Since she’s making a run at the USABMX NAG title. I decided to repost this article.
Newspaper article on Bethany Price
Black Box Industries / Basic Bike Co. / Tradition
She’s Back on Track
Appeared in print 09/18/2008 in The Register-Guard
In middle school, Bethany Price and her friends would take their mountain bikes to the race track. While riding the course was fun, it wasn’t the challenge she was looking for. When she saw someone tearing up the track with a BMX bike, she knew she had to try it.
Fourteen years later, Price, 28, is ranked among the world’s best riders. In fact, the Springfield resident recently captured second place in the 2008 UCI BMX World Challenge in China – the second consecutive year she’s taken second at the world championships.
Price became interested in BMX as a young teen. Her father was a motocross racer at the time, and she wanted a BMX bicycle of her own.
“I begged him for one,” Price says. “I had no idea if I’d actually get one.”
While on a routine visit with her father, she opened the front door to see her 14th birthday present – a GT BMX bike leaned up against the wall.
“I threw my bags and grabbed the bike,” she says.
Most weeknights and weekends Price was found at the track, but it took some time to persuade her mother, Paula Walker, to let her race.
“I’m not a real daring person,” says Walker, adding that she was worried about the danger of having her daughter join a group of young adults barreling down the track. “You never know what someone else is going to do.”
But Bethany persisted, Walker says, and asked to race every week. Mom held her ground – for five months – before giving in.
“She wouldn’t give up,” Walker says.
Price, who races competitively on a regular basis for Aggro Bikes in Portland, now understands the anxiety of watching your child compete in a dangerous sport. Price’s 8-year-old daughter, Taylor, learned to ride a two-wheeler at age 4 and began racing at 5.
Price, concerned that her daughter would race for the wrong reasons explained, “Just because I do it, doesn’t mean you have to do it.”
But like mother, like daughter. Taylor says she enjoys racing because it means more time spent together.
In many local races, the two race back-to-back in their respected age groups.
“I get so nervous for her that I’m not even thinking about my own race,” Price says. BMX organizations have strict rules regarding safety: Bethany and Taylor both wear full motorcycle helmets and protective gear.
While in her early 20s, Price took a break from racing to concentrate on school and being a new mother.
“There was something missing that she loved a lot, but she didn’t dwell on it,” Walker says. Not having a local race track near Oregon State University, where she was attending school, didn’t help matters, especially once Price was ready to compete again.
Price then switched from OSU to the University of Oregon, where she majored in accounting, and that allowed her to hit the track once again.
Price currently trains six days a week at the Emerald Valley BMX track near Autzen Stadium, employing a combination of on-track training and conditioning exercises.
“Her commitment to training and the role model that she has become for both young and old riders shows that Bethany has an exceptionally good work ethic,” says Lisa McCormick, a mother of three BMX-riding kids.
“I am proud to know Bethany and thrilled that she has become such a positive role model for my three children, especially for my daughter.”
Price races both a cruiser (24-inch wheels or larger) and a 20-inch wheel bike.
“I like to race both because I like to be pushed,” Price says.
China trip was great experience
Price took her cruiser to the May 28 World Challenge in Taiyuan, China, which featured the best riders from 23 nations. She was the only racer from Oregon to compete in the event.
“It was one of the best experiences in my life,” Price says.
Her journey began in Los Angeles where she hopped a plane to Beijing – arriving alone in a strange city with a foreign language.
“I was pretty scared,” she says. But she soon found a group of people to tag along with and help her navigate the new city. While she had grown comfortable with her new surroundings, she had trouble adapting to the air quality.
“The pollution was so bad the first part of the week that it was making me sick,” she says.
But despite some minor acclimation issues, Price took home second place in the women’s 25-and-over, cruiser class.
She competed in three qualifying rounds before advancing to the main event.
“When I was waiting for the main event, I started to get really nervous,” Price says.
Price was on the inside of the track, and she said she knew she had to get over the first obstacle clean to pull ahead. She came out of the gate neck-and-neck with a competitor – but both fumbled over the first jump.
Her competitor, however, managed to stay ahead of the pack.
“She got an extra half crank in,” Price says about the first-place winner.
“It was a good race for sure.”
Price is humble about taking second place.
“She takes it in stride. She is really modest and she’s done some great things,” Walker says.
Not one to sit still, Price is already planning for next year’s world championships in Australia.
“Now I know what I need to do, what I need to work on,” she says.
She’ll have plenty of practice with fall competitions in Nevada, California and British Columbia before seeking a third straight top ranking at the November finals in Tulsa, Okla.
Price, who also coaches a dance team at Life Lutheran in Eugene, encourages youngsters to try BMX racing. But she stresses that in order to compete, you can’t second-guess yourself.
“It’s a lot of mental,” she says. “You have to be confident in what you can do.”
For Price, it’s about competition, hard work and motivating others to try the sport.
“Many riders come and go in the BMX community and oftentimes, as the riders are older, they forget how the young riders look up to them and strive to be like them,” McCormick says. “We are very lucky to have her ride at Emerald Valley BMX track.”