NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Learning to ride a bike is a pretty typical part of childhood.
Reid Autry from Sumner County took riding a bike a step further. His simple skill has now earned him an opportunity to represent Team USA on the world stage.
“I started on a Strider bike which is something that you just use your feet to ride with, and then I went to a pedal bike and then the bikes got bigger and I got bigger, too,” said Reid.
He’s bigger, but still only 8 years old. Reid went from learning to use pedals to competitively racing Bicycle Motocross. BMX is a sport that isn’t as popular as say soccer or baseball, but features a skill most kids are very familiar with.
“There’s probably tons of kids out there that are very, very good on bikes and they’re like wait I didn’t know that you could go somewhere and race those things,” said Reid’s dad Chad Autry. “I would definitely suggest it to families and other kids that want to break out of the norm and do something different.”
Reid doesn’t just race, he wins.
“You just try to beat them and they try to beat you, and you want to get first in every single race you do,” said Reid.
He has won enough to earn himself a spot on the USA BMX team. This July, he will compete on the world stage at the UCI BMX World Competition in Nantes, France.
“It’s a big accomplishment. For him being an 8-year-old, he doesn’t really get it. He knows he’s going to be racing for Team USA. Not just that, he realizes he gets to travel and meet other riders from other countries,” said Chad.
The 2nd grader has never been out of the country and says he’s looking forward to learning new languages.
As for his parents, they’re proud of him no matter what.
“It has grown his confidence. It has grown his no-fear. It’s competitive and it’s just fun. It’s fun,” said Reid’s mom Rachel Autry.
His parents tell a story of him nearly missing qualifying because he wrecked toward the end of a race. The wreck didn’t hurt his chances of qualifying as much as what he did after the wreck. Because he ran into a friend, he stopped to help him up. Then, his buddy ended up finishing the race ahead of him.
“We’re so glad that you checked on him, but you almost missed your qualifier! Still, that was a proud moment,” Rachel jokes. Chad added, “That was a very proud parent moment right there for Reid to do that, but he was just checking on his friend even though they both wrecked together.”
On Monday, April 25, the Autry’s are having a “Spirit Night” at Fairview Pizza where a portion of the food sales will go toward Reid’s journey to France.