The team’s main sponsor is the Brentwood Bike Company, owned by Chris and Bobbi Michalski. The team of eight kids was selected from a group of more than two dozen that tried out in November. The Brentwood Bike Team is run in the same way that high schools run their teams. In addition to demonstrating a proficiency in the sport, members (ranging in age from 13 to 20) must carry at least a 2.0 grade point average. While the Michalskis are happy to give them an opportunity, they also hope the team will help cultivate a crop of young riders for the future.
“It’s a growing sport, and it’s been growing for years. It’s not something that’s brand new,” said Bobbi. “With more and more of the kids of the community growing up and getting into BMX, we need to kind of plan for their future.”
A problem faced by the Brentwood Bike team, as well as others, is the lack of a legal local venue. Right now, they hone their abilities on out-of-town trips to bike parks such as the one in Fresno. The local opportunities come at bike shows such as the one held at the recent Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Mixer. Other than that, the only opportunities to ride come from whatever the kids can find in the community.
One misconception team members want to dispel is their alleged air of unpleasantness. Instead, their goal is to spread the sport’s popularity by being friendly role models to prospective BMXers.
“I was instantly attracted to it,” said team member Mikey Bonzi, 14, of Discovery Bay. “It’s like a getaway for me.”
In addition to raising awareness, the Brentwood Bike Company hopes to gain additional sponsors for the team. Sponsors not only support the team financially; they act as volunteers at events such as the BMX contest on April 2, which will be a part of the Brentwood Bike Company’s anniversary party.
Beyond the sheer enjoyment of riding, members see the team as an opportunity to meet new friends. “It’s a diverse group. Everybody just has their own styles and personalities,” said Marcos Revuelta, 17, the consensus best rider on the team. “It’s really fun. It’s really fun to go out on road trips and hang out with people who are different.”
For sponsorship and event information, call the Brentwood Bike Company at 925-634-5000, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.brentwoodbikeco.com.