WOW, what an emotional time, it isn’t often I shed tears in public but watching my little guy power around that track to win his final was definitely a tear jerker! As Riley went off to his final I told him “stay safe, have fun, and ride hard”. I gave him a high five and off he went. Once he leaves it is up to him. I have asked him before what he thinks of up on the gate “Nothing, I think about nothing, except for getting to the corner first”. Nerves kick in hearing his name being announced, and then the wait for the gate to drop. I had the whole Wellington region yelling out to him as he was pedalling around the track -with an intense roar as he biked past us on the first corner … I remember someone saying behind me “1st corner …. 2nd corner ….3rd corner”, in suspense to make sure the wet track didn’t take him down. The atmosphere combined with the end result was crazy … absolutely crazy J. It is such an adrenalin rush, the noise, the commentators, the riders. We watch the video of the final just about every night; he smiles and giggles watching it – so proud.
To see him at prize giving, standing there, and then to raise his trophies right up with a huge smile was amazing, you could see the pride he had and the realization of what he had just achieved.
Riley has been riding bikes since he was 2.5 years – we would take him to the track and he would sit on the final straight waiting for the other riders to go past then we would give him a push and he would bike off – complete with training wheels. It all started form this. Being the youngest of three boys he has had to learn to keep up, his brothers do not wait for him on or off the track, so in the eyes of some he was considered a “daredevil”. I remember being called by his kindergarten teachers asking me to please talk with him because he is making jumps and jumping the tricycles, and because he was riding them so fast and cornering them so fast they were almost tipping and other children were scared he was going to hurt them. I also remember the day after we took them to watch Crusty Demons Live, I would look out the window to a 3. 5 year old yelling out “you ride it you jump it” as he was peddling his 16” kmart bmx up a wheelbarrow he had flipped over and laid a piece of ply wood on top off! Thrill seeker!
Currently Riley holds South Island #1, North Island #1 and New Zealand #1 …… he now considers himself famous, especially after he was asked to sign a number plate after winning his final, he had a grin from ear to ear. As his parents, the next goal for us is to be able to take the boys to Australia next year to ride some tracks over there; although I have been told his trademark golden curls may have to be cut due to the heat and his head overheating in his helmet. I may need to think this trip through a bit more! Riley will defend all three of his titles in the coming events in NZ, but would like to have a few races over in OZ to see what it is like. Riley’s personal goal is to be selected for the CRUPI Dalliston Team, and of course to keep his #1 on his plates.
A huge thank you to all who have helped us along the way, to the support and encouragement, the kind words and messages we have received – Thank You, we truly appreciate the friendships we have made in this BMX community.