BMX tour makes its Chicago debut

By Jazzy Davenport

For the first time in their five-year history, the BMX open landed in Chicago.  During the two-day DEW tour, BMX athletes competed against the famous Chicago skyline in four disciplines: park, vert, street, and dirt.  The competitors competed in preliminary qualifying rounds before advancing to the final competition which would be broadcast on prime-time television.

“Usually we host the BMX tour in arenas around the country, but this time we decided to come to Chicago and to do it in Grant Park and could you think of a better backdrop?” said Katie Trotsky of Alli Sports. “It’s just beautiful.”

Although many thought the BMX DEW tour would suffer because it was being held directly across from the Taste of Chicago on the opening weekend, the famous festival proved to work as an advantage for BMX. Those that were visiting the festival allowed curiosity to lead them over to the BMX competition-especially because it was free of charge to enter.

For two straight days BMX teenagers and 30-somethings alike, who had spent months in preparation, could be seen performing their best, most difficult, and most dangerous tricks on their bicycles as fans endured the sunny, 85 degree days to cheer them on.

Ryan Nyquist, a legend on the park course and one of the competitions oldest athletes, has been competing since 1995, but admits that he started doing tricks on his bicycle as early as age 3 and started doing jumps at age 11.

“I absolutely love competing and wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said. “You have 60 seconds to do your hardest and most unique tricks and you get a chance to develop your own style. I’ve been doing it for a long time and I still love it.

Nyquist admits that competing isn’t the only thing he loves about the BMX tour. “Traveling to new cities and exploring what they have to offer, that’s probably the best part of it all,” he said.

After a good turnout during the BMX weekend, many fans are left with hopes that BMX will return to Chicago’s Grant Park again in the near future.