Spotlight: Charlotte Worthington

Friday, January 31, 2020


In a short amount of time, British rider Charlotte Worthington has propelled in the freestyle world. In just 2019 alone, Charlotte finished 3rd in the world in points, became the 2019 European Continental champ, British National Champ and countless other accomplishments. We sat down with Charlotte for a deep dive into her BMX career so far.

For those who don’t know you, how were you introduced to BMX?

So I’ve always been into extreme sports and anything with wheels, from watching my brother on a skateboard when I was young, to seeing someone doing tricks on a scooter for the first time - I was hooked. I rode scooters for about 7 years so I was always surrounded by BMX, and did get a BMX bike for my 16th birthday to mess around on. I picked things up pretty quickly but stuck to scooters for a long time. When I was 20 I decided I wanted a fresh start and to learn new tricks again, I was over riding scooters and BMX was new and made even simple tricks really exciting and fun again! So I was ready for a new challenge.

What was growing up in the UK like for you, did you have a supportive group of riders to turn to or was it pretty separated?

I was always a massive tomboy growing up, and in high school, there weren’t many girls like me, people probably thought I was pretty weird. I had a small group of friends and none of them were into sports, I didn’t know many people in my school who did anything at a skatepark either. So during those years, I was spending most of the time after school and every weekend on the bus to Stockport to ride Bones Skatepark with a few scooter riders I knew; I don’t think I was that popular with those guys but were the main crew around at the time haha! As time goes on people come and go but the past few years I feel I’ve had a great crew around me!



From scooters to BMX, do you believe that your time on a scooter helped you with your list of tricks today? Could you list some similarities or skills that made it easy to transition?

Totally!!! I found when I first rode a BMX from the first drop in and a few airs I just felt like ‘I can already do this!’, you’re riding the same ramps in a very similar way, pumping your legs and pulling your arms. As for the tricks, with some, it’s minor differences like leaning over a little more for a no hander, or backflips, I found almost exactly the same just going a little higher. Others can be quite different though. Tail whips, for example, there’s a lot more to them on a BMX, you're not just spinning a little bit of metal around with your wrists, it’s a whole frame with a back wheel, you’re in a totally different body position and your landing areas are little pedals, I found stuff like that hard.

Say you were a BMX travel agent, of all the places you've been in the UK, where should we go ride or check out?

Number 1 on the list is definitely Adrenaline Alley, this place is the ultimate training ground with something for everyone and is full of pro riders! Other spots include The Asylum Skatepark for a fun bowl with a resi, a trip up to Scotland is awesome with Unit 23 and Rampworx is pretty legendary with the likes of Harry Main too. I haven’t explored the south with my BMX too much, but there are lots of little outdoors dotted around, but we have more indoor facilities due to the weather haha.



Who are your sponsors today, and one awesome product you’d recommend for each?

So today my sponsors are Hyper & Snafu and Alan’s BMX shop, I have something else in the pipeline but I won’t say anything just yet haha... Hyper produce really top quality frames which are super light and strong, I’d recommend the one I’m currently riding which is the Logan Martin signature frame the Indy for its sizing being an all-round great frame. My favorite Snafu product is the Jet Fuel stem, it looks amazing! As do the rest of their products. Alan’s BMX stocks everything you can think of from parts to clothes.

So congrats on being picked up by Hyper and Snafu, could you give us a little insight on the decision and how the opportunity came up?

Thank you! I was out in the USA training with our coach Jamie Bestwick,  and one of my old friends in the industry called me to ask if I was happy with my sponsorship position, at the time I was riding for Tall Order. So we got talking and Hyper wanted to get together a girls team going into 2020 and also relaunch their products in the UK! They wanted a UK female athlete. I knew straight away I wanted to be involved, only days before I’d been talking to my British Cycling teammate Declan Brooks that if there was any dream company, I’d want to ride for it was Hyper & Snafu!



