Caroline Buchanan's Return

Monday, September 30, 2019
Photo: @vibe.imagery
It's amazing to see where you were and where you're at now, and so I wanted to explore with you this return to working out and biking again after that life-threatening injury. So when was the official date where you were given the clear to train again, and what was the first thing you did when the doctor gave you the green light?

I was first cleared at 7 months post sternum surgery operation in July 2019, at this stage I was cleared to start progressing my strength and posture in the gym as I had had no load through upper body/spine for 7 months. I was cleared with full clearance 9 months post-surgery at the end of August for BMX/ MTB and riding motorbikes again. Basically with a final CT scan to check the bones healing I was cleared to be able to not only train, ride and race but more importantly in the surgeons and doctors eyes “cleared to crash again” and be ok.

When I take a week or two off from working out, getting back in the gym can be pretty tough. Things that used to be easy, now feel heavier than usual, and it can feel discouraging. For you, what workouts felt surprisingly tough, what was still easy and what percentage would you say you're at now since working out again?

I hear you on this. It was the most frustrating experience to not be able to do one proper push up or one chin up. The % of the strength that I had to gain back was 90% of my strength. I had to start at 6 days a week in the gym starting on the bare foundations and smallest movements. Starting from the bottom, and a 4-month solid plan to be back on 2 wheels and be strong enough to crash again if that happened.

Some people say the funnest time you have on a bike is when you start for the first time because it's new and fresh. Did the return feel that way or did it feel frustrating?

100% it was so refreshing and rewarding. It reminded me of the 5-year-old girl that fell in love with riding bikes and why I never want to be off 2 wheels again. Passion never dies!

I really like that you're using a focus board, what is on yours and how has it helped you in your recovery? I’ve also had similar boards in the past but always had a hard time following it 100% of the time lol.

I have had progressions of my board and what works for me. Some simple 5 “Slay 5 tasks" each week holds me accountable to those 5 adulting / have to get done tasks. I have the motivation "Slay the Day” to stay in the moment have gratitude for where I am at and the focus and goals coming. I like to keep my daily training in front of me to see when I wake up and go to sleep. My 2019 & 2020 goals and also a content plan to keep on track with sponsors and commitments and stay organized. The board is a large piece of black plastic from Walmart bolted to my wall with white chalk whiteboard markets, white tape and rulers to keep my OCD happy.

You stayed amazingly lean during your recovery, I think for most people it would be easy to become a couch potato and gain a few kilos given what you went through, what's the secret in staying active when you're not 100%?

While I was injured the 1 thing I could control was what went into my mouth. I was at the mercy of time healing bones, medical complications and doctors advice/mistakes. So for me, I knew if I could have equal calories in as I was putting out each day, I would maintain good health and not put on weight -  it's that simple. I only ate clean and enough and was very aware I was not exercising.

Being that you’re set up with Fresh N Lean, could we ask you to give us your Fresh N Lean pitch, and may we ask what plan you’re currently on?

I am all about my bachelorette pad fridge at the moment. It's not that fun cooking for 1 or when your training and riding and fatigued. That's when it's easy to slip and be tempted by quick and easy calorie-dense food. With Fresh N Lean it's all dairy-free, gluten-free which I stick to with all meals. It's cooked, and vacuum-sealed and sent to my door on #FuelFridays. I love it for staying accountable and having nutrient-dense healthy and calculated out meals. I am on an 8 meal “Performance Protein+” + 4 “Low Carb Paleo meals” a week lunch and dinners. I keep the lower-carb paleo options for days I am not training. Sundays are my cheat days and meals out.

I saw on your recent post that there's some BMX and Dual Slalom practice happening, is there a date set yet for your first BMX race back, and where does Freestyle BMX sit with the plans right now?

There sure is a first BMX race insights and that is the 10th of October, our official BMX racing Olympic test event in Tokyo. Freestyle for me will transition back into my plan and goals after Olympics on the freestyle MTB side of events.

How was your first Dual Slalom race? Mindset going in and how was the outcome?

I finished up in 5th, I was so happy I had the first race jitters for sure and was nervous naturally not being in the gate for a year. My starts and top half jump and berm speed were strong but my lack of bike time and tentative first event back flat turns was where I knew I would need to work on for future races. It feels at home to be back.

Photo @paulolmedophoto
Lastly, any general advice or wisdom for someone who is just starting their road back to recovery?

