Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Two locals will compete in BMX world championship

 

Two locals will compete in BMX world championship

Collin Blatchley (a second-grader next year) and Reid Porter (going into third-grade) will be representing Team USA and Niwot in this year’s world BMX competition next month.

The boys earned their tickets earlier this year in Austin, Texas and Rock Hill, S.C., respectively, and will be making the trip to see how they fare with bikers from around the world against the best of the best.

“They’ll be competing against kids their age from all around the world,” Collin’s father Rob Blatchley said. “This is the first time worlds have been in the U.S. for a long time.”

Collin started racing when he was three years old. Both Reid and Collin call Dacono their home track, about a 20-minute drive from Niwot.

Collin’s parents Rob and Heather are neighbors with Tim and Jenn Porter, Reid’s parents.

“We were just trying to find a bike,” Rob Blatchley said. “They got us into racing. They said we already had the bike, just go out to the track.”

Collin currently races for “Pedal 2 the Mettle,” a state champion BMX team. Reid recently gained corporate sponsorship but was previously a member of the same team.

Collin’s father said that once they started to get more involved, the sport has really become a big part of their lives.

“It’s a sport people don’t know a lot about,” Rob Blatchley said. “It’s been interesting to learn.”

Even when the riders take a spill, it’s something that they embrace.

“Crashing is a part of the sport,” he continued. “It happens at all levels. It’s kind of scary when they go down sometimes. But they’re wearing full protective gear — helmets, neck braces, padding and so on.”

Collin got into the sport because of his friend Reid, and the two have done pretty well in competitions together even though they’re in different age groups.

“You get to know each other really quickly because you see each other at the tracks,” Rob Blatchley said. “The races go every weekend that it’s sunny. There’s almost always a place to race if it’s at least 50 degrees and sunny — and the track is in good condition.

“So you get to know the parents really well. There’s a huge range of personalities. It’s a great sport for kids to see a lot of diversity. It’s a lot of fun, and great to get kids into.”

Reid started off riding a bike at two, and also was introduced to the sport by a friend. Tim and Jenn were invited to the track at Dacono, and Reid was enamored with the sport.

“We couldn’t get him away from the fence,” Tim Porter said. “He just stood there watching, and said, ‘Dad, I want to do that.’”

So they bought him a bike, but it wasn’t light enough for racing.

After his first competition, Tim and Jenn agreed he needed a different bike.

“He started really racing at four,” Tim Porter said. “Right before he turned five, we went to the (Grand Nationals) in Tulsa. We had no idea what it was about. He made it to the semi-finals, and we were hooked.

“We really got involved in it. We took him back to the Grands the following year. He raced as a five-year-old and won as an intermediate rider.

Reid set some goals for himself, and the first was to win Grand Nationals. On his first trip, he took third place at six years old.

“That really lit the fire under him,” Tim Porter said. “He could not accept that, he was upset. So he started racing harder and set his own goals.”

Last year Reid set a goal to win Grand Nationals in both the 20” and 24” bike races, which he accomplished.

“That’s pretty lofty, but a great goal to have,” Tim Porter said. “At that age there are a lot of kids going pretty fast. The older you get, the more kids there are.

“It was pretty amazing because he decided that he was going to do it, and he did. He had his mind set on it and wasn’t going to let anything stop him.”

With the sponsorship, Reid and the Porters have been able to continue to participate in the sport.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Tim Porter said. “He’s a hard worker and a very dedicated kid. It’s amazing at that age to see a little kid work that hard. I’ve been riding bikes my whole life, and he makes me look like a fool on a bicycle.”

Reid’s next goal beyond winning the world championship is to eventually represent Team USA in the Olympics.

“I think he’s going to do his best to represent the USA,” Tim Porter said. “That’s what the boy does … The sport is different than what I thought it was. You see a lot of parents yell in youth sports and be tough on their kids, but it’s not like that at the track.

“Of course you have to motivate, that’s what coaches do, but he is very self-driven and I think that’s what makes the biggest difference.”

Both boys are highly ranked nationally in their age groups, and should fare well against the world’s best BMX racers.

“It’s going to be a challenge for him because he’ll be racing up an age group,” Tim Porter said. “But I think he’ll do well. He’s really competitive and doesn’t hold back.”

Collin’s father also added a final thought about his son..

“From starting as a recreational rider to being on a team was big for him,” Rob Blatchley said. “He’s excited about this. I know he’ll give it everything he has, he always does.”

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 11/13/2019 19:58