Chemainus has a couple of champion BMX riders in its midst, and another one from the same family likely to follow suit.
That’s outstanding in itself, but these champion riders are unique. Kyson Stevenson is just six years old and his sister Adera is only five and their bedrooms are already overloaded with trophies.
Parents Colin and Shyla are even astounded at the early success of their kids. And watch out for Ohsha, who’s only two, to start matching the efforts of the other two before too long.
It all started with the ‘elder’ sibling Kyson taking up the challenge and riding with it.
Colin said he could see that knack developing “from a little guy as soon as he could be on a bike – he started on a bike without pedals, the little strider bikes.
“That’s all he did was ride his bike. When he was five, we knew some friends who had done BMX. We showed up at the Nanaimo BMX track and his career began there.”
In his first year or racing, Kyson did quite well, you might say, with 10 wins and a provincial No. 1 designation. Sister Adera then started as a four-year-old and she quickly caught the bug and bagged several wins.
“This year, they both really took off,” Colin pointed out.
Kyson is the only six-year old expert rider in B.C. and one of just three in all of Canada.
“My goal is to be expert and I did it,” enthused Kyson, a Grade 2 student at Chemainus Elementary.
After winning 10 times at the intermediate level, another 20 more wins are required to become an expert.
“Kyson set his goal to essentially win 20 overall firsts which made him a six-year-old expert,” pointed out Colin.
That’s also put him at No. 3 in Canada for his age group and Adera, who’s in Kindergarten at Chemainus Elementary, is No. 4 in Canada after just moving into racing on a full track. They’re both already part of Diablos Racing, a group with connections in the U.S. and Canada.
The season runs from April through the Thanksgiving weekend in October. The B.C. championships were in Kamloops this year and the Canadian national finals in Chilliwack. There are other national races throughout the season.
The four tracks on the Island send the Stevensons to races in Nanaimo, Coal Hills (Cumberland), Oceanside and Victoria.
Ironically, the Stevensons used to live in Nanaimo before moving to Chemainus nearly three years ago. They now go back to Nanaimo on a regular basis so the kids can practice there and receive important support from other club members.
“There’s lots of great older kids that are professional and will help out with the younger kids,” noted Shyla.
The Nanaimo facility is located in the Beban Park area.
“It’s a family thing which is good,” pointed out Shyla. “Everyone can go there and do something.”
The cheering section just keeps growing at the same time to witness the young Stevenson phenoms.
“Our family has jumped on board,” noted Shyla. “Their grandparents come out and watch them.”
“Grandpa was my No. 1 fan,” Kyson added.
“Everybody’s there, aunts and uncles come,” said Colin, who has joined the fun himself to make it a true family affair.
“I race as well, not as competitive as these guys,” he chuckled. “I do help out at the track. We find Nanaimo BMX to be an amazing environment.”
The willingness of the racers to help each other is also extraordinary.
“When we started, they use different race bikes,” Colin indicated. “We didn’t have one. Our first time there someone gave us one.
“They showed us the ropes and how everything worked. That same bike, I passed on to someone else.”
Overall, “we found it to be a really positive thing for the kids,” Colin noted.
“It’s fun and easy,” said Kyson.