FONT & AUDIO
Local BMX biker is in the big leagues
By day, 10-year-old Josh Trerisek is a fifth-grader at Archer Glen Elementary, but on the weekends, he puts on a helmet and races his BMX bike, ranking 12th in the nation in his class and winning the Presidents Cup at the Tulsa Sports Commission Sooner BMX Nationals in Oklahoma on Jan. 24.
At that competition, Josh raced against 25 riders and compared racing to kind of like being on a roller coaster. He had stiff competition from another racer in Tulsa, explaining, I came in second in the first race, and I won the second race, with the kid who beat me the first day coming in second. After the second day, they posted the rankings, and I was on top, so I knew I would win the Presidents Cup.
Josh added, My grandparents live in Oklahoma, and they came to the race, so that made it special for me. And that was my first national win in the U.S., although I have won in Canada.
In fact, races are held in many countries, including Australia and Europe.
We go to as many events in Canada and the U.S. as possible, Josh said. When I was 6 or 7, I was one spot out of qualifying to go race in New Zealand.
Josh, who is a member of the local Black Box team, explained that most events take place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with Friday being a practice day and then the actual event taking place on the weekend. Riders compete at the district, local and national levels.
I started riding a bike, when I was 3, and for my 5th birthday, I got a red BMX bike, Josh said. At my first race in Newberg a couple weeks later, I won.
Luckily, the family lives in a cul de sac, so Josh can ride on the street in relative safety, and he estimates he rides six to eight hours a week.
Josh, who explained that BMX racers compete in groups based on their age and skill levels, started qualifying to participate in national events at the age of 6. He said a few races are held on indoor tracks, but most are held outdoors.
Josh said he cleans his bike after each race and keeps riding it until something on it needs to be changed. However, since he is a growing boy, I usually change bikes about every 1 ½ years, he added.
Luckily, Josh has three younger brothers, ages 5, 4 and 2 so his outgrown bikes stay in the family. The two oldest brothers started riding at age 3 and now compete themselves.
Anybody can do it, Josh said. If you can peddle, you can do it. My worst accident was not even on the track. Before I was doing competitive racing, I was riding with a friend and ran into a tree. My dad said, You are getting a full face helmet.
Joshs parents Martin and Kristin started taking Josh to races in Molalla and Newberg, and Kristin explained, We liked the family atmosphere of BMX racing.
And the family has flying to competitions down to a science. When we fly to races, we put the bike in a golf bag, the wheels in a hard case and the gears in our bags, said Josh, adding, The 2017 World Championships are in South Carolina, and I want to try and qualify for that one.
Josh figures BMX racing can be a lifetime sport for him, as there is a 61-and-over cruiser class at races, so I probably will do it as long as I can.