Be your own doctor, get 2nd and 3rd opinions on everything for your own safety. To get CT scans & MRI scans even if doctors say you don’t need them. Get blood tests to know whats going on inside your body…what are you lacking or what are you intolerant to, what does your body not like, have the tests, get the answers and stay accountable to that. I would say be patient and don’t rush things. To focus on what you can control like your mental health, your work, friendships, the fuel you're putting in your body and focus on self-help, podcasts, and audiobooks. Injuries, adversity, and setbacks are simply life giving you a slow down to take off to the next success… Capitalize on the opportunity :)

Photo: @paulolmedophoto

UCI BMX Supercross World Cup - Round 9 Santiago del Estero

Saturday, September 28, 2019
Photo: Laura Smulders NED

Congratulations Laura Smulders, winner of today's World Cup race in Santiago del Estero. Laura is currently ranked in the lead right now with 2190 points.

Santiago del Estero Results

1 Laura Smulders NED
2 Natalia Afremova RUS
3 Felicia Stancil USA

4 Manon Valentino FRA
5 Zoe Claessens SUI
6 Domenica Azuero ECU
7 Saya Sakakibara AUS
8 Simone Tetsche Christensen DEN

9 Mariana Pajon COL
10 Lauren Reynolds AUS
11 Nadja Pries GER
12 Paola Reis Santos BRA
13 Sae Hatakeyama JPN
14 Axelle Etienne FRA
15 Yaroslava Bondarenko RUS
16 Stefany Hernandez VEN

Bike Check : Nikki Wetzel

Monday, September 23, 2019
Bike Check : Nikki Wetzel
Photos by : Naoki Gaman

Nikki Wetzel recently built up a fresh new Sunday Soundwave V3. Take a closer look below!

 Frame: 20.5 Sunday Soundwave V3 
Fork: Odyssey R25 
Bars: Sunday Discovery 9.25/ 27.5 
 Stem: Sunday Freeze Stem 48mm 
Grips: Broc Signature 
 Seatpost: Odyssey 
 Seat: Sunday Badge 
 Pedals: Odyssey Pro PC 
 Cranks: Odyssey Thunderbolt 170 LHD 
Sprocket: Odyssey Fang 28T 
Front Tire: Odyssey Broc Signature 2.4 
Front Wheel: GSport Ribcage/Roloway 
Rear Tire: Odyssey Broc Signature 2.4 
 Rear Wheel:GSport Ribcage/Clutch V2

2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships: Final Results

Sunday, September 15, 2019

1. Perris Benegas USA 86.40
2. Nikita Ducarroz USA 82.40
3. Maca Perez CHI 81.10
4. Nina Buitrago USA 78.60
5. Teresa Azcoaga ESP 75.80
6. Natalya Diehm AUS 75.60
7. Natasha Wetzel USA 73.20

Maca Perez High Air Winner

Natalya Diehm 2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Champion 

Photos by Naoki Gaman

2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships: Qualifying Results

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Qualification went down today for the women at the last stop for Vans Pro Cup, a total of 19 women entered but only 7 will be moving onto finals tomorrow. Watch it all live at 12:00pm Pacific Time Watch Here.

1. Perris Benegas 90.40
2. Nikita Ducarroz 81.80
3. Macarena Perez 81.40
4. Nina Buitrago 79.40
4. Teresa Azcoaga 79.40 (tie)
6. Natalya Diehm 77.60
7. Natasha Wetzel 76.00

8. Angie Marino 75.00
9. Jesse Gregory 71.60
10. Elizabeth Posadskikh 69.40
11. Keir Sirlin 66.60
12. Jamie McHenry 58.20
13. Kara Bruce 52.80
14. Laila Magnetti 47.00
15. Megan Vu 46.40
16. Emma Schwarz 45.60
17. Beatrice Trang 43.30
18. Alexis Jorden 39.40
19. Ryan Myers 38.60

World Urban Games Budapest - Qualifying Results

Friday, September 13, 2019
Minato Oike Qualifies for Finals.

While half of the world is at the Vans Pro Cup, the rest are at the World Urban Games in Budapest. Congrats to the ladies who qualified, finals start 11:00 BST on Sunday or 6am Eastern, 3am Pacific, 4am mountain.

 Qualifying Results

1. Hannah Roberts USA Q
2. Minato Oike JPN Q
3. Magalie Pottier FRA Q
4. Chelsea Wolfe USA Q
5. Liszurley Villegas Serna COL Q
6. Queensaray Villegas Serna COL Q

7. Ellie Chew NZL Q
8. Ekaterina Kruglova RUS Q
9. Jana Muradova NED Q
10. Analia Gabriela Zacarias ARG Q
11. Mini Park KOR Q
12. Valeria Ward GBR Q

13. Nikol Prikrylova CZE
14. Eduarda Bordignon BRA
15. Katherine Diaz VEN
16. Cory Coffey USA
17. Derlayne Dias Roque BRA
18. Melania Salazar CRC

2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships: Gallery & Schedule

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
All photos by @55naoking
The 2019 Vans BMX Pro Cup Series World Championships heads to Huntington Beach, CA September 13-15 for the grand finale event that will crown two new BMX champions. The entire Bloom BMX crew, including Angie and myself will be on-site to bring you live updates from the entire weekend! Let's not forget our amazing photographer Naoki Gaman who took these amazing shots from today's practice.