Seems like Hyper and Snafu are making a big statement for 2020 eh?

Definitely. They have some incredible riders male and female, some of the best in the world!

In a recent interview with the BBC… actually, let’s talk about that. You’ve been interviewed by numerous news outlets. How’s the attention been for you and your training? Are there any cool moments you could share with us?

British Cycling is great at getting the media on board and has really done well at exposing freestyle BMX to the British public, still not that many people know it’s now an Olympic sport. It’s picking up momentum with bigger news corporations doing pieces on us, it was nice to get an unexpected mention in The Guardian from the English Institute Of Sport as one of the Olympic hopefuls! I think another highlight was being on the BBC Breakfast show alongside other Olympians. I always manage to fit these around my training, but on a freezing morning at Adrenaline Alley, the reporters sometimes forget you might need a little time to warm up haha, we don’t have heaters in parks over here.



You’re clearly a hard-working girl, from working full time in the kitchen to now being a full-time athlete, how has British Cycling helped you? We’re curious about what your support structure looks like!

British Cycling has helped me and the team massively in the transition, we know BMX freestyle but they know fitness. Our physio Rachel Carter is like the team mum on trips now, we’ve got Jamie Bestwick as our rider coach and Dan McPartlan as our gym coach. There’s a bunch of other people behind the scenes helping with nutrition and lifestyle etc too, there’s a great support network behind us. It was a big change from a full-time job, changing my diet and exercise learning a lot about myself in this whole process. I’d only competed twice locally before going to my first Fise in 2018! I was kinda thrown in the deep end haha but I love that, it’s great for learning.

I assume your life is a little more regiment now, as you are training as an athlete. Could you break down what your normal week during competition season is like?

Yes totally, you have to watch everything you do when you’re an athlete, what you’re doing and when you're doing it. Mornings generally are for the gym, cardio or other activities and afternoons are for riding. Since moving to Corby, I try and ride a lot with Alex cold born and Declan brooks and whoever else is in town because we all push each other with a common goal. It’s a little different to chilling a Sunday session, but I do have the odd ‘totally fun’ session with everyone for the atmosphere and socializing, you gotta keep it fun.



I suppose you’re in the “off-season” right now, how have you been keeping busy and when’s the next competition for you?

Well, I find the off-season to be pretty busy! Now is the time to sew some seeds to grow through the year and get some new tricks going along with some hard fitness. I find in the season you don’t want to get hurt or too fatigue so it’s pretty balanced.

@Steezyrach wants to know, what new tricks are on your list to learn?

Other than everything haha... there’s a bunch of tricks I’ve made a good start on this summer that weren’t ready for contests yet so definitely some of them, I’m sorry I don’t want to reveal too much Rach but I think there are some female firsts in there once they’re done to wood!



With the Olympics just around the corner, is it on top of mind daily for you? What’s going on in that brain of yours right now?

It’s on my mind like it’s a reminder and motivation to be the best version of myself, I’m just staying super focussed on working towards that goal.

On a normal day of competition, how do you start your day and are you the type to freak out if you don’t have a routine going?

After a good few learning experiences shall we say, I’m probably still figuring out my perfect contest day. I’ve got some good habits going and have learned you’ve got to be flexible, plans change and you don’t need anything throwing you off your mental game!



Quick Questions - Don’t think too hard!

- All-time Favourite Course: Fise China 2019 was pretty fun!
- All-time Favorite City: MANCHESTER!
- If I didn’t ride BMX I would be: stuck in a dead-end job
- How many GB shirts you own:10 maybe?
- Coolest male and female rider: Logan Martin and Nikita Ducarroz
- The worst thing about traveling: Phone internet usage
- The person you look forward to seeing the most when you go to a world cup stop: Don’t think I can pick one person! Anyone that makes me laugh
- Cheat meal if calories weren’t an issue: Lasagne, garlic bread, and about three deserts
- When I’m riding, I have to: Feel like I’ve done a good job (as well as have fun)

Any final words: (you can think hard on this one if you want haha) Just that you can achieve anything if you have a vision and are willing to work hard AF to get there! And thanks for this awesome interview!

