Tiffany Huber tried dancing, then karate. Neither held her interest long.
Then, while was hanging out with her father, Eric, and some of his former bicycle motocross buddies two years ago, the then 10-year-old Tiffany liked the conversation about her dad’s experiences as a young BMX racer.
She later asked her dad if she could try, and soon she was riding a BMX bike.
At last, Tiffany, of Ijamsville, had found her passion. Over the past year-and-a-half, she’s developed a deep love-affair with the sport and has become a highly successful age-group girls’ BMX racer.
Since winning her first race in 2014, Tiffany has become one of the dominant BMX racers in her classification, winning trophies, plaques, medals and ribbons that are all over the Huber house. She’s achieved a top ranking in USA BMX’s Girls Class and Cruiser divisions in her first full year of racing.
On a more local level, Huber is the top-ranked rider in both Girls Class and Girls Cruiser at her home course, Chesapeake BMX in Severn.
Huber has won more than 50 events, including 10 in the 2015 USA BMX series.
“She picked it up really fast,” Eric Huber said.
The bicycle equivalent of Motocross, BMX demands a lot of practice, time and patience to master a course, which typically measures about 1,000 feet.
Being able to maintain control of her bike over the many hills, turns and jumps on a course is crucial. She practices for an hour a day and works out to improve her overall body strength.
“When you go around the turns and you’re challenged by another biker for a lead position, you need to hold the line,” Tiffany said.
She’s had her share of falls, bumps, bruises, and even a concussion. Still, even setbacks haven’t fazed Huber. For her, it’s just a matter of a quick reset on the course, climbing back on her bike and attacking the course with more determination.
“Yeah, I’ve gotten mad about it before,” she said. “But my dad said to just channel that anger and frustration into something positive.”
}Huber uses two bicycles, one for Skills Class, the other for Cruiser Class.
The cost of a BMX-level bike runs anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500, Eric Huber said.
BMX began in the early 1970s in California, where boys and girls wanted to imitate their adult counterparts in Motocross. Known in the beginning as Pedal-cross, the name soon changed to Bicycle Motocross, or BMX.
A sport that was started for kids by kids has taken root. Over the years, more girls have become interested in it.
About 30 years ago, there was a local BMX course in Monrovia, next to the former 75-80 Drag-a-Way. Eric Huber remembers competing there as a kid in 1984, known then as Billy D’s BMX Course.
The Hubers are on the go just about every weekend during the BMX season. They travel as far away as Oklahoma (USA BMX Grand Nationals) for Tiffany’s races.
The Hubers’ upcoming schedule includes the Bluegrass Nationals in Kentucky on Feb. 5, the Gator Nationals Supercross Series in Florida on Feb. 19 and the Circle City Nationals on March 18 in Alabama. Also during the same timeframe is a smaller Gold Cup qualifier in Dayton, Ohio.
For the relatively short time she’s been riding, Tiffany has moved quickly up in the ranks of BMX riders, all after eavesdropping on her dad’s memories of his youthful racing career.