Hays wins BMX racing national title
Mike Hays learned to ride a bicycle when he was three and began racing when he was four.
Then he decided he would like to take part in traditional youth sports like soccer, so he stopped racing for 10 years. When he was 14, Hays decided that he wanted to begin racing again.
“Mom I think I want to try that again,” said Mike’s mother, Wendy Hays about what her son told her.
Mike made the right decision. Two years later, he’s become a national champion. Hayes has had quite a bit of success in BMX racing – motorcross style racing for bicycles – and he capped that success by winning the most prestigous event of them all, the ABA Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.
The 16-year-old honor roll student at Douglas High, who lives in Jacks Valley, won his age group for 15-16-year-olds and the open division. “It’s the Big Daddy of all,” said Wendy about the ABA Grand Nationals.
Mike got back into racing at Carson City’s BMX track next to Edmonds Park where he raced every Sunday. From there, he went on to have success in national level races in places such as California and Utah.
At national level events, Mike would routinely finish in the top four. “To make it to the main is a big deal and he always makes it to the main,” Wendy said.
Mike’s goal was just to make it to the main event in Tulsa. “To him to win first place was just fantastic,” Wendy said. “We were thrilled.”
In Tulsa, Hays also raced in the Race of Champions in which he qualified by finishing second in Nevada. Hays struggled somewhat in the Race of Champions where he crashed and had to settle for sixth.
But he used that race to become used to the indoor track in Tulsa, allowing him to make adjustments for the Grand Nationals.
“It was one of the biggest I raced on,” said Mike about the Tulsa track. “It wasn’t my favorite, though. It was a little soft and long.”
BMX racers like tracks with hard dirt that allow them to go faster. Mike’s favorite track is in Roseville, Calif. “It’s built well and it’s a fun track,” said Mike, whose sponsor is Carson City’s Bicycle Authority.
In the Grand Nationals last Saturday and Sunday, Hays won both of his motos, his semifinal and the main event. One of the biggest factors in BMX racing is the start, and Hays continued to have strong starts, allowing him to virtually lead throughout all of his races.
“Something clicked on Saturday and Sunday,” Wendy said. “he just go the track figured out.”
Next up for Hays will be the Silver Dollar Nationals in January at the Reno Livestock Events Center. While Hays doesn’t know how much longer he’ll race, he doesn’t think he’ll ever turn pro. “They don’t make very much money,” he said.