South Valley riders shine at BMX national eventSep 01, 2021 04:06PM ● By Greg James
By Greg James | [email protected]
As Herriman BMX rider Darian Inglis turned the corner and headed for the finish line he pulled aggressively in front of the other riders to capture the win.
“I love this,” Inglis said. “I can be aggressive and still get done and be friends.”
The 18 year old makes Rad Canyon BMX track his home track. It has become a nationally renowned facility.
“I have been riding since I was 8 years old. I got started because my uncle rode in X Games and my dad helped me out,” Inglis said.
Family and building relationships is a reason many riders like to spend time at the track.
“I have met new people and had some good competition,” 13 year old Providence Hall Junior High student Ryleigh Herrera said. “I am currently ranked number two in the country as a 14 year old. I practice daily. I love this track. We just got a new gate and it is super fast.”
The track hosted the annual Great Salt Lake Nationals July 30- Aug. 1. The event boasted 899 unique riders from six countries and 31 states.
Saturday’s racing included 229 motos (races), an increase of more than 30 from two years ago. The national event has drawn professional riders from all over the world.
“The interest has grown,” USA BMX Director of Nationals Race Operations Chris Luna said. “We have seen an increase in numbers in the last few years."
USA BMX is the sanctioning body that oversees nearly 70,000 riders and 375 tracks across the country. They also oversee the National team.
BMX racing made its Olympic debut in the 2008 Beijing games. Connor Fields from Las Vegas is a member of the National team and competed in the Tokyo Olympics. He was the defending gold medalist and suffered an injury in the semi-finals race.
Rad Canyon opened in 1996 when it moved from its former location in Murray. The property is owned and operated by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. It has a large starting hill with an eight position starting gate. Its three paved turns lead to long straightaways with a table top, roller and rhythm section.
“I like this track,” 14 year old South Jordan racer Isaac Larson said. “I work around the track and have learned to have lots of fun.”
“This track is all volunteer,” Harmony Mitchell said as she worked the snack bar. “It has a lot of parental involvement. The kids can ride the track for free if they help out. We try to give them some benefits.”
The summer racing season goes from May to October and has racing one night a week with practice times available.
Its largest group of riders is the five and under age group.
“Anyone can show up and rent a bike if needed. We have all of the equipment. My husband races and now all of my kids do too.” Mitchell said.