How USA BMX Adapted in 2020
Gilbert, Ariz. (December 22, 2020) — This year was like no other, and due to COVID-19 restrictions like most sporting spaces, BMX local tracks closed this spring, giving USA BMX members no place to practice or race. To safely get members back on bikes and back to the tracks, USA BMX worked side-by-side with their 320 tracks to ensure members a safe return to the track. To assist tracks with sorting through local rules and regulations from multiple jurisdictions and authorities, the USA BMX team created tools to guide track operators step-by-step through this challenging process with "Ready to Race" guidelines, marketing, and educational resources. The launch of the safety tool kit was just the beginning of a new 2020 for USA BMX. The following months led to safely running 21 stops of the national series, launching a virtual amateur freestyle series ending with an in-person national championship, an extended partnership with Mongoose and USA BMX Foundation, and successfully closing the national championships at the Grand National.
"The USA BMX team has a successful track record of running events, growing members, and pushing the sport of BMX, but when you do all that despite the challenges during a pandemic, that is something special," said Shane Fernandez, USA BMX President. "Through all the planning and readjusting schedules and venues, one thing remained the same throughout, and that was the safety of our members, our BMX family while keeping them on bikes."
2020 National Series
The Bounce Back Nationals held at Pryor, Oklahoma's, Mayes County BMX, came at a time of the year in which the BMX family had been in months of isolation, doubt, and unease. The Bounce Back Nationals gave some hope to the BMX racing community, but it also started revitalizing the 2020 National season. From June through September, USA BMX followed city and state guidelines and moved or canceled events, worked with sports commissions and CVBs to host events. For the 2020 season, USA BMX successfully held 21 events as part of the national series.
2020 Grand National
The Greatest Race On Earth was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the week of Thanksgiving, as it has taken place for the last 22 years. This year looked different, the team adapted to new ways of running the biggest race of the year, and unique celebrations came in the form of a one-race-only Pro Championship. The Grand Nationals raced on where pros Connor Fields, Alise Willoughby, and Tyler Brown earned year-end titles.
USA BMX Foundation
To understand the impact remote learning was having on youth, Mongoose commissioned a study of 2000 American parents to understand what will help their children learn valuable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills during the pandemic. The study results revealed over 70% of parents fear their child falling behind in STEM subjects, and a contributing factor being the lack of hands-on learning. Hands-on learning is something the USA BMX Foundation specializes in, and in 2019, the programming helped impact over 200,000 kids through bike-centric school activities. Their innovative curriculum included Track Modeling, a BMX STEM bike program, and the incentive-based Read to Ride program to keep kids engaged. In partnership with Mongoose, the plan is to extend these opportunities to even more children with additional programming for 2021 for grades one and two.
USA BMX Freestyle
The inaugural event that began as a grassroots initiative with video submissions and virtual judging for the up-and-coming, artistic talent that is BMX Freestyle, the in-person Amateur National Championships became a reality in December to close out the year with the only female competitor winning the overall title. The top 44 amateur freestyle BMX riders got their time to demonstrate new talent that needed a platform to which USA BMX will help set the stage in 2021.
USA BMX Tulsa Headquarters
Despite the pandemic, the new Tulsa facility is roughly 25% complete and still on schedule for completion in late 2021. Nabholz Construction, Todd Architecture, Wallace Engineering, and the City of Tulsa have worked together to keep things rolling and pressing forward safely. The USA BMX team that manages and executes the national race series and memberships will remain in Arizona. USA BMX will grow the team out of the new headquarters to include marketing, branding, USA BMX Freestyle, USA BMX Foundation, BMX Hall of Fame, global programming, fabrication, and the architectural design portion of our National Track Development team.
About USA BMX
Founded in 1977, the American Bicycle Association (ABA) is the world's largest BMX racing organization, with over 70,000 members racing at more than 320 sanctioned tracks across North America. United States operations are conducted under the brand USA BMX and Canadian operations are known as BMX Canada. For more information or to find a track near you, visit www.usabmx.com
About USA BMX Foundation
The USA BMX Foundation was created in 2005 as a division that focuses on fundraising efforts, specifically the Race for Life and the Bob Warnicke Scholarship programs. As these programs are well established, the Foundation's core focus is creating membership growth through educational programming. The Foundation has had tremendous success over the last two years, especially with the USA BMX STEM program - one of which BMX is the only Olympic sport with a fully integrated STEM program that is now deployed in more than 300 schools.
2020 Photos in Review
Bounce Back Nationals/ Pryor, OK June 2020
A racer, a friend, and a dad who showed up, after months off the bike,
finally able to enjoy the sport of BMX racing to uplift his own and his family's spirits.
Grand National / Tulsa Nov 2020
On the right is a veteran of the sport, a two-time Olympian and long-time Elite
who has faced hardship and heartache while surrounded by a community and
support system to uplift her. On the left is the future - a top amateur who is on the
verge of joining the pros, racing to find her spot at the top of the sport.
Amateur BMX Freestyle National Championships / Woodward, PA Dec 2020
Seven-year-old Samuelle Moreno - a Tucson local, Samuelle was unstoppable in
his passion for progressing, to the point where his father came up to many on our
team to thank us for giving his family the opportunity to compete and have fun at the top
action sports camp, Woodward. Photo Credit: Josh McElwee.
USA BMX Foundation / BMX STEM Program Oct 2020
Student and teacher, both in masks, groups social distancing from each other,
but the learning must continue.