Bike Check

Frame: (Example: Cult, Hawk) Hyper Indy
Fork: Snafu Magical Fork
Bars: Snafu Jackson
Stem: Snafu Top Load
Grips: ODI Softies
Seatpost: Snafu
Seat: Snafu Fat Pivotal Seat
Pedals: Snafu Anorexic
Cranks: Snafu Mayweather
Sprocket: Snafu 28t
Front Tire: KHE MAC 2
Front Wheel: Profile Mini Hub on TLC Ti spokes
Rear Tire: Same as the front
Rear Wheel:
Special Notes: I got a bunch of Ti stuff on there, and I’m LOVING my bike!!

  

Photos Courtesy of Adam Lievsley & Charlotte Worthington

Nina Buitrago Empire BMX Poster

Thursday, January 30, 2020



Empire BMX just released this rad Nina Buitrago poster!
18" x 12" full-color digital print on 80# cover-weight paper
Photo by: Rob Dolecki


To purchase go to www.empirebmx.com/empire-bmx-poster-nina-buitrago

Ride Like a Girl Weekend at The Wheel Mill

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Registration for Ride Like a Girl Winter Weekend at The Wheel Mill is now open!

"Back by popular demand — Ride Like a Girl Weekend returns in 2020! The weekend is for women and non-binary riders and will feature instructors versed in both BMX and Mountain Bike skills. Boys not allowed, so you’ll have a supportive, encouraging environment to challenge yourself and learn new skills. Each day will start off with a small group fundamentals clinic to warm up and review. Then there will be two clinic sessions, morning and afternoon, focusing on different skills. You’ll sign up for your desired track at registration so we can ensure small class size. Sweet prizes from our sponsors will reward you for your best efforts." - The Wheel Mill

Dates:
March 21st & 22nd

Registration:
https://www.bikereg.com/ride-like-a-girl 

Instructors: Karen Brooks (MTB), Carley Young (BMX),Nina Buitrago (BMX), Kathi Krause (MTB), Cory Coffey (BMX), Hillary Marques (MTB), Sally Sherman (Yoga)



For more information on the event please visit:
http://www.thewheelmill.com/events/ridelikeagirl/

5 Rings in Sight with Nadja Pries

Monday, January 20, 2020


Nadja Pries is a German BMX racer, who was selected by the German cycling team to represent at the 2016 Summer Rio Olympics. In this first episode of 5 Rings in Sight, the docu-series covers Nadja and other exceptional athletes on the road to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The series is in German, however, turn on the Closed Captions, and get ready to read! Enjoy!

Perris Benegas Joins Demolition

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Photo courtesy of Demolition
We love seeing companies pick up female riders - I mean, I am a little biased I guess... but truthfully if I see a female rock a specific brand, I'm more inclined to open my wallet for them! A big congratulations to Perris Benegas as she joins Demolition this year! We reached out to both parties for more thoughts on each other... awe <3

Perris on joining Demolition
For 2020 I’ll be riding for Cult and Demolition. No, there isn’t a conflict with Cult as Demolition is parts only. I’ll still be running a Cult frame. One of the things that has always stood out to me about Demo was their team. It’s stacked with some of the best riders and all-around good people. I have always been stoked to see videos from their latest trips. My decision was made immediately when the offer presented itself. I’m looking forward to hopping in the van and experiencing one of those trips that I’ve enjoyed seeing in the videos. I’m super excited to see what this year brings with them.

Demolition on Perris
Perris is an all-around ripper. We love how she can ride a bowl. Her style fits well with the rest of the team. And I think I can speak for the rest of the crew, we are all big fans of Perris B.

