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postheadericon George savell – older riders in bmx racing

George Savell – Older Riders in Bmx Racing

Tom Price in Western Australia, located 1547 kms from Perth, is a mining town surrounded by expanses of iron ore hills in every direction. It’s also the hub for the dads club at the local BMX track, which is enjoying some attention as a place where the dads are giving it a go.

George Saville, who claims to be fast approaching 40, had never ridden a BMX before. The thought of riding to keep fit was appealing, particularly upon moving to Tom Price where he’d heard about the infamous dads club. His two sons, Jacob (10) and Ethan (8), are keen riders and had been hitting up the Karratha track for some time. Like many young riders, they were very supportive when it came to their dad giving it a go.

“The dads looked like they had the same fitness level as myself and were pretty much the same age” George says. “So I thought, well this looks all right”.

When he first hit the track, he found that he couldn’t make it around the whole track without having to take a rest.

“Then we got on the gate for the first race. There were seven new dads who’d never ridden before and Kero (Club President), who’s been riding for several years and when he was a kid. The adrenaline started pumping and we all blasted out of the gate and I made it two thirds of the way around the track. When I went through the rhythm section for the first time ever, I found it a bit harder than it looked. I came straight off, knocking the guy next to me down” he laughs.

George had a ACL ligament replaced in his left knee twelve months ago and is still recovering. He finds that his right leg does all the work and by the time he’s at the end of the track, it feels like it’s on fire. So apart from his knee feeling sore after a race, he pushes the matter aside and is keen to get back on to the track, doing it for the dads. He doesn’t have time for excuses.

The kids think it’s great when the mums and dads hit the track. It’s something for them to cheer about and many dads realise how hard it is for the kids.

“I love the people I meet, new friends, the fitness and the best thing is the fun you have”. All the dads are loving it with the bonding strengthening as they share the sport together. “Some people are worried about looking stupid by falling off” George says. “Everyone falls off some time but you’re going to miss out if you don’t give it a go”.

George bought a strong bike that was heavy because he wasn’t “slightly built” with the safety gear and spent $800 all up. Now he just needs to focus on making it full speed around the whole track.

“I just want to encourage everyone to give it a go and it’s all about fun” he adds.

BMX racing in Australia appears to have an increase of older riders, which is fantastic for the kids and the sport. With the attention on the Olympic Games debut, the sport can only grow. So parents, get out there and have some fun!

Delphine Jamet

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