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Land o' Lakes National race report

Filed under General on May 28, 2016 | Comment(s)

Land O’ Lakes Nationals

A crisp and cool start to this Minnesota National had even the locals scrambling to grab jackets,
blankets and anything that would help fend off the bite of temperatures that hovered around
freezing. You see, many decided to camp outside overnight, and why would they not, just a
week prior this area was in the 90’s and listed as one of the hottest places in the USA. Just
north of the track folks were experiencing snow flurries and 30 mph wind, but once inside the
Rum River BMX Indoor Arena any weather worries dissipated like a passing spring snow storm.
This incredible facility is quite the anomaly, especially when BMX is concerned in the Land of
10,000 Lakes. Many Minnesota racers treat BMX as a seasonal endeavor, and it doesn’t take
much thought to wonder why this is. Do not get me wrong, we have had the opportunity to ride
almost year round with a history of tracks like Rehbein’s BMX, which was a converted farm
building sense the name “The Barn”. That said, nothing anyone has experienced, home state or
visiting, comes close to what Rum River BMX brings literally to the table. Just the menu alone at
this facility sets it far apart from what we have come to expect at any local race event. Racers
and families have an opportunity to grab protein packs (hard boiled egg, crackers, cheese
chunks and grapes) as well as pasta or chicken salads that compliment a vast list of choices all
served by their dedicated and welcoming base of volunteers. It took 4 weeks of preparation and
30+ volunteers per day to pull off the 3 days of gate dropping excitement called the LAND O’
LAKES National.

With motos running fast and furious, the flow and excitement never seemed to waiver. The vocal
prowess of Track Operator and Announcer Kevin Riedemann is an event, within an event. He
tackles the toughest names in BMX, calls that action effortlessly, and always has a positive
message to share with the crowd of race fans in attendance and around the world steaming live

One of the many things this facility can be credited with, is major growth in the Balance Bike
class. It is quite common for multiple racks of these little rippers even on a local single race, let
alone a National. In the 5 & Over Balance Bike, Wyatt Boettcher sliced and diced his way to a
big finish in front of a home crowd. 2 year old Mia Jorde of Cambridge also put in a great effort
that netted the top spot in the 1-2 Class.

A PRO Action brought 5 riders to the Onyx Gate which included Derik Bergh, Olijuwon Davis,
Hayden Fletcher, Josh Smith and some mysterious figure known as Noah Footer (who DNS'ed all weekend long). Having a lighter showing of Pros allowed for
some room and serious movement during the laps, to which Bergh and O.D. put on a clinic on
using the whole track to your advantage. In the end it was Bergh taking the top spot, followed by
O.D. and Fletcher respectively to round out the podium. Speaking of O.D., he is now proudly
riding for Speed Peddlers and brought a great team and support system to the MN event. (Also
a BIG Happy Birthday to MN native, Derik Bergh- 21… hang on tight bro!)

The Cruiser and Class battles were relentless on this technical and smooth surface. The asphalt
corners made for some incredible low passes at vey high speed, by those that knew the secret
of traction that exists down there- definitely a different strategy than what can be pulled off in a
dusty flat dirt corner. Local riders like Trenton Duvall and Taylor Riedemann seem to have every
grain of sand on this course memorized as they navigate with absolute fluidity, silent and
lightning fast all at the same time. And when riders like this are in the gate together, look out…
but look closely, as you are about to witness riding at its finest. They know each other’s exact
pedal strokes, and every move possible. The crowd feels this and even if it is an Open class
race, it gathers everyone’s immediate attention.

In the Girl ranks, many of Minnesota racers put in the laps they needed to claim their stake
crossing the line first. Nora Willmert, Madison Voigt, Avery Chartrand, Alexandra Hill, Jennifer
Mettler, Alexis Newark, Cassidy Crotty and Sheila Kauppi all did their home state proud
grabbing wins in their respective Girl classes. The local Boys had their work cut out for them as
well, and continue to jump higher and throw more style younger and younger each year.
With the presence of a full service parts and bike shop in house (FULL TILT BIKE Co.) 3 level
viewing from ground level, bleachers and 2 mezzanines above a sensational concessions
outfitted with stunning BMX murals of local and Pro riders, Rum River BMX brings our sport to
the next level and beyond. Their commitment to training and mentoring provides a shining
example of how well rounded a BMX track can successfully be. As a photographer of the sport,

It is truly a privilege to work side by side with the volunteers, families and racers that make this
facility what it is.

** Story/Photos by Steve Diamond

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