Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brothers on Bikes Ride High 4 Family Members Excel in BMX Racing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brothers on Bikes Ride High 4 Family Members Excel in BMX Racing

Article excerpt

Byline: Lamar Thames, County Line editor

Levi Gager is among the best BMX bicycle racers in the state for his age and classification.

Quite an accomplishment for a 12-year-old sixth-grader who has been racing competitively only since November.

"He likes other sports such as football, baseball and soccer, but for some reason, he's really taken to this BMX thing," said his father, Greg, who also participated in BMX bicycle racing when he was young.

In fact, bike racing is a family sport sport for the Gagers, who have five sons, four of whom are also involved in racing. The only reason it is not a quinella is that the youngest son, Sage, is only 3.

"It can get pretty expensive with all four boys into the sport, but it is a family activity and we have a lot of fun with it," said Gager, a carpet and tile layer. He said it was not unusual to spend $400 to $500 a weekend on a big race.

Currently, Levi leads Kevin Daly by two points in the 12-year-old rookie division in the state BMX points standings, but Daly has competed in six more races than Levi has.

"The points get capped at 1,440 points, however, so that really doesn't mean much at this time," Gager said. "A lot of bike riders will get to that many points and if they ride in enough qualifying races, they will be eligible to compete for the state title in Tampa in June."

Levi has competed in enough qualifying races to enter the state and national championship races. The nationals are in Ohio in late August.

Right now, his attention is focused on an event today and tomorrow in St. Cloud called the Gator Nationals.

"I'm a little nervous about this race because there are a bunch of 12-year-olds in this race I haven't competed against," said Levi, who attends Paterson Elementary School on Fleming Island near where he lives.

Levi said his strengths are his balance and his ability to "pedal hard."

"That's what my daddy said to do, not look behind me and pedal hard," Levi said.

Gager said his son's interest in bike racing intensified a couple of years ago but it wasn't until the family moved to Fleming Island that Levi began excelling at the sport. …

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