Thursday, December 22, 2016

To be Stripped or Clipped?

Is banning clip pedals from a local track the right move for a new kick ass indoor track?

When I met Ted Bailey 8yrs back he was all about the progressing of BMX. I had the honor of running a local BMX team for Ted for a few years. When met Ted, I asked him what he wanted in building a local team..intermediates or Experts, Ted quickly answered "Newbies...Hell I don't care what class they are as I just want to see kids ride on BMX bikes and tracks".  That was the day I knew this guy cared about BMX!

Ted's BMX blood still runs true to form today! He simply wants to see kids on bikes and see the sport advance in due stages. Ted has now drawn the line in the sand and has made it official in which clip pedals will be banned from all practices and racing in 2017 at Rebel Bmx - Monroe La for the 2017 season. In a world of Knee jerk reaction of course the wrong knee jerk can make or break you. My initial knee jerk reaction was that Ted was off his rocker and was going to hurt the now growing sport in Monroe La.

The whole inter web, text messages and social media seemed to back up my thoughts in which my opinions were correct. As I reflected on my own kids riding it was apparent that over the last half a year my youngest son was going to have to shift back to flats. It was evident to me that he never evolved into a "natural" bmx skill set  if that makes sense? Reflecting back at the sport..I recall DAD wanted him on clips. Hell why not? My son was 10 coming up in the sport and they had 6yr old rug rats already clipping in. Yep the ole monkey see monkey do caught me and now only I see my son is paying the price. Its not ironic that every professional advice I had been receiving over the years was to have my kids practice and race local event on flats.

To solidify Ted's stance even further Ted wanted to bring BMX back to a pedal and horse power sport! I can share I have seen my share of races won by a mere pump around a track. I personally witnessed Lee the Flea kick ass with a popped chain on the first straight in Desoto Tx a few years back. Yep...did not pedal once after popping the chain out the gate. With the ever changing SX tracks and Ramps as high as a 3 story building, the sport indeed has progressed away from a pedaling. Dont get me wrong it is what it is, but the roots and development of riders has been negated. The strong hold in which the sport was founded on  has slipped of late in my opinion. Not only did Rebel BMX put their foot down on clips, they also inserted a flat turn going into the last straight. Yep you heard me! Balls do the wall, elbow to shoulder with a drag race to the finish! Sounds like a Rebel kind of place to me!

USABMX elected to put their foot down as well and stripped Rebel BMX of hosting a Gold Cup Qualifier and including hosting the La- State Race. HOWEVER, they are still allowing them to run sanction races, just not the two listed. No surprise as the money train needs to keep coming to the Giant and the sport.

USABMX did not feel it was right that Rebel was enforcing such unfair advantages to riders at their track. Are they right? Not sure but Ironically I recall in the 80's ABA had banned the Slingshot Bicycle as it was deemed that it snapped out of the gate and gave an unfair advantage to other riders......! Damn thats a kick ass bike of art though.

  You would think that pressure would have swayed Rebel BMX to allow clips just for those two big races right? Wrong! The momentum and support for banning clip pedals has been strong. Rebel BMX will be hosting a Championship race series in which riders will have to compete in different races through the year with the final champion being decided after competing in all races. The Sponsorship and support has been pouring in to support this race series. Being an old school BMX racer myself, I am encouraged to see what comes about of this race series. I also would hope that other tracks around the nation will take part in this adventure and help host a few of this "no clip" series in which a true champion could be crowned.
If you would like to support this race, please hit Ted up at He would love your support but in the end he simply wants people to support the sport of true BMX racing. Rebel is NOT looking to turn back time nor stop the progression of technology. They are simply wanting riders to enjoy the sport of BMX . Shouldn't it be won with sliding turns and mere pedal power? I say yes!