It was smooth, not overly technical and super fast. However, despite my positive first impressions, it quickly became over shadowed by others sharing their difficulties, and eventually my nervousness for the event itself overpowered by confidence. By the second day, I somehow morphed what I perceived as my perfect track, into a monster - super scary- on crack track. The second practice day was a let down too, considering I was able to get about 6-7 laps on the first day (most without gates), the second day I got one - completely understandable when you're only running gates for 300+ riders within 45 minutes.

Race day... wish I remembered more of it, but I do remember waking up at 4-5am, we had to be there for 6am if we wanted a final lap. It was Friday, and it was also the final day for challenge riders. Half awake, I remember being driven to the track, the mood in the van was calm, and quiet, maybe from being tired but probably because we were mentally preparing for this massive race. Waiting by the gates that would lead us into the team tents, I had a bike in one hand and luggage in the other. I see familiar faces, and I see people I've yet to meet, riders from all over the world, waiting to get in. Finally the gates open, the sky is still dark, we make our way through security, where my bike and my wrist were scanned upon entering. I make way to the Canadian tent, it's quiet, but there's a buzz of excitement slowly building.

We were given one final lap before the start of the race. Trust me, if I could do more I would, but they marked our plates so that we'd only get one. Remember how I was freaking out earlier? That all went away, I quickly realized that this track wasn't as scary as I made it out to be.


Afterwards, I took a moment to take everything in, at this point I wasn't too nervous, I guess still in disbelief that I was here. I remember looking at the sunrise coming over the white tents that were sheltering the racers, and being thankful for how cool it was, after dealing a week worth of  30-40 degree temperatures.

Being a challenge rider was a very surreal experience, we had volunteers... aka babysitters in the most positive terms who check in with us, ensuring we knew the format, and giving us water when needed - actually my most "cool moment" memory was when I was given water just before going up to the gate - it made me feel like a pro. I do want to sincerely thank the volunteers, who flew in just to help us. Without you, we wouldn't have been able to perform and function at our best. The volunteers did more than babysit and water us, they were there to support us physically and emotionally.

I think I was moto 60, and it was time for me to go into pre-staging. I had gate 8 and then gate 1 - our race was cut short, but it should have been 3 qualifying races instead of 2. I spent a lot of my time in gate 8 during practice, so that worked out well. I remember walking up, I was calm, but my body was nervous, almost stiff. All I wanted was to not be last, and I did just that lol. My body put enough in to accomplished that for both qualifying races, but it wasn't enough to get into semis. I do feel that I could have qualified though, I wasn't too far from it, and I know I could have done much better if the "stage fright" didn't get to me. That said, I was still really happy, it felt really special to cross the line and be cheered by fellow Canadians. Although my day was done and cut early, I stuck around to support our other riders who were still in the game. I felt accomplished.


A big part of the whole experience was also trading jerseys. I had my eyes set on a French jersey for a while, I wanted that cock so bad. I found a French rider who wanted an American jersey, so my mission was to find an American who wanted a Canadian jersey, so that I could trade the American jersey for a French one. It took some hunting, but I got it done.

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For being up since 4am, my energy levels were still high. I spent some time in the expo area, meeting people from the industry and elite riders too. I spent the remainder of the day in the Canadian section of the stands, we were super loud and filled with pride for our riders. It still feels like the week didn't happen, but I'm still wearing my UCI bracelet, so it did happen... I'm pretty sure!

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