Payton P-Nut Ridenour Joins Mongoose

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
For 2020, Mongoose has expanded the team with the addition of new athletes and also a few new race teams in both the US and UK! Included in the expansion is Payton Ridenour, a seven-time USA BMX National Champion and is one of the top-ranked amateur riders in the US. Payton rides multiple cycling disciplines and won the prestigious UCI Red Bull Pump Track World Championships in 2019. She placed 4th in the world for Jr. Elite Women in 2019 and is looking to capitalize at the 2020 World Championships. The epitome of a student-athlete, Payton is able to maintain straight A’s in school!



To learn more about Payton, check out this interview that we did with her last year: Check the interview out here.

What Payton has to say now that she's on the team
I couldn’t be more stoked to join the Mongoose squad! When Justin Posey recognized me to be a part of the team, it seemed like a perfect fit. I always love helping out everyone and giving back off of the track. I can’t wait to see what this new year has to offer!

ABOUT MONGOOSE

Mongoose is a brand of Pacific Cycle, a division of Dorel Industries’ (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) Dorel Sports segment, encompassing several powerhouse brands, including Schwinn, Roadmaster, Pacific, and KidTrax. Dorel Industries Inc. has annual sales of US$2.6 billion and employs approximately 9,200 people in facilities located in twenty-five countries worldwide. For more than 40 years, Mongoose has been a world-class brand in BMX and action sports. After bursting onto the BMX scene in 1974 with the revolutionary MotoMag wheel, Mongoose remains a household name with an international fanbase thanks to our passion for designing stylish, durable bikes and scooters for riders of all ages and ability levels. For more information, visit www.mongoose.com.

Spotlight: Jessie Smith 2019 Junior World Champ

Monday, January 13, 2020


Could you give the fans some history of how you were introduced to BMX?

I was first introduced by family friends! My family is quite big, 3 siblings and a mum and dad who were all heavily involved in sport. We played field hockey and those hockey friends asked if we wanted to go to a local club night. We tried it and loved it! Just went down on some shitty bikes that we picked up from the local dump, nothing special but it was enough for me to fall in love.

What was growing up in New Zealand like for you as a racer, was there a big supportive community?

Growing up racing BMX in New Zealand was great!! I grew up in a very small town called Gisborne. Fun fact (First city to see the sun every day). Anyway, Gisborne is very far away from every other city. My family would have to drive 4 plus hours to reach a local track, so in saying that my club was amazing! Amazing coaches and amazing families who loved the sport as much as my family did. They supported my family, helped us learn the ropes and not long later we were a full-blown BMX family that traveled many miles to get to races! I learned so much from that little city and I have many thanks for all those people who helped me learn, grow and appreciate a lot of things! The community within the wider BMX community growing up was great too. It seemed as if everyone just wanted you to improve.



If you had to give an overview of the difference in racing talent in New Zealand, compared to like parts of Europe and the US, what would you say?

That’s a bloody good question and one I have to think about! I’d say... in the US from what I’ve seen and experienced is that the riders are very powerful but not as technically advanced as riders from Europe. US tracks have flat hills and usually flat tracks (apart from some SX tracks) so they have adapted to be very strong and powerful. Compared to Europe the tracks are technical and you must be able to manual and jump the most often steep rollers, doubles etc. I’d say the talent that has come out and continues to come out of Europe is insane!! Not only the guys but also the girls, pushing their skills to the next level is so cool to see. I would love to say that NZ has the best riders but that’s not always the case, we have tracks that are in-between Europe and USA. But I will say that the talent in NZ is very bright and exciting. The difference between Europe and US is power over skills and the difference between NZ and the other countries is we have an overall balance, good skills, good power but we seem to be too nice some times 😂

Say you were a BMX travel agent, what tracks should we visit in NZ, foods we have to eat and 1 non-BMX related tourist attraction that is a must-see?

