Brayden Friesen heads into a hill during a race at the Juan de Fuca BMX Track in Colwood.

National-level BMX riders in Colwood for long weekend

Westshore riders will be looking to make their mark on home turf this weekend at the Juan de Fuca BMX track.

The hope is that one day Olympians will be born.

The Juan de Fuca BMX track plays host to its biggest event, the BMX Canada Vancouver Island Nationals, which takes over the dirt track behind The Q Centre in Colwood from July 29 to 31. It’ll see Greater Victoria’s best and brightest BMX cyclists competing, including some who may be future Olympians.

“We expect 600 people from Western Canada and the U.S., with families coming from as far as California,” said association committee member Joanne Parkinson. “It’s free to watch and we have professional riders (up to) age 60. The whole BMX club is pumped to have it.”

After its first Olympic entry at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the sport’s popularity has grown, in part because of its affordability, pushing boundaries across the globe, including the West Shore.

“My son, Gavin, is an eight-year-old intermediate and my husband is a 36 to 40 (division) novice,” Parkinson said, laughing. “My youngest, my three year old, finally got on the track yesterday and we are pretty excited about that.”

Sooke resident Brayden Friesen, 15, has been riding competitively for some time now and spends his time at the track every chance he gets, pedalling under the tutelage of coaches Cid Martinez and John Makson. Currently ranked number one in the district, Friesen said his passion was born through an off-the-cuff comment that eventually shaped who he has become.

“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been riding bikes, trying to find jumps to go off of, and one day my grandma said I should ‘go on the track’ and one day I did,” he said. “I fell in love with it and I’m still doing it and going hard.”

Coaches give him a weekly regimen of workouts, pushing him to train and ride approximately 15 hours a week in hopes he might improve on his second-place provincial ranking and fifth-place national ranking from 2015. Training includes dead lifts, curls, on-bike sprints and stationary bike sprints to get his legs up to speed. On weekends, he races.

“I try to push myself pretty hard with it,” he said. “The best part is being on the track on my bike. Everything is a competition, because I’m really competitive doing what I love. I’ve got a lot of friends there, so riding with them is always a good time.”

His competitive nature has even driven him to ride his bike with a cast, after he broke his wrist in a bike crash. That dedication will be on display this weekend, as he faces a deep field at the upcoming nationals and beyond.

“My short-term goal is to go to Worlds this year in Rock Hill, South Carolina and my long-term goal is to represent Canada at the Olympics,” Friesen said. “It would mean the world to me (to represent my country). I’d love it, I wouldn’t be able to put it into words.”

For more information, find a poster online at

Just Posted

Community helps fund dreams through Moms and Mentors

West Shore society helps women face the challenges of motherhood

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

Traditional salmon designs brighten Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Children from ȽÁU,WEL,ṈEW̱ tribal school built salmon hats for festival on Sidney waterfront

UPDATE: Father on trial for murder describes being ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in Oak Bay apartment

Oak Bay father takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read