For someone who pedals frantically at times as he dashes around the twists, turns and jumps of a BMX bike track, Riely Brosius is incredibly calm.
Gunning for a provincial 12-year-old boys expert title this weekend in Langley – he’s currently tied for the points lead with Vernon’s Jakob Plank – the Langford pre-teen sounded pretty relaxed talking about his chances.
“I’ve raced against him at the big races, and I’ve beat him before,” he said of Plank.
Not that this talented young rider is boastful; he’s anything but.
While he’s been virtually unbeatable in provincial series races this season, he said his highlight so far has been, “probably just having a good season, not crashing and just having fun.”
Riding competitively since he was seven, Riely knows it’s a fine line between going for it and wiping out and going all out to stay in the front of the pack.
“It’s (always) a 50/50 chance that you could crash, or break something on your bike,” he said. “I haven’t crashed this year, but I did a couple times last year.”
At the recent national series races in Langley, he rode against a largely U.S. field. After finishing first on the Friday, he got as far as the semifinals the next two days. Not his usual results, but the American riders are always tough, said Riely’s mom, Tara.
The nice part, she added, is her son is learning to take defeat as a learning experience rather than be crushed by it.
“Last year if he didn’t make (finals) he would get down on himself. This time he’s taken it well –
U.S. riders take all the top spots. I was pretty proud of him.”
The Brosius family heads up Island or to the mainland to go racing several times per month, with younger sisters Makayla, 10, and Tiffany, 6, both also riding now.
While she just started this season, Tiffany is a chip off the brotherly block. She has a large lead in the points race for the six-year-old girls division, while Makayla is within striking distance of top spot in her age group.
“We didn’t push the girls in any way to join the sport, they just came to the track with us to watch Riely, and eventually they got involved,” Tara said.
With competition tougher as riders get older, Riely does his best to stay on top of his game. He races at the Juan de Fuca BMX track on Tuesdays and practises there twice a week; heads up to Happy Valley elementary twice a month to practise sprints with his dad, Mark, and supplements that with some climbing work in the Latoria Road area.
Riely admitted it’ll be a tough field at the provincial races – a double points pre-race runs Saturday (Aug. 29) and a triple points finale goes Sunday. But he does like the sound of coming home with the No. 1 plate for finishing first overall, and the backpack prize that goes with it.