The best tracks to visit would be, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Rotorua old track and Taupo! Just some of my favs. Foods to try in NZ is a good old mince and cheese pie, crayfish which is lobster and Hangi the native people to NZ (māori) which is meat and veggies put into the ground to cook! I have so many cool tourist attractions that you could visit but one of my favorites is the Waitomo Caves! You get to explore the underground, learn basic rope skills and see some amazing Speleothems (cave decorations).

Growing up, did you think being a Junior World Champ was even a possibility, or was it your number one goal out of the gate (see the pun I did there? lol)

A massive goal of mine and I’m sure I could speak for most young BMXers, a goal is to wear the rainbow jersey! I never really thought about it much when I was young as I was always thinking about what I was trying to achieve in that year! The possibility didn’t become reality until I won both World titles at the 2017 World Champs in Rockhill-USA. That’s when I knew and truly believed I could become Junior Women World Champion.



What's your normal wake up routine like on race day?

Wake up haha, check my phone, breakfast, go over the race day plan with my coach, make lunch/sort snacks and drinks, listen to some tunes, wait for Laura to make me coffee and then head to the track!

How do you break up your training during the race season from Monday - Sunday?

Monday- gym and sprints
Tuesday- Track and core session
Wednesday- gym and Track
Thursday- Track and core session
Friday-Gym and sprints
Saturday- Track and sprints
Sunday- Rest day!

In your career, what was the most nonglamorous experience you ever had while traveling to race?

Well, when I was younger I use to sleep in our trailer that held all of our bikes and bags. To be honest I loved it but it was not glamorous!



On the flip side, what was the most glamorous experience you ever had, where you thought to yourself - how did I get here?

For sure when Sarah Walker let me take her first-class seat for the last 4 hours of our 17-hour flight home from this years Worlds! I had a shower in a plane! That’s when I thought how did I get here, oh and when I tried caviar for the first time. Amazing by the way!

Have you started planning your 2020 seasons? What’s your goal? 

Yes I have!!

- I want to get finals at the World Championships
- Make a World Cup Podium
- Be selected for the Olympics

Quick Questions - Don’t think too hard!

- Favourite track in the world? Paris SX
- Favourite pre-race food? Don’t really have a fav pre-race food, but maybe some good steak and mixed vegies?
- Preferred cheat meal if calories wasn’t an issue? Has to be KFC.
- Morning or Night Person? Night for sure
- The person you look forward to the most to see when you travel to race? Oooooo now this could hurt some people, I have to say my Whanau (family) which are Laura Smulders, Merel Smulders and Saya Sakakibara.
- Proper warm-up or ride to warm up? Proper warm-up!
- You hit a bump, would you rather have a flat tire or no chain in a race?
It depends on how flat the tyre is. If it’s just flat then I’d go for the flat tyre, no chain is okay cause you can pump. But if the tyre blows then you’re in the shit.
- Greatest racer of all time.
Male - Sam Willoughby.
Female - Mariana Pajon



Jessie Smith Bike Check

Frame: Meybo
Fork: SD
Bars: Renthal
Stem: Custom by Segers
Grips: Renthal
Seatpost: Box
Seat: Box
Pedals: HT
Cranks: Shimano
Sprocket: Renthal
Front Tire: Tioga 1.6
Front Wheel: SDx
Rear Tire: Tioga 1.6
Rear Wheel: SDx
Hubs: SDx
Disk brake: Shimano

Hangtime The Podcast Interviews The Bloom BMX

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Photo by Naoki Gaman

We recently had the honor of chatting with a fellow female biker about our roots, The Bloom BMX, our plans for the future and more. Hangtime is a podcast about rad people on bikes by @steezyrach. Available on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, and pretty much everywhere else you listen.

003 The Hangtime Podcast: A podcast about rad people on bikes. In this third episode, we sit down with Bea Trang, the co-founder of the Bloom BMX, which is an all-female BMX website dedicated to covering news in freestyle, racing, and flatland. Bea teamed up with Angie Marino last year to create the Bloom BMX media platform to bring everyone coverage and the latest news in the women’s side of BMX which has been lacking media attention for years. Their mission is to support, to educate, inspire and empower the women’s BMX community to flourish.

