BMX biker not buckled by accident
BUNDABERG'S Chris Pratt pedalled his way to victory in the Queensland BMX State Championships despite an unfortunate series of events in the lead-up to the competition.
The four-time state champion’s hopes of claiming victory in the 40-44-year 20-inch class of the competition were seemingly crushed as he watched a four-wheel drive flatten his prized racer.
The Bundaberg BMX Club stalwart, 41, suffered the setback less than 24 hours before he was due to line up at the starting gates at the competition in Mackay.
“I heard a bang and turned around to see it going under the wheels,” he said. “I was gutted, absolutely gutted.”
Rather than ride an unfamiliar bike Pratt, a former bicycle mechanic, took up tools to try to restore his bike to its former glory.
The reinforced aluminium frame emerged from beneath the car in surprisingly good condition but the wheels were bent out of shape, with pronounced buckles.
Using a special tool of his former trade, Pratt stayed up well into the night painstakingly correcting the wheels millimetre by millimetre.
“It wasn’t easy but I knew if I stood a chance I needed to get my bike up and running,” he said.
The mended bike held up throughout four preliminary finals and helped Pratt to victory in the final.
He leapt from the starting gates to take an early lead on the first straight and crossed the finish line three lengths ahead of Gold Coast racer and runner-up Cameron Smith.
“I was actually surprised at how well it was riding,” Pratt said of the bike.
“I knew it would get me to the finish line but I didn’t think I’d be able to get there so quickly.”
Pratt will begin training for the Australian BMX Championships in April next year in the hope of securing his first Australian title.
“Hopefully I’ve got all my bad luck out of the way and I can enjoy a more peaceful lead-up to the race,” he said.