PART 2: The Triumphant Return
In 2004, Goodall’s son began racing and the BMX Dad was re-bitten by the bug.
What had changed the most when you returned to 21st century BMX?
George: "I came back on flats, and resisted getting clipped-in for a year. Finally, I joined the masses."
No more stickin’ your foot out in turns. Had you paid attention to the sport while you were gone?
George: "I occasionally would thumb thru mags to see who was moving and shaking, but my heart was no longer in BMX like before.”
Besides clipless pedals – had the tracks changed much?
George: "Changed ? Heck yes! What happened to one-jump per straightaway? All of a sudden there was lilke eight to twelve jumps and I had no clue how to get thru ’em fast (laughter).”
What’s the best change you’ve seen for BMX racing?
George: "It’s hard to nail one change because so many things have molded our sport into what it is today. From clipless pedals, to international influences, non-BMX corporate sponsorships and of course the Olympics! It makes any kid who raced since the 70’s feel like our sport is now legitimate and no longer just, ‘some kid riding a little bike’.”
In March of ’05, Redline first hooked Goodall up with a uniform and equipment – knowing he was a man on a mission in the cruiser ranks. And within a coupla years, he’d worked his way to Full Factory status and became a serious contender for the ABA No.1 Cruiser title.
Last year, you came close to the silver Cup. Tell us how that went…
George: "After being NAG No.8 and No.9, I had a goal all year to just get my name listed on the Redline door. Being a NAG champ would allow me to join other Redline greats and put a stamp on my career. I went in to the Grands last year sitting NAG No.1 and Nat No.6 in points. Cool!, I thought. Well, I had doubled at the ROC and with the Grands rider count I knew I had a shot. When Archibald got a 2nd in 36-40 cruiser I thought I would hear my name next but apparently I didn’t have enough points even with a win to beat out Kory Cook. I went out and won cruiser but missed the title by only five riders.”
Forget the No.1 plate and titles, I just remember you being stoked on doubling…
George: "I doubled at the ROC and won cruiser at the Grands. I had nothing left emotionally for the 41x main and got 4th. Did you think I was stoked? It was definitely a priceless moment in my BMX career. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
And then this year, you’ve led National Cruiser points since the very first race in Reno.
George: "Yeah, I think we had 31 riders that first day and I won and so did Archibald but he didn’t have as many riders and he told me, ‘Ya know you’re leading national cruiser now…’ I knew mid-year that I had a shot if I rode well and stayed healthy.”
Last years’ Grands was also the race where one of your key pre-race psych-up tips was uncovered. And we still don’t quite understand it. Tell us again how listening to Mariah Carey before a race helps?
George: "Awwww, wow you got me! (crackin’ up) … I found that listening to angry songs just got me too amped so I listened to this song that just made me feel good inside and smile. It’s mellow but has a nice beat. I may change up a little and go to Keisha Cole for this year. Oh, I did find a new song at the Worlds in Australia that I may use. We’ll see…”
Well, it definitely works. It’s not Metallica or anything. Any other secrets you can reveal to the Redline fans?
George: "I’ve been racing a long time and lots of people have given me great advice and insight into this sport but only one rider in particular told me what I feel has summarized how I’ve approached this year with my training and races – thanks, Belt Buckle for these two words. HAVE FUN.”
Read part 3 Here.