Life as a professional BMX rider doesn’t get any easier when kids come into play. As with most other lines of work, free time seems to disappear when a child enters the household and priorities change. We checked in with several of today’s pro BMX Freestyle riders to see how they handle things. Let’s introduce the riders:
- Ryan Nyquist (Park, USA): 3 boys.
- Cory Coffey (Park, USA): 3 girls, aged 1.5, 3.5 and 6.
- Terry Adams (Flatland, USA): 7-month-old boy
- Logan Martin (Park, AUS): new-born baby
- Raphael Chiquet (Flatland, FRA): 2 boys
- Ben Wallace (Park, GBR): 3-year-old girl
Getting to the top is hard, but staying there is harder. Then changing diapers, baby sitting and doctor visits – and the many other responsibilities – all impact valuable practice time, so how do these riders deal with it?
Ryan Nyquist: “I think that was the biggest adjustment for me was splitting time between family and riding. For so long I was used to operating on my own time and schedule, and after my wife and I had a child, I found it very hard to schedule riding rather than just go when I felt like it. The funny thing is, now that we have three kids, I look back and think what did I do with all that time I had when we only had one, let alone when we had no kids. Hahahaha!”
Cory Coffey: “It’s a lot harder to find time to ride so that’s why we built ramps in the yard. My husband really helps make it possible for me to ride when I want as well.”
Terry Adams: “Honestly, I’ve been more motivated to ride since he was born. It became a priority to me to spend time with him and make sure I scheduled time to ride during the day as well.”
Logan Martin: “I’m only a week in but it seems as though it wouldn’t get much harder than the first few weeks/months and I’m still getting to ride and workout as much as I need.”
Raphael Chiquet, who is splitting the time with his UCI World Cup riding partner, Céline: “I would say it was harder but I’d say we would need to get very well organized for both of us to be able to ride. As the little one is too young to go to school, he stays with us at home and so we can’t ride together so often. In a few months’ time, both will be going to school and then it will go smoothly!”
Ben Wallace: “It wasn’t hard, it’s just I wanted to be with her. I had to just sort my priorities and use my time in the day to fit everything I wanted and needed to do. My wife Scarlett is awesome and also so understanding and supportive
of everything I do. So there was no pressure to not carry on and compete and ride, and to be honest we just carried on life as usual and Tallulah just fitted in and came everywhere with us.”
Being a world traveler following the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup and other events isn’t always easy – or fun – when you have to leave the family behind weekend after weekend, but that’s exactly what these pro riders need to do.
But would these riders encourage their young ones to follow in their own footsteps?
Ryan Nyquist (first time father at 30): “I would support my kids in most anything they want to do. If they find something in life they are passionate about then I would do my very best to support them however I could. Not going to lie, it scares me a bit to think of them trying to ride BMX at the level things are now, but if that’s what they want to do, then off to the park we will go!”
Cory Coffey (first time mother at 30): “I would love to support my kids in anything they want to do.”
Terry Adams (father at 35): “I would support him with whatever he wanted to do in life. My goals are to show him that you can accomplish anything you want in life if you are passionate and you never give up.”
Logan Martin (25): “One hundred per cent! I would love for my boy to follow in my footsteps through the BMX life, but I will support him in whichever avenue he takes.”
Raphael Chiquet (father at 31): “Sure! Well they already are as both of them ride BMX already and do drop-ins from ramps already. They are currently mastering the pump tracks we have around Montpellier (thanks to Chrane and Hurricane tracks). I’m sure Lazare will ride a proper bike soon, leaving his balance bike behind. Basically, I would push them to go deep in any activities and sport! If some day why want to play soccer, well that’s their choice and I will encourage them anyway…”
Ben Wallace (first time father at 28): “Of course, if that’s what she wanted to do I would always support her but I would never force her into it and try be ‘super dad’, making her do stuff she didn’t want to do. Becoming a parent and seeing ‘those’ parents on the side line ordering their kids about doing stuff they obviously missed out on and trying to live vicariously through their kids annoys me more than anything.”
From 29 May – 2 June 2019 it’s up to these young parents to do the riding at the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Montpellier, France. 2032 could well be the year that the current generation of riders will meet up again at the Olympics: to watch their kids do the riding. Bring it on.