Myhamith and Emmanuel come to California with some medals to their names. Myhamith took first, second and third place in the third annual Copa Riders IMRDB contest sponsored by the Riders BMX Society.
Emmanuel has yielded success in his own right gathering first, second and third place an internationally sponsored contest Festival de Escuelas de Bicicross in 2013.
Since arriving in the valley the brothers from Bogotá have found some early traction.
Myhamith, for example, has already placed second and third in the State Championship qualifiers at Spreckels Park in Manteca, CA.
The sons of William Guillermo Garcia of Patterson started riding nearly a year and a half ago, taking after their father, who also competed in his younger days.
“I did it in Colombia also, but that was a long time ago” said William.
The family moved from South America just a few months ago in April. This transition has been difficult for them.
“Being from Colombia they have had a slower time getting into rhythm,” said William, who notes that the transition has put a lot of strain on the boys on and off the track.
Myhamith and Emmanuel usually spend their Tuesdays practicing BMX on the track at Spreckels Park, and compete every Sunday.
Spreckels Park is a BMX facility that was developed by the city of Manteca, the American Bicycle Association and the Andersons 209 BMX race team. The track is officially sanctioned by The ABA, and offers a place for recreational and competitive BMX riders to race and practice.
The Garcias prefer to travel all the way to Manteca for their recreational practice and competitions because, in William’s opinion, the BMX track in Patterson is substandard and hard to use.
“The park in Manteca is better maintained and is advantageous to practice there rather than here. The park here doesn’t really offer competitions, it is often deteriorated and not functional [enough] to have any competitions,” said William.
The BMX track located in Patterson at the Sports Park Complex is often wrongfully used by people for dirt bikes and motor vehicles that leave the track non-functional for any BMX competitions or practices, according to William.
The track in Manteca is used for competitions every Sunday with signups going from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Any riders or lovers of the sport of BMX who are interested in attending the races, or just riding and having fun, can find the track at 942 Spreckels Ave. in Manteca.
The Garcia family made the journey from Bogotá to California because William’s mother got them residency in order to seek help for her cancer condition. His mother’s condition, coupled with a chance at a better life, gave William more than enough incentive to uproot his life in Colombia and move his family to California.
The brothers from Bogotá couldn’t be in a better place, as California is often recognized as the birthplace for BMX and the catalyst that sparked a craze for the sport. In the early 1970s, children in Southern California began riding around dirt tracks on their bikes, emulating their favorite motocross stars.
Once it was filmed in a movie titled “On Any Sunday” by Bruce Brown, the sport caught wildfire and spread across the country, inspiring kids all over America to ride. The sport originally called pedal-cross then grew to be known as bicycle motocross, or BMX for short.
As the sport grew in popularity the need for a nationally-sanctioned governing body arose. Thus the American Bicycle Association (ABA) was formed.
William couldn’t be more proud of his two sons, who have dealt with acclimating to a new country while simultaneously trying to improve in the sport of BMX.
“They race for God. This is all for them. The finishing results don’t matter. Just competing and trying,” said William.
Myhamith and Emmanuel will continue to compete, and hope to eventually compete for a state championship one day
Contact Erick Torres at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.