Most kids love riding bicycles - at least until they start anticipating driving cars. For others, such as a group of five cousins from the UnionvilleChadds Ford School District, bicycling is a major part of their lives. Specifically, they're into BMX racing, bicycle motocross.Cousins Jake Taylor and Colleen Cadden, both 9 years old, took first place in a BMX state qualifying races in Pottstown July 12 and 13.
Jake will be a fourth-grader at Hillendale Elementary School this coming school year while Colleen goes into the fourth grade at Unionville Elementary.
And they both have siblings who race. It was Jake's older brother Will, 10, who started the family's love affair with bicycle racing.
According to Tracy Taylor, the boys' mother, Will was riding his bicycle without training wheels by age three, as did another cousin, Tommy Cadden, 11.
Also involved is David Cadden, age 10.
Jake was also ranked 12th in the Northeast region before the race, Will was ranked 28 in the country during his rookie year and Colleen was ranked fourth in the world - for about a week or two.
But Tracy Taylor said those past rankings are not what's important now.
"The real accomplishment will be when the cousins all race in the National race in early August," she said.
The "Key stone National" draws about 1,500 attendees and riders race for National ranking, she said
It was Will who got everyone started, but he had to work on his younger brother.
"I begged him a lot," Will said. "He was scared at first."
All of the kids have had mishaps while racing. Jake has flipped over a gate, Colleen was run over by another rider and Will fell and landed on his head.
Tracy Taylor said her son had to be taken off the course on a board because they feared a neck injury, but all was fine and Will still rides and said he wants to go as far as he can go.
"He's the most dedicated," his mother said.
Though one may be more dedicated than the others, both Jake and Will want to rank in the top ten nationally.
BMX includes jumps, turns and straights, mostly on dirt but there are some asphalt turns on a serpentine track.
The length of a track is determined by the number of straights that are about 100 yards long, Tracy Taylor said.
She added that BMX is a fun sport and riders don't have to compete, they can do it just for the fun of it. And it's something families can do together.
"Who wouldn't want to go over hills," she said. "It's a fun sport anyone can do. You make great friends and it's great exercise."
And for those youngsters who might not get into a game playing little league or pee wee football, that's not the case with BMX.
"No one sits on the bench," she said.
It's also a family event in other ways.
"Grandmoms bring the grandkids and work at the concession," she said.
And those families need their own dedication, at least from around here.
Taylor said that the Pottstown track, an hour away, is the nearest one and it's affiliated with New Jersey, not Pennsylvania. Most of the Pennsylvania tracks are in the western part of the state, so Trilogy Park opted to join with New Jersey so there would be less travel to larger events.
"Egg Harbor is closer than Pittsburgh," she said.