Pair up to speed
It isn't Murray Golding keeping his son on course when they hit the BMX track. Instead it's 13-year-old Thomas who can often be found giving his dad tips to get him up to speed.
Both Mt Eden riders are preparing to compete during the BMX world championships in Auckland from July 24 to 28.
Thomas started at the age of 7 when his dad decided to see how his skills on a bike would translate on a BMX track.
The keen footballer loved it from his first jump and went on to place ninth at his first national competition at the age of 9.
Murray supported his son from the sidelines in 2008 but somehow found himself on the track at the age of 34.
"I was sort of dragged into it by the other dads. It was something I wanted to do as a kid but I never got taken to a track."
The 39-year-old will now compete in the 35-39 age group at the international competition.
The event will be held at Vector Arena with 2000 riders from 30 countries competing in front of 28,000 spectators.
It's all about being hungry for the win, Murray says.
"You can have the best bike in the country but it's usually about the rider and if they're hungry and they want it you can see that something is there."
Thomas says he is in it more for the adrenaline rush.
"I just want to stay on my bike - I do it for fun really."
But the tough sport doesn't come without its risks.
Thomas has racked up three broken arms while racing and says it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of getting back out on the track.
"The first time you're back on your bike it's pretty scary. You're thinking you don't want to jump but you kind of force yourself."
The support of the other riders at the East City BMX club where they both train helps to amp them up, Murray says.
He is currently injured with a broken collarbone after a bad jump during practice that has seen him put the brakes on training.
"It's not the best preparation for the worlds. I used to play rugby and league up until I was 30 but stopped because I was breaking stuff.
"Then I decided to come and break stuff doing this instead."
His chances of making it to the track are 50/50 because of the injury but he's thrilled to have been given the green light to compete, he says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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