Circle City BMX gets ready to host national competition
BMX riders from across the country will flock to Dothan for "Circle City Nationals" this weekend.
For some of the riders, BMX is about more than this competition.
"If you need something to motivate you to stay in shape and something to give you weekly to go compete, cause sometimes competition will push you to stay healthy,” said Circle City BMX Rider Ronnie Wilson.
Ronnie Wilson may look a little older than your average BMX rider; he started way back in 1979 when he was seven years old.
After being away from it for a while, he picked it up again in his 30's, only, something was holding him back.
"I went to one of these nationals for my first race back, and I led every day, except at the finish I always got passed,” said Wilson. “After that race I said, 'I'm going to quit smoking today,' and I did. I quit cold turkey."
Ever since then, Ronnie has made BMX into a family sport, riding alongside both of his daughters.
They will be three of more than a thousand riders, coming from as far away as Washington and California for the Circle City Nationals competition this weekend.
"I grew up watching my brothers race, and I'm like, I went up to my dad one day and said, 'Dad, I really want to do this,'” said Avery Jones of Power FX Racing. “He's like, 'Okay.' And the first time I raced, I had a full gate of boys and I beat all of them."
The track at Westgate has seen some upgrades just in time for the big competition.
Circle City BMX spent several months updating the back half of the track to make it more competitive.
"A lot of the tracks around the United States are a little bit tougher if you will, so we wanted our riders local to have a little advantage to what they have around the rest of the United States when we go to the other nationals,” said Circle City BMX Track Operator Travis Roettgen.
Roettgen expects between 1200 and 1500 riders along with friends and family.
Visit Dothan expects the race to bring in around a million dollars over the weekend for the city.
Admission to Circle City Nationals this weekend is free, but there is a $10 parking fee.