It all started four years ago when Carter and Brady Ferguson began building a BMX, or bicycle motocross, track in their back yard. That track has helped them train for competitions over the years, including the state competition in Minnesota, where both Carter and Brady came in first place in their age divisions this year. Carter and Brady will be participating in the Land O’Lakes Nationals in Isanti, Minn., September 6, 7, and 8.
. Carter, left, and Brady Ferguson built their own BMX racing track in their back yard to help them train for competitions. Both Carter and Brady took first place at the state championships this year and are going on to the national championships on September 6, 7, and 8.
Carter, 15, and Brady, 14, were introduced to BMX riding by friends and spent all summer four years ago building their backyard track. Cindy and Doug Ferguson, Carter and Brady’s parents, have been impressed by their sons’ dedication from the very start. The construction of the track in the backyard was a large task to take on. “It was great, it kept them busy,” Doug Ferguson said. “That was all they did all summer, shovel and wheelbarrow,” Cindy Ferguson added.
Due to injuries and illnesses, Brady and Carter have not been able to participate in the state competition every year since they’ve started, but each year that they have competed on the state level, they have placed.
Although the boys have spent plenty of time participating in races at Toad’s Cove in Centerville, Wis., the majority of their training takes place in their backyard. “We spend two hours a day riding, on a nice day,” Carter said. That’s seven days a week, Doug Ferguson added. The boys have been practicing at least two hours a day and running sprints with their bikes in preparation for the upcoming national competition.
BMX racing is primarily a summer sport, but an indoor track is opening in La Crosse, Wis., this October. The family hopes to participate in weekly races there throughout the winter.
The boys custom build their bikes with the goal of making the bikes lighter. Carter and Brady work to pay for the parts they need to buy for their bikes. Their parents pay for the travel, hotels, and entry fees. Family friend Randy Northrup also sponsored both of the boys this year to help out with the costs of the sport.
BMX racing is a fast growing sport, and in 2008 became an Olympic sport. Participants ride motocross bicycles at speeds between 25-30 mph as they race around a dirt track. It’s often seen as a family sport, with age groups as low as 4 and under using strider push bikes.
Gear for the sport includes long sleeved shirts and helmets. There are special clips that hook on to the bottom of your shoes, so when you push down on the pedal, the shoe locks in. The biker is then able to both push down and pull up. “It really helps at the gate with the start,” Cater explained. “The quicker you can get out of the start the better your chances of winning are.”
There is no cost to watch the BMX races; fans and parents will not be charged entry fees. At Toad’s Cove in Centerville, guests can borrow bikes and helmets to test out the course and see if they enjoy the sport — at no charge.