Tearing Up The Track: BMX Racing is Competitive Fun


When BMX racers Evan Enserro and Samantha Heil close their eyes, they dream of the roar of the crowd as they compete in worldwide events, such as the BMX World Finals or even the Olympics. At ages 11 and 12, respectively, their ambitions are lofty, but they’re working hard toward their goals and having healthy fun while doing it.

“Just about three years ago I was at a party and a friend of mine invited me to come watch him ride in the Race for Life BMX race,” says Evan, a sixth grader at Sierra View Elementary School in Chico. “I thought it looked really cool and so my parents brought me the next week to try it out. I’ve been racing ever since.”

“I jumped on the bike and fell in love immediately,” says Samantha, a seventh grader at Children’s Community Charter School in Paradise, who has been riding since the age of 6. Both she and Evan can be found at Silver Dollar BMX in Chico several days a week, training and racing to hone their skills and get faster.

art-915-bmx2Though the sport can look intimidating, both racers – and their parents – encourage other kids to try it out. “It’s simple,” Samantha says. “Don’t worry.  It’s just you, the track, and your bike.”

Samantha’s father, Matthew Heil, is on the board at Silver Dollar as the safety officer. He uses his years of firefighter training to provide first aid and spotting for racers on the track. “I highly support Samantha,” Matthew says. “I love the fact that she loves to ride. It’s great that she has a sport she can keep focused on and we love the sense of pride and accomplishment she feels.”

“We truly believe this is not about Evan becoming the best rider,” says Evan’s mother, Hollis Enserro. “It is about him becoming the best young man he can be. BMX is teaching him to dedicate himself to a goal, to persist through hard times, to win and lose with grace, and to overcome fears.”

“BMX has really become a way of life for us,” says Hollis. “We spend about five days a week at the race track, and every couple of months we are traveling to a national event. Last year we even drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma (in our Prius!), so he could compete at the Grands – the Super Bowl of BMX.”

Both racers have tasted success. For five out of the past six years, Samantha has been ranked the number one girl in her district. She’s traveled to Nevada, Oregon and Arizona to race in major events. In September 2014, Evan took first both days at the Lumberjack National in Richmond, Washington. “Those two wins helped me earn a NAG (National Age Group) number plate last year at the Grands,” he says.

Though racing has taken them far from home and allowed them to meet kids from around the country, the connections BMX has helped them make within their own community have been priceless, says Hollis, who was new to Chico when Evan began riding.

Samantha’s favorite things about BMX are the friends she’s met and the “family-like atmosphere” at the track. She also enjoys the challenge of friendly competition, such as big air contests to see who can jump the highest or the farthest. “It’s really fun to prove the boys wrong,” she says. “People think BMX is a boy’s sport, but it’s cool to ride and then say, ‘Ha, I beat you!’”

Both Samantha and Evan are enthusiastic in thanking their parents, coaches, sponsors and teams for their support, and they hope that more kids will hop on a bike and give BMX a chance. “You should get involved and help grow the sport,” says Evan. “It is one of the most fun things you will ever do.”  

BMX Tracks in Upper California

Butte County

Silver Dollar BMX; Chico. Weekly practices, two weekly race days, “Speed Week” and training events. http://www.facebook.com/sdbmx. 2352 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. (530) 566-1BMX.

Shasta County

Nor-Cal Boomtown BMX; Shasta Lake. Offers two race days weekly, plus special events. Xall for information about practice days. http://www.facebook.com/ boomtownbmx. Shasta Dam Blvd.at Margaret Polf Park. (530) 526-3836. 

Skye Kinkade
About Skye Kinkade

Skye Kinkade is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and mother of four lively children. She enjoys being part of a close-knit community that is so generous and kind in difficult times.


  1. Great article–enjoyed it!

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