Nelson BMX Club is very small, our council owned track doesn’t meet national standards, we constantly deal with track vandalism, yet we have some dedicated riders who are achieving well.
This year, we decided to grab the opportunity to promote the club by hosting an event during BikeFest Nelson.
For 2 weeks in February, BikeFest celebrates all things cycling, from mountainbiking, urban (and normal!) cross country, road racing, cycle sculpture /decoration and more.
We chose to remind Nelsonians that BMX-ing is the start of doing fun things on a bike by hosting an evening of fun for families. We had some racing, family rides, novelty events, and the opportunity to meet and ride with BikeFest celebrity Kelly McGarry. Our event was titled ‘Crankin’ with Kelly’
Kelly became a YouTube phenomenon in 2013 when he flipped 72 feet across a canyon in Utah during the Red Bull Rampage. See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0Mr9Z1fhtE
He is currently ranked 18th on the FMB world rankings, and as a professional free-ride mountain- biker, he travels the world competing in crazy places and building tracks. Nelson is his hometown, and the Nelson BMX track is where he started his interest as an 11 year old on a BMX bike.
On club nights we usually have about a dozen riders, and so we were thrilled when 60-70 riders turned up!
Kids were given a few tips by Kelly, and loved riding the track with him, and having their t/shirts signed.
We ran a BBQ, and raffle for club funds, and gave away spot prizes from sponsors. We also collected lots of names from folk who supported our request to the council to include a BMX track in the new cycle development at Saxton Field.
We invited the ‘Ride On’ crew (which teaches a cycle skills course) and ‘The Truck’ who brought their skateboards / balls / fun gear to join us, and these side activities were enjoyed by kids who weren’t on the track.
Our BMX programme included crazy relays, a ‘parent’ ride, a slow race, a balance competition and we got everyone on the track peddling furiously to Freddy Mercury’s “I want to ride my bicycle” at full volume!
Every club night since ‘Crankin’ with Kelly’, we’ve signed up at least two new members, and our current members have had their enthusiasm boosted. Yes it required commitment, planning and plain hard work, but we’re seeing the results!
Roll on next BikeFest!