RAPID CITY, S.D. Sometimes – the best teachers are the ones that have done it themselves.
“Having access to two guys of that magnitude, of that professionalism is just wonderful for all those kids,” said Chris Blair, the Track Operator for Rapid City BMX.
For kids of Rapid City BMX, they got those teachers.
USA Olympic BMS Riders Nic Long and David Herman paid a visit to share their knowledge of the sport.
They’re traveling around different parts of the country – including Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and finally South Dakota – all to help underrepresented areas.
But the lessons all started at the gate.
“In BMX racing, everything is about getting that hole shot out of the gate, getting that first few peddles out there, getting into that lead and everything,” Blair said.
Teaching some riders as young as four in Rapid City can prove to have it’s challenges.
But Long and Herman are doing their part to teach each rider at their own pace.
“I talk to each rider individually, as much as it sounds like I’m talking to the whole group, when I go by each rider on the gate, I say something a little bit different, depending on what I think their skill level is,” Long said.
As someone who was just was inches away from taking home a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics — long has a lot of experience to pass on to these kids — before his time as a professional athlete comes to an end..
And who better to learn from than a teacher that’s done it himself.
“I’ve just really been enjoying this, the traveling is my favorite part, just I kinda get on the open road, thinking about everything,” Long said. “But I really enjoy passing my knowledge down to the kids and you know, sharing the stories i have from all my race experiences.”
Rapid City Riders – taking it in and taking off with some lessons.