David Millar, BMX Rider

BMX. That’s the answer to the David Millar book giveaway and congratulations to Dave B, the winner selected at random.

The question was what type of bike race did Millar do first, a time trial, a mountain bike race or BMX? A large majority of people replied mountain bike, perhaps because that’s what Wikipedia says:

David Millar is one of two children of Gordon and Avril Millar. His father was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and Millar was born while his father was based in Malta for a 3 year tour of duty. His sister Frances also works in cycling, currently as the press officer for Team Sky. The family returned to the UK, and lived at RAF Kinloss in Scotland before moving to Aylesbury, 60 km north-west of London. His father and mother divorced when Millar was 11 and his father moved to Hong Kong when he joined Cathay Pacific, an airline, based there. Millar considers Hong Kong as his home.[10] Millar moved to Hong Kong to join his father when he was 13. He rode in mountain bike races in Hong Kong “and did pretty well.”[11] He bought a road bike in 1992 and raced at 6.30 in the morning before the roads began filling with traffic.

Only Millar’s own book says he started with BMX, a good reason to take Wikipedia with a pinch of salt, even if it is a useful resource. I picked the question for this reason as being able to google the answer would have made it too easy.

20 thoughts on “David Millar, BMX Rider”

      • Time trial was least likely… Seems a very unnatural entry point into the sport.

        To be fair, bmx did seem like a choice given mtb was too easy an answer 😉

          • Dave, you can’t legally race in a time trial on the road until the age of 12. I can’t see many parents saying “Here’s your first bike without stabilisers, let’s go and race in the club 10 this evening”.

            Even closed circuit racing doesn’t appeal as much to kids as mucking about on a BMX or thrashing round the woods on a flat-barred bike. That’s the necessary fun part before the serious business of racing.

            Time trialling is an obsession among time triallists, considered by many (i.e. British Cycling) to be a timewarped backwater within cycling. But I don’t care, I love it.

        • I got my start racing in TTs.

          (of course had BMX and mountain bikes as a kid, but other than going down to the end of the road and back against friends, never officially raced them)

  1. Being a farther of a 15 yrs old son (BMX/MTB rider: street, dirt and park) and seeing the massive trend among young people (boys/girls) now having their love affair with cycling in these categories, or perhaps in the nearest future even more in track racing do the highly successful London Olympics, I can´t help wondering if the kids, as a consequent of all the road racing doping fuzz that might have slip through their BIG headphones (which btw. seems to be a standard teenager indoor wearing now a days), have chosen to turn their back to road racing as a silent protest. Kids do have their own way of protesting.

    I have seen bike handling- and technically skills from 13-16 yrs old kids in the skater parks and on the downhill dirt tracks that very few adult road racers can match. I have seen scary power and speed – what if these young kids do not (want to) make it into road racing (like Peter Sagan etc.) but prefers to stay.

    If road racing looses the recruiting pipeline and if BMX, MTB and Track Racing manage to make use of the trend and keeps up raising financially backing and attention from the broadcasters/viewers, the art of road racing might have some big challengers and the UCI one more issue on the to-do-list.

    Can I still beat my son when riding MTB him wearing batik t-shirt from the 1970´and training with music in his ears rather that using a heart rate monitor? NO WAY!

    Wake up UCI – you may not have noticed but times are changing.

    • You make a very good point. Certainly lots more excitment on the track this year than at the Olympic road events.

      Imagine what might happen to the pipeline should Cavendish make good with his hint that he may return to the track for the next Olympics.

    • Near me there are more and more doing BMX. As they get older some move to MTB (some motorcross… or girls) and if some keep the adrenalin with downhill racing, some go to cross-country MTB and then because they train on the road they end up doing the road. No more do they start on the road.

  2. I was interested in reading the book so I downloaded the free Kindle preview from Amazon. One can also see a preview of the book (including the paragraph mentioned below) directly on the Amazon website, go to http://www.amazon.com/Racing-Through-Dark-Crash-Coming/dp/1451682689/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1344265972&sr=8-3 and click on the image of the book.

    In the preview I saw this paragraph on page 17 or thereabouts, just before the primary school photo of David & Frances:
    “I didn’t enjoy school [in Buckinghamshire England] that much, but out of the classroom, I had a blast, particularly after I discovered BMX and became the proud owner of a Raleigh Super Tuff Burner. Dad would take me along to the BMX race leauges in High Wycomb every other weekend. I was eight years old, and it was the perfect introduction to racing.”

    I wasn’t originally going to enter the contest, I assumed the majority was correct with Mtn Biking, but when I saw this I realized the wikipedia entry that most everyone was relying on must not have mentioned BMX racing. It’s been a good read so far, I might go ahead and purchase the full Kindle version.

  3. The next INRNG contest giveaway question should be:

    “Who is the biggest wanker complaining via ‘comment’ on the INRNG blog, about the difficulty in answering a trivia question, and/or, the political correctness of the contest prize.”

    I’d add a complaint here about INRNG, but I just can’t conjure up something negative. Seems all good.

    Cheers. 🙂

  4. Funny. The Wikipedia article has changed:
    “Millar moved to Hong Kong to join his father when he was 13. He rode in bmx bike races in Hong Kong “and did pretty well.”[11]”

    It’s still wrong, methinks 🙂

    • +1

      If I remembered correctly from the book, he just MTBed for fun in HK. But his MTB buddies introduced him to the romance of road racing by lending him video tapes and talking about TDF.

Comments are closed.