Today it’s my stop on the, ‘Princess BMX,’ blog tour a fun and magical debut from Marie Basting, illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino. Princess Avariella Petulia Winifred Pandoro D’Allessandro of Biscotti is so bored of being a princess, she can’t bear having to be good all day and would much rather be sliding down the stairs in a potato sack than be dressed in a frilly frock smiling at the crowds. Convinced she will die of boredom Ava’s live changes in the most unexpected of ways when she accidentally discovers a portal to a different world so unlike the fairytale kingdom she has grown up in. And then she spies a BMX bike something she has only ever seen in books and she’s immediately drawn to this thrilling and exciting sport. Packed full of thrills and spills, Ava is a modern day princess who readers are bound to love. Fierce and loyal, she finds herself caught up in a quest to save her brother and defeat her banished aunt the truly evil Odette. Joyful word building meets compelling storytelling in this fun and entertaining debut, a must for those who love to break the rules and challenge the status quo.
I am delighted to welcome Marie to the blog today with a special interview she did with Dakota Rose Tucker, a young BMXer.
(photo credit BMX Widow)
1 Can you please tell me a little about yourself and how long you’ve been riding BMX?
My name is Dakota. I am 6 years old, nearly 7, and I started riding BMX just before I was 5.
2. How long have you been racing competitively? Can you tell us more about what this involves? (Are you part of a club? How often do you train and where? What does training involve?)
I started racing as a novice for one season before turning to expert. I race in the South West region for my home club ‘Exeter Eagles’, but also belong to a National Race Team called ‘Absolute’, where we attend the British Cycling National Series each year. I have also raced in Europe in their UEC European Cup, and travelled to Verona in Italy, Zolder in Belgium and Sarrians in France. This year I also qualified to race in the World Championships, a single, annual race held each year in a nominated country for the top riders in the World. I represented Team USA due to my dual nationality, whilst still being a bit too young to race under team GB. I train most days on a variety of tracks with a mixture of training regimes with riders of all ages.
3. Can you tell us more about the races and meets you attend? (Do you travel all over the country? What is it like to be part of the BMXing community?)
We travel all across the country to different tracks, spanning from Cornwall to Glasgow, where almost every weekend a different race is on somewhere in the Country. Being part of a BMX community feels enjoyable because you have friends all around you, who look out for each other, and look after people. The BMX community is really special. It makes the world feel small with the amount of friends I have got all over the world. This year the racing has taken me to America and Europe, making new friends, learning of different cultures and making memorable adventures with my family.
4. Who are your BMXing heroes? (Would particularly like to hear about the girls and women.)
Stumbling along a YouTube video of Caroline Buchanan one day got my attention to want to be like her and started this whole journey. She kindly gave me a signed race plate for my fifth birthday which got me hooked. The great thing about this sport, which is unlike most others is how close you can get to your heroes. I have been lucky enough to meet my heroes; (Elite Riders) Alise Willoughby, Felicia Stancil, Bethany Shriever, Laura Smulders, Saya Sakakibara, (Local Riders) Freya Challice, Ruby Moore’s and Betsy Bax.
5. What makes a good BMXer? (Thinking here about attitude, mindset etc)
A good BMX rider is someone who is never afraid, who always makes moves and keeps strong. Racing will always have its challenges, but with persistence and hard work good results will come.
6. Why BMX racing and not freestyle?
I always enjoyed riding my bike from the age of 4. I love watching motorsport and racing, and the adrenalin I get from racing makes me want to always be faster. Freestyle is a bit different but I’m sure is just as fun.
7. What is your biggest BMXing achievement? What about your future goals?
My biggest achievement is qualifying for the World Championships in Zolder, Belgium in July 2019, and also being South West Number 1 and British Number 4. My future goals will be to improve on my results and develop my techniques and skills to become an even better rider.
8. How can someone who knows nothing about BMX get involved in the sport?
BMX is available for all abilities, and there are lots of tracks around the country. Join a club, hire a bike, give it a go, and the sky is the limit.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or BMX?
BMX has taken me to places I otherwise probably wouldn’t have visited. It’s taught me about courage, confidence and teamwork. The sport is so much more than just riding a bike. It brings people together, creates times of fun and laughter, and most of all memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews.
Thank you to Laura and Chicken House books for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a gifted copy of the book. ‘Princess BMX,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.
What an inspiring interview! Thank you for sharing Jo!