Friday, September 13
Men’s Regional Qualifiers (Open Registration)

Saturday, September 14
Women’s Semi-Finals – (Open Registration)
Men’s Semi-Finals

Sunday, September 15
Women’s Finals
Womens High-Air
Men’s Finals
Raddest Trick

WOMEN’S DIVISION – Top Rankings Advancing from Mexico Event

1. Natalya Diehm AUS

2. Perris Benegas USA
3. Macarena Perez CHL
4. Teresa Azcoaga SPA
5. Angie Marino USA
6. Anahi Valentina Areualo MEX
7. Jesse Gregory USA
8. Margarita Meraz MEX
9. Citlali Tomes MEX
10. Derlayne Roque BRA
11. Tania Torres Reyes MEX
12. Norma Angelina Guerrero MEX
13. Melanye Elizabeth Naja MEX
14. Abi Nieto MEX

NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year, Nina Buitrago

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The NORA Cup Awards, which first started in 1985 is one of the most prestigious awards in BMX, paying homage to the best in BMX by the people in BMX. This year was extra special, with the addition of a women's category. An exclusive number of female riders were given the opportunity to cast their vote in the first-ever NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year Award, and to no one's surprise, the most deserving woman received it, Nina Buitrago.

Nina Buitrago, NORA Cup Female Rider Of The Year. 

Congratulations on winning, this is huge! Let's first talk about who you nominated for and why?

Nina: The award said to name who you feel was the number one rider of the year in the women’s category, and so for 2019 I chose Hannah Roberts!! She has been putting in so much work and making history for women at almost every event she’s attended this year.

You and I briefly talked about the win, and Nina you deserve this, but obviously, you're super humble and can't fully celebrate it, so I'm going to go therapy on you and make you finish the following sentence. I deserve this win because ... (yes you have to fill it out)

Nina: I can’t control or stop people from doing what they did, BMX is crazy and I’m so honored 🤦🏻‍♀️ but from now on I hope they read the instructions !! Rider of the current year lol

So do "team meetings" happen often at Empire BMX, how surprised and unaware were you of what was going to happen? Did you have any inklings that maybe there would be a trophy in the Amazon box? What did you think the team meeting could have been about? lol

Nina: Team meetings don’t happen that often and so I was like woah, they must have some news, but I’ve been working so much lately and happened to actually be in town, so I didn’t want to miss it! I was tight on time running behind trying to get ready to go out of town, so when I ran in on my lunch break, I literally just stopped in my tracks, I was so confused why so many people were there also?! Even some of my non BMX riding friends were there for a team meeting?! I have never been surprised like that, and couldn’t think of any reason WHY 🤯 It wasn’t until I reached my hand in the box and felt the edge of the cup, my heart immediately dropped and the tears began to flow.

Click on the image to watch the moment Nina stepped into Empire BMX

I assume someone at Our BMX would have suggested for you to come out to Hastings to hang out right? Also slow clap for those who didn’t spill the beans am I right? lol

Nina: Jeff Z called me and told me they were offering the award and asked me to be a presenter, I was like holy yes! Then oh dang.. wait, when are the dates again?? My boyfriend and I had just booked a trip for his birthday that weekend before heading to the Vans BMX Pro Cup. So at first I was stressing, then Z called me back a few days later and was like well, you can’t be a presenter if you’re a nominee, and asked me to try to still make it. Honestly, I looked into it like crazy, it just wasn’t realistic to come out on less than 2 weeks notice with the other plans I already had made, no refunds and then 5x the amount $ to go to England... I didn’t want to bail on my dude or bail on BMX for the first women’s NORA cup EVER... It was hard but I just had to stick with the original plan, in the bustle and hustle of getting ready to leave town and this team meeting, I didn’t even think to put any of it together. Even down to Tina telling me not to park out back because Steve was having a motorcycle event. I was like woah crazy cool, I’ll have to check that out later hahaha 🤦🏻‍♀️ (so I didn’t see everyone’s cars who came to surprise me)

Photo from @_alexismabry

How did it feel to go to NORA Cup year after year to see other peers get awards and none for females? I feel like, if there was a year to do it, it would be this year, but what about you?