Rad Girls Cut 2019 - Flatland Edit

Thursday, January 9, 2020



Rad Girls: I proudly present to you the 2019 Rad Girls all-female flatland BMX video edit. For the past 8 years I’ve been doing these edits. Every year I try my hardest to put something together that can represent such a scene. It’s always an honour for me to do this, and I hope I can give it some justice. But in the end, the clips write the story, and the edit starts to take on it life of its own, and the talent speaks for itself. Thanks to all the girls out there that participated in this edit, and those of you who helped :) Rad Girls 2020 is already lining up really well. I can’t help but feel that it gets better from here.

Video : Anahi Valentina

Wednesday, January 8, 2020




Este es un documental en el que conoceremos un poco más acerca de las Chicas Bmx, Anahi Valentina tiene 22 años y es la primera mujer en Ecuador en realizar un Backflip (giro hacia atrás), ademas nos comparte varios puntos de vista acerca de lo que significa el Bmx para ella y como a formado grandes amistades gracias a este deporte. Conozcamos a las Bmx Girls.
AHISEVE BMX GIRL ANAHI VALENTINA


This is a documentary in which we will know a little more about the Bmx Girls, Anahi Valentina is 22 years old and is the first woman in Ecuador to make a Backflip (turn back), also shares several points of view about what Bmx means to her and how she has formed great friends thanks to this sport. Let's meet the Bmx Girls. 
AHISEVE 
BMX GIRL 
ANAHI VALENTINA

The Winter Welcome Jam - Lady Shredder Award!

Monday, January 6, 2020


In collaboration with The Winter Welcome Jam and the Bloom BMX, we will be giving away $150 to the female shredding the hardest and entering the most categories during the Winter Welcome Jam, will this be you!? Enter as many of the events during The Winter Welcome Jam, and bring home The Bloom BMX Lady Shredder Award!

Details on The Wheel Mill and the event can be found below:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/435417347366536/
Date: January 18th, 2020, 1-9pm, all ages.
Address: 6815 Hamilton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, United States
Hotel Deals: Click here

Schedule

10:00am: Park Opens

1:30pm: GT Bikes Street-ish Jam with the Grindworks crew. Jam will be for Best Trickster (15 minute jam. Win $150)

2:30pm: Let’s Roast Bike Shop Time and Trick Part #1 (Win up to $150) Pump Track Time Trial and then we’ll take the 8 fastest riders and go head to head with a freestyle run in The Woods Jump Room during our Woods Jump Room Jam.

3:300pm: Powers Bike Shop Mid School Bunny Hop Contest (We’ll have 2 Mid School Bikes or you can bring your own! The bike must be Mid School and 30LBs or more! Win $150)

4:30pm: Subrosa Rail of Doom (30 minute jam to see who gets the furthest. Win $150 and free entry into Swamp Fest!!)

5:30pm: Kink BMX Kids Jam in The Woods Jump Room judged by Chris Doyle (15 and Under. 10 minute jam. Win Kink BMX Frame!)

6:00pm: The Woods Jump Room Jam. (30 minute jam for the following):

Deluxe BMX Best Table (Win $150)

Odyssey Trickster (Win $150)

Profile Racing whip (Win $150)

Let’s Roast Bike Shop Time and Trick Part #2. 8 fastest riders from the time trial will take one run and their time and score will combine to find the winner. (Win $150)

7:00pm: Circuit BMX Lap Challenge in The Woods Jump Room (Last riding standing gets $2 x their lap total up to $150)

Awards immediately after The Woods Jump Room Jam (Ladies, there is a chance you could bring home two cash awards!)

9pm-12pm : Jaunt After Party at Allegheny City Brewing (21+)