Today, East Moline hosted the Illinois BMX state championship.
Previously, the championship was held in Rockford. Bringing the event to the Quad Cities is a win.
Paul Depauw’s love for BMX started in the Quad Cities, and today he is the track operator at BMX East Moline.
“It’s the first time we have ever held this particular race here with USA BMX, so it’s a great honor to have the state championship in town,” said DePauw.
Riders from all over came to East Moline for the weekend event. Races started Friday and ended Sunday.
Riders from ages 5 to 50 competed in the event. Each age group has different classes ranging from novice, intermediate, and expert riders.
The prize? Trophies towering over five feet tall for the winners.
Rider Shay Wright has been racing for three years, and he is in it to win it. His eyes lit up shined with a gold sparkle when he spotted the trophies.
“We haven’t had trophies like that in a long time,” exclaimed Wright.
Other riders like Shane Boisine, “Big Shane”, have been racing bikes since 1979, and trophies are no unfamiliar reward.
Boisine was crowned the 2010 and 2011 Midwest BMX rider of the year and voted rider of the year by his peers in 2011.
Starting at a young age, racing BMX has stuck with Big Shane. And now, he loves to see young kids riding.
“A lot of kids get turned off by team sports, especially kids that sit the bench”, he continued, “But here, if you sign up, your racing.”
Other riders like Apryl Poorter enjoys the thrill of competing with her friends, and of course, competing against the boys.
Not everyone will take home a gold trophy, but everyone will take back the memories and friendships they rode for.