Nina: I mean, it’s always awesome getting to celebrate a rider/homie receiving an award, I always thought how cool it would be if there someday was a women’s award, I think this year was definitely a great year to do it. It means more that they did it this year before the Olympics for BMX to show they fully recognize support and celebrate women on this level. It’s amazing and as most would agree, about time.

Where’s the trophy today, does it get a special place in the house?

Nina: It's at my house on the dining room table with flowers for now till I get back, I don’t know what to do with it yet lol

It wouldn't be a complete interview, without interviewing the people behind this award, so we reached out to Ryan Fudger on behalf of Our BMX for a few quick words on this historic moment.

When the email went out for nominations, was the choice pretty clear right off the bat based on the responses coming in?

Ryan: Voting usually comes in waves. People that have strong opinions usually vote quickly, but a majority of the votes come in after a couple of days when I send the reminder email. Nina took an early lead and looked pretty strong, but Hannah steadily got votes and made it fairly close in the end.

Nina winning is well deserved, she’s been a part of the community for a couple of decades now, but what does this win mean to the team at the Our BMX office? There’s significance in this you know? Nina was very likely, the first female who was probably featured on Ride BMX back in the day and for me, this just feels like a full circle.

Ryan:  I can speak for all of us when we say we're beyond happy to see Nina win. 2019 was a rough year for her and she'll be the first to say it wasn't her best year on the bike. While NORA Cup is supposed to be a rider of the year award (and not a "best ever") category, it made sense on every level that Nina was the first to receive it. She's pioneered, pushed, and sacrificed for women's BMX for well over a decade, and it's pretty safe to say that we may not even be doing this award without her effort. All the other nominees—Lara, Hannah, Perris, and Angie—will surely have their shot at getting a NORA Cup in the future, but Nina deserved the first.

Photo from @_alexismabry

Was there a specific person on the team who started the conversation for a female category, and what’s their address for me to send the edible arrangement? But seriously, not asking it as “why now?” but more of, what was the inspiration behind making this happen?

Ryan:  Hah, I mean, I guess I was the one who said "we're doing it." Obviously, it's been a wild year for us with the death of Ride and all that, so we were all over the place with NORA Cup. For a while, we weren't even sure if we could monetarily make NORA happen. We had loose talks about adding a Women's category, but we officially made the decision kind of late the game. I listened to Angie's Unclicked podcast and for whatever reason, it kind of just tipped the scale for me. Adam Watkins has always been advocating for a Women's category, but in 2018, we came to the conclusion in the past that the sampling for who would vote and, more importantly, who would win, was rather small. Sort of the same reason we've never had a Vert category. But, as you know, women's BMX has made massive strides and being at several events and seeing just how many women are out there in the world made it seem like the correct time to step up.

Vans BMX Pro Cup World Championships Schedule

Monday, September 9, 2019

The final stop of the Vans BMX Pro Cup starts this week! Natalya Diehm (above), is currently sitting in first for the overall series. Below you will find the Women's schedule.

Vans Off the Wall Skatepark, 7471 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, California


-10am - 5pm - Registration
-10am - 12pm - Women’s Practice

-10am - 5pm - Registration
-10am - 12pm - Women’s Practice

-Off day

-9am - 11am - Women’s Practice
-11am - Women’s Semi-Finals
-Organized Jams Format, ride in order
-7 riders per Heat, 3 runs, ride until you fall
-5 minutes of Practice before each Heat
-Judged on overall impression
-Top 14 from Semi-Finals advance to Finals
-Semi-Finals will be eliminated if participation is below 10 riders
-Finals is the same format as Semi-Finals

-11am - 12pm - Women’s Practice
-12pm - Women’s Finals
-Same format as Semi-Finals
-Immediately following: Women’s High Air, 10 minutes, winner takes all

Odyssey Giveaway with Angie Marino

Saturday, September 7, 2019
Angie Marino and Odyssey BMX have teamed up to give away their pink Odyssey stem and sprocket! For the chance to win, all you have to do is follow @OdysseyBMX & @thebloombmx and tag someone on Angie's Instagram and tell her why you want them! Contest ends this Sunday, good luck!

Photo by @_tylerhuntley

Photo by @_tylerhuntley

Alienation BMX Rims

Thursday, September 5, 2019

We’ve teamed up with Alienation BMX to give away a pair of rims of your choice! For a chance to win, head over to our insta stories, screenshot the last photo, reshare in your insta stories and tag @alienationbmx and @thebloombmx . One lucky winner will be chosen tomorrow - Friday, September 6th! Good Luck!

Don't have Instagram? That's ok, enjoy the informative slides we made below!