(Photo courtesy Gil White)
This Thanksgiving weekend, instead of going over the hills and through the woods to Grandma’s house, a West Seattle five-year-old will be going over the hills … and other challenges … of a Bicycle Motocross (BMX) race course in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And Hudson White won’t “just” be racing – he’ll be going for the #1 plate at the Grand Nationals.
Hudson’s already pretty close, with the #4 plate, according to his dad Gil White, who shared this video of Hudson from the Canadian Grand Nationals last month – Hudson is on the white bike:
We asked Hudson’s dad how his son got involved. Dad says he too was a BMX racer in his childhood days. So that led to a little interest after he himself became a dad:
We happened by the North SeaTac track on a race day in October 2011 and stopped to watch. While watching the other kids race, Hudson said, ‘I can do that,’ and he’s been doing it ever since.
Hudson joined Sonic BMX, a local developmental BMX team under the tutelage of Carmel Schimmel (a West Seattlelite) and Jamie Stenson, and he competed well enough on the National circuit to be currently ranked #4 in the 5 & Under age group. The trip to the Grand Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the granddaddy of all nationals – if you’re in contention for a national plate, you attend. In Hudson’s age proficiency, he anticipates competing against approximately 25 racers. Numerically, Hudson is still in the hunt for the #1 plate since points awarded are worth double.
Hudson is a pretty active kid; between attending school, Mandarin classes, baseball (he played on the West Seattle T-ball Menashe team) and riding his bike, he finds time for his other passion – Legos. He’ll tell you he wants to build things when he grows up. Probably the Lego influence. His favorite activity at school is recess – go figure.
The sport of BMX has been a great life lesson for Hudson – he’s been able to comprehend that some days he may not have it and finish last, or he may have it and finish first – either way, we drive home and follow the same routine – stop for ice cream. As he prepares for the Grand Nationals and a run at the #1 plate – the question is, will he have it? – I guess we’ll have to wait and see. However, you can bet we’ll have ice cream in Tulsa.
Good luck to Hudson! By the way, Gil notes that BMX “is an Olympic sport and a really fun activity for people of all ages – locally, 41-45 years (of age) tends to be some of the more competitive races. The Pacific Northwest has a tradition of really good riders and well-run tracks nearby.”