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Canada's Kid - Lucas Zhou

It’s not often in the world of BMX Racing that we aren’t at least a little familiar with racers on title runs in North America, but 2022’s Canadian Amateur National National Champion came out of the woodwork and into the eyes of BMX fans rocking the CNAT No.1 plate this year.

We caught up with the South Surry, BC, local in Redmond, OR, to talk about his introduction to the sport and how he jumped into the limelight of BMX racing in the Americas.

So Lucas, what was the start for you? How did you get started in BMX?

2015, I was hanging out with one of my buddies who had a sticker on his helmet for our local track. I had no idea what it was, so I asked him, and he just said it was biking stuff on a track with jumps, and I thought it sounded pretty cool. I asked my parents, and they brought me there right away with no questions asked, and it was fun. I couldn’t balance in the gate, I was in plain clothes with a rental helmet, rental bike: I had no idea what was going on, I just rode the whole thing the whole time. That was when I started to like biking in general. I didn’t race much, I just raced locals once a week, and I started riding down stairs and watching a whole bunch of Mountain biking videos on YouTube.

The biking scene in Canada is huge. Are you riding both BMX and Mountain Bike?

I’m only riding BMX now. When COVID was going on, there wasn’t much BMX going on, so I was riding a lot of dirt jumps and mountain bikes, but not so much anymore. I like BMX more than the other kinds of biking.

So about last year. In 2022, you made your run at the National Title and succeeded, were there ups and downs, or was it winning straight through?

So 2022 was actually the first year I consistently won nationals in Canada. It was the first time I’ve ever won more than one National in a year. So it kind of came as a shock because I never thought I was gonna win it. Before COVID, I was always in second place, never in the lead, so it kind of came all at once. I didn’t think I was doing anything different; it just came to me naturally.

Looking back on it now, do you retrospectively have something that changed to help you be out in the lead?

I started going to the gym around November of 2021, and I think that helped really helped because before, I wouldn’t say I was the biggest kid, but I wasn’t the smallest either, I was kind of in between. I thought my first straights were good, but I went to Grands in 2021, and everyone was beating me, and that was right after COVID, so I had no training I was just riding my bike. I realized that wasn’t enough anymore because everyone was growing, so I started going to the gym and doing sprints, I think that really helped.

As a rider, what would you say is your biggest strength?

I think track speed, I’d say, and I think it’s because I’ve rode all different types of bikes. With BMX, mountain bikes, and trails, it really developed my skills for BMX, which helped me with my track speed. I’m not really good at riding in a pack, though, and I’m definitely trying to get better at that, but yeah, track speed is definitely my biggest strength.

What do you see Canadian BMX coming to in the next couple of years?

COVID hit the Canadian scene pretty hard to where there’s barely 100 motos at each stop, so I hope it grows, but I have no idea what’s to come. I’m still gonna be having fun in Canada.

What are your plans for the rest of this year? Anymore National stops down in the US?

Yeah, my goal is NAG 5 Challenge because that seems super cool, but we’ll be going to a few more American Nationals, all of the Canadian series, and worlds as well. A Busy year I think!

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