BMX Racing Is A Family Affair
At least once a week - weather permitting - Benno Scheidegger, Jr., age 11, hits the Eagle BMX track with his younger sister Kira, age 7. BMX - an abbreviation for bicycle motocross - is a fast-paced sport that Benno likes not only because he's competitive but also because he gets to hang out with his friends, as well as make new friends.
In 2003, the International Olympic Committee made BMX a full-medal Olympic sport for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and though he's still a few years out from qualifying, that's Benno, Jr.'s goal.
Competitions take Benno and Kira across the country, and the duo's parents, Kristi and Benno, Sr., are fine with that. Thanksgivings are spent in Tulsa, OK, where the Grand Nationals are held.
"It is kind of strange to be in Tulsa for Thanksgiving, but since a lot of my friends are there, it is fun and there's a lot of racing going on," says Benno, Jr., who cites the race as the biggest in the country. It was in Tulsa that he took first place at the Race of Champions in the 10 Cruiser division in 2015. Kira came in sixth in her division and finished 9th amongst all 7-year-old girls in the nation.
And it was at the Grand Nationals in 2012 where Benno, Jr. took top honors and a six-foot-trophy in his age group. The trophy is taller than he is.
"He's told us that if the house was on fire and he could save one thing, it would be that trophy," says his dad, laughing.
With both of their children riding, Kristi and Benno, Sr. are "pit crew, nutritional crew and hydration crew."
Trips to Greeley and the Front Range occur most weekends and there are races throughout the year. But that doesn't stop both Benno, Jr. and Kira from playing hockey, skiing and just hanging out with friends.
Benno enjoys hockey because it is very aggressive and offers the opportunity to be part of a team, whereas BMX riding is an individual sport.
"I spend the whole year biking and the only time I'm off is in December," says the young racer. "When I'm not racing, I miss it a lot."
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