in 1982, the world championships moved to las vegas. it seemed kind of fitting that the biggest bmx race in the world would move to one of the biggest show places in the world. it also marked the year that it moved from concrete to dirt. i was still racing for jag, the sponsor of the race, so of course i would go to vegas. this time, it was on their dime. it was a much better result for me, although i was intensely unhappy at the time about 5th place at the world championships. it sounds really nice now, but in my mind i needed a top three.
christmas of 1983, the world's stayed out west, but this time WAY west, in burbank, california. no longer racing for the race sponsor, it was tough to do the traveling on my own money. but, by this time i was racing for freshour and good old jerry always helped when he could. i flew to burbank by myself and carmen roker, wife of mr. jag, put me up in a room close to the race venue. and the race venue was amazing. wide, fast, fantastic gate...just what i needed.
having just come off of a pretty good racing season (ending up national number 2 in the NBL), i was very pumped to make something happen. the first day of racing was the ESPN pro spectacular. a great way to warm up to the track and be super tuned for the world's the next day. after battling it out all day with some of the best older amateurs in the world, i came away with 2nd place. not bad, and i was feeling hot.
the next day was the real deal. being in california, the race was FULL of the best of the best. i raced so many races that day, having raced both age group and an open class. i made it to both main events. i botched the open main, and i don't even remember the placing. 8th? 7th? no matter, i was super pumped because i had hardly lost a race all day.
the age group main went superbly.
i got third. i was a bit disappointed, because i had a win in me. but things can't always go perfectly and i had the bad luck of having the best rider of my generation to race. he went on to win the overall world champions title.