Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Race Recap: USA BMX Las Vegas Nationals

From July 13th to the 15th, the USA BMX Las Vegas Nationals made a stop on the national circuit to the Southpoint Hotel and Casino in beautiful Las Vegas, NV for an action packed 3 day national. A 3 day national means that each day (Friday - Sunday) is a separate race. A racer's placing each day earns them points that go toward an end of year NAG (National Age Group) ranking. The setup in Vegas is hard to beat. If you stay at the hotel (the race is in the Expo center located on the same property), you can watch the races from the TV in your room. This comes in VERY handy when trying to time when to go down for your next race. Seriously. I wish every hotel next to a national had this! But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Vegas, Baby! 

Since racing and practice began on Friday, I flew out early Thursday morning to do a little sightseeing with Yuan. Unfortunately, due to a huge accident on I-10 I missed my flight, but due to a "flat tire policy", the good people of United got me on the next available one and I was good to go. Once I made it to Vegas I met Y in the rental car, along with my new friend I met on the plane (we had so much in common and chatted the whole flight, and we even found out we are sorority sisters, how COOL is that?? Hi L!), we dropped her off at her hotel, checked into our hotel, put the bike back together and got it locked up, then made our way down to the strip to grab a meal and check things out.

The pool AND our room view 😎

Adios for now Houston!

The strip is so much fun to walk around on. I could have done with less people trying to hand me fliers, but I guess that goes with the territory, oh well. Everything was so beautiful and we ended up eating at a restaurant called The Yardbird. Y had the friend chicken and I tried the shrimp and grits. Nothing was really healthy at this place, but it was all really good! With practice for me starting at around 9 AM the next day, we made it an early night. 

Day 1

On Friday I woke up, ate a breakfast bar, got ready for practice and made my way down to the track area. With a lower gate, a long sweeping turn and larger obstacles, this track was the complete opposite of what I'm used to. It was a lot of fun to ride on, but it was a challenge as I practiced pedaling over everything. Nationals are a lot of waiting around to race, but there was so much to do here that it made the waiting parts better. Unlike last year, this Friday I had a class. I had some awesome women to race (but I did see some of my intermediate class there from last year and we said hi). I ended up with 2nd place all three rounds, giving me the 2nd overall. Mostly on Friday I was frustrated with the track and my goal was to never give up and keep getting faster and smoother on it.
Black helmet, bright pink grips.

The horse stalls (bike lockup)

Day 2

Day 2 ended up as a repeat (racing wise) of day 1, I ended the day with a 2nd place finish. I felt a bit better on the track, but my confidence and aggression wasn't there yet. I tried to focus on getting better, and I had fun each moto that I raced, because each time I got the chance to try again. After the races (and in between motos), Y and I walked around the Vendor area, and he is amazing at finding good places to eat. We ended up driving the few miles to Henderson, NV and trying a Korean place where you build your own bibimbap bowl; that was SO delicious. We also went to In N Out burger, and since neither of us have one in our cities, it was a good treat. We also did a little sightseeing!

Hanging out at the track, apparently with someone else's bike lol!
Capturing the magic of the 7 Magic Mountains

Hi, Joshua. ✋

Day 3

Day 3 day 3.....I still ended up with a 2nd place but I was beginning to get familiar with the track and started to ride more aggressively which paid off. I had been chasing down the woman in 1st all weekend, and I got SO close on day 3. Seeing that kind of progression made me so happy. I was actually sad to see this track go and be done with riding on it forever. It was a great way to practice something new and to get back my happy mentality, as well as the mentality of never giving up. When the day was over I got my stamps and hurried back to the horse stall I shared with several other teammates and friends from my home track. I got the bike disassembled and packed up, made sure the stall was cleaned out, and left the arena to store my bag.

I love my pink shoes. They are starting to get a bit old though...

Later, Vegas

Since the only available flights form United were close to 3:30 PM (there was NO time to make that) and 1:45 AM, the red eye flight very reluctantly won. I found a few ways to amuse myself since I had checked out of my hotel room earlier that day by 1.) watching my phone charge plugged in to a wall socket in the lobby and 2.) (and much more fun) I used my movie pass to see the Incredibles 2 at the movie theatre in the hotel, complete with popcorn. I kept thinking how much my nephew would have loved this movie. It's definitely worth it. There were times when the humor was a little too "little kid" and predictable for me, but that's okay. I'm glad it's made for kids! There was a little girl a few seats over from me who had the biggest laugh at times, and she ended up making the whole theatre laugh.

Senior Frog's favorite pirate ship haha 😆

Secretly A Golfer

After the movie I returned the rental car, took the tram to the airport, checked, checked my bag and waited around. My bag is a bike bag made by DK that say on it "DK Golf", in order to trick the airlines into thinking it's a golf bag. This way they won't charge me. People have definitely gotten caught and paid large fees for a bike, and I was afraid of that too. However, it turns out I can pass for a golfer quite effortlessly. The whole trip I was CONSTANTLY deflecting questions about what courses I play, what I hit, etc. Haha! It was pretty funny but since I don't golf I had to think fast on my feet. Mostly I told people I haven't played yet.

The red eye flight was good, I slept an hour or so on it but it was tough. I ended up making it home Monday at 8 AM, so I went right to bed and slept until almost 3 PM. I'm still really tired but happy, and today is going to be a rest day before training starts up again. Mostly I'm thankful that I got to go, that I got to race, to see Y, do well and travel safe. This weekend was one for the books.

Self explanatory? 

What is something you got to do that you're thankful for?


  1. what I am thankful for is the sport of BMx racing, I started racing when I was 7 and had to quit when I was 10 because I moved and the closest track is in Nashville tn, which is 2.5 hours away, but now that I have a job and a license, and a love for BMx racing, I get to start racing again.

    1. Bryce, I'm so glad you're able to come back to a sport that you truly love! I took a long time off during and after college and found that I missed it too much to stay away much longer. I'd love to hear how your first time back on the track is!