Thorsby student has instant BMX success

Published 10:18 am Friday, January 21, 2011

By Stephen Dawkins

In a little more than a year, Warren Lee has gone from knowing nothing about BMX to being one of the sport’s up-and-comers.

Warren’s father, Larry, said the relative ease of getting involved makes bicycle motocross an ideal activity for kids like Warren, and Clanton is an ideal location for aspiring BMX riders because the city sits between tracks in Prattville and Oak Mountain.

Warren, 8 years old and a Thorsby student, got started in BMX because of a cousin, but it didn’t take long for Warren to make the sport his own.

“He had just got a bike from a pawn shop,” Larry Lee said. “It was an old bike, a ’99 model or something. He went out there on that bike and won his first race.”

Warren’s first race was at the Fountain City track in Prattville, where he practices often. He has since won national competitions in Lexington, S.C., and Peachtree City, Ga., but Lee made a name for himself by finishing fourth in his division, 8 Expert, at the President’s Cup in Columbus, Ohio, a event that drew more than 1,000 competitors.

Warren will next compete in the “Indy indoors” competition on Jan. 30 in Indianapolis. His long-term goals are to make the main event at the Grand Nationals (he would have to finish in the top 8 of his division), and to ride the Olympic training track in California.

Still, Warren’s motivation is simple.

“I just like riding my bike,” he said, “and the hills make it even more fun.”

Lee has trained with Barry Nobles, a pro from Wetumpka, but Nobles has moved to California to practice for the 2012 Olympics.

Larry Lee said most people don’t know BMX is an Olympic sport, and also that some colleges and universities are starting teams and offering scholarships.

Along with the travel and meeting new people with similar interests, the potential for a future in the sport is a reason to get involved, Larry Lee said, but BMX success isn’t achieved easily.

“You kind of have to take a leap of faith,” he said. “You’ve got to wreck a few times to get good at it.”

The season opener at Fountain City is scheduled for Feb. 12. Anyone interested in getting involved should visit