The 21st annual American Bicycle Association Race for Life will be held on Sunday, June 2.
The event will be held at the Carson City BMX track at the Edmonds Sports Complex and will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Last year's Race for Life involved kinds from all over the United States, racing at their local tracks. More than $250,000 was raised, making Race For Life one of the largest single fund-raising event for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in its mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma and blood-related cancers.
Race For Life is an ideal race for new riders. Kids are able to race in this event without an American Bicycle Association membership.
Cost of racing is $10. Riders need to have a helmet, long sleeves and long pants. The bike must have pads on the frame, neck and handlbar crosspiece along with a kickstand, reflectors, pegs and chain guard removed.
Race For Life is one of the events helped put on by Carson City BMX, which has been around for more than 10 years. Because of the growing popularity of the sport, there are also tracks in South Tahoe, Reno and one opening in Truckee.
Carson City BMX has several families dedicated to the sport and give of their free time to help and to race. Riders range from ages 3 to 49.
Among the top riders are C.J. Loomis, who placed fourth last weekend at the Spring Nationals in Sacramento. Loomis' father also races and volunteers his time at the track.
Dalton Butler is one of the younger riders as he began when he was 3 and has been racing for two years. His dad, Rod, volunteers his time and got a donation of windows for the announcing tower from Great Basin Glass.
Among the older riders is John Peragallo, 39, who races with the older teenagers while his wife and daughter watch. Peragallo also volunteers his time.
Many families participate together. Russell Shirley, has been racing and working at the track for more than five years. His mother, Sue Cavallero, and sisters, Jamie and Danielle, help out with Carson City BMX activities.
Tom Sanner and John Harris, who raced in their younger years, are now helping with Carson City BMX activities as well. Sanner handles track maintenance and works with the younger riders.
Among the more energetic young riders that Sanner has worked with is Kaleb Wold. Sanner's mother, Sue Sanner, also volunteers her time.
Bicycle Authority owner Dan Turner, who used to race, now comes out to help maintain the grounds, announce and lend his vocal support, not just to his team, but to all young riders.
Those involved say the label extreme sport is outdated for bicycle motorcross (BMX) racing as is the stereotype of BMX kids as radical daredevils with multicolored hair who hang out on street corners. Now a mega sport that attracts the whole family, BMX is called an alternative or action sport.
In the past few years, kids and their parents have gravitated to action sports such as skateboarding, inline skating and BMX. The X-Games have spotlighted the talents of elite athletes showing that alternative sports have evolved into organized activities that attract self-disciplined competitors. BMX is now known as a family-oriented sport.
Carson City BMX races on most Sundays with practice on Wednesdays. Those interested must be ABA members to participate in Carson City BMX races and practices.
For more information on Carson City BMX and Race for Life, call (775) 246-3660 or (775) 721-5969. Information is also available via the web site at www.ababmx.com.