Community Spotlight: Local BMX racer on fast track to worldwide success
By Michael Bower
Adam Durbin is ahead of the game. The 11-year-old has been considered an expert BMX racer for some three years now and has already represented USA in the world championships.
The sixth-grader also plays for Poway National Little League, but his passion clearly involves two wheels and a track full of hills that can bring him up to speeds of 30-plus mph.
“There is a lot of excitement and thrills that come with BMX racing,” said Durbin, who first learned to ride a bike at age 3 and started racing BMX competitively by age 6. “My favorite part, though, is winning.”
Durbin has done plenty of that. As an intermediate, he won 25 straight races and never lost to another intermediate rider. He turned expert by the age of 8 and earned a chance to represent the USA at the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships in England by placing sixth at the USA Cycling BMX National Championships.
Durbin’s run in England last month was short lived, though, as he was involved in a crash with two other riders during the first of what was supposed to be three races. The result was a trip to the emergency room and a broken collarbone.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Durbin said. “There was really nothing I could have done. I was going down the hill and pedaling really hard and then two kids took me out.”
Durbin showed his toughness by bouncing up off the track and trying to get back on his bike. But the moment he lifted his bike up and started to run to hop on, he felt the pain in his collarbone area.
“I basically just dropped the bike and knew there was something wrong,” he said. “We went to the hospital and I came out in a sling. It was really upsetting.”
It was certainly tough to swallow for Durbin since he worked so hard to raise the money just to get to England for the event. He served free Root Beer Floats and accepted donations, while his father, Mike Durbin, and a friend of his built a website asking for help.
“It was hard, but my dad and I stayed and watched the rest of the competition,” the younger Durbin said. “I was jealous watching them race because I wanted to be out there. But this will just make me go harder to get back.”
Durbin, who turns 12 on July 13, will move up from the 11-year-old expert level to the 12-year-old expert level. He currently races for Team Ghostrider. He said he hopes to get back to the world championships next year.
“I want to become a world champion,” he said. “That is what I am working for in BMX.”
Bike racing runs in the Durbin family. Adam’s dad raced motorcycles and his grandparents did drag racing. Mike said he wants to see his son stick with BMX racing for a while before he moves to dirt bikes.
“He wants to race dirt bikes so bad, but with my racing career one of the biggest elements I was missing was cycling,” Mike said. “I want him to get everything you can from bicycles.”
For now, Adam seems content with sticking to BMX racing.
“I am going to continue to stick with BMX for a long time,” he said. “It is my